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5 top tips for IELTS writing task 2


1. Enrol on a IELTS course at UKCE

I wouldn’t recommend trying the IELTS exam without doing a course first. The IELTS exam tests both your vocabulary, your receptive skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and your ability to express your opinions in a structured way. A course at UKCE will focus on all of these aspects, your teacher will provide you support and tips, and you can study with a classmate in your free time.

2. Manage your time

In the writing and reading sections of the IELTS exam, time can run away from you. It’s easy to become focused on one task and not leave enough time for another one, so make sure you have a plan going into the exam. A website called suggests 40 minutes for task 2 and 20 minutes for task 1. These timings will depend on where your strengths are, so if you find task 1 easier, think about doing that one first and leave as much time as you can for task 2. Once you are familiar with the writing tasks, think about practising with a timer running so you get a feel for how long you need for each task.

3. Have a structure ready for each type of writing task

Remember that there are 5 different question types for task 2:

  1. Opinion ( Agree or Disagree)

  2. Advantages and Disadvantages

  3. Problem and Solution

  4. Discussion (Discuss both views)

  5. Two-part Question

Each form requires a slightly different plan.


1 - Paraphrase Question

2 - Give your opinion and outline the main ideas.

Main Body Paragraph 1

Main Body Paragraph 2


Your course teacher will explain all of this in much more detail and help you with the vocabulary and phrases you will need to express your ideas in an appropriate way.

4. Use a thesaurus

Paraphrasing (rewording the question) is skill that requires some practice. You will need to know synonyms of common words to be able to convey the question in your own way. Using a thesaurus is the best way increase your vocabulary exponentially, though make sure the meaning of the synonym you choose is the same as the original: there are subtleties in meaning that your teacher can help you with. A dictionary will also help with this.

5. Write. As much as possible

Since computers, phones and tablets have become popular, many of us don’t write by hand as much as we used to. I’d strongly recommend that you start writing as soon as you can. Firstly, your handwriting will improve, making it easier to read, and you won’t get tired from writing for an hour in the exam. Start with little changes, like leaving handwritten notes on post-its as part of your learning. If you need to write an email, write a draft by hand and then type it up afterwards. This is a good opportunity to start writing postcards or letters to friends and loved ones: a handwritten letter is much more personal and a really nice thing to receive in the post. Finally, think about starting a journal; this could be of your day-to-day life or thoughts, or of your IELTS learning journey. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you get used to writing in full sentences for long periods of time.


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