Do you feel ready to take the IELTS Test? Practice is the solution to pass the test peacefully. That is why we advise you to spend time on each of the 4 tests.

You will be able to recognize their structure and feel at ease the day of the exam. In this article, we will focus on the IELTS Writing test.

Thus, we will see:

  • The structure of the writing test and its evaluation criteria;
  • Some examples of exercises;
  • A few tips for passing the test and managing your time;
  • How to train with GlobalExam.

Don’t wait any longer and learn everything about the Writing section of the IELTS.

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How Is the IELTS Exam Writing Section Structured?

The IELTS test is divided into 4 sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Writing section of the IELTS exam lasts one hour and it consists of two parts:

  • Task 1, in which you must write a minimum of 150 words
  • Task 2, in which you must write at least 250 words.

You should allow yourself 20 minutes to complete Task 1 and 40 minutes to complete Task 2.
The texts that you need to write will be different, depending on the version of the test you take.

a notebook and a pen

What Skills Are Being Assessed in the Writing Section of the IELTS Exam?

In this section you’ll be assessed on your capacity of writing good English IELTS essays.

Your score on this test will be the average of your scores on each writing exercise, out of 9.

The criteria on which you’ll me marked are:

  • Your compliance with the instructions: whether you’re asked to describe visual information, write a letter in the proper format, give your point of view…
  • The coherence and cohesion: if you have a good use of linking words, logical connectors and your fluency of speech
  • Your lexical resource and the richness of your speech
  • Your grammar and your correct syntax

IELTS Academic Writing Section Task 1: Presentation and Instructions

On IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you will be presented with one or two graphs and you will be asked to summarise the information presented in them using formal language.

You are asked to select the main or most important features of the graph and describe them in appropriate detail. You are also invited to make comparisons where relevant.

You only need to report on the factual information contained in the graph. You do not need to interpret the data, make speculations or explain possible reasons for the trends in the data.
Here is an example of a graph:

Graph on Task 1 for the IELTS exam.

IELTS General Training Writing Section Task 1: Presentation and Instructions

You will be presented in the IELTS General Writing section with a situation and asked to write a letter containing specific points.

You will be directed to write to a specific person, who could be a friend, a colleague, or someone in an official position. You will need to choose an appropriate tone when writing to the person, so your letter might be informal, semi-formal or formal.

You should open your letter with a suitable greeting, such as “Dear…” and sign off correctly , for example, “Kind regards”.

If you wish to pratice for the IELTS General Traing Writing task 1 , we provide exercises online. W do also offer test preparation for the General Writing task 2.

IELTS General Training and Academic Writing Section Task 2

For the Task 2 of IELTS Academic Writing, you will need to write an essay in response to the topic introduced in the question. The task is the same for both the Academic and General training. However, a wider range of IELTS essay topics are tested in the Academic test, and the wording used in the question might be more difficult.

In both cases, you will need to explain your position in relation to the question and support your answer with reasons and examples. You are also encouraged to make use of your own knowledge or experience.

How Does the Scoring Work for Task 1 And Task 2 of the IELTS Writing Section?

The examiner will mark your writing with reference to very strict criteria which are divided into four categories. For IELTS Academic Task 1 and Task 2, three of the criteria are the same: Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy.

1. Coherence and cohesion

This criterion is about how your text is organised.

Is there a logical progression from the beginning to the end? Do you use paragraphs correctly ? Are your sentences well connected and can you link ideas? Do you use a lot of repetition?

2. Lexical Resource

This criterion is about the variety of words you use. Do you only use common words or do you use words that are related to specific topics or situations?

Do you use words in the appropriate context? Are you aware of how certain words are used together, for example “make a suggestion” rather than “do a suggestion”? Do you spell words correctly?

3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

This criterion is measured by the variety of grammatical structures you use. Can you use complex structures such as conditionals, modal verbs, past tenses and the passive? Or do you use simple structures such as present tenses? Do you make many grammatical errors?

4. Specific Criteria for Task 1 and Task 2

a. Task 1 Criterion: Task Achievement

For Task 1 you will also be graded on Task Achievement. For General Training this means making sure that the purpose of the letter is clear, addressing all the points and writing in an appropriate tone. For the IELTS Academic Writing Training, this means how successfully you present a clear overview. It shows how you select and explain relevant information from the graph.

b. Task 2 Criterion: Task Response

In Task 2 you will receive a score for Task Response, this is an evaluation of how well you respond to the question or statement presented to you. You need to give a developed response to all the parts of the question, offer a clear opinion and a range of ideas that are supported by relevant examples.

For both Task Achievement and Task Response, word count is also an important factor. If your text is too short, this will reduce your band score.

How Is Your Band Score Calculated?

You are given a band score for each criteria, the maximum band score you can achieve is 9. The criteria are all equally important. If you score 5 for both Grammatical Range and Lexical Resource, and band 6 for both Task Achievement and Cohesion and Coherence, your final band for Task 1 will be an average of the four scores, Band 5.5.

Writing task 1

In the table below, IELTS Academic Training is referred to as AT and the General as G.

Band
Task achievement
Lexical resourcet
Grammatical range and accuracy
Pronunciation
9fully satisfies all the requirements of the task and clearly presents a fully developed responseuses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attentionuses a wide range of words with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical featuresuses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy
8covers all requirements of the task sufficiently and presents, highlights and illustrates key features/ bullet points clearlysequences information and ideas logicallyuses a wide range of words fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings but produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formationuses a wide range of structures and makes only very occasional errors
7covers the requirements of the task but could be more fully extended
(A) presents a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages
(GT) presents a clear purpose, with the tone consistent and appropriate
uses a range of cohesive devices correctly although there may be some under-/over-useuses a sufficient range of words to allow some flexibility and precision but may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formationproduces frequent error-free sentences and has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors
6presents and adequately highlights key features/ bullet points but details may be irrelevant, not appropriate or inaccurate
(A) presents an overview with the correct information selected
(GT) presents a purpose that is generally clear; there may be inconsistent in tone
uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical and may not always use referencing clearlyattempts to use less common terms and makes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but they do not impede communicationuses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms but makes some errors in grammar and punctuation which rarely reduce communication
5presents, but not coverd, key features/ bullet points; there may be a tendency to focus on details
(A) recounts detail mechanically with no clear overview; there may be no data to support the description
(GT) may present a purpose for the letter that is unclear at times; the tone may be variable and sometimes not appropriate
presents information with some organization but there may be a lack of overall progression and makes inadequate, inaccurate or over-use of cohesive devicesuses a limited range of words, but this is minimally adequate for the task and may make noticeable errors in spelling and/or word formation that may cause some difficulty for the readeruses only a limited range of structures and may make frequent grammatical errors and punctuation may be faulty; errors can cause some difficulty for the reader

Source: https://www.ielts.org/-/media/pdfs/writing-band-descriptors-task-1.ashx?la=en

  • Writing task 2
Band
Task achievement
Lexical resource
Grammatical range and accuracy
Pronunciation
9fully addresses all parts of the task and presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideasuses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attentionuses a wide range of terms with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical featuresuses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy
8sufficiently addresses all parts of the task and resents a developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideassequences information and ideas logicallyuses a wide range of terms fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings but produces rare errors in spelling and/or word formationuses a wide range of structures and makes only very occasional errors or not appropriate uses
7addresses all parts of the task and presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to extrapolate and/or supporting ideas may lack focususes a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under-/over-useuses a sufficient range of phrases to allow some flexibility and precision but may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formationproduces frequent error-free sentences and has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors
6addresses all parts of the task although some parts may be more fully covered than others and presents a relevant position although the conclusions may become unclear or repetitiveuses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical and may not always use referencing clearly or appropriatelyattempts to use less common phrases but with some mistakes and makes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but they do not impede communicationuses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms but makes some errors in grammar and punctuation which rarely reduce communication
5addresses the task only partially; the format may be not appropriate in places and presents some main ideas but these are limited and not sufficiently developedpresents information with some organization but there may be a lack of overall progression and makes inadequate, inaccurate or over-use of cohesive devicesuses a limited range of words, but this is minimally adequate for the task and may make noticeable errors in spelling and/or word formation that may cause some difficulty for the readeruses only a limited range of structures and may make frequent grammatical errors and punctuation may be faulty; errors can cause some difficulty for the reader

Source : https://www.ielts.org/-/media/pdfs/writing-band-descriptors-task-2.ashx?la=en

How Can Globalexam Help You Prepare For the IELTS Test?

On the GlobalExam platform you can prepare for Task 1 and Task 2 of the Writing section of the Academic exam. Although some of the Task 2 questions will also be suitable for practice of the General Training.

Other tools are also at your disposal to help you in your revisions.

  • We give you access to grammar and lexical review sheets.
  • In addition, with our Statistics and Corrections mode, you can not only follow your progress throughout your training, but also identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Finally, our Personalized Courses allow you to set goals to reach before the big day
  • We also have an article giving you IELTS Writing Tips to succed your exam

GlobalExam gives you access to IELTS writing sample questions which are graded from easy to difficult. You can submit your own answers and have them graded by a teacher. The questions are also accompanied by a model answer, as well as model essay plans and key language to improve your writing skills.

To access the free version you could simply register to our platform. You will then be able to take a complete practice test for free. We also offer a Premium version if you want to have access to more exercises. Check online and find the IELTS test center location nearest to you.

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