IELTS Writing Test
1   Test Overview
IELTS writing test is very important for candidates, its mark takes a quarter weight in overall band. It is in both Academic and General Training versions, but for Academic and General training test takers the assignments are different. The two versions focus on different types of candidates: the academic tasks are relevant with formal writing for academic purpose, whereas general tasks are of everyday life's personal or semi-formal writing.

Although writing contents aren't same between academic and general versions, the tests' structure and format are very similar. The common points are:
  • Test time are 60 minutes.
  • Test consists of 2 tasks.
  • 1st task takes 1/3 score.
  • 1st task should be more than 150 words.
  • Suggest to finish 1st task in 20 minutes.
  • 2nd task takes 2/3 score.
  • 2nd task should be more than 250 words.
  • Suggest to finish 2nd task in 40 minutes.
The general writing's task 1 is a letter, whereas academic writing's task 1 is to describe a table or chart. It's easy to tell the difference. However, task 2 of both tests are short essays that may seem alike in topic or question style. Don't be confused by the similarity. Academic test expects your formal writing, instead, general test needs your flexible or personal expression, even if the question is very very close.

This is why test takers have to prepare writing module according to their versions exactly if they don't want to waste time and effort. Understand your job is the first step to succeed.

All IELTS writing tasks are judged under four aspects. The video enplanes how to write a 7 band essay guided by the criteria one by one. It's a good example to understand how an IELTS writing task to be scored.
  • task achievement
  • coherence and cohesion
  • lexical resource
  • grammatical range and accuracy


More IELTS writing background materials, like format, score, and sample questions are at IELTS official website.

2   Academic and General Writing:
1. Academic Writing
The IELTS Academic Writing module is designed to test candidates' ability to write clear and formal English, as is commonly required in an academic context. The test consists of two tasks that you must answer in one hour. If you only finish one of them, you don't have any score.

The two tasks usually focus on separate aspects of academic writing, but examiners rate your writings with similar criteria, such as how accurately to address the task, how organized your writing is, range of your vocabulary, and correctness of your grammar.

A high score writing needs you to organize ideas well, write accurately, and use rich vocabulary with correct grammar. Considering that task 1 just contributes 1/3 score to finial writing mark, you should allocate test time accordingly. If wasting too much time on task 1, task 2 may be ruined in a narrow time frame.

Want to learn more :

Academic Writing Task 1: Chart and Table Academic Writing Task 2: Essay

Practice online :

Academic Writing Task 2: Essay

2. General Training Writing
The IELTS General Training writing module tests ability to write about practical issues on common topics of personal interest, everyday life, or campus activity. The tasks usually ask candidates to offer information or suggestions, say likes or dislikes, or present opinions or views.

In the module candidates should finish 2 writing tasks in one hour. Task 1 is a 150 words short letter and just contributes 1/3 points to final writing mark, so you may allocate less time on it accordingly. If wasting time on task 1, means you don't have enough time to complete task 2. Then you won't have chance to get a good mark. Besides, you have to finish both tasks, otherwise you cannot accept writing band.

As similar as Academic writing, examiners assess the General writing tasks is based on the criteria in four aspects: right understanding and response to tasks, organising essay logically, good range of vocabulary, and correct grammar.

Want to learn more :

General Writing Task 1: Letter General Writing Task 2: Essay

Practice online :

General Writing Task 2: Essay

3   Recent Questions
In real IELTS writing test the chance to see exactly repeated questions is very low; however, similar or near topics occur in test sheets from time to time. Get new writing questions and practice them is a common method to prepare either academic or general IELTS writing.

The real writing questions can help candidates to mock test scenario and familiarise with exam style. On the other hand, practice them accumulates hot topics that may be used in future test, sort of kill two birds with one stone.

This section presents each writing task one real question, which are from memories of recent IELTS test takers. We just keep latest writing questions here. To get previous questions, please select related links.

Academic Writing  More Writing Academic Exam Questions
  2018-12-08: Task 1 (Iran)
A table shows the changes about the weight of men and women in 1999, 2004 and 2009.



  2018-12-08: Task 2
In many countries the shops open long hours every day of week. Discuss the positive or negative effect to the shopper and local community.



General Writing  More Writing General Exam Questions
  2018-12-01: Task 1 (Philippines)
Write to the company’s manager about construction near your home. In your letter:
  • how you heard of their construction plans
  • what you think of their plans
  • your hopes for the construction in case it pushes through.


  2018-12-01: Task 2 (USA)
Some people prefer activities and lifestyle in hot climates while others prefer activities and lifestyle in cold climate. Discuss both views and give your opinion.