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IELTS Writing Test

On this page, you will learn about the IELTS Writing Test format and understand how IELTS Writing tasks are scored.

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IELTS Writing
a guy writing a letter with pen and paper

IELTS Writing Test Format – Academic vs General Training?

There are two types of IELTS Tests: Academic and General Training. Both test modules require you to complete two writing tasks.

In Writing Task 1, you are asked to write a report or letter of at least 150 words and in Writing Task 2 you need to write an essay using a minimum of 250 words. You will be given 60 minutes to complete the tasks.

To gain a better understanding of the main differences, see the following comparison:

IELTS Academic Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

Writing Task 1: Report

There are 5 types of reports:

  • Pie charts
  • Multiple chart and graph
  • Graph and table
  • Process diagram
  • Map and plan

Writing Task 2: Essay

There are 5 types of essays

IELTS General Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

Writing Task 1: Letter

There are 3 types of letters:

  • Formal letter
  • Semi-formal letter
  • Informal letter

Writing Task 2: Essay

There are 5 types of essays


IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay is the same for both the Academic and General Training writing test. However, in IELTS General Training module, the essay topics are a little bit easier.

For more details on the IELTS Test Format, see the British Council website.

How are IELTS Writing Tasks scored?

Both writing tasks are evaluated on a scale of 0–9, based on the four marking criteria:

  • Task achievement
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy

Each criterion gives 25% of your total score for the task.

The final score is reported as a band or half a band (e.g. 6.0 or 6.5).

IELTS Writing Task 1 is worth 1/3 of your total writing score, whereas Task 2 is worth 2/3 of your score. You should spend no more than 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2.

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