IELTS Writing Paper Task 2 Tips


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The IELTS Writing Paper 2 (Academic Module) tests your written English abilities in many areas relevant to further study. The proper use of vocabulary, grammar, organisation and coherence is included and this is the more difficult of the two writing papers.

  • Analyse the question. It is often in two parts: a background statement and specific aspect of that. Make sure you are answering about that aspect not the general topic.
  • Paragraph your answer. A good answer should be 3 or 4 paragraphs. As a guide, the intro should be approx. 50 words; main body 170; and conclusion 30 to 40. But these amounts are guides not rules.
  • Use a variety of sentence lengths and types. In particular, the use of complex sentences (ones with subordination/dependent clauses) are considered a sign of good writing.
  • Link paragraphs and sentences well. Your paragraphs should not be able to be 'moved' within the essay and the sense and progress of it maintained. Sentences should be linked, but do not overuse conjunctions. Good writing does not endlessly use the same subject for sentences. Rather, pronouns or synonyms are substituted for it.
  • Don't copy the question. This will not count.
  • Spend about 40 minutes on this task (Compared with 20 minutes for Writing Paper 1)


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IELTS Writing Paper 1 - Academic Module

IELTS Writing paper Task 1



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Activities on the IELTS test are very in tune with the actual needs of the candidate. Being able to describe such information is an important skill that every university or college student needs to be able to master.

Part One of the IELTS writing paper (academic module) deals with describing graphical information, a table, a map or a process. Nine out of ten times the question will be on graphs, however. This article focuses on describing graphs and tables.

The whole IELTS writing paper takes 1 hour, but you should only spend 20 minutes on this part. It is easier than part two and marks are allocated accordingly.

It is important to read and understand the question, as well as follow the instructions carefully. You usually have to write a report for a university lecturer so your style should be formal. Remember to use proper paragraphing as well as you will get higher marks for this. Leave a line between paragraphs to clearly show the breaks. Proper paragraphing will push your IELTS band score up.

You must write at least 150 words, so make sure you count the number you have written as less than this will carry a penalty.

Start by writing a one sentence description of the chart or table. Try to use different words than those used in the actual title printed on the graph.

The examiner will assess your ability to:

1. Describe the change or trend (i.e. whether it is a rise or fall, an increase or decrease)
2. Write about the interval of time depicted in the chart or graph
3. Compare and contrast the groups of information presented.

Sometimes the graph or table will contain very detailed with complex information, which makes it impossible to describe everything in detail. You should therefore concentrate only on the major trends and most significant information.