IELTS Academic & General Writing Test Format

IELTS General Training and Academic Writing Test determines your writing abilities through two tasks, Letter writing / Graph Writing and Essay Writing. These tasks are assessed against the following criteria like Grammar, accuracy, task response, and so forth. You are supposed to write your answers onto the given answer sheet. So, you must write answers in full sentences. Attempting the writing section will help you acquire a better understanding of the IELTS Writing Format.
60 minutes
Task Type
Letter and Essay

IELTS General Writing Task 1

In this task, you are given a situation. You need to respond to the given situation in form of a formal or informal letter with respect to the target audience.

For example, writing a letter to a friend is informal while writing a letter to some government bodies or people at high authorities is formal.

You are supposed to provide all the necessary details, explain the situation, make a request or suggestion so that the purpose of your letter is clear to the examiner.

Write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Skills Assessed
Ability to interpret the given situation, follow the instructions and letter-writing conventions, organize and link the information accurately with correct usage of English
60 minutes
Task Type
Diagram and Essay

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

This task has some visual information in the form of a Graph, Table, Chart, or Diagram. It might include describing the stages of a process, explaining the data, or describing an event or object. You have to describe, summarize, or explain the information in your own words.

For example, write a report on the chart and graph describing participants who have entered the Olympics this year.

You are supported to provide all the necessary details mentioned in the instructions, such as main features and comparisons.

Write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Skills Assessed
Ability to identify the relevant and important information from the given Graph, Table, Chart, or Diagram & present it in a structured manner

IELTS General and Academic Writing Task 2

The essay question for General Training Writing is often easier than Academic Writing. Although, the writing assessment are similar for both, General Writing and Academic Writing task. In this task, you are provided with a point of view, argument, or a problem. The topics are usually related to education, environment, business and money, lifestyle, and more.

You need to write an essay presenting a solution to the problem, express your ideas, present them in an organized manner and justify your opinions with relevant illustrations.

Write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes.

Skills Assessed
Ability to present ideas in proper order, cover all the information mentioned in the instructions, connect the information appropriately while writing, and justify argument with relevant examples

Scoring Criterion

The writing tasks are assessed on these pre-defined writing assessments and scoring criteria. The IELTS writing format is the same for IELTS Writing Tasks 1 and 2 except for one minor difference. Writing Task 1 checks the Task Achievement while as Writing Task 2 ascertains the Task Response, the rest all the parameters remain the same.
Coherence & Cohesion

is linking ideas in a proper sequence and Cohesion is making suitable use of cohesive devices (e.g., connectors, pronouns, conjunctions) to link ideas logically.

Lexical Resource

determines your range of vocabulary.

Task Response
and Achievement

refers to covering addressing all the main points and task requirements, elaborating them, and supporting them with suitable examples.

Grammatical Range & Accuracy

assess accurate usage and wide range of complex structures.

General Tips
  • Make use of sufficient range of Vocabulary
  • Write content relevant to the subject provided
  • Use a mix of simple and complex sentence forms
  • Make correct use of punctuations
  • Pay attention to the writing word count for each task; you will lose marks for lesser words
You can improve your writing skills by taking IELTS General writing practice tests and IELTS Academic writing practice tests. To know where you are making mistakes, you can make use of Writing Correction Service and IELTS writing mock tests to develop your exam strategies.