The IELTS writing module varies depending on whether you are doing the Academic Test (for university applications) or the General Test (usually for work / general migration).
In IELTS Academic you have to describe a graph or diagram (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2).
In IELTS General Training you have to write a letter (Task 1) and write an essay (Task 2).
So you have to write an essay for whichever one you choose, but the other part is different depending on which module you are taking.
The Task 2 (essay) is actually worth more marks than the Task 1 (graph or letter) so you should spend 40 minutes of the time on the essay and 20 minutes on the graph / letter.
This difference in marking is represented in the number of words you have to write, which is a minimum of 150 for the Task 1 and 250 for the Task 2.
Graph or Diagram
|Write a Letter|
|Write an Essay||Write an Essay|
These are some of our top pages for learning more about writing, or scroll down below for more information about what you have to do in each module of the writing test.
These are useful for Academic or General Training as an essay has to be written for both:
You can also learn about the test, see questions people have asked or ask your own questions in the IELTS Forum:
And if you need help with your writing you may be able to find a teacher here:
You must be able to use complex sentences in your writing. Check out all the IELTS Grammar Lessons:
In the first section you will need to describe, summarize or explain a graph, diagram or process. Here is an example question:
You will have to describe the chart in no less than 150 words. In this section of the test, you could also get a line graph, a pie chart, a process, a table, or a map to describe.
Check out this video giving you an overview and tips on the language you'll need to know:
Task 2 is an essay question. You will have to write a response to the question giving reasons and examples to support your answer. The topics are general interest.
Here is an example of a question:
Check out this video giving you an overview of the kind of questions you could get for the IELTS Essay:
The task of the general training module is to write a letter. You will be presented with a situation and you will need to write your letter explaining the situation or asking for information. The letter may be one of three styles:
Your response will have to reflect the appropriate style.
Here is an example question:
This is the same as the IELTS writing Academic module. You will need to write an essay responding to a point of view, argument or problem.
However, on the test day, the essay will be different to the one given to those taking the Academic module.
The essays is sometimes in a slightly more personal style than for the academic essay, but you need to follow the same methods for writing the essay.