IELTS Academic Writing

Time and organisation
The Writing Module consists of two different writing tasks and the whole paper takes one hour. You do not have any choice of tasks. Task 1 must be a minimum of 150 words and it is recommended that you spend no longer than 20 minutes on this. Task 2 must be at least 250 words and carries two thirds of the marks, so it is recommended that you spend 40 minutes on this. Under length answers lose marks.
Content and task types
The Task 1 prompt is always a type of diagram. You have to write about the information shown describing the main features, trends or differences. You have to refer closely to the diagram and, where relevant, illustrate your main points with figures. You are not required to give any explanation for the data, but have to describe only the information given in the task.
Task types may involve describing information from
• a graph, chart or table
• a flow chart or process diagram
• a plan or map
• a diagram showing how something works
• a diagram showing or comparing objects
• a set of small diagrams
In Task 2 you are required to discuss an issue, question or opinion of general interest, and to give your own point of view. The topics do not require you to have specialist knowledge, but you have to be able to present ideas on general issues. The prompt is usually a background statement introducing the topic, followed by an instruction to the candidate. This instruction tells you how you should approach the topic and it is very important that you spend time analysing exactly what you are expected to write about.
Instruction types include:
• giving and justifying opinions
• comparing opposing opinions
• evaluating advantages and disadvantages
• comparing arguments for and against
• analysing problems and suggesting solutions
• answering direct questions on an issue
For Task 2 you are expected to write in a formal style, appropriate for an academic exam.
Marking and assessment
Task 2 carries more marks than Task 1, so you should take care to spend a full 40 minutes on Task 2.
Task 1 is assessed in terms of:
Task fulfillment: how well you have reported and illustrated the main points of the information.
Coherence and cohesion: how well you have organised the information across your answer and how you have linked the ideas within and between sentences.
Vocabulary and sentence structure: how appropriately and accurately you have used a range of language.
Task 2 is assessed in terms of:
Arguments, ideas and evidence: how well you have been able to present relevant ideas and opinions and develop these into a well-supported argument or point of view.
Communicative quality: how well you have organised and linked your points and ideas.
Vocabulary and sentence structure: how appropriately and accurately you have used a range of language.
Your scores on these criteria are combined to give you a Task Band for each task. These are then combined to give you a Final Band for Writing. There are no half bands for this module.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.