How to approach Academic Writing Task 2

In the actual IELTS Academic Writing test, you will have one hour to complete the two questions or tasks: 20 minutes for the first task and 40 minutes for the second. So, you should expect to spend a little longer on practice Task 2 than you did on practice Task 1.

While you shouldn’t put yourself under too much pressure when practicing, it’s a good idea to set a timer or alert, so you can keep a track of your progress and how close you are to the time limit.

An easy reminder…

Q: How long should I spend on IELTS Writing Task 2?

A: We suggest 40 minutes.

Q: How many words for IELTS Writing Task 2?

A: 250 words is about the right length, but don’t be afraid to go a little over.

Q: Should I be formal or conversational in style?

A: You should write in a formal style, suited to an academic environment.

Task 2 - Write about the following topic:

Learning English at school is often seen as more important than learning local languages. If these are not taught, many are at risk of dying out. 

In your opinion, is it important for everyone to learn English? Should we try to ensure the survival of local languages and, if so, how?

You should give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge to support your response.

What should I do next?

Once you’ve finished, you can download the model answer for Writing Task 2 and see how your work compares.

Remember, you don’t have to agree with the opinion expressed in the model answer; this Task 2 sample is a guide to illustrate the style, content, level of detail, structure, length and so on. A good way to improve is to spend some time reflecting on how your answer compares to the model answer - and keep practicing, of course.

If you want to see an example of an actual answer sheet for the IELTS Academic Writing test (‘on paper’ version), you can download a sample copy below.

See also