Watch our video from some people who have taken the IELTS Writing test, follow our guidance below and take a Writing practice test:

Study good quality examples

It is a good idea to study high quality writing styles in different formats by looking at newspapers or short articles in general-interest magazines on a variety of subjects. 

In magazines or newspapers, it can be useful to:

  • underline useful vocabulary items
  • underline and highlight grammar structures
  • underline linking devices between sentences and paragraphs
  • apply what you have learned to your own writing.

Practice for both of the writing tasks. Looking at good quality examples can help.

The Financial Times, for example, often provides tables and diagrams to illustrate texts on such things as the stock exchange which can serve as a useful model for Task 1 of the Academic Writing test. Short articles on topical subjects can be found in publications such as The Economist or, at a simpler level, free tabloids used by commuters going to and from work.

Practise test topics

Look at IELTS practice tests and choose topics which interest you. Use a variety of practice questions and try writing within both the time and word limits. It is important to have a go and not let nervousness stop you from trying.

Tasks and timing

Be aware of the different writing requirements for Task 1 and Task 2.  

In IELTS Academic, Task 1 involves describing aspects of one of the following:

  • graph
  • table
  • map
  • diagram

Task 2 often involves:

  • expressing an opinion
  • balancing an argument
  • suggesting a solution to a problem.

You will need to develop the most appropriate written language for each task to succeed in the Writing test.

Timing is very important. Remember that Task 1 is worth around one third of the total marks in the test, while Task 2 is worth roughly two thirds. It is important not to spend too much time on Task 1 or you will not leave yourself enough time to perform well in Task 2.

See also