How to Score High on the IELTS Writing Section

IELTS tests one’s ability to produce two pieces of writing in a relatively short duration. The test is divided into two parts and one hour is given to finish each section.

Writing Task I
In the first part, the question will be related to some graphic or pictorial information. One is asked to write a descriptive report of at least 150 words on the information provided. For this task, it is suggested that one must first spend some time looking at the graph / table and try to comprehend the information given. Make sure you know what each axis of the graph represents and use these parameters in the writing. The following structure can be used for the first writing task:
  1. An introductory sentence describing what the graph / table depicts.
  2. A couple more sentences describing the trends shown in the graph.
  3. Description of the data present in the graph. If there are more than one graphs, then a comparison can be written.
  4. A concluding sentence which sums up the data illustrated in the graph.

Writing Task II

The second task is more difficult than the first. In this section, one should draft a written argument on a given topic and produce some examples to support one’s arguments. The second task should be around 250 words. Since it is longer and than the first, one is suggested to spend more time on this task. The structure to be used for the second task is,
  1. Introduce the topic and state whether you agree or disagree on it.
  2. Give arguments in support of your viewpoint supported by relevant examples.
  3. State the other viewpoint and give reasons why you don't agree with it.
  4. Conclude with a few sentences.
  5. If there is time left, revise your answers and check for spelling and grammatical errors.

IELTS General Writing

If you are planning to take the General test, the Writing section is slightly different. You are allowed one hour to complete two tasks, of 150 and 250 words, which is similar to the Academic IETLS exam. However, the difference is that, the Task 1 is always a letter, while Task 2 is an essay based on a given topic.
Since task II carries more marks, candidates are advices to spend more time on it. Twenty minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2 would be a good balance of time during the actual exam.
Since task II is more important, it may be a wiser choice to do task II first and task I after it. However, make sure you write each task in the specifically allotted area since the answer sheet has separate areas designated for each task.