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The writing section of IELTS exam aims to judge the English composition capability of a candidate. During the IELTS test, students have to complete two writing assignments completely different in nature and structure. The total time allotted for the Writing portion of IELTS exam is an hour, distributed in to 20-minutes (for the first writing assignment) and 40 minutes (for the second writing task).

Total time duration of IELTS Writing Exam: 1 hour

The IELTS writing exam differs depending on the General or Academic module. However in both the cases, IELTS examiners tends to extend their focus in few areas of the writeups a student makes up. The areas that are really important to be taken care of during your IELTS writing test are as follows:

a)  Spelling, punctuation and grammar
b)  Distribution of facts and fiction
c)  Extent of coverage of the subject in concern
d)  Structure and pattern of writing
e)  Solid conclusion (recommendation, remedy or concluding statement)

IELTS General Writing Exam

As discussed earlier, two writing assignments are completed during IELTS exam. For the General test, the question pattern is like -

First Writing Assignment A letter writing assignment based on a topic of general interest. (Word limit – 150 words)
Second Writing Assignment Essay Writing on a topic of general interest. (Word limit – 250 words)


IELTS Academic Writing Exam

The question pattern of IELTS Academic Writing section differs completely from General test. Here?s an outline of the question pattern that you may expect in the IELTS Academic Writing exam -

First Writing Assignment Develop a short report based on a graphics, pie chart, a line graph, a table, a bar chart, a representation, or an image. (Word limit – 150 words)
Second Writing Assignment Essay Writing on a topic of general interest. (Word limit – 250 words)

In case of both General and Academic IELTS exam, it is expected for students to maintain a formal tone of writing from start to end.

The Writing segment for both IELTS General and Academic test is marked on the basis of the following pillars:

Response to the task –  In this the examiner checks the tone, structure and flow of information in each of the writeup. A student is expected to maintain a formal tone all through their writeup supporting one aspect of the given notion and also abide the suggested word limit. Its also important for the student to standup to the purpose of composing the writeup and give it a solid coverage.

Cohesion and coherenceIn this segment, the examiner checks the para breaking style and application of transition strategy by the writer. Both should integrated within the writeup in such a way, that it does not become evident to the reader. Continuous practice can well verse one to learn the cohesion and coherence aspect of English writing.

Vocabulary and expressionThis implies the kind of English an IELTS test taker uses in their writeups. The application of English language depends on their grasp on the subject. The use of English reflects ones understanding and knowledge about the language. Its recommended to students to make a good impression with the English they use, making the right use of phrases, idioms and jargon.

Grammar and punctuation
Both grammar and punctuation can alone change the meaning of what you compose. Its a single comma, full stop or wrong use of tense that can alter the meaning of an English statement or sentence. Hence its recommended to practice ample and make the right use of both grammar and punctuation in your writeups. IELTS Writing assignments are available on the web that you can take up and practice. Later, ask your IELTS mentor to mark you on the same. Your band score will reflect your confidence with English language.

Here is stating each probable band that you can expect to score in IELTS Writing segment and the implications you can derive from the same -

Band 5 Below Satisfactory Score
Band 6 Average Score
Band 7 Good Score
Band 8 Extra Ordinary Score


Tips for IELTS Writing test (applicable to both General and Academic Writing)

Time management - Whether you will do IELTS Writing assignment one at first or start with the second writeup is absolutely your call. The only suggestion is, reserve 10 minutes of the entire hour for brainstorming the topics you pick, arranging your ideas and revising at the end.

Experiment and explore - Experimenting the writing style or exploring the probable ways of presenting your ideas is not possible on the final test day. When you start practicing the IELTS writing during your preparatory days,try all possible kinds of experimentation and get it checked by your IELTS guide. This will make composing much easy on the final IELTS test day.

Repeating thoughts and ideas - Do not repeat your thoughts, ideas, phases or words across the writeup. This results in a very negative impression to the examiner who thinks you were in lack of facts that you did the repetition. Yet, if you logically think that repeat of facts and figures is justified, then you can go ahead.

Paraphrasing and break - In any kind of writeup you are beginning to draft, do not cluster all your thoughts and ideas in one paragraph. Split into three four paras so that its become easy for the reader/examiner to go through. There should be uniform distribution of thought across the writeup.

Limitations and restrictions - Primarily, its very important to limit to the subject about which you are writing. Do not bring in extra or unnecessary thoughts simply to fluff up or build your writing. Also, its important for IELTS candidates to complete in one hour and limit the word count as instructed.

Form of writing - For IELTS Writing section, there is only one form of writing to follow and that is, essay pattern. No IELTS examiner accepts bullet, listing or pictorial form of writing. So stick to the old school and try to be as elaborate as you can while drafting the writeups of IELTS exam.

Reading, an integral part of IELTS Writing - Its important for students to read thoroughly from the start to end of IELTS Writing exam. They have to begin with reading the questions cautiously, so that they can draft essays accurate and to the point. Also, while and after writing the essays they need to be dedicated readers to fetch faults in their writings.

Readability quotient - A last point mandatory to remember in the IELTS Writing exam is, after applying the best of English knowledge, grammatical rules and punctuating elements, your IELTS writeups must have the a readability flow that will attract or interest anyone to read your articles. This is not easy to attain and happens only after ample time spend and research on the subject.

IELTS Writing Test Sample:
Below is a sample video from official IELTS youtube channel that explains how to write Task 1 to get Band 9.

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