IELTS Academic Writing Tips

Profile Pic Karren Geronimo   October 04, 2017

Do you want to study, work, or live in an English speaking country? If so, taking the IELTS is probably in your future.

Once you’re clear on the IELTS meaning (“IELTS” means International English Language Testing System), you’ll need to figure out whether you need to take the Academic IELTS or the General IELTS. The Academic version of IELTS has different Reading and Writing sections than the General version, so your study materials need to be specific to the version you’re taking.

Tips for Academic Writing Task 1

The IELTS Academic Writing section is divided into two Tasks. In IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you must describe the information in a given graphic, table, chart, or diagram.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when writing your response.

1. Don’t over-complicate the question

IELTS recommends you spend 20 minutes on Task 1. The examiners don’t expect (or want) you to write down every possible detail about the visual you’re analyzing.

2. Organize your ideas logically

Once you know what the question is asking, you can start your essay. Grouping ideas together logically will make your ideas less jumbled and easier to read. Try using this three-paragraph organizational template when writing your Task 1 response.

3. Understand your limits when interpreting data

There is a lot of specific grammar and vocabulary that people use when talking about data, so it’s better for you to stick to common vocabulary than to use technical words you aren’t sure about.

Tips for Academic Writing Task 2

For IELTS Academic Writing Task 2, you must write an essay to discuss a given problem and possible solutions to it. Here are three tips to help you construct a good essay.

1. Break down the question

Unless you fully answer the question, you cannot score higher than a band 5. Luckily, once you learn how to correctly analyze a question, you can quickly improve your score.

2. Make a plan before starting to write

A lot of students don’t plan out their essays before they start writing. If you do this, it’s very likely that you’ll get lost in the middle and either end up with a very disorganized essay, or you may even have to start over completely.

3. Write slightly over the word limit

It’s a lot of work, but the IELTS examiners actually do count every word of your writing test to make sure it meets the minimum word requirement. For Task 2 you have to write at least 250 words. That means writing 249 words for Task 2 will cost you points.