Need to retake one skill?  IELTS One Skill Retake  is here.


The IELTS Writing test evaluates your ability to express yourself in written English and is designed to assess your writing skills in an academic or general context, depending on whether you are taking the IELTS Academic or General Training test. 

Here's an overview of the IELTS Writing test:

Test Format: 

  • The IELTS Writing test consists of two tasks: Task 1 and Task 2. 

  • In the IELTS Academic test, Task 1 requires test takers to describe visual information, such as graphs, charts, or diagrams. Task 2 in the Academic version involves writing an essay in response to a question or statement. 

  • In the IELTS General Training, Task 1 requires writing a letter, often based on a given situation, and Task 2 involves writing an essay on a general topic. 

Word Count: 

  • In Task 1, test takers are usually required to write at least 150 words. 

  • In Task 2, test takers are expected to write at least 250 words. 


  • Test takers have 60 minutes in total to complete both tasks. 

  • It's advisable to allocate approximately 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. 


  • Each task is scored separately on a scale of 0 to 9. 

  • The scores for both tasks are then averaged to determine your overall Writing band score.

  • Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1.

Skills Assessed: 

  • Task 1 assesses your ability to present and describe visual information logically and coherently (Academic version) or to convey information in a clear and appropriate tone (General Training version). 

  • Task 2 assesses your ability to provide well-structured arguments, opinions, and ideas in written form. 

Preparing for the IELTS Writing test typically involves practicing writing essays and descriptions, understanding the format and expectations of each task, and improving your grammar and vocabulary.

Many test takers find it beneficial to use official IELTS practice materials and seek feedback on their writing from teachers or tutors. The ability to effectively express your thoughts in writing is crucial for academic and professional purposes, making the IELTS Writing test an important part of the overall IELTS test. 

Learn more about the IELTS Writing test

play button

Let our IELTS Expert guide you through the 8 steps needed to reach a band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2.

How is the IELTS Writing test marked?

The IELTS Writing test is marked by qualified IELTS examiners who are intensively trained and monitored to ensure consistency and quality of marking, no matter where in the world the test is taken. A minimum of two examiners will mark your Writing test, and sometimes even up to three or four – we do this to ensure the highest level of accuracy and fairness possible.

Your Writing test response is scored in the areas of:

  • Task achievement (for Writing Task 1) or Task response (for Writing Task 2)

  • Coherence and cohesion

  • Lexical resource

  • Grammatical range and accuracy

To understand what each of these means read the Writing band task 1 and task 2 descriptors, which have detailed information about each phrase and how they relate to the different band scores that are possible.

IELTS Writing band scores explained

Boost your Writing band score with IELTS Writing Assist

Complete an official IELTS Writing mock test, and receive a personalised feedback report and detailed action plan.


IELTS Masterclass

For people aiming for a high band score, get next-level IELTS expert advice to boost your confidence in the IELTS test.