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How to Pass IELTS: Writing

Discover all of the key skills and techniques you need to pass the writing section of your IELTS test.

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Learn the skills to pass the written tasks in the IELTS exam

If you’re looking to study in, work in, or migrate to countries where English is the native language (such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, or the USA), then you’ll likely need to take the IELTS exam. Each year over three million people take the IELTS test.

On this four-week course from Sentinel|9, you’ll explore each task type in the writing section of the IELTS exam and gain the skills and knowledge to achieve a band 9 from your test.

Explore the structure of the IELTS test

Grading for IELTS writing is broken into band descriptors with four types of descriptors: task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy.

This course will guide you through each of these descriptors, what they mean, and what is expected from the test to reach a band 9 standard.

Build your letter writing skills for both formal and informal letters

One possibility for an IELTS writing task is to write a letter, so you need to be prepared.

You’ll explore formal and informal letter writing and the differences in language between the two. You’ll then learn about the structure of a letter, before examining a sample letter to reinforce the top level of letter writing required for IELTS.

Develop your essay writing skills and learn the optimal essay structure

There are many types of essay, each with their own purpose, structure, and language requirements. You’ll assess each type, from the structure to the style, and learn how to write them.

You’ll also delve into the numerous types of charts that you may be asked to write about, how you might analyse them for your writing, and how to write reports on the data.


  • Week 1

    How to Shape Your Writing to the IELTS Standard

    • How IELTS is Graded

      You will be introduced to how IELTS writing is graded and how it will affect your grade.

    • Formal & Informal Letter Writing

      Here we will cover the letter for task 1 general and work through a tutorial on what you need to know for this task.

    • The Basic Chart Report

      You will learn the first structure for academic task 1 - the basic chart. Here you will learn the base structure to use for other task 1’s in the academic version of the test.

    • Formal Writing Style & Essay Writing

      We will discuss what you should do and what you should not do for formal writing in task 2, as well as give an overview of all the tasks for task 2.

    • How to Write an Opinion Essay

      You will learn the first essay structure and how to write the opinion essay as this is the most common question type for task 2. We will also assign homework and give you a tutorial on how to write your homework.

  • Week 2

    Review, Theory, and Solutions

    • Basic Chart Review

      In this section, we will introduce you to a basic chart and how it works.

    • Opinion Essay Review

      In this section, we discuss how to write an introduction, body, and conclusion for an opinion essay.

    • Category Chart Structure

      In this section, we discuss the category chart and the best structure to use.

    • Essay Structure & Solutions

      In this section, we will look at additional essay structures, including best practices for writing a problem essay.

  • Week 3

    Solutions, Advantages, and Disadvantages

    • Category Chart - Homework Review

      In this section, we will take you through the homework you received in a previous lesson on the category chart.

    • Solutions to a Problem - Homework Review

      In this section, we discuss the homework you had for solutions to a problem.

    • Two Charts Structure

      In this activity, we talk about the two charts structure.

    • Essay Writing - Advantages and Disadvantages

      In this activity, you will learn about the structure to use when writing an advantages and disadvantages essay.

  • Week 4

    Essays, Charts, and Map Reporting

    • Two Charts - Homework Review

      In this section, we will review your homework on two charts.

    • Advantages & Disadvantages Essay - Homework Review

      In this activity, we review your homework on the advantages and disadvantages essay.

    • Map Reporting

      In this activity, you will learn about map reporting, and the structure to use for this task.

    • Two Views Essay

      In this activity, we discuss how to write the two views essay for task 2, as well as the structure to follow.

  • Week 5

    Reviews, Process Reports, and Two-Part Question Essay Writing

    • Map Reporting - Homework Review

      In this activity, we will unpack the homework you completed on map reporting.

    • Two Views Essay - Homework Review

      In this section, we review the two views essay that you completed previously.

    • Process Reporting

      In this activity, we go through process reporting and the correct structure to use when performing this task.

    • Writing a Two-Part Question Essay

      In this activity, you will learn how to write a two-part question essay.

  • Week 6

    Homework and Task Review

    • Process Reporting - Homework Review

      In this activity, we will review your homework on process reporting.

    • Two-Part Question Essay - Homework Review

      In this activity, we will review your homework on the two-part question essay.

    • Course Revision - Part 1

      In this activity, we will review new tasks covered in this course. We will also review all structures for Task 1 academic.

    • Course Revision - Part 2

      In this final section of the course, we will review new tasks covered in this course. We will also review all structures for Task 2 academic.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Create a report or essay for IELTS tasks 1 & 2 with a high band score
  • Create an essay (description, reports, discussion, argument, opinion)
  • Create a descriptive report
  • Produce a written argument on a given topic and to organize your answer
  • Produce a summary of a particular graph (bar, line or pie graph), table, chart, process, and map
  • Describe and compare data, identify significant trends in information, describe a process and describe a map
  • Produce convincing essays with descriptive academic vocabulary
  • Assess charts and graphs to create a well-organized and logical report
  • Explore to find reasons for your answers
  • Practice complex sentences
  • Improve your English skills
  • Perform the test with confidence

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone looking to improve their chances of passing the writing section of the IELTS exam.

Who developed the course?


Sentinel|9 is an education content provider. They provide university-level content independently to offer a different pace of learning for individuals and institutions. They have a dynamic content library and Learning Management System (LMS) which is suitable for online, blended and face-to-face delivery.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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