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IELTS Writing - the basics

Watch Sally introduce the IELTS Writing course.

Listen to Sally introducing the course and find out exactly what you have to do in the IELTS Writing test.

There are two IELTS tests available – IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. In this course, we will be focusing on the IELTS Academic test. It measures whether your level of English is suitable for an academic environment, and is used by universities all over the world for entry to undergraduate and postgraduate level courses. If you’re planning to take the General Training test then the tasks will be different from those you see on this course, but there will still be lots of writing advice and practice that you will find useful.

These are the two tasks in the Academic Writing test that Sally describes in the video.

  TASK TIME WORD COUNT
TASK 1 Describe a graph, table, chart or diagram and summarise the information in your own words. 20 minutes Minimum 150 words
TASK 2 Write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Both tasks will require a formal writing style. 40 minutes Minimum 250 words

Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to your final Writing score.

These tasks test your ability to do various things including:

  • Describing facts and figures accurately
  • Expressing your ideas and opinions clearly
  • Finding the right words to say what you want
  • Getting the grammar right

We will look at each task in detail during this course, and you will find out more about the assessment criteria in the next step.

For now, tell each other in the comments how confident you feel about doing each of these four things in English.

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Understanding IELTS: Writing

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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