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IELTS Writing Word Limits

What if i exceed the maximum word limit.

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Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 Forum .

IELTS Task 2 - Wrote Less than 250 Words

Dear all, I just had my IELTS exam and everything went pretty well. Altough my preparation was very efficient in the exam i couldnt manage to finish Writing Task 2 (wrote about 220 words). I think my writing is pretty average. Does anybody know how much influence this could have on my writing band score? And is it still possible to get a 6? Sincerely Sina

Incomplete IELTS Writing Task 2

by maheshmk

Hello IETLS buddy, I wrote task 1 to full content with proper representation of the facts. In the case of task 2 which is essay, I was asked an agree or disagree question. I wrote an intro of 4 lines. One paragraph on an opinion of agreement and one paragraph on disagreement. But due to shortage of time, I couldn't write the conclusion for the same. And I fear I don't fulfill the word limit criteria as in my opinion, I only wrote 1 and half side of the page which results to 160 words approx. How much can I expect to achieve? Will I atleast get a band score of 6 and above?

What are the maximum IELTS writing word limits?

by noel - anu (New Zealand)

Hi all, I am not familier with the IELTS exams. In acadamic writing part 1 we have to write 150 words and part two 250 words. what is the maximum number of words we could write. I looked at few examples but couldn't get the idea of how many maximum words to write

What is the IELTS word length penalty?

Please tell me how much of the overall writing band can i lose if i write under the word limit? My essays had proper grammar and vocabulary, and i did not go off topic. However, my words were about 130 for Task 1 and 200 for Task 2. Will i be able to get at least 6 bands now in the writing section?

IELTS Penalty - less than minimum words

can i still get a 6.0 without writing 250 words in writing task 2 ielts and 150 words in task 1?

What happens if a student writes less than the minimum word lengths?

by Gurbuz Asici (Turkey)

Hello, I've been searching online for a couple of days now and couldn't find the accurate information about the problem that I'm having. The problem is IELTS students are supposed to write at least 150 words for the 1st task and supposed to write at least 250 words for the 2nd task. However, what happens if a student writes less than those numbers? How much points should be taken away and where should it be taken? Is there a chart or a scale to guide me about this? Thank you.

Writing too many words in IELTS Task 2

by Josephine (Italy)

Hi, When doing task 2 I often find myself writing 300 words or (way) more but there is not much I can cut or it would lose coherence. I usually make it within the time limit of 40 minutes. I am aware there is only a lower limit in writing, however, my concern is that I would get penalized because of the exceeding number of words. Please let me know if I should work more on my ability to synthesize for a better assessment. King Regards Josephine

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IELTS practice Academic Writing test - Task 2

How to approach academic writing task 2.

In the actual IELTS Academic Writing test, you will have one hour to complete the two questions or tasks: 20 minutes for the first task and 40 minutes for the second. So, you should expect to spend a little longer on practice Task 2 than you did on practice Task 1.

While you shouldn’t put yourself under too much pressure when practicing, it’s a good idea to set a timer or alert, so you can keep a track of your progress and how close you are to the time limit.

An easy reminder…

Q: How long should I spend on IELTS Writing Task 2?

A: We suggest 40 minutes.

Q: How many words for IELTS Writing Task 2?

A: 250 words is about the right length, but don’t be afraid to go a little over.

Q: Should I be formal or conversational in style?

A: You should write in a formal style, suited to an academic environment.

Task 2 - Write about the following topic:

You should give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge to support your response.

What should I do next?

Once you’ve finished, you can download the model answer for Writing Task 2 and see how your work compares.

Remember, you don’t have to agree with the opinion expressed in the model answer; this Task 2 sample is a guide to illustrate the style, content, level of detail, structure, length and so on. A good way to improve is to spend some time reflecting on how your answer compares to the model answer - and keep practicing, of course.

If you want to see an example of an actual answer sheet for the IELTS Academic Writing test (‘on paper’ version), you can download a sample copy below.

  • IELTS practice Academic Writing test - Task 1
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How Long Should My IELTS Essay Be?

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In the IELTS writing exam, you will be asked to write an essay for task 2. This essay should be at least 250 words long and it is recommended that you spend about 40 minutes on this task.

In this article, I will explain a little more about the word count so that you get a better idea of how many words you should write in order to achieve a good score.

IELTS Task 2 Essay Length

According to the instructions provided with your IELTS writing exam, as well as advice from IELTS examiners, you are required to write at least 250 words. This includes words that are hyphenated (such as “well-known” and “high-quality”) as one single word.

IELTS writing correction

If you write less than this, your essay will be penalised and you will get a lower score. Although the examiners will not count the number of words you have written (for the paper based test), it will be quite obvious to them whether or not you have written enough, and it will negatively impact your score. Thus, you should not write less than 250 words.

You should also not write too much for this essay. There are various reasons for that, but primarily you will run out of time and be unable to finish your essay if you attempt to write too many words. This depends on the speed at which you can write, but most IELTS candidates would definitely struggle to write a 350 word essay in just 40 minutes. It is also worth noting that a very long essay would surely contain more errors than a shorter one.

As such, we can see that there are clear disadvantages to writing less than the recommended word count and also some disadvantages to serious exceeding it. However, the question remains: How long should my IELTS essay be?

This is a personal matter and depends on a number of factors, but for most people it is reasonable to aim for around 260-290 words. This allows you to answer the question quite fully but without spending too long on it or making too many mistakes.

If you are aiming for a very high score, it might be reasonable to write a little more (let’s say 290-320 words. This is because you could probably plan and write faster and that the extra words would allow you for some extra development, thus pushing up your score for Task Achievement. However, this is an advanced technique that could easily backfire if your vocabulary or grammar skills were not good enough.

To summarise, for IELTS writing task 2 you should aim to produce more than 250 words but you should not write much more than that or else you could encounter problems.

Which of the following is not a reason for writing moderate length IELTS essays ?

  • Very long essays take too long to write.
  • Very long essays can be quite boring.
  • Very long essays will contain many errors.

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IELTS Charlie

Your Guide to IELTS Band 7

IELTS Writing: word count

You probably know how many words you should write in each part of the IELTS Writing Test:

  • In Task 1, you should write a minimum of 150 words.
  • In Task 2 , you should write a minimum of 250 words.

What happens if I go below the minimum number of words?

Before 2018, if you wrote less than the minimum number of words, your band score for Task Response or Task Achievement was reduced by a whole band score.

This no longer happens.  However, you should still try to write more than the minimum number of words.

If you write less than the minimum number of words, your writing will almost certainly not be detailed enough for a high band score. If you want to get a Band 7+ for Task 2, you need to explain your ideas in detail, and you can’t do this properly in only 240 words. So an essay that is less than 250 words will lose marks in Task Response. In addition, your writing will have a smaller range of vocabulary and grammar, so you might also get a lower band score in these areas.

It’s the same for Task 1, if your letter (General Training) or report (Academic) has less than 150 words, it won’t be detailed enough for a high band score.

So make sure you write well above the word limit!

How do I write enough words?

Here are my main tips for doing this:

Do not aim for the minimum word count. Aim to write well above the minimum, around 170-180 words in Task 1 and 280-350 words in Task 2. If you aim high, you will reach the target more easily.

Task 2: before you write Task 2, plan your essay . This will give you the ideas and arguments to help you write detailed explanations and examples.

How are words counted?

  • Contracted words (e.g. I’m, they’d, she’ll) = 1 word. (However, because Task 2 is a formal piece of writing, try to write without contractions.)
  • Hyphenated words (e.g. point-of-view, up-to-date) = one word
  • Articles (e.g. the, a, an) are counted
  • Punctuation is not counted

ielts essay how many words

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How Many Words Should You Write for IELTS?

Posted by David S. Wills | May 3, 2019 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0

How Many Words Should You Write for IELTS?

I run an IELTS writing correction service and every day I mark about 10 essays by students from all over the world. Not many of them write an essay with too few words, but about a third of them write far too many. As such, in today’s article I will explain how many words you should write for an IELTS essay.

What are the IELTS rules about word count?

In the IELTS writing exam, you need to write at least 150 words for task 1 and 250 words for task 2. If you write less than that, you will probably lose marks. The required word count will be stated on your exam paper, and therefore if you do not fulfill that requirement, then you will lose points for Task Achievement , which is one of the four criteria on which the IELTS examiners mark your performance.

It used to be said that if you wrote too few words, you would lose one full band score, but as of 2018 , that all changed. Now, there is no official policy about deducting marks, but as you can see in the above example, there are other ways that writing too few words can lower your score. Here, the student would have scored band 6 for Task Achievement , but his failure to write enough words cost him and he was marked down to band 5.

However, what about writing too many words? Is there a rule about that?

There is nothing in the IELTS marking rubric about writing too many words. Theoretically, you could write 1,000 words and you would not be penalized. As long as you have written more than 150 words for task 1 or 250 words for task 2, you should be ok.

Is there anything wrong with writing too many words?

Actually, it is not good to write too many words, and there are several reasons for that. In this section of the article, I will explain why you shouldn’t write too many words.

1. It is better to economize your time

IELTS exam time management

First of all, there are better ways to spend your time than just writing. I know that sounds counterintuitive – this is a writing exam, after all! However, there is more to writing than just putting words on paper. You need to make sure that you have time for planning, writing, and correcting, or else your essay will most likely have some major problems.

Here is a good way of dividing your time for IELTS writing task 2:

IELTS Writing Checklist

Obviously, this process will vary from person to person. Some people need longer to check their answer at the end of the test, while others can scan it quickly and find their mistakes easily. Some people prefer to spend longer analyzing a question but can plan their structure very quickly because they have done so much practice. However, I think that the above idea is pretty useful for the majority of students.

Anyway, the point is that if you write a 400 word essay (and I have seen many students try do to that!) then you will not have time to check your answer at the end. This is a problem because checking your answer will allow you to eliminate a number of mistakes from your essay. Let’s not forget a cardinal rule:


As such, you should remember to divide your time carefully. A few minutes of proofreading at the end could cause your score for Grammatical Range and Accuracy or Lexical Resource to jump from a 6 to a 7, which might push your overall writing score up.

2. You won’t finish your essay

Closely related to point #1, writing too many words may cause you to not finish your essay. This would be disastrous! If you write too many words for your body paragraphs, you might not have time to write a conclusion. An essay with no conclusion would thus score very poorly in Coherence and Cohesion . If you failed to complete your body paragraphs, you would score very poorly in Task Achievement , too.

ielts essay how many words

Generally speaking, this sort of mistake is caused by poor planning. You might have generated too many ideas while planning your essay, and then in the body paragraphs it takes you too long to finish explaining these ideas. By the time you get to the end of body paragraph two, your time is up. It is a nightmare scenario for an IELTS candidate.

Again, I recommend you follow my time suggestions above, and also my recommended word limit, which I will post below in the conclusion. By doing these things, you will always finish your essay on time.

3. Practice for the real exam

When I am marking my students’ practice essays, they often write 300-400 words, and I tell them not to do this. The reason is that they should be practicing for the real IELTS exam , not just to get my feedback on their spelling or grammar. Yes, it is useful to practice writing longer essays or articles to improve your overall writing skills, but for IELTS you must take time into consideration .

IELTS exam times

What I mean is that in your real IELTS exam, you only have 40 minutes to write an essay. This essay must be at least 250 words (for task 2). In your practice sessions, you must aim to replicate these factors as closely as possible or else you will face problems in the final exam.

I suggest the following.

In every practice session you do for IELTS writing: – Stick to the real IELTS time – Aim to write at least 150/250 words – Do not use the internet to help you

You will find that after a dozen practice exams, you become quite accustomed to the process. Your mind will automatically start to follow a process of


Eventually, you will be able to easily write an essay in 20 or 40 minutes (depending on the task), and then you can focus on improving your grammar and vocabulary, etc.

If you regularly write 350 word essays and take 50 minutes to do it, then when you sit the real IELTS exam, you will be busy writing, then the end of the exam will be called and you will not have finished. Your vocabulary and grammar might have improved well during your practice sessions, but your Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion scores will be very low, and you will get a poor overall result.

Should I count my words?

One final question: Is it worthwhile counting the words you have written?

In practice, yes.

In the real exam, no.

Let me explain: When you are practicing, I recommend sticking to real exam conditions. However, at the end of your practice you should definitely count the number of words you have written. This will let you know what a certain word count looks like. Everyone has different handwriting, and on paper you might see that X lines = 100 words. You can then guess how many words you have written in total. It is also worth checking how many words you have written per line and multiplying that by the number of lines. For example, 11 words per line x 25 lines = 275 words.

BONUS TIP: you can download the actual IELTS exam paper here and that will make your practice exams much more realistic. 🙂

Over time, you will get a feel for how many words you have written. Maybe one piece of paper filled 80% is 260-270 words, for example. You will then know when you do the real exam whether you have written enough words or not.

IELTS writing practice

The same obviously applies if you are typing on a computer and intending to do the computer-based IELTS test. This will be quite different as you will actually see your word count on the screen! That can be very helpful, but perhaps a little intimidating.

Will the examiner count your words?

No, not exactly. They will guess your word count by using the above measures – number of words per line multiplied by number of lines. Of course, after marking hundreds or thousands of essays, an examiner will be able to simply look and know whether you have written enough or not. In the case of a computer exam, they will see the word count listed. If you wrote 249 words for a task 2 essay, you would almost certainly not be penalized, but you should aim to write more than that.

How many words should I aim to write?

I recommend that my students write about 160-180 words for task 1 and 260-280 words for task 2. The reason is simple. If the minimum word count is 150 or 250, then you should aim for slightly more than that; however, there could be problems (as explained above) with writing too much. Therefore, these figures are a safe target. If you aim for these, you give yourself the best possible chance of success.

To summarize, in the IELTS writing exam, you should:

  • Write at least 150 words for task 1 and 250 words for task 2
  • DO NOT write too many words
  • Spend 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2

In your practice sessions you should aim to replicate real IELTS conditions as closely as possible. If you do this, you will handle the final exam much better. You will face less stress due to the time limit and other requirements.

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About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: The Complete Guide

Hand writing IELTS writing task 2 essay

For Task 2 of IELTS Writing , you’ll be asked to give your opinion on a social issue. Want to know how this section works? Read on for our complete guide to IELTS Writing Task 2, with tips and tricks, sample essays, and more!

(Note: This guide is a handy supplemental resource for those who use our IELTS study schedules . In fact, we specifically recommend consulting this guide on Day 4 of our one week IELTS study plan !)

Table of Contents

  • IELTS Writing Task 2 Basics

IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Organization and Example

Task 2 ielts sample essays, improving your score in the second ielts writing task, task 2 ielts tips and tricks, ielts writing task 2 practice resources.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: Basic Information

When you give your opinion on a social issue for IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll work under the following basic rules and standards:

  • This task will either be handwritten or completed on computer, depending on what format of the IELTS you take. Your recommended time limit for this task is 40 minutes, and the task takes up 2/3 (66%) of your score. For a full introduction to formatting, timing, and scoring, check out “ The Basic Facts of IELTS Writing Task 2 .”
  • You need to write a 250 word minimum for your response. If your word count is below the minimum, it will hurt your score. For more information on how this works, see the IELTS Writing word count penalty for IELTS Task 1 and IELTS Task 2 .
  • The good news is that keeping the right word count is one of the simplest ways to aim for a top Task 2 IELTS Writing score! For more guidance on how to do this, check out our post on how many words to write in your IELTS essays.
  • Your Task 2 IELTS Writing essay should be formal , reflecting the same tone you’d take in an introductory university academic writing class. For this skill, Magoosh has you covered! See our tutorial on formal writing in IELTS Writing Task 2 for guidance.

IELTS General Task 2 vs. Academic Writing Task 2

This is an IELTS Task 2 basics question I often get: what is the difference between IELTS General Task 2 and IELTS Academic Writing Task 2? The answer is that there is no significant difference. Writing Task 2 Academic usually looks exactly the second IELTS Task 2 on the General Training version of the IELTS.

Get a higher IELTS score? Start your online IELTS prep today with Magoosh.

There is one very small difference: the wording of IELTS General Task 2 prompts is sometimes slightly shorter and simpler . But even then, the same things are being asked. And your essay will need to meet the same scoring standards no matter which version of the test you take.

A well-organized essay is your passport to a top score. Take a few minutes to plan and outline your essay from the beginning, following a good template. If you can do that, you’ll have a strong introduction, body, and conclusion that will really impress the scorers for the Task 2 IELTS essays.

How to Organize Your IELTS Essay

Below are a few resources to help you organize Task 2 IELTS essay in an efficient, impactful way:

  • Brainstorming Essay Topics for Task 2 IELTS Writing
  • The Best IELTS Writing Task 2 Template
  • IELTS Writing Task 2 Body Paragraph Structure

Example Essay Template

The Task 2 IELTS Writing template contains a full model Task 9 essay. However, each section of the sample IELTS Task 2 essay is in a different part of that article, with instructions and explanations between the paragraphs. It may be helpful to also view that sample essay as it would look on a real exam. To see our model essay all in one piece, check out this PDF .

But wait, there’s more! Magoosh has one model essay for each of the five most common question types for Task 2 IELTS Writing prompts ! Click the links below for each sample IELTS Task 2 essay, with scorer commentary:

  • IELTS Writing Task 2 Discussion Sample Essay
  • Model Essay for a Two-Part Question in Writing Task 2 IELTS
  • Task 2 IELTS Writing: Causes and Solutions Sample Essay
  • Task 2 IELTS Writing: Agree/Disagree Sample Response
  • Model Advantage Disadvantage Response for Task 2 IELTS Writing

Now that we’ve shown you several model Band 9 essays, you may ask yourself: how can I get a top score on my own IELTS Task 2 essay? To be sure, looking closely at those model essays can help. But it also helps to take a closer look at the four categories in the official rubric for IELTS Writing Task 2 .

In brief, the four IELTS Task 2 rubric categories you’ll be scored on (and their share of the score) are:

  • Task Response (25%)
  • Coherence and Cohesion (25%)
  • Lexical Resource (25%)
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)

These categories actually apply to both IELTS Task 2 and Task 1. For a detailed description on how to get high marks in all four categories across the whole writing section, check out:

  • The IELTS Task 2 and IELTS Task 1 Writing band descriptors
  • How to get a band 8-9 in your Task 2 IELTS Writing

Last but certainly not least, we have tips and tricks for success in each of the four rubric categories:

  • IELTS Writing Task 2: Task Response
  • Coherence and Cohesion in IELTS Task 2 Writing
  • IELTS Task 2 Writing: Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy in IELTS Writing Task 2

Beyond the advice I’ve given you so far, Magoosh offers many other free tutorials for boosting your IELTS Writing Task score, and writing powerful essays within the time limits of the test. Here’s a roundup of our best Task 2 IELTS Writing resources to guide you on the road to test day:

Tips and Tricks From the IELTS Blog

  • Magoosh’s Complete Guide to IELTS Writing
  • Useful Sentence Patterns in IELTS Writing
  • Linking Words for IELTS Task 1 and IELTS Task 2
  • Using Conjunctions on the IELTS
  • Paraphrase Exercise for IELTS Writing
  • Do You Lose Points for Bad Handwriting in IELTS Writing?
  • How to Use Commas Correctly in IELTS Writing
  • 5 Common Grammar Mistakes in IELTS Writing: IELTS Task 1 and IELTS Task 1
  • How to Effectively Check Your IELTS Writing
  • How to Write More Quickly in the IELTS Task 2 Essay
  • How to Write an Effective Conclusion in IELTS Writing Task 2

YouTube Videos

  • Top Tips to Prepare for IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 (Video)
  • IELTS Writing Task 2: Top Mistakes! (Video)
  • IELTS Vocabulary: Writing Task 2 (Video)
  • More Words to Know for IELTS Writing Task 2 (Video)
  • 6 Useful Sentence Patterns to Improve Your IELTS Writing (Video)
  • How to Get a Great IELTS Writing Band Score (Video)
  • Paraphrasing Tips to Boost Your IELTS Writing Score (Video)
  • IELTS Writing: How to Score a Band 8+ (Video)
  • How to Prepare for IELTS Academic Writing Task 2
  • How can I improve my IELTS Writing Band score?
  • 6 Useful Sentence Patterns to Improve Your IELTS Writing

In addition to Task 2 IELTS Writing tips and tricks, Magoosh also offers you some great resources for practicing IELTS questions! Earlier in the post, I already showed you the practice set for the five most common types of Task 2 IELTS essay questions . But wait, there’s more….

Task 2 Practice Material

  • The Best Writing Resources for IELTS Task 1 and IELTS Task 2
  • How to Access the Practice Questions on the Four Official IELTS Websites

Youtube Videos

  • IELTS Writing Practice Test (Video)
  • IELTS Task 2 Essay: Agree/Disagree Sample Questions (Video)
  • The Advantages/Disadvantages Essay for Task 2 IELTS (Video)
  • Agree/Disagree Questions

Prepare For IELTS Writing Task 2 with Magoosh!

If you like what you see here, there is still even more. With a subscription to Magoosh IELTS you’ll get well over 100 video lessons, more than 600 practice questions, and email tutoring help from our teachers at no extra charge. We also offer a subscription to an IELTS essay scoring service that will assign a band score to your IELTS essays. You can also try a free one week trial of either service ! 🙂

Eliot Friesen

Eliot Friesen-Meyers is the Senior Curriculum Manager for Magoosh IELTS and TOEFL. He attended Goshen College (B.A.), New York University (M.A.), and Harvard University (M.T.S.), gaining experience and skills in curriculum development, ESOL instruction, online teaching and learning, and IELTS and TOEFL test prep education. Eliot’s teaching career started with Literacy Americorps in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later, taught ESL programs at Northeastern University, University of California-Irvine, and Harold Washington College. Eliot was also a speaker at the 2019 TESOL International Conference . With over 10 years of experience, he understands the challenges students face and loves helping them overcome those challenges. Come join Eliot on Youtube , Facebook , and Instagram . Recent blog posts Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 1 Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2

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112 responses to “IELTS Writing Task 2: The Complete Guide”

Nanda Nepal Avatar

Thanks a lot for creating this pretty much useful guiding blog.

Eliot Friesen

You’re welcome, Nanda! I’m glad you’re finding it so useful. Good luck with your studies!

Krunal Gandhi Avatar

is paraphrasing is common in all types of essays

David Recine

Paraphrasing is definitely common in pretty much every type and topic for IELTS Writing Task 2, for the reasons outlined in this post: you need to paraphrase the question, and the conclusion will paraphrase ideas from the introduction and body of the essay. And IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is pretty much 100% paraphrasing– your job there is to take information form a chart, table, or other graphic, and rewrite the info in your own words.

But even IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 has elements of paraphrasing, since you are given a situation that you will address by writing a letter, and you need to write about the situation in your own words.

And of course, paraphrasing is important in non IELTS essays, such as the ones you might be assigned in a university course. The skill of paraphrasing is something you’ll use in a variety of ways throughout your university career, really.

rruby Avatar

marvellous tips thanks for this

I’m so glad you found them helpful, Nanda!

Kaif Ahsan Avatar

Very organized and exhaustive article. The writer gave us a meticulous insight into task 2. Found it very useful. Thank you!!

Thank you for your feedback, Kaif! I’m glad you found the guide so helpful!

Ugochukwu Kalu Avatar

Although I have always thought of possible ways to bring about positive changes to me home town, it has become even more convincing to me because I have so many ideas already concurred to carry this out

sajedah Avatar

Thank you a lot!

You’re welcome! Happy studying!

Mari Avatar

Dear Eliot, if the question is: “Do you think the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?” do I need to answer in the introduction or I can answer after discussing advantages and disadvantages? Thank you in advance

Hi Mari! Great question! As a general rule, you should always present your basic idea at the beginning of the essay. Some IELTS essay questions only ask you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of something (not your opinion). Therefore, in your introduction, you simply need to summarize the advantages and disadvantages that you will discuss in detail in the body paragraphs. However, when a Task 2 IELTS question asks for your opinion, it’s very important to state your viewpoint in your introduction as well.

Perfect! Thank you very much! And thank you for the article, is very useful!

You’re welcome, Mari! I’m glad you find the article helpful. Happy studying!

Sazzad Avatar

Sorry I can’t find the 5th one of your question types.

Hi Sazzad! Thanks for your question. You can find the 5th Task 2 question type on the table with the title “Thematic Questions.” Thematic Questions are a Task 2 question type that involve answering a set of questions that relate to a theme.

Joel Avatar

Thanks a lot. This was very useful.

I’m glad you found the post useful, Joel! Good luck with your IELTS studies.

Shanawaz aalam Avatar

Thanks for this great article. I would like to ask something. What one should do if someone doesn’t have enough information/points as per word requirements on that particular topic, how one should complete the task?

Thanks for your question, Shanawaz! It’s a good one because many IELTS-takers struggle with this same problem. Here’s a tip that has worked for many of my students: add more details and examples to your body paragraphs. If you go back and look at the sample essay in this blog post (about giving kids freedom to choose their careers), you’ll see that each body paragraph has main point, but there are many details (in this case, reasons) included to explain the main points further. Depending on the topic, you can use examples from your life and experience, people you know, or simply from what you have learned somehow. Just make sure that every detail in each paragraph relates to the main idea of the paragraph directly.

I hope this helps! Happy studying.–Eliot

Sukhmani Oberoi Avatar

Hi Eliot, thanks for such an informative blog post. As you have mentioned that one can mention about personal experiences in the task 2. However, I have seen that people have recommended not to use personal experiences while citing the instances. They suggest to use examples on general basis. Is it true?

I can take this one for you, Eliot! 🙂

Actually Sukhmani, you can use personal experiences in IELTS Task 2, as long as a personal example is the best suitable example to explain your point. (Eliot mentions this in the comments under this article, and I concur. 🙂 )

kamaljeet singh Avatar

It’s a phenomenal thing we learn a lot with the help of this Thx a lot sir

I’m glad you found it helpful, Kamaljeet! Good luck with your IELTS preparation.

Angelina Avatar

Eliot, thank you very much for your post, it was really useful! I would like to ask you a question. When writing body paragraphs, one paragraph represents its own idea. Do we need to do give several arguments (clearly dividing them by “first”, “second” and “finally”, for example) and then supporting ideas to each argument for the idea in the paragraph? Or can we simply state the idea and then explain it with examples? I’m wondering how strict the structure should be.

Hi Angelina! Thank you for your question. It’s a good one!

The answer is that you have some flexibility. You do not need to follow the same pattern in each essay. If you have a list of something (for example, two or three supporting reasons in one paragraph), it is a very good idea to clearly state the organization of your ideas with a list. The pattern you used in your example is a good one (first, second, third), but you can also say things like, “The first reason I like this idea is…” and then discuss this reason for a sentence or two. Then you can transition, “Another reason to support this idea is…” and then do the same as before–provide an example or explain your reason in more detail in a sentence or two.

Now, back to your question. Can you provide a few examples instead of presenting reasons or arguments in your paragraphs? Yes! If you want to explain your main idea with examples instead of reasons, you can use the same strategy as above. Introduce your examples so the reader has a clear idea how you are organizing your ideas. You can do it this way:

One example is….[and write a sentence or two to describe your example]. Another example is….[and write a sentence or two to describe your example].

However, I would add one important note here: If you write a body paragraph that uses only examples to support the main idea, you should always make sure to say, very clearly, how your examples relate to the main idea of your paragraph. After you provide an example, you can write things like this:

This example shows that… This situation means.. I believe this example shows…

I hope this helps with your question! Good luck with your IELTS studies!

Kalash Acharya Avatar

Ooops …wish I found it little earlier because tomorrow is my test. However, I do have a query that could help for next test takers. In the answer sheet of booklet of some Cambridge book, I have found sample answer by the examiner which include introduction in the first paragraph followed by explaining the both argument and then giving ones opinion. I found is little bit contradictory as I referred here. How far is it considerable in giving ones opinion just prior to concluding paragraph and on what type of questions? Anyway, really a great job…!!!

Hi Kalash! Thank you for your comment. I think I understand your question and I will do my best to answer it. However, if I have missed your point, please let me know and I will follow-up!

Yes, it is fine to offer your opinion in the final paragraph, especially in Task 2 questions where the question says something like “discuss both sides and give your opinion.” Actually, there are many ways to organize a clear response to questions like these. The suggestions in this blog post (or any other place you find information about Task 2 essays!) are there to help you think of ways to present your ideas clearly.

In this case, you could discuss Side 1 in the first body paragraph, Side 2 in the second body paragraph, and then you could write a full third paragraph providing your opinion. However, you could also present Side 1 and offer your opinion about it in one body paragraph, and then present Side 2 and offer your opinion about it in a second body paragraph.

One thing you MUST do in both cases is present your opinion in your thesis statement (the last sentence of the introduction). No matter how you decide to organize your body paragraphs, this element is essential.

I hope this helps!

Good luck on your test tomorrow!!


john Avatar

I have a question. I took the exam a couple of days ago. i was able to finish both task 1 and task 2. However, I used 2 papers for my task 2, which I forgot to put a page number on top. Will that affect my grade? Im kinda freaking out hehe

Magoosh Expert

I doubt anything significant will happen to you or your score. We can’t say for sure (it will depend on the rater) but this type of thing happens frequently. Good luck! 🙂

Gurpreet Avatar

Sir, Is there any difference between essay structure asking Do you agree or disagree and to what extent do you agree or disagree??

Hi Gurpreet,

Great question! No, there is no difference between these questions and you can approach them the same way. In other words, you may argue for just one side, or you can make a balanced argument that focuses on the strengths and/or weaknesses of both sides. If you make a balanced argument, keep in mind that you should NOT argue that both sides are equally good or equally bad. You must take a position and choose the side you think is best. Make this argument clear in your thesis statement in the introduction.

Happy studying!

Rajneesh Kapur. Avatar

Yes, there is a difference. If the word extent is written, it is necessary to write either totally or completely agree/ disagree or partly agree.

Hi Rajneesh,

Eliot’s point here is that there isn’t a major difference between the two essays instructions. In the GRE, for example, you must take one side and make a strong argument for it. In the IELTS, your primary job is to show that you are able to express yourself clearly in written English. As long as you show that you understood the prompt and respond to it, these nuances are not as important as showing your ability to write clearly in English!

Anu Avatar

Hi Eliot, thanks for this very helpful article.

My question is, can I make statements like, “In my country, we have the practice of…” Will there be an identity-revealing issue or is this an acceptable approach?

Hi Anu! I don’t think this statement would cause you a problem. You are free to use examples from your life and experience on Task 2, so long as the examples you choose fit the question prompt.

However, it’s possible I don’t fully understand your concern about revealing identity. If so, please say more about what you have in mind.

Nana Avatar

I sent this link to my students that I’m currently tutoring. Saves me a lot of time! The explanations are clear and thorough. Thank you so much.

Yeshaswini Avatar

Hi Eliot , your blog really helped me a lot. I have a question. When we are asked to discuss both sides and give our opinion, can I write my opinion in the conclusion paragraph instead of writing separate paragraph before conclusion. Thanks in advance

Hi Yeshaswini,

It is not ideal to end an essay with new information (in this case, your opinion) which is why we recommend the opinion coming before the conclusion. But if you are in a situation where you truly feel this is better, you can definitely pull it off.

manavpreet Avatar

it is very helpfullthank you so much

Vera Benitz Avatar

In your “Writing IELTS Part 2 Question Types” “Discuss both sides and give your opinion”, you say that there should be 3 paragraphs, but at the free iELTS preparation course, they say, that “your opinion” goes into the conclusion. What is right? Thanks Vera

If you look at the example essay we provided here, you’ll see that there is a short introduction paragraph and a short conclusion paragraph that both express the author’s opinion. The two body paragraphs allow you to write about both sides of the issue and show your thought process. We should note here that there is no secret ‘formula’ on the IELTS–there are guidelines to help you craft your essay. It sounds like our advice matches pretty closely with what you heard from the free IELTS preparation course, but the most important thing is to show that you can write well in English 🙂

Samitha Avatar

Thanks for the tips! I do have a few questions. When the topic question is about, “to what extent do you agree or disagree?”, do you have to pick a side? If you feel like the topic has both pros and cons, can you write the pro’s in para 1 and cons in para 2?

Also, when you are writing different examples to support a claim you make, can the different examples be in the same paragraph?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Samitha,

There is no one correct answer here–the purpose of Task 2 is to show that you can write well in English. The content doesn’t matter that much (you don’t need to convince anyone of anything) but you do need to show that you understand the prompt and can construct a response to it. Yes–you can use one paragraph to show how you agree (pros) and another paragraph to show how you might not agree (cons). In the brainstorm example we gave in this blog post, the person mostly agreed with the prompt, but also provided some reasons against the prompt. As long as you write a strong and logical essay, you’ll be fine 🙂

Each body paragraph should be a different major idea or claim. If you have time, you can write several examples in one paragraph as long as they all relate to the same claim. If you follow the structure above, you can have several examples for the ‘pro’ paragraph and several for the ‘con’ paragraph–just keep an eye on the time to make sure you can write the entire essay in time 🙂


hi, you have written wonderful article . I have a question for you if you could reply me i would be thankful.My question is that may i learn some essay by heart like 40 or 50 essay ?so it could help to get idea on time and might be possible i get exact same one of them in writing task 2

Thanks for reaching out! It’s not a good idea to think of trying to memorize essays in order to succeed on the writing test. They could ask you about anything at all in Task 2, and there’s no list of questions that you can draw from. Instead of spending your time trying to memorize essays, you should use your time to improve your general writing ability, understand the strategy associated with how to write an essay, and practice as much as possible. This is what is really going to help you improve! The templates that we provide you with here are useful because they will help you to organize your essay. Good luck!

Ranvir Avatar

I am very much confused about example that is asked to give in task II. How example can be mentioned? Another question is supposed there is statement related to agree or disagree, can we partial for it? If yes/no then how?

The purpose of task 2 is to show that you can express your ideas clearly in written English. In the second task, you should try to find examples that support your point. You can think of things logically or from your personal life that you can use to make your argument.

It’s ok to partially agree with the prompt and partially disagree, as long as you clearly state both sides. In the example essay, the author agrees in the first paragraph but disagrees in the second paragraph. In the conclusion, the author discusses both sides and makes his point clearly.

The best way to get used to this is just to write as much as possible! The more you practice, the easier it will be to think of examples and write your opinions down 🙂

Suvam sigdel Avatar

Thanks for your enormous support. Really helped!

I’m so glad this was helpful! Happy studying 🙂

Lakhana Avatar

Hi sir, i would like you to give me a feedback on this introduction of mine which is answer to your example in the video. “Home town is the place that many people, including me love so much. In order to develop it, i would come up with some suggestions in altering it. I believe that these points will benefit to enhance my home land.” Thanks in advance sir!

Hi Lakhana,

I’m glad that you found this video and blog post useful! Unfortunately, we are a small team with a lot of projects, and we are not able to provide personalized feedback on writing. I’m sorry about that! There are many different forums and other places where you can find people willing to edit your essays. Best of luck!

janine Avatar

I have written the IELTS academic test twice and even though I receive good marks for speaking, listening and reading, I have received 6.5 for writing both times. The first time I couldn’t finish my conclusion, which would make sense that I only got 6.5. But the second time I completed it all with the right amount of words and paragraphs. I’m not sure how to go abouts studying for this as I don’t know where my faults are – I wish they could return your test results to help you prepare better.

Any advise would be lovely.

It is definitely frustrating not to get any feedback on your writing for the IELTS! However, there are still plenty of ways that you can improve on this score! First, I recommend that you look over any practice essays that you wrote, especially timed ones that you wrote right before the exam. It’s likely that any mistakes you made on the actual exam are pretty similar to the mistakes you made on these practice essays. Take some time to analyze these essays according to the Band Descriptors released by IELTS ( https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/IELTS_task_1_Writing_band_descriptors.pdf and https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/IELTS_task_2_Writing_band_descriptors.pdf ). You can also post some of your essays on message boards such as the one on the IELTS Australia page ( https://ielts.com.au/forums/ ). If possible, have a friend or tutor with a high English level look over your essays and provide some feedback. You should also definitely continue to write as many practice essays as possible and analyze each one. This should give you a good sense of what you need to improve and how you can do it. The more you practice and analyze your essays, the more you will improve! Good luck 🙂

Sasa Avatar

I’d like to share my IELTS experience, I recently took IELTS and I scored less than what I am expecting. I finished both writing tasks on time. After reading your blog, I noticed that each question type should have a specific number of body paragraphs? All I know is, you should have 4 paragraphs in your writing. (introduction, argument 1(pros/cons), argument 2 (pros/cons) and lastly conclusion. I followed these during my actual exam. Answering question about “Many people today claimed that they have a better quality of life than those who live few centuries ago, how do you agree or disagree in this statement?” First, I made a short introduction and I stated that in the next few paragraphs I will discuss my answer. On my second paragraph, I stretched all the advantages to people living these days in terms of modernisation and globalisation and the negative effect it brings as well. On my third paragraph, I wrote about the claims of older people that life before were simpler and and stress free however there are disadvantages too. Finally, on my concluding part, I wrote about my side, that living nowadays offers a better quality of life due to improvised technology and new discoveries. Do you think I made a complicated writing? I am planning to take my IELTS for second time, although I am still feeling a bit frustrated. I also wish we could take our writing results with comments and corrections from the examiner who checked my paper so that I can diligently improve the parts that I missed.

Thanks for sharing your experience! I know it’s frustrating not to get any feedback or other information about your exam–it can make it hard to improve! It’s really hard to tell what happened without reading your essay, but there are a few things you can consider. In some cases, simple is better for the writing section of the IELTS. You need to show that you can write well in English, but if you try to do too much you might end up with handwriting that is hard to read, sentences that are long or convoluted, or arguments that don’t quite make sense. I’ve seen students who try to use advanced vocabulary and grammar even though they are not entirely comfortable with them; the result is difficult to read and make sense of for a native speaker. I’m not sure exactly what happened here. Based on your description, you set up your essay in a good way, but you may want to analyze some of your practice essays (and ask others to analyze them, perhaps some teachers in your school) in order to get some feedback about what you wrote. I recommend that you keep practicing the essays and keep analyzing your results so that you can continue to improve! Good luck!

alozie Avatar

please is it wrong to use biro(pen) to write the easy .You mentioned the use of pencil.

According to this information from the British Council , you can use either a pen or a pencil. You should confirm the test-day requirements with your testing center. Keep in mind that a pen might be difficult because you won’t be able to erase your work, and the page can get messy if you make mistakes and have to correct them. Remember that handwriting and read-ability affect your score, so make sure that you are completely comfortable using a pen if you decide to bring one!

Chintan Patel Avatar

Greatly simplified article. I want to ask something. Should I write more than one points in a body paragraph? For example, in one body paragraph, point 1, its supporting reason/ example, point 2, its supporting reason/ example. Same in paragraph 2.

Hi Chintan! Thanks for your question. Yes, you may include more than one point in a paragraph in the way you described. However, it’s important to make sure that both points relate to or support the same main idea in the paragraph. If you move to a new idea, you’ll need to begin a new paragraph.

Buvana Avatar

Please find the introduction for the essay question you have given in the video. Please do examine this and give the corrections or improvements.

Given an opportunity, I would bring certain changes to my hometown, thereby adding glory to the glorious city.

Thanks for stepping up to the challenge in the IELTS Writing Task 2 video in this post, Buvana. 🙂

So, let me give yo my critique. 🙂

First, you want to make sure that you really are paraphrasing the original question. So let’s revisit that question from the video:

If you could change your home town to make it a better place, what changes would you make?

How would these changes improve your home town?

You’ve done a good job at paraphrasing the “If you could change your home town” portion of the original sentence. “Given the opportunity” is a good paraphrase of “If I could.” “Bring certain changes to my hometown” is a good paraphrase of “change my home town,” too. But you could paraphrase this even more thoroughly and elegantly by eliminating the root word change, and saying something like “I would make some things in my home town different.” Finally, we get to “adding glory to the glorious city.” Here, your paraphrase “make it a better place” is a little awkward. The use of both “glory” and “glorious” is a bit repetitive. How can you express the idea of making your home town a better place with less repetitive language?

Now that we’ve looked at the structure of your paraphrasing, let’s look at overall introduction content. Remember, your introduction should actually be two sentences. You want an initial sentence that paraphrases the question, and you have written that. But then you what a thesis statement that previews and summarizes the specific answers you have to the question. So you should add a second, follow-up sentence that briefly explains how and why you would change your hometown in order to improve it.

Feel free to revise the first sentence and add a second sentence as I mentioned above. If you put your new, revised introduction in the comments section, my colleagues and I will give you further feedback on it. 🙂

mudita Avatar

I have tried with an introduction.

“Hometown is the place where you are born and have many good memories with that place. this essay discusses the problems and solutions to them on how to make our hometown a better place to live in. in my opinion, the joint efforts of everyone can make it a better place.”

Another commenter rises to our video challenge! 🙂

This is a pretty good introduction. But remember, the question is asking you what you’d do to improve your hometown, and how your proposed course of action would improve things. So be sure to include a “what” and “how” in your introduction. The “what” statement could begin something like this: “through our joint efforts, we would all (DESCRIBE WHAT YOU’D DO). Then for the “how,” say something like “this plan would improve my hometown because….” And of course, as you revise, make sure to double check for spelling and grammar errors. 😀

Tabassum Avatar

Here is my introduction: There are some crucial things that I would like to alter of my home town to ameliorate the living and environment condition. I would suggest to reduce or eliminate the enormous traffic jam from the street and I believe if the excessive traffic jam is reduced, our precious time to reach destination would be saved as well as environment pollution would be lessen.

Hi Tabassum,

In terms of content, this is an excellent introduction. It references the original question; it’s clear what has been asked and what kind of answer you are giving. It also puts forth your main idea and supporting details: you’ll reduce traffic congestion so that people can save time and pollution can be reduced.

In terms of wording, however, there are a few problems you should fix. The vocabulary you’re using seems overly wordy, and a little too advanced. Words like “ameliorate” aren’t really used in regular, more conversational writing, and “our precious time to reach destination would be saved” is overly wordy and a little hard to follow. It would probably be better to say something more straightforward there, such as “commuters could save time.” The IELTS essay really should have a more plain, conversational tone.

In addition, many of the bigger words you’re using are in the wrong form or grammar. For example, “environment condition” should actually be “environmental condition,” and “would be lessen” should be “would lessen.”

It strikes me that you’re overextending your vocabulary a little, using advanced, highly formal academic words that you understand, but have trouble using yourself in writing. You can actually get a better score if you make your writing simpler, working with the words you’re most comfortable with.

Sonal Avatar

Many thanks for such excellent guidance.

I would like to ask about the preferable word limit in IELTS writing Task GT essay? Is it fine if word limit exceeds 300 words or should it be kept below 300?

Also, I am not sure about which examples can be quoted… should it be related to real life experiences or mentioning of any anonymous survey can suffice the purpose.

Good questions. When you write, “Task GT,” I believe you are talking about General Training Task 1, for which you write a letter. Please let me know if you had something else in mind. For Task 1 (Academic and General Training), you should not write a lot more than the requirement. Writing too much will use valuable time you can spend editing your composition. It also steals time you could use to work on your Task 2 response, which counts more towards your overall writing score. I suggest shooting for 180 – 200 words for Task 1. You should be able to cover the required information very easily if you hit that mark.

Regarding examples, I believe you are asking about Task 2 here. You can include examples from your life, the lives of people you know, things that occurred in your city/country, etc. You may also use data even if you don’t remember the precise details. For example, you could write, “A recent study revealed that roughly 60% of the residents in my city…” It’s fine to use anything that supports your point well. However, here is the important point about examples: they must be appropriate to the topic. Some IELTS topics have a more personal angle, such as discussing the qualities of a good friend or a good teacher. Other topics are much less personal, such as discussing the environment or social changes over time. Use examples that fit the essay topic and support your main points well.

I hope this helps. Happy studying!

Komal Avatar

Modifying our own native place to make it the most liveable place is always accepted by people. Though difficult, few changes can lead to boost the place to be more liveable for instance, good infrastructure, establishment of better educational institutions, emphasising in house production which can prompt to escalate the overall growth of the home town.

Your paraphrasing of the original question is a bit weak. “Native place” for example, is not really a phrase that’s used in English, and it doesn’t mean “home town.” Also, “a more livable place” would probably work better than “the most livable place,” since we’re talking about improving the town, not perfecting it. There are a number of other problems here: “few changes” mean “almost no changes,” so “a few changes” (some changes) might be better. And “emphasizing in house production” also sounds strange. Less awkward wording could be “focusing on home construction.”

Those are just a few examples of odd wording that could hurt your IELTS writing score. With that said, the basic structure of your introduction is good. You start by paraphrasing the question and giving your opinion, and then you go on to give specific examples. Keep that excellent structure as you revise your wording.

Pranav Singh Avatar

The sample essay is pretty good, but to address the child possessive pronoun should be fixed (his or her), in the essay it keeps on changing.

This is actually a very common convention in English writing, since there is no gender nonspecific pronoun. Some people will write “his or her” every time, but that is cumbersome and difficult to read. It’s also becoming more widely accepted to use “they” as a singular pronoun , but we don’t recommend that you do so in academic writing. Instead, it’s common to switch between gender pronouns in different examples. In this sample essay, you’ll notice that the author uses “she/her” for an entire paragraph, and then switches to “he/him”–that is completely acceptable in English writing! Remember that we aren’t talking about a specific person or child here, so there’s no issue with switching the pronoun. In fact, it shows even more clearly that the example is general and applies to an entire group!

Sara Avatar

Is there any online writing evaluation? I need someone to score my writing to check my level

We don’t provide essay grading services here at Magoosh. Sorry about that! We are a small team with thousands of students, and in order to keep our prices affordable we decided not to provide essay grading.You can share your IELTS Speaking and Writing for online feedback at various IELTS Internet message boards, including the official IELTS Australia forums . It is also useful to get feedback from a tutor, or a friend, classmate or teacher who has good English. You can use our resources in this guide to help you grade your essay accurately 🙂

Brij Avatar

In body 1 & 2, if I write only main points with explanation using complex sentence and don’t give an example, so what happened? I got good score or not?

On the IELTS, you are graded on the quality of your writing. You can certainly score well without specific examples, as long as you answer the question presented by the task and develop your ideas in each paragraph. Examples help you to do this, but you can also do this logically.

Giuseppe di Siena Avatar

Every place could became a better place thanks to some improvements. If I could I rebuild the city where I live adding more parks and green area, but I also would establish some more stringent parking and traffic rules to discipline residentds.

Your ideas and basic structure are very good here. Remember, though, a good introduction also gives a few reasons for the claims you’re making. I advise adding a sentence or two explaining why you feel that more parks, more green areas, and more stringent parking/traffic rules would make your town a better place to live in. Also remember that if you use the phrase “If I could,” you should follow it with “I would.” As in “If I could rebuild the city… I would add more parks….”

Sanjiv Maharjan Avatar

“To what extent do you agree or disagree” Do we have to discuss on both points?

No, if you get a question that says “to what extent do you agree or disagree?” you need to assess the strength of your stance as well as what that stance is. You might be strongly on one side or maybe weakly. I hope this helps!

Sagar Thapliyal Avatar

Here is my intro please feddback this.

Changes always are good makes life better and comfortable. While I agree it is unwise to leave a place imperfect, however we have many things that should be changed in my hometown.

We currently don’t offer speech or writing feedback. We are a small team with a lot of students, and unfortunately can’t offer this sort of personalized support. I recommend that you check out the official IELTS Australia forums. . A lot of students give and receive feedback there!

kavya Avatar

Changes do matter in the present upgraded world. If am allowed to take some measures in the place where i live or in the place where i have stayed before, could be a thought to have discussion.

Abhilasha Negi Avatar

Hi – I am responding to the task 2 introduction as per the video. It was related to the changes I would like to bring about in my hometown.

Introduction only –

With the growth of commercialization, I certainly believe it’s time to stop and think about the improvements and modifications we can bring about in our local communities, societies, cities and towns to build an eco-friendly atmosphere. I belong to a small town of Nanital, in the state of Uttrakhand, India. One of the major changes that we need to focus on is for the famous ‘Nani’ Lake to resolve the issue of depleting lake water.

Thanks, Looking forward to hearing back from your soon.

Hi Abhilasha,

Let’s take a closer look at this introduction. I like the good range of vocabulary you have here. The grammar is perfect too! With all that said, there are also a few improvements you could make.

Remember that the question is about “hometown” and not local society in a broader sense. Your reference to “local communities, societies, cities and towns” is a little too broad. You want to keep the focus on the idea of a hometown. And you can actually use the exact term “hometown” from the prompt. While paraphrasing the prompt is important, the most important specific terms from the original question should be repeated as-is.

So I would make the opening sentence simpler, just referencing hometowns. I also recommend adding some information to the second sentence. What specific change would you make in relation to the lake? You obviously don’t want to go into too much extra detial, but getting more specific, summing up the change in perhaps 5-10 words, would help make your introduction meaningful and impactful.


Hello, i wanna thank you for this amazing article, that I found very handy indeed. i have one question in mind and I hope you will provide with me with sufficient feedback. Is it okay!! to write in task 2 such phrases as: this essay will discuss, this essay agrees ….. best regards

The phrase “this essay will discuss” should be fine as an introduction/overview, though it’s not really necessary. If you clearly state your thesis statement, then this sentence may just be repetitive.

The phrase “this essay agrees,” on the other hand, just sounds strange! An essay can’t agree or disagree with anything–you, the writer, are agreeing or disagreeing. I would recommend that instead of using a sentence like that, you just clearly state your thesis.

swati Avatar

helloo!! dear i have a query if you could answer it please. i took my ielts GT recently and was asked to discuss both sides and give your opinion. i gave intro and then discussed both views and gave my opinion in conclusion. b8ut here you have suggested to write a seperate parah for opinion before conclusion. m little worried that will i loose bands for not doing it this way ?

if so, then how this will effect my score? i require 7 bands in it.

That’s a great question, Swati. If you didn’t express any opinion at all until the very end of the essay, that could definitely affect your score. The instructions say you should state the extent to which you agree or disagree with a position or positions. So that should be the main focus of your essay, and some expression of agreement or disagreement should be happening throughout the essay.

However, if you expressed parts of your opinion in the body paragraphs, and then summarized your opinion in full int he final paragraph, you still might be able to get a good score. Ideally, your opinion should be mentioned in some way in every paragraph. But if your introduction was very brief and you expressed at least parts of your opinion in each body paragraph, you might still get a good score.

Dudley Kamal Avatar

My home town is a small city with bustling streets.There are lot of improvements has to be made to uplift the city and bring to the standard of rest of the cities.

Prakhar Kapoor Avatar

Hi Elliot,’

Here is the introduction to the above-mentioned question. Kindly give it a read and let me know your feedback.

Making alterations to their hometown in order to make it a wonderful place is like a dream for a majority of people nowadays. Given an opportunity, I would like to make advancements in my town. This will include the use of metros which will solve the traffic issues to a great extent. In the below paragraphs, I intend to delve into some other improvements that I want to do and the impact these will have on my city.

I have my exam in the next two days. Kindly let me know your valuable feedback

Hi Prakhar! Let’s take a closer look at your introduction!

I like the way you start with broader statement that introduces the topic (your first sentence). You also did a good job of including one specific point that will be in your essay (“use of metros”). And you gave a specific way in which that change would improve your town (“solve the traffic issues”). This is excellent as well.

With that in mind, let’s also talk about things you could do to make this introduction even stronger. 🙂

Be careful of your word choices. “Alterations,” for instance, is a kind of awkward word choice here. “Alterations” usually refers to changes made to clothing or other product designs. This word does not fit well when you are talking about changes to an entire city. Similarly “advancements” usually refers specifically to modernization and the use of new inventions and technology, which doesn’t clearly match your intended meaning. And “metros” can mean meany different things (a “metro” can refer to a city area that includes suburbs, or can refer to a local bus, a local train, or a number of other local services). So it would be better to use a more specific example than that.

It also might be good to briefly describe specific traffic issues that need to be solved. And you should be more specific about the “other improvements.” If you’re going to write about other improvements besides traffic in your essay, you should also briefly mention those other improvements in your introduction.

I hop all of this helps, but let me know if you have any questions about the feedback I’ve given you here. 🙂

Soroya Janmohamed Avatar

I often envisage of making my City modern with less pollution and eco friendly. This can be achieved by reducing the cars on the roads and creating alternative modes of transport like building underground tubes, railways and using electric cars.

Nice introduction. Remember, thought– paraphrase the prompt fully and clearly in your introduction. An added phrase such as “if there is one way I would improve my home community….” could be a helpful extra paraphrase. Be sure to also explain in your intro why alternative modes of transport would be helpful, something like “these changes would reduce pollution and be more eco-friendly because….” Also, here, the word should be “envision,” not “envisage.” Again though, great ideas and setup for an intro to this essay. 🙂

asmaa Avatar

Everyone would like his country to be the most perfect place in the world, and so do I. This essay will explain my point of view of how would using renewable energy and internet influence my home town to develop.

Hi Asmaa! Nice intro 🙂 Are you looking for feedback? This is good, though I might suggest that you make an even clearer connection between your opening sentence and your thesis. I do like how clear your thesis is!

Moumita Dhar Avatar

Here is an introduction to the prompt in the video.

I have been staying away from my hometown for quite a few years, and when I look back, I really want to bring in some changes to my native to make it a better place to live. Given an opportunity, I would introduce multiple institutes to learn martial arts and/or self defense. The dynamics of safety will be highly impacted by this change in a positive way, offering a higher sense of security among parents, kids, women in general, and older people as well.

I would request you to take a look and let me know of your valuable feedback and suggestions, if any.

Hi Moumita,

Thanks for responding to this prompt! I’m afraid that we don’t provide feedback for IELTS speaking tasks–we are a small team with a lot of students, so it would be difficult to provide this service for everyone! There may be other readers who can give you feedback 🙂

Hajra Rafique Avatar

Introduction: The topic of the essay is the possible amendments that might be made to beautify my home town and to develop its living conditions.The modifications will add up to the betterment of my town in numerous ways. Replacement of old, out of ordered transformers with new ones would the first step to be taken.Secondly,I will try to provide enough amount of water supply to every house in town.Trash dumping system and improvisation of poor conditions of roads would be third in my target list.Like any well-established area my home town would also turn into a place with all fundamental facilities.

The structure of your introduction is good. You open up with a good overview,a nd then you outline each idea that will appear int he body of your esay. Nice work!

To make this introduction even stronger, carefully double-check your word choices. To give just two examples, “amendment’ usually means a written change to a document rather than an infrastructure change to a town, and “improvisation” refers to an unrehearsed stage performance, not an improvement.

Ranjan Surianarayanan Avatar

My introduction

I’ve frequently imagined how beautiful,healthy, happy and peaceful my community would appear if I was able to make some radical changes to benefit every member of the community and the community itself.This essay will elaborate on three major changes that if made would in my opinion significantly improve the quality and standard of living in the community. The three major changes are, Road repairs, Removal of stagnant water and garbage collection and disposal.

Body #1: Road repairs(Explanation, reasons, benefits) Body #2: Removal of stagnant water(Explanation, reasons, benefits) Body #3: Garbage collection and disposal(Explanation, reasons, benefits)

Really look forward to a feedback.

Thanks Ranjan

Great structure and a really good introduction, Ranjan. There is one change I’d suggest, though. At times, your writing is a bit too wordy. Having four adjectives to describe your community int he first sentence is a little more complex than ideal. Similarly, “on three major changes that if made would in my opinion significantly improve…” is also quite wordy. Consider eliminating at lease one or two inessential words. “In my opinion” could be omitted, and/or you could get rid of adjectives such as “significantly.”

Hey David !

I really appreciate the feedback. I agree that I had used a lot of objectives in the first sentence and that the introduction is pretty wordy.

I guess concise choice of words and phrases are the way to go eh ?

readingisfun1 Avatar

I think that your article helped me a bit although I’m still a somewhat stumped. Thanks anyway!

Shafiqa Iqbal Avatar

The essay enquires about the possible modifications you’d consider making in order to improve your hometown. There are numerous changes that I would consider implementing, but the most important ones will be as following: constructing playgrounds in each neighbourhood, defining proper traffic lanes and an improved transport facility. I believe these are the most essential and rudimentary necessities for everyone and such changes improvements can make lives easier.

Anshuman Bhardwaj Avatar

is it mandatory to write ielts task 2 in three paragraphs?

Hi Anshuman,

No, there is no required organization to the IELTS Task 2 essay. Some people might write 3, 4 or even 5 paragraphs. It is important to organize your essay well, however, and ensure that your use of paragraphs makes sense for the content of the essay.

Fredy Avatar

Very useful guide. Many thanks

Anil Agarwal Avatar

Hello, i wanna thank you for this amazing article, that I found very handy indeed. i have one question in mind and I hope you will provide with me with sufficient feedback. Is it okay!! to write in task 2 such phrases as: this essay will discuss, this essay agrees ….. best regards

Hi Anil, You’re so welcome, we’re so glad you found it helpful!

In regards to your question, since for Task 2 you’re asked to give your opinion on a social issue, it’s better to say “I will discuss” or “I agree…” That will help make your writing more clear. I’d advise you to look as several Task 2 example essays to get a good idea of how they’re written and the types of phrases they use. We have several linked towards the bottom of this article, and that should really help to make it clear in your mind!

Happy studying! 😀

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Preparation for the IELTS Exam

Word count for IELTS writing tasks

What is the ideal word count for ielts writing.

Updated July 2022.

This is a common question many IELTS candidates have but there seems to be misinformation out on the internet about word count in the IELTS writing section.

Although the word count penalty has been abolished I would advise writing more than 250 words in an essay and over 150 words in writing task 1 to fully develop your answer. Here are some examples of what I have heard about the word count in IELTS essays and writing task 1.

Common myths about word count.

You do not need to write more than 250 words in writing task 2., you must write over 350 words for a band 8 essay., in writing task 1 write more than 200 words for a high score., you should count every single word in the essay., let’s take each myth one by one..

1. IELTS says that you should write at least 250 words in writing task 2 and 150 words in writing task 1. There is no penalty anymore but I advise writing more than 250 words to fully develop your essay.

2. A very long essay will not give you a higher band score. If you write a long essay, for example around 350 words, then two problems will arise.

  • You will run out of time and may not finish your essay. If you do not write a conclusion you will lose a band score in task response.
  • You will be more prone to making grammar and vocabulary mistakes. Also, the essay could go into irrelevant detail and there is a danger of going off-topic.

3. The same goes for writing task 1. If you write a very long report of more than 200 words you will run out of time and may include information that you just don’t need to report on. The task prompt says in writing task 1 academic: ‘ Summarise the information by selecting and reporting on the main features …’

4. As for counting your words, you cannot count every single word because this is not practical. Estimate generally how many words you have on a line then count the lines. Aim for more than 250 words but under 300 words in task 2 writing. In the computer-based exam, the word count is on the screen so that is very useful.

What’s the ideal word count?

My advice is to aim for between 260 to 295 words in writing task 2 and between 160 to 190 words in writing task 1 . This will ensure a concise essay or task 1 report and will be realistic in terms of time management. You have only 40 minutes to write the essay and you need around 10 minutes of planning time, so you will not be able to write a long essay in 30 minutes.

As mentioned before, you will not get a higher band score for a very long essay. It must be concise, clear, and direct to the point. Irrelevant detail will cause problems with your band score.

Are there any cases where the examiner doesn’t count words?

Yes! if you copy the task question word for word without attempting to paraphrase then the examiner will not count those words .

The same is true for writing the conclusion. If you just repeat the introduction word for word or repeat whole sentences the examiner will not count the words . This is why paraphrasing is a crucial part of your writing. Click the links below for lessons on paraphrasing.

How to paraphrase the introduction writing task 2

Paraphrasing without synonyms

Another thing to bear in mind is that if you memorise chunks of model answers and plug them into the essay the examiner will know it is a memorised answer and you will get a penalty.

Note on repetition:  You can repeat some words throughout the essay. You do not get a penalty for using the same word 3 or 4 times because in some cases it is difficult to find synonyms for certain words. This is where the confusion arises about repetition.

The problem is when you are repeating whole sentences or repeating the introduction in your conclusion.

Important advice

Your goal is to write in a concise clear manner, your ideas should be relevant to the task and easy for the reader to follow. If you try to use convoluted language or add lots of ideas to impress the examiner it could cause problems with coherence and end up with a high word count. Click here to see a lesson on keeping your writing simple and concise.

Any questions? leave a comment below.

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IELTS Academic

IELTS Writing Tips: How to Write 150 or 250 Words

Without a doubt, academic writing is the most challenging section of ielts..

Faced with a blank page, you have only 60 minutes in which to write 400 words by hand. This includes 150 words describing a diagram or data, plus 250 words giving your opinion on an issue.

It doesn’t help that few people actually write reports or essays by hand nowadays! Therefore, it’s no surprise that writing 150 or 250 words in the time allowed is the biggest concern of many IELTS candidates. And yes, there is a penalty in IELTS if you fail to write enough words. Usually this is a 0.5 reduction in your score.

However, when you examine any piece of academic writing, you’ll find that only a small part consists of original ideas, and most of it is made up of structural language. What does this mean? It means that certain kinds of sentences are found in all academic writing, and you can use them regardless of the topic to ensure that you write at least 150 or 250 words.

The article assumes you are familiar with the IELTS Academic Writing test format. If you aren't, read IELTS Writing: Introduction first.

IELTS Writing Tip 1

IELTS Writing Tip 1: Write a detailed thesis statement

You should already have a clear plan for your Task 2 essay when you begin writing your introduction. Try adding a detailed thesis statement that tells the examiner exactly what you are going to write about in each paragraph. A thesis statement typically begins with “This essay will…” or “In this essay, I will…”. Not only is this a great way to add more words to your introduction, it can increase your score in Coherence and Cohesion, which is based on how well you link your ideas. The technique can also be used in Task 1, though you’ll need to replace ‘essay’ with ‘report’.

IELTS Writing Tip 2

IELTS Writing Tip 2: Repeat the question topic in each new paragraph

One definition of a paragraph is that it should not depend on other paragraphs in order to be understood. When you begin a new paragraph in Task 1 or Task 2, state the topic again. For example: “Another reason for the decline in academic standards is…” rather than “Another reason is…” Although this may seem like repeating yourself unnecessarily, it helps to create a more academic style of writing. It also helps to move you more quickly towards your goal of writing 150 or 250 words. You’ll get bonus points if you can paraphrase the topic each time you mention it.

IELTS Writing Tip 3

IELTS Writing Tip 3: Write transition sentences

A transition sentence connects two stages in your writing. It may refer to what has already been written, or it may explain what will come next. A good transition sentence can do both: “Having look at X, I will now turn to Y.” They are incredibly useful in both Task 1 and Task 2 of IELTS Writing. They help you write more, even when there isn’t a great deal to say. Just like Tip #1, this writing technique also adds to your score in Coherence and Cohesion.

IELTS Writing Tip 4

IELTS Writing Tip 4: Summarise your main points

It’s perfectly normal to reach your conclusion and find that you still need to write at least another 50 words! There’s an easy solution to this, of course. Summarising your main points is a great way to get extra mileage out of them, as well as to show off your paraphrasing skills. You should do this only when you need to write those extra words. If your Task 1 answer seems to be at least 150 words already, don’t waste time summarising. Just get straight on to Task 2.

IELTS Writing Tip 5

IELTS Writing Tip 5: Predict the future

My final IELTS Writing tip is only for use when you’ve summarised your main points but your answer still looks a little too short. It also works for both tasks. In Task 1, look at the data you’ve been given and predict where it’s likely to go in future. Technically, you aren’t supposed to do this, but it’s a perfectly fine technique to add a little extra information. In Task 2, a conditional sentence is a very useful method of predicting the future. If your advice isn’t followed, what could happen?

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Writing Task 2 Sample

IELTS Writing Task 2 ( also known as IELTS Essay Writing ) is the second task of your IELTS Writing test. Here, you will be presented with an essay topic and you will be scored based on your ability to respond to the topic.

You need to write at least 250 words and justify your opinion with arguments, discussion, examples, problem outlining, proposing possible solutions and supporting your position. You will have approximately 40 minutes to finish your Essay Writing. IELTS Writing Task 2 carries more weights than Writing Task 1.

Are you planning to take your IELTS Exam soon? Take an online course and achieve your dream score on your IELTS test.

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IELTS Preparation Courses

IELTS Writing Task 1: Everything You Need to Know

Ielts writing task 1 in 6 simple steps.

ielts essay how many words

Academic Writing Task 1 Strategy

  • Understand how the test is marked. Knowing the marking criteria will allow you to give the examiner exactly what they need.
  • Paraphrase the question. It is best to paraphrase the question in the first paragraph. You can do this by using synonyms.
  • Write the overview. To write your overview , pick 3 or 4 of the main features and write about them generally without referencing any data.
  • Support the main features. In a new paragraph, support the key features with the data in the information given to you.
  • Check your work. Check your report for spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure that the data you mentioned is also accurate!

ielts essay how many words

Essential Writing Task 1 Skills

  • How to Write an Overview Paragraph 
  • How to Paraphrase 
  • How to Write a Complex Sentence
  • How Many Words? 
  • Task 1 Charts Checklist
  • Task 1 Tips
  • The Danger of Synonyms
  • 6 Common Mistakes
  • Paragraphing and Editing

Writing Task 1 Full Lessons

  • Writing Academic Task 1 in 5 Easy Steps 
  • Charts Lesson
  • Maps Lesson
  • Multiple Charts/Graphs 
  • Process Lesson

ielts essay how many words

Academic Task 1 Sample Answers

ielts essay how many words

  • Bar Chart Sample Essay (Cars in Asia) 
  • Process- Cement and Concrete Production
  • Pie Chart (Italy and Yemen Populations) 
  • Process Question
  • Bar Chart Question (UK Telephone Usage) 
  • Line Graph (US Consumption of Energy)
  • Bar Chart Sample Answer (International Students)

General Training Writing Task 1

ielts essay how many words

General Training Writing Task 1 in 5 Simple Steps

  • Understand how the test is marked. Knowing the marking criteria is the best way of giving the examiner exactly what they need and nothing else.
  • Decide whether the letter is formal or informal. This part is easy. If the question asks you to write to a ‘friend’, it should be an informal letter. If the question asks you to write to anyone else, it should be a formal letter. It is that simple!
  • Discuss each bullet point from the question. Make sure to take a new paragraph for each bullet point. This will make your letter easy to read and understand.
  • Sign off your letter. Don’t overcomplicate this part. Include a sign-off suitable to your letter’s tone and write your name beneath.
  • Check your work. Make sure your letter doesn’t contain any grammar or vocabulary mistakes.
  • Letter Writing Tips
  • How to Write an Informal Letter
  • How to Write a Formal Letter

General Training Essential Writing Task 1 Skills

  • Task 1 General Training Writing Strategy
  • Task 1 General Training Writing Guide

Sample Answers

  • Formal and informal sample letters.

Writing Task 1 Essential Information

  • People doing the Academic test will write a report on a data set, map, or process. People doing General Training will write a letter.
  • You must write 150 words or more.
  • You should spend around 20 minutes on this part of the test.
  • Task 1 is worth 1/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.
  • You will be assessed in four areas: Task Achievement (25%) Coherence and Cohesion (25%) Lexical Resource (25%) Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
  • The most important thing is that you can demonstrate that you can clearly communicate in English.
  • The key to doing well is to know exactly what the examiners want and give it to them.
  • Grammar and Vocabulary Guide

ielts essay how many words

  • Top 10 Grammar Mistakes

IELTS Writing Task 1 FAQs

How can i improve my writing.

You will find all the resources you need on our Writing Task 1 page. Click the link below:

Writing Task 1

If you need serious help or personalised feedback, you should check out our online course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name here:

How can I get a Band 7, 8 or 9?

The answer to this question is different for every individual IELTS student, as it depends on a number of factors, including your work ethic, English skills and exam strategy. You'll find a guide to answering this question in this article

If you need serious help with improving your IELTS scores, you should check out our online writing course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name by clicking the link below:

Can you correct my writing?

Please click the link below and it will give you all the information you need about our writing correction service:

Writing Correction Service

Do you have any sample answers?

Yes, you will find them at the link below:

Task 1 Sample Answers

Will using 'high level' or 'academic' words help me improve my score?

Probably not.

Read my recent article about IELTS vocabulary here:

5 Things You Need to Know about IELTS Vocabulary

How many paragraphs should I write?


You can put the overview at the end if you'd like.

Can I use idioms?

No, you should typically avoid using idioms in Writing Task 1.

The only time this is acceptable is if you are taking the General Training test and must write an informal letter.

Should I write a conclusion for Task 1 Academic?

No. A conclusion is a summary of YOUR ideas and your opinion. Task 1 is simply reporting what you see, so there shouldn't be any of your ideas or your opinion.

Instead of a conclusion, you should write an overview.

The reason lots of people get confused about this is that some teachers, books and even one British Council website call the overview a 'conclusion'. It's not a conclusion, it's an overview.

Finally, it does not matter where you put the overview paragraph. We teach our students to put it after the introduction, but it is also fine to have it as your final paragraph.

How many words should I write?

You must write at least 150 words in Writing Task 1 (yes, the examiners will count them!)

I would suggest that you aim to write around 160-170 words for Task 1. Aiming for 20-30 words more than the required amount makes you more likely to reach the word limit without setting an unrealistic goal.

Will I lose marks if I don't write enough words?

Yes. If you don't write the required number of words, you will lose marks in 'Task Achievement' for not answering the question fully. Read more here .

Can I use contractions?

No, should not use contractions when you are writing an academic essay or formal letter. However, it is fine to use contractions in an informal letter.

When should I write formally?

There are a few signposts that indicate when you should write formally or informally. Watch our video lesson to find out what they are:

IELTS Writing Task 1 General Training: Formal or Informal Letters?

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ielts essay how many words

10 steps to writing high-scoring IELTS essays

Whether you take the general training or academic IELTS test, the second writing task is writing an essay in response to a problem or argument. Here are 10 easy steps, with lots of tips, to guide you on how to write high-scoring essays.

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How is the ielts essay component marked.

Fairness and accuracy are critically important when marking IELTS writing tasks . Your essay will be marked by at least two experienced IELTS examiners on the following criteria:

Task response - Whether you answered the question fully and supported your answer well. 

Coherence and cohesion - How well you linked your ideas together. 

Lexical resource - Whether you used a wide range of vocabulary correctly and appropriately. 

Grammatical range and accuracy - How many grammatical structures you used accurately and appropriately. 

Each of these criteria is worth 25% of your total score for the essay writing task. Both of your writing tasks are used to calculate your overall writing band score.

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How to write high-scoring essays in 10 easy steps, step one: plan your time.

The Writing test (consisting of Writing tasks 1 and 2) takes approximately 60 minutes. Plan to spend around 20 minutes on your first task, and 40 minutes on your essay task. A sample plan for your time might be:

5 to 10 minutes reading the essay question and planning your answer

15 to 20 minutes writing your first draft

10 minutes proofreading and editing your essay

How to write a good introduction

Step two: read the question.

While you may be anxious to jump straight into writing, make sure you take the time to carefully read the essay question. If you misunderstand the question, you risk writing an essay that does not address the issues properly which will lower your score.

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Step three: highlight the issues to address.

There will be multiple issues that you will need to address in your essay. Addressing each issue individually is key to achieving a high essay score. Highlight each individual issue that you will need to address.

The A to Z of IELTS: E is for Essays

Step four: outline your response.

Create an outline of how you will respond to the issues in your essay. This will serve as your ‘blueprint’ when you write your first draft. As a general rule your essay should have:

An introduction stating what you will talk about

Two or three body paragraphs , each addressing one issue or idea

A conclusion summing up what was discussed in the essay

Make sure you note which idea or issue you will address in each paragraph. Check that the issues you highlighted are all accounted for in your outline.

Step five: Expand on your ideas

Write some notes about any key points or ideas you’d like to include in each paragraph. When you’re writing your first draft, these notes will help to make sure you don’t forget any ideas you want to include.

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Step six: plan how you will connect your ideas.

Connecting your ideas clearly and correctly is critical to achieving a high essay score. Try to use a range of linking words to make your essay easy to read. You can use connecting devices and phrases to:

List connected ideas

‘Firstly, secondly, thirdly’


Provide more information

Compare ideas.

‘On the other hand’


Don’t fall into the trap of trying to put a linking word in every sentence. Essays will score higher when the writer uses linking words only where necessary and appropriate.

Step seven: Write your first draft

Now that you’ve planned your essay, it’s time to write your first draft. Follow the outline you’ve created and expand on the notes and ideas you included there. 

Avoid informal language unless it is appropriate.

Avoid spelling and grammatical errors where possible.

Use a mix of sentence structures such as simple sentences, complex sentences and compound sentences.

How to boost your IELTS Writing score

Step eight: proofread your essay.

When you have completed the first draft of your essay, it’s important to proofread it. Read your essay from start to finish.

You can read it silently, but it may help to read it out loud if you can do so without disturbing others. Make a mental note or mark your paper anywhere that you may need to fix an issue.

How to access FREE official IELTS mock tests

Step nine: edit your essay.

Carefully go through the issues you noted while proofreading. Edit or rewrite these until they look and sound correct. Examples of issues and how to edit them may include:

The sentence is too long. A sentence is probably too long if you need to take a breath in the middle of reading it. Try splitting this up into smaller sentences.

A sentence sounds strange when you read it out loud. Try using different words or punctuation until it sounds right. It may need to be connected to another sentence.

The same word appears many times. Think about any other words you could use instead.

There is more than one main idea in each paragraph. Move any unrelated sentences to the correct paragraph. Each paragraph should address one issue only.

IELTS Writing: How to organise your responses

Step ten: proofread your essay again.

After your edits and before submitting your essay , give it one final proofread. Make sure you have:

Included all the points you highlighted in step three

Followed your outline from step four

Used good connecting words from step six

Fixed any errors or issues in step nine

IELTS Writing: 8 steps towards a band 8

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With convenient computer and paper based test options, your IELTS test can be completed in a way that you’re most comfortable with. If you’re in a hurry, you could even have your test results back within 2 to 5 days!

Also, the IELTS Familiarisation test is designed to give test takers an idea of what to expect on the actual IELTS test. It includes sample questions from different part of the test, such as Listening, Reading, and Writing.  Set yourself up for success and explore our extensive library of preparation materials today.

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ielts essay how many words

How many words should you write in IELTS?

The instruction in the IELTS writing test say: 

Task 1: write at least 150 words

Task 2: write at least 250 words

However, we have found that model answers tend to have many more words than the minimum word count. We challenged three highly experienced IELTS teachers to write a Band 9 model answer to task 1 in 20 minutes. You can read them below . 

  • Teacher 1: 257 words
  • Teacher 2: 270 words
  • Teacher 3: 312 words

As you can, all three are way above the minimum word count of 150 words. 

It’s not just for Task 1. We looked at our favourite IELTS textbook – IELTS Advantage – and counted the words in their model answers. 

  • Essay 1:  344 words
  • Essay 2: 356 words
  • Essay 3: 294 words
  • Essay 4: 346 words
  • Essay 5: 355 words
  • Essay 6: 314 words

Again, all of them are way above the 250 minimum word count. 

So, should you be writing more words? 

  • More opportunities to develop your answers
  • Possibility to diversify your language
  • Writing quickly often leads to mistakes
  • You have to be more careful with your time management. Make sure that you can finish on time. 

Ultimately, you’re not going to get a higher or lower score for writing more words. If you have a lot of ideas and the time to finish your answer, go for it! If you find it difficult to finish the test on time, don’t try to write more words just for the sake of it. It’s all about the quality of your answers. 

What we recommend

  • Practice doing the writing test in one hour. Find out how many words you can write in one hour. 
  • Learn the common topics in IELTS. This will make it easier to think of ideas quickly in your test. 
  • Consider doing the writing test. Most people can type more quickly than they can write by hand. It’s also easier to edit your writing. 

If you want to learn more about the writing test, check out our Academic Writing Course .  

Model Answers

ielts essay how many words

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words

The table presents information on the population growth of different countries between 2008 and 2018. 

Overall, five countries experienced an increase in population growth (Angola, Brazil, Canada Nigeria and Pakistan), one country (Russia) did not change, and 2 countries saw a reduction in their population figures (Romania and Japan). 

Of the five countries that experienced population growth, the largest increase was seen in Angola. This country registered a 43% increase between 2008 and 2018 (from 21 to 30 million). The other African country in the sample- Nigeria- also experienced an increase in population, albeit not as great as Angola’s (28% compared to 43%). Pakistan experienced the third largest growth over the period at 21%. This meant that it became the country with the largest population in the sample of eight countries (with 209 million inhabitants). Further, a rise in population can also be seen in Canada and Brazil, which grew by 12% and 7%, respectively.

Russia was the only country that registered the same number of inhabitants in 2008 and 2018. In each year, the population was 143 million, making it the fourth most populous country in both years. 

Both Romania and Japan experienced a decline in their population figures. The greatest decrease was observed in Romania, which saw a 5% decrease between 2008 and 2018 (from 20 to 19 million). It should also be noted that Romania was the country with the smallest population in both years. Finally, Japan saw a modest decrease (2%) in population growth from 128 to 126 million in 2008 and 2018. 

Word count: 257

The table illustrates the absolute and percentage change in the population of eight countries between 2008 and 2018.

Overall, there was an increase in five of the eight countries: Angola, Brazil, Canada, Nigeria, and Pakistan. One nation- Russia- did not register a change, and the remaining two countries- Romania and Japan- experienced a declining population over the decade. It is noteworthy that the most considerable growth was in Angola, and the most significant decline was in Romania.

There are three groups of countries: those that increased, stayed the same, and shrunk in population over the ten years. As for the former group, Angola experienced the largest increase, rising from 21 to 30 million (a 43% increase). Nigeria, the other African country in the sample, experienced the second-largest increase (28%). The third greatest increase was observed in Pakistan, which rose from 173 to 209 million in absolute terms, making it the country with the largest 2018 population in the sample. In fourth and fifth place came Canada and Brazil, which grew by 12% and 7%.

In contrast with the above countries are those that did not increase over the period. Russia’s population was exceptional in that it neither rose nor fell over the period; instead, it stayed at 143 million. Romania and Japan, on the other hand, reported a decrease over the years. Romania’s population decreased by 1 million, which given the small size of the population, resulted in a 5% decrease. Japan’s population fell by 2 million, but given that its population was larger than Romania’s in 2008- at 128 million- there was only a 2% decrease in population. 

Word count: 270

The table presents data on population shifts across eight countries and ten years, broken down in terms of percentage and absolute change.

In fine, there was a general pattern of population growth across the decade and data presented, with the preponderance of countries listed showing an increase in population ranging from single point movement to strong double-digit growth. Per contra, there were outliers in the sample, including a country’s population in homeostasis and two examples of populations shrinking.

The data can be analysed in two discrete groups: countries where population growth was witnessed, and places without an increase. In terms of the former category, Angola presented the highest proportion of growth, rising from 21 to 30m, thus presenting a 43% increase between the two sample points (2008 and 2018). Whilst this growth is the highest in terms of percentages, it is the second-lowest in terms of absolute growth, only ahead of Canada, the population of which rose from 33 to 37m – a 12% increase, and behind Brazil, which experienced a 7% growth amounting to 14 million additional persons. For the biggest increase in absolute number one must look to Nigeria. The African country’s populace surged from 158 to 203m – an increase of 45 million, which translates to a 28% bump. This is significantly ahead of Pakistan, whose citizenry swelled by more than a fifth (173 to 209m).

Running contrary to the above, there were three examples of countries whose populations didn’t increase over the ten years. Russia was anomalous in that its populace neither rose nor fell, remaining constant at 143m. Japan and Romania were the only countries to report a population decrement, with Japanese denizens falling two million (and 2% overall), and Romania experiencing a population reversal at a rate of one in twenty (starting at 20 million in 2008 and tumbling by a million inhabitants by 2018).

Word count: 312

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How Many Words for Band 7 IELTS Essay?

The word-count for IELTS essay varies between 285 to 335 words.

The factor which increase the word-count depends upon if the essay has asked for your opinion.

For instance, look at the following two essays:

1. Every year several languages die out. Some people think that this is not important because life will be easier if there are fewer languages in the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (Cambridge English IELTS 9, p.102) (word count: approx. 285)

Essay structure (approx. 285 words)

Note: one sentence per heading and do not write headings in the essay.

INTRODUCTION (approx. 50 words paragraph)

General statement

Specific statement (paraphrase essay topic using synonyms)

Thesis and pathway (strongly agree or disagree and indicate supporting Reason 1 and Reason 2)

Reason 1 (approx. 100 words paragraph)

Topic sentence


Reason 2 topic sentence (approx. 100 words paragraph)

CONCLUSION (approx. 35 words paragraph)

Specific statement (paraphrase essay topic again in light of above discussion)

Paraphrase Thesis and Pathway (given in the introduction)

Recommendation or solution (not needed for this essay)

2. Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. (Cambridge English IELTS 9, p.102) (word count: approx. 335)

Essay structure (approx. 335 words)

INTRODUCTION (50 words paragraph)

Reason 2 (approx. 100 words paragraph)

Reason 3 topic sentence (your opinion) (approx. 50 words paragraph)

As long as you follow the above structure for these two different types of essay, you are likely to gain high marks.

Other factors which affect your marks are the range of vocabulary, no spelling mistakes, grammar, use of punctuations, appropriate use of proverbs or phrases, sentence structure (simple and complex), coherence, correct use of active (Subject-Verb-Object) and passive voice (Object, Verb, Subject) and relevant content (supporting reasons or convincing ideas).

As an experienced IELTS Tutor since 2010, I can pass feedback on your writings through Skype sessions (ID: alizaheer79) @A$30 per hour.

Call Ali the IELTS Tutor at 0400 443 265 and Score IELTS in One-Attempt!

ielts essay how many words

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IELTS Essays: Five Types of IELTS Essays

There are 5 types of IELTS essays which can appear in IELTS writing task 2. These types of essays are for both GT and Academic writing task 2. Below you will find sample essay questions for each type of essay and links to model answers.  Please note that IELTS teachers sometimes divide essays into different categories based on how they teach.

1) IELTS Opinion Essay

This type of essay is where you are presented with someone else’s opinion and you are asked if you agree or disagree with it. The opinion is often flawed or extreme in its views. Some teachers call this the Argumentative Essay. The instructions can be written in a number of ways. Below are a few examples:

  • To what extent do you agree?
  • Do you agree?
  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • What is your opinion?

No matter how the instructions are written, you can take any position you want: agree, disagree or partial agreement (balanced view). Below is an example essay question:

Opinion Essay Question:  Some people think that only electric cars should be allowed on the road by 2040. Do you agree?

2) IELTS Discussion Essay

This type of essay presents you with a statement and you must present the two sides. This might be two sides of the same issue:

Some people think there should be free health care for all people, but others disagree. Discuss both sides.

Or it might be two separate issues which you need to discuss:

Some people think that urban spaces should be used for parks rather than for housing. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

3) IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essays

There are two types of questions in this category.

i) Advantage and Disadvantage Essay

This is similar to a discussion essay where you are given a statement must present the positive and negative side of the issue:

Some people think it is good for students to take a gap year before going to university. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

ii) Outweigh Essay

This is by far the most difficult of the two essay types in this category. It requires you to present an opinion and explain your opinion.

Some people think the world will eventually have only one language. Do you think the advantages of having one global language outweigh the disadvantages?

4) IELTS Solution Essays

There are a number of types of possible questions in this category:

i) Solution Only

Some children have serious weight problems. What are the possible solutions?

ii) Cause Solution

Children in rural areas are being left behind in their academic development. Why is this is the case? What solutions can you suggest?

iii) Problem Solution

More and more people are moving to cities to look for work. What problems does this cause? What are the possible solutions?

5) Direct Questions Essays

Some teachers call these the Two Question Essay. However, these types of essay questions might contain one, two or three questions for you to answer. Below are some examples.

Pollution around the world is becoming a serious problem. Do you think this is a problem that should be solved internationally or on a local level?

In the question above, you are asked one specific question. Your whole essay must tackle this question only.

More and more people are choosing to work from home. Is this a positive or negative development?

This essay question has just one issue and one question. You must explain what type of development you think working from home is.

Some people spend a lot of money on weddings. Why do they do this? Do you think it is good to spend a lot of money on weddings?

Above, you will see you have been presented with two questions to answer: reasons and opinion (evaluating if it is good or not.) 

News editors decide what to print in newspapers and what to broadcast on TV. What factors do you think influence these decisions? Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more news was reported?

As you can see there are three questions to answer in this essay question. It is not common to get three questions. If you get three, just tackle them one at a time in a logical order.

Practice Essay Questions for IELTS

You can find over 100 essay questions to practice on this page: 100 IELTS Essay Questions . The questions are divided first into topics and then into essay types. This way you can get lots of practice before your actual test day.


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Response to opinion based essay:

Electric cars are progressively replacing non-electric cars by the end of 2040. While it is possible that electric ones will eventually replace the other cars, it is unlikely that they will end up serving the same purpose. This essay will discuss why only few electric cars will be carried out by people.

Electric cars may eventually replace non-electric cars that are not compatible for the environment. Many people think that only electric powered vehicles should be allowed on the road because they emit far less emissions,and less maintenance is required. In China, for example many non-electric motors have been replaced by plug-in vehicles that are more environment friendly and budgeted. For these reasons, cars that can be replaced by electricity will be replaced.

Conversely, there are multiple factors that only electric cars will not be allowed only. Put simply, these factors include affordability and infrastructure development. A necessary framework including charging stations, grid capacity must be required. Without charging stations, drivers may face anxiety and hesitant to switch to electric cars. Additionally, switching completely to electric ones will increase a demand of charging from the grid stations.

It is increasingly likely that powered vehicles will end most non-powered cars. In most of the countries, traveling will be done entirely by electric cars; however, where the money and development are major issues they will always exist. Ultimately, addition of very few electrical cars is valuable but it is not a complete replacement of other cars.

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Please get my advanced lessons to learn the correct way to write an IELTS essay: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . Each advanced lesson takes 1 hour for me to explain how to write one type of essay. It isn’t something I can explain in a short message. An IELTS essay has specific requirements which you need to learn about. If I could give you small pointers, I would. But you really need to learn the right way in detail.

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dear Liz i am very grateful to u for presenting helpful notes here. they are truly informative. i downloaded your series of grammar book last year and learned quite good topics that i used to find challenging. do you have any grammar notes for IELTS beginners?

Sorry, I don’t have anything for beginners. My Grammar E-book basically covers everything I can thing of. Is there something specific you are interested in? If you let me know, I could plan to create something.

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Hlo mam ..I am not able to use proper grammer in task 1 ..and to be honest I don’t know which grammer is to be use in different graphs charts etc could u plz tell me mam..r can u plz tell me the accurate souce where ..would I find ..proper … instructions tht how to or what grammer we should use in task 1..I would be very helpful if u rply…??

I don’t have one page or one lesson which focuses on all aspects of grammar for all types of task 1 writing. I suggest you review all my model answers and make notes on sentence structure, tenses, prepositions, articles, noun phrases, clauses, word order etc etc. Model answers can be used for more than only studying structure or general content. Then review all practice lessons and also pay attention to the grammar being used. There’s a lot of free materials to study: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-1-lessons-and-tips/

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hy liz i want to sample answers of ielts academic writing task 2

Model essays and tips for writing task 2 are found on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hello Liz, please I want to be receiving updates to enable me prepare for my IELTS exam.

There are over 300 page of practice lessons, tips, model answers and topics on this website which you should be using now for your IELTS preparation. Go to the HOME page to learn how to use this website. I post new lessons and tips once or twice a month because my website already has so many tips and lessons.

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Hi Liz, Do I write and underline my headings for example, do I write an introduction underline, and do the same with other headings?

My second question is do I write an introduction, overview, Paragraphs 1&2, then conclusion for task 2, essay writing?

As you can see from my model essays, no titles or headings are required for your essay. The paragraph format you can find tips for on the main writing task 2 page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ You’ll also find model essays on that page.

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Hi Liz, Kindly advise which are the two top essay types that frequently appears on the test day. I am expecting to take IELTS test two weeks from now and think I do not have enough time to practice all 5 question types. In addition, I assume that each question types are not equally tested. Thank you for your kindness.

No matter what people tell you, all the types of essays are possible. Focusing on only two is really taking a risk. You have two weeks before your test which is quite a lot of time to review the five types and ideas for topics as well. If I had to pick two types of essays, it would be the Opinion Essay and the Discussion Essay – but it really could be any type. Here is my advice, get my three advanced lessons for writing task 2, together they will cover three types of essays in three hours all together. This is a link to my store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . For the other two types of essays, review my model essays on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ , also review the linking words, how many paragraphs and other tips as well. Good luck!!

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Hello Liz, is it okay to use templates for writing task 2 that is available online some say it decrease our band score while others say it will increase our band scores. I am really confused at the moment.

If you are aiming for a low band score, it’s fine. If you are aiming for a higher band score, it won’t help. The examiners are trained to spot the difference between a templated essay with memorised language in it and an essay that shows your own level of English.

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I learnt a lot from Your lessons and only because of You I achieved the score I was aiming for. Honestly, thank You very very much. You are doing a wonderful job.

Best wishes from Lithuania!

I’m glad to hear you got the score you needed. Well done 🙂 Greetings to all in Lithuania!

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I just want to ask, in the opinion essay, should we always present both sides? For instance, if the question only asks for our opinion on the matter (no mention of discussing both sides) should we still do it? Alternatively, can we just structure the essay to show our opinion and each paragraph elaborates on reasons why that is our opinion? Will doing it this way (not mentioning both sides) adversely affect our band score? Thank you!

I suggest you get my Advanced Lessons to learn properly. I generally don’t teach how to write an Opinion Essay in a short message. It takes me nearly an hour by video to do this. Here’s a link to my store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Thank you so much Liz. This video has been helpful. I have a question.

In Britain, when someone gets old they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who do you think should pay for this care, the government or the family? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Is this an opinion essay which will follow exactly the structure you just taught or a discussion essay.

This is a Direct Question essay. Please remember that each teacher gives different names for essay types. I call this the Direct Question Essay because you are being given a direct question to answer. It might be one question, two or even three questions. Your whole essay explains your answer.

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Hi Liz Do you think this is a positive or negative development? What type of essay is this please?

I’ve just added it to the page above. Take a look.

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Hello Liz: I recently came across this essay. My question is what type of essay is this? Do you have any model essays on this type of essay? The essay is: In your view, what is the most important thing for governments to spend money on: education, health, transportation, or something else? Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

You said that you “came across” this essay question. Where did you come across it? Did you find it in one of the IELTS Cambridge test books? Only use authentic test questions. If you don’t use proper sources for your IELTS preparation, you will easily get confused about the test and this won’t help your preparation.

Thanks, Liz! This is now clear to me as I came across the question from a ‘model IELTS Essay topics’. published by a local company.

That sounds like the problem. You ought to use the IELTS Cambridge test books which are real test published by IELTS. I have collected over 100 essay questions over the years and they are also safe to use. You can find them linked to the main writing task 2 section of this site: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

Thank you, Liz, for your comments and the link. I wish you good health and happiness!

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Hope you are keeping well. I am not able to score more than 6.5 in my writing test. I have scored 8.5 in Listening, Reading & Speaking but writing disappoints every time. Where can I find model answer to evaluate where am I lacking? I have taken 2 computer based tests for far and scheduled 3rd one in 5 days. I need band score 7 in Writing to achieve my target.

You can find some model answers in the main writing task 2 section my website along with other essential tips: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ . I also have paid advanced lessons which might help you understand where you are going wrong. They can be bought in my online store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . Each lesson focuses on one specific essay type and explains paragraph by paragraph what to do.

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Liz, thank you so much for your help. Two weeks ago I took the IELTS exam and surprisingly get 9 in Reading section!

Fantastic!! Well done to you 🙂

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Hi Liz,I really need help with opinion essays especially for the part that asks to what extent do you agree or disagree?am I supposed to discuss both sides,thank you

I suggest you get my advanced lessons for the opinion essay: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . It isn’t something that can be taught in a short message.

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Your materials and videos have sincerely been helpful. Thank you very much for such a selfless act. My exam is in a week time, I have only 10days to prepare for my IELTS GT. I would give you an update on how it goes. Cheers

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Hi Liz! I am preparing for my IELTS and I have found your website very helpful, very precise information is given and it talk to the point. thank you for providing good content. keep up the great work.

reagrds Neha Shah

You’re welcome 🙂

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Thanks a lot Liz . Your materials and tutorials helped me a lot in my preparation for my IELTS . Followed your tips and videos for 3 weeks . Able to score 7.5 overall.

Thank you again for the great help you provide.

Wonderful news! Very well done 🙂 It’s a great overall score!

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Thank you so much Liz for the work you do. Your videos, website and materials helped me in my preparations. I just got my results, it was a band 8 overall. Have a splendid 2022.

Wonderful !! A great result! Wishing you all the best for 2022 !! 🙂

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Hi Liz I’m from Sri Lanka. Thank you for all your guidance. Today I sat for IELTS academic paper. Task 1 was a bar chart, percentage of young people in higher education in for countries in 3 years. Task 2- news has no connection with people’s life so it’s a waste of time to read best from newspaper and watch news program on tv. To which extent do you agree. I hope these will help you. Waru

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Hi Liz, I follow all your videos and they are very helpful. I gave my speaking exam last week. But now I think the cue card question was to describe a leisure activity I enjoy and I talked about a leisure activity I am planning to enjoy. I am really worried if it will affect my band score. But my talk was fluent . Can you give me your insights?

It won’t make any difference to your score. As long as your talk is based on the main topic (leisure activity), it’s ok. Your score won’t be negatively impacted in any way at all.

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Hi Liz, Im Janet from kenya. thank you for the good work you are doing. im preparing for my exams in 4 weeks time. your content is very helpful and I like the way you explain things. im a slow learner and i find your pace very good for me. Thank you again. keep up the good job.

Good luck with your preparation and test 🙂

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Thank you Liz

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Hi Liz, hope you are doing well. Liz I have silly question I know but I’m really stuck in this problem and I was wondering if you can help me with this issue.. The problem is writing a topic sentence, you said in advanced lectures that topic sentence should be written carefully because it is kind of more important .. Please can you tell me that among these 2 topic sentences of BP1, which one is okay and looks relevant?

1] Although we are living in prosperous times, with people in many countries enjoying a higher standard of living than ever before, there are still millions of people in the world who are living in poverty.

2] Instead of wasting lots of money on exploration of space, governments ought to focus on local problems such as poverty eradication. There are millions of……

Essay statement; Space exploration is a luxury that we cannot afford. Instead of spending billions of dollars on space programs, governments should use this money to fight global problems such as poverty, disease and climate change. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion.

Kind regards

The first step is to underline the key words in the essay question: space exploration, spending billions, fighting global problems (examples). Now make sure your topic sentence covers those aspects. Neither of the topic sentences you have listed really works because, while the second one is obviously more carefully connected to the essay question, it doesn’t leave room for any other paragraph as you are tackling all problems in one paragraph. Also it switches from global problems to local problems which is confusing. However, in terms of which of your sentences connects to the essay question properly, it is the second one. This essay is all about funding for space exploration and whether it is relevant in today’s world or not given all our global problems.

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I love your lessons and tips. They are really helpful and you are extraordinarily devoting. Here I have a question about the answer you left under Khola’s comment. What do you mean by “no room left for other paragraphs as you tackled all problems in one paragraph”?

Looking forward to your response.

Sincerely, Ella

It means that if you put all your ideas into one paragraph, you won’t have any more ideas for other paragraphs. By choosing one main focal point for one paragraph, you have the ability to use other ideas for other paragraphs. So many people say “I can’t think of how to make my essay long enough”. The answer is to be more careful about how you use your ideas. First, brainstorm ideas. Then select the best ideas. Then decide carefully which ideas can go into which paragraph. Then pay attention as to whether some ideas should go together or some ideas should be separated into different paragraphs. There is a lot to think about in the planning stage. It is crucial to plan carefully and strategically.

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Electric cars are currently being developed by many well-known automotive companies. Many people still question whether electric cars are a feasible replacement for petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles. In this essay, I will explore the opinions for and against the use of electric cars and their replacement of petrol and diesel-fuelled cars.

On one hand, electric cars are environment friendly. They require no non-renewable energy and are clean to run and maintain on the road. To support this opinion, recent studies show that the use of electric cars helps to curb pollution in urban and rural areas. Clearly, electric cars are one way to tackle ecological concerns and support a ‘greener’ environment.

On the other hand, electric cars are inconvenient to maintain and to dispose of. The driver of an electric vehicle must recharge his car approximately every 100 kms. In addition, the plutonium battery of an electric car is toxic to the environment and must be safely disposed of through expensive means. In brief, scientists are still exploring ways to produce these types of vehicles so that they are easier to manufacture, maintain and use safely.

To sum up, it’s evident that there are both pros and cons of electric vehicles. Despite the expense of development and the inconvenience of recharging electric cars, I still believe strongly that it is well worth the investment to continue research and production of these vehicles. To conclude, we should remain open, supportive to the use of electric cars and to their development in the future.

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Recently i sat for IELTS exam, and the GT Writting Task 2 was about transport and they asked “ Do you think it has more advantages or more disadvantage?”

For this would it be option question or Adv/Disadv question? How is the structure for that type?

I wrote both sides and gave my opinion in the conclusion… but not sure if its right… i got 6.5 for writing.

Also, if you can advise how they ask the questions to determine what type of essay it would be so it can easy for us to identify.

Thanks and appreciate all your help.

That is an “outweigh” essay – do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

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Hi Liz I have my exam this week and searching for model questions for April 2021. I checked on your site but model essay questions were available till March so if you can recommend me to follow something for latest Also, can you please share me the link for model answers of March Model Essay Questions?

I am eagerly waiting to hear from you.

The model essays are to be used for all years of the test. The topics are often recycled and the techniques for essay writing are 100% the same as always. The test format hasn’t changed and neither has the marking. All pages of this site are 100% relevant to the test today.

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I have purchased material from you in 2019 but somehow because of my system crash I could not recover anything. Please can you share the link to access the notes that will be very grateful as I want to reattempt IELTS again. Because of Corona, I was not in my town to connect with you regarding this.

I’ve just resent your access link. Check both your inbox and spam folder.

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Hi I booked my test in May 2021 I was just wondering which one is latest book i can refer? I have heard Cambridge books are best but I’m not aware about which version i should go for. Your help would be really appreciated

The IELTS Cambridge books are numbered, at present, from 1 to 15. Number 15 is the most recent and was published in 2020. However, all the books provide useful practice. The general format of the test has not changed. I personally would recommend books from 7 to 15. In July 2021, book 16 will be published.

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Hello Liz, this is my first message ever. I would like to thank you for your devotion. Can I start a “ solutions” body in the problem solution essay with “ to get around these problems “ as I found this linking device from the “ new scientist” journal whose translation is seemingly appropriate to that, at least to me.

This means a way to avoid the problem rather that solve the problem. So, it wouldn’t be appropriate for an IELTS essay which asks for solutions. It is better to use: The most effective way to tackle this problem is… X is the way to deal with this issue The answer to solving this problem is ….

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Hi Liz, In my exam I got the question of “Are there more advantages or more disadvantages” Is it similar to “Do advantages outweigh disadvantages” ?

Yes, it is 100% the same.

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Thanks mam these are quite useful essays.

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In the public version of the IELTS writing marking criteria, some linkers are called mechanical and it limit your band score. Some teachers say words like firstly,On one hand,on the other hand are example. I notice you use such words or phrases in ur sample essays. Are they really mechanical? Can you enlighten on what the band descriptors calls mechanical linker

The linkers themselves are not mechanical. All the linking words you have written are suitable for IELTS up to band score 9. The problem is how people use them. It is there use that becomes mechanical. If you have three paragraphs and each one starts with a linking words: Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, it is similar to a machine that always does the same thing each time. So, to avoid this you must be flexible. So, use all suitable linking words, but use them flexibly. The mechanical use of linking words is typical of a band 6 in Coherence and Cohesion. This means that if you are aiming for band 7 and above, you need to use signposting more flexibly.

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Your website and materials helped me a lot in my preparations for my ielts test.

I scored a band 8 overall after about 4 weeks of regular practice.

Thank you Liz for the work you do.

Great news! Very well done 🙂

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Top 100 Phrases for IELTS Writing Test

Top 100 Phrases for IELTS Writing Test

If you are taking the IELTS Writing Test, it is beneficial to have some key phrases in handy to assist you in getting a high band score. 

Expanding your IELTS Writing vocabulary is a good idea, but it is even more crucial to write naturally and articulately to get the best results. 

Phrases like ‘It can extend a person’s horizon,’ ‘The essence of the debate is, and ‘very debatable’ is now regarded as ‘ scripted phrases,’ and using them in your IELTS Writing Test will only result in you losing marks.

To ace the IELTS Writing Test, you will need to use essential words and phrases to convey the points you want to make in an articulate, intelligent, and compelling manner. 

While we do not encourage you to memorize phrases, having a better comprehension of the terms that should be used in an academic writing test will help you build the vocabulary that will quickly improve your marks in the IELTS Writing Test. 

Continue reading and learn the most effective and common phrases in IELTS Writing to give you the band score that will be your ultimate ticket to achieving your dreams of studying, working, or living abroad. 

What is the IELTS Writing Task?

Linking structures and cohesive devices, connecting words for both ielts tasks, vocabulary to use in writing task 1, general training test: vocabulary to write letters, vocabulary to use in ielts writing task 2 (both academic and general training), ielts writing sample responses, ielts academic writing test : word lists, commonly confused words in the english language, tricks to learn and remember english vocabulary, additional faqs on ielts writing test.

The IELTS Writing Test is one of the four sections in the IELTS Test , the other three being Speaking , Listening , and Reading Tests. 

It is different for the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training modules, but both tests have two tasks to be completed. It lasts about 60 minutes, and you are advised to spend only 20 minutes on the first task because the second task has more weight. 

The first task in the IELTS Academic Writing Test requires you to describe and explain the information given in either a graph, chart, map, table, or diagram. 

On the other hand, Task 1 of the IELTS General Training Writing Test asks you to compose a letter responding to a situation and requesting information and explanation. You should write at least 150 words in IELTS Writing Task 1 . 

Moreover, the second task in the IELTS Academic Writing and IELTS General Training Writing is the same. You need to respond to a point of view, problem, or argument by writing an essay. You need at least 250 words in IELTS Writing Task 2 . 

The IELTS Writing Task will be marked on the following criteria: grammar and sentence structure, vocabulary utilization, task response, and coherence and cohesion. 

Each contributes 25% to the overall score. Over the years, examiners have been impressed by candidates’ vocabulary and mastery of syntax but frustrated by how incoherently one sentence flows into the next.

Learn how to use linking structures and cohesive devices below:

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 1?

Academic test:.

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 for:

  • transitioning from a description of one visual to the next
  • comparing and contrasting the key features of the visuals
  • pointing out and emphasizing details of the visuals 

General Training Test:

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 for:

  • describing the problem or situation 
  • transitioning from one viewpoint to the next
  • explaining your requests

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2?

Academic and general training:.

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS Writing Task 2 for:

  • presenting your opinion
  • transitioning from one paragraph to the next
  • providing reasons
  • giving examples
  • explaining conditions and consequences of different scenarios 

To get higher marks in the IELTS Writing Test, more linking words are required. To achieve coherence and cohesion, you must employ a variety of phrases to connect one thought to the next, allowing the reader to follow your reasoning. 

Here are the most effective and common phrases in the IELTS Writing Test:

Transitional Words

  • In addition…
  • Furthermore…
  • Additionally…
  • On top of that…

Cause and effect

  • As a result…
  • Accordingly…
  • Consequently…
  • On that account…
  • For that reason…


  • In contrast…
  • Alternatively…
  • Nevertheless…
  • On the other hand…
  • In the end…
  • To sum up… 
  • To conclude…
  • To summarize…
  • In conclusion…
  • As long as…
  • Provided that…
  • Supposing that…
  • On the condition that…
  • Especially…
  • In particular…
  • Particularly…
  • Importantly…
  • Without a doubt…
  • To illustrate…
  • For instance…
  • For example…
  • The best example is…
  • A very good example is…
  • I concur that…
  • I agree that….
  • I think/feel/believe that…
  • Personally, I feel that…
  • As far as I am concerned…
  • From my point of view…
  • In spite of…
  • Admittedly…
  • Even though…
  • First of all…
  • To start with…
  • Thirdly/fourthly/etc…

Academic Test:  Vocabulary to Describe Graphs

Introducing the graph

The graph/table/pie chart/bar chart/diagram…

  • illustrates …
  • explains why …
  • describes …
  • gives information about/on …
  • provides information about/on …

Changes in the graph

  • a growth of…
  • a surge of…
  • a decrease in…
  • a decline in…
  • a fluctuation in…
  • a variation in…
  • dramatically
  • significantly
  • considerably
  • significant
  • considerable
  • substantial

1. Introduction of the Letter

  • I am writing to inform you that …
  • I am writing to ask/inquire …
  • I am writing with regard to …
  • I am writing in connection with …
  • I am writing with reference to …
  • It’s been a long time. I am writing to…
  • I’m simply writing to inform you that…
  • I haven’t seen you in a long time.
  • Please accept my apologies for not writing in such a long time. I’ve been quite busy…

2. Body of the Letter

Asking for information.

  • I’d like for you to…
  • Could let me know if…
  • I’d appreciate it if you could…
  • I’m hoping you could inform me…
  • I’d like to seek your opinion on…


  • This letter is to express my dissatisfaction…
  • I’m writing to express my displeasure with…
  • I’m writing to voice my disappointment with…
  • I’m writing to tell you that I am disappointed… 

Expressing Gratitude

  • I am thankful for…
  • I’m very grateful for…
  • I very much appreciated…
  • I’d like to thank you very much for…


  • I really regret that/about…
  • Please accept my apologies for…
  • I’d like to express my regret for…
  • Please accept my sincere apologies for…

Giving Advice

  • You should…
  • You ought to…
  • Why don’t you…
  • If I were you, I’d…

Giving Suggestion

  • If you like, I can…
  • Do you want me to…
  • What do you think about…
  • I believe it would be fantastic if you…

3. Closing of the Letter

  • I eagerly await your response.
  • Thank you so much for your assistance.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
  • I’m hoping for a quick resolution to the matter.
  • Please do not hesitate to call me if you need any additional information.
  • Please stay in contact!
  • I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
  • Thanks a lot for your assistance, send me a message soon.
  • Anyway, I have to leave now. If you need additional details, please write again.

Vocabulary to Write Essays

Expressing Opinions

  • I’d argue that… 
  • In my opinion…
  • Personally, I believe…
  • It appears to me that… 
  • I have to admit that…
  • As far as I can tell…
  • As for me, I believe…
  • That is something I cannot deny…
  • I’d like to emphasize that…
  • In my personal experience…

Proving Arguments

  • This is testified by…
  • This is evidenced by…
  • This establishes that…
  • This is attested/proven by…

Expressing General Point of View

  • It is commonly stated that…
  • According to popular belief…
  • It is commonly assumed that…
  • It is generally assumed that…
  • It is largely agreed upon that…
  • It’s a widely held assumption that…

Outlining Facts

  • It is evident that …
  • The truth is that …
  • It is obvious that …
  • This shows that …
  • There is no doubt that …

Giving Examples

  • As an example…
  • Take for instance…
  • We can see this in…
  • A good illustration of this is…
  • Evidence for this is manifested in…
  • To summarize… 
  • In conclusion… 
  • In general…
  • On balance… 
  • Taking everything into account…

Additional Reading: IELTS Grammar

  • Top 100 IELTS Phrasal Verbs
  • Grammar for IELTS Exam: Complete Guide
  • 50 Useful Phrases for the IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS Writing Test is by no means easy. Most candidates would agree that this part of the test made them anxious. 

To impress the examiners and get a high band score , it is advised that you read and study different sample and model responses and learn the different writing techniques to help you achieve your desired band score. 

Here are some of them. Take note of the transition words and vocabulary used. 

You were supposed to start a new job next week, but you won’t be able to because of certain issues. Send a letter to your new boss. In your letter, 

  • give an explanation of your circumstances
  • state your issues
  • inform him/her when you think you’ll be able to begin.

How much do you agree or disagree with the claim that e-books and modern technology will completely replace conventional newspapers and magazines?

Example 4: 

Some argue that children should be educated to compete, while others argue that they should be taught to cooperate. What are your thoughts on the matter?

The IELTS Writing Test requires an extensive vocabulary. Having a diverse vocabulary is one of the secrets to writing an effective essay. However, it is not enough to memorize the words; you also need to know how to use them in your writing.

We have listed a set of word lists to help you with your IELTS Writing Test.

Do not be worried if you will not memorize all the word lists: quality trumps quantity! It is far preferable to learn 1 word-lists well rather than 5 word-lists poorly.

Word List 1

Word list 2, word list 3, word list 4.

English is a complicated language. Some words look the same, and some sound the same.

Recognizing the difference between these similar words could be tricky. 

We want to help you succeed on your IELTS journey, so we are providing you with some of the most commonly confused words in the English language. Pay close attention to these words and avoid the past mistakes most candidates have committed. 

Affect vs. Effect

Meaning: To have an influence or effect on something/someone

Example Sentence:

Meaning: To cause something to happen

Loose vs. Lose

Meaning : Not fitting tightly or closely

Meaning : (1) To fail to win or

(2) to misplace something

Lay vs. Lie

Meaning : To put down gently or carefully

Meaning : To assume a horizontal position on a resting surface

Accept vs. Except

Meaning : To consent to receive

Meaning : Not included

Complement vs. Compliment

Meaning : Something that fills up, completes, or makes better

Meaning : A polite expression of praise

Farther vs. Further

Meaning : Over a large expanse of physical distance

Meaning : Over a large expanse figurative distance

Passed vs. Past

Meaning : Simple past tense of ‘pass’

Meaning : Gone by in time and no longer existing

Elicit vs. Illicit

Meaning : Draw out a response from someone

Meaning : Forbidden by law

Any way vs. Anyway

Meaning: A phrase that means in any manner or method

Meaning : Used to confirm an idea just mentioned 

Than vs. Then

Meaning : Used before the second element in a comparison 

Meaning : An adverb indicating time or sequence.

Its vs. It’s

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with a thing previously mentioned

Meaning : Contraction of ‘it is’

Their vs. There vs. They’re

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with people or things previously mentioned 

Meaning : An adverb of place (in, at, to)

Meaning : Contraction of ‘they are’

Your vs. You’re

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with the person or people the speaker is talking to

Meaning : Contraction of ‘you are’

Who vs. Whom

Meaning : A pronoun used as a subject refers to a person or people

Meaning :   A pronoun used as an object referring to a person or people

That vs. Which

Meaning : Used when the phrase after it is essential in the sentence

Meaning : Used when the phrase after it is not essential in the sentence

Meaning : A preposition that indicates the direction

Meaning : An adverb that means in addition or also

You will not get very far with your language skills, no matter how brilliant your grammar is if you do not know any words to use it with. Vocabulary brings up new worlds while also making studying enjoyable and rewarding.

However, extending your vocabulary is like going on a diet. You need to exert effort, and there is no magic trick, no secret, and no one-size-fits-all method for doing so. You must identify what works best for you. Nevertheless, being patient, setting reasonable objectives, and rewarding yourself when you achieve them are sound strategies that can be supplemented with the following suggestions.

  • Make Use of Memory Tricks : Mnemonics are mental shortcuts that will help you remember more complicated concepts or words. It is a popular approach to memorizing a language. You can make associations between words. For example, when you need to buy Spaghetti, Tomatoes, Olives, Rice , and Eggs from the STORE . Furthermore, the more you think about acronyms or associations, the better you will remember the phrases that go with them.
  • Create an Environment Conducive to Learning : When you study abroad, you will hear and read the language everywhere, allowing you to acquire the language far more quickly through immersion. Luckily, you do not need to travel overseas to enhance your vocabulary gradually. You may create an inspirational and study-friendly environment wherever you are. Purchase publications or books in the new language, watch movies and prepare (or simply eat) local cuisine.
  • Make Use of a Notebook : Writing new words in a tangible notebook has a romantic quality to it. Just add a new word to a running vocabulary list when you come across a new word that you do not recognize. Then, a few times a week, go over the list, obliterating the English definitions and attempting to recall what each term meant. The more you read through the notebook, the easier it will be to recall the words. You can eventually cross off the words you know, so you do not have to go over them again.
  • Put the Words in Their Proper Context : Putting words in context is a fantastic way to learn more vocabulary faster. Consider putting them together in phrases rather than composing lists of random words. That way, you will understand how the word is utilized in everyday situations. It will also be easier to remember if you come up with entertaining sentences. You can also generate drawings or discover visuals that will complement the sentences and place the words in their natural home, depending on how you learn.
  • Take it a Step Further : Allow adequate space for mind maps with connected words, synonyms, and antonyms if you want to take your learning a step higher. If you’re going to make the most of your learning, try explaining and describing the word in English rather than translating it into your original tongue.
  • Put in The Effort : The most crucial thing you will need to recall English words is the appropriate attitude and the willingness to put in the effort. However, there is no such thing as a magical system. None of the approaches listed above are “correct” or “incorrect.” Find something that works for you and utilize it regularly. Experiment with a few to find which produces the greatest results.

Additional Reading: How to Improve Your English Speaking Skills

  • How to Speak English Without an Accent
  • How to Learn English By Watching the FRIENDS TV Series
  • Best Youtube Channels to Learn English
  • Top 40 Instagram Accounts to Help You Learn English
  • 30+ Tips to Speak English Without Grammar Mistakes

Is it Okay to Write 400 Words in IELTS Writing?

Candidates should write words that are slightly above the word limit. That is 170 – 190 words in the IELTS Writing Task 1 and 270 – 290 words in the IELTS Writing Task 2.

However, note that there is no word limit, and you will not lose marks for exceeding the word limit.

Keep in mind that the examiners will mark your IELTS Writing not based on the number of words you write but on the quality of your work. 

Is a 7 in IELTS Writing Good?

Yes, a band score of 7 in the IELTS Writing Test is good. It means that you are a ‘good user’ and that you have impressed the examiner enough to give you a 7.

Most candidates have not been able to achieve this as the IELTS Writing Test is arguably the most challenging.

So if you get a 7 (or higher) band score, be proud.

How is the IELTS Writing Marked?

The examiner will focus on four primary areas: 

(1) how you were able to answer the question well;  (2) how well you connect an idea to the text;  (3) your vocabulary range and accuracy; and  (4) your grammatical forms range and accuracy. Each criterion contributes 25 percent of your overall marks in the IELTS Writing Test. 

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    In the IELTS Academic Writing test, you will have one hour to complete both of the two set writing tasks. Keep an eye on the time it takes you to complete practice Tasks 1 and 2 to make sure you don't go too far over, and to use as a benchmark for how long you can expect each task to take you. In the actual test, you will move from the first ...

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    You need to write a 250 word minimum for your response. If your word count is below the minimum, it will hurt your score. For more information on how this works, see the IELTS Writing word count penalty for IELTS Task 1 and IELTS Task 2.

  11. Word count in IELTS writing, IELTS essays and task 1 reports

    1. IELTS says that you should write at least 250 words in writing task 2 and 150 words in writing task 1. There is no penalty anymore but I advise writing more than 250 words to fully develop your essay. 2. A very long essay will not give you a higher band score. If you write a long essay, for example around 350 words, then two problems will arise.

  12. How many words should I write in IELTS Writing?

    The only advice you should listen to is this- If you want to answer the question properly, you must write at least 250 words in part 2 and at least 150 words in part 1. If you write less than these totals, you will lose marks under 'Task Achievement' because you haven't answered the question properly.

  13. IELTS Writing Task 2: Information (FAQ)

    Below are IELTS writing task 2 frequently asked questions with answers. Click the questions below to see the answers. What is IELTS Writing Task 2? For writing task 2, you must write an essay which is over 250 words and you have 40 mins to do this. IELTS will provide you with the essay question.

  14. IELTS Writing Task 2: ️ Everything You Need to Know

    Your essay should be in a formal style, at least 250 words in length and you should aim to complete it in under 40 minutes. IELTS Writing Task 2: Everything You Need to Know In this video, I'll outline exactly what you must do to create an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay that could score a Band 7, 8 or 9.

  15. IELTS Writing Tips: How to Write 150 or 250 Words

    Faced with a blank page, you have only 60 minutes in which to write 400 words by hand. This includes 150 words describing a diagram or data, plus 250 words giving your opinion on an issue. It doesn't help that few people actually write reports or essays by hand nowadays!

  16. IELTS Essay Topics with Model Answers

    IELTS Writing Task 2 (also known as IELTS Essay Writing) is the second task of your IELTS Writing test.Here, you will be presented with an essay topic and you will be scored based on your ability to respond to the topic. You need to write at least 250 words and justify your opinion with arguments, discussion, examples, problem outlining, proposing possible solutions and supporting your position.

  17. IELTS Writing Task 1: Everything You Need to Know

    People doing the Academic test will write a report on a data set, map, or process. People doing General Training will write a letter. You must write 150 words or more. You should spend around 20 minutes on this part of the test. Task 1 is worth 1/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.

  18. 10 steps to writing high-scoring IELTS essays

    Step one: Plan your time. The Writing test (consisting of Writing tasks 1 and 2) takes approximately 60 minutes. Plan to spend around 20 minutes on your first task, and 40 minutes on your essay task. A sample plan for your time might be: 5 to 10 minutes reading the essay question and planning your answer. 15 to 20 minutes writing your first draft.

  19. How many words should you write in IELTS?

    How many words should you write in IELTS? How many words should you write in IELTS? | IELTS Writing How many words should you write in IELTS? The instruction in the IELTS writing test say: Task 1: write at least 150 words Task 2: write at least 250 words

  20. How Many Words for Band 7 IELTS Essay?

    The word-count for IELTS essay varies between 285 to 335 words. The factor which increase the word-count depends upon if the essay has asked for your opinion. For instance, look at the following two essays: 1. Every year several languages die out. Some people think that this is not important because life will be easier if there are fewer languages in the world.

  21. IELTS Essays: Five Types of IELTS Essays

    1) IELTS Opinion Essay. This type of essay is where you are presented with someone else's opinion and you are asked if you agree or disagree with it. The opinion is often flawed or extreme in its views. Some teachers call this the Argumentative Essay. The instructions can be written in a number of ways. Below are a few examples:

  22. Top 100 Phrases For IELTS Writing Test

    You should write at least 150 words in IELTS Writing Task 1. Moreover, the second task in the IELTS Academic Writing and IELTS General Training Writing is the same. You need to respond to a point of view, problem, or argument by writing an essay. You need at least 250 words in IELTS Writing Task 2.