In the Academic Writing module, the tasks encompass the kind of writing that is common in undergraduate and graduate academic settings.

Writing Task 1     • descriptive report based on visual data, or a process or object

Writing Task 2     • essay based on details of an opinion, an argument or a problem



In this task, you are required to transfer visual information such as a chart, graph, table or diagram into text using your own words. For example, you may have to consider a set of statistics presented in a graph or chart, and then summarise it by selecting and reporting the main features. Alternatively, you may have to study a diagram of a device and explain how it works, or you may have to look at a flow chart and describe the main stages in a process.

The target skills in this task are:

  • presenting, describing, interpreting, and comparing data
  • describing a process or how something works
  • using appropriate and accurate language


The Academic Writing and the General Training Writing modules both consist of two tasks that do not require you to have specialised or technical knowledge. The Writing test is designed to assess whether you possess the following skills:

  • ability to describe diagrams, tables and lists
  • ability to develop an argument supported by evidence
  • ability to communicate ideas clearly
  • range and accuracy of English vocabulary and sentence structures

You will be given two answer sheets—one for Task 1 and one for Task 2. Answers must be written in full, not in note form. Currently, you can choose whether to write your answers in pen or pencil. You should therefore take a pen, pencil and eraser with you into the exam.

You need to know what you have to do in both tasks in Academic or General Training writing:

As you see above, task 2 in Academic and General Training modules are the same.

Task 1 carries one-third of the marks. You have to write at least 150 words for Task 1. It is recommended to spend 20 minutes on it.

Task 2 carries two-thirds of the marks. You have to write at least 250 words for Task 2.It is recommended to spend 40 minutes on it.

The overall result is translated into a score on the IELTS nine-band scale. You will lose marks if you write fewer than the required number of words in both tasks. It is important to follow these guidelines because you will need to spend the appropriate time on each task to get good marks.