Marking Ielts Essay Question

You will be allowed 1 hour to complete two tasks in the IELTS Academic Writing test.

The two parts of this practice Writing test are presented on two separate web pages. Make sure you move swiftly from one page to the next so that your practice is as realistic as possible. If you prefer to work offline, download the test paper.

In the actual test you will do your writing in an answer booklet.


The total time allowed for the IELTS Academic Writing test is 60 minutes.

Time yourself and allow just one hour to complete both parts of the test.

Task 2 contributes twice as much as task 1 to the Writing score.

Writing task 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on task 1

  • write in a formal style
  • write at least 150 words

Writing task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on task 2

  • write in a formal style
  • write at least 250 words

Instructions to candidates

In the actual test you will be given the following instructions:

  • do not open this question paper until you are told to do so
  • write your name and candidate number in the spaces at the top of this page
  • read the instructions for each task carefully
  • answer both of the tasks
  • write at least 150 words for task 1
  • write at least 250 words for task 2
  • write your answers in the answer booklet
  • write clearly in pen or pencil; you may make alterations, but make sure your work is easy to read

At the end of the test, hand in both the question paper and your answer booklet.


Once you have completed both tasks, review your work. Download the model answers to see good examples of how to complete the Writing test. 

How to Get a 7 on Writing Task 1



If you want to get a 7 you must write the most important numbers in your essay.

Writing Task 1 can be scary!

You must incorporate important numbers into all essay types on IELTS Writing Task 1.

What are the most common Task 1 questions?

  • Change Over Time question
  • Static questions


Change Over Time Essay Questions:

In your essay you must include the beginning numbers, end numbers, highest numbers, and lowest numbers for each line. Those are the most important numbers and they must be in your essay.


Static Questions:

Circle the numbers for the highest, second highest, and lowest and include them in your essay.

If you give too many numbers in your essay your score goes down to a 5.

If you don’t use any numbers in your essay your score also goes down to a 5.


What should you do with the numbers in your essay?

Tell the examiner why the numbers are important.



More IELTS Writing Tips!


Learn how to write a cut-throat concluding paragraph for IELTS Writing Task 2!

Your conclusion should be short and simple.

Do not add new details in this part of your essay.

Use interesting language like “In sum…” or “To conclude…” rather than common language like “In conclusion…”

Read more here about how to write a concluding IELTS paragraph



Do you need linking words for Writing Task 2?

The fastest way to get a 7 or higher for IELTS Writing Task 2 is to use linking words.

You need to use a lot of linking words to get a high score!

You can use words like “as for,” “for instance,” “in addition,” and “for example.”

Learn exactly how to use these words and listen to our examples here



Do you know how to write a body paragraph for Writing Task 2?

To get a high score on IELTS Writing Task 2 you need to structure your essay is specific way.

The first sentence should contain the topic or basic idea behind the essay.

The second sentence should contain the reason for your point of view and an example.

The body paragraph should have at least 5- 6 sentences.

Read more about body paragraphs for Writing Task 2 here.



Are you having trouble generating ideas for your essays on Writing Task 2?

If so, you need a step-by-step process for brainstorming ideas. You need to learn the process then use it during the test. Read more here.



Do you know where to put your ideas in your essay and how to organize your essay for Writing Task 2?

After you have brainstormed you need to go back and choose the best ideas. It’s a great idea to choose a slightly different idea to make the examiner smile. Next put the topic sentence in the first body paragraph. What should you put in the detail sentences? Read more about Writing Task 2 here.



Do you know how to manage your time on IELTS Writing Task 1 and IELTS Writing Task 2?

The best way to break it down is to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2. You also need to spend a few minutes planning before you write and checking your work at the end. Be sure to budget time for those two steps. The key to getting better at time management on IELTS is practice. Read more about time management on IELTS Writing.


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