IELTS Academic Writing

IELTS Academic Writing

IELTS Academic Writing is a test to check how well you speak English, even if it’s not your first language. It is used to enroll in school and move to different countries. 

The test has four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

But, writing takes around 1 hour. In this article, we will discuss IELTS Academic Writing, its types, format, best books, tips to ace it, and more. Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • IELTS Writing has two types: Academic for studying abroad and General for working abroad
  • The test lasts 1 hour with two tasks
  • Task 1 requires at least 150 words, while Task 2 needs at least 250 words.
  • Scoring is based on task completion, clarity, vocabulary, and grammar, with each part contributing 25% to the total score
  • You should spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2
  • Academic Writing Task 1 involves describing graphs or diagrams, while Task 2 requires you to write an essay expressing opinions
  • To select the best IELTS Academic Writing book, you should look for clarity and practice exercises
  • Recommended books include IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills, IELTS Writing Task 1 and 2: Academic and General by Mike Wattie, and others
  • You can improve your IELTS Academic Writing score by completing Task 2 first, tracking word count, avoiding informal writing, knowing the marking criteria, writing in your own words, understanding the question well, and practicing thoroughly

IELTS Writing

The IELTS Writing test checks how well you can write. There are two types: Academic and General. If you want to study abroad, pick Academic. But, if you are planning to work overseas, go for General.

The test lasts an hour and has two parts: task 1 and task 2. In task 1, Academic test applicants describe graphs, charts, or diagrams, while General test applicants write letters. Task 2 is the same for both: you write an essay on a given topic.

In Task 1, you write a report or letter with at least 150 words. Task 2 is an essay with at least 250 words. You get 60 minutes to finish both tasks. Now, let’s see the main differences between them:

IELTS Academic WritingIELTS General Writing
Duration: 60 minDuration: 60 min
Task 1: Report
There are 5 types of reports. This includes: Pie charts Multiple charts and graph Graph and table Process diagram Map and plan
Task 1: Letter
There are 3 types of letters. This includes: Formal letter Semi-formal letter Informal letter
Task 2: Essay
There are 5 types of essays
Task 2: Essay
There are 5 types of essays

The essay you write for IELTS Writing Task 2 is the same for both Academic and General Training tests. However, in the General Training module, the topics are a bit easier.

How are IELTS Writing Tasks scored?

  1. When you write for IELTS, your tasks are rated on a scale from 0 to 9 based on four things: how well you did the task, how clear and connected your writing is, the words you use, and how correct your grammar is. 
  2. Each part counts for 25% of your total score. Your final score might look like 6.0 or 6.5.
  3. Task 1 is one-third of your total score, and Task 2 is two-thirds. 
  4. You would spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2.
  5. Examiners who are experts in IELTS grading check your work. They look at how you followed the instructions and if you used enough words, at least 150 for Task 1 and 250 for Task 2. 
  6. In Task 1, all the details you need are given to you. For Task 2, they see if you argued well and used examples.
  7. They also check how well you organize your ideas and if your writing flows smoothly. They look at your vocabulary and if you used it correctly. 
  8. They see if your grammar is accurate. So, when you practice writing for IELTS, make sure you focus on these things.

IELTS Academic Writing Task

In the IELTS Academic Writing part, you get 60 minutes to finish two tasks. It’s suggested to spend around 20 minutes on the first task and about 40 minutes on the second. But, you can manage your time the way you like between the tasks.

IELTS Academic Writing TaskMinimum Words Recommended time
Task 1Describe a graph, table, chart, or diagram150 words20 min
Task 2Write an essay giving your opinion and justifying it250 words40 min

1. Academic IELTS Writing Task 1

In an academic IELTS writing task 1, you have to talk about or sum up the information you see. This includes a graph, chart, table, or diagram. You need to write at least 150 words for this task.

Skills Required

This task checks if you can organize information well using the right language style. It is all about how clearly you can explain things using the right words.

You will be asked to:

  • Sort, show, or compare information
  • Explain steps in a process or how something works
  • Describe an object, event, or series of events

2. Academic IELTS Writing Task 2

This task is the same whether you are doing the Academic or General module. But, it is a bit tougher. You will have to write an essay about a given topic, sharing your ideas and backing them up with good reasons. You need to write at least 250 words for this task.

Skills Required

This task checks if you can write a clear, relevant, and well-organized argument. You need to give examples or evidence to support your ideas and use language correctly.

It could be about:

  • Solving a problem
  • Sharing and explaining your opinion
  • Comparing different ideas or opinions
  • Judging and questioning ideas or arguments

How To Select The Best IELTS Academic Writing Book?

When you are picking the best IELTS books, there are a few things to think about. Let’s see how to select the best IELTS academic writing book:

  1. It should explain things clearly and have lots of practice exercises and example essays. 
  2. It should be updated with the latest test trends and give tips on how to do different writing tasks. 
  3. There are different kinds of books out there, like guides, workbooks, and collections of essays. 
  4. Each type has its pros and cons. So, you should choose the one that suits you best. 
  5. Look for books with graded sample essays, easy-to-understand grammar and vocabulary explanations, and exercises with helpful feedback.

What Are The Best IELTS Academic Writing Books?

Here are some of the best IELTS academic writing books. Let’s have a look at them:

IELTS Academic Writing BooksCostUser Ratings
IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills $42.29 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
IELTS Writing Task 1 and 2: Academic and General by Mike Wattie$6.54🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕
Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module $21.98🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS $33.00🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
IELTS Writing Task 2: 99 Essays Band 8 Free🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

1. IELTS Advantage Writing Skills

IELTS Advantage Writing Skills
IELTS Advantage Writing Skills

IELTS Advantage: Writing Skills by Richard Brown and Lewis Richards helps improve your writing skills for the exam. It gives you tips and examples to practice with. It’s organized well.

The book covers different kinds of essays like opinion and problem-solution essays. The authors explain how to write each type of essay. This includes planning and writing tips. If you want to do well in the exam, this book is a great choice.

  • Cost: $42.29 
  • User Ratings: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

2. IELTS Writing Task 1 and 2: Academic and General by Mike Wattie

IELTS Writing Task 1 and 2: Academic and General by Mike Wattie is good for both the academic and general tests. It talks about both Task 1 and Task 2 essays and tells you how to do them step by step. 

The book is easy to understand and has lots of examples and practice exercises with answers. The author gives you helpful tips and tricks for getting better at writing and doing well on the IELTS exam. 

It is a great book for studying on your own. It is also good for teachers and students in class.

  • Cost: $6.54
  • User Ratings: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

3. Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module 

Simon Bravemans Target Band 7
Simon Bravemans Target Band 7

Target Band 7: The IELTS Academic Module book helps you get ready for the IELTS Academic Module. It has tips and exercises to improve your score. 

The book explains what the IELTS test is like and how to do well in each part. It is easy to understand, even if English is not your first language. 

The practice exercises and sample essays are tough but realistic. So you will know what to expect on test day.

  • Cost: $21.98 
  • User Ratings: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

4. The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS 

Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS book is good. It talks about everything in the test in detail. It is divided into sections for reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

The writing part is explained well with lots of examples of essays and letters. It tells you clearly about different types of questions and gives tips on how to answer them. 

The language is academic but easy to understand. So it’s good for everyone.

  • Cost: $33.00
  • User Ratings: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

5. IELTS Writing Task 2: 99 Essays Band 8 

IELTS Writing Task 2: 99 Essays Band 8 book is for students who want to get a Band 8 score or higher. It has 99 essays that got high grades. After each essay, there is detailed feedback to help you understand how to write better. 

The essays cover lots of different topics and are easy to read. The writer uses academic language but it’s not too hard to understand. They also give you lots of tips and tricks to do well in the exam.

  • Cost: Free
  • User Ratings: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

How To Increase Your IELTS Writing Score? 

When you take the IELTS test, there are four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Writing comes third and has two tasks. It might be a little difficult, but don’t worry we have got your back. There are tips to help you do well. In this section, we will discuss seven effective tips to improve your IELTS writing score.

1. Complete Writing Task 2 First

Writing Task 2 in the IELTS test is the same for both the Academic and General versions. Many people find it easier than Task 1, especially if you are taking the Academic test. Task 2 carries more marks and takes longer to finish. So, it is smart to do it first. 

You don’t want to spend too much time on Task 1 and rush through Task 2 at the end. IELTS suggests spending 40 minutes on Task 2 and about 20 minutes on Task 1. It is a good idea to follow this advice but use your judgment too. You should not spend too much time on Task 1.

2. Keep Track of Your Word Count

Writing enough words in the IELTS Writing test can be tough. You might think having fewer words is easier, but it is not always true. The test gives you limited space: only 150 words for Task 1 and 250 for Task 2. 

It is crucial to write enough because if you write too little, your score might drop. But if you go a bit over the word count, it is okay. The test wants to see if you can explain your ideas clearly and briefly. You should focus on quality rather than quantity. 

You don’t need to count every single word. You can estimate by knowing how many words fit on one line. This helps you figure out roughly how many lines you will need to reach 150 or 250 words.

3. Don’t Use Informal Writing

This tip is important for both the Academic and General IELTS tests. Even though you can be less formal on the General test, it is still good to avoid some casual writing habits. 

For example, don’t use short forms like “can’t” or “don’t” – write out the full words instead. Also, try not to write in the first or second person – avoid saying “I,” “me,” or “you” unless the instructions say you can. It is important to keep these things in mind when preparing for your writing test.

4. Know the Marking Criteria

Assessing writing can be tricky because it depends on personal opinion. In IELTS, your writing is not marked as right or wrong. Instead, they look at four things:

  1. How well you answer the question (25%)
  2. How clear and smooth your writing is (25%)
  3. The variety of words you use and how you use them (25%)
  4. Your grammar skills (25%)

These are the main things they check when grading your writing.

5. Write in Your Own Words

You should not copy the question exactly as it is when you write your answer. If you need to use some of the questions in your answer, try to say it in your own words. It is important to practice paraphrasing before your test, whether it is an Academic or General one.

6. Answer The Question Well

Before you start writing, make sure you understand the question. It is easy to feel stressed when you are short on time, but taking a moment to organize your thoughts before you begin writing can help you stay focused and impress the reader.

7. Practice Thoroughly 

If you want to get better at writing, practice is key. A helpful tip for preparing for the IELTS writing test is to use practice test books. By doing lots of practice tests before the real exam, you can improve your skills. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I get an 8 in IELTS academic writing?

Here are some tips to get an 8 in IELTS academic writing:

1. Use different words and phrases to connect your ideas, but don’t use them too much. 
2. Instead of using simple words such as “and” or “but,” try using longer phrases that describe how something happens. 
3. When you are writing, try not to repeat the same words over and over again. Instead, use words such as “this,” “them,” or “the problem” to refer back to things you have already mentioned. 
4. Use punctuation like commas and periods to help people understand what you are saying. 
5. Your ideas should be in the right order, so it is easy for others to follow along with what you are saying.

2. Can I retake IELTS Writing only?

If you recently finished a full IELTS test on a computer and got your score from a valid test center, you can sign up for an IELTS One Skill Retake. You need to do this within 60 days of your original test date.

3. What is the format of IELTS academic writing?

You have two writing tasks to do, and you need to finish both of them. In the first task, you have to describe some information you see, like a graph or chart, in your own words. You should write about 150 words in 20 minutes. In the second task, you will be given something to talk about, like an opinion or a problem, and you need to discuss it.

4. How much time does it take to write an IELTS academic?

In the IELTS test, there are four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. You will listen for 30 minutes, read for 60 minutes, write for 60 minutes, and speak for 11-14 minutes.

5. How long is IELTS valid for?

When you take the IELTS test, your results are valid for two years. This means that universities and organizations will accept your IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) during this time.


When you are taking the IELTS Academic test, it is for people who want to go to college or pursue higher studies abroad. 

For the first IELTS Academic Writing task, you will describe and explain information from graphs or charts. For the second task, you will write a formal essay. 

When you are writing for the IELTS Academic test, you should use a formal style. Academic Writing is an important part of the IELTS exam. So, you should practice this section well to do well in your IELTS exam. 

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