What is the IELTS Writing Test? The IELTS writing test is a 60 minute test where you have to complete two writing tasks. The first task is descriptive. You will be given some information to describe. The second task is discursive. You will be asked a question you will have to discuss in an essay.
The aim of the writing test is to examine how well you can organise and express your ideas in response to a specific question.
How long does the test take? The test lasts for 60 minutes. It is generally advised that you spend 20 minutes on the first task and 40 minutes on the second task. However, it’s important to remember that you need to spend some time planning your answers and should leave some time at the end to check your writing for small language mistakes.
How much do I have to write? In Task 1 you are expected to write a minimum of 150 words. You will lose marks if your answer is shorter than this. However, that does not mean that a longer answer is automatically a better answer. You should aim to write between 150-200 words.
In Task 2 you are expected to write a minimum of 250 words. Again, you will lose marks if your answer is shorter than this. You should aim to write between 250-300 words. However, don’t waste too much time counting your words carefully. Check a few sentences to see how many words you usually write per line and then count the number of lines. If you are safely over the word limit you don’t need to do an exact word count. If you think you may be close to the word count, add some more information to your answer.