gratis learning logo

IELTS Writing General Format

The General Training writing module has 2 tasks. Task 1 is a letter writing task and task 2 is an essay writing task. Essay writing is similar to the academic writing task 2 and carries more weights than the letter writing task. It’s advisable to spend 20 minutes on letter writing tasks and remaining 40 minutes on essay writing task.
Total time duration60 minutes
Total no. of Questions2 Questions
Nature of the questions

In Task I, you will be required to write a letter based on the given situation and asked to describe, summarize or explain the situation in your own words.

In Task 2, you will be required to write an essay in regards to a point of view, argument or problem.

Writing skills

These include questions which test various aspects of your writing skills like Letter writing, Essay writing, Grammar, etc.

Ability to interpret the given situation, follow letter-writing conventions, organise and link the information accurately with correct usage of English

Ability to present ideas in proper order, organise and link information appropriately, justify argument with relevant examples

Detailed information about the question type and their purpose of assessment

Question SortPurpose of Assessment

 Task 1

In task 1, you will be presented with a situation and you will be needed to write a personal response of at least 150 words in formal, semi-formal or informal letter format in the provided answer booklet.

You are supposed to provide all the necessary details, give factual information, explain the situation, express needs, likes or dislikes,  make a request or recommendations so that the purpose of your letter is clear to the examiner.

You will be given everyday situations and you need to write in a style that is audience specific, i.e write a formal  or semi-formal letter to an office colleague and an informal letter to your peers.

Given time is 20 minutes and word limit is 150 words, answers with words less than that are penalised. There is no penalty for exceeding word limit, although the only drawback is waste of time which can prove bad for your overall test attempt.

Penalties are for:

Irrelevant answers, Incomplete answers, Copying answers from another source and off course writing less than 150 words.

This task assesses your English letter-writing skills, ability to use accurate and relevant language and information organisation skills.

 Task 2

In task 2, you will be required to write an essay of at least 250 words in a semi-formal format in the provided answer book.

The test instructions are provided to you which give general factual information, how to present a solution, justifying an opinion, evaluating evidence and ideas.

Topics given in the General writing task 2 are of general interest. It is to be noted that task 2 holds more weightage than task 1 so pay utmost attention for this task.

Carefully attempt each and every question under the time limit that is 40 minutes and without crossing the word limit which is no more than 250 words. There will be penalty for writing less than that, irrelevant answers, incomplete answers and copied content from other sources. So avoid all that at all cost!

Task type 2 assesses your ability of English writing knowledge about information organisation, writing style, writing basics, paragraph writing skills. It also tests your language usage skills and language coherence.

Assessment and Marking criteria

Your performance is assessed by British Council and IDP certificated IELTS examiners who are experienced trainers at reputed IELTS test centres and perform unbiased evaluation.

There is an independent assessment of both tasks and IELTS scores are assigned as bands, ranging from 0 to 9. you might get whole or half IELTS bands scores too.

Both task 1 and task 2 are marked based on the following criteria:

Assessment criteriaTask 1 Task 2
Task achievementTask achievement criteria evaluates whether you fulfill the requirements set in the questions given in task 1 with appropriate, relevant and accurate responses within the word limit of 150 words. Requirements are having understanding of the main idea and explaining them with releted examples.

Your answers should cover all the main points and should be supported by evidence and examples which could be taken from your experiences.

It will be instructed to write not less than 250 words as you will be penalised. Though there is no penalty for writing more, doing so will only give you trouble managing your time.

Coherence and CohesionCoherence means linking of ideas in a logical sequence and Cohesion is the appropriate use of cohesive aids such as, logical connectors, pronouns and conjunctions to establish clear and conceptual connecting links within the sentences.Coherence and Cohesion assesses the overall clarity and logical linking of ideas, information and theme through your response.
Lexical ResourceLexical resource refers to the range of vocabulary the test takers have implemented and its accuracy and relevancy of use in task 1.This determines your range of vocabulary and its accurate use while writing answers for task 2.
Grammatical Range and AccuracyThis assesses your accurate grammar usage and range as written in your responses to task 1.This refers to your accurate and appropriate usage of wide range of grammatical measures.

Key points to remember

  • Use appropriate and accurate grammar while writing answers.
  • Maintain content relevancy. Out of context answers are not marked favourably.
  • Pay attention to word limit. Both tasks has different word limits. Read instructions carefully. There is penalty for writing less words.
  • Use formal language for task 1 and semi-formal for task 2. you can use combination of both for task 2.
  • Make proper use of punctuation.

Improve your writing skills by taking Gratis Learning‘s IELTS General writing practice tests. We make accurate evaluation of your performance through our IELTS writing mock test sessions. For sure shot success in IELTS Writing, join Gratis Learning Institute and reap benefits from our efficiently structured coaching program.

Call Us

Whats App