Paper format There are two Writing tasks to complete.
Timing 60 minutes
No. of questions 2
Task types In Task 1, test takers are asked to respond to a situation, for example, by writing a letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
In Task 2, test takers write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
Answering Answers must be written in full in the answer booklet. Notes or bullet points in whole or in part are not acceptable as answers. Test takers may write on the question paper but this cannot be taken from the test room and will not be seen by the examiner.

How it’s marked

Marking and assessment

Writing responses are assessed by certificated IELTS examiners. All IELTS examiners hold relevant teaching qualifications and are recruited as examiners by the test centres and approved by the British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia.

Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1.Scores are reported in whole and half bands. Detailed performance descriptors have been developed which describe written performance at the nine IELTS bands. They are available on the How IELTS is scored page. The descriptors apply to both the Academic and General Training versions and are based on the following criteria.

Task 1 responses are assessed on:

  • Task achievement
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy.

Task 2 responses are assessed on:

  • Task response
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy.