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IELTS Tips And Tricks For Writing: IELTS Tips For Writing

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

ielts writing tips and tricks

Every year, many students appear for the IELTS exam to pursue a successful career in the USA and other English-speaking countries. Even after practicing rigorously, aspirants consider IELTS writing as their toughest hurdle. But if you’re capable of expressing yourself quite well and have adequate knowledge of vocabularygrammar, and spelling, you can easily accomplish the writing task within the stipulated time. Let’s look at some effective IELTS writing tips that will help you slay the exam and pass with flying colors.

What is the IELTS Writing Test?

The IELTS writing task is different for academic and general training. Topics for the IELTS academic writing test are ideally designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students. On the other hand, general training tasks consist of excerpts on general topics (books, magazines, notices, company handbooks) that you regularly need to communicate in an English-speaking environment. The time duration for the writing tasks is 60 minutes for both academic and general.

Recommended Read: IELTS Academic vs General

IELTS Academic Writing

Task 1: Test takers will be provided with a graph, table, chart, or diagram and will be asked to write a summary or report in your style.

Task 2: In this task, students need to write an essay to answer a question, argument, point of view, or problem. To the final writing score, task 2 contributes twice as compared to task 1.

It is recommended that candidates should write both the tasks in an academic, semi-formal or serious style.

IELTS General Training

Task 1: You either need to write a letter (in personal, formal, or semi-formal style) to request information from someone or need to explain a certain situation.

Task 2: You need to write an essay in response to a problem, argument, or question. The style is less formal as compared to the academic writing task 2.

IELTS Writing Time Management Tips 

The IELTS Writing section tests a candidate's ability to respond to the given task with coherence, grammatical accuracy, and flair for language. The writing section encompasses IELTS Writing Task 1 and IELTS Writing Task 2. Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete both tasks.

In task 1, candidates need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes, and in task 2, candidates need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes. 

Here’s a table that gives an overview of time distribution in the IELTS writing section:

Things to do

Task 1- 20 minutes

Task 2- 40 minutes

Read the question carefully

2 minutes

2 minutes


3 minutes

Around 5 minutes 

First draft

10 minutes

23 minutes 


2 minutes

5 minutes

Proofread & finalize

3 minutes

5 minutes

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ielts sample essays

IELTS Tips And Tricks For Writing

Before appearing for the test, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned IELTS writing tips and tricks to score well in the writing section: 

  • Get accustomed to the essay writing structure: Essay writing is an integral part of your IELTS exam. You should have a good grasp of the structure of the essay. Think clearly and organize your essay. Use paragraphs for your answer. It will not only show the examiner how well you can organize your points but also make your write-ups more compelling. Don’t overlook the structure of the IELTS essay, including the introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Practice test topics: You need to practice meticulously to enhance your confidence during the exam.  The British Council website and many other sites offer free tests for aspirants. Take advantage of these tests and use different practice questions. Try to finish your writing within the stipulated time and word limit. The more you practice, the more you will be prepared.
  • Construct grammatically correct sentences: Most test-takers often fail to construct grammatically correct sentences in the exam. In the IELTS exam, you should write grammatically correct sentences, as it makes a big difference in writing and speaking. After seeing your grammatically correct sentences, your examiner will consider you as a candidate who has adequate knowledge of grammar and connective words. Don’t get confused with singular and plural nouns. If the question is in the plural form, your answer should only be in the plural form. 
  • Take care of your vocabulary: Avoid redundancy of words and use proper vocabulary to impress the examiner. Some aspirants like to use high-level vocabulary and write prolonged sentences to show their command on the English language. You can do this if you are proficient and have a good knowledge of the English language.
  • Brainstorm: Candidates must jot down the ideas and prepare a mental map of an essay soon after completing the task. It is vital to brainstorm ideas and draft them as soon as possible. It provides clarity while writing.
  • Check your word count: Most test-takers need to finish task 1 within 150 words and task 2 within 250 words. If aspirants can’t complete the tasks within the stipulated word limit, they will be penalized. Test-takers taking computer-based writing tests may get an idea about the word limit. But for those who are going for paper-based tests, it would be an uphill task for them to keep a check on the word limit alongside accomplishing the task. Thus, you need to practice IELTS sample tests thoroughly to get an idea about the prescribed word limit.
  • Keep it formal while writing: Instead of writing in a casual tone, you should write it in a formal style. The experts also suggest that if you want to obtain a higher band score (8 and above), you should adopt the formal style of writing. Writing an academic essay is different from writing a letter to a friend. Thus, you should be careful while choosing your writing style for the exam.
  • No irrelevant answer: For the IELTS writing test, you will be judged on your quality instead of quantity. So, always try to give the best and clean answer rather than delivering the longest one.
  •  Learn to manage your time: Time management plays a critical role in your IELTS writing exam. An hour is not a long time for finishing two tasks. You need to practice thoroughly to check how much time it takes for you to finish the two tasks. The more you practice, you will learn about time management. Thus, during the exam, you will be less pressured by the time limit.
  • Ensure your writings are readable: Always use simple, pithy, and clear writing to cater to the interest of your examiner. If your write-ups are flooded with crowded paragraphs, your examiners might feel confused and disinterested.
  • Ensure you have answered all questions: Check whether you have untouched any questions after the completion of your writing. Ensure that you have answered all the questions on time so that you don’t lose marks on the test.
  • Spellings: Candidates must be sure about the spellings they use. Standard American, British and Australian spellings are all acceptable in IELTS.

These are some essential IELTS writing tips that will help you to secure good marks in the IELTS writing exam.

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Read More:

IELTS EligibilityIELTS RegistrationIELTS Syllabus
Academic IELTSIELTS Band ScoreIELTS Writing Task 1
IELTS Writing Task 2IELTS Slot BookingIELTS Band Score Chart


Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to improve writing in IELTS?

Here are some writing tips for IELTS: 

Use time wisely: Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete the writing section. It is recommended that they must not spend more than 20 minutes on task one and 40 minutes on task two. 

Check the number of words: Candidates will have to write a minimum of 150 words on task one and 250 words on task two. Candidates will lose marks if they write anything less. 

Organize ideas logically: Candidates must spend at least five minutes understanding the question, brainstorming ideas, and selecting the information they would write. 

Follow the style: Each task requires an appropriate style, determining the grammatical structures.

How can I get an 8-band score in IELTS writing?

In the writing section of IELTS, candidates need to answer Task 1 and Task 2. To score an 8-band score in IELTS writing, test takers must use flawless grammar, correct punctuation, good vocabulary, good connectors, and collocations.

How to prepare for the writing section as a beginner?

As a beginner, here are some writing tips that will help test-takers become better writers: enrich vocabulary by reading, practice as much as possible, research, and write regularly.

What is the IELTS writing section?

IELTS writing section tests how a candidate can organize the ideas and use the grammar and vocabulary accurately while writing the test. The writing section comprises IELTS Writing Task 1 and IELTS Writing Task 2.

How to write an Academic Task 1 Essay?

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic requires a test taker to write at least 150 words in response to a graph, table, or chart. Candidates are given 20 minutes to complete the task. The strategy for writing Academic Writing Task 1 is to understand the marking criteria, paraphrase the question, write an overview, support the main features while writing the paragraph, and review your work.

How to write an IELTS letter?

The test takers appearing for IELTS General Training will have to write a formal letter in task 1 of the IELTS writing test. Firstly, candidates must decide if they have been asked to write a formal or informal letter. The test takers are presented with a situation and are required to write a response in the form of an informal, semi-formal, or formal letter of at least 150 words.

How to write a Task 2 Essay?

IELTS Writing Task 2 is the second part of the writing test. In this section, a candidate is presented with a point of view, argument, or problem and asked to write an essay in response. The essay should be in a formal style and at least 250 words in length. Candidates must aim to complete the essay in under 40 minutes.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.