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IELTS Academic Writing Task 2

If you are prepared, there is no reason to fear writing Task 2 of the IELTS academic exam. The writing task is split into 2 parts and Task 2 is worth 66%. So, you should allocate 40 minutes to writing it. It must contain at least 250 words so waste no time, concentrate and focus on the task at hand.

Mark allocation

The marks are allocated as follows;

  • 25% for task response
  • 25% for vocabulary
  • 25% for grammar
  • 25% for coherence and cohesion.

It goes without saying, that to do well in the test you should avoid making silly grammatical errors and you must ensure that you demonstrate your vocabulary and command of the English language. Task 2 of the IELTS exam is really all about method.

The questions

The questions are pretty general and could cover a wide range of topics. This is a formal essay and will take the form of discussions, solutions to problems or opinions. You can’t prepare the essay ahead of time, but you can prepare for the exam by using a system in the exam room and by practicing ahead of the exam.

Make sure that you read and understand the question and that you answer it in its entirety. Identify what type of question it is and then underline the keywords and instructions. Keep referring back to the question.

The essay structure

Structure your essay well. Ensure that each idea and opinion is expressed in its own paragraph. There are no right or wrong answers in the IELTS exam so don’t be afraid to air your views. You can argue from any viewpoint.

It is also a good idea to examine the opposing point of view. Remember that this is test of your vocabulary and your ability to write fluently in English. It is not a test of your opinion or your world knowledge.

A good essay has a clear introduction which should give the examiner an idea of what the rest of the essay is about. Make sure to paraphrase the question in the introduction. It is a good way to show off your vocabulary.

The essay must also have a clear conclusion which should summarise the text and connect back to the question.


Before the exam, practice and get as much feedback as you can. Learn from your mistakes and you’re sure to write a winning essay.

Here are some useful tutorials to help you prepare for IELTS Academic Tas 2:

Here are some sample essays and Questions to practice for your exam: