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IELTS General Writing

By M. N. Islam Sagar Categories: IELTS
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About Course

Find all the basic information you need to know about the IELTS General Writing test in one place.

Here’s what I cover on this page:

 Why choose General Training? Important facts Test format Skills assessed Sample questions & answers

1) Why choose General Training?

The General test is for people wanting to work in or emigrate to the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada or New Zealand. It is widely accepted for:

 Visa and employment applications Education at high-school level Non-academic training such as practical vocational courses

It is different to the IELTS Academic test which is required by universities and professional registration bodies.

2) Important facts

   Task 1 – Write a minimum of 150 words                  Time: 20 minute Task 2 – Write a minimum of 250 words                Time: 40 minute           Total Time – 60 minutes   

Task 2 contributes twice as many marks to your overall score as Task 1.

3) Test format

Task 1 – You are required to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation in relation to a specific circumstance.

The letter must be in one of the following styles as appropriate to the situation:

 Formal – to someone you don’t know. Informal – to a friend or close family member.

There are 7 common Task 1 letter topics:

  • An Apology
  • Letter of Complaint
  • A Request
  • Letter of Explanation
  • Letters of Application & Resignation
  • Letters to Make an Arrangement
  • An Invitation

Click the links for step-by-step lessons with sample questions and model answers.

Task 2 – You will be required to write an essay on a topic of general interest. Your essay will be a response to a specific point of view, problem or argument that will be stated in the question.

You may use a more personal style than would be required in the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.

There are 5 types of Task 2 essay:

 Opinion Essays Discussion Essays Problem Solution Essays Advantages & Disadvantages Essays Double Question Essays

Click the links for step-by-step lessons with sample questions and model answers.

4) Skills assessed

As with all elements of the IELTS exam, the IELTS General Writing test is marked according to four marking criteria.

These are:

 Task Achievement – appropriate response to the task Coherence & Cohesion  – the ability to present a well-structured essay Lexical Resource  – the ability to use a range of appropriate vocabulary and to use it correctly Grammatical Range & Accuracy  – the ability to use grammar correctly and to use a range of grammar forms

Each carries 25% of the marks.

The two parts of the IELTS General Writing test are designed to assess your ability in different skill areas. The assessment criteria for any specific question will depend on the type of task you are asked to complete, but here is a general overview.

Don’t worry if you feel slightly overwhelmed after reading it. The lessons below contain all the help and step-by-step guidance you need to write high scoring essays and letters.

Task 1 – Your letter will assess your ability to engage in personal correspondence and be assessed in relation to one or more of these skills:

  • Elicit and provide general factual information
  • Express needs, wants, likes and dislikes
  • Express opinions (e.g. views, complaints)

Task 2 – Your essay will be assessed in relation to one or more of the following:

 Outline a problem and present a solution Present and justify an opinion Evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument

5) Sample questions & answers

In addition to the sample questions and model answers in the lessons listed above, you will find many more in the IELTS General Writing lessons in the menus below.

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Course Content


  • Lesson 1
  • Quiz 1

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