Dinesh Pandiyan

Updated on 30-03-2023


IELTS Writing Preparation

IELTS Writing Preparation

IELTS is an English language proficiency test that is conducted to test your proficiency in the language before your admission to the college in English speaking countries. The test consists of four sections such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

The IELTS writing test has two types namely academic writing and General writing. Students who want to pursue their academics in English-speaking countries should take the academic writing test. The IELTS general training writing is for people who want to work or train for employment in English-speaking countries.

The IELTS writing preparation differs for both. The duration given for the writing section is one hour. The writing section consists of two parts and each part is validated with certain criteria. This blog explains the nuances of how to perform well in the writing section of the IELTS test. 

The IELTS writing section is not a bed of roses! There are several challenges you have to overcome during the writing section. It is one of the difficult parts of the four sections. One of the challenges you face is the time constraint.

Only 1 hour is given to complete both the writing tasks. During the IELTS writing preparation, you need to develop your time management skills. 

This blog will help you prepare for IELTS writing with useful tips from experts.

IELTS Writing Exam Pattern 

The IELTS writing test involves two writing tasks in an essay format with a given time of 1 hour. In these two writing tasks, the first one is report-based writing where you have to interpret some data given in infographics such as tables, diagrams, or graphs.

ielts writing exam pattern 

The task is to describe the data given in infographics with more than 150 words. The second task is to write an essay on a given topic. The essay you write on the given topic should have a minimum of 250 words and must have a proper conclusion.

IELTS Writing Exam Time and Duration 

The duration of the IELTS writing section is 1 hour. Since there are two writing tasks, you should segregate the time accordingly to complete the tasks on time. Most of the IELTS experts advise the students to complete task 1 in 20 minutes.

In these 20 minutes, you should be able to write more than 150 words and cross-check the essay. This helps you to edit the essay if there is any mistake. The remaining 40 minutes is to write the second task with more than 250 words.

It is because that the second part is considered to be the toughest task and also it holds the 2\3rd of the marks of the writing section. 

Total Marks for IELTS Writing Section 

The total band score for IELTS writing section is calculated from 0 to 9. Both the tasks consist of a band score from 0 to 9. The maximum score a person can score in both tasks is 9.0. So, the total marks you score are based on the criteria that are used to evaluate your answer. Some of the criterias include

  • task achievement, 
  • coherence and cohesiveness, 
  • use of the lexical resources, 
  • vocabulary and avoiding spelling mistakes, 
  • proper grammar, 
  • avoiding punctuation errors etc

IELTS writing section -- how it is scored 

The IELTS academic writing test is scored based on four sets of criterias. 

  1. The marks are evaluated based on Task achievement is one of the criteria followed, where the essay is assessed by how you provide the examiners with a detailed answer by including all the data and the topic given. 
  2. The second criterion is how coherent and cohesive your essay is. Writing the essay with linked words and adding an idea on the essay that anchors up the whole content will boost your score. 
  3. The third criterion is how you use the lexical resources by adding a decent amount of vocabulary and avoiding spelling mistakes. 
  4. Following proper grammar and avoiding punctuation errors throughout the essay is the last criterion. The rule you need to follow here is the Grammatical range and the accuracy of the essay. “⅔ of the marks from task 2 are taken and ⅓ of the marks from task 1 are taken and added. Your final writing marks are calculated in this format. “

For example,

If your score for,

Task Achievement is 7.0

Coherence and Cohesion 8.0

Lexical resource is 7.0

Grammatical Range and Accuracy is 8.0

In task 1, your score will be calculated like 7.0+8.0+7.0+8.0\4= 7.5

So your score for task 1 is 7.5

The weightage for task 2 is two times more than task 1. 

If you score 7.5 in task 1 and 8.0 in task 2, your total band score for the IELTS writing sections is  7.5 * (⅓) + 8.0 * (⅔) = 7.8

Top preparation tips for the IELTS writing section

top preparation tips for the ielts writing section

  1. Understand the task and give a detailed answer. Try to insert all the important information from a given chart, table, graph, etc. 
  2. There is no such thing like if you write more words you will be awarded more marks, so try to avoid writing too long essays.
  3. You should always write the essay in the way you want it to be read, do not complicate the answers. Keep it simple & clean. 
  4. While writing, stay on a single writing style and pattern and do not switch or jump to other writing styles
  5. Avoid spelling mistakes and punctuation errors, a spelling mistake on a punctuation error leads to a huge reduction of marks.
  6. The essay should hold up to the main idea and follow it throughout the essay.
  7. There are no right or wrong answers, the examiners want to understand your perspective towards the topic. So do not worry about the correctness of your answer. 
  8. Make sure you know all the IELTS instructions & rules before starting to write the exam.
  9. Attend a number of mock tests online. This will help you to get a clear idea of what are you going to write during the main exam
  10. Improve your grammar and vocabulary skills, make yourself strong in grammar. It helps you in writing a flawless essay.
  11. Most of the students make this common mistake where they are not aware of. That mistake is writing the singular and plural forms for the words. Before starting the exam make sure you take a glance at the words you are not familiar with.
  12. Provide a conclusion at the end of the essay by summarizing the important points.
  13. You can improve your writing skills and vocabulary by reading or watching content in the English language. Watching English news channels, movies, documentaries will keep you updated in both facts and language. You can also find a variety of writing styles by reading books.
  14. While writing task 2, you should start the essay with a proper introduction and end it with a conclusion by summarizing all the important points.
  15. Since there is more weightage for the second essay try to write it at first and move on to the second one. In this way, you feel secure about your writing speed.
  16. A student who is appearing for an IELTS academic test should have good time management skills in writing. So do not take more time for any particular task. 
  17. Refer to the common topics and data that are asked during the IELTS all these years. 
  18. You can find a lot of tips and guides on the websites of Kanan, IDP, and the British council. Refer them often during your practice session.
  19. The most recommended books for IELTS Writing are the official Cambridge guide to IELTS and Barron’s IELTS writing. These books are recommended by our own in-house language experts.
  20. Practice. You can surpass your IELTS writing section only if you prepare with a dedicated practice schedule.
  21. Presentation is important. The way you present your answers will make the examiners comfortable in evaluating your answers.

Best Books for IELTS Writing Section for Preparation 

Preparing for the IELTS writing section by referring to the proper books will help you a lot in achieving high bands. There are several books out there, especially for IELTS writing. Practicing through books opens up a wider perspective in writing styles. Some of the best books for both IELTS writing are given below 

1. IELTS Writing by Lin Lougheed 

The book named IELTS writing which is written by Lin Lougheed is considered one of the best books to prepare for IELTS. This book is published especially for IELTS writing.

This book focuses on both general IELTS writing and academic writing and was published by Barron's Educational Services on November 3, 2020.

Since this was published in a very recent time, it follows a contemporary way of learning. This book is available on online platforms like Flipkart and Infibeam.

2. Official IELTS Practice Materials 

This book is contributed by some of the major organizations in the industry of overseas education. The British Council, IDP, Cambridge University, and some more organizations have contributed their participation in this book.

This book aims to show the candidate a glimpse of what the test is like. This book is published by Klett Sprachen GmbH and is available on platforms like Flipkart and Infibeam. The paperback material of this book comes with a CD where you have a visual experience in learning. 

3. The Essential IELTS Writing Preparation Book 

This book is specially prepared for IELTS Writing. The book was written by the E.L.S IELTS team. This book gives you insights into how to write according to the examiner’s needs. The book provides more than 50+ tasks for both task 1 and task 2.

Also, it concentrates on the criteria that are required for IELTS writing. This book is available on online platforms such as Flipkart and Rediff books. 

best books for ielts writing section for preparation 

4. IELTS Advantage Writing Skills

The IELTS advantage writing skills book was written by Lewis Richards and Richard Brown and was published in 2017 by Delta publishing. This book is known for its step-by-step process of learning. The authors of this book are experienced in this field.

Most of the students recommend this book to get a good knowledge of IELTS writing. This book is available on Flipkart.

5.  A. IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Samples 

     B. IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 Samples 

 These are two separate books written by Rachel Mitchell. Rachel Mitchell is an IELTS expert and has been in the field of IELTS training for more than 10 years. These books make the student achieve a score of 8.0 when practicing through daily activities.

More than 35 sample tasks are available in this book. This book is available on Flipkart and Rediff books.

Best Online Resources for IELTS Writing Section Preparation 

1. How to prepare - IELTS  is one of the best online resources which is provided by the IELTS itself. It helps you to understand the test format and the website is always updated with information regarding IELTS.

2. Kanan Prep - Kanan prep is an online preparation tool for IELTS. Here you can develop your English language skills and this tool helps you to get a maximum score in a minimum time.

best online resources for ielts writing section preparation 

3. Road to IELTS - This website by British Council offers a lot of mock tests, sample videos, tutorials, etc. There are interactive exercises where you can track your progress.

4. Magoosh IELTS Writing - The Magoosh IELTS source offers Practice tests. It gives you an idea of how to score and also provides you with a study schedule. 

5. IELTS Mentor - IELTS mentor is one of the best online resources to practice IELTS academic writing. It has FAQs, samples to practice, and more. 

6. IELTS - IDP  - The IELTS IDP follows a similar way of guiding like the actual IELTS. They provide you with video tutorials and samples. They help you to practice the familiar questions that are asked till now. 

7. IELTS Liz - IELTS Liz provides online resources through both youtube and websites. Liz is an experienced English teacher and has created a lot of useful video content regarding IELTS.

IELTS Writing Tips - Three Days Before the Exam 

The nearing days of the actual exam days are crucial. Anything can happen and there are chances you could not even appear in the exam. Here are some tips you may need a few days before the exam:

  • Keep your mind clear, stay healthy and follow a sleep schedule. Enough sleep is a must.
  • Avoid trips and traveling, it may lead to confusion and high chances of missing your exam. 
  • Do not let your negative thoughts accumulate, always be positive about the results.
  • Never, ever jump into a different writing style or learning style a few days before the exam. It creates a lot of confusion at the last moment. 
  • Make sure you have all the necessary things, if not try to arrange it as early as possible. 
  • Avoid last-minute preparations, take enough rest on the previous day of the exam. Try to read something casual other than the topic related to the exam.
  • Go through all the mistakes you have made while practicing and try to rectify them. 
  • Go through all the sample questions and answers that are available on the internet

IELTS Writing Tips during the Test 

There are things you need to follow while writing the exam. It is an important time where you should give all your best to surpass the exam. Focus on the following things during the exam

  1. Drink Plenty of water - Keep yourself hydrated and carry a water bottle with you. Have good food before going to the exam hall
  2. Carry all the important things that are needed such as ID proofs and stationery.
  3. Time management is necessary. Try to complete writing task 1 in 20 minutes and writing task 2 with the rest of the time 
  4. Do not forget about the word count. Have an understanding of how many words you wrote by counting the number of lines. Remember, 250 words for task2, and 150 words for task 1. 
  5. Cross-check the answers you have written. You may be leaving vital information while writing. Check for spelling mistakes in the essay. 
  6. In both the essays, allot the last paragraph for the conclusion. The conclusion should be summarized with all the necessary points.
  7. Have a clear mind while writing the exam, do not let external things distract your mind.
  8. Try writing task2 first and task1 second because task 2 has a lot more weightage in marks than task 1. 
  9. Write in the style you have practiced. Do not switch your writing format which leads to confusion. 
  10. Make sure you apply all the strategies and criteria that you have learned while preparing for the IELTS writing section.

How to Practice for IELTS Writing Section 

To surpass the IELTS academic writing, you need to be dedicated while preparing for what you practice. First, you need to choose your source of learning. Books, online blogs, education consultants, and video tutorials are some of the best resources where you can learn from.

Practicing all the questions that are asked in the previous years of IELTS can help you get a view of what the test is like. You need to learn how to proofread your essays because proofreading is a necessary skill when it comes to writing.

Proofreading will refine your writing and make the essay look good to read. 

How Long Will It Take to Prepare for IELTS Writing? 

A student who is aiming for a decent mark in the IELTS writing should at least append 3-5 weeks for preparation. Also, the preparation time is up to the student’s performance. Some students are slow learners and they require a lot of time.

A student who feels that they are slow in learning should schedule their preparation time accordingly. You should know your learning speed to schedule your timing before the preparation.

Following the schedule and daily preparation will help you in surpassing the exam with good marks.

Difference between Academic Writing and General Writing 

                  Academic Writing                        General Writing
The academic IELTS writing is for people who want to pursue their academic careers in English speaking countries  The IELTS general is for people who want to work or train for employment should appear for general IELTS.
Writing task 1 asked for academic IELTS is to describe a chart, table, diagram, etc. Writing task 1 for general IELTS is to write a letter on a given situation.
Most of the time the questions on task 2 are complicated. Direct questions are asked in task 2
Academic writing for IELTS should be in a formal way  he General writing may be formal, semi-formal, and informal. You should write according to the way the examiners ask for
IELTS Writing Sample  

A sample for the writing task 1 in Academic IELTS writing 

1. The columns below are the data of the tickets that are sold for rock and pop shows that happened around the cities of India in 2020. Provide a report on the sales of the tickets with a comparison and a summary.  Write a minimum of 150 words.

Writing task 2 - sample 

The population of international students has increased in recent years in many countries like Canada, the UK, the USA, etc. Students are also interested in working in the same country after their graduation.

Why do you think that there is a growth in the number of international students? What do you think is the need to study abroad? Write a minimum of 250 words.

Prepare Through Practice Tests 

Practice tests are the best way to train yourself for IELTS Writing. Make sure that you learned all the basics that you need to write the practice test. After writing the first practice test, you will get a clear idea of what the exam is like.

You can find all the mistakes that you make while writing. You can be able to see your growth in writing when you prepare through practice tests. Several practice tests are available over the internet. Try to practice different sets of questions and methods to choose what suits you. 

Types of Writing Tasks  

The IELTS academic writing test has been divided into two tasks as task 1 and task 2. Task1 is to describe a chart, a table, and a diagram with at least 150 words. Task2 is to write an essay on the given topic. You should write a minimum of 250 words for task2.

In General IELTS writing task2 is the same as academic writing task2. Task 1 for general IELTS writing is to write a letter in the given format. You may be asked to write the letter in formal, semi-formal, informal ways. You should write a minimum of 150 words in general writing task 1.

Importance of Vocabulary and Grammar  

While practicing for IELTS writing, focusing on vocabulary and grammar is important. The examiners of IELTS evaluate your answers based on the vocabulary and grammar you have used. 25% of your writing marks are validated based on your vocabulary.

Basic English grammar is required in all the sections of the IELTS test.

You can develop your grammar and vocabulary by practicing with a dictionary and a thesaurus. The vocabulary and grammar that you practice not only helps for your exam but also helps you after you move to the country. 

IELTS Writing Preparation - Checklist 

To complete a process, you always need a checklist, with a checklist you are already halfway through the ending. These are some of the things that you need to be aware of when preparing for the exam. 

ielts writing preparation - checklist 

  1. Make sure you know how to write the essays applying the four basic criteria on which your marks are evaluated.
  2. Start the paragraph with a brief introduction
  3. Complete the task1 in 20 minutes and task2 in 40 minutes 
  4. Proofread the essays within the allocated time 
  5. Give a conclusion by summarizing all the necessary points.
  6. Practice all the formats of questions that are asked.
  7. Prepare through practice tests after you learned all the basic test requirements 
  8. Note down all the mistakes that you have made while writing and try to rectify them the next time.
  9. Structure your paragraph with a central idea for task2.
  10. Watch video tutorials and some English content to improve the language skill
  11. Practice with a dictionary and a thesaurus to develop your vocabulary and grammar.
  12. Be aware of the number of words you write. Do not write less than 150 words for task1 and 250 words for task2. 
  13. Do not deviate from the central idea. Try to maintain the logical flow in your writing
  14. Check if all the necessary points are covered in the essay.
  15. Provide a clear overview of the topic for both tasks.
  16. Give a firm opinion when explaining your perspective on the given situation.
  17. Try to use linking words for some of the sentences in the essay.
  18. Write task2 first and try to complete it in 40 minutes.
  19. Do not prolongate your content to increase the number of words. More words do not get you extra marks.
  20. Crosscheck the answers line by line. Rectify the mistakes within the time limit. 

FAQs about IELTS Writing Preparation 

1. How can I get an 8 in IELTS writing? 

Getting an 8 in the IELTS band score is not an easy task. It needs dedicated practice and daily preparation. You should understand the format in which the examiners evaluate the answers. Be good at vocabulary and grammar.

2. How can I start preparing for the IELTS writing preparation at home?

You can prepare for the IELTS writing through online resources like Kanan. Kanan offers an Online preparation tool for the IELTS. This tool helps you to understand the insights of the IELTS writing test. The Kanan IELTS experts comprehend the student’s mentality and guide them throughout the process.

3. How can I get a high score in IELTS writing? 

Scoring a high score in IELTS writing needs extra effort. You need to practice for 4-5 hours daily. Consulting IELTS experts can boost up your confidence and help you score high in the exam. The Kanan IELTS experts train the students in a way that they aim only for a higher score.

4. How can I get above 7 in IELTS writing? 

Try to identify the sections you are weak at. Keep practicing the parts where you are not able to write with a flow. Write according to the examiner’s needs by following the criteria used for evaluation.

5. How to prepare for IELTS writing in 7 days? 

The first thing you need to do is to understand the test format and the examiner’s need. In these 7 days, you need to dedicate yourself totally to prepare for the exam. Follow up on all the necessary things that are needed to surpass the writing exam. Refer to online resources such as Kanan, IDP, and British Council.

6. Why is IELTS writing difficult? 

The IELTS writing task is difficult because there are a lot of criteria that are used to evaluate. The examiners for IELTS writing are quite strict during the evaluation. Also, it is difficult to write two different formats of essays in 60 minutes. 

7. Which book is best for IELTS writing?  

Several books help you to score high in the IELTS writing section. Some of the recommended books are Barron’s IELTS writing, The essential IELTS writing preparation book.

8. Why should I choose your IELTS academic course? 

The IELTS academic course in Kanan provides excellent training for the students. We have professional staff with practical knowledge. The IELTS experts in Kanan have various styles of teaching. The Kanan experts take the best out of you and make you ace your exams.

9. Is this course suitable for IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training? 

The IELTS academic course differs from the general training. The tasks need a different approach in the writing style. The course is only suitable for the IELTS academic section only.


The IELTS writing section needs a lot of preparation. You need to be dedicated while preparing for the exam. The IELTS writing test needs to be prepared with a schedule daily. Developing your grammar and vocabulary is a must. Grammar and vocabulary are the important factors the examiners focus on.

Practicing through books, online resources, and video tutorials will help you write the exam very well. Consulting IELTS experts like Kanan, IDP, British Council can help you ace your exams. Go through all the IELTS writing samples with answers. Learn how to proofread your essay and rectify the mistakes.

Make sure you do not repeat the same mistakes. Appear for practice tests online, practice tests help you identify the mistakes that you make. IELTS writing needs good time management skills. You need to allocate the given time for two tasks. Task 1 needs 20 minutes and task2 needs 40 minutes.

In this time, you have to write, crosscheck, proofread and complete the essays. Improve your writing speed and make sure you cover all the necessary points while writing. Write according to the criteria in which the examiners evaluate the answers.

In conclusion, IELTS writing preparation requires a lot of practice and dedication. You can surpass the IELTS writing with a decent mark if you have prepared well with dedication. 


About Author Dinesh Pandiyan

Dinesh is a highly experienced content writer who specializes in language proficiency tests like IELTS, GRE, PTE, TOEFL, and study abroad. He provides valuable insights and tips to students on various modules of these tests, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. His articles are well-researched, informative, and engaging, offering practical guidance to students looking to succeed in their academic pursuits. Additionally, Dinesh has coordinated with IELTS trainers to prepare test preparation materials, guides, practice tests, and mock tests, and worked closely with counsellors for study abroad consultancy, providing guidance on choosing the right institution, preparing for interviews, and writing effective statements of purpose (SOP) and letters of recommendation (LOR). Students can benefit from Dinesh's comprehensive knowledge and experience by checking out his articles.

More Articles Post by Dinesh Pandiyan

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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