The main IELTS writing pages

IELTS essays

IELTS essay

There’s lots of IELTS essays help here including

practice materials and ideas
sample essays
the parts of an essay
understanding questions
IELTS essay vocabulary
exam skills

Get help with IELTS essays

Academic task 1 writing

leisue activities IELTS pie chart

This is the part of the site I’m working on now. You’ll find

• Practice materials
• Sample reports
• General Skills
• Graphs
• Bar charts
• Pie charts

Get help with task 1

IELTS letters

IELTS letter

Advice on how to write better IELTS letters including:

addressing the question
sample letter lessons
quick tips for better IELTS letters
useful vocabulary
video guide

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Find out about how IELTS writing works

What you need to write in Academic IELTS

A report/summary about a chart, graph or other diagram – this must be at least 150 words long


An essay on a general subject that is at least 250 words long

What you need to write in General Training IELTS

A letter – that is more or less formal and is at least 150 words


An essay – on a general topic and is at least 250 words

How long the writing test lasts

One hour in total


Suggested 40 minutes for the essay and 20 minutes for the task 1 letter or report

How the writing is scored

The writing is graded by a trained examiner according to 4 fixed set of criteria – all of which count equally


  • Task achievement
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Coherence and cohesion

Writing skills

You improve by learning better skills in

  • editing
  • coherence
  • cohesion
  • paragraphing
  • spelling
  • focus

Learn better writing skills

Learn how IELTS writing is scored

IELTS writing is scored according to a fixed set of criteria. The smart candidate learns what these are. They include

  • Task achievement
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Coherence and cohesion

You can read about how this works in detail here

IELTS writing scores explained

In a hurry? Or just stuck? Try these writing tips

The basic writing tips: sometimes it’s easy to miss something obvious. Start here

More advanced writing tips: if you’re aiming higher, these could help with that band score 8.0

Take a lucky dip on some of my more popular IELTS writing lessons

A model pie chart report – step by step

This lesson gives you a step-by-step approach to dealing with pie charts in task 1. I talk you through how to identify the main points, select the supporting details and then structure your report. I then show you two model answers: one with standard vocabulary and...

Choosing the right details in a bar chart

This lesson is designed to help you think about how part 1 IELTS writing works. The idea is that many of the problems with task 1 writing are caused by the thinking part – analysing the data. That matters because the goal in task 1 is not just to describe the...

Pie charts – a quick start guide

This quick lesson is intended to guide you through the basics of describing a pie chart in IELTS. The idea is show you some of the problems pie charts present and suggest some of the language you need to describe them. Note  that this is an introductory lesson only...

Two pie charts and a line graph – farming in the UK

This lesson gives you a sample task one report when you need to describe 3 different charts/graphs. This may look tough, but the principle is the same – organise your writing by selecting and reporting the main features in paragraphs. If you can do that, the writing...

The Olympics medal table

This lesson looks at possibly the hardest of the academic task one diagrams – the table. I have taken the Olympics medal table – a difficult table to describe because it contains so much data. If you can accurately describe this table, then IELTS tasks should be...

IELTS pie charts exercise – range of vocabulary

This lesson gives you a model IELTS pie chart answer. But what is really about the language you need for task one academic writing. My answer may surprise you. It’s SIMPLE language used well – that means CLEARLY. Another key word (one that I repeat a lot below)...

Task one numbers exercise – transport

Sometimes it is good to test yourself a little. Here you will find a task one numbers exercise and an exercise to test you on your transport vocabulary. The idea is that these should be tests that teach – so you will find extensive notes to the answers as you do the...

A strategy for planning task 1

This lesson comes in three halves!! In the first half, I try and persuade you to spend time in planning task 1 answers. This is where many task 1 answers go wrong. I then talk you through one possible strategy for planning an answer. Then I show you a sample...

Academic Task 1 writing – migration to Australia

This lesson is really about thinking how to organise your task 1 answer – something that is often a problem. I suggest some basic principles that may help you with organisation. To show you how this can work, I also show you a sample answer using these principles. A...