IELTS writing guide

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

Get help with letters

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

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

Writing skills

You improve by learning better skills in

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

Learn better writing skills

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

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

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

Essay conclusions

Golden rules make sure you answer the questioneither summarise or restate your positiondo not use new informationaim for 2/3 sentences Ideas Make sure you answer the question as it is asked. For example, if the question asks you “to what extent”, make sure your...

Crime and law

Essay questions Without capital punishment (the death penalty) our lives are less secure and crimes of violent increase. Capital punishment is essential to control violence in society. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (Cambridge IELTS 2) Tobacco and alcohol...

IELTS museums essay

Sponsored links In this lesson you will find a sample IELTS essay on museumsa vocabulary exercise to help you write the essay The sample essay Should museums and art galleries be free of charge for the general public, or should a charge, even a voluntary charge, be...

Language and culture

Sample essay questions Language and Culture Many historic buildings are being destroyed or replaced. What are the reasons for this? What should be done to preserve these buildings?  ( complete lesson with essay to download, help with essay vocabulary and 3 exercises...


Essay questions Recent research shows that the consumption of junk food is a major factor in poor diet and this is detrimental to health. Some people believe that better health education is the answer to this problem but others disagree. What is your opinion? – sample...

Environment and housing

Essay questions The best way to solve the world’s environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (China writing) sample essay with vocabulary exercises and download Some people prefer to live in a house, while others...


Essay questions Today’s food travels thousands of miles before it reaches customers.  Why is this?  Is this a positive or negative trend? Lesson on academic language with a download of the essay and an exercise to help you write it yourself. One of the major problems...


Business and finance It some countries people pay different rates of tax depending on their salary, in other countries everyone pays the same rate. Which do you believe is the best system? Many people judge success solely by money and material possessions. However,...


Questions Subjects such as Art, Sport and Music are being dropped from the school curriculum for subjects such as Information Technology. Many people children suffer as a result of these changes. To what extent would you support or reject the idea of moving these...

Science and technology

Essay questions Television has had a significant influence on the culture of many societies. To what extent would you say that television has positively or negatively affected the cultural development of your society? (see my sample essay) When a country develops its...