IELTS Writing Task 2



Before launching into IELTS writing task 2, try our fun, quick quiz to see how much you know about the IELTS Writing test

Click on the links below for information on different aspects of writing task 2. I hope these will answer your questions but, if they haven’t, you can contact Total-IELTS via email. Just click on the email link below.


IELTS Writing Task 2: Sample Answers

The must-read page for band 8.0 sample answers of the common question types.

Learn the requirements for each task type with suggested structure.

Downloadable PDFs for each sample answer.


IELTS Writing Task 2: Grading

How your answer is graded according to the public band descriptors. Tips on how to understand the question.


IELTS Writing Task 2: Planning Your Answer

Why it’s essential to plan your answer and manage your time.

Strategies on how to plan with emphasis on how to structure (organize) your answer. 

IELTS Writing Task 2: Introduction

What to include and not include in your introduction.

How to paraphrase the statement and write a thesis statement which includes your position.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Body Paragraphs

How to structure your body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting details.

A step-by-step guide on what examiners are looking for.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Conclusion

The importance of a clear and specific conclusion.

Learn what to include and not include and what examiners are looking for.


  • Is it better to write my answer in capitals or lower case?

         Writing in capitals is certainly easier for the examiner to read and there is no IELTS regulation that forbids capitals. However, if you write in caps, it’s impossible to assess your punctuation and it takes considerably longer than writing in lower case.

  • Would I be penalized if I wrote over the word limit for task 2?

      There is no “penalty” for writing above the required word count. However, it’s unnecessary to do so and eats up your time. Aim for 250 – 270 words. What you should be concerned about it being under length because there are penalties in the Task response criteria.

  • Is it effective preparation to do lots of practice tests?

          Test practice is effective in that is familiarizes students with the format, timing and task types. Practice should be done along with tuition which includes tips, strategies, language development & tutor support.


  • Which organization gives better results, IDP or British Council?

        Neither, although it is a common IELTS myth. There’s no evidence to say which gives higher results. Examiners receive identical training; assessment and all results are analysed by Cambridge Assessment English.

  • Should I do writing task 2 before task 1?

       Some sources recommend that you do task 2 first mainly because they say that students often spend too much time on task 1 and this leaves less time for task 2 which, carries 67% of the overall score. However, it doesn’t really matter which task you do first as long as you follow the suggested timing. When you are preparing for the test, do some timed essays.


  • Should I use quotes and proverbs in my answer?

      Quotes and proverbs are examples of memorized language and will probably be deducted from your word count. Also, quotes and proverbs are often “lost in translation”. That is, they can be used out of context which will have a negative effect on your band score. It’s best to avoid the use of all quotes and proverbs. However, a lot of international schools ask for IELTS scores. Also, some countries like to see IELTS scores even for younger immigrants. 


  • Counting the words takes so much time. Is there any way I can do it quicker?

     The simple solution is to take the Computer Delivered IELTS test which has an automatic word count displayed on screen. If you chose the paper option, count the number of words for each paragraph and note the number on the answer sheet and then total the number when you finish.

  • My typing ability is very basic. Should I do the Computer Delivered test?

     Feedback from students who have taken the CD test is that only moderate and even (2 finger) typing ability is sufficient for the CD writing test. Practice answering on computer and make use of the test partners’ free CD test practice sites before deciding which version to take.