The IELTS Academic Writing tests the student on two types of different pieces of writing which is to be done in a quite short period of time. The student is allowed one hour for completion of both the writing tasks in the Academic as well as the General Training version. In the Academic version, the first task is based on graphic or pictorial information which is to be described by the student in 150 words. The student can take twenty minutes for this task.
The second task is given more weightage and is more challenging. The student has to respond to an argument and give examples to support his points. This should be done in about forty minutes with at least 250 words. In the General Training version, the student has different types of tasks. The time allotted, however, is the same one hour. The first task is a letter to be written in 20 minutes with 150 words and the second task is an essay on a given topic with at least 250 words.
Time management is of the utmost importance in the IELTS Academic Writing. One third of the marks are allotted for task one and two-thirds for task two of the academic writing. There is no point in spending more time on one task at the expense of the other. You can also attempt any task first so long as you answer the task in the correct space provided for it in the answer sheet. There is no rough paper provided and hence the student must use his question sheet for making any notes or organizing. The spelling and grammar aspects should be correct as poor spelling will be penalized in the writing task.
When handling the IELTS Academic Writing, the student has to write coherently and use the correct vocabulary. The sentence structure must be correct and one can use extensive vocabulary provided you use it accurately and relevantly. It is very important that the student does some proof-reading after finishing the IELTS Academic writing tasks in order to correct spellings, punctuation and grammatical errors. You can lose marks for inaccuracy in these aspects.
For the student writing the IELTS Academic writing, the examiner wills assess whether the student is able to write in a way that is in conformity with academic institutional requirements in universities. However, in the General training writing, the assessment is more related to testing whether the candidate has language skills for basic survival requirements as they are planning to emigrate, work aboard or even study but not at university level.
In the task 2 of the IELTS Academic writing, the student must present an argument or compare and contrast different points of view. Sometimes, he may just be asked to give or justify an opinion or assess some evidence. The essay must always start with a proper introduction and end with a conclusion. Your conclusion must actually be a summary of the views or ideas presented in the essay. It should reinforce the final verdict, decision or statement. You can even reach an impartial verdict where you don’t take any one side of the argument and state that there is more than one single conclusion to draw from the given argument, as it has two sides. Words to be used in the conclusion could be – to sum up, overall, in the final analysis, in conclusion, to conclude, ultimately and so on.
For reinforcing your opinion, you can use words such as – I would argue that, I firmly believe that, it is generally accepted that, it seems to me that, I tend to think that, it is understood that and so on. It is also important to put forward your views without being too dogmatic about it.