In the General Training version of IELTS, Task 1 requires you write a letter. In the Academic version of IELTS, Task 1 requires you to write a report on a diagram. In both versions of the test, Task 2 is the same: a discursive essay.
The assessment criteria used by IELTS examiners to assess the writing are the same for both tests and are applied using the same standards. There are some differences in the kinds of texts that candidates need to write for the two Modules, especially for Task 1. However, the band descriptors used for assessment take the differences in Task 1 output into account. Writing these different texts requires the ability to use different kinds of language, styles and writing conventions.
Yes, candidates are always asked to write a letter which may need to be semi-formal or formal in tone in response to a given problem or situation. Candidates will be asked to include information relating to three bullet points in the question. Candidate answers should be at least 150 words in length for this task.
In Task 2, candidates are asked to discuss a topic in response to a statement which presents a particular point of view, argument or issue. The task requires candidates to write a discursive piece of writing in which the question will typically ask them to discuss factual information, discuss a problem and present solutions, evaluate ideas or justify opinions. Candidate answers for Task 2 should be at least 250 words in length.
In IELTS Writing, there is no maximum number of words. However, you will not get a higher score if you write more words than required. For that reason, you should stop writing when you have reached the limit AND written a satisfactory conclusion.
The topics of the questions will be of general interest, and no specialist knowledge is required. For example, topics can include travel, accommodation, current affairs, shops and services, health and welfare, health and safety, recreation, social and physical environment.
The differences between the two tasks mean that candidates need to produce different kinds of writing in their two answers. Answers to Task 1 require candidates to respond to an imaginary situation with writing that is in an appropriate style and follows the conventions of letter writing in English. Answers to Task 2 require candidates to present their own opinions in the form of discursive writing.
These are the assessment criteria used: Task 1: Task Achievement; Coherence and Cohesion; Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy Task 2: Task Response; Coherence and Cohesion; Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy.
The IELTS writing scripts are assessed by IELTS examiners. All IELTS examiners are fully trained in how to assess IELTS writing and speaking performances. Examiners’ training is kept up to date by regular standardization sessions and by a process called ‘certification’. This requires the examiners to demonstrate that throughout their examining they continue to adhere to the required assessment procedures and standards.
You can give yourself valuable feedback on your progress by using the following: 1) Writing Band Descriptors (Public Version) (PDF) 2) Sample Scripts (PDF) All of this information will help you to assess whether you are performing.
No, marks are not deducted for handwriting specifically but obviously an illegible script cannot be marked. Clear handwriting by candidates allows their message to be more easily understood by the examiner. Clear handwriting also helps students to communicate their ideas more effectively, so you should encourage your students to write as clearly as possible.