IELTS Writing Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 09:03

Ready to uncover your writing skills with IELTS? It's an exciting journey!


The IELTS Writing test is a 60-minute adventure that tests your writing, critical thinking, and logical reasoning skills! 


On this page, you will find top-notch resources to prepare for IELTS writing, including tips, strategies, and the best IELTS Writing practice tests! 

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1. Task 1- Academic

Take a look at the chart below and perform the task as outlined: This graph shows the proportion of four materials recycled from 1982 to 2010 in a particular country.


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2. Task 1- General Training

Question: You moved to a new country and want to write a letter to your former colleague.

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3. IELTS Writing Tips and Tricks

Here are some IELTS academic writing tips to ace your task 1:

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IELTS Writing Practice Test: Task 1 (Academic)

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Take a look at the chart below and perform the task as outlined:


This graph shows the proportion of four materials recycled from 1982 to 2010 in a particular country.


Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features making comparisons where relevant.



How to answer?

  • Try to complete Task 1 in 20 minutes – saving 40 minutes for Task 2.
  • Write at least 150 words summarising some visual information such as the above graph.
  • You should write in a formal style suited to an academic environment.


Sample Answer

Here is a Band 8 IELTS Writing sample:


The line graph provides insights into the recycling percentages of four materials – paper & cardboard, glass containers, aluminium cans, and plastics – in an unspecified country from 1982 to 2010. Here's the lowdown:


In the grand scheme of things, the overall recycling rate increased over this time compared to 1982. Specifically, aluminium cans and plastics steadily climbed, while paper & cardboard, and glass containers experienced ups and downs until 1994.


The percentage of recycled aluminium cans went from a mere 5% in 1983 to a solid 45% in 2010. Plastic recycling also made notable progress, jumping from less than 5% to 9% by 2010.


In contrast, the recycling rate for glass containers initially took a 10% dip within eight years. However, from 1990 onward, it steadily recovered, reaching an impressive 60% in 2010. Paper & cardboard recycling initially had its share of fluctuations but hit its peak at 80% in 1994, eventually settling at 70% in 2010.

Despite the fluctuations along the way, the general trend for paper, cardboard, and glass container recycling increased. Paper and cardboard were the most recycled materials during this period, with plastic lagging as the least recycled item.


Note: There are two tasks for the Academic Writing test. Click on the PDFs below.

IELTS Writing Practice Test: Task 1 (General Training)

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You moved to a new country and want to write a letter to your former colleague.


In your letter, You should:
  • Tell them where did you go and what you are doing there (job)
  • Describe your feelings
  • Invite your friend to come


How to answer?

  • Write at least 150 words.
  • Include all three bullet points.
  • Divide your letter into paragraphs.
  • Read model letters, but don’t memorise them.
  • Understand the scoring criteria.


Sample Answer

Dear John,


It's been a while since we caught up, so I'm writing to update you on my life.


After completing my education in 2018, I decided to pursue a new course in Canada. In 2019, I obtained my VISA and moved to Victoria, British Columbia, to study business marketing at ROYAL ROADS University.


Studying in Canada has always been a dream of mine since high school, so I'm thrilled to be here and proud of myself for pursuing this goal. I'm genuinely happy with the decision.


I would like to extend an invitation for you to come visit me for some time. I live in a spacious two-bedroom house, and you're welcome to stay with me. I'm confident you'll enjoy your time here.


Victoria has fantastic weather, especially in spring and summer, with daytime temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees. If you decide to plan a visit, I recommend coming during this season. It's a great time for outdoor activities like walking, camping, and fishing.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,



Note: There are two tasks for the General Training Writing test. Click here to get more samples.

IELTS Writing Tips and Tricks

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Here are some IELTS Writing tips for both the Academic and General Training modules:


IELTS Writing Tips for Academic Task 1

  • Understand the Question: Carefully read the task and understand what kind of visual data (e.g., graphs, charts, tables, or diagrams) you are given. Note the key trends and information presented.
  • Introduction: Begin with a concise introductory sentence paraphrasing the information in the graph or chart. Mention the type of data, the source, and the time frame.
  • Key Features: Identify and present the data's main trends, significant differences, and key points. Use a variety of descriptive vocabulary to express this information.
  • Data Comparison: If multiple charts or graphs are provided, compare and contrast them effectively. Identify relationships, similarities, and differences between the data sets.
  • Use Data Labels: Reference specific data points in the graph or chart. This makes your analysis more concrete and demonstrates your ability to interpret the information accurately.
  • Use a Range of Vocabulary: To describe data, employ a wide range of vocabulary and sentence structures. Avoid repetition and use synonyms effectively.
  • Time Management: Allocate about 20 minutes to this task as you need sufficient time for Task 2. Don't spend too long on this part.
  • Word Count: Remember to stick to the word limit. You will lose marks if you write less than 150 words in Task 1.
  • Don’t write in bullets: Don't use bullets in your answers; always write them in paragraph format. Structure your ideas into different small paragraphs. This will show the examiner how well you can organise your thoughts.


IELTS Writing Tips for General Training Task 1

  • Know the Type: Understand that Task 1 in the General Training module typically involves writing a letter. Determine whether it's a formal, semi-formal, or informal letter.
  • Address the Purpose: Read the task carefully to understand the letter's purpose (e.g., making an inquiry, complaint, request, or giving information).
  • Address the Recipient: Know your audience (e.g., a friend, a colleague, a supervisor) and use an appropriate tone and style. In formal letters, use titles and full names.
  • Plan Your Letter: Before you start writing, make a brief outline. This will help you organise your thoughts and cover all the necessary points.
  • Greeting and Closing: Use an appropriate greeting and closing based on the formality of the letter. For example, "Dear Sir/Madam" should be in a formal letter or "Dear [Name]" should be in an informal one.
  • Structure Your Letter: Follow a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each paragraph should have a specific purpose.
  • Grammar and Vocabulary: Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Use a range of language appropriate to the task.
  • Word Count: Ensure your letter meets the word count requirement (150 words minimum for Task 1 in the General Training module).
  • Don’t write in bullets: Don't use bullets in your answers; always write them in paragraph format. Structure your ideas into different small paragraphs. This will show the examiner how well you can organise your thoughts.


IELTS Writing Tips for Academic and General Training Task 2


Now, if you want to nail IELTS Writing Task 2, you're in the right place.


Here are some IELTS writing task 2 tips to make sure you ace it:

  • Stick to the Word Limit: Your essay should be around 250 words. Don't go over or fall short. They might penalise you if you do.
  • Manage Your Time: Try to finish your essay in about 40 minutes. After you're done, give it a quick scan for mistakes.
  • Craft a Catchy Introduction: Your intro should be short but grab the examiner's attention. Make sure it tells them what your essay's all about.
  • Conclusion is Important: Your closing words matter, so choose them wisely.
  • Build Your Vocabulary: You don't need to learn every word in the dictionary. If you stumble on a tricky word, look at the words and sentences around it.
  • Understand the Question: The question itself often holds the key to your answer. So, get what it's asking.
  • Analyse and Plan: Spend about five minutes thinking about the question and planning your response.
  • The detail in Paragraphs: Your main paragraphs should explain things thoroughly. State your main points, summarise them with examples, and share some experiences.
  • Answer Every Part: Read the question carefully. Sometimes, there are multiple parts to it. Make sure you answer all of them to score big.
  • Use Connectors: These little words and phrases help organise your ideas from start to finish. Keep things in order.
  • Paragraph Organisation: Short and snappy paragraphs work best. Each one should have a clear idea and topic.
  • Expand Your Vocabulary: A rich vocabulary is important. Choose your words carefully.
  • Stick to the Formal Style: Task 2 is a formal essay, so keep it that way. Use a formal tone and structure. Try the passive voice for that formal touch.
  • Grammar Matters: Keep your essay grammatically correct. Watch out for both the big and small grammar errors, and apply the rules correctly.



Both in the Academic and General Training modules, practice is key to improving your writing skills. Practice with various types of data and letter prompts to be well-prepared for the exam.

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Q: What are the two types of IELTS Writing practice tests?

A: You'll encounter two primary types of IELTS Writing tests. If you're in the Academic module:

  • Task 1 will involve summarising and describing visual data, such as charts and graphs
  • Task 2 will require you to write an essay.


For those taking the General Training module:

  • Task 1 is about composing a letter
  • Task 2 involves writing an essay
Q: What is the word count for IELTS Writing tasks?

A: Remember to meet the minimum word count requirements to ace your tasks. Task 1 should be at least 150 words, while Task 2 needs a minimum of 250 words. Staying within these word limits is essential to avoid any score deductions.

Q: Can you use a pen or pencil for the IELTS Writing practice test?

A: When it comes to the IELTS Writing practice test, it's important to note that using a pencil is the prescribed choice. This requirement is necessary for your written responses to be scanned accurately for assessment purposes. Pencils allow for clear and scannable markings on the answer sheets, ensuring that your writing is processed efficiently and your efforts are fairly evaluated.

Q: Are there any specific writing formats for the IELTS Writing practice test?

A: Yes, there are some specific writing formats for the IELTS Writing practice test that you should follow. Task 1, particularly in the Academic module, might require you to write a report based on visual data, such as charts or graphs. The General Training module, on the other hand, will have you composing a letter in Task 1. Task 2 across both modules typically involves writing an essay in response to a given question or topic.

Q: How do you manage your time effectively in the IELTS Writing practice test?

A: Effective time management is key to success in the IELTS Writing practice test. Aim to allocate around 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. Practising under timed conditions is essential to develop your ability to complete tasks within the allotted time frame. You learn effective time management by taking IELTS Writing Practice tests as a part of your preparation.

Q: Can you erase or cross out mistakes in the IELTS Writing practice test?

A: Yes, you can make corrections by neatly crossing out incorrect words or phrases and then rewriting the correct information. This practice helps maintain clarity and ensures that the examiner can understand your intended meaning.

Q: What is the best way to prepare for the IELTS Writing practice test?

A: Effective preparation entails regular practice with writing tasks, expanding your vocabulary, and gaining familiarity with common question types. You can also benefit from studying sample essays and receiving feedback from experienced IELTS tutors. It's crucial to review model answers and understand the assessment criteria for each task. You can refer to the IELTS Writing Practice tests for reference. 


Q: Can you use bullet points or lists in the IELTS Writing practice test?

A: It's advisable not to use bullet points or lists in the IELTS Writing practice test. Your responses should be written in paragraph form for Task 2 essays, and Task 1 reports or letters should feature clear, well-structured paragraphs. This format allows for a more organised presentation of your ideas.

Q: What is the role of the IELTS examiner in assessing your writing?

A: Examiners assess your writing based on specific criteria, including task achievement (how well you address the question prompt), coherence and cohesion (how effectively your ideas flow and connect), vocabulary (evaluating both range and accuracy), and grammar (assessing the correct usage of language). The focus is on how well you express your ideas and fulfil the task requirements; personal opinions are not considered during the assessment. Understanding these assessment criteria is essential for achieving a high score on the IELTS Writing test.

Q: Can you write in all capital letters?

A: Writing in all capital letters, while acceptable, is generally advised against, as using a combination of upper and lower-case letters enhances clarity and readability. However, it's important to emphasise that using all capital letters won't negatively affect your score if your writing remains legible and coherent. Examiners are primarily concerned with understanding your responses and assessing your language proficiency. While a mix of upper and lower-case letters is often preferred, the key is to ensure that your handwriting does not hinder the examiner's ability to comprehend your ideas and responses.

Q: Is it possible to take extra sheets for the Writing test?

A: If you run out of space during the test, there's no need to worry. You can simply request additional answer sheets to continue your writing. This flexibility ensures you have enough room to complete your responses without feeling cramped or rushed. The availability of extra sheets reflects the IELTS commitment to giving you a fair opportunity to express your thoughts clearly and comprehensively. By continuing your responses seamlessly, you can focus on providing well-structured and well-explained answers rather than worrying about the physical space on the answer sheet.

Q: Can you use a dictionary during the IELTS Writing test?

A: Regrettably, dictionaries, reference materials, or electronic devices are not permitted during the IELTS Writing test. The reasoning behind this restriction is to assess your English language skills independently, without external aids. The test aims to evaluate your ability to convey ideas and information using the language effectively, and the absence of dictionaries and reference materials emphasises the importance of your language proficiency in a real-world context. Relying solely on your language skills underscores the practical application of your English abilities.

Q: Can you bring a watch to monitor your time during the test?

A: Personal watches are not allowed in the test room for the IELTS exam. Instead, a clock will be mounted on the wall to monitor your time during the test. This uniform approach ensures that all test-takers have equal access to the timing resource, promoting fairness and consistency in the examination process. You can confidently rely on the provided clock to manage your time effectively during the test, so there's no need to worry about not having access to a watch.