IELTS Academic Writing Advice

August 30, 2016

IELTS Academic Writing Advice

Below we shall talk through some useful tips and advice based on the writing section of the IELTS Academic exam:


IELTS Academic Writing


Question Types


The writing sections of the IELTS academic test is comprised of two task:

  • Within the first task you will be required to summarise and also compare data. What this means is you will have to write about the data which you are presented with, this data can be presented in various formats such as a graph, bar chart or pie chart for example. You will be given 20 minutes to complete the summary and comparison of the data you are writing about, and you must write at least 150 words. This part of the test will carry 1 third of the overall writing mark.

  • Within the second task, you will be required to produce an extended piece of writing. This will be in the form of an essay, of which there will be one of four different types, which I shall list below:

    1. Agree or disagree with a statement

    2. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of something

    3. Analyse a problem and identify a possible solution

    4. Evaluate the effects of a development

Grammar and Vocabulary


Within either task you need to make sure you are using the necessary grammar and also vocabulary to answer the questions which may come up. You cannot predict the topic of the question, however, there are some aspects of grammar and vocabulary that a more likely to come up than others.

Below is a sample exercise for you to complete:

Can you match the following language points to the most relevant task(s):

  • General structures for cause and consequence (for example, X causes Y to happen or this is usually due to X)

  • Structures for introducing positives and negatives (for example, one positive point about X is . . . . . or Another drawback of doing X is . . . . . . )

  • Comparatives (for example, X is much better than Y or X is not nearly as good as Y)

  • Conditional structures for expressing consequence (for example, this would most certainly lead to or there is a fair chance that this will make it easier to)

  • Passive structures for introducing common opinions/beliefs (for example, it is widely believed that . . . . . or X is often thought to be . . . . . . )

Some of these language points could be useful with more than just one task so I advise you take note of the above and remember them thoroughly.

If you feel you need more practice on a specific area or with any type of language that you feel may be more likely to pop up in the writing exam, then it will be worth making the effort to focus on the areas of which you struggle with.

It is highly recommended that you look at sample answers and try to extracts good examples of language used within the sample answers and then re-use them within your own piece of work. It will also give you a good idea of what the examiner is looking for, especially if you example answers with examiner comments attached.


There are many useful resources that can be found on the internet when it comes to these exams and this kind of example work!!! 


Notting Hill College have helped countless students pass their English examinations enabling individuals to work and study in the UK. If you would like to pass with confidence, enrol on our course dedicated to ielts preparation.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Being a global language, native English speakers enjoy unique career opportunities. 

Today, the world is getting smaller and smaller. Yes, air tra...

English: Global Language...Global Opportunities

April 11, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags