IELTS / International English Language Testing / Writing / Test 1


IELTS / International English Language Testing / Writing / Test 1

Writing module (1 hour)

The Academic Writing test lasts for an hour, and consists of two parts. The first part is shorter than the second, and carries only one third of the marks, so you should spend about 20 minutes on this part and 40 minutes on the second part
For each part you should allow enough time to plan what you are going to say before you begin writing, and to check what you have written afterwards.


IELTS Writing / Task 1

In the first part, you have to write a minimum of 150 words altogether. You are presented with a visual which you have to describe in words, providing a general overview with supporting details. The visual might be a line graph, a bar chart, a pie chart, a diagram or a plan, and the subject of the visuals are varied. Subjects might include social trends, economics, natural or industrial processes, or health, but you do not need any specialist knowledge to do the task.
You are expected to write in a neutral or formal style.


IELTS Writing / Task 2

In the second part, you have to write an essay with a minimum of 250 words. This involves commenting on an issue or problem which is presented in the task. You are expected to discuss various points of view and arrive at a conclusion. Topics are varied, and might include health, lifestyles, environment, or education, but you do not have to have any special knowledge to be able to do the task.
You are expected to write in a neutral or formal style.


You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the results of surveys in 2000, 2005 and 2010 about one university.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.



Tip strip
Make sure you understand exactly what the visual shows. In this task, the figures in the table:
-    relate to just one university,
-    are from three different surveys,
-    indicate changes in student attitudes.
You get this key information from two sources: the first sentence of the task itself and the title of the visual(s).
For Task 1, the second part of the rubric is always the same.
Start with an introductory sentence which summarises what the visual shows. Don't simply copy down what's in the rubric - this is a waste of your time.
Take some time before you start writing to look for any improvements, reductions, fluctuations and similarities.
Report the most striking point first.
In this task, it is probably that there was a great improvement in students' opinions of the university's electronic resources.
Give data to support the claims you make - citing specific percentages. But you don't need to quote exact figures for every point - you will gain marks for showing that you can be selective.
Don't write too much: 150-200 words will be enough. You won't be given any extra marks for writing a longer piece, and you need to leave enough time for Task 2.



You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some say that because many people are living much longer, the age at which people retire from work should be raised considerably.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experience.
Write at least 250 words.


Tip strip
• Be clear which specific aspect of the task you need to discuss. In this task, you need to talk about whether the age of retirement should be raised and if so, whether it should be by a small or large amount.

• The second line of the task in Task 2 differs from paper to paper.
• You could give your point of view and then provide illustrations and evidence to support this opinion. Or, you could explore both sides of the question and then go on to give your own opinion and explain the arguments you find particularly persuasive.
• Write using paragraphs and make sure each paragraph has a clear central topic.



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IELTS Writing Task 1 Model answer

The table shows the change in attitude, over ten years, of students at a particular university to different aspects of its academic provision.
Firstly, the most striking set of statistics relate to approval for electronic resources. There was a sharp increase in the number of students giving these resources a good rating, particularly in the first five years: from 45 percent in 2000, to 72 percent in 2005, and 88 percent in 2010. There was also an overall improvement in ratings for teaching quality, though the increase was relatively small (65 percent in 2000 rising to 69 percent in 2010) and there was a decline in the interim (63 percent in 2005). There was also a fluctuation in attitudes to print resources, rising from 87 percent to 89 percent in the first five years and then falling by one percent in 2010. Good ratings for the university's buildings and teaching facilities were identical throughout, at 77 percent.
Finally, there were poor ratings at the beginning of the period for the range of modules offered (32 percent in 2000) and they got worse, falling steadily from to 30 percent in 2005 and 27 percent in 2010.


IELTS Writing Task 2 Model answer

Currently, in many countries, the age at which people stop paid work tends to be between 55 and 65. In the past, with few people living beyond the age of 80, it was rare for anybody to enjoy more than 20 years of retirement. However nowadays, that figure is much more likely to be 30, or even 40 years. This is often cited as a reason for requiring people to work to a later age.

Advocates of this point of view claim that it is extremely expensive to support people for so long in retirement. Pensions are paid for partly by people in their working lives, but today pension schemes usually yield far less money than necessary because they were designed to maintain people for much shorter periods. Increasingly, it is argued, the burden falls on younger people who end up working harder to pay for the enjoyment and relaxation of the old in their extended retirement. This, they say, is fundamentally unfair.

Although I acknowledge the validity of this argument, I believe it is outweighed by two very powerful counter- arguments. Firstly, when older people retire later they deprive young people of the opportunity to work and develop professionally. Secondly, I believe that people aren't just valuable members of society when they are earning money. Retired people can contribute a great deal through sharing in family responsibilities such as child care, and also in the wider community, by doing voluntary work. I think we should maintain the current retirement age and allow people to flourish in different ways when they finish paid employment.