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IELTS Academic Writing Task 2

The IELTS Writing Test starts after the Listening and Reading tests. There are two tasks in the Writing test, and you will be given 60 minutes to complete them. This post will introduce you to the Writing Task 2.


What is Writing Task 2?

In Task 2, you are asked to write an essay discussing a topic. You will be given an opinion/ argument, different points of view or a problem to discuss. You should spend 40 minutes on this task and you must write at least 250 words.


There are 4 general question types in Task 2:

  1. Argument Discussion

  2. Issue Discussion

  3. Opinion-led

  4. Mixed

Below are examples for each question type:

  1. Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change. Others, however, think that change is always a good thing. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

  2. In the developed world, average life expectancy is increasing. What problems will this cause for individuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of ageing populations.

  3. After leaving school or university, young people should choose a job or career that they love, rather than one that pays the best salary. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

  4. Economic progress is often used to measure a country's success. However, some people believe that other factors are more important. What other factors should also be considered when measuring a country's success? Do you think one factor is more important than others?

How will my work be marked?

There are four assessment criteria used to mark your work:

  1. Task Response - assesses how well a candidate answers the question and develop the answer with reasons and examples.

  2. Coherence and Cohesion - assesses how well a candidate organises his arguments and links his sentences. 

  3. Lexical Resource - assesses how well a candidate uses a range of vocabulary to describe the information in a precise way.

  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy - assesses how accurately a candidate uses a range of grammatical structures and elements.


How should I structure an essay?

The following structure is effective for most of the question types:

  1. Introduction - it is the most general part of the essay; it simply tells the reader what topic and the writer's main argument are.

  2. Body Paragraphs - after setting the main topic and argument, you need to support your argument with reasons and examples in the body paragraphs.

  3. Conclusion - you should summarise or restate your main argument in the conclusion.


Learning Strategy

Most students prepare phrases for introducing and linking ideas. However, not many students prepare good ideas and opinions for IELTS topics.


We'll work on these areas:

  • How to structure a good Task 2 essay.

  • Preparation of ideas, opinions and good vocabulary for each IELTS topic.

  • How to build and link sentences to create coherent paragraphs.

  • Common mistakes in grammar and word usage.

By using the right techniques, you can write the kind of essay that examiners like.