IELTS Writing Scoring: Are task 1 and task 2 equal value?

Learn about how your IELTS writing test is scored. Many students ask me if writing task 1 and task 2 are worth the same points and how the examiner gives a final total score. This page will explain how your score is calculated for IELTS writing.

Will I get the same score for task 1 and task 2? Are they marked together?

No. Writing task 1 and writing task 2 are marked individually. The marking criteria are not exactly the same. The examiner will give you a band score for writing task 1 and a band score for writing task 2. After that, your final IELTS writing band score is calculated.

Are IELTS writing task 1 and writing task 2 worth the same points?

No, they are not. Writing task 2 is worth more than writing task 1. You get twice the points for writing task 2 than you get for writing task 1. In other words, writing task 2 is about 60% of your marks and writing task 1 is about 30%.

Example of IELTS Writing Scoring:

For example:

Writing task 1 = band score 8

Writing Task 2 = band score 6

Total Writing Score = 6.5

You can calculate your own score:  8 + 6 + 6 = 20/3 = 6.66. Take one task 1 score and two task 2 scores and divide by 3.

Please note that these scores are only estimated calculations. I do not have access to the precise scoring used by IELTS. Your estimated score will be accurate within 0.5 band score.

Will IELTS tell you your score for task 1 and task 2?

No. It’s a shame but IELTS don’t release that information. So you won’t know what score you got for which task. You will only be told the total final score for all your writing.

Are writing task 1 and writing task 2 marked using the same criteria?

No. Each writing task 1 is scored using 4 assessment criteria. Each of the criteria is worth 25% of your marks for that task. 3 of those marking criteria are the same for task 1 and task 2. But one of the marking criteria is different See below:

  • Task Achievement (Writing Task 1 Only): Information, Overview, Key Features
  • Task Response (Writing Task 2 Only): Ideas, Addressing the Task, Conclusion, Developing Ideas
  • Coherence & Cohesion: Paragraphing, Linking and Referencing
  • Grammatical Range & Accuracy: Sentence Structures, Tenses, Punctuation, Number of Errors
  • Lexical Resource: Vocabulary, Collocations, Spelling, Number of Errors

Differences between Band Scores 5 to 8 & How to Improve your Scores:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Scoring & Tips

IELTS Writing Task 1 Scoring & Tips

All IELTS Band Scores Explained

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  1. Kshitij Kasabekar says

    Is our writing checked by any electronic rater or only by an offline examiner?

    • The writing and speaking test are marked by an official, trained, professional IELTS examiner.

  2. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for your guidance, I scored 8 overall, all thanks to you. Really. I would recommend your website to all who aspire to score good in ielts . I had less time to prepare and all I did was refer to your website.


  3. MINERVA says

    Hello madam can you help me giving score in writing task 2? Thank you very much!!!
    As Earth runs out of natural resources, we have started to look to space for solutions. However, some people argue that this is the wrong thing to do,
    and instead we should look for alternative solutions here on Earth.
    To what extent do you agree with them?
    What alternatives might there be to exploiting space for natural resources?
    Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

    It is undeniable that current natural resources on our planet are prone to depletion due to the increasing global population and humanity’s desires. It has been discussed that we should look in space for solutions to the problem of natural resources on Earth and some claim that we shouldn’t find these resources outside the world but should look for alternative solutions on Earth instead.

    First of all, we should push the boundaries in numerous ways not only to set an eye on finding alternative resources in the world. Although space is a place full of mysteries, it is still a place full of valuable resources that are essential to humanity. One of the main reasons is that Asteroids have many iron, nickel, iridium, palladium, platinum, gold,magnesium and metal. More than that, the asteroid’s metal is worth more than the entire minerals of Earth, because the elements in these asteroids are 100% pure. In addition, we can use this opportunity to restore Earth’s non-renewable resources and find other alternative energy.

    As far as I’m concerned, we can’t reject that human beings’ demands are never endless and these alternatives energy might still not ease the problem. Having said that, using alternative resources such as wind, water, solar system and even green energy will only solve the problem at the root cause, because the rate of population growth is still sharply increasing.

    Ultimately, I personally disagree that we should not seek natural supplies in space. What I mentioned earlier we shouldn’t focus on using alternative resources but should put a lot of effort into many other ways such as finding these resources in space as well. Anyway, for some reasons we should not lean on these non renewable resources but instead choose renewable energy, which is the best way to solve this problem.

  4. In this modern era, most of the children are appreciated by their parents to do a part time work in their leisure time. Let us discuss the pros and cons in the futher paragraph.

    To commence with, children can self earn their money to part time jobs. The first advantage is they can easily buy their study material and clothes for ourself . In addition, it will generate valuable experieinnce in the early age and aslo, this will help to improve pupils life. For instance, the survey conducted by the international department more than fifty seven percent of kids earning their own money . Some also use to pay school free and help poor people in society. Thus, it’s important that children can also generate money by doing several jobs.

    On the other hand, the main drawback is less time for studies and playing. To elaborate this, study and playing plays a vital role in the development of children personality as well as self-esteem. Moreover, pupils get minimum time to prepare for exam , they have to manage their time for do job as well as studies. Frankly speaking, it is very difficult preform in this pressurise situation. For example, the headlines of ‘ Times of india ‘ published ‘ article on managing the workload as well as studies by students. Therefore, parents aslo look on this points to enhance the personality of kids and for learn new attributes.

    To conclude, doing a part time job has advantages along with that disadvantages. Earing money and doing work helps to boost confidence while, utilising time on ourself it leads develop personality.

  5. Shilpa Rana says

    I have a GT test next week, I am confused about writing task 1, is it important to write address in the task? please share the example of task 1 GT.

  6. Aziza Restu Febrianto says

    Hi Hadi,

    If you think the information that Liz gives here is incorrect, what about this from British council?,to%20the%20next%20half%20band

    it says

    “Overall band scores are calculated to the nearest whole or half band. If the average score across the four skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking – ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band. If it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.”

    Can anybody explain this? I’m just confused. 🙁

    • I’ve put an explanation of this point about the scores being rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5 for an overall IELTS Test result on this page:

      • Hey Liz, I wanna ask you something. Last Saturday I took IELTS exam and I think it was nice but I have only one concern about writing task – 2. There was a question like that “some people think that working and living in abroad is beneficial others think it has some negative effects…” However, I wrote the good sides of this topic and I defended that but at the end of the exam some people was talking about a comparison, they were saying we needed to compare good and bad effects of the topic but I couldn’t remember anything. So I want to ask that according to these people I had to write both good and bad sides of the topic but I just defended positive effects, is it a big problem for me would they penalize my essay harshly because of this? (actually I think I wrote a nice essay it was more than 330 words and I tried to expand my ideas well by using nice vocabularies and grammar topics) If you answer I will be very grateful.

        • This isn’t possible to say because you haven’t written down the instructions. You’ve written down the topic and not what was asked. Were you asked for an opinion only or to discuss both sides. This is a crucial thing to check. Your task is to complete the instructions. If it was a discussion essay, you will get a low score on Task Response because you didn’t do what you were asked. It won’t affect your score for the other three criteria. The length of the essay is important. Writing a long essay isn’t the aim. Between 270 and 290 is enough. So, you might have produced more errors and have less focus in the essay – this can all lead to a lower score. So, you’ll just have to wait for your results. Good luck 🙂

        • Maryjane Hyacinth says

          Hello, what was your score afterwards? I did same thing as you, I only wrote on the positive side.

  7. Nera says

    Hy Liz!
    Thanks so much, your tips have helped me a lot. I got a 8.5 in Listening, 9 in Reading and 8.0 in Speaking. However, I’m so disappointed in my writing score 7.0. I practiced it a lot following your website and videos and I was certain I’d get at least an 8. In both tasks I had enough words, clear 4 paragraphs, overview/conclusion, a clear opinion, and I believe I used a nice range of grammar and vocabulary and I honestly don’t think I’ve made such big mistakes that my score is so low. Do you have any idea why this happened?

    • IT might be the way you present ideas. Just the ideas themselves are not enough – it’s the way you use them. Your supporting points might have going slightly off topic. There are so many possible reasons. It might also be density of language errors. To get band 8, most sentences must be error free. If you feel you really should have got above band 7, consider a remark.

  8. Abhijit says

    hi Liz,
    I am Abhijit, an IELTS GT aspirant.
    I want to have a piece of information regarding how the writing score is evaluated.
    can you prefer any online material for getting new ideas for essays?
    Thank You.

  9. Rishi Vaid says

    Hello Liz,

    Can you give some tips for Writing Task 1 & 2 for the Year of 2020, in case if anything would have changed?

    Rishi Vaid

  10. Imis kaur says

    Hlo mam, I just give my ilets exam today but i did not leave the lines between paragraphs. My task 1 is good enough. But task 2 is not. Can leaving no line effect my scores. Please answer.

    • Leaving an empty line between paragraphs is a recommendation, not a rule. As long as your paragraphs are easy to see, it’s fine. If your paragraphs cannot be seen easily, it could be a problem.

  11. Hi Liz,

    I just took the computer-delivered Academic Test and I am concerned about my writing score. I realised at the end of the exam that my word count for Task 2 was 236 words. I need a 6.0 for my writing and I have had mixed information that failing to meet the word count automatically leads to a penalty (of up to 1 band score point). Without the penalty, I think I did well enough to score a 6.0, but not likely higher. I have also had information that since mid-2018, the word count no longer factors into the writing score. I am considering whether I should sign up for a retake immediately, given that I urgently need this for uni. Given this dilemma, what would be your advice? Would you say writing 236 words would still lead to a penalty, and if so, likely how much? Thank you!

    • You should not be concerned with the penalty. The problem will be that you didn’t develop your ideas sufficiently – your body paragraphs were not long enough. However, band 6 doesn’t have huge requirements with regards to that. It is not possible to predict your score. There are four marking criteria to consider for task 2 and also task 1 as well. You will have to wait and see your results – good luck!

  12. Sylvia says

    Hi Liz,
    I did my IELTS exam yesterday and I found Task 1 of the writing part to be really difficult. I could not understand the bar chart provided and just ended up writing whatever I saw. I’m afraid what I wrote doesn’t relate to the charts provided. However, I feel like I did well in task 2. What band do you think I am likely to get in task 1?

    • There is no way to guess. At least task 2 is worth double the marks of task 1.

  13. Hi Liz, I made a silly mistake in my writing task 1. The graph gives information about Australian exports but it tried to changed it into passive sentence, instead i made a wrong mistake. I use “exported” to be adjective when the right word is “imported”. How will this affect to my score? I’m so afraid it will reduce my score

    • It is a vocabulary mistake. Your score is not decided by a specific number of errors. Generally, frequent vocab errors = band 5, some vocab errors = 6. It is about the density of errors throughout the whole piece of writing.

  14. xeni says

    Hi, Liz!
    I just finished the exam (computer delivered) and I have made 2 HUGE mistakes….
    In task 2 I copied the questions to my response box but I forgot to delete it.
    and I wanted to add a sentence to my conclusion the last minute but only finished half of it…
    I know they are silly mistakes… I wonder if you have any idea of the penalty I’d be receiving?? Thank you so much

    • I don’t think you should worry. The examiner will hopefully realise that it is the essay question and not your essay. Even if you didn’t finish the conclusion, the fact that you have a conclusion is the most important thing. Try to relax. It is never possible to predict things, but I don’t think these are huge problems and will only have a slight impact or any. Also your final score will be based on task 1 as well. So, relax and wait for your results 🙂

  15. Kristyna says

    Hello Liz, firstly I would like to thanksl you for all the wonderful material disposible here. It has been a massive help. I received my resukts from second IELTS attempt yesterday and sadly I scored 6,5 in writing (L 9,R 9 ,S 7,5) ,which is the same as on my first attempt(W 6,5 R 8,L 8, S 8). However i feel like i did much better this time and i expected 7 from writing, plus higher score from speaking too. I was very happy with my task 2, felt like it deserved a 7 after reading the criteria and my task 1 was great all the way through too, apart from the last paragraph, in which i was short of time, so i did not describe all the key features, that was the only issue.According to band 7 task achievement criteria it is alllowed not to develop all the areas perfectly. (It says: Some areas could be better developed) . I am now wondering if i should go for remark or not. Could you please help? Thanks a lot

    • It isn’t really something that someone else can tell you to do or not do. If you have the money and you feel confident, is there a reason not to? However, it isn’t guaranteed to work. The band score descriptors do give you an understanding of the marking criteria, but they are so vaguely written as to be difficult to apply unless you have been trained. I wish you luck if you go for a remark, but if it doesn’t work you will need to review your techniques for writing until you know exactly what you are doing right and what needs to be changed.

  16. Teche says

    Hi Liz
    I just took my ielts exams
    I just discovered I have made a huge error.
    I forgot to put my work in paragraphs for both task 1 and 2 writing.
    How much marks will I lose for coherence and cohesion?

    • If you fail to use paragraphs, you cannot score over band 5 in Coherence & Cohesion. This is stipulated in the public band score descriptors.

  17. Hi Liz , thank you so much for your lessons . They truly helped me during my exam .
    However , the title in my writing task 2 had a grammatical error . I don’t seem to recall the exact words . Will this affect my score?

    • I do not understand what you mean by “the title”. What title? You don’t write titles in your essay.

  18. christell Roelands says

    Hi liz, It is possible to get a Lower than band 5 in any Categories in Ielts? either in Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing task 1 and 2.

    Just wondering, But aiming only a band 5, but still nervous. Thanks for your reply!

  19. Kazi Adnan Mostafa says

    Could you please kindly tell me why I got 6 in writing task 1 and task 2 ? and might be the exact marking for my writing task 2?

    I never tried doing diagram for task 1 thus when I appeared for formation of sand dunes in writing task 1 in 13th December 2018, I just copied the structure of bar chart/ pie chart. I was sure did wrong because I measured and compared the number of sands in different stages.

    I have been following your writing task 2 band 9 structure and gave good vocabularies there. So please kindly answer what was the exact mark for my writing task 2?

    • How can I know what mark you got in your writing task 2? I haven’t seen your essay. You said you had “good vocabularies” – having good vocabulary is about knowing that the word “vocabulary” is uncountable and cannot be plural. Your score for writing task 2 is based on more than just structure. I suggest you start learning more about the band score requirements and start spotting the errors in your English language to reduce the number of mistakes you are making.

      • Kazi Adnan Mostafa says

        Okay thank you for correcting me Liz I wasn’t aware of that unfortunately. Surely I will be working on it.
        However could you please answer me from your long past experience assuming that my answer for task 1 was wrong but I had ended up with scoring 6 in writing, assume if writing task 1 was correct then what score I would have obtained ?

        • It isn’t possible to calculate or guess. It is not possible to guess what you got in task 1. Even if you misunderstood the task, you would still get a score for paragraphing, linking words, grammar and vocab. You will need to stop worrying and wait for your results.

  20. Roshni Vania says

    Hi there,
    I made one huge mistake in writing task 2. I misunderstood the essay and written the whole essay that way. I wrote the essay nicely, minimum grammar mistakes, good lexical resource and no spelling mistakes. Task 1 was good enough. How many bands can be deducted for task 2? Will they give me zero band?

    • Being on or off topic is part of the marking criterion of Task Response which counts for only 25% of your marks in task 2.


    Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your tips,I am extremely overwhelmed the kind of great work you do each and everyday to support millions of students. A question where I can find Idiomatic language & complex sentences resource over the internet to get a highest score in my writing task 2?
    Secondly I have gone through all your writing task videos. A second question what are most frequently asked questions type for IELTS writing task 2?

  22. Hi Liz. Please clarify my confusion. I took IELTS GT on 18 August. In writing task 2 the topic went like this: Most people argue that all employees should wear uniforms at workplaces. Do you agree or disagree?
    Liz, I followed the structure given by you and I do hope I did well. However, I am a bit confused. I didn’t mention the phrase ‘I agree’, instead I used ‘I believe, I would argue, I opine, I am in favour of the opinion + that + a clause in which I explained my preference about wearing uniforms.
    Will that do? Is it all right not to mention ‘agree’ in such essays? Thanks a million for your response and guidance.
    Looking forward to your reply and my results 🙂
    All the best

    • You do not need to use any specific word in your essay. As long as your opinion is clear, it’s fine. Also make sure your opinion covers all issues in the question.

      • Harshavardhan Reddy says

        Hello Liz,

        I forgot to write the closing signature in writing task 1. It was a informal letter writing to a friend. This is how I ended the letter.

        Hope you enjoy the stay. I will be missing all the fun.
        (Forgot the signature like : Yours Lovingly, Harsha)

        What will be the impact on score for writing task 1?

        • Yes, it will impact your score not to sign off. It will affect your score for TA which is 25% of your task 1 marks. Task 1 is only 33% of your overall writing score.

  23. Umang Ghimire says

    Dear Liz , I have answered one of the task 2 question please evaluate
    Many people believe that social networking sites (such as facebook)have a huge negative impact on both individual and society. To what extent do you agree ?
    ********************************First attempt ******************************

    Social Network this days have been the part of people daily schedule.Huge mass have been engaged in social network like facebook most of the time.I agree with those people who believes that social networking sites have a negative impact on both individual and society.

    First of all ,we have an example of so many people in our society who have a conflict with there partners due to social network.This may be because of giving most of there precious time to social media rather than their family.Moreover,people on social media flirt others for fun which later converts into dispute in the family. As flirting other is most common in social media people invest most of there time flirting others which is not accepted by the family.Hiding owns identity and flirting others by sexual harassment is also common in our society. There are many examples of those people who have been caught by police officers and prisoned for doing such kind of shameful activities.It has not only been the trend of any particular country but this kind of activities have been increasing through out the globe.

    Secondly,People these days have been so informal that they have been giving more priority to social medial than the task they are offered to perform.People are being unpunctual to their work as they hang up with the social sites as they have nothing to do with it. They just pass there time talking unwanted with the people around the universe rather than performing their task.People this days are being so addicted that they talk less with the people around them but chats with the people who are not really known well to them.

    Lastly,We have heard so many cases of rape and kidnapped and is being increasing day by day.The latest data of UN published on 2018 has shown that 3 girls are being rapped in my country everyday.This data make us to think about the reason behind this and one of the may be the social networking sites.People interact with all kind of people around the universe with this sites and hence come in contact with the negative minded people of the universe and gets motivated to their words and commit such kind of activities.

    To conclude,I strongly believe that social networking sites has a huge negative impact on both individual and society as they lead to relation breakdown ,unpunctual to work and social crime.

  24. Rachel says

    Hi Liz
    Firstly, thank you so much for all your tips. They are really helpful.
    I have a question that is killing me.
    I took general IELTS two days ago and the letter was something like that
    “You son needs extra class to learn a foreign language. Write a letter for a teacher asking for help.
    – explain why your son needs extra class
    – ask her some question about her experience
    You should start your letter with Dear…,”

    Would that be friendly letter ? or Sem-formal?
    How should I finalise that letter ?
    Kind Regards or Your Sicerely ?
    How much marks do I lose if I’ve chosen the wrong type of letter ?

    Thank you in advance =)

    • It is a formal letter. You do not have a personal relationship with the teacher.

      • I think this can also pass for a semi-formal letter as the parent may actually know the teacher by name. Teacher could even be one of those in the child’s school. I guess in that case, the content of the letter will put the stamp on what sort of letter it is – Formal or Semi formal.

        Just my thoughts, might be wrong.

        • It doesn’t matter if you know the person by name. You need to have a close relationship / a personal relationship with them. It is 100% normal to know a teachers name and chat to them, but that isn’t a personal relationship. You really need to grasp the meaning of “personal relationship” – this isn’t with a teacher or a boss or a doctor or landlord – it is with a friend – someone you have a friendship with, someone you tell your secrets to, someone who eats with your family – do you understand? So, this letter will be formal.
          Informal = a close friend – someone you have a friendship with – someone you share your private life with
          Semi-formal – a close friend but a serious/formal matter
          Formal – someone you don’t know or someone you know by name (not on a personal level – not on a private close level)

  25. if we didn’t write 150 words in task 1,will we get a score above or equal to 7

  26. Nour says

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you for the amazing tips.
    Now I’m wondering, if i get the below scores in my writing essay task 2;
    Task achievement: 8
    Coherence/Cohesion: 7
    Lexical resource: 6
    Grammar and Accuracy: 6

    what would my overall score be?

  27. Dr. Vibhuti Kaul says

    Hello Liz! First of all, I can’t thank you enough for all your virtual guidance. I was pretty confident about my English since the very beginning, but IELTS is a different ball game altogether. In addition to my own practice, your videos were of immense help to me. I’m expecting my ‘academic’ result around the 6th/7th of June and I have one constantly nagging concern, that I wrote a lot! Task 1 had two graphs, with the planning and everything, I ended up spending 25 minutes on it and I got a little panicky for my task 2, which was a problematic essay. However, I managed to write a fairly decent essay, covering all my bases of heavy duty vocabulary, commas in the right places, etc. I barely managed a revision in the end, correcting a few silly mistakes here or there. Overall, I’m confident I wrote a quality essay, but I’m worried that over writing would drastically reduce my band score. I’d really appreciate your advice on this. I’ll surely be sharing my score with you. Thanking you in anticipation!!

    • In writing task 1, you are marked on your ability to select information and group it together. This means if you get lost in giving too much detail, instead of selecting information, it will lower your score for Task Achievement (25%). But as you see, that is only 25% that is affected. In task 1, your aims is to write under 200 words (only very rarely does it go to 210). Your task 2 essay is marked on being concise and highly focused. You mentioned using a lot of heavy duty vocab – vocab counts for only 25% of your marks. Anyway, you won’t know anything until your results arrive. Nothing can be predicted because there are so many other variables being tested. Let me know your results when they arrive 🙂

      • Dr. Vibhuti Kaul says

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply, I’ll surely be updating you about my score. 😊😊

      • Dr. Vibhuti Kaul says

        I got my results today:
        L: 8.5
        R: 8.5
        W: 8
        S: 9
        Overall 8.5!
        I’m sure I’d have done better in writing had I not crossed the word limit so dramatically. Anyway, I’m really grateful for all your help and can’t thank you enough Liz, god bless 🤗

        • Fantastic!! It’s a great result to be proud of. Well done 🙂 Thanks for letting me know 🙂

        • Priyanka says

          Congratulations 🤗🤗……………..
          How did you get so much score?????
          Please give me some favour and help me.I have also filled ielts test on November 1st.
          Atleast help me in writing please….,……..,….😔I need to improve my self

  28. Hi Liz,
    I am Deepu writing from India. Today, I have written the IELTS general training exam. In my writing test, I wrote the task 1 answer on my task 2 answer sheet. After finishing the task 1 answer, I found that I was mistaken. I rewritten the answer on task 1 answer sheet but my handwriting was ugly. The exam invigilator strike out the answer sheet which I had written wrongly and attached it. After that I was challenged to finish the task 2 with in 20 minutes. The question was a discussion type but I did not get time to explain the given statement. Anyway I finished my writing with opposite point view. But I was panic about my band score. What score I can expect? My word count and grammar were fine but handwriting was little bit ugly. Can you reply me?

    • It is not possible to predict scores. When this happens, you should label the answer sheets so that the examiner knows that your task 1 is on the task 2 paper. As long as the examiner can clearly see what happened, it is fine. You should NOT write your answer twice – you don’t have time.

  29. Sathyanarayan Krishnamurthy says

    Dear Liz,

    I am writing this to you, to express my sincere gratitude for all the wonderful lessons, tips, useful information and great videos that you post, in helping IELTS students.

    I am going to give my IELTS – GT exam on 03rd March, 2018 and I am seriously preparing for it by following and depending only on your blog, videos and tips.

    I have attempted to write my first letter (informal) and I feel you are the only right person to evaluate and provide your feedback and guide me in achieving high band score of 8 or 9, which is not easy though.

    I am not sure if it is right for me to write like this in requesting you to evaluate my writing skills, as you would be receiving such innumerous requests from all over the world, however I want to give it a try and see my luck.

    It would be really grateful, if you could evaluate my below letter and tell me where I would stand in band scores. I am sure, my current request is also a good candidate for “Forma letter”, evaluation.

    I, once again take this opportunity to thank you for all the invaluable inputs that you are posting here, which is helping millions of IELTS students, all over the world.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Sathya Narayan
    Letter of Instruction: You have spent a week with your friend on a holiday. When you got home, you realized that you had left your wallet there

    Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
    > thank your friend for the holiday
    > explain that you left your wallet in their house
    > give them instructions of how to send it back to you

    My letter below (I took about 15 minutes in writing this on a paper, which I am typing here)

    Dear James,

    I’m writing this letter to express my sincere, heartfelt thanks for the wonderful holiday, that we spent at your place last week.

    It was such a pleasurable and much needed break for me from my hectic work schedule and I can not thank you and your family enough, in ensuring that my stay was a pleasant one and most importantly a memorable one, which I will never forget in my life.

    After the fun filled trip, when I reached my place, I realized that I left my wallet, containing credit cards, insurance cards and my driving license, back at your home, which I must have forgotten while rushing to catch the early morning flight, on that day of my travel. I am sure that, by now you are aware of it and keeping it safely with you.

    Luckily, my neighbor, Mr. Brent, is attending a conference in your city tomorrow and he told me that he will have some free time to visit you to collect my wallet from you. He has your number and will call you to collect it from you. Please hand over the wallet in a sealed pack to him.

    Once again, I’d like to thank all of you for your hospitality and expect you to visit my house for a relaxing vacation as well. Talk to you soon.

    Take care,

  30. hello liz, just wanted to ask how IELTS is scored. I took my test 1 day back but the problem is that i only forgot to discuss both sides of the topic in writing task 2. Although, i did describe one side and also gave my opinion. the word count of my essay was above 250. My question is how much will this affect my band score?

  31. Jay chudasama says

    Hello liz!
    I deviated from the topic in essay section so probably how much band score would I get for task response? Please help! I am little scared!

    • Task Response is based on both relevancy and how to develop ideas. You will be penalised for being off topic but could still do well for developing ideas sufficiently.

  32. lakshan says

    Hi Liz

    Please let me know whether below sentences are correct
    1. I think people can grasp knowledge easily in training sessions rather than in theory based sessions
    2. Me and my friends suggested
    3. I urged from your to send me that letter soon
    4.At last not the least, please help me reserve the main boardroom

  33. Hey Liz,
    I wanted to know if scoring 3 7’s and 1 6 on task 2 is worth a band 7 or 6.5. I have visited many websites, and they all seem to have conflicting views with regards to this issue.

  34. Hi Liz,

    I gave the writing test today. Unfortunately, I had to frequently erase words and rewrite them in several areas but I wrote a decent essay with good sentences (I believe). The erased portions look little blurry. Please tell me how extent is the chances of my score reduction regarding this (from your standpoint) My handwriting is legible though, the normal cursive. But I wonder if the evaluator would make effort to see through sentences…

    • If the examiner can’t read it, you will get a low score. So it depends how easily the examiner can read what you wrote.

  35. Shweta says

    Hello Liz,
    Is is good to add quotes, idioms and proverbs in essay?

  36. Kerolos Sameh says

    Hello Liz ,
    May I ask if bad hand writing will affect my score ? I have heared before that candidate with unclear hand writing can not achieve band 7 in writing .

    Thanks in advance

    • If the examiner can’t read it, you will get a low score. The examiner must be able to read your writing.

  37. Andrew says

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for a great website.

    Regarding memorization, will IELTS compare my wordings and phrasing from previous exam attempts? I came up with a good introduction on my first attempt that I intend to reuse, if applicable, also on the succeeding attempts. After reading your scoring scheme I am afraid it might be taken as memorized. It will go with the style and level of the rest of the paper.

    Thank and regards,

    • How can you plan your introduction – you don’t know what topic you will get. If you plan to use a hook sentence to start your introduction, then it shows a lack of focus and relevancy which will lower your score. Do not memorise language (for example – a full sentence) to use in your essay.

  38. Hojiakbar Sobirov says

    Is it possible to use BY AND LARGE insted of IN CONCLUSION?

  39. Gaurav Kaushik says

    Hi Liz,
    I really find the blog useful. I have a query regarding the GT Writing Test2 and looking towards you for suggestion . Whether we should write ” its is being said by few people” or ”it is said by few people”. which one is correct or better to write

    • Gaurav Kaushik says

      Sorry there’s a typo in the query. “It’s being said by few people” or “It is said by few people”. Which one is correct or better to write ?


    • It is best to say “It is believed (or thought) by some people that …”. If you write “few people” it means not enough people. If you write “a few people” it means just a handful (so to speak) – so avoid that and write “some”.

  40. Jean Chau says

    Hi, I have a question regarding writing task 2. Say I have neglected to discuss both sides and only focused on one side, will this badly affect my score?

    Thank you !

    • If you don’t fulfil the task or the instructions, it will affect your score for Task Response which is 25% of your marks.

  41. Rosey says

    Hi Liz,

    My ielts general score is L- b, R-8.5, S-8 unfortunately I mange to get on 6 in writing. I am feeling depressed and not feeling like giving exam again. Could you please help me with the writing section.

  42. angela says

    hello Liz
    i just wrote me LRW test in south africa.
    Liz in writing task 2 , i think i deviated from the question been asked. Do you think i will be penalized for not understanding the task properly ?

  43. Shilan H. Shkur says

    Hi liz
    Can you explan speaking test criteria for all part pleas ?

    • The speaking test is not marked on parts. The examiner decides your score at the end of your test. See the criteria on this page:

      • Parneet says

        Hi Liz
        I do extraordinarily good in my writing. i do not have problem with grammar or anything else. I filled around four pages while writing essay but still my overall Writing band score was 6.5. i am really disappointed. What to do?

        • I don’t understand about filling 4 pages. A long essay doesn’t give you a higher score. You should be aiming for between 260 and 280 words in writing task 2.

  44. Bishal gurung says

    hy mam
    i practise daily by your website
    mam my exam is after 1 month
    i can do well in others but i cannot do good in readimg
    i become fery frustated while reading
    my answer become more wrong specially
    true/false and paragraph heading
    …so plz mam give me some useful technique
    so that i can do better in reading

  45. Hi..
    I want some question paper for Mauritius..

  46. vicky says

    hie i heard in academic writing task 1 specially in pie chart question , in exam will get only 1 pie chart no other graph associated with it,only in general u wer getting 2 combine graphs but in academic u it true?

    • Sorry, I don’t understand your English. You will need to write your comment again without mistakes so I can understand.

  47. Adikkappan says

    Hello Liz – Why is that task 2 score counted twice in your calculation?

    Writing task 1 = band score 8
    Writing task 2 = band score 6
    Total Writing score = 6.5

    Why is it calculated as ((8 + 6 + 6)/3) as against (8 +6)/2?

    • Writing task 2 is worth twice as much as task 1. Band 6 counts for 66% and band 8 only 33%. The total is 6.5 as a band score.

      • Hi LIZ,
        Could you please make me understand the difference between opinion based essay and argumentative essay? It would be appreciated if you share the outlines for both the types individually as I mostly get confused about the format while writing these two types of essays.

        Thank you so much.

        • Different teachers use different names for essay types. Some teachers call it an Opinion Essay and others call it an Argumentative Essay. They are the same. I use the term “Opinion Essay” because the instructions specify a personal opinion.

  48. sai ashish says

    I have a doubt regarding ielts writing score criteria for example if i get writing task 1=7
    and writing task 2= 5.5. Overall how much band score i will get in ielts wrting section

  49. I would really appreciate some feedbacks on my writing, and, if possible, give it a band score. Thanks

    Topic: More and more people are relying on the private car as their major means of transportation. Describe some of the problems over reliance on cars can cause, and suggest at least one possible solution.


    The increasing preference of using private vehicles as the means of transportation has caused an array of issues in many parts of the world. This essay will examine some potential impacts that this trend has on society and suggest some feasible solutions to ameliorate such backlash.

    Predominantly, the rise of private vehicles has led to a number of issues which severely affect the quality of life of the people. To begin with, this trend is the root cause of traffic congestion in many metropolitan areas. More vehicles simply mean more traffic; road infrastructures are unable to keep up with such a sudden increase, thus lead to traffic jam. In addition, this malpractice is one of the contributing factors to pollutions which affect us day by day. For example, the amount of burning fossil fuels significantly increase in order to fire up the engines of the millions vehicles. This translates that the severity of the pollution to the environment are gradually rising due to the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted to the atmosphere. Apart from this, noise pollution is also derived, though partially, from the increasing number of vehicles, and it tremendously degrades the quality of life people used to have before the advent of the development.

    This, however, is not an impossible-to-solve issue if proper measures have been in place by the government and individuals. First of all, heavy tax can be introduced by the government in order to deter commuters from tempting to use their private means of transport, due to its high cost. At the same time, it also encourages people to start using public transportation. Individual people can also contribute to solving this matter. Carpooling, for example, is an effective solution to traffic congestion, and should well be adopted by many, so that, instead of one car for one person, a group of four or five can share if their destination is identical.

    In conclusion, although increasing number of vehicles poses some serious issues to the society, it can still be easily resorted if everyone joins hands and takes some serious steps to solving it.

    • Did you learn this sentence from a book or website? “This essay will examine some potential impacts that this trend has on society and suggest some feasible solutions to ameliorate such backlash.”. The examiner will not accept learned sentences.

      • Hi there, I have been using this kind of style for years. I was wondering if you could give me a score on the essay.


        • This is not about writing an academic essay. It’s about writing an IELTS academic essay. This means not using learned phrases. It is a language test so you can’t memorise language in such large parts. You really need to learn more about how the examiner marks your essay. Sorry, but I don’t offer free marking or free scoring.

          • Hi Liz,

            I don’t really get the point why you keep saying I used learned phrases. This is not that sophisticated that I need to incorporate in my essay. Honestly, this came out of my experience from years of writing. I am just so new to IELTS but I may take this as a bit offensive. I have followed your website as suggested by some of my friends who managed to score high in the test, so I decided to give a shot in writing and hoping to get some feedback, yet I came to this. Thanks for letting me know that I my own writing is an alleged learned phrase despite grounded evidence.

            • I am trying to help you, not criticise you. I have been trained as an examiner and know how the marking is done. This is not the way to write a thesis statement in IELTS. It is 100% correct as a thesis statement for other essays, but not for the IELTS test. It does not relate to the task and will definitely not help your band score. Let me show you a good thesis statement for IELTS:
              This issue can lead to both traffic congestion and increased pollution, therefore feasible solutions need to be considered to tackle the problem.
              In this thesis statement we are presenting the causes directly and mentioning solutions will be made. This is the right technique. Your introduction is not to tell the examiner what the essay intends to do – he/she knows this already – the examiner has the instructions. Your aim is to present your main points or position.
              While I can see you are upset, I rarely give free feedback on essays. I suggest that instead of getting upset about it, you learn from it. This is the main page for writing task 2 where you can find plenty of techniques explained:
              However, this is your exam and your choice.

              • Hi Liz,

                I really appreciate for your continuous replies. It definitely sheds a beam of of light on how I should approach IELTS. I may end up following my style had it not for this comment of yours.

                Also, the word counts is about 350, which is quite a lot. I am not sure if this is commonly suggested, or I should try tightening it up a bit. Also, I would be more than grateful to learn some comments of yours regarding my body paragraphs and conclusion. I actually aim for 7 in writing.

                Thanks again 🙂

                • It is not recommended to write over 280 words for your essay. Some students with strong English and focused ideas (your level is strong) can get away with about 300 but not more. There’s no upper limit but you are marked on your ability to write a focused, relevant essay. Also more words might equal more mistakes with grammar and vocab which will definitely lower your score. You certainly have the ability to hit 7 in terms of your language skills. If you take the exam twice you can play around with techniques and see what happens.

  50. Krishna says

    Today was mine ielts test I ran out of time in task 1. I wrote that table about half but unfortunately I ran out of time and didn’t write it’s conclusion I only wrote it’s information and paragraph 1 in task 1. However I had completed my task 2. Would it affect my band score?

  51. hi miss,
    I took ielts exam today and the topic was that you discovered a website , write a letter to your friend that how that website could be useful for your friend in his or her studies??
    by mistake , I wrote that I made a website in my study ND I told her about that , how it could be useful for her ?
    Do I have written off topic ?

    • You have done off topic as you have not written about a website you have discovered and instead you wrote about a website you made. However, you did complete the prompts as you explained how it could be useful. So, it means you will be penalised for Task Achievement but don’t worry too much as you did partially complete the task. I can’t tell you how you will be scored as your score depends on many other factors. Good luck!

  52. Abdullah Ali Ibrahim says

    My dear
    Thank you very much, actually your manner teaching is strong.
    I wish you be success in the life.

  53. plz tell me how i can improve my reading .also i face problem in writing task 2 becz i get confused in sentence formation when i have to use has/have/had/been .i know about their active and passive rule even thn it becoming mine weakest point in writing .plz solve this problem.

  54. Sardasht says

    Dear Liz
    I really want to thank you for your help and I want to tell you that I got 6.5.

    • Well done! It’s a strong score 🙂

    • Asilbek says

      Hi, what kind of writing and speaking assigments were in your exam?
      I’ll just have an exam on 10th of September, so I would be grateful to you

  55. hello teacher , thank you very much for the videos you really helped me espicially in writing .Yet , i would like to ask you one question in writing task 2 I gave my own opinion in conclusion responding to the question that I did in the introduction . is it correct or not ?

  56. Franson says

    Hi, I have one doubt about the marking….if task 2 is worth twice that of task one then task one should be worth 33.33% ?? And task 2 66.66%?? As x+y = 100% and if y=2x then x+y=3x=100. Therefore, x = 33.33 and y = 66.66!!! But in your description, task 2 and task 1 is worth only 60% and 30%, respectively. But this will total to 90% only

  57. Hi Liz!

    I’ve got a question that may sound silly…
    When writing my answers on the answer sheet, I capitalised the first letter of my answers.

    Eg: 1. Capital
    2. Letters

    Is that likely to be an issue?


    • Hey Liz,

      Thanks for your input. I got 8/8/9/9. Looks like the capitalisation of my answers for the listening and reading sections didn’t matter.


  58. Jaloliddin says

    Hello lady Liz can I ask question?Today I had ielts exam everything was allright but Icould not write task1 at all but Iwrote task2 completely.Coud you tell me will I be able to get at least 5 from writing

  59. Saleh says

    Hello my dear unique teacher ,
    Thank you is the least thing that I can say in your dignity , talent and your generousness.
    The god of the goodness bless you .
    Sincerely yours .The mathematic teacher Saleh .

  60. Roberta says

    Hello Liz..could you correct one of my writing task 2?

  61. Hi Liz,

    I have just completed my IELTS. I didnt do very well on the writing section. Task 1 was was good. However, I ran out of time for task 2 and didn’t measure up to the word limit. I wrote only 22 lines averaging 9 words per line (total word count should amount to 198). How would this could affect my score?

    • Your score will be reduced for writing task 2 if you are under words. I can’t tell you how many points you will lose. Wait and see your results. At least you will know the reason for any low score.

  62. vishal sharma says

    hello Mam,
    I have a question. can i write “I” or “we” in task 2.
    plz reply.


  63. shubham says

    Hello Mam I Want to Improve My Score in Writing Task. I Never Get More Than 6 Band What Should i Do?

  64. Hi Liz, i just took my ielts exam and i think i did quite badly in writing task 1. I was rushing time with only 10 mins to finish task 1, spent too much time in task 2. I think i didnt really fully explain the graph, paragraphs are well-structured but lack in tenses and a good conclusion. By how much band score will it affect?

  65. sajjad hossain says

    hi, i am sajjad hossain. i have been planning to take ilts test shortly.however,your lesson help me a lot which you have been uploading in youtube in terms of every sectors. but,i m facing problems about reading module and i m trying my best according to ur addition,i m worried about my writing quality.i don’t have such opportunity to check it . Is there any way to check my script ??? just only knew my writing quality . could u hlp me??? OR if you give ur mail id

  66. KALEEMULLAH says

    From where, i can check writing task 1 and task 2 free.
    And the another thing that i don’t know that where i should use commas.

    • Sorry, I don;’t know anywhere you can get your writing checked for free. To learn about punctuation, just google grammar and punctuation online.
      All the best

  67. Sandra A. says

    I found free essay correction service:
    It’s just great!!

  68. Hi Liz. Can you help me to know my task 2 score if i post essay here ? or how can i send you essay in order to you read it and tell my score ?

  69. Behnam masoud zahedian says

    Hi Liz;
    First of all thank you for your lessons for us;☺️☺️
    And appreciate you so much🌷
    I have a question:
    If my writing task 2 will be less than 250words what happen???
    I want to know is it a terrible problem?!?😔😔

    • You will be marked down if your writing for that task is 10 words below the limit. I can’t predict what your final score will be.
      All the best

  70. hey Liz
    please can you help me
    my Reading skills are so poor
    I got only 20 answers from passage
    its not increase And I want 6.5 bands
    How it will be improved???

  71. Hi Liz, thank you for the useful information which you post here. I have question about listening section, on the andwer sheet in some words I wrote the letter “I” instead of small “i”. Will it affect my score? Maybe it is foolish question, but It really worries me.

  72. Hi Liz! I am taking my exam tomorrow. I am taking the time now to thank you whether I pass or fail. Your site has been a great great help to me. More power and God bless!

  73. Sharan says

    Hey Liz,

    I have a few queries on the listening test. In one of the sample tests I gave, below are my answers and the answers as per the answer key:
    1. My answer: “4 PM”, Key: “4”
    2. My answer: “Every second day”, Key: “Once in 2 days”
    3. My answer: “22nd October, 1998”, Key: “22 October”
    4. Is there any difference between writing a number ‘5’ or in words ‘five’?

    Appreciate your help,

    • Question 1: If the question was “he arrived at …….pm” then you should only give a number because the letters “pm” are given in the question. For other issues, you must write only the words you hear – not the meaning, the exact words. For dates, you write what you hear and can write using either American or UK methods. If you write the year or not, depends on how many words and numbers you can have in your answer. All numbers should be written as numbers.
      All the best

  74. Avishek says

    Hi Liz,

    Have a question on listening text. A few sampkes I checked required to fill up time li,e 7:30 pm, when I checked response it was mentioned as 7.30 pm , now does this : and . Make a difference if you can advice please?

  75. Arslan says

    Hey liz…how can improve listening and understanding skill??coz while reading i forget the things that are given firstly

  76. Mutasham says

    Madam!how could I improve my reading and listening skills

  77. hi liz! May I ask if it’s true that the one who checks the writing tests are the trained locals and not those that are in Cambridge? If it’s true, how reliable and accurate are they in checking the answers?

    • IELTS examiners are people who have been accepted and trained by IELTS. They may be local people who have been trained and have passed the training or not. The training is intensive and all examiners are able to score accurately. They are also checked regularly by IELTS. So don’t worry – all examiners are experts at marking.

  78. Tran Tien says

    Everything looks clearer with your explanation! Thank you very much.

  79. Jennifer says

    Thank you so much for shares, Liz!

  80. Madam, how could I improve my reading skills

  81. Heyy, do you think It is better to start from Task 2 and after that come back to Task 1?

    • It is your choice completely. Do what works best for you as long as you manage your time well.

      • Kristyna says

        Thanks very much for your answer! I know it is difficult decision and hard to advice on, but your answer has been very helpful anyway, thank you:)

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