You write you name and candidate number on the Answer Sheet and you must also tick either the Academic or the General Training format box. As with the Reading Test, the IELTS Writing Test questions are different for the Academic or the General Training format.
For both the Academic format and the General Training format, the test lasts 60 minutes and you must answer two questions; Task 1 and Task 2. In IELTS Task 1 Writing , you’re expected to write about 150 words and in IELTS Task 2 Writing about 250. You should spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2.
I strongly recommend you stick to the times I’ve suggested above. I’ve seen plenty of situations where candidates have spent a lot of time on Task 1 and then only written about 100 words for Task 2 because they’ve run out of time. Please don’t forget that you must complete BOTH tasks to score well in the IELTS Writing Test.
IELTS Writing Task 1 is 40% of your final score and IELTS Writing Task 2 is 60% so please make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to do Task 2 well.
Once everyone has written their personal details on the Answer Sheet, the question paper will be given out. As I say to my students for every English language test, DON”T open the question paper until you are told to do so. You write your personal details on the front of the paper and it’s also a good idea at this point that you have the correct question paper either for Academic or General Training.
As with the Listening and Reading Tests, you can use the question paper to write notes on (the examiner will ignore this). Only what you’ve used on the Answer Sheet will be used for assessment.
The invigilator will tell you when the time is up, in the same way as in the Listening and Reading Tests, and you MUST stop writing immediately. Once the question and answer papers have been collected, that’s the Writing Test over and there is only the Speaking Test to do.
Depending on the centre where you are sitting the test, you may have your Speaking Test in the afternoon. In that case, make sure you have a good lunch and that you have a drink of water with you. You don’t want to worry about being hungry or thirsty while you are waiting outside the interview room.
Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!