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How to get a high IELTS academic-writing score

IELTS Writing Practice: Free IELTS Writing Samples

In this guide you will find free IELTS Writing samples, IELTS Writing practice questions, and IELTS Writing exam tips. If you're looking for IELTS exam preparation and need a high IELTS Writing score, this page contains everything you'll need to get started.

About IELTS Academic Writing Test

Let’s take a look at some basic information you should know about the IELTS Academic Writing Test.

The Academic Training Writing Test has two tasks.
  1. Task 1 - you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
  2. Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

In the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you will be given the following different possible types of visual information:
  1. Line graphs
  2. Bar charts
  3. Pie charts
  4. Tables
  5. Diagrams
  6. Maps
  7. Mixed (including two or more of 1-6 above)

Regardless of which visual information is presented to you, you job is to write a summary of the visual information. and describe the main trends, overall differences, main changes, or the main components of a system, or the main phrases of a process. You must write 150 words or more, and you should spend around 20 minutes on this part of the test. Also, Task 2 is worth 1/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.

Line Graphs

In this type of task, you will be given one or more line graphs. Each line graph will have 1-8 lines showing how values change over time. The time period could be the past, the present or the future, or a combination of all three. Your task is to write a summary, covering the most important points and supporting your description by including data.

Sample Line Graph Question
The chart illustrates consumption of three kinds of fast food by teenagers in Mauritius from 1985 to 2015.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.




Sample Essay
The line graph illustrates the consumption of three types of fast food, (hamburgers, pizza, and fried chicken) over a 30 year period by Mauritian teenagers. Units are given as the number of times each type was eaten per year.

Overall hamburgers and fried chicken increased in consumption from 1985 to 2015, while consumption of pizza declined over the same period. At the start of the period, pizza was the most popular fast food eaten by Mauritian teenagers, though by 2015 hamburgers had replaced it with fried chicken a close second.

With regards to hamburgers, consumption increased steadily from 10 times eaten per year to over 70 times. Likewise teenagers in Mauritius ate fried only 5 times per year in 1985 before rising dramatically to a plateau in 2005, then increased slightly at the end of the period to finish as the second most popular food.

On the contrary, while pizza was the most popular food with Mauritian teens in 1985, its consumption fell continuously from 60 times a year to just 10 pizzas each year by the last year.
Bar Charts

In this type of task, you will be given one or more bar charts. The bar charts may show how values change over time (dynamic data), the differences between values at one point in time (static data), or the results of a survey or questionnaire. The information could be about the situation in the past, the present, or the future, or a combination of all three.

Your task is to write a summary, covering the most important points and supporting your description by including data.

Sample Bar Chart Question
The chart below gives some of the most reported issues among people living in UK cities in 2008 (%).
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.




Sample Essay
The chart illustrates several important living issues faced by inhabitants of seven major UK cities (Newcastle, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, and London) in 2008. Units are given in percentages.

Overall, health services proved to be the most important living issue in most cities, with education and training a close second. Least worrisome of all to UK residents was air pollution that year which on average seems around 5 times less important to city populations there.

In five of the seven cities, health and safety was the biggest concern with over 50% of city residents stating it as their number one living issue. This was especially true in Belfast and Cardiff where almost 60% of residents were worried. Education and training fell a close second in those same cities with a less than 10% difference between the two results, with the exception of Glasgow (53%) and London (52%) where it had become the biggest problem.

Regarding air pollution, only Manchester (16%), London (14%) and Cardiff (12%) had more than ten percent of their inhabitants concerned. Least of all worried about air pollution were those in Newcastle of whom only 5% of people stated this as an issue.
Pie Charts

In this type of task, you will be given one, two. or three pie charts. The pie charts may show percentags of a total figure. If you have one pie chart, it will represent one point in time (static data). If you have two or more pie charts, they may represent how the percentages change over time or compare different countries or groups.

Your task is to write a summary, covering the most important points and supporting your description by including data.

Sample Pie Chart Question
The pie chart below shows the native languages spoken by students at Bakersfield Senior College over two separate years.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.




Sample Essay
The pie chart depicts the proportion of attorneys using four kinds of smartphone operating systems, Iphone, Android, Blackberry and Windows, in the US in a given year.

Overall, a clear majority of attorneys prefer using the Iphone operating system on their smart phones, though other systems are also regularly used.

Iphone usage accounts for almost two thirds of total smartphones with 62% of all attorneys using the system. This is in stark contrast to the other three operating platforms, namely Android, BlackBerry, and Windows, which together only comprise 28% of all US attorneys total smartphone use.

After the Iphone platform, Android is the second most widely-used system at 20% while Blackberry and Windows struggle to make up the remainder at 5% and 3% respectively, proving that very few if any attorneys use those platforms. Particularly of note are the 10% of US attorneys who use no smartphone in their day-to-day business or chose not to declare in this survey.
Tables

In this type of task, you are given a table containing data. can show dynamic figures which change over time or static data for one point in time.

Often there is too much information, so you won't be able to include every detail. Your task is to write a summary, covering the most important points and supporting your description by including data.

Sample Table Question
The table below shows a survey of the percentage of adults in California by age group who enjoyed different types of leisure activities in 2011.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.




Sample Essay
The table displays the percentage of different types of leisure activities enjoyed by four different age groups in California in 2011.

Overall, social pursuits like watching TV and spending time with family and friends were the most enjoyed leisure activities by all age groups, though there were clear differences between ages for some. The least popular activities in general were individual-based such as gardening and playing video games for all survey respondents.

Regarding social activities, watching TV was a popular activity for the entire adult population increasing from 76% of 18-30 year olds to 89% for the over 60s. On the contrary, spending time with family or friends rapidly declined with age from 58% of those under30 to under a third of those over 60 as people spend more time alone.

Of the other activities, whereas reading declined from 22% for the youngest age group to 16% for the eldest, the amount of time spent gardening increased greatly over the four age groups from 7% to 26%. Playing video games and listening to music showed the greatest decline with age, with over 40% of young people 18-30 engaged in these activities, yet only 2% of those over 60 doing the same.
Diagrams

For this type of question, you will be given a diagram which shows how something works. The diagram may show a machine, a system, or a natural phenomenon.

Often there is no data or little data included. Your task is to summarize the information shown in the diagram.

Sample Diagram Question
The diagram below shows the process of milk production.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.




Sample Essay
The diagram illustrates the way by which milk, cheese, cream and butter are produced, processed and packaged to be sold. Overall, there are eight stages shown from grazing to cows to the sale of milk to supermarkets and shops.

Initially, cows are grazed in the field then brought to a milking machine where they are milked twice a day. Following this, the milk is moved into large refrigeration tanks for storage, before being transferred to a milk tanker for transport to the Dairy where it will be processed further. This process occurs on a daily basis.

Once at the factory, the milk is subsequently processed into its various ancillary products: milk, cheese, cream and butter. To make it safe to drink, the milk undergoes pasteurization to remove any bacteria and pathogens. When the latter process is complete, it is ready to be packaged. As soon as packaging is complete, the final product is shipped off to supermarkets and shops for customers to purchase.
Maps

For this type of question, you will be given one, two or three maps. The maps may show a town, city, island, or other geographical area. Maps usually show the changes which occurred in the area during a period of time. The changes could be related to construction (e.g. developing an area for tourism) or destruction (e.g. how an area was affected by a natural disaster such as an earthquake)

Your task is to write a summary of the changes which took place and cover the most important points.

Sample Map Question
The two maps below show an island, before and after the construction of some tourist facilites.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.




Sample Essay
Overall, the island’s coastal features, which were largely untouched in the past, have been developed for tourism with significant infrastructure and building development in land.

In the past, the island remained mostly undeveloped except for a small pier and scientific research station on the east coast. A few trees occupied the island’s interior, with a small beach and rocks in the north and a natural spring in the west.

Today the island has changed considerably. The small scientific research outpost has been replaced with a large hotel complex and swimming pool. In order to accommodate large cruise ships, the small pier has been extended, and a minor road built to the hotel. To the west of the complex, an open restaurant with BBQ area has been established. From there, several paths connect to the rest of the island’s features.

Along the coast, a bike path circumnavigates the island connecting new tourist features including a scenic lookout next to the rocks, and swimming area by the beach. A café has also been newly constructed alongside the natural spring.
Mixed Data

In this type of task, you will be given two sets of data. The data will be different types. For example, one set might be change over time while the second set is static. Alternatively, one set of data could show percentage whereas the second set shows numbers. You may also be given an illustration (e.g. a diagram or map) and a set of data (e.g. a bar chart, line graph, pie chart, or table)

Your task is to summarise both sets of data.

Sample Mixed Data Question
The bar chart below shows the preference for different types of Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies among US adults in 2007. The table lists which therapies where the most popular over two years.

Summarise the data by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

- Write at least 150 words.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this task.





Sample Essay
The bar chart illustrates the top ten Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies preferred by the proportion of all adult US citizens in 2007. The table lists how the popularity of four of those therapies increased over five years in percentages.

Overall, deep breathing and massage therapies increased the most in popularity over the five year period, while natural products was the clear favorite among U.S. adults in 2007.

Between 2002 and 2007, certain alternative therapies showed higher gains than others. Deep breathing and massage saw the biggest gain in use of approximately 4%, while meditation and yoga rose by a less significant 1.9% and 2% respectively.

Of the ten most common CAM therapies, around 1 in 5 adult Americans preferred to use natural products, substantially greater than the second most widely-used technique of deep breathing which stood at 12%. Following these, around a tenth of Americans were likely to do either meditation, chiropractic, massage or yoga, whereas a significantly smaller proportion of under 3% of American adults did the remaining four CAM approaches shown.

IELTS Academic Wriitng Task 2

In Task 2, you will need to write an academic-style essay in response to a question. You must write at least 250 words. If you do not write enough words, you will be penalised. There are 3 different question types in Task 2.
  1. Agree or disagree
  2. Discuss both views and give your own opinion
  3. Advantages and disadvantages
  4. Causes and effects
  5. Causes and solutions
  6. Two-part question
Agree or disagree

In this type of question, you will be given a question which contains an opinion. Your task is to write an essay in response to the opinion by saying whether you agree or disagree. You must choose a side to answer this type of question.

Sample Question
The widespread use of the Interent has made it possible for employees to work from home while still being connected to their office. Some people believe that working from home should be encouraged because it is beneficial for employees and companies. Do you agree or disagree?

- Write at least 250 words.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this task.
Discuss both views and give your own opinion

In this type of question, you will be given two opposing views related to an issue. Usually, the two views will be in separate sentences connected by a transition word such as "however" to indicate that the two views contrast. Your task is to write a discursive essay, contrasting both sides of the issue and presenting your own view.

Sample Question
Nowadays, we are surrounded by advertising in our daily lives. Some people believe that this has a positive effect on society. Others, however, say that it is a negative development. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

- Write at least 250 words.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this task.
Advantages and disadvantages

In this type of question, you will be asked to discuss the positive and negative aspects of a situation, solution or trend. You may also be asked to give your opinion about which side you think is more important.

Sample Question
As a result of global warming, many countries are turning to nuclear power instead of burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. What are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power stations? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

- Write at least 250 words.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this task.
Causes and effects

In this type of question, you will be given a problem or situation. Your task is to describe the causes of the situation and some of the effects of the situation.

Sample Question
Nowadays, many people communicate using social media and the Internet on a daily basis. However, this has led to an increase in online attacks and cyberbullying. What are some of the reasons why people take part in cyberbullying? What are the effects on children and teenagers who are victims of cyberbullying?

- Write at least 250 words.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this task.
Causes and solutions

In this type of question, you will be given a problem or situation. Your task is to describe the causes of the situation and some solutions to the problem. The question may ask for general solutions (e.g. How could this problem be solved) or ask how specific groups can solve the problem (e.g. What steps can governments and individuals take to address the problem?). You do not need to mention the effects in detail, but just briefly.

Sample Question
Many inhabited areas of the world have been affected by severe flooding in recent years. What are some of the causes of this phenomenon? What can be done to prevent if from happening?

- Write at least 250 words.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this task.
Two-part question

In this type of question, you will be given two questions and you will need to answer both questions. The two questions will be different. For example, you might need to assess the importance of an idea or action (e.g. How import is it?) and say whether you agree or disagree (e.g. Do you agree or disagree?).

Sample Question
Nowadays, many schools use computers during classes as a way to motivate children and to teach them IT skills. How important is it to teach children to use computers? Do you think using computers in class is a good idea?

- Write at least 250 words.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this task.

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