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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)



IELTS is becoming one of the most popular exams taken by those who wish to study, live, or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication.


Here at The Language House we pride ourselves to have qualified and experienced

teachers that will prepare you to succeed in this exam.


The IELTS Academic and General Writing Modules are similar in some ways and different in others. Whichever test you do, you have one hour to complete two tasks. It is the nature of the tasks that makes them different. To complete an organised, coherent piece of writing, you need to take 2-5 minutes to plan. We have listed some tips for both IELTS

Academic and General writing modules:


IELTS Academic Writing: 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes.


In Task 1, candidates are presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked

to describe, summarise or explain the information in their own words. They may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.


How to respond when given 2 data sources:

Paragraph 1 – Analysing data source 1

 A sentence describing the first data source and the broad trend it depicts

 A sentence outlining the minor and minute details of the data source

 Another sentence outlining the minor and minute details of the data source (if needed)

Paragraph 2 – Analysing data source 2

 A sentence describing the second data source and the broad trend it depicts

 A sentence outlining the minor and minute details of the data source

 Another sentence outlining the minor and minute details of the data source (if

needed)

Paragraph 3 – Brief description of the relationship between the data types

 A sentence explaining the relationship between the sources

 A sentence for further explanation (if needed)

 A sentence elaborating or commenting on what this relationship means or what

perhaps caused it

 A sentence summarising, predicting or commenting on the data presented

In both paragraph 1 and 2, we are simply going to recite each data source individually,

stating precisely what each source shows.  In paragraph 3, we interpret the data source

relationship.


In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to Task 1 and Task 2 should be written in a formal style. You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. “Example: Write about the following topic:

The responsibility of bringing up children should be shared equally between mother and

father. To what extent do you agree or disagree?.”


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


IELTS General Writing: 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes.


In Task 1, candidates are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter

requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.

Identify the type of letter. Adjust your style and choice of words according to the type of

letter you have been asked to write. Open and close the letter correctly. Remember that

each type of letter requires a different opening and closing. You can see some examples

below:


Formal: To someone you have not met, whose name you don't know.


Opening: Dear Sir / Madam | Ending: Yours faithfully

Semi-formal: To someone you may or may not have met, whose last name you know and use.

Opening: Dear Mr. Brown, Dear Ms. Stone | Ending: Yours sincerely

Informal: To someone, you know well, whose first name you know and use

Opening: Dear John; Dear Anita | Ending: Best regards; Warm wishes

Identify the main purpose of the letter. Are you asking for help, apologizing, inviting

someone, complaining or thanking someone? Learn appropriate and polite expressions that will support what you need to say. Learn and use standard written phrases. 


Students sometimes struggle to finish their writing in time. This happens when you are trying to write every sentence from scratch. Make sure you write at least 150 words. Practice writing letters till you know what 150 words feel like and look like. You will lose marks if you write less.


Learn the correct spelling of commonly used words. It is surprising how many IELTS

students make a mistake when spelling words such as "sincerely", "faithfully" and "in connection with" and so on.


Stay on topic. In order to complete your letter within 20 minutes or less, practice writing

letters where you stick to the point. Include all three bulleted points. If you exclude even

one of the points given to you in the question prompt, you will lose valuable marks.


In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.


If you would like to know more tips and receive advice about taking the IELTS exam you can contact us by email info@thelanguagehouse.co.uk or visit our office and a member of our friendly multilingual team will be happy to answer your questions. We have an IELTS group that takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 16:30 to 18:30 and we are also holding a FREE IELTS writing class on Tuesday 4th December 2019 from 14:00h to 15:30h. Message us to book your place and don’t miss out. Spaces are limited!

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