The IELTS Writing test has two parts, which are known as Task 1 and Task 2. In the Academic module paper, Task 1 requires you to write a report describing data or information and for Task 2 you must write an essay on a given topic.
These two tasks might take different forms. For example, in Task 1 you might have to describe a chart, a graph, a process or even a map. For Task 2 you might have to discuss two sides of an argument or you could have to answer two direct questions.
I thought it might be useful for students considering taking the IELTS Academic Writing module to have an overview of the different task types. In this blog post, we will list the various ways in which data or information might be presented in Task 1, as well as show you examples of the different styles of essay you may be required to write for Task 2.
(All tasks are taken from the Cambridge IELTS series of past papers.)
Task 1 types
This is an example of a bar chart task:
This is an example of a line graph task:
This is an example of a pie chart task:
This is an example of a table task:
This is an example of a task with multiple charts:
This is an example of a task with multiple sources of data:
This is an example of a process task:
This is an example of a map task:
Task 2 types
This is an opinion essay (agree/disagree):
Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children).
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
This is an advantages/disadvantages essay:
Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school.
Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
This is a problem/solution essay:
In many countries schools have severe problems with student behavior.
What do you think are the causes of this?
What solutions can you suggest?
This is a discussion essay (discuss both views):
Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
This is a direct question(s) essay:
Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than any experiences we may have in our life.
Which do you consider to be the major influence?
Here’s another example:
Happiness is considered very important in life.
Why is it difficult to define?
What factors are important in achieving happiness?
For a more in-depth look at the Academic Writing paper, there are more blog posts on the IELTS Edge site. Check out this post which is an overview of the requirements and this blog post about how to structure the different Task 2 essays.