The contents of the IELTS General Training Writing section are different from the contents of the IELTS Academic Writing section. This is why test-takers must make sure which writing test they are attempting, so that they can work with the right sort of sample questions. IELTS General Training Writing includes two tasks. Task, 1 involves writing a letter, for example, requesting information or explaining a situation. The aim of this task is to assess your letter writing skills, the manner in which the information has been used and inter-linked, the writing style, the language, the opening and the closing of the letter. On task 2, test-takers need to write an essay in response to a point of view, problem or an argument. The aim of task 2 is to assess your language, method of organizing and inter-connecting information. Most importantly, the objective is to assess your discursive writing conventions.
IELTS Writing Practice Test IELTS General
The duration of the first writing task is 60 minutes. There is one question on task 1. It involves letter writing. Answers in the form of bullets or notes are not accepted. All the answers must be written in the answer booklet. The total number of words should be around 150. The letter writing topics is related to everyday situations. For example, writing to a local newspaper or writing to a renting agency. The writing style should vary depending upon who the letter is written to. The candidate can adopt a formal or semi-formal style, if the letter is supposed to be written to a hypothetical manager. An informal style is used when the letter is written to a friend. Test-takers will be penalised if the answer is too short. Test-takers must not spend more than 20 minutes on task 1 as this would mean spending less time on task 2 which carries higher scores. Plagiarised content will be penalised as well.
Writing task 2 involves writing an essay of at least 250 words. It is important to read the instructions carefully before attempting to write the essay. The instructions may require you to write an essay presenting facts or one may have to give a solution to a presented problem. The topics are interesting. For example, banning smoking in public places or discussion about environmental problems. The information in the essay must be arranged cohesively and relevant examples must be provided. Test-takers who do not attempt to complete this task will greatly reduce their scores.
IELTS exam papers and IELTS sample papers
In order to score high on the IELTS General Writing section, test-takers must practice questions from the IELTS exam papers or immerse themselves in IELTS writing practise. There are plenty of resources available online. takeielts.britishcouncil.org has practice tests for the writing practice test IELTS General Training. They can be downloaded. Candidate can familiarize themselves with the instructions so that they do not spend too much time understanding the instructions on the real exam. They can also time the exam. IELTS Essentials is another resource that offers General Training IELTS Writing practice tests. They include sample answers of task 1 and task 2 with examiners comments.
The official IELTS website offers downloadable General Training writing samples for the IELTS writing test. The sample answers are provided along with examiners comments.
Paid resources are available in the Cambridge English website for the General Training test version. Examples include, Cambridge IELTS 11 General Training Students Book with answers and Cambridge IELTS 11 General Training Students Book with answers with Audio.
These resources are considered to be the best tools to prepare for the IELTS General Training Writing test. Test-takers can also visit Magoosh to get additional tips to prepare.