Skip to content

The IELTS Writing Task 2 explained

I said this many times and I will repeat it again, “To write a good IELTS essay, you need to get into your examiner’s head”. You’ve got to understand what makes you gain or lose marks, because once you do – you can’t go wrong. What I am about to reveal here can be found in the IELTS official site, but I am explaining it in simple English.

This is how they grade your essay: you receive points for Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy. Looks heavy? Never mind, here comes the simple English version:

“Task Response” means that your essay shows that you considered and covered all the aspects of the topic. Let’s take this topic for example – “Internet: connecting or isolating people?”. Those who only chose to write about how Internet connects people – lose marks, those who only chose to write about how Internet isolates people – lose marks, those who compare and contrast both sides of the Internet and give arguments for and against – gain marks.

“Coherence and Cohesion” means how well you connected the paragraphs and sentences inside each paragraph. You see, all of your paragraphs need to be logically connected. For example, if paragraph 1 explains the advantages of the Internet, and paragraph 2 explains its disadvantages, then paragraph 1 should have a last sentence saying something like this: “In spite of Internet being a great help in communication, its drawbacks should not be overlooked”. This sentence creates the connection between 1st and 2nd paragraphs. If it weren’t there, the examiner could have thought that you jumped from advantages to disadvantages without a reason. The same rule applies to sentences inside the paragraph. Every sentence should lead to the next one.

“Lexical Resource” means vocabulary and different types of sentences, simple and complex. You should be able to use words and their synonyms.

“Grammatical Range and Accuracy” means spelling and grammar of sentences. You should be able to spell the words correctly, do not forget the articles “a/an” and “the”, the punctuation is also important, and so on – you get the picture, don’t you?

One more important thing to know: the four criteria are equally weighted. It means that if you forgot about the “Coherence and Cohesion” in your essay, you will lose 1/4 of your essay points.

It is quite possible that after reading this explanation you still couldn’t write a good IELTS essay. This is where “Ace The IELTS” book comes in. It has a full chapter dedicated to IELTS essays, which explains from A to Z the whole process of essay writing and makes it so easy that a child could do it.

There are topics of essays for you to practice on and our teachers are waiting to check your essays and make sure you are ready for the real IELTS test. And, of course, I am here to answer your questions, solve your problems and support you every step of the way, write me to simone[at]

26 thoughts on “The IELTS Writing Task 2 explained”

  1. I’m going to take the IELTS test in the near future. Here I have a question about “TASK RESPONSE.” I wonder how I would define which kind of title is a comparison one or an argument. As the example written in this article, “Internet:connecting or isolating people?”, if the title changes into “Internet:isolating people” and ask me if I agree or not. Should I then write an argument instead of writing the comparison? Hope that u could understand what I’m talking about, cuz I got confused my self. Thank u very much!:)

  2. You are confused because you think that there are 2 different types of topic, comparison and argument, when they are the same type. So here you should discuss 2 points of view – why some people think that Internet is isolating people and why others think it connects people. I hope that makes it clearer.

  3. Pingback: How to submit your IELTS essays, letters and reports for free grading | IELTS-Blog

  4. Pingback: IELTS Writing - How to avoid getting penalized or disqualified | IELTS-Blog

  5. Pingback: IELTS Writing Task 2 « Diary of a Teacher

  6. Pingback: Preparation tips from high achievers of June 2011 | IELTS-Blog

  7. Thanks much for this great and helpful stuff. Its really good and and informative one. I have never get confused or not satisfy. This blog covers many things regarding English learning just like Learning English Online. Thanks once agin for this great stuff and I hope to see more.

  8. Thanks for sharing all the points. It is really fruitfull but I have a question about Coherence and cohesion. As it is mentioned that paragraphs need to be logically connected. For example, paragraph 1 should have a last sentence saying something like this: “In spite of Internet being such a help in communication, its drawbacks can not be overlooked”. This sentence creates the connection between 1st and 2nd paragraphs. My question is, can’t I use connecting sentence in the beginning of paragraph 2 ?

  9. Hi Damanpreet, when it comes to being able to think of something to write about on a given topic, or something to say, it’s not always easy. If you are being asked about something you never thought about, how can you quickly put an answer together? The trick is being prepared, and for that you need to go over a list of most recent IELTS questions and topics, and write down a few points or things to say. Learn about new topics by reading articles online, Google the new topics and read information from news sites or other trusted sources.

  10. Hello mam
    I have exam on 15 december . I have problem in task 1 and give some tips for specific idea for task 2 academic

  11. Dear sir,

    My vocabulary is weak how can i improve it and reminds it for long time. Same creats problem in reading, writing and speaking section. I got six band but i need 7. Please help me

  12. Thank you so much for this piece of advice. It has really helped me. Looking forward to perform better than what I have done

  13. hello sir,i have more problem in task 2. please sir could you help me, actually i face grammatical problem and how to make long sentence i mean complex sentence

  14. Yes, certainly, by using idioms you show that you know some advanced expressions. The key is to use them appropriately, otherwise the examiner will understand that you memorized them but you don’t really understand what they mean.

  15. Hello, mam
    I am hir
    Now, I am preparing for GT ielts.
    But my many problems in writing & speaking task, because my first language is gujrati,what can I for exam preparation.pls help me 🙏sir…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *