Writing Task 2 FAQ


Hi there.

Writing Task 2 is one of the most difficult parts of the IELTS exam, and it’s something most people struggle with. So, you’re definitely not alone.

Don’t worry. You can make it much easier with the right knowledge. To get started, I’ve created an FAQ below with important information about Task 2.

Make sure you also check out the “5 Tips to Improve your Task 2 Score” at the bottom. Here I’ve included some great tips from real IELTS examiners.

Let’s go.


IELTS Writing Task 2 – Important Information FAQ:

Task 2 Sample


6 Tips to Improve your Writing Task 2 Score:


Writing is really something you need to practice in order to get better, especially essay writing!

However, if you just want some quick tips for Task 2 to help you out on an upcoming test, then you are in the right place.

Here are the 6 most important pieces of advice from real IELTS examiners for your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay:

  • TIP #1: Make an outline. This is by far the most important step in your essay! Make sure you take 5-7 minutes at the beginning to make an outline and organize what you are going to say. You can use the white inside page of the exam paper for this (don’t worry, the examiner won’t read it). Use your outline to figure out:
    • Your opinion/overall argument for the Task
    • 2-3 supporting points for that opinion
    • Some examples you can use to develop each supporting point

Use your outline to organize your essay before you start, so that when you write you can just focus on your grammar and vocabulary. If you want some help on how to make a great outline, see How to Organize Your Essay (...and make a Great Outline)

  • TIP #2: Follow the task question carefully! Failure to do this is the most common problem on IELTS Task 2, and this will lead to a bad score in Task Achievement. It’s very important to read the Task carefully, and answer all the questions in it. For example, if the task asks about advantages and disadvantages, and you only focus on giving your opinion, your band score will go down.
    • When doing your outline, just try to make sure you read the task really carefully, and make sure that your overall approach fits what you are being asked.
  • TIP #3: Keep your points simple. This is a short essay. You don’t need to explain a super complicated idea; your essay can be very basic. Keep your supporting paragraphs simple and just use one overall point for each. That is enough!
  • TIP #4: Develop your opinions and points. The examiner will be checking to see if your points are developed and supported well. This means you should not just jump from point to point, but instead take time to really explain your reasoning and give examples for each of your supporting points. Your points don’t need to be complicated, but you definitely should explain them well, with examples.
  • TIP #5: DON’T try to use fancy grammar and vocabulary. You don’t have to use special grammar or super complicated vocabulary in your essay. It’s better to keep your style simple, and conversational. Just explain things in a natural way that you can easily understand.
    • The worst thing you can do is use extremely complicated grammar or vocabulary incorrectly!
  • TIP #6: PRACTICE! Okay, this one is obvious… but you absolutely need to practice a lot.
    • You should use the actual examination paper when you practice. This will make your practice more realistic, and it will help you count your words faster by just counting the lines and multiplying by your average words-per-line. You can easily find this paper online.
    • Practice with many different question types. Some help here: Question Types and How to Get a Great Score in Task Achievement
    • If you want me to take a look at a Task 1 or 2 answer that you've written and give you some feedback, I can do that.

Okay. Now you know pretty much what to expect from your Task 2 Essay on the IELTS Writing Test, and you have some advice that you can apply right now in your practice!

The next step, for those who want to get more serious, is to go a little deeper into IELTS writing strategy. I recommend starting with How to Organize Your Essay (...and make a Great Outline).

Good luck.