IELTS Sample Questions for the Writing Test

When you practice your IELTS writing, it is important to use real IELTS tasks. On this page is a list of carefully-selected IELTS sample questions. The tasks cover a wide selection of task types and topics, from both the Academic and General Training tests, tasks 1 and 2. Use these sample questions when you practice your IELTS writing.

IELTS sample questions

Remember to plan your IELTS essay before you start to write. This will help you to answer the task fully, and help you to write a coherent IELTS essay. Also remember to include a variety of cohesive devices in your essay. Finally, if you would like me to check your essays, and suggest improvements, you can use my IELTS writing correction service.

Click on one of the links below to jump to the task type you want. Good luck with your writing!

IELTS Sample Questions

Academic Task 1

Academic Task 2

General Training Task 1

General Training Task 2

Academic IELTS Task 1

Academic Task 1 - table

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the average band scores for students from different language groups taking the IELTS Academic paper in 2015.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - table

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows a breakdown of companies advertising expenditure in different media sectors in three countries (Australia, South Korea and Brazil).

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - process diagram

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The diagram shows how a transaction works from an ATM (automated teller machine).

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - process diagram

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The diagrams below show the life cycle of a species of large fish called the salmon.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - line graph

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graph below shows the total number of people travelling within the London area over a typical 24-hour perios using three forms of transport (car, bus and underground).

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - line graph

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graph below gives information from a 2008 report about consumption of energy in the USA since 1980 with projections until 2030.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - bar chart

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The bar charts below show changes in the monthly sales of new vehicles in the USA over one year when compared with the previous year. The vehicles are in three categories – large SUVs (sports utility vehicles), large pick-ups (a kind of truck), and all other vehicles.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - bar chart plus line graph

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The chart below shows the amount of money per week spent on fast foods in Britain. The graph shows the trends in consumption of fast foods.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

You should write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - map

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The map below is of the town of Garlsdon. A new supermarket (S) is planned for the town, The map shows two possible sites for the supermarket.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic Task 1 - map

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The two maps below show an island, before and after the construction of some tourist facilities.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Academic IELTS Task 2

Academic Task 2 - Family

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people view conflict between teenagers and parents as a necessary part of growing up, while others view it as something negative which should be avoided.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Jobs

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Most high-level positions in companies are filled by men even though the workforce in many developed countries is more than 50 per cent female. Companies should be required to allocate a certain percentage of these positions to women.

To what extent to you agree?

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Jobs

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The problem with society today is that it is essentially unbalanced, with some people being paid huge salaries to work very long hours, whilst others do not have a job and have too much time on their hands. There is no middle ground.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Jobs

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions.

Some people think this is fully justified while think it is unfair.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Modern Life

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Although modern life has brought with it improvements in people’s standard of living, people are not generally happy with their lives.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Education

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people think that parents should teach children how to be good members of society. Others, however, believe that school is the place to learn this.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Education

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

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?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Environment

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

What other measures do you think might be effective?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Health

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

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.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Academic Task 2 - Economy

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products anywhere in the world.

Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

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General Training IELTS Task 1

General Training Task 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You are going to another country to study. You would like to do a part-time job while you are studying, so you want to ask a friend who lives there for some help.

Write a letter to this friend. In your letter:

  • give details of your study plans
  • explain why you want to get a part-time job
  • suggest how your friend could help you find a job

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses. 

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear...

General Training Task 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You have recently started work in a new company.

Write a letter to an English-speaking friend. In your letter:

  • explain why you changed jobs
  • describe your new job
  • tell him/her your other news 

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear...

General Training Task 1

You should spend 20 minutes on this task.

You are working for a company. You need to take some time off work and want to ask you manager about this.

Write a letter to your manager. In your letter

  • explain why you want to take time off work
  • give details of the amount of time you need
  • suggest how your work could be covered while you are away

Write at least 150 words.

You do not need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear....

General Training IELTS Task 2

General Training Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people feel that entertainers (e.g. film stars, pop musicians or sports stars) are paid too much money.

Do you agree or disagree?

Which other types of job should be highly paid?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

General Training Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some parents buy their children a large number of toys to play with.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for the child of having a large number of toys?

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

General Training Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people think that the teenage years are the happiest times of most people’s lives. Others think that adult life brings more happiness, in spite of greater responsibilities.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

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