Learn how the IELTS general training writing is different from the academic writing test. Learn about IELTS general training writing task 1 and writing task 2. Useful links are provided for GT students.
IELTS GT Differences for Writing Task 1
General training students will need to write a letter for writing task 1 but academic students will need to write a report. See below for details.
General Training Writing Task 1 Letter
Academic Task 1 Report
- Students must analyse a chart, graph, table, map or diagram.
- Students must highlight key features and present data or information.
- Students must write over 150 words.
- It is recommended to take no more than 20 minutes for this.
- IELTS Sample Charts
IELTS Writing Task 1 Scoring
There are four marking criteria for IELTS writing task 1. Only one criterion is different for GT students.
- Task Achievement General Training: This refers to using the appropriate tone and also purpose. It also relates to the word count.
- Task Achievement Academic: This is about presenting key features, having an overview and accurate information. This also relates to the word count.
- Coherence and Cohesion: This is the same for both GT and Academic. It is based on organisation of information, paragraphing and linking devices.
- Lexical Resource (Vocabulary): This is marked using the same band scores for both GT and Academic. This is about using appropriate language, using collocations and the number of errors made.
- Grammar: This is also marked using the same band scores for both GT and Academic. This is about using a range of grammar structures and tenses, punctuation and the number of errors made.
Each criterion is 25% of your total marks for writing task 1. See the task 1 band score descriptorspublished by IELTS which show the difference between GT and academic writing for Task Achievement.
IELTS GT Differences for Writing Task 2
There are only minimal differences between IELTS general training writing task 2 and the academic task 2. Below is a list of the minor differences and similarities between the essays.
1. Essay Question Difficulty
One difference is that the essay question for the General Training writing task 2 is often easier. It is written in a way that makes the issues clearly and easier to understand. Here’s a sample of a GT essay question and an academic essay question.
GT Essay Question Sample
Some students travel abroad for one year before starting university.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?
Academic Essay Question Sample
Some people think that space exploration is a waste of money and the funds should be relocated to other more needed areas.
To what extent do you agree?
*Please note that it is still possible to get the education essay question in the academic test.
2. Topics for Essays
Another slight difference is that the topic giving for the IELTS general training essay question is a more common topic, such as family, society, TV, schools, communication etc. However, in the academic test, there is a wider range of topics from family and education to space exploration or economics, which can be more challenging.
3. Essay types for General Training
The types of essays are the same for both general training and academic IELTS papers. You could get an opinion essay, a discussion essay, an advantage disadvantage essay, a solution essay or a direct question essay. At the bottom of the 100 IELTS essay questions page, you will find some practice essays for each type. And on the writing task 2 page, you will find model essays for each type. All this is suitable for both GT and academic students.
4. Marking & Scoring
The marking criteria and band scores are the same for both GT and academic students in writing 2. Here is a link to learn about the band scores for writing task 2 from band 5 to 8. To see the band score descriptors published by IELTS, click here. You will see that there is only one scoring for all essays.
5. IELTS GT Essay Writing Techniques
Another similarity is the technique for essay writing. It is the same for both GT and academic essays. Students for both the GT test and academic test will study from the same methods, tips and advice for IELTS essay writing.
This means all writing task 2 lessons on this blog are suitable for both GT and academic IELTS students. See here: IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips, Model Essays and Free Video Lessons
6. Essay Length and Timing
The length of the GT essay is over 250 words which is the same as the academic essay. Likewise, 40 minutes is the recommended length of time for both types of essays.
7. Advanced Training for Writing Task 2
I also offer advanced lessons for writing task 2 which you can purchase. My lessons are suitable for both General Training and Academic students: Liz’s Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons. Lessons explain the techniques needed for a high score based on IELTS band score requirements.
Using the Official Writing Answer Sheet
Students taking the general training or academic writing test, must select the right box to tick on the official writing answer sheet in the test. Please watch this lesson about filling in the official IELTS writing answer sheet. It explains about selecting the right box for either general training or academic writing.
Recommended IELTS Tips
IELTS Writing Task 1 Lessons,Tips & Model Answers for both GT Letters and Academic Charts
IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons, Tips & Model Essays
Main IELTS Pages
Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.
Free Sample IELTS Essay 1 -
"Computers & Children"
1 Essay, 2 Results: How to Transform a Good IELTS Essay into a Great IELTS Essay
To get a high score on your IELTS essay, you need to know what a great essay consists of. To help you understand this, we have given you a chance to read two versions of the same essay – one good and the other great. Both versions have been written by an experienced IELTS trainer.
Just read the two versions of the same sample essay below. You may wish to print them out to compare them more easily. Then, try to learn some expressions and sentence structures from the high-scoring essay. Use them, if possible, on exam day, and you will certainly get higher marks on your IELTS essay. Be sure to check out our other free sample IELTS essays, too.
Using a computer every day can have more negative than positive effects on children. Do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Essay 1 – High Score – Band 8-9
In today's modern world, computers are an essential part of everyday life. Around the globe, children often use computers from a very young age. Although it is important for children to participate in various well-balanced activities, in my opinion, children who use the computer daily are actually developing a critical skill for future success. The bases for my views are personal, academic, and professional.
From a personal point of view, computers are an invaluable resource to help young people explore the world around them. For example, children who use Internet to satisfy their curiosity about diverse topics are already becoming independent learners. No child with a computer is ever bored! By starting early in their lives, children feel totally at ease around computers; they are also able to take advantage of the wide range of services computers provide.
From an academic viewpoint, children have no choice but to master this technological invention. For instance, when I was in university, students brought their laptops to class to take notes, do research and exchange information. They wrote assignments, created presentations and developed databases. Children who build early confidence and experience in these abilities are at a distinct advantage over those who have not.
From a professional perspective, the computer has found a permanent place in the workplace. Today, employers still pay to provide computer training to their employees. Tomorrow, corporations will expect prospective job applicants to already possess these critical job skills. Consequently, parents who encourage their child to use the computer for a reasonable period of time daily are in fact investing in the child's future career.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the computer as a technological tool is here to stay. The sooner children become computer-literate, the better for many aspects of their future lives.
(299 words)Essay 1 Medium Score Band 5-6
In today's modern world, computers are needed everyday. Around the world, children use computers from the time they are little. It's true that children should have fun when they are young; however, in my opinion, a child who knows how to use the computer will be more successful in the future. My reasons for this view are personal, academic and professional.
From a personal point of view, computers can help young people to learn more about the world. For example, some children use the Internet to find information on different subjects. In this way, they learn to find answers by themselves. By using the computer when they are little, children feel more comfortable around computers. They also know how to use the computer for different reasons.
From an academic viewpoint, children have to learn how to use this new invention. For instance, when I was in college, many students used to bring their laptops to class. They used to take notes, do research and share information. They wrote their essays, made presentations and created useful lists. Children who can use the computer when they are young have more confidence than other children.
From a professional perspective, the computer is found in every kind of office. Today, employers will still hire people who cannot use computers and give them computer training. But tomorrow, companies will expect people to have these skills already. As a result, by encouraging children to use the computer for a short time every day, parents are preparing their children for future jobs.
In conclusion, it is clear that computers are now a part of our regular life. Children who can use computers easily and confidently will do better in the future.