How to Practice IELTS Writing at Home?

How to Practice IELTS Writing at Home

Are you bewildered by all IELTS Writing test advice on the internet? Perhaps you have followed some of them and even read a couple of books to improve your IELTS Writing skills. 

Still… Find it’s hard to practice IELTS Writing at home?  

You are not alone. A lot of students experience this dilemma.  Learning how to practice for the IELTS Writing test at home can make your life easy.  But, first, let’s learn what to expect from the IELTS Writing test. 

The IELTS Exam consists of 4 sections – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The Writing section of the IELTS Exam is designed to check your ability to assess relevant information from the given details and write a response by adequately structuring your ideas and grammar.

There are two types of IELTS Exams: Academic and General. Both of them consist of two parts – Writing task 1 and Writing task 2, and 1 hour is given to complete the test.

IELTS writing task 1 General
In this section, you will be given a problem that requires you to write a 150-word letter requesting information or explaining a situation. It can be a formal, semi-formal or informal letter. 

IELTS Writing task 1 Academic
In IELTS Academic Writing task 1, you will be given a diagram and based on the diagram’s information, and you have to write a 150-word report. It can be given in the form of a bar graph, pie chart, line graph, table, map or process.

IELTS Writing task 2 is similar for both Academic and General. But Academic Writing task 2 is slightly more challenging. 

To assess your English language skills, you will be given a topic and required to write a 250-word essay where you will justify your opinion with arguments, discuss views, give examples and supporting statements. 

You might get the following essays in IELTS Writing task 2: 

  • opinion essay, 
  • discussion essay, 
  • problem solution essay 
  • advantage/disadvantage essay, or 
  • direct question essay. 

You should spend approximately 40 minutes on task 2 because it carries more weightage than Writing task 1.

Marking Criteria:

Task Response (25%)
Coherence and Cohesion (25%)
Lexical Resources (25%)
Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)

Note: Marking criteria of IELTS Writing task 1 and IELTS Writing task 2 are almost identical, except for task response. 

Now let’s take you through some ways to practice IELTS Writing at home.


Read to enhance Writing skills? Yes, you read it correctly. Reading is one of the most effective practices to improve your writing skills. It is closely linked to writing. It will help you get familiar with various sentence structures, vocabulary, and grammar. Another benefit of reading is that it allows you to build knowledge and ideas. For example, in the IELTS Writing task 2 essay, you get an essay topic on global warming. If you have already read about it in magazines, journals or newspapers, you will be surprised at how easily ideas come to you while trying to write about it. Moreover, it will help you impress the examiner without putting in too much effort.

Purchase a grammar guide

Even though there are no direct questions on grammar in the IELTS Writing test, grammar still plays a crucial role in deciding your band score. Practicing grammatical structures will help you enhance your English writing skills. Also, with the correct grammatical structure, your ideas will be presented in a better manner. There are so many grammar guides available in the market that you can purchase at a reasonable cost to brush up on your basics.

Expand your knowledge on lexical resource 

To express your ideas clearly, you need a good vocabulary. That is not just being able to use lots of words while writing answers, but it means using them correctly. Find out when and where a particular word fits perfectly. When you learn new vocabulary, you should also learn how to use different transition words such as but, although, however, else. It will help you vary the structure and length of your sentences. Suppose, in IELTS Writing task 2, you have presented your opinion on the topic. There may arise a scenario where you want to bring back the same idea, take references to the sentence you have already written and restructure it completely with transition words and vocabulary.

Practice authentic tests

The IELTS exam is not difficult, but it requires a lot of practice to help you score your desired score band. As mentioned above, both IELTS Writing task 1 and IELTS Writing task 2 tests your English language skills on multiple parameters. You can get any questions in the test from the list of topics mentioned above. Hence, to be well prepared, you need to practice a lot. Many websites offer sample papers. But it is necessary to practice only actual test papers. Why? Because actual test papers can help you get familiar with topics and test formats. One such website that we are aware of providing authentic IELTS test papers is IELTSMaterial. It offers eBooks that contain recent actual IELTS papers with sample answers. It is one of the best resources to practice IELTS Writing at home. 

Make a plan that works for you.

Do not just organize the material but set a proper routine. Practice recent actual papers daily and observe your mistakes. Make a plan on what exactly you need to do to improve your test-taking abilities. Suppose, you observe grammatical errors in writing task 1 answers. Maintain a record of your mistakes in a notebook and refer to the grammar guide to correct those mistakes. It will also help you identify errors that occur frequently.

Here is a sample plan that you can follow to practice IELTS Writing at home

  1. Find authentic papers from reliable sources.
  2. Practice writing 1-2 tests daily
  3. Review your answers. It will help you identify mistakes and help you improve.
  4. Find someone knowledgeable who is aware of the IELTS test format, and guide you with the correct approach. 
  5. Take the feedback positively and work on your mistakes.
  6. Follow the same plan till the actual day of the test.