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May 21, 2011


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Thanks Simon for posting this! This really helps :)

thanks a lot Simon
can you help me with "book" this spoken topic

Hi Emily,

Have a look at this lesson:


Hi Simon, how can examiners know that candidate's papers is written from memory? What if they misunderstand?

Hi Katherine,

It's only a problem when the essay is full of phrases that students use for any topic e.g. "This is a controversial issue nowadays". If you have memorised a good phrase that is relevant to the question topic, that's fine.

Thanks very much! ^^

Hello Simon,

I just took the IELTS exam 2 days ago in order to secure my place at university.

There are 2 questions I would like to ask.

1. I believe that I did really well on Task 1 in writing. However, task 2 was under length (approx. 50 words short). How serious would it affect on my writing?

2. Also, I have got a conditional offer, which says: "Pass at IELTS with overall band score of 6.5, with no component below 5.5".

Does it mean that I would be all right although I obtain a 5.5 on one of the components (e.g. writing) or do I need at least 6 for all components?


Hi Raymond,

1. It will affect your score a bit, maybe 0.5 of a band.

2. It means that you can get 5.5.

Hi Simon
I have to say thank you for all your very useful tips
I was wondering how you said writing test correct by one examiner while at the bottom of paper written Examiner 1 and Examiner 2.
Many thanks to you

Hi Salamat,

Good question. The second examiner is only used if there is a re-mark.

Hi Simon,

I am worrying so much. Because I have written 110 words for task 1 and 240 words for task 2(by approximation). How heavy am I going to be penalised, especially task 2?

Hi Francois,

Don't worry too much. You might lose about 0.25 of a band overall.

Dear Simon,
Could I use pencil in both writing task

Yes, they usually give you pencils.

everything went will except that I was running short of time in essay 2 and my handwriting became slightly illegible as in that it is clear to read but i fear sometimes maybe what i meant as a "g" could look like a "y" and similar.....do u think id suffer greatly on my score due to this????

Hi Shiham,

If it's impossible to read, that's a problem. But if it's just one or two slightly unclear letters, don't worry.

I am worrying so much. Because I have written 70 words for task 1 and 274 words for task 2(by approximation). How heavy am I going to be penalised, especially task 1?

Hi Simon, I took IELTS exam today and I ended up writing well above 150 words for the writing task 1 whereas my task 2 essay is short by almost 50 words. How bad is this going to affect my writing score?

Hi everyone,
I did request to re-mark my scores in February. Recently, I received an email from test center to inform me that my final test report will be back to me in May. They didn't tell me anything related to my scores. Can Anybody know about the chance that my scores increase?

Hi Simon,

"Writing task 2 contributes twice as much to your band score as Writing task 1"

I am wondering how it would be calculated. EX:
If i get 4 in Task1 and 5 in Task2 then how much would be overall Writing score?


I am not native english speaking person. so little bit scaring about this exam. I need at least 6 band on each module in General Test. How much effort is needed for me to reach that level.

If possible please give some tips.


hey simon
i just got my results today
i scored 7.5 overall,8 speaking ,7.5 reading ,7.5 listening ,6 in writting
the problem is i need minimum of 7 in each
i have big problem with my handwritting since i lost my index finger in an accident ,,,,any idea how can i do better or complain or take some special exam


I noticed IELTS requirement as a" overall 6.0 & no band below 5.5" ,So what `s the 5.5..?(is it mean overall or each band)..?

Looking forward to hearing you

Thanks & rgds


What`s the minimum raw band scores hit 6.0 and 5.5 in academic reading...?

in my ielts exam i have one mistake like i written task one INSTEAD Of task 2 so examiner chack my essay or not?

hi simon,

I just finished my ielts today 17Aug2013. I was so disappointed on my exam recently especially on my speaking. By the way, about my writing, i wrote more than 150 words in Task 1 but in Task 2 is only 220 words. Do you think how much will it affect my score? Thanks.

in my ielts exam i have one mistake like i written task one INSTEAD Of task 2 so examiner chack my essay or not?

in my ielts exam i have one mistake like i written task one INSTEAD Of task 2 so examiner chack my essay or not?

I just finish my IELTS today and mistakenly I wrote the word instead of the letter in listening part. Will the examiner mark the answers as wrong?

hi! In my writing test 1, I wrote and squeezed in all the words in the first page. And in task 2, I wrote it on the next page which is actually the space for task 1. I haven't realized not until i was finished with the exam.

I have one question for you,How the examiners count the words?If I would use 1 word twice is it 1 word or 2 .Thank you. Shoxrux

I wrote about 220 words in my academic ielts writing exam. How much would it cost me?

Hi, Simon,

Is it ok to use statistics to support our claims in IELTS essays?

Hi Hade,

Please tell me how much band you got in writing? I want to know as I have done same mistake today. :(

Mine was round 220 words also. I want to know how much it affects on overall score? How much you got in writing?

please tell me I am waiting for your reply. Please reply me on [email protected].

Hi simon,

I just took my IELTS exam earlier. I am really bothered with what I did with my writing test. I actually need a 7 in all four tests. I think i did well on the other three exams except for writing.

If i get a 7 or a 7.5 in task 2 and a 6 or a 6.5 in task 1. Is it still possible for me to get a 7 in my writing test??

Hi Simon,
You may have been bored by having been bombarded by the same questions but forgive me for having to ask a similar one. I only managed 240 words on the Task 2 essay writing. Considering the answers for Task 1 and Task 2 are appropriate, how much penalty do you think it is likely going to cost me? Is it only going to affect the 3 subscores of the Task Response or is it going to affect the overall writing band score by 1 or even more?

Thank you so much for yor attentiona and your response will be very much appreciated.

Hi Simon,
Did it cost my score if my hand writing is not that good ...its actually clear to read but not that good as i wrote over 500words....
Please reply as soon as possible...

Hi simon , plz answer my question which is so crucial to me . I had ielts exam last saturday and my writing topic was " there is increasing trend of changing people career throughout their life. What is the reason for this trend and are this development positive or negative"
My problem is that i probably went off topic by misunderstanding "career" with people job and wrote about why people change their job not their career, however i mentioned all point like lack of job satisfaction , low salary, lack of opportunity for more improvement , lack of adaptability . Also i wrote my own view that if this trend is goid or not, now i want to know how much my score would be affected by my misunderstanding . I mean i wrote about adverse condition in specific job not general term of career . Plz help me i need 6.5

Hi Simon, I am not satisfied with my Ielts results because I got 5.5 in writing but I am pretty confident that my writing module was up to the mark. Can I apply for remarking . Please advise?

Hi Simon,

I missed the heading of the Task1 question that had asked to write to council office about the road, whereas I checked only the points to cover within Task1 that asked to Write about my name, where I live, then describe about my problem to the council office(Seeing to describe my problem, interpreted as personal issue) and forgot to check the heading which set the tone for the actual points to write.

Will I lose all the marks for the reason that I described my building leakage problem, instead of the problem related to the road that was asked ?

Please advise.

I chose my building water leakage problem and later after coming out realized that the heading had the

I wrote less than 250 words (about 220) words for task 2 in my exam? How many marks I will loose?

hi! simon..I hve written ielts recently n awaiting my test results...this is the second time..frst tyme I managed to get all above 7. except my wrtng..wch was 6.5. this tym I managd well..however the task 2 question was a bit tricky..and now I felt so that I hve deviated out off topic a bit.I hve cmpltd both tasks well..including grammar..punctuation..etc.but I hve injusted many ideas in a paragraph without proper clarrification....I need 7 fr my writing..I'm wried a lot.wht do u thnk..wl I be penalized heavily fr wht I did in writing

Hi Simon,

I am wondering if I can get 7 in Writing if I didn't finish task one?
I feel anxious, so hope to hear from you soon

Hi simon,
I did not have time to talk about the disadvantage, while in elaborated a lot about the advantage, I managed to write conclusion, however I mentioned only 2 lines about the disadvantage,
How much will,this after the score?

Thanks in advance for your reply

I am wondering if I can get 6 in General Writing Test if I didn't finish task one?
I feel anxious, so hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you in advance.


I want to ask a question. Unfortunately I misunderstand writing task 2 and my essay is not related the main point. Also it is below to the 250. how much will the score, what do you think ?

hi Simon,

i wrote around 250 words for Task 2 but could not finish writing concluding remarks.

How much will this affect the score?

Hello simon and everyone

I have a doubt ..i have given my exam this 25 oct everything went well except my task 2 as i wrote only 210 words can u tell me how much band will i lose though i wrote 160 for report and it went well enough .Looking Forward to your answer

Thx simon

Hi i have finished my ielts test today.there were 3 question in the task 2.unfortunately i didn't say anything about one task.but the other 2 task elaborated well. How will the examiner evaluate in this condition?

In writng session., atempt task 2 first then attempt task 1..bcz task 1 is having highest 3.5 bands and task 2 is having 5.5 bands overall.if u need sme more info thn tell me.
Rayan khan

Hi simon.I would like to ask you if I write more than 150 words in task one ,will the exceed words the examiner consider?

If by mistake candidate write task 1 on task 2 sheet and tsk 2 on task 1 sheet than wt wil be hapend

Hello Simon,
I am preparing for the General IELTS test and have exam on February. I have already attempted twice in IELTS and scored good(> 6) in L/R/S but lost .5 marks in W where I need to score all the 6 points in each category. My question is, do the examiners see the handwriting as well? Why because my handwriting is average. Also there have been 3-4 strike off (Corrections) in the paper when I was writing...even though I had written with pencil. Please do suggest me what kind of precautions to be taken while writing.

Hi Simon,
I have just taken Ielts test today. I am now very worried because in task 1, the question was " how men and women spent their time on different activities in 2008,in UK ". But .... In my introduction, i wrote "in America"
I know this was kind of off-topic. Andehat do youthink,how much it will affect my score?

Hai Simon,today I had ielts exam.unfortunately I couldn'the conclude my writing task 2.how much score will I lose?

Don't worry aju. You might not lose anything - the conclusion isn't so important. It's the main body that gets you a high score.

Hi Simon,

In my writing task 2, I slightly went off my topic. By what extent would that affect my band ?


My ielts (ac) on 21th march plZ share qustions ASAP specialy wrriting task plz help it is my last chance my time zone is +5.30 plz help me thanks in advance..


Hi Simon,
Thanks a lot for the tips, I have my exam in a week's time and I would like to ask a few things regarding it:
1) For writing task 2, can using foreign language phrases or idioms help get a higher score?
2) It is necessary to use complex language or words if aiming for a higher band?
3) can using simple language that is straightforward and direct to point, using simpler words, get a higher score?

Hi simon
how big is the penalty for a writing with a task two of 160 words?
many thanks

writing task1 i wrote only 110 word in task2 275 words how much band score penalised thank,...

hi simon
i had exam on 27/06/2015,i am very curious about my writing. my task 1 was fine,but my task 2 was underlength by 30 words approximately. how much it will affect to my score.please let me know.

Hi Simon, I did my exam 2day I wrote above 150 words in task1 but I forgot in ahurry to 250 words in task2,I think I wrote 180 words but in the good way. Could you please tel me what score I will get

I attended IELTS exam today.unfortunately I misunderstood the task 2 and wrote more than 250 words.whether will I get marks for that or not?


i recently finish the IELTS test but i have some problems in writing task. Actually the task is:
in many places people live long than they Used to.. what are the causes?? is it a negative or positive Develpoment??
but i misunderstood.. its on the Life but i consider the live as a place..
what are the chances of getting the bands??

Hi Simon,
Just a question, I recently took my ielts exam. In writing task 2 I forgot to write my conclusion.

The question was about :

"The natural resources such as oil, forests and fresh water are being consumed at an alarming rate. What are the effects of this? How can we solve these problems?

I pointed that global warming would be one of the major effects due to deforestation, so as air pollution because of over consumption in oil and deprivation of water in some regions, then I sighted an example..

Some solutions would be a shift of natural resources to renewable sources like hydro, solar and wind. I sighted some points about the control of people and environment friendly engines are to be used.

what do you think is my band score since I forgot my conclusion? I got more that 250 words though..

Thanks a bunch,


If the topic is on track but it is incomplete than how they allocate bands

Hi Simon,

I'm presently in a quandary relating to the task 2 of my writing module (Academic). Unfortunately, I have got off topic. As in, I was asked about international aid but I had written about international business. Even though I have added a good range of vocabulary along with organization of views. I even mentioned in a questioning way to make my introduction even more interesting. I included research says this and so forth. But the whole concept written was totally different. I need 5.5 bands minimum in each module. So how much should i expect? Hope to read from you asap. It is imperative for me to know about it. It would be very grateful if you would help me.


could anyone plz answer my query.Actually what i did in my writing section part 2 is that i misinterpreted my topic but grammar punctuation n oll was correct acc to me n even task 1 was correct.
So wat do u think can i score atleast 6 in witing section ?

Hi !

Can you ans my question pls?
I did task 2 on task one sheet ..
Is it acceptable or not????

Pls ans as fast as you can..

I'm so worried about it...

Is it ok if at the end of my writing exam i didnt write how many word i did for both tasks but both ar above 150 and 250 is it ok ?

Hello, my apologies for asking a similar question as everyone else but I wrote only half of task 2, severely worse than the others here who mainly didn't write their conclusions ( task 1 I completed ) I am fairly confident I should get around 8 on the other parts of the exam but the nerves about my failure in task 2 is killing me. I also need a minimum of 5.5, will I need to repeat the test?

Is there deduction for writing missed words above the line pointing with an arrow? I am very tensed i want to score good as my handwriting is good and my ideas were good too

Hi Simon,
I suppose i got 8 for task 1 and 8 for task 2. So how can i calculate my final score for writing?
Thank a lot!

I did my test yesterday 24th October, 2015 but i was unable to complete the task 2 due to limited time. i completed my task 1 but task 2 was over then 150 words. What IELTS band do you think they will give me.

I appreciate if you could reply to me.


Today I have given my ilets test but I wrote task 1 and task 2 with lead pencil. I asked from invigilator that is there any issue if i write with lead pencil he said no it's up to you.
But my sister scold me that why I write with pencil because this lost your impression..
And one more question
I use 1 full sheet ( both sides paper ) for task 1 and my handwriting size is normal ( mean not too big not too small ) but didn't count the words
I achieved word limit or not ??
And for task 2
1 Used 1 full sheet ( both sides of paper )
and 2nd sheet ( 1 side full and 3 lines of second side)

I have taken the test today. I think I failed in writing because I didn't finish task 1 (below 150 words). I done in task 2 but i think it was not a good enough in grammar. Do you think I can get 6.0 in writing?

Hi ,aron! Can I ask what bandscore you got? I had my ielts writting test today and I made the same mistake as yours. Did you get a bandscore above 5.5? Please answer thank you!

Hi every one, I just finished my LRW. I in task 1 I just wrote 115 words bcz of less time. My punctuation also not proper, at last in urgency I forgot to write faithfully. How much it effect on my band plz answer me. I'm so worry.

hi ........my friend mention wrong year in task 1....only year wrong.. it can be effect on bands or not...if yes then how much.

Hello Simon,

I know you answered same questions before but I'm really worried about my writing task 2 and I need a bit of information as I'm confused. I took the test last Saturday. My writing task 1 response was good. I addressed all the points. But unfortunately for task 2 I wrote only 220 words. I read in a website that I can get no more than 5 if I write under length. Is that true?

Hi Simon.
I had given my test a day before yesterday. I took much time in writing task 2 and used very good vocabulary words with proper introduction and conclusion. But could not find enough time to complete the task 1. I wrote near about 100-110 words in it due to lack of time.Other modules L/R/S, I done well. And, I require 6.5 overall with not less than 6 in each module (except 5.5 in one only)
PLZZ tell me. Am I eligible for 6.5 or not?

Hi Simon,

Hi Simon,
I have given my speaking exam today. While giving the exam I have noticed that I was a bit off from the topic and repeated a sentence twice. Does it going to effect my score. How much I can expect in such case?
I am sure that I talked well and confident, and every time I was stopped by the examiner to move to other part of the exam. Here I mean to say that at any point of time I didn't give a pause or break for the topic I was given. I have expressed my views very clearly. Please tell me how much I can expect?
Thanks in advance.

Hi Simon, I have taken my exam yesterday. I have done very well in listening and reading. I am expecting to get 8.5 in listening and 9 in reading. However I was unable to do well in writing as I misunderstood the topic of essay, but the structure of essay, linkers and grammar used by me was correct.and in task 1 I missed writing anticipation due to shortage of time .lettet was written well. I need 6 in each module. How much I can expect in writing?can I get 6 in writing? Thanks

hi ,i am worrying too much because i have written off-topic essay ..so hw much band i will lose? plz reply me..

Please reply my post of Sunday 1 may 2016.thanks in advance

Hey simon
If my writing tasks doesn't have paragraphs , is it okay ? If not how much is the penalty

Hi Simon
i took ielts 2 days ago, but i think i went a lil bit off topic in my task 2 writing. How would it affect my overall writing score?

Hi I have question today I had my first ever ielts test I wrote 170 words on task one and I think I wrote 240 or 241 on the task 2 what will happend to me

Just to clarify to everyone, though I am not 100% sure, it's been too long since I was an examiner:

Lose 1 mark= Task 1 111-140, Task 2 201-240 words
Lose 2 marks(and this is where I am not sure=
Task 1 71?-110 lose 2 marks, Task 2 141-200
Lose 3 marks Task 1 below 70 words, Task 2 below 140 words.

That's right, you can lose up to 3 marks, this is from TA & TR. Also, 4 or more words in a row copied directly from the questions are not counted.As mentioned, I am not 100% sure for word counts for losing 2 & 3 marks, I was trying to clarify when i found this thread. But hey, if you write so few words its close to losing 2 marks you are also losing marks for Vocabulary & Grammar range being limited and have probably not fulfilled the task properly.

Good thing is, you can write up to 10 words too few and not be punished, but please do not rely on that. Examiners hate having to make that judgement so if we are forced to decide if 241 words is exact or any word shouldn't be counted, we may just punish you because you deserve it.

Hi Simon,
If my introduction part of task 2 is very bad- I mean contains grammatical errors- can I expect 7.5 still?

Sir in task 2 i didn't write conclusion but my intro and body of the para is good .and i also write my opinion in second para that i also had to write in conclusion.will it effect my band score.

Hi simon, i did my exam today, will crossed words get a penalty?

Thank you!

hlo sir , by mistake i have written gas in stead of glass in intro nd conclusion but my process was written according to the given process chart only .. is my task will be evaluated or not ... but task 2 i have presented with good ideas ... how much bands ill get in writing? ..

I just wrote my ielts test. I made a mistake in my task 2 esaay.
Instead writing the effect international sports on world peace
I ended up writing its benefits. End moment I realised my mistake
and tried to justify the topic but I wasn't entirely successful. Otherwise its a
good essay I have written. So what are the possibilities now. Is it going to
affect my score really bad?!

Please revert for my relief



I have written my exam in last week. I have taken 30 minutes and wrote task 1 appropriately. in task 2 i have written exact ideal way like rephrasing, thesis statement in introduction and topic statement, examples and supporting ideas in both body paragraphs but wrote only 1 incomplete line for conclusion and my essay was not more than 250 words. So, is there any chance for me to get 6 bands... I have prepared well but was not able to manage time... Do i get 6 bands for that?????

Hi, can one be penalized for writing inaccurate facts?


I just took my academic IELTS exam today. I am worried about my task 1 as I've interchanged the variables or data. I supposed to write males instead of females. How would this agfect my score? What do u think is my score?

The test was 2 bar charts about ages of getting married in 1988 and 2000. Also, I was not able to wrap up my second chart meaning, I haven't completely finished it because of the time. Also, I think I did good on task 2 about society can benefit if all forms of advertising is banned as it serves no use and can often be damaging.

Please, I need your insights. I am from the Philippines.

Hi. I just had my ielts exam today. I discovered that I forgot to indicate which module I took on the answer sheer of writing task 2? Will my script still be marked and what would be the penalties? Thank you very much!!

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