How many paragraphs for an IELTS essay?

How many paragraphs in an IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay?

Paragraphs are marked by the examiner in IELTS writing task 2. The criterion of Coherence and Cohesion, which is 25% of your writing marks, is about linking and paragraphing. See this page for more band score information & tips

All essays will have an introduction and conclusion – that is 2 paragraphs already. The body of the essay MUST be divided into different body paragraphs (usually either 2 or 3). That makes 4 or 5 paragraphs in total.

Can I have one body paragraph?

No, you can’t. You are being assessed on your ability to separate ideas into different body paragraphs. To get band score 7 in coherence and cohesion, you must have a central idea in each body paragraph with supporting points. You will be marked down if you put all your ideas in only one body paragraph.

Can I have 4 or 5 body paragraphs?

It is not advisable to have so many body paragraphs. To get a high score in IELTS writing task 2, you must develop and extend your main points. This means that each body paragraph must contain enough supporting points. Having 4 or 5 body paragraphs will not give you enough words to develop ideas properly for a high score.

What is the right number of body paragraphs?

Either 2 or 3 body paragraphs is enough to develop ideas and show your ability to organise paragraphs. With 2 or 3 body paragraphs, you can get a high score. When you read your essay question, you plan your ideas and then decide how many body paragraphs to have (2 or 3). You should not decide this before you enter the test. The number of body paragraphs will be decided by the type of question and your ideas. See my model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays

Main IELTS Pages

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  1. PAINY SHARMA says

    First of all your grammar book is amazing . every one should purchase this grammar book. I want to ask question from this book
    chapter preposition – ”The world will not be completely safe until nuclear weapons are banned” why you use [banned] past participle verb IS THIS NOT PRESENT TENSE?

    • The words “are banned” are passive voice. That is the reason you see “banned”. It isn’t a past tense “banned”, it is a passive voice “are banned”. I’m glad you are enjoying the Grammar E-book. I hope your English is improving 🙂

  2. HINA KAZMI says

    Hi Liz,

    Goo day!

    if it’s possible please assist for below queries :

    while writing ”I am”, I can write in small letter ï am ” or capital letter for ‘I” is a must.
    Secondly, in the computer-based exam, spacing of commas in a sentence will affect our marks.

    Lastly, is there any app you can recommend for grammar check for the IELTS essay.

    I look forward to your inputs and thank you in advance.


    • You can never write the pronoun “I” with a small letter. We always put a space after a comma – this is standard because it helps the reader. It is not recommended to ignore this. I do not recommend computers to check grammar – they are never 100% accurate.

  3. Sundeep Rajagopalan says

    Dear Liz.

    A very good morning to you.

    I have few doubts with respect to Writing tasks that too in Letter writing.
    I had understood the head of the letter when it is going to be a formal or an informal or a personal letter. While i am clueless about ending the letter. Do we need to include our name or an imaginary name to end the letter. Please clarify

  4. Hi Liz,

    I just wanted to say “Thank you very very much”. You are doing an amazing job with your classes and supporting material. I received my IELTS results today. I got an overall band score 8 and a 7.5 in the writing.

    I had only ten days to prepare myself and your content was essential in this process. So, I just wanted to express my gratitude.

    All the best!

  5. Hi Liz.
    I read that you have not been healthy for a long time and I sincerely hope that you will be well soon and I do not worry because you are a wonderful person and for that, the grace of God rests on you.

    I have some queries. You wrote that it is not advisable to have 4 or 5 body paragraphs but sometimes the topic says, for example that you should give “5 reasons proving that Governments are the one able to protect efficiently the environment for any kind of pollution” as the one I am dealing with right now. It means that I should have 5 main ideas and then 5 body paragraphs. Isn’t it? Or should I try to manage these 5 reasons in 2 or 3 paragraphs?

    I hope hearing from you soon. Thank you.

    • Where are you getting the essay questions from? Thanks for your kind wishes 🙂

      • Well, it was my past topic for the ielts exam session of the 20th of July.
        I want to take the exam again to improve my past score.

        • I would definitely say you have not remembered this essay question correctly. You are not tested on knowing 5 reasons – they is why you often choose two or three body paragraphs depending on how many ideas you have. You are not marked for knowing more ideas.

      • God bless Liz .God is with ,u did so much for good of ielts students.

  6. Hi Liz,
    I read comments from wich I came to know that your r not keeping well. Get well soon soon. Take care..💐😊

  7. Hello Liz,
    I am so grateful with all the videos and tips guiding me to write my IELTS very soon but when I discovered that you are not in good health, I equally felt depressed. Get well soon so that I should also feel fine. A student can’t succeed without his teacher. My regards to your family.

    • Thank you for your kind message. My health has been a problem for a long time which is why I don’t present and make videos anymore. But like all of you, I hope for a better future which I believe is possible with a positive attitude, determination and full insight into what I am dealing with 🙂 I wish us all luck 🙂

      • Hey Liz. Hope you feel better soon. You have done such a good work for the benefit of so many people, I am sure God will be kind enough and will take care of your health.

        Of course I am sure your positive attitude and determination will make a huge difference.

        All the best 🙂


      • Hi Liz,
        I just read about your health challenge. I pray that you are healed and free from every pain in Jesus name, amen. Your health is restored.

  8. Hi Liz madam,
    Saw many of your comments in which you said you are not well. That deeply hurts me. A good person who is helping thousands daily to learn a new language, you are. I wish the very best for you and your family. Get well soon 🙂

    • That’s such a very kind comment. Thank you so much. I battle health problems every day, but I really hope I will see real improvement later this year or next year.

  9. Prabhav Singh says

    Hi Ma’am,

    Please also make advanced videos on these task 2- essay question types as it would be very helpful:-

    1)Cause/Solution essay
    2) Direct question essay

  10. Hi, Liz, I took my exam yesterday. I’ve just recognized that I’ve made a huge mistake.
    The question in task2 was that

    ”Countries spend more money for transportation system on cities, and they share very little money for urban areas’ transportation. What problems can this cause ? What can be done to solve problems that will caused by this issue. ”

    Now I just remember that I wrote something like ”countries should alleviate their budget properly(to mean that they shoud share enough money for urban areas too) in my introduction and also in my topic sentence of a body paragraph. What I mean was ALLOCATE , not ALLEVIATE, but I wrote alleviate 2 times instead of allocate. Will this cause a serious problem for my essay? I thougt I can get minimum 6.5 in this essay but I doubt now that this one word mistake can cause a decrease on my score, because it was both in introduction and on the first topic sentence. Will it cause a big decrease?

    • The problem with this mistake is that it makes the idea impossible to understand. However, in the body paragraph you will have supporting points which will explain it. Hopefully the examiner understood your idea. If the examiner understood the idea, then it would count as a vocab error. If the examiner didn’t understand the whole idea, then it makes one body paragraph irrelevant which lower your score more. So, unfortunately, you will have to wait and see what impact it has on your score.

  11. Hi!liz how are you?you are doing excellent job.your tips are very useful. I ask to you a question please that is there important to get equal marks in each skill.if not so what should we do ? Again test?

    • I do not understand your question. You are given a score for each section and you are also given an overall score. If the scores are not what you want, you can take the test again. I have no idea what you mean by “are equal scores important”. Each person takes the test for different reasons and each person requires different results.

  12. Hi Mam
    I need to ask you a question, could I write an example from my mind like 50% of the world countries have a poverty problem.
    this example is not real and I just invent it.
    so is this allowed in IELTS writing task 2?
    Thanks again.

    • Statistics are not marked in IELTS writing task 2. So, there is no point inventing them. It is better to showcase your English and write “A significant proportion of the world’s population still lives below the poverty line”

  13. To get a band 7+ is it important to use very good english words ? And what happens if the essay is more than 250 words (say maybe 350?)

    Also how to conclude the essay ? As usually the introduction part and conclusion part talks about the same/similar thoughts. Can conclusion last paragraph be of only one or two sentences ?

  14. Vishal Venugopal says

    Hi Liz,
    I wanted to know when will you begin your own essay correction service.Also will the e-book be available on this website or do we need to mail to you get a copy.

    Please let me know.

  15. Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing well. I saw in one of your comments, you mentioned about Writing task 2 ebook. I am interested in it, how can I get it?

    One more question, I have taken IELTS several times (R9, L9, S7.5, W(6-6,5), but could not score 7 from Writing. I bought your Advanced Writing Course , but still have not reached 7 . What do you advise me?
    Thank you

  16. Hi Liz,

    I have some questions regarding Task-2.

    1, The body paragraph is usually divided into 2 paragraphs to express your points related to the thesis with examples (either adv or disadv). I came across a book related to IELTS preparation that includes a third paragraph, which includes opposite opinion with example as well. e.g. 2 paragraphs of advantages and 3rd one with disadvantage or vice versa. what is your opinion? is it ok to follow this theme?

    2, Do we get penalized for no indentation?

    3, Do prepositions counted as words in an essay?

  17. Hello Liz,

    I know you do not review essays. I would really appreciate if you could help me understand what band I fall into if my essay looks like this –

    Topic: In recent years, more and more people are choosing to read ebooks rather than paper books. Do the advantages overweight the disadvantages?


    Recently, it is observed that many people prefer reading ebooks over paper books. Reading online is easier than carrying a hardcopy with you.

    In my opinion, its a good practice to read ebooks than paper books due to its many advantages. Creating a paper book takes a lot of resources like trees, ink and the printing process. Time required to create copies of a paper book is enormous compared to that of an ebook. Additionally, it takes up a lot of space and adds up to the weight.

    Being said that, I think nothing can replace the feeling of sitting in a library or at a quiet place and reading a paper book one page at a time. People still prefer the old ways of stacking up books. However, as a reader, I can assure that rest of the experiences that come with reading an ebook are way better and enhanced.

    Devices like kindle let you carry any no:of copies of your favourite book and provide healthy reading interface. Research has gone into creating devices with a capability of designing devices that wont harm the human eye when used for a longer time. It is way easier to put a device like a phone, tablet or a kindle in your ban=g or you can simply carry it in your hands. It is way easier to maintain an ebook than a hard copy. You just have to ensure that you are storing your book on a hard drive that is secure and use a cover for the device to protect it from external conditions. You will definitely need to charge the device from time to time but it beats the cost required to generate copies of a paper book and to maintain and carry it. You can share a book online to any no:of users infinitely. which is not the case with paper books. It comes with its own limitations and more specifically, cost.

    In conclusion, the advantages of an ebook are more than that of a paper book in many aspects. You can contribute to the world by saving trees and energy required to print and share copies of the book by using them online.

  18. Mohamad.H Ipakchi says

    Dear Liz,
    You might want to check out this link:

    It looks a lot like your very own youtube video!

    • Thanks so much for letting me know. I’ve posted a comment to the website owner – hopefully they will remove my content. I appreciate your support 🙂

  19. Hey you said that there should be only one central idea in each body paragragh..
    Is it safe to write two body paragraghs and each paragragh contains more than one idea..

    • Each paragraph has a central theme. In the case of advantage disadvantage essays, it means that one body paragraph should contain either one adv or all your advs.

  20. Nouman Khan says

    Well, I love this website for supporting material and many other ideas but I wonder sometimes. We have been taught that for effective we have to provide different ideas but these should not be mingled. In the TIPS section of the same page, an expert is advising that paragraphs should not be of 5 paragraphs. Isn’t it a good idea to write an introduction, 4 different bodies with different ideas and extensions and finally the conclusion? If I am wrong kindly correct me. For further details check ” reader digest Write Better – Speak Better ” or Wren Martin High School English Grammar and Composition. It will provide a lot of ideas for writing.

    • You certainly do need to present different ideas. But for a high score you also need to fully extend those ideas. This means having four body paragraphs in such a time limit would result in small body paragraphs which are under developed. So, aim for either two or three body paragraphs – not more and not less. This will enable you to produce clear, distinct ideas which are also fully extended. You don’t get a higher score because you have more ideas.

  21. How many paragraphs are needed in task 2 ….4 or 5

  22. Hi Liz,
    In the essay, if I find out that I missed some words in a sentence, can I use an arrow to indicate and add back those words on top of that sentence? Will the examiner consider those words?

  23. Hello Liz,
    Is it true that we lose score if there is too much erasures (by either pen or pencil) in the writing test?

  24. hello liz,
    Can i draft my essay tast 1 & tast 2 in all capital?

    • Draft? You are referring to your plan?? How you plan your essay is your choice. The plan is written on the question paper and the examiner doesn’t see it. You do not write a full draft of an essay – never. Only a plan.

      • Well that was really helpful, but I also want to know from you that is it allowed to write the essay in all capital letters?

        • It is allowed but it is not recommended. When you write using all capital letters, it’s hard to see full stops and the start of new sentences. This can affect your score for grammar.

  25. Hello Liz, I regularly follow your posts and your lessons and its very helpful. I have given IELTS couple of times and have scored an overall band of 7.5 every time. But my writing doesn’t reach 7. I am only able to score 6.5. Will be great if you or anyone can help me review my essay and give some feedback on how can I improve my writing skills.
    Topic: In recent years, more and more people are choosing to read ebooks rather than paper books. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

    Nowadays reading books online has become more popular amongst public than reading physical books. In my opinions, the modern reading style will never overcome the traditional ways, atleast in the near future.

    Firstly, reading paper books has its own charm. One can read a book in any posture that is convenient. Secondly, there is tremendous focus and pleasure while reading paper books unlike ebooks, where the focus tends to be disrupted due to various factors like; work, emails, advertisements social network etc. Thirdly, people have an emotional attachment towards their books. It is a very common practice since years that people prefer maintaining a plethora of books as a library at home and they feel pride in doing this.

    On the other hand, if we compare the modern methods of reading books, even it has its own pros and cons. For example, as soon as a book is launched the copies are available for public to read whereas the physical copies takes time to reach to the common man. Furthermore, one doesn’t have to carry a physical copy everywhere along. It can be read on a laptop, mobile phone, Mac book, app etc. Lastly, you don’t have to purchase a boom as it is available on internet for free or for very minimal fee.

    To conclude, given the fact that ebooks have its own advantages, the practice of reading paper books will still continue as people are more connected with emotions and convenience.

    • Hi Deena,

      I am not sure what Liz has to say on this, but your essay seems to be 7+ band to me. Here are few minor corrections (mentioned in CAPS) which I could find.

      • Nowadays reading books online has become more popular amongst public than reading physical books. In my opinions, the modern reading style will never overcome the traditional ways, AT LEAST in the near future.

        Firstly, reading paper books HAVE its own charm. One can read a book in any posture that is convenient. Secondly, there is tremendous focus and pleasure while reading paper books unlike ebooks, where the focus tends to be disrupted due to various factors like; work, emails, advertisements social network etc. Thirdly, people have an emotional attachment towards their books. It is a very common practice FOR years that people prefer maintaining a plethora of books as a library at home and they feel pride in doing this.

        On the other hand, if we compare the modern methods of reading books, even it has its own pros and cons. For example, as soon as a book is launched the copies are available for THE public to read whereas the physical copies TAKE time to reach to the common man. Furthermore, one doesn’t have to carry a physical copy everywhere along. It can be read on a laptop, mobile phone, Mac book, app etc. Lastly, you don’t have to purchase a boom as it is available on THE internet for free or for A very minimal fee.

        To conclude, given the fact that ebooks have its own advantages, the practice of reading paper books will still continue as people are more connected with emotions and convenience.

  26. Hello Liz. I have read and watched several videos from you, and I think I have an information misplaced. Is it right or wrong to divide paragraphs with a blank space?

    And I understand that there are differences between Academic writing task 2 and that of the General Training. My problem is, how do I know which would most probably be set since I am writing for the Academic and do not have enough time to go through them all.

    Thanks for everything. I hope you feel better now, though?

  27. Hi Liz,

    In one of your lessons Bar chart (UK & France expenses in consumer goods) , I was expecting you to cover the paragraph A, B which compares between two countries in (cars, perfumes and cameras in A ) and (computers and books for B).
    Instead of that you used one paragraph with mixed categories??

    please, tell what to do

  28. Mustafa KORUK says

    Hello Liz, great work with your content. Just a quick question, do we need to avoid repetitions from Task 1 as we are writing Task 2?

    • Task 1 is a short report. There shouldn’t be repetition. The introduction introduces the chart. The overview gives a description of the key features. The body paragraphs provide details (data). That’s all.

  29. Hello ! Liz i have one question
    I do not any structure of IELTS writng , but i have exam after 2 months.
    Can i improve it to Band score 6 in 2 months ?

  30. Hello Liz, and thanks for your informative website.
    I am curious about the length of paragraphs.If I am a proponent of one side of the question, and the length of the second paragraph(which supports my opinion) is shorter than the other one, will I be penalized for that?
    I mean what would happen if the first paragraph is about 150 words and the second one is about 100 words.

    • Each body paragraph contains a central theme or main point. Each main point should be sufficiently developed. The examiner will marking you on how well developed your ideas are. If some ideas are more developed than others, it is not a good sign.

  31. Rohinikant says

    Please tell me Mam,,, if I write in example my won experience is it good or not in body paragraph……

  32. Hey liz,
    Through most of the post I’ve been, what i didn’t find is how to answer the question when the topic is contradictory for myself?
    For example the topic in first comment about Whether to let children decide on their own or not. What if I’ve opinions in both context what shall I really do?
    Should I go through only one perspective or can I mention multiple views on same topic.

    Suggestion would be great from anyone, Still Liz your help will be much appreciated.

    • If you haven’t had training in presenting a partial agreement, then it’s better to choose one side. Making a mistake with the way you present your opinion could seriously affect your score. For this reason, my advanced lessons about opinion essays is 1 hour long – this is the only way to avoid such complications:

  33. Hello, Liz and everyone who follows this awesome blog. I have a question which is really important to be answered, either by Liz or anyone who can offer me some help.
    Yesterday I wrote an essay on the following topic:
    “Some people believe that allowing children to make their own choices on everyday matters (such as food, clothes and entertainment) is likely to result in a society of individuals that only think about their own wishes. Other people believe that it is important for children to make decisions on matters that affect them. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion”.

    I organised my body paragraphs like this:

    In the first body paragraph (about children becoming egoistic), my main idea was about children not being mature enough to define what is right and what is wrong, therefore making extreme efforts to persuade their parents to fulfil their wishes, which results in the development of a spoiled character. Consequently, children become self-absorbed and cannot be controlled by their parents.

    In the second body paragraph (about the importance of decision-making by children on everyday issues), I stated that children learn how to be independent, as they are taught by experience and create their own personality. I presented an example of the way a child chooses to dress up, as clothes allow people to express themselves in a unique way.

    In the last body paragraph, I expanded my opinion which I included briefly in the introduction. I believe that children should make choices depending on their exact age.

    And now, here comes my question: are those ideas off-topic? I have not presented them the way I did in my essay (as I know that Liz does not comment on writing anymore). But, do they seem irrelevant, at a first glance? I am really concerned about this and I would appreciate a reply, either by Liz or whoever could help me. Thank you in advance, and I apologise for the long post.

    • Your main ideas are not off topic at all. You’ve organised your ideas and paragraphs very well. But some of your supporting points might less focused. For example, in your first body paragraph you are absolutely right to write about children becoming self absorbed which could continue into their adult life. This is relevant because the essay question is about a society of individuals. But your point about parents not being able to control them is not on topic – this is not about parental control, it’s about selfishness. Even with minor points lacking a bit of focus, it is still possible to hit band 7 in Task Response.

  34. Hai Liz…could you please correct my essay if i posted it here ..?

  35. Dear Liz,
    I have attempted Ielts twice and got 6.5 and 6 respectively.Could you please suggest me about how many essays should I write each day to achieve a band 7.Please guide me.I shall be extremely thankful to you for this act of kindness.

  36. Helle Ms Liz, Thank you so much for your tremendous help. You are one of the best I have come across. I would like to ask about the band score in the writing exam. Does it get to band 9? Cause in your writing section assessment criteria, it only explains from 5 to 8.
    Thank you so much again

    • Yes, you can get band 9. I only gave the criteria for the usual band scores. Also because the real difference between band 8 and 9 is the accuracy and level of your English.

  37. Bhavin Mangukiya says


    My IELTS tutor told me to write atleast 6 paragraph in writing task 2. can you please tell me that is correct?

  38. Hi Liz,
    Although I am excellent at speaking ,listening and reading as well yet not even good at writing,i feel so.
    So m going to ask you whether I may use this structure in introduction of writing task 2.
    As follows:
    – Paraphrase
    – thesis statement
    – outline statement

  39. Hello Liz I want to ask you if our own opinion is asked then it is necessary to mention in introduction of task 2

  40. hii liz using same words more than two times reduced band or not
    please answer me

  41. Hello Liz …

    Do i have to include the conclusion in all Essay i.e ( Whether the essay is opinion or Discussion or Essay

  42. You might be wondering why I’m on the writing page and talking about Reading – I’m just going through a refresher :o) I scored 7.5 in my first test but I’m aiming for 8.5 or 9 this time around. Fingers crossed :=] Thanks again for the great tips!

  43. Hi Liz,
    Your videos and lessons have been incredibly helpful. Many thanks!! I even recommended it to a few friends who also shared the same sentiments.
    I am re-sitting my IELTS this Saturday, as I obtained a low score in reading in my test with 5.5. I desperately need a 6.5 to achieve a University requirement. I guess I under-estimated the reading section and spent more time studying the S, L and W, which clearly showed. Not impressed! My only challenge with the reading part is the T,F, NG/Y,N, NG – I’m improving but still not 100% there yet. I have one day to go…..Any advise would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance,

    • When you look at the statement in the question spend time underline not just key words but also clauses and meaning. Think of the full meaning of the sentence. A True answer means that the meaning is found. A False answer means that the meaning is wrong. False is when the passage corrects part of the sentence. The meaning of NG is that you can’t correct part of the sentence because there is no information to say it is wrong or right. So, start thinking of Right / Wrong / Can’t say. Then you have your answer.

    • Ahmed iqbal says

      Hey Liz. I am giving my ielts again on Saturday the 17th. I got really good scores. An overall bandscore 8 with S8.5 R8 L8.5 but a 7 in writing. I need a minimum 7.5 in each. Can you please give me a few tips to improve my writing so I get atleast 7.5.

      Also please note that I think last time around I wrote an under word essay and got penalised . I’d be really glad if you could help me out and help me get that 0.5 more in writing. Thanks in advance 🙂

  44. razzaque says

    I want to write a paragraph about population problem but I want to use 9 brand vocabulary and phrase. If you help me by sending a sample paragraph , addressing important idiom.

    • You will only be able to get band 9, if your English is band score 9. You can’t cheat a language test but memorising phrases or sentences.

  45. Khira Adalin says

    Dear Ma’am Liz:
    we are taught to follow DEE format in body paragraph for task 2. Define, Elaborate and Example. Do examples have to be personal experience like my self or a friend or family? Do I have to use first person in my examples?

    • I have not heard of DEE format. Each teacher has their own techniques and methods. You need to learn the difference between a recommendation and a requirement. You do not need to give examples in writing task 2. You can choose to give them or not give them – it won’t affect your score. You can give examples in first person or third person – I prefer students to give examples by referring to the world in general as it produces a better range of English for the examiner.

  46. Dear Liz, I improved my reading because of your great website (4.5 to 6.5), but still i need to work on it to get score 7.
    Thank you.
    Kind Regards

    • Keep going. You can do it. Remember to make a list of paraphrases used in all questions and also the common traps you find 🙂

  47. Hi Liz,thank you so much for your wonderful advice and video lessons. Must I give an example to back my point in the two body paragraphs of the academic writing task2? Should I give examples only when it is feasible?

    • You use examples as you wish. It’s an easy way to support your ideas but not the only way. You make the decision of what suits you and what is best for your essay.

      • Hello,
        Thank you for all what you do for us.

        Can I ask you what I should do if i could not understand tha meaning of the words in the statement 🙁
        And should we leave a space before the first paragraph?

        Sorry, but is the structure of the first question correct?

        • Just start writing where you want on the paper – at the top is best. If you don’t understand the words in the question, you have a problem because you are marked on your answer. So, try your best to get as close to the issues as possible. However, nearly all IELTS essay questions are written clearly and are easy to understand.

          • Thank you so mush. I got it 👍
            But I meant before the first sentence of the first paragraph.
            The last question was about my first question actually, but it’s OK now.

            • Just start on the first line. But if you start on the second line, it doesn’t matter. There are really no rules about this. You could even start on the third or fourth line. The examiner will expect to read the introduction first – that’s all you need to think about 🙂

  48. Hi Liz,,,

    Should I write a main idea in each body paragraph?

    • Each paragraph should have a central theme , a central topic. In an opinion essay, each paragraph contains one main point for your view with supporting points. In a advantage/disadvantage essay, each paragraph has a central theme – advantages in one paragraph and disadvantages in the other. Body paragraphs for writing task 2 should be reasonably balanced in length – unlike task 1 where they can be of different lengths. See the model essays for task 2 on this page:

      • prasad reddy says

        Hi Liz,

        I need to improve my speaking part 3. if i don’t know the answers I may get pissed off and my mind will go blank.please give some advise on this.

        • Why would part 3 make you angry? One of your main tasks in preparing for IELTS is to develop ideas for topics. This is so you can speak easily on different topics and express your thoughts. Even if your own language, if you don’t know the topic, you can still express yourself – your language doesn’t cease or fail. So, practice ideas for different topics and practice getting in and out of questions depending on how many ideas you have. See the main speaking page:

  49. Hi Liz, I did my exam tod2ay but I am worried. For my essay paragraphs, I made sure the paragraphs ended at the middle of the line.
    However I did not indent or leave a blank space. It’s very obvious that it’s a different paragraph but no space and indentation. Would I be penalised for this? Should I forget it and just write another ielts?
    Thank you.

    • As long as your paragraphs are very clear, it will be ok. But in future, always leave an empty line between paragraphs – it’s easier for the examiner.

  50. Pedro Goidanich de Castro says

    Hi Liz, I have one doubt that I coud not find the answer anywhere.
    My handwriting is terrible, because of that I usally write using capital letters.

    If I want to use something like e.g. or i.e, do I have to write them in lower letters or capital letters?

    I know that they are suppouse tu be written in lower. However, I am afraid to be penalized because all the rest will be in capital. What do you recommend me to do?

    • You NEVER use ie or eg. You need to show your English which means linking words: for example, for instance, such as – see my page on linking words.

  51. Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot for all the valuable info posted in the site.
    I have a question regarding thesis statement and have mentioned below.
    While answering advantage and disadvantage essay would it be fine to write the thesis statement in the following way,
    This essay will argue that remote working is clearly beneficial in many cases. It will show how the main advantage is time for yourself and will discuss how a possible downside is isolation.

  52. I am ok with reading and listening section plz help me to improve speaking and writing .the main problm that i got in these two modules is deficiency of ideas sometimes so wht can i do to improve this ….thnkew mam

  53. Hello Liz,

    My question is a little silly, I am hoping to still get an answer from you. I have searched in google that it’s acceptable to write all caps in listening and reading part of the test. My question is, how about in writing test? Is it okay toi write in all caps? thank you in advance for your answer. I am really new to this.

  54. Hey Liz!
    Do i need to write background statement in the introduction paragraph in all types of essay?
    Or only in opinion giving types?

  55. Navjot Virk says

    Hlo liz . Is the writting task 1 structure has been changed From about last 6 month

  56. Referring to the link

    Under the Coherence and Cohesion you have mentioned that,
    ” Your score will increase if you :
    – have either four or five body paragraphs but not more and not less”

    Is it advisable to have 2-3 body paragraphs or 4-5 body paragraphs?

    Although I have seen your sample essays that all contain 2-3 body paragraphs, but still its confusing because you also mentioned that to increase the score 4-5 body paragraphs are required.

    Hoping to get a revert to my query soon.

    • Sorry, it should say – 4 or 5 paragraphs. I’ll change that now. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • Hello Liz,
        Thanks for the reply.
        Took my IELTS few days ago. The Speaking section didn’t go well, I could speak for around 30 sec only for the cue card, apart from that the rest was ok. The LRW was good enough.
        Your blog has been really helpful. For the writing task 2, the task was to discuss two views, and that was very similar to the model essay posted by you under the agree /disagree model answer.
        How much will the cue card task affect my speaking scores?

        • It will affect your score for fluency mostly because you didn’t show the ability to speak at length. The cue card contains prompts which are only guidelines and not questions to be answered. You are free to add any kind of information, story, description or detail to your talk to lengthen it – there is no such thing as going off topic in part 2 speaking. But if you did well on the other parts and other marking criteria, hopefully you can still get a reasonable score. Let me know what happens. I’ll keep my fingers crossed! 🙂

          • Definitely, will let you know, once I get the TRF.

            • Hi Liz,
              Got my results today. The overall score is 6.5, with individual scores as follows:
              L=6.5, R=7.0, W=6.5, S=5.5
              The scores are not up to my expectations. As pointed out earlier my speaking task was a disaster, so a score of 5.5 in speaking task is as expected. But the reading and listening scores are not matching my expectations, it’s far below than what I had been expecting( esp. the score in the listening task).
              Is there anything I could do now? Should I opt for re-evaluation?

              • It is highly unlikely that you will get an increase in more than one area of your test from remarking. Listening and reading scores very rarely change from remarking as the scores are based on right or wrong answers rather than examiner interpretation. It looks like you might have to take the test again. A low score can happen if you are unlucky in the test with topics and questions. But even so, make sure you score higher in practice tests before you book another real IELTS test.

  57. You have done one mistake while explaining the criterias of paragraphs and the mistake is
    …… (Can I have 4 or 5 body paragraphs?

    That is not advisable. It get a high score in IELTS writing task 2, you must develop and extend your main points. )

    Now, in the second line you are saying that “it get a high score” .
    We always use ‘s’ or ‘es’ after it with the verb. So may be you were saying that it doesn’t get a high score but undoubtedly you have missed this ‘doesn’t ‘ .
    Kindly correct and I really appreciate for your work and I regularly visit to your site , it really enhances my knowledge . I appreciate for your work .

    • Very well spotted. It’s a typo. The word should be “To”. I’ve corrected it. Thanks for letting me know.

    • Waleed Alsabbagh says

      I is an oversight not a mistake … not a big issue.

    • Don’t write, “I really appreciate for your work.”
      Write, “I really appreciate your work.”

      Don’t write, “I regularly visit to your site.”
      Remove the “to” and instead write, “I regularly visit your site.”

      Don’t write, “I appreciate for your work.”
      Instead just write, “I appreciate your work.”

  58. Iago Videira says

    Hello Liz.

    First of all congrats on the website, its amazingly useful 🙂

    I took the ielts recently, and i forgot to paragraph the essay, and i only got a 7. Im repeating it now. Do you think that paragraphing alone will raise that 7 to a 7.5 or an 8?

    Thank you for the website and all the help

    • If you don’t have paragraphs, you will get band 5 for Coherence and Cohesion, which is 25% of your marks in task 2 (this also applies to task 1). You MUST use logical paragraphs and use linking devices well to get a high score. In fact, you must have done very well in task 1 and also in the other aspects of writing task 2 to have got band 7 overall. I can’t say if it will certainly raise your score as it will all depend on your performance on the day. The fact that you don’t seem to be aware of what the examiner is looking for and how your writing is scored suggests that you are taking risks for the writing component of the test. Seriously consider getting at least one of my advanced lessons to open your eyes to the techniques you need to use and the skills you need to show in your essay writing: I wish you lots of luck in your next test. Please let me know how it goes 🙂

  59. Hi Liz,
    looking at band descriptors on writing, I’ve got a few questions:

    a. What is a “clear position through the response”
    b. What is a ” clear progression through the response”(really have no idea how can indicate it)
    c. What are “less common lexical items”? What are they? If there have some list?
    and lastly
    d. It is said “uses a variety of complex structures”, while for lesser band of 6, its written “uses a mix of simple and complex sentences forms”? Do they mean that in order to get 7 in grammatical range and accuracy, the candidate must not to use a simple sentences at all in essay, and only complex structures is allowed?

    I would be grateful for detailed reply.
    Thank you in advance,

    • A clear position means that you maintain your opinion through the whole essay and don’t suddenly change your position in the conclusion. That is for any question that requires your opinion. A clear progression is of ideas – order, linking etc. Less common items are those you might learn at intermediate or upper intermediate level – they are higher level. Common items are those used eveyday which are common to pre-intermediate levels and lower. To get band 7 people should be used complex sentences – the odd simple one might be ok but certain not a balanced of complex and simple.

  60. I have written more than 400 words in my IELTS writing task 2 part, and more than 250 words for Task 1; am I going to lose marks for such a fact?

    • no u wont loose any of the marks .. It all depends on how effectively and how innovatively u have represented ur ideas in an apt manner…………..!

  61. I have given three time IELTS but unfortunately in each exam i’ve got 6.5. However, in last attempt i’ve even mentioned statistics, research etc. in order to back my arguments.
    I would like to know is it better to mention those points or is it better to give descriptive answers backed by logic etc?

  62. Hi, mam
    M very weak in reading and writing . I already had 5 time ielts but m not getting 7 always you. 6.5 or 6.0 . Can you please help me

  63. Wassup people, I read most of your comments guys, just want to say two words: you guys are great. No offense to Ms Liz, you guys trynna past the test on laguage which you don’t know and plus write an essay, I’m pretty sure if people from UK or US will try to pass a test on other language they wouldn’t get even score 3 or 4 , reason why ? because they are lazy, I’ve met some guys from different countries in the US, they speak english that good that you couldn’t tell they are not from here. So is my rommate, he works for internet company and he’s on the phone since 6am morning to 5 pm evening. That is almost 12 hours. So keep it up! Once you pass the test and travel to some english speaking country, it will take maximum 1 or 2 years to speak english with no problem! Respect to ya’ll and have a wonderful day!!! Khodahafez

  64. Michael Carmelo says

    Hello Mam Liz, Good day. I am Michael from Philippines. I have this problem in composing a paragraph in Writing Task. And I am planning to take my IELTS exam this April. Is there any pattern on how to make a paragraph in Writing skills. Thanks

  65. Fahim usman says

    Hi Liz hope you doing well….
    I am fahim from india….i have scored 7 bands in academic ielts on 9th Jan. This is my bad luck that i was not aware of this site before my exam.
    I am currently working as a assitant teacher in my classes from where I had tutions of ielts.
    I will have most of your site for my juniors. You are doing best job…keep it up….

  66. Hey Liz,

    I just got to know this website of yours. It seems awesome!

    My problem–or what I lack– is it’s been month, even years, I have longed to find a way to boost my writing ability.

    I am not –at least at the time– thinking about writing fiction or poetry, just writing practical things: good essays, powerful one-page writings, writings which express my meaning concisely, accurately and learnedly in one page. To do this I have pressured myself into finding books any trying to instruct myself, but it’s not been enough There needs to be some people around to be like a community. Without it I lose track or forget or lose interest (you know the last time I tried doing this, bettering my writing was this time last year and I do not even remember what I wrote then.)

    I make searches on the internet to find pals or community of beginning writers but of no avail.
    I believe I should look for people who read my essays and find their faults, and I ,in return, do the same for them, or pay them (paying I don’t know if be possible, since I live in Iran and transactions are impossible.)

    I appreciate your advice.

  67. Dear Liz
    I just want to get your attention on something,
    Under the section of “Can I have 4 or 5 body paragraphs?”
    You said : That is not advisable. It get a high score, you must…
    I think you wanted to say : To get a high score, you must.. I understand the pressure you’re under by working on this wonderful blog. So, I just want to get your attention to it.

    There is also in section for IELTS writing task 2, specifically under Essential writing task2 tips. You said: The most important tips to write a strong essay in writing task 2.
    For me, I could not understand the sentence, when I read it, I’m like waiting to see, the most important tips to write a strong essay in writing task 2 are….(then you just explain them). I dont know, can you explain this part, please.
    Best regards,

  68. Hello Liz,
    How UK IV IELTS exam is different from normal IELTS? I mean which parts of the exam is common for both and which are those that are different in writing, speaking , listening and reading.


  69. Ji Soo Choi says

    Hi Liz
    My name is Poppy and I am from South Korea.
    I have taken Ielts for six times now and I am taking another one on this Saturday.
    For all six of them I’ve got 6.5 or 6 in writing despite that I’ve got 9 in reading and listening.
    What am I suppose to do? I am so lost 🙁
    Any kind of tip would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you

    • Make sure you learn the band score requirements for each band score in writing and speaking. You can find this information on the main pages of this blog. Prepare ideas for all common topics in writing and speaking – see main pages. Remember to add lots of extra information to answers in speaking – the examiner only wants to hear your English language, not your ideas. In writing, review all models, paragraphing, linking etc. Also think about my advanced writing task 2 lessons:
      All the best

  70. Liz i already attempt 3 Ielts Test
    1st time score speaking 7.0, listening 7.5,,writting 6.5,reading 5.5
    2nd time score speaking 7.0, listending 7.5, writting 5.5, reading 6.5
    3rd time score speaking 5.0, listening 7.0 writting 6.5 reading 6.5
    i need 6.5 minimum all four parts always one part less than 6.5 any suggestion for me please?

    • You need to spend more time reviewing the band score criteria for speaking and writing so you understand what the examiner is looking for. See my main pages. Also make sure you aim for accuracy in English for speaking and writing rather than try to impress the examiner. For reading and listening spend more time working on paraphrasing skills and also techniques for question types.
      All the best

    • I would file an Enquiry of Results (EOR) on the Speaking part if it is not too late. There should not be such a difference between your first two Speaking scores and the third score. There is a slight chance that your mark will be raised to a 6.5 (unless you know you did poorly) and you won’t have to sit the test again.

  71. Dear Liz..
    I took the exam 3 times and I keep getting a 6.5 in the writing wile I need a 7 at least .. all my other categories are above 7
    What can I do differently to get the extra 0.5 ?

  72. hello mam, im arti from philippines. i recently given ILETS test but i didn’t get the band score that i achieve for my result in (L-5.5), (R-5.0), (W-4.5), (S-7.0) = overall- 5.5. i was required 6.5 bands and i need your help to make my writing, reading, and listening bands higher. help

    • You will need to have better English to get a higher score. Spend more time developing your English to a higher level before thinking about IELTS.

  73. Hi Liz,

    I’d like to know if using first , second or third person is fine in writing task 2?

    Like for example to this question:
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your country or study abroad?

    I use most of my sentence as the first person and talking more about myself and own experience.

    Thank you so much!


  74. Hi, Liz! Can I use cursive writing in my writing tasks? I was told never to use that because examiners will have a hard time reading the paper. I tried writing in block letters, honestly, I am not comfortable. Feels like I am dwelling with my ideas and thoughts for the writing itself and as the way I write. 🙁

    Ill be taking my exams this Dec 5th in the Philippines, is that cursive fine? Or should I keep on practicing for block writing. Thanks.

  75. suman shrestha says

    hi liz…thank for your help. I am preparing for ilets exam but i have problem in writng task 2. I can’t find opinion and can’t support my views. please help me…… 😀

  76. Hi Liz,
    I am going to take the test in January.i am not able to speak on the topic which i get during speaking practice.eventhough i have some idea,m not able to elaborate it.would you please tell me how to solve this problem.

  77. Hi Liz:
    Thanks for your advice. may I know how can I generate ideas about Essay topics?


  78. Dr. Raheel Anis says

    Hi , firstly I want to thank you , while going through your lectures I had my band score overall 7 in just 10 days of study , but I am suffering problems in writing , I have very low score in it which effects my overall band score as well my registration requirements, so I need to improve it.

  79. Hello Liz,

    I get stuck with Yes, No and Not given questions. They are bit tricky. Is there any special tip to deal with this.

    Amar Lal

  80. Hello liz , i would like to thank you very much for this lesson which is very useful , i wanna ask you for the most probable topic in task 1 thank you

  81. Hi Liz, I’m Jacopo from Italy, I just want to say THANK YOU! Your blog was essential for my preparation, especially for Writing task 1 and 2. In particular, I think that all your tips about the writing structure are fundamental to get a good band score. There should be more people like you in the world 🙂
    All the best
    Jacopo (Overall 7.5/ Listening 7.5/ Reading 8.5/ Writing 7.0/ Speaking 7.5)

  82. Hi, Liz! Really like ur every lesson, but I can not find any examples of essay 2, could u send some.. thanks

  83. hi liz, your lessons are very useful but i am so nervous , my exam will be next saturday

    • Relax. Review the model answers for writing and speaking. Then focus on the most difficult types of question for reading and listening.

  84. hi Liz
    i have done a few times of IELTS in academic style. maily got speaking 7, listening 7.5, reading 7, and my writing has been on 6 or 6.5. i need to get all straight 7 at least. I am not quite sure how to get it improved. any tips??

    much appreciate your help

  85. Hi Liz,
    I recently attempted IELTS exam and I got following scores:
    S: 7.5, R: 8.5, L:9 and W: 6.5.
    I am going through your lectures and they are very useful. Is there any place where I can get my writings tasks evaluated? So, I know what mistake I am doing?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t offer that service this year and I don’t have the details of a teacher who does.

  86. I’m Milton. I’m Angolan I will getting IELTS next month.

  87. hello madam,last ielts score is L-6.5,R-6,W-5.5,S-6,PLEASE GIVE suggestion for improvement of band score

    • To go from overall band 6 to overall band 7, you need better English. Spend time checking the accuracy of language you already know and then building on it. Always aim for accuracy to get more than band 6. Then review key IELTS exam skills – most are mentioned on the pages of my blog.

  88. Navneet Girdhar says

    Hi Liz,
    I would like to that you for the magnificent work that you have been doing through this blog for IELTS preparation. I took it recently and got this amazing score of L-9,R-9,W-7,S-8 and overall 8.5. Your website helped me a great deal with all the modules during my preparation. You are truly helping all the aspiring candidates and a big thanks to you. Keep up the good work!

    • Overall 8.5, an excellent result. It is an inspiration for all other students. Thanks for letting us know. I’m glad my blog helped.
      Good luck with your future plans.
      Liz 🙂

  89. gurjant singh says

    hloo liz test is on 8 august but in my city every trainer prefer diffrrnt method than i found on internet their method for tadk 1 is INTRO ,BODY PART1,BODY PART 2, OVERALL this right or wrong double minded abou pattern

  90. Hello Liz,

    I just wrote the IELTs english test and used the paraphrasing technique in the Writing Task 2.
    I substituted the word young children for youths in some parts of my essay. Now I am thinking about whether or not that was an appropriate choice and if not what are the consequences?

    • If you only made one mistake with vocabulary, you can still get band 8. It actually depends on how many mistakes you made throughout your essay as well as the other marking criteria. Don’t worry too much. Wait until you get your results.
      All the best

  91. Hi Liz,
    My IELTS Academic exam is scheduled to be held on August 1. This would be my third attempt for the same and every time I score less in writing(6.5) and my requirement is 7 in each module. The rest of the modules I have managed to score more than 7. Could you please guide me so that I can crack the test this time. Also, kindly let me know if there is any way so that I can email my writings to you for evaluation. Please help.

    • Hi Neha,

      Check this page with tips about band scores for writing: You need to learn what causes your score to go up and what causes it to decrease. There is a similar page in the writing task 1 section. Unfortunately, I don’t offer essay marking.
      All the best

    • gurjant singh says

      hloo miss neha ..i dnt know u but i want one hepl from u wrote ur task 1..means INTRO OVERALL BODY PART1 and BODY PART 2 or something else.. and moreover from where u got training

  92. My IELTS exam is on 23rd july and my writing part is not as good as it should be. I’m just getting tensed day by day. I’ve already practiced so much. Now i dont know wat to do.

    • I don’t know what I can suggest. You need to look at the method used for each type of essay question by reviewing my models. You need to look at the essay structure, linking, and length of each paragraph. Try to find where your weakness is.
      All the best

      • well thanks for the above suggestion…i hope it will help me all the way.
        i have one more problem…. I get nervous while speaking… can u suggest how can i gain some confidence?

        • Firstly, do practice speaking tests. I have two on this site. Secondly, prepare lots of ideas and vocabulary for common topics and practice using them to answer questions. Thirdly, practice speaking your answers out loud rather than in your head or on paper. Please watch my video about developing your speaking at home on the speaking page. With practice, I’m sure you can forget your nerves for 14 minutes in the test.
          All the best

  93. Beatrice says

    Liz thanks very much for your free ielts tips. Will a writing band score be affected by the repetition of a particular word like (Spent) up to 5 times in task 1?. I couldn’t just figure out a synonym for that word and i was running out of time because i started with task 2.

    • Not all words can be paraphrased and some words might be repeated. “spent money” will be repeated but you could change to “spending on” or “expenditure”.
      All the best

  94. My ielts exam on 25th July 2015 and my reading score is poor 5 .. I want to improve my skills in reading …

  95. Manpreet says

    Hi Liz, i am having an exam on 21st July. i am confident but little week in reading..need your guidance for reading please.

    • All my advice and tips are on my reading page. Please take a look. Work through the practice lessons to develop your skills. Make sure you have a clear strategy for each type of question.
      All the best

  96. Hello liz…..i am very nervous because my exam .11 july ……My Acedamic reading performance is very poor then how can i improve it….

    • Working through my lessons, tips and videos to help. Spend time deconstructing and reconstructing my model essays to understand more about essay writing.
      All the best

  97. Hello mam, I am Sandeep from India. I recently given IELTS test but i am not got sufficent result ((Read. &List. -5)-(Writ.&Speak-5.5) overall5.5). As i requried overall 7 band no less than 6 band in each modules. So i need your’s help how i improve my band score.

    • You will need to improve your English language significantly to get a higher score. That means being able to produce complex language with few errors to get band 7. The more errors you make, the lower your score will be. Also work on exam skills and understanding all the different types of questions in each section of the test.
      All the best

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