Is a Conclusion Important in IELTS Writing Task 2?

A conclusion is essential for IELTS writing task 2. It is more important than most people realise. You will be penalised for missing a conclusion in your IELTS essay.

Conclusions: What are they worth in IELTS Essays?

There are four marking criteria for writing task 2:

  • Task Response
  • Coherence & Cohesion
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary

Your conclusion falls under the criterion of Task Response. You are given a band score for each criterion and then a total band score for writing task 2. If you fail to have a conclusion, you will get under band score 6 in Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Paragraphs in Writing Task 2

You must divide your essay into paragraphs. You can have four paragraphs or five paragraphs in total. You should not have three and you can’t have six. See below:

Option 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Conclusion

Option 2

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

Conclusion Length & Content

Your conclusion should be one or two sentences long. Not more. It is a waste of timing having a long conclusion and it won’t help your score.

Your conclusion should summarise the main points you provided in your essay.


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Conclusion Linking Words

Use the right words to start your conclusion for IELTS writing task 2. This lesson is for IELTS essays in both GT and Academic writing. Using the wrong linking words will lower your score.

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  1. Hi , I had my ielts yesterday and I had a cause and negative effects type in writing task 2. I paraphrase the introduction and I discuss the cause in paragraph 1 then negative effects in paragraph 2 but I’m so anxious that I forgot to write the conclusion. I don’t know why I forgot to write another paragraph for conclusion, maybe because I already reached the bottom of the page and I just realised now that I did not made a conclusion. I’m so worried now. Will I still be able to achieve 7 or at least 6.5 in writing?

    • There are four marking criteria for task 2. In the marking criterion of Task Response, you will be given band 5 because you have no conclusion. But it will not affect your score for the other marking criteria or for task 1. It is therefore not possible to predict your score – it will depend on how well you did in all the other areas.

  2. Hi Liz! Thank you very much for your advice! I did my IELTS test yesterday, but unfortunately I had a problem during the writing task 2..I wasted too much time for task 1 and I didn’t write the second main paragraph 🙁 I need to get a score of 6 in writing! Do you think that I have any chance to get 6? Task 1 has gone well, I think. Thank you very much!

    • It is not possible to know what score you are capable of getting without seeing both pieces of writing with the full tasks. The scoring is based on much more than just task completion. You will need to wait for your results to see how not completing task 2 will affect your overall final writing score.

  3. Hi Liz, thank you so much for your lessons. I had my ielts test today but i have a problem. In the reading part, i took time out to use the restroom and when i came back, i had less time to answer all questions so i left some spaces blank. Will i be penalized for not attempting all the questions?

    • You can’t get minus points. You get one point for each answer that is correct – nothing else affects your score.

  4. SADIP SUBEDI says


    • I can’t give you precise feedback without seeing the full essay. An opinion does not usually qualify as a conclusion. A conclusion is a summary of main points which means a paragraph that restates points already given.

  5. Mam
    I didn’t get time to complete conclusion as I went for wash-room in between the exam.
    And the time was over at end.
    My conclusion ended as following

    < Indeed to my point of view, I opine that ….(time was over)

    How all it affects my marks, can you reply elaborately.

    Thank you

    • The words “Indeed to my point of view” indicate you are about to present an opinion. Those words do not show a conclusion. The words “In conclusion” show a conclusion. This means you failed to write a conclusion and you failed to start a conclusion for your essay. Please watch the video above to learn about how that impacts your score.

  6. Mariam Hassan says

    Hi Liz,
    I really want to thank you for your help and the invaluable assisstance you provide.

    I have just finished my IELTS exam. I don’t remember seriously, but I am afraid that I forgot to write the introduction for task 2. Maybe I got so excited and jumped immediately into the first paragraph. I wrote very good and comprehensive 2 body paragraphs and a conclusion, moreover I was so careful to reach the 250 words coun.

    Please tell me is this gonna affect my score in writing?
    And to what extent?

    • Yes, it will affect your score. However, it is not possible to predict the outcome. You must wait for your results – good luck!

  7. I wrote “To conclude, in the light of aforementioned arguments, I believe that government should spend money for sports facilities of every one instead of only for top players” is it enough conclusion??
    Question was “discuss both views and give your opinion

    • Don’t use learned expressions!! ” In conclusion” is a linker which is fine and must be used. But “in the light of the …” is a learned expression which shows you are not able to create your own sentences and must memorise expressions from books.

  8. hi liz…

    thanks for your website…

    just now i finished my ielts general exam… unfortunatly they pulled the paper before finishing my task 2 conclusuion.. in the introduction i wrote to some extents i disagree with the road widening then i wrote 3 bodies… when i reach to the conclusion i wrote only(( in conclusion, i do not agree.))

    that is it🙁😖 then they pulled the paper… may i score 6 or more? i did very well in task 1 and the task 2 except this part

    • I think you are very very lucky that you wrote those words. If you had written “In conclusion,” with nothing more, it would have been a serious problem. Of course your short conclusion is a problem but not so serious. Lets wait and see your results 🙂

  9. Hi LIZ
    I have not rephrase my ideas in conclusion(i just gave my opinion). Is this affects my bands?

  10. Nabinttam silwal says

    I did not got time to write conclusion in writing task 2..?
    Is there possible for me to overall 6 in writing criteria..?

    • No conclusion affects your score for Task Response which is one marking criterion. There are still three other marking criteria. So, you’ll need to wait for your results.

  11. Hi liz,
    Your lessons are always of great help, thanks a lot. In writing what does good reference means?

  12. Just received my results . I worked really hard to move from a band 7 overall (l 9,r 7,w 6 ,s6..5) to band 8 overall (l 8.5,r 8,w 6.5,s 8.5) , however due to my writing band I might have to sit for my ielts again. I have given it for re-evaluation and am pretty optimistic (contrary to the general belief that bands don’t change after correction)

    Wanted to acknowledge your effort in putting up this website to help a lot of strugglers . I am looking forward to using your essay correction service in the future ..

    Cheers on the great work again

  13. Hi Liz,
    I know that we get same types of questions (agree/disagree, discussion/opinion, question type and etc.) in both GT and AT module writing task 2. But I noticed that they give different questions for GT and AT. I feel that AT questions are bit more abstract. Is that true? Are there any specific areas/topics that a GT students do not need to worry?
    Thank Liz

    • That is right. The Academic writing task 2 essay question is often more difficult. The topics are more or less the same. GT students are unlikely to get academic topics such as space exploration.

  14. Dear Liz hi

    Can you please tell me the marking criteria for IELTS speaking test??

    Thanks a lot and God bless you richly as you do a great work for all of us

  15. Dear Liz…
    Your website is a versatile one for all the modules.. Thanks a lot for your immense work to motivate candidates..recent exam questions in speaking are really helpful..I have a small doubt which word is good to use along with cake, garnish or decorate.Awaiting for my test results..
    Thanks in advance

  16. grateful for Liz says

    Marvellous advice! I can’t thank you enough, Liz.
    God bless you and bless your work.

  17. Thanks Liz for the useful tips

  18. Shikha Arora says

    Mam… Is there conclusion in solution type essay also..?

    • All writing task 2 have a conclusion.

    • To recapitulate,there are enormous causes behind the emergence of (p) it affect whole society in many ways but this prediction can easily tackled with the joint efforts of govt and individual

  19. Hlo liz,can i use my own ideas in writing task 1 apart from the given data (for example,thefts are may be increased due to the carelessness of the police).When you have information only regarding the number of thefts in task 1 you donot told about the reason for the thefts.

    • You NEVER offer opinions in writing task 1. You report the data and nothing more. Your score will be reduced if you include your own thoughts.

  20. Hi Liz,
    Can you please tell me that how can I check whether my essay is correct or not while practicing??

  21. can I use ” in essence ” to start conclusion?

  22. Mrs Liz ,that was a valuable suggestion.I request you to kindly guide us how to solve Multiple choice question of listening and reading task

  23. Harman virk says

    Hi mam… I have confusion that writing task 2 will same or different in GT and Academic exam ??

    • Writing task 2 is essentially the same for GT and academic students. The essay content is the same. Techniques are the same. The only small difference is that GT essay questions are often easier. So, all my lessons and tips in writing task 2 are for both GT and Academic students.

  24. santosh hirve says

    Thx, Liz that you solved my problem which was related to Writing task 2 specially
    “conclusion” , and i wrote “Finally ” word in conclusion part of WT-2 in my last IETLS exam and due to shorted my score too.

  25. Emad Helal says

    Hi Liz,

    Please, Is writing task 1 contains conclusion also.


  26. Mojisola Nwankpa says

    Thank you liz

  27. Good afternoon Liz

    My question is about expressions and linking words/phrases . Recently, i use X’s books for Writing task 1 and 2 . In this book there are a lot of words in expressions. For instance 1) In conclusion i write : Taking everything into account , i therefore conclude that …., 2) in bodyparagraph i write on the other hand many people oppose this viewpoint and suggest that …. . Generally , we write about 100 words only expressions and linking words in Task 2 . My question is : Is it right to give a lot of trained words in task 2 or we must give brief expressions ? What do IELTS estimate much more own opinion or phrases ?

    • The examiner will not accept learning language or expressions. If you do this, you will get a lower score. Yes, you can learn linking words: On the one hand,” or “therefore”. But you can’t use learned language “many people oppose this viewpoint and …”. The examiner is trained to put a line through learned language and not mark those words. Be very careful of any teacher who teaches this. You can find linking words on this page: but avoid learned language, see this page: You can’t cheat IELTS. You can’t prepare and memorise half your essay before you enter the room – don’t do it!! This is an English language test and memorising sentences is a form of cheating which will lower your score.

  28. Jean-Marie Bukeyeneza says

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you very much for your help. I have emailed you requesting support, but I haven’t get your feedback. My email is I am from Burundi and my previous score at IELTS was 5.5/9. (speaking 6, writing 6, listening 5, reading 4.5). in my email I was asking your assistance and how it could cost as I plan to pass it again in two or three months.
    Please let me know what I can do. I am looking for scholarship, and english proficiency is one of the mail criteria to meet first.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    yours faithfully,

  29. could i use i, me, my in conclusion ?

  30. Hi LIZ,
    I am stuck in IELTS reading module in GT, I am unable to follow how to answer questions in IELTS reading because recently my IELTS score is shocking.. Although i prepared for 5 day and sit in exam without realizing that reading is tough without proper preparation and guidance. My score was L=8, R=5.5, W=7.5, S=8… Before getting my result, it got late with British Council for 1 month. I am unable to follow how to do reading in IELTS :.( and because of this issue I am unable to pursue my dream.. as i require Minimum R=7… I cannot find any of your videos for reading question guidance except for TFNG or YNNG..
    If you give any classes or can guide me how to complete reading. I shall be really grateful to you.
    Kindly guide LIZ,
    Thanking you in anticipation

  31. I can start my essy introduction like this way?

    In this essy i am disguss about…

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