How to use tenses correctly in writing tasks?

This topic applies to both IELTS writing tasks (task 1 and task 2) for academic as well as general IELTS.

In today's IELTS playlist, you will learn how to use tenses correctly in your writing tasks.

Many errors in writing are to do with verb tenses. You must think critically about what tense to use in a sentence. When in doubt, go with the simpler tense.

Another tip: try not to change tenses within a paragraph (sometimes you must though), and definitely do not change tenses in the same sentence!


Click on the playlist below to start learning NOW!



As always, if you have any questions about this topic feel free to ask in the comments below or email us on

Best of luck.

  1. Tushar Kumar 10 months ago

    Hi I have heard that our writing 2 task should be in past tense form please guide me regarding this as I am confused

    • Author
      IELTS Online Practice 10 months ago

      Dear Tushar,

      Your information is incorrect. There is no such rule about writing your essay in past tense. In fact, you need to showcase a range of grammatical structures including the use of variety of tenses.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Anonymous 3 months ago

    Hi Atul

    with regards to task 2, I’m unable to extend my body paragraphs or otherwise I always go off topic, please help me how to tackle with this issue, My exam is coming soon. I would be thankful for your valuable suggestion.


  3. Anonymous 2 months ago

    is there any specific tense in which writing task should be written

    • Author
      IELTS Online Practice 2 months ago

      You should use a variety of tenses to showcase the range of your English language skills.

      Try to use some conditional tenses eg. If it had rained the farmers would have made more profit.

      This will show that you are good at complex grammar.


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