Writing Task 1 | Tips Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Let’s look at some tips for how to achieve a good band score for Academic Task 1. If you have any questions or any good tips you want to share, please write them in the comments section below.
  1. Of course the number one tip is to practice task 1 as much as possible. We are here to help so send us an e-mail and do some writing practice with ieltstutors.org to get personalized and effective feedback.

  2. Use our materials to familiarize yourself with the different types of task 1 tasks. Task 1 tasks may be based on a line graph, bar chart, pie chart, table, map or process diagram

  3. Before writing anything make sure you understand the data. Think about the following points:  What does the x-axis (horizontal line) show and what does the y-axis (vertical line) show? What do the different lines or bars represent? Are the numbers percentages or quantities? Do the numbers represent thousands or millions?

  4. Paraphrase the information about the diagram on the question paper for your introduction sentence, don’t copy the information directly though.

  5. Write in paragraphs, 3 should be enough. A short introduction and 2 body paragraphs.

  6. Make sure you give an overview of the main trends that the data shows. Major increases or decreases over time are often the major trends as are the biggest and smallest share of percentage. The overview is best given in the introduction or after the second body paragraph

  7. In the body paragraphs back up your overview with data from the chart.

  8. Don’t mention every single piece of data from the graph, only the information that is relevant to backing up your overview. If there is any surprising or unusual information contained in the data, then you should mention that too.

  9. Make sure you have the right vocabulary for talking about statistics. For example, verbs like rise and fall, and noun phrases such as a dramatic increase or a gradual fall.

  10. Only report the statistics. Do not introduce any opinions of your own.

  11. Make sure you use some complex language. Relative clauses can be effective for adding more information into a sentence and boosting your Grammatical Range and Accuracy band score.  This is an example of a non-defining relative clause – Denmark, which was the highest consumer of fair-trade labeled tomatoes in 2010, became the second highest by 2013.

  12. Make sure you write at least 150 words and do not take longer than 20 minutes. When you do practice tasks, always time yourself and count how many words you write so you get an idea about how much writing you have to do in the test.
Now complete the quiz below to check how much you remember.
1. I should practice task 1 writing as much as possible before the test.
2. There are 6 different types of IELTS academic writing task 1 tasks.
3. You do not need to analyse the data/diagram before you start writing.
4. Don’t copy more than a few words from the question or the examiner will cross them out.
5. You should write your response to the task in 1 long paragraph.
6. It is very important that you include an overview of the data, the map or the process.
7. In the body paragraphs, provide data or a description to support your overview.
8. You must mention every single piece of data, stage in a process or feature of the map.
9. You must use the appropriate academic vocabulary for discussing changes in data.
10. Do not just discuss the statistics, steps in the process or features of a map because the examiner also wants to know your opinion about them.
11. You only need to write in short simple sentences so you do not make any mistakes.
12. I must write at least 150 words in 20 minutes.