IELTS Academic writing task 1 guide

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1


In task 1, you will be given a line graph, table, pie chart, bar chart, diagram and flow chart and asked to describe, summarize and explain the information in your own words. You might need to describe the date or stages of a process, how it operates or there can be a map. You will need to write at least 150 words in 20 minutes approximately.  Let me explain you step by step.

Line graph


Pie Chart


Bar Chart






Flow Chart




IELTS Academic Task 1 Tips By SM Imran


  • In task 1 you have to turn the graphic information into written text.
  • A candidate need to spend no more than 20 minutes on this task.
  • You must write 150 words at least. The ideal can be 160 to 170 words.
  • If you write a short answer, you will be penalized.
  • In IELTS writing tasks, you will be given 1 hour, you have to manage to spend 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2 but you spend more time on task 1, your task 2 writing task will be affected.
  • Keep it in your mind that Task 2 contributes twice as much marks to the writing band scores.
  • It is highly recommend to explain the most important and relevant point, and you may ignore the lest important points and details.
  • There is a penalty to write irrelevant content or to write out of the topic as well as incomplete information.
  • Do not try to write note or point forms. Always describe the information in paragraph format. Otherwise you will be penalized.
  • Plagiarism is not allowed. Some students copy the same introduction written in the question, you should use the synonyms and write in your own words. 
  • You will be given separate papers to write your answer which is called IELTS writing answer sheet or answer booklet. 
  • In task 1 you use the academic writing style by utilizing the accurate and well organized style.
  • Writing task 1 checks a person ability how well he or she finds out the most important and relevant information or trends in a graph, table, pie, bar, diagram.
  • Try to use passive voice in your writing task 1 specially in Process or Diagram.
  • Before you start your writing task 1, always check the tense of the question, if it is in the past so you have to write in the past tense. It may be in present or future too or it can be a mixture of all tenses.
  • Task 1 writing introduction and conclusion will be in present tense, even though it is in the past tense.
  • You should finish your writing task 1 in 1 to 2 minutes so that you can proofread.
  • Any Areas of information that lie outside the in-put material should not be speculated or explained by the candidates.
  • You do not have to give your opinion in Task 1.
  • You will be given marks on your ability to compare, contrast and organize the data.
  • The most important questions in Task 1 are graph, pie chart, bar chart and table but if I talk about process or diagram, it comes rarely. 
  • IELTS Academic task 1 can be in 2 parts, so you will need to attempt to link the information by comparing, contrasting and finding similar things.
  • If charts contain any text such as the phrases or sentences so do not copy straight from diagram into your report.
  • You should also look for the common features which links to each other.
  • Take a minute to absorb the information and do not start writing until you have understood it.
  • Do not try to use a single word again and again for example to word increased should be changed by rose or grew. This is the most common mistake that the students make.
  • In describing table, do not explain all the data, the highest and the lowest and group the data. In other words, it is necessary to include some of the data to illustrate the major trends, therefore, you should not over-do by providing too much.
  • You should always note what the number shows on the axes, sometimes it is not the total figure for example, per 10000 people.
  • Do not use repetitive structure for example, sales increased slightly or you could also say there was a slight increase in sales.

How Task 1 Responses are assessed?

There are 4 factors.

1. Task Achievement

This factor tests how appropriately, accurately and relevantly your response fulfills the requirements given in the task by writing not less than 150 words.

2. Coherence and Cohesion

This factor reflects the clarity and fluency found in the overall message. 

3. Lexical Resource

This factor reflects to the rage of vocabulary that a candidate uses and the accuracy and appropriacy  of that use.

4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

This factor reflects to the rage and accurate use of the candidate’s grammatical resource at sentence level.

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