Tips for the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic test

As I promised to many of you, this is what you need to know about the Academic IELTS Test Writing Task 1.

The task here is to describe a graph in a report. The report is intended for a university lecturer, so the language you use should be appropriate.

There are several different graphs you could see in a Writing Task 1:

  • Single line graph – see example
  • Double line graph – see example
  • Bar graph (Single, Double or Triple bar graph) – see example
  • Pie chart – see example
  • Table – see example
  • Process
  • No matter what graph, diagram or table you are describing, you shouldn’t break these rules:

  • Your report must be of at least 150 words written in 20 minutes.
  • You shouldn’t write your opinion or copy words from the task prompt – rephrase and use synonyms instead.
  • Never use bullets, write as if you were writing an essay or a letter.
  • When your Academic Writing Task 1 is graded by IELTS examiners, they look for this structure:


    The Introduction should describe the purpose of your report and say what overall trends you see.
    For example, if the graph is climbing up or dropping down, you should mention that.You need to remember that you are describing a graph to someone who doesn’t see it. Write what the graph is about, its dates and location.

    The Body should describe the most important trends, while all information is summarized to avoid unnecessary details. For example, if there is a graph that has 2 peaks, you should mention them; tell when those peaks appeared and what the peak values are. Notice how many distinctive features the diagram has and divide information into paragraphs, one paragraph per feature. You should link the paragraphs by sentences that logically connect them to one another.

    Important! You need to write about all the periods of time and all the subjects of graph. If it shows several years (1992, 1993, 1994) – write about all of them, if it is about men and women – write about both. Remember, summarizing doesn’t mean throwing away information. The secret here is to select what’s important, organize it, compare and contrast.

    The Conclusion should sum up the global trends shown on the graph and compare them if possible.

    And if you need some sample answers, here they are, enjoy.

    More Writing tips for the IELTS General module

    Let’s continue with the Writing tips, because I have more of them for you.

    By the way, for those of you who can’t wait to read “Ace The IELTS” book – it is coming, I will release it very soon. In the meantime – you’ll have to settle for these tips :).

    In the Writing Task 2 you will receive a topic and you will have to write an essay of 250 words.
    This task has more weight than the Writing task 1. It also takes longer – 40 minutes, whereas Writing task 1 takes only 20 minutes.

    The topic of an essay can be one of 3 possible types: a description of an opinion, an argument or a social problem.

    Any essay you write on any topic must have structure – you can receive (or lose :() points for it. Structure means having at least 4 paragraphs (5 is better). The first paragraph is introductory, the next two or three are the actual essay body, and the last one is the conclusion.

    The first thing to do is to understand what kind of topic is before you.


  • for an argument – you need to explain both sides and agree with one of them
  • for an opinion – you need to present another point of view and say which one you agree with and why
  • for a problem – you need to explain it, discuss and offer a solution and discuss it too.
  • No matter what type of essay you are writing, you must provide some facts, evidence and information. When you explain the problem – evaluate it; say when/where/who for it is especially difficult. If you present an idea of solution – discuss it; say what its good and bad sides are. Add examples from your own experience to support what you’re saying.

    In any essay the logical sequence of information is very important. Jumping from one idea to another is very bad for you score, all ideas must be connected logically. Another important thing is “smart” words – try to use them as much as you can, because this also affects your score. Punctuation is important too. Take a look at some Examples Of Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2 here. This file is from the IELTS official site – it can be trusted.

    That’s all for today – keep up the good work!



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