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Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Process Diagrams

You got a process diagram to describe and you want to write a Band 7 or higher Academic Writing Task 1 response. In this video Adam shows you step by step how it’s done. He starts by teaching you how to analyse the process diagram before you start writing, gives you tips how to reword the task prompt easily, how to write a great overview and how to group or separate the various stages in the body paragraphs.

In the 10 years Adam worked as an examiner at the British Council, he saw times and times again that test takers weren’t getting Band 7+ because they were writing their answers the wrong way (and NOT because they lacked vocabulary or didn’t know grammar).

So he made this video to show you the right way to answer the Academic Writing Task 1.

Watch this video and you will learn

– how to analyse a process diagram before you start writing
– what to pay attention to, and what to be aware of
– how to reword the task prompt
– how to organise the information in your answer (did you know you could group stages?)

By doing all of that right, you will save time on Writing Task 1 and use it for Writing Task 2, which carries more weight.

Watch the lesson on YouTube, or below:


In the video

1. What are you explaining?
In this particular diagram it is the process for producing biodiesel.

2. How many steps are there in the process?
Sometimes you may get a cyclical diagram (of a process that keeps repeating), and you need to find the best starting point. Adam shows you how.

3. When things are added?
Diagrams typically have things that are added to make the process possible. Be aware of that and look for things that are added.

4. What are the by-products?
By-products can often be seen in process diagrams. In this one it is the high protein residue and glycerine.

5. Can the stages be combined or separated?
In this diagram steps 1 and 2 are stand-alone ones, but steps 3 and 4 can be combined.

And there is a lot more to learn, so do watch the entire video, because Adam explains everything in a very easy to understand way. It won’t take you long to start writing Band 7+ reports!

Adam doesn’t give you a model response in this lesson, because he would like you to have a go and write your own. But if you’d like to see a Band 9 sample, check out our High Scorer’s Choice IELTS practice tests. This particular topic can be found in Package 2 and we also provide a model response for it, as well as all the other writing tasks.

Enjoy the lesson!

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