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Academic IELTS, things to ponder before attempting

What do I need know of the Writing task 1 in Academic IELTS if I am planning on attempting the IELTS exam?

The Writing Task 1 comprises of a presentation either of a graph, table, chart, map,or diagram/process. What you are asked to do is, explain, summarize, or describe the given information. The band score of your writing task depends on different criteria. These are task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resources, grammatical range and fluency.

These presentations give you information either related to a particular topic, advantages and disadvantages, shows data during particular time periods, compares data mostly relevant to years and months, explains reasons as to why some things have happened, or draws a conclusion of a survey made, etc.

Now before starting to write, the first thing you need to do is to analyze the given task. To get a general idea on how to structure the information, look out for the general mode or trends, changes, and most important features related to the presentation. Once you have understood and analyzed the above mentioned data, then you can start writing.

Now for the writing task 1 you need a minimum of 150 words. Start with an introduction, which can be a paraphrasing of the question, i.e. what the above visual presentation is, the data source, and when the data was collected in about 2 to 3 sentences. Next you have the body para which can be either 2 or 3 paragraphs .In this, you can mention an overview of what you see in the presentation, summarizing the main trends, changes, developments, and noticeable features. Clear presentation of all the key features and using supporting data from the visual diagram will definitely give you a band 7 or higher.

For example, if a diagram shows 5 flags of different countries, then your key features are the flags of those countries. So you have to write about all the 5 flags. If you miss writing about any one of the flags, then your description will be incomplete and your band score will go to a level of 4.

So, presenting of supporting data for each element, figures that have highs and lows, names of streets or buildings on a map, things that have changed from time to time, and so on are some of the most important aspects in your writing task.

Usage of good vocabulary will give your task a higher score. Using linking structures when writing also adds up to a higher score. For example, if you are:

listing - you could use “furthermore”

giving an example – you could use “for instance”

highlighting – you could use “in particular”

summarizing – you could use “to conclude”

stating the obvious – you could use “as can be expected”

transitioning - you could use “with regard/reference to”

contrasting – you could use “on the contrary”

Expressing an alternative – you could use “on the other hand”

Showing similarity – you could use “likewise”

The purpose of the Academic Writing Task 1 is to test whether you have the ability to distinguish and describe the changes you see on the graph with use of good vocabulary and grammar.


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