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IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

The IELTS Academic Writing test contains two tasks to be completed within 60 minutes. Task 1 of IELTS Academic Writing requires you to write a report of around 150 words in 20 minutes. Applicants must write a report based on the analysis of pictorial information like charts, graphs, tables, and diagrams. 

Applicants often need help with presenting information in an organized manner. Need more in-depth knowledge? Then, you must read this write-up to learn A to Z of IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. Further, you can explore IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 samples in this article. 

Table of Contents

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What is the Format for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1?

The IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 depicts either of the following visual representations:

  • Chart
  • Table 
  • Graphs
  • Process
  • Diagram
  • Map 

Applicants must ideally follow the below-mentioned format to write a report in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:

1. Introduction: Starting with an introduction provides a sneak peek into what you will explain in the report. In other words, you must play with the words in the question. The introduction can be 1-2 sentences long. Points to note while writing the introduction of the report:

  • Write a crisp introduction to explain the interpretation of the diagram. For instance, The table depicts employment statistics in Australia for over 3 decades, from 1970 to 2000.
  • Rephrase the question asked- You can use synonyms and alternate phrases for the words used in the text. For example, educated- literate people(phrase), knowledgeable(synonym).
  • Add Specific Keywords- crucial dates, countries, genders, etc.

2. Overview: Your report must include an overview of the presented diagram. It must sum up the noticeable features, stages, development, changes, and trends showcased by the visualization. Tips to consider while writing the overview:

  • Use Transition words and phrases: Using transition or linking words to connect sentences shows a strong command of the language. For example, Moreover, In addition, To conclude, Overall, etc.
  • Identify Trends: Look for any significant fluctuation in the diagram, i.e., increase or decrease, high or low, etc. If a graph/diagram predicts future trends, conclude them in your own words.
  • Emphasize the change in the overall trend. For example, the decline in unemployment rates.

3. Key Features: Your report would be incomplete if you did not include strong data points or facts highlighted in the diagram. Using data will strongarm your description. Key features can be figures, numbers, percentages, buildings, structures, and rooms, to name a few. Tricks to remember for including critical features in your IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:

  • Specify different figures, like fluctuation or stagnation of numbers, increase or decrease in percentage, etc.
  • Represent the accurate scale shown in the diagram like hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, tonnes, liters etc.
  • Use the suitable number format while writing figures/numbers, like- 2,000; 20,000; 200,000, etc.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Marking Criteria

The scoring pattern of the IELTS Academic Writing section often confuses students. There are four marking criteria for Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Writing. Each of the following marking criteria carries equal weightage, i.e., 25% of the total marks:

Task Achievement

It evaluates how accurately the candidate responds to the query by following all the guidelines. Providing all relevant data and facts should be part of it. You must fulfill all the following requirements:

  • Draft a powerful introduction and overview; 
  • Highlight your content with facts, statistics, and supporting evidence 

Now let's understand the band scores awarded for the task achievement criteria through the table below:

Band 6

Band 7

Band 8

Band 9

  • The report emphasizes the task requirements.
  • The format is appropriate.
  • Selected key features are highlighted.
  • An overview is reasonably attempted.
  • Data points are sufficiently used to support the statements.
  • The report fairly covers the task requirements. 
  • The majority of the text is suitable, and the format is correct. However, minor lapses occur.
  • Selected key features are explained clearly.
  • The overview is written appropriately.
  • Data points are categorized precisely.
  • The core trends are identified distinctly.
  • The tone of the text is compatible with the task. 
  • Fewer content lapses.
  • All the task requirements are sufficiently met and clearly highlighted.
  • Slight omissions in content.
  • All the task requirements are fully met and skillfully presented.

  • Negligible errors in the content.

Coherence and Cohesion:

It emphasizes how organized the response is. Ideally, the ordering of paragraphs should be logical. Each paragraph should have a single theme. Systematic use of transition or linking words, like "To conclude," "In my standpoint," etc., is appreciated. 

Now let's understand the band scores awarded for the Coherence and Cohesion criteria through the table below:

Band 6

Band 7

Band 8

Band 9

  • Information is fairly arranged. 
  • The overall flow and transition between the paragraphs are clear.
  • Mistakes in cohesion due to overuse or mechanical or omission.
  • Information is logically structured.
  • The flow and transition between paragraphs are appropriate.
  • Occasional content omissions. 
  • A few inaccuracies concerning the cohesiveness of the content.
  • The text can be read easily. 
  • Information is logically structured, and cohesion is effectively managed.
  • Rare cohesion or coherence errors.
  • Paragraph spacing is sufficient.
  • The description can be read smoothly.
  • Cohesion is used seamlessly.
  • Minutest errors in cohesion or coherence.
  • Paragraph spacing is accurate.

Lexical Resource:

This criterion emphasizes the extensive and correct use of vocabulary. Moreover, using a wide range of vocabulary and unusual lexical phrases results in a band score of 7 and above. Spelling mistakes should be prevented. 

Now let's understand the band scores awarded for the Lexical Resource criteria through the table below:

Band 6

Band 7

Band 8

Band 9

  • General use of vocabulary.
  • The context of the passage is somewhat clear.
  • Higher chances of inaccuracies in word choice and spelling mistakes.
  • Good use of vocabulary
  • Limited use of unique words and idioms.
  • Few spelling mistakes and word formation issues.
  • A wide range of vocabulary is used effectively.
  • The write-up precisely conveys the correct context of the diagram.
  • Appropriate use of idioms, but minor inconsistencies in choice of words.
  • Very few spelling mistakes and word formation issues.
  • Excellent use of vocabulary. 
  • Least spelling mistakes and word formation issues.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

This is entirely concerned with correct grammar. Your response must include the following parameters to receive a higher band score in Writing Task 1- 

  • Use Comprehensive grammatical structures, 
  • Use of correct punctuation 
  • Compose error-free sentences 

Now let's understand the band scores awarded for the Grammatical Range and Accuracy criteria through the table below:

Band 6

Band 7

Band 8

Band 9

  • A combination of general and complex sentence structures is used inconsistently. 
  • Grammatical and punctuation mistakes can interrupt the flow of the message. 
  • Several complex sentence structures are used.
  • Most sentences are error-free.
  • Limited grammatical errors.
  • Various sentence structures are used effectively.
  • Maximum sentences have no mistakes, and punctuations are apt.
  • Seldom inconsistencies might occur.
  • A broad range of grammatical structures are used.
  • Correct usage of grammar and punctuation.

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IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Sample Practice Questions

This section will share some IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 sample questions. There are different types of writing task 1 in IELTS Academic, as discussed below:

Bar Chart Sample Question:

The bar chart shows the percentage of people going to cinemas in one European country on diļ¬€erent days.

ielts academic writing task 1 bar graph sample questions

Pie Chart Sample Question

The charts below show the percentage of volunteers by organizations in 2008 and 2014.

ielts academic writing task 1 pie chart sample question

Table Sample Question

The table shows the amount of money given to developing countries by the USA, EU countries and other countries from 2006 to 2010 (Figures are in millions of dollars).

ielts academic writing task 1 table sample question

Map Sample Question

The plans below show a student room for two people and a student room for one person at an Australian university.

ielts academic Writing Task 1 map sample question

Line Graph or Line Chart Sample Question

The graph below shows the percentage of Australian exports to 4 countries from 1990 to 2012.

ielts academic writing task 1 line graph sample question

Process Diagram Sample Question

The diagram below shows how ethanol fuel is produced from corn.

ielts academic writing task 1 process diagram sample question

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What is the Difference between IELTS Writing Task 1 General and Academic?

The core difference between IELTS Writing Task 1 General and Academic is listed below:

  1. The IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 types comprise pie charts, bar charts, line graphs, tables, process diagrams, and maps. Students must write a report describing the key features of the given graphic representation. 
    On the contrary, applicants must write a letter for IELTS General Writing Task 1. The letter can be either formal or informal —for example, a complaint letter, apology letter, or invitation to a friend. 
  2. IELTS Academic Task 1 must be written in formal style only. Whereas IELTS General Writing Task 1 can be drafted in either a formal or informal manner.
  3. Students are required to write an introduction and an overview instead of a conclusion. On the other hand, a letter written in IELTS General Task 1 must include both an opening and closing paragraph.

Don’t Forget to Read: IELTS Academic Vs IELTS General

How to End Writing Task 1 for Academic IELTS?

Concluding the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is a debatable topic. Many IELTS experts recommend writing the overview at the end of the report, acting as a conclusion. In contrast, others feel that a well-written report can be done without a conclusion. 

Ideally, the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic exam does not require a conclusion or your opinion. A perfectly written overview in the report works well for this task. An overview must include the overall trend of the diagram presented in the question. Using key features, linking or transition words, and relevant data points further helps curate a fantastic overview.