Five Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1

For Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Exam , you will be asked to write a report about the main features of a chart, process or map.

You will be expected to write 150 – 200 words and complete it in 20 minutes or less.  To score well in this task you need to understand what the examiner expects to find in a good answer.

This article will give you seven tips for the Academic IELTS Writing Task 1.

You will learn how to answer the question and get a good Band score:

  1. Understand the Test Marking System

    When you understand how the marking system works you will be able to answer the question in the way that the examiner wants.

The task is judged on four criteria. You will be given an individual score between 0-9 for each of these four criteria and then given an overall, average score.

For example, if you may get 7, 7, 8, 6, your total score would be a 28, which is then divided by four to give an average of 6.5

The four criteria you will be judged on are:

A. Task Achievement

Task Achievement means to answer all parts of the question, presenting and explaining your ideas and supporting them with relevant, specific examples.

B. Coherence and Cohesion

This tests your ability to be clear and easily understood.

C. Lexical Resource

For lexical resource you are being tested on your vocabulary and good use of words and phrases

D. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

You need to be able to write a mixture of simple and complex sentences, which should be largely error- free.


2. Paraphrase the Question.
For your first paragraph paraphrase the question.  This will demonstrate to the Examiner that you understand the question and are able to write it in your own words, using synonyms.

Prior to the exam practise paraphrasing.

3. Write An Overview.
The overview is an introduction to your report.  For the overview select three or four of the key features and write about them in a general way.  At this stage do not reference any of the data.

4. Write the Body of the Report

The Body of your report supports the main features in the preceding paragraph with the data that you have been given.  The body can consist of one or two paragraphs.  Ensure that your ideas flow logically.

Do not try to impress the Examiner with complicated words.  It is better to keep your language simple with few errors rather than use complicated words and make errors.  A common mistake that students make is to use words that they’ve found in a thesaurus but use them out of context.  The result is that the sentence sounds convoluted.  It’s better to use simple words that you understand and use correctly.

5. Check Your Work for Errors.
When you’ve finished writing your report check it for grammar  and spelling mistakes. Also, check your data for accuracy!

In conclusion, prepare well for the IELTS Writing Task 1.  Many IELTS students make the mistake of focusing entirely on Task 2 whilst preparing for the exam.  This is a mistake.  To get a high band score for writing it is essential to do well at both Task 1 and Task 2.  Following these five tips for the Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 will help you to get a good band score.  Getting coached by a qualified IELTS tutor will also help.  Click here for more details.


Paul Andreas

Paul Andreas is a Certified Speaking Coach and qualified TEFL Teacher Online English Lessons delivered by Skype for IELTS exam preparation and conversational English. Get a free trial lesson.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Maria

    If you are not confident on your writing skill then this is the best blog for you! Easy, precise instruction plus you will be coached by a qualified IELTS tutor which is also a big help.

  2. Miguel L

    I am so lucky to finally found this great blog and the coach is nice and professional. Overall, I am gonna give 5 stars out of 5. Thank you so much!

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