Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – Tips/Tricks, vocabulary and Preparation - Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1 - Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1

The IELTS Writing Task 1, asks you to write a summary of 150 words within the time limit of 20 minutes in response to either tables, graphs, or charts that are given. The examiners may even ask you to compare the given data. In short, you’ll be asked to create a brief report of the data that is provided to you. The examiner will then check and grade your answer depending on your usage of words in the report written.

IELTS writing task 1 structure:

  1. You need to write 3-4 paragraphs and a 150 words essay compulsorily or else it may be rejected.
  2. You can paraphrase the sentences in your initial paragraphs.
  3. Write an overview of the topic in your second paragraph.

IELTS task 1 writing tips: 

  1. You need to use an appropriate language while describing or comparing the graphs.
  2. You need to try writing the same things in different lists. Be innovative in repeating the sentence.
  3. You need to try to describe the general trends that take place in the graph in a separate paragraph.
  4. You must use the connectors in order to have appropriate grammar and vocabulary in the sentence.
  5. In the last paragraph, you need to give a detailed or in-depth description of the trends that take place in the graph.
  6. It is not compulsory that you have to write the conclusion, but if you write it the essay will look more complete.

One of the main things while taking an IELTS test is that you have a solid knowledge of ielts writing task 1 vocabulary and this itself will fetch you a good band score. While studying for the IELTS examination, you must mainly focus on the vocabulary and this is the only thing which will be assessed in the IELTS examination.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Tips

To give you an idea and help you improve your performance, please go through the below tips for IELTS writing task 1:


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Understand the question

You have to understand what kind of task that is given to you. If you have any confusion relating to the task, you can write your answer based on whatever you did understand by looking at the diagram/ chart/ table that is given. Based on your understanding, you should respond to the task in question.

Analyze properly before you start writing

Do not start writing as soon as you read the question. Take time to analyze the diagram or graph provided. Give yourself some time to think about the answer so that you have a clear idea of what you want to write.

Do not try to memorize or copy

Read the title of the chart, graph or table carefully and try to understand the question. Then you can write the answer in your own words based on your understanding of the particular diagram. Do not try to memorize the answers because the questions/diagrams will vary for different tests.

Start your answer with the single line

You can start your answer with one line that will communicate what your chart represents. You can include what are the features that represent the chart in your own words.

Overview must be clear

The overview of the diagram is based on how you describe the chart, table or a graph. The key features of the graph should be mentioned in the overview. Through the overview, the examiner should be able to get a rough idea about the diagram. In order to get a band score over 6, the way you describe the diagram must be satisfactory. If the description is good you’ll automatically leave a good impression on the examiner.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Tips and Tricks:

Here are some of the points you need to go through while preparing for the IELTS exam. These tricks help you to prepare well for the exam.

Understand Before Writing

Before starting the writing task 1 test try to understand what exactly it is. You’ll have to look at the diagram that is given and write what you understand about it. You should try to finish the test within 20 minutes, as you’ll need 40 minutes for writing task 2. Make sure that there are 150+ words in the paragraph because the examiner will count the words and if there are less than 150 words you may lose the marks.

Keep Practicing

There are plenty of books available where you can practice for IELTS exams. You can refer to those books if you have any doubt regarding any topic. There are also a lot of pages available where you can get samples of every topic, especially to practice for the IELTS exam. It is important to keep practicing in order to score well in the exam.

Write an introduction before starting the paragraph

You have to practice writing an introduction to everything before starting to write the actual paragraph. The paragraph can be only of two lines but it’ll need to have an introduction saying what is going to be explained about the graph.

Use proper vocabulary

Make a list of vocabulary which will help you to use paraphrasing in a sentence while describing a pie chart, table, graph etc. The examiner will mainly check for proper usage of words more than your knowledge based on the diagram, that is why it is very important to use the right vocabulary at the right place. If the usage of vocabulary is wrong then you may lose marks.

Focus on Grammar

If you are aiming for more than 6 band scores then it is important that you use complex grammar and structured sentences when describing the diagram. There may be some mistakes which might happen while focusing only on grammar and getting rid of these mistakes is very important. Thus the daily practicing of proper usage of grammar should help you to get rid of these mistakes.

Use answer sheets for practicing

Before actually attending the writing task 1 test, it is advisable to practice writing the test using IELTS answer sheets. You can get these sheets on IELTS official site, practice writing the test on these answer sheets and check the timings if you can manage to finish writing the test in the given time limit.

Marking criteria for IELTS Writing Task 1:

Below the marking criteria is given to help you understand what to focus on while practicing for the test.

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy – 25%
  • Task Achievement – 25%
  • Coherence and Cohesion – 25%
  • Vocabulary – 25%

Types of Graphs

The different types of graphs that could be used in the writing task are given below

Overtime Graph

If the graph given in the task question has a time frame, it is an overtime graph. If an overtime graph is given, you’ll have to answer the question according to the time frame. While answering the question, you should compare the given data and use vocabulary related to change and comparison

Pie Chart Graph

A pie chart graph will be presented as a circle, which is divided into sectors that each represent a section as a whole. The key to the pie chart will be given at the bottom with the name of the categories along with the color code, or the categories will be mentioned in the pie chart itself. While writing, you can use your vocabulary accordingly to convey the differences in proportion.

Two Graphs

In this type of presentation, two graphs will be shown, and you’ll have to analyze both the graphs and write about the information and key features of both the graphs. While writing, you should pick out the important information from both graphs and summarize them while discussing the contrast and differences between the two.

Table Chart

The information will be presented as a table chart and you’ll have to understand the key features shown in the table. You’ll then have to write, describing the date and the factors it represents.

What tense should you use?

  • Note down the dates in the pie-chart or the graph given. You can figure out the tenses from the dates given.
  • – if the year given is before the present year (Eg: the year 2000), use simple past tense
    – if the year is given is after the present year (Eg: the year 2021), use simple future tense
    – if there is no year mentioned, use simple present tense
  • Example of present simple tense: She writes every day
  • Example for past simple tense: She wrote it, yesterday.
  • Example for future simple tense: She will write it, tomorrow.

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FAQs for IELTS Writing Task 1

How can I prepare for IELTS Writing task 1?

The best way to prepare for IELTS Writing Task 1 is the the best way to prepare for any test, by practising. You can prepare yourself by practising sample tests and writing notes and messages in English. While practising you should focus on your vocabulary and grammar.

Can I retake IELTS Writing test only?

No, it’s not possible for anyone to retake ielts individual tests. Even if you wish to improve your score of a single section, you’ll have to retake the whole exam again including all 4 sections.

How is IELTS Writing Task 1 marked?

The IELTS Writing task 1 is marked using 4 assessment criteria, i.e Grammatical Range, Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, and Vocabulary, with each of the criteria worth 25% of the total marks.

Are IELTS Writing test questions repeated?

Yes, they might be repeated.

Can the IELTS Writing test be taken through the computer?

Yes, if you choose the computer-based test, you’ll be able to complete your writing test through the computer.

How do I know what tense should be used in Task 1?

There will be dates in most of the questions, the tenses change according to the dates. If there are no dates given, simple present tense should be used.

Written By

Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.

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