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Top IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Samples

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Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study abroad expert.

Mrinal Mandal

The IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is all about writing a 150-word (minimum) summary of a table, graph (pie chart, bar, or line graph), chart, or procedure. The IELTS academic writing task 1 samples in this article will show you how to report core features and describe/compare information while identifying major trends or significant aspects. Some things to remember are- 

  • You will write 150 words at least. You can write more if you wish. 
  • You will get 20 minutes to complete the essay. 
  • A formal writing style is necessary. 
  • Task 1 accounts for 33% of Writing test marks in IELTS . 

While looking at the sample answers, you should consider the below-mentioned aspects:

  • Understand the marking criteria- It will help you write the correct answer while identifying the key points alongside. 
  • Paraphrasing the question-  Experts recommend paraphrasing the question in the very first paragraph. It is possible if you use synonyms. 
  • Writing an overview- To write an overview, you can briefly summarize the key points of your report. You can do this without any data reference as well. 
  • Back up your key features- Start a new paragraph for backing up the main features with accurate data. 
  • Double-check at the end - Check and double-check for errors. Your report should not have any grammar or spelling errors. Ensure that your data points are accurate as well.

Know More about Tips For IELTS Writing Task 1

Common Topics for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Samples

 You will be given one of the following types of questions for IELTS writing task 1 to complete within the allotted time:

  • Table-Chart
  • Multiple Graphs
  • Process Diagram 
  • Combination of these as multiple tasks

The aspirant needs to write a small report penning down the core features in the given graph that they observe. You will find the same if you analyze the IELTS writing task 1 academic for band 9 samples. You may have to summarize information, describe the stages in any process, explain the functioning of something and outline any event or object. The question format will involve a brief description of the chart or table, followed by the instructions for candidates and then the actual picture for them to follow.

You will have to summarize the information as per the question’s instructions, followed by identifying and describing the main components and drawing comparisons wherever necessary. 

Here’s taking a look at the common types of questions that you will find in the IELTS writing task 1:

  • Bar Chart- Bar graphs or charts are common questions for task 1. The data may be vertically or horizontally showcased for aspirants. An example of a question would be-  The bar chart below shows the number of tigers, lions, and jackals recorded in Kenya from 2010 to 2015.
  •   Line Graph- Line graphs are common questions in task 1 as well. They are easier to understand in many cases. For example-  The graph below shows India and Bangladesh’s population since the year 2005 and predicts population growth until 2060. Line Graph Task 1 for IELTS Exam
  • Table- Tables are regular occurrences in task 1 and they may be tougher to understand. It is because they have numbers without visual representations. Yet, remember that tables in Task 1 are not complex at all since the examination deals with your language capabilities and not your mathematical skills. For example-  The table below gives information about the Indian population and distribution in 1945 and 2015, with an estimate of the scenario in 2060. 
  • Pie Chart - Pie charts are not common questions, although you should practice them beforehand. The data there is visually represented. For example, the question may state-  The chart below displays reasons for people traveling by metro railway and trains or even by buses . 
  • Process Diagrams- Process diagrams are not as common, although learning about them is always important. They may show any natural or scientific procedure like manufacturing something or the water cycle, for instance. They may also show something like the central air conditioning system in any home or office. For example, a question could be  that the diagram below shows a structure used to generate electricity from waterpower . 
  • Map-  The question may sometimes revolve around a map. You may have to compare two to three maps over a particular timeline .  For example, the diagrams below show the changes taking place at Nanabhai Kirloskar Hospital since its construction in 1930 . You will again have to summarize, report key features, and compare wherever necessary. 

Multiple Graphs- Questions with multiple graphs have several kinds of diagrams and are common in the examination. They will mostly have two diagrams like a combination of line graphs and bar charts or tables and pie charts.  A question could be-  The diagrams below provide information on bicycle use in Alberta . You will have to summarize, select and report key features and also compare wherever necessary.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Questions Academic with Answers:

Here are a few samples that will help you get the idea.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Questions Academic with Answers


This diagram explains the process of manufacturing bricks for the construction and development sectors. There are seven stages of manufacturing, beginning with digging up clay and culminating with the final delivery.

The brick-making process starts with a big digger being employed for digging up clay from the ground. It is placed on a metal grid for breaking it up into smaller parts. A roller helps with this part of the process.

After the metal grid, the clay gets infused with water and sand. The mixture is then converted to bricks with the help of a wire cutter or mould. After that, they are put to dry for 24-84 hours in the oven.

In the fifth stage, the bricks undergo heating and cooling. They are heated in the kiln at temperatures ranging from moderate (200-980 degrees C) to high (870-1300 degrees C). Then they are put in the cooling chamber for 48-72 hours. Once the process is completed, the bricks are packaged and delivered to customers.

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Question 2-

Given below is a map of Albuquerque city. The city designers and authorities have decided to develop a new shopping and retail mall for the city, and two sites, S1 and S2, have been proposed   likewise.

map of albuquerque city


The map shows two proposed sites for building a shopping mall in Albuquerque city. The two proposed sites lie in the northern and south-eastern parts of the area,  respectively, according to the map.

S1 is the first proposed site for the shopping mall in Albuquerque and lies northwards from the city center on the map. It is positioned over the railway line that connects the north-western and south-eastern parts of Albuquerque. If developed here, it will be close to a major housing estate, offering more accessibility and amenities to those residing in the city center and the estate. It will also lie adjacent to the river that goes through the city.

The second proposed site, or S2, lies beside the railway line and is closer to the industrial estate. The main road is close to both the proposed sites, offering easy connectivity for residents. A park and a golf course lie towards the western end of the city, and no sites are possible in the area as a result.

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Question 3-

The table shows Proportions of Pupils attending Four Secondary School Types between 2010 and 2020.

Summarize the information by choosing and reporting the key features and make comparisons where relevant .

Secondary School Attendance

The table shows the percentage of school pupils attending four unique secondary school types between 2010 and 2020. Attendance in the community schools has seen a consistent and considerable increase over a decade, while others have seen a marginal increase or decline.

Voluntary-controlled schools witnessed the pupil percentage falling from 56% in 2010 to 42% in 2015 and 24% in 2020. A drop of 32% in a decade is what characterizes its attendance figures. Similarly, grammar schools witnessed a steady decline from 26% to 21% from 2010 to 2015. It further reduced to 17% by 2020, indicating overall degrowth of 9% for the decade. On the other hand, specialist schools posted a marginal increase in attendance of 5% over the 10 years, growing from 15% to 20%.

However, community schools successfully increased attendance figures by 47% in this period. Attendance grew from 15% to 37% in the first five years, peaking at 62% in 2020. While these schools initially had abysmal attendance figures, they surpassed more than half of the total pupils in the decade.

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation


Question 4-

The pie graphs below indicate the results of a survey of activities by children   The first graph displays leisure and cultural activities that boys participate in, while the second graph displays activities where girls participate .  Write a report describing the information displayed in these two pie graphs.

pie graph for ielts


The two pie charts showcase results from a survey on boys' and girls' leisure and cultural activities, including reading, computer games, sports, and dancing/music.

According to the survey results, both boys and girls enjoy listening to music, although more girls enjoy reading than boys. There are many differences concerning preferences for sporting activities.

Boys enjoy computer games more than girls with a 34% rate of participation compared to 16% for the latter. Basketball is the next popular activity (26% take part) followed by soccer which 17% participate in. Skateboarding and listening to music are enjoyable for 11% and 10% of boys respectively. Reading is the least popular activity amongst the boys, with only 2% preferring it.

The second chart shows that girls mostly enjoy dancing (a participation rate of 27%), with reading (21%) and computer games (16%) being other popular activities. 15% of girls enjoy participating in netball, while 11% participate in gymnastics. 10% also enjoy listening to music, which is similar to the figures on the first chart.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can i get 8.5 in ielts writing.

Achieving a score of 8.5 in IELTS Writing requires a high level of proficiency in the English language, as well as good understanding of the IELTS exam structure and requirements. Here are some tips that can help you achieve a high score:

1)Practice writing essays regularly: The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with the task and the more proficient you will become in writing.

2)Familiarize yourself with the IELTS writing task requirements: Understand what is required in each task, such as the word limit, time limit, and type of essay.

3)Read and analyze sample essays: Read and analyze high-scoring sample essays to gain a better understanding of what the examiners are looking for in terms of structure, language use, and content.

4)Improve your grammar and vocabulary: It is important to have a strong command of the English language, including a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical accuracy.

5)Write in a clear, concise and organized manner: Organize your essay in a logical way that is easy to read, and use appropriate linking words and phrases to connect your ideas.

6)Use relevant and appropriate examples: Use examples that are relevant to the topic and support your arguments or points.

7)Manage your time effectively: Make sure to use your time wisely, allocating enough time for each task, including planning, writing and reviewing.

8)Seek feedback: Get feedback from a teacher or someone who is proficient in English writing, as they can help you identify areas for improvement and offer constructive feedback.

By following these tips, you can improve your chances of achieving a score of 8.5 in IELTS Writing. Remember that it takes time and practice to achieve a high score, so be patient and persistent.

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topic for writing task 1

IELTS Writing Task 1

IELTS Writing Task 1

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“In IELTS writing task 1, you will write a 150-word essay on the graph/chart/diagram in IELTS Academic. For the General Training exam, IELTS Writing task 1 is writing a letter“

IELTS writing task 1 is the first part of the IELTS Writing module. It calculates to only  33%  of the writing marks. Task 1 is different for the Academic and General modules. The difference between the modules are given below:

Table of Contents [ Show ]

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

Ielts general writing task 1, task achievement(writing task 1) and task response (writing task 2), coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammar range and accuracy, introduction, introduction paragraph, example of an overview paragraph, example of body paragraphs, graphs overtime, ielts pie chart, ielts process, two graphs together, ielts tables, ielts academic writing task 1 - report writing topics 2022, ielts academic writing task 1 sample topics 2021.

In the IELTS Academic writing task 1, you will be provided with a graph/chart/diagram for which you would have to write a  150-word  description.

In the  IELTS General writing task 1 , you will have to write a letter for  150 words . Do not go beyond 20 minutes on it as you would need around 40 minutes to complete Writing Task 2. IELTS Writing Task 1 marks are evaluated based on task achievement, coherence, cohesion, vocabulary, and grammar. Before you begin your IELTS writing task 1, you should be conscious of the following:

  • Read the question and instructions carefully before you begin the task.
  • Look at the chart/diagram/graph carefully and process the information.
  • Start planning on the structure and details for the task.
  • Recall what you know about the  structure  of writing task 1 (which is given further down this page) and be mindful of the information that has to go into each paragraph.
  • Pay attention to  spellings, grammar, sentence types, lexical resources, coherence and cohesion, fillers , etc.

PRO TIP : If you cover your diagram/graph/chart, you should be able to replicate the key points or major changes of the diagram/graph/chart with the description that you've written.  IELTS Writing Task 1 Preparation Tips  The IELTS writing task 1 can be written by considering the following points

  • Firstly, you need to analyze the visual that is given and understand the question properly before you start writing the answer.
  • Secondly, there will be a particular structure that should be followed by the test taker while taking up the IELTS test. This can help you get a good band score.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Scores

In IELTS writing task 1, you are asked to write a summary of 150 words in response to the graph, table, chart given, or letter in response to the situation given. This task tests your ability to identify the main features, to compare the data, or to describe the trends. When it comes to describing visual representations or writing letters, the scores are not only based on how well you write but also on the aspects of coherence, range of vocabulary, grammar, etc. The below-given tables provide you with information on how your answer is graded with respect to each grading element:

IELTS Band Score Calculation

The Basic Structure of IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

basic structures of academic writing task 1

Like an essay, the description too needs an introduction. Points to remember when you write an introduction:

  • This paragraph should focus on the components of the graph/bar chart/ table/ process/map etc.
  • To write this paragraph, you should read and understand the question given.
  • Do not use the exact words given in the question, instead paraphrase the question.
  • Using synonyms for the important words given in the question could get you extra points!
  • If there is a time frame mentioned, do not forget to mention the time frame in your paragraph.

Let's take this pie-chart question as an example:

Pie charts

The charts compare four retail sectors which are Electronics & Appliance, Food & Beverage, Home Furnishings and Video Games in Canada in terms of the proportion of their internet sales in two years, 2005 and 2010.

The overview paragraph stands true to its name. In general terms, you must be able to identify the main features and need to focus more on them so that you can score a high band.  Points to remember when you write an overview:

  • This is the most important paragraph.
  • Identify the key features of the graph (highest point, lowest point, etc.)
  • Focus on the features that stand out in comparison to the other features.

Overall, the proportion of online sales for each of the four sectors changed significantly from 2005 to 2010. While the figures for food and beverages and also video games increased, the figures for the other two sectors fell.

The body paragraph has to provide information explaining the features that are identified. If there are more than 1 graph, you can add the paragraphs accordingly.  Points to remember when you write a paragraph:

  • The number of paragraphs depends on the information/data given.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary to compare and describe the data.
  • Check if the graphs follow a pattern (mostly  line graphs / bar charts ) and make sure you mention the pattern.

In 2005, the proportion of online sales of food and beverages was 22%, but this rose to 32% in 2010. The percentage for internet sales of video games also went up, by 5% from the 2005 figure of 18%. In contrast, the percentages of the online sales of the other sectors decreased. The most dramatic fall was in the home furnishings retail sector. While this figure was 25% of the total online sales of these four sectors in 2005, it fell to just 15% in 2010. There was also a decrease in the electronics and appliances sector, which saw a fall from 35% in 2005 to 30% in 2010.

Types of Graphs in IELTS Writing Task 1

The graphs in IELTS Writing Task may be different, they are given as follows.

The first thing you've got to do with graphs is to check if they have a time frame. Plan your answer/report according to the time frame. When a time frame is involved, make sure you use vocabulary related to change or comparing and contrasting. TIP: It's not enough if you describe all the data individually, you should compare the data.

bar chart

  • Recent IELTS Writing Task 1 With Model Answer – Line Graph
  • IELTS Writing Task 1 Model Answer From British Council – Bar Charts

IELTS graph writing tips

An  IELTS pie chart  is a type of graph in which a circle is divided into sectors that each represent a proportion of the whole. You will also be provided with a key below the chart with the names of the categories or the categories would be written in the actual pie chart. In this chart, you need to compare the categories together across the chart, writing about the similarities and the differences together. Remember to use your vocabulary accordingly, use words that convey proportions, amounts or change in numbers. It would make more sense if you begin with the more important category to the less important category.

pie chart

  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 (Pie Chart) & Band 9 Model Sample
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – Pie Charts & Band 8.5 Model Answers

IELTS pie chart writing tips

The  IELTS process diagram  is an uncommon question in the IELTS Writing Task 1. There isn't a different structure to follow while you're writing about a process. It's the same as the others:

  • Introduction - Introduce the process, explain what the process is about.
  • Overview - Mention the number of stages, the starting and ending point.
  • To begin...
  • Following this...

topic for writing task 1

  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 (Process) & Band 9 Model Sample
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – Process & Sample Answers

One of the common Task 1 questions would be getting two graphs together. In this question, you would have to focus on both the graphs - mention the information on both the graphs, locate and state the key features of both the graphs. However, unlike the other graphs, you do not have to describe everything that you see in the graphs. Pick out the important information and summarize it properly. TIP: The most important Vocab range that you should learn/use for this question is the words used for compare and contrast.

  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – Multiple Graphs & Model Answer
  • Sample Essay For Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 43 – Bar Chart

The  table chart  is just another way of showing information. The comparison and the language of change will be the same as the graphs. You do not have to learn a new way or language to describe the table chart. In this, you need to find out the significant data and main features and not describe everything the way you see it.

  • Sample Essay for Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 07 - Table
  • Sample Essay for Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 08 - Table

IELTS table writing tips 

Below is the list of IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 topics with Sample Answers:

  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 (Line Graph) & Band 9 Model Essay
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 - Multiple Graphs & Model Answer
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 - Pie Charts & Band 8.5 Model Answers
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 - Process & Band 8.0 Sample Answers
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 02 - Process
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 03 - Bar Chart
  • Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 05
  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 (Table) & Band 9 Model Sample
  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 (Map) & Band 9 Model Sample

Below is the list of the Sample Essays for Academic IELTS Writing Task1

  • Topic 01 - Graph
  • Topic 04 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 06 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 09 - Flow Chart
  • Topic 10 - Diagram
  • Topic 11 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 12 - Table
  • Topic 13 - Pie Chart
  • Topic 14 - Graph
  • Topic 15 - Table
  • Topic 16 - Table
  • Topic 17 - Bar Graph
  • Topic 18 - Pie Chart
  • Topic 19 - Diagram
  • Topic 20 - Graph
  • Topic 21 - Pie Chart
  • Topic 22 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 23 - Bar Graph
  • Topic 24 - Graph
  • Topic 25 - Table
  • Topic 26 - Combined Chart
  • Topic 27 - Flow Chart
  • Topic 28 - Pie Graph
  • Topic 29 - Diagram
  • Topic 30 - Diagram
  • Topic 31 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 32 - Pie Chart
  • Topic 33 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 34 - Chart
  • Topic 35 - Table
  • Topic 36 - Pie Chart
  • Topic 37 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 38 - Line Graph
  • Topic 39 - Table
  • Topic 40 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 41 - Line Graph
  • Topic 42 - Bar Chart
  • Topic 43 - Bar Chart

Additionally, you can find tips, writing task 1 topics and practice tests   here . You can practice using these tests and improve your writing skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to write a conclusion in Task 1?

How much is Writing Task 1 worth?

How many types of Task 1 are there?

Can I take 30 minutes for writing task 1?

Will we receive two graphs or charts?

Will the academic paper be marked the same as the general paper?

What is the best way to organise information in writing task 1?

Are they going to check spellings?

Should I compare and contrast data in every body paragraph?

What is the best way to write the introduction?

Practice IELTS Writing Task 1 based on report types

Recent articles.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Topic 19: Procedure for university entry for high school graduates – Diagram

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Ielts sample charts (ielts writing task 1).

The Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic test requires you to write a summary of at least 150 words in response to a particular graph (bar, line or pie graph), table, chart, or process (how something works, how something is done). This task tests your ability to select and report the main features, to describe and compare data, identify significance and trends in factual information, or describe a process.

Exam Preparation

Ielts preparation, ielts sample letters (ielts writing task 1).

The purpose of this section is to help you with the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS General test. In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given problem with a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Depending on the task suggested, candidates are assessed on their ability to:

- engage in personal correspondence - elicit and provide general factual information - express needs, wants, likes and dislikes - express opinions (views, complaints etc.)

IELTS Writing Task 2 (IELTS Sample essays)

IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write at least 250 words. You will be presented with a topic and will be tested on your ability to respond by giving and justifying an opinion, discussing the topic, summarizing details, outlining problems, identifying possible solutions and supporting what you write with reasons, arguments and relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1. Writing scripts are marked by trained and certificated IELTS examiners, who all hold relevant teaching qualifications and are recruited as examiners by the test centres and approved by British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia.


The reading, writing and listening practice tests on this website have been designed to resemble the format of the IELTS test as closely as possible. They are not, however, real IELTS tests; they are designed to practise exam technique to help students to face the IELTS test with confidence and to perform to the best of their ability.

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IELTS Writing Task 1 – Sample Questions and Practice Resources

Student writing in notebook representing an IELTS Writing Task 1 Examples PDF - image by Magoosh

On the IELTS Academic exam, Writing Task 1 requires you to look at an informational graphic and describe the contents of the graphic in writing. In this post, we’ll look at different IELTS Writing Task 1 samples to prepare you for test day. In addition to advice and practice, you’ll also get our IELTS Writing Task 1 Examples PDF with Answers for portable prompts and model answers.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Samples With Answers PDF

If you want a print-friendly version of the IELTS Writing Task 1 samples in this post, click below to access the IELTS Writing Task 1 examples PDF!

Magoosh IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Samples with Answers PDF - Get the PDF

Note that all the IELTS Writing Task 1 samples are model essays for a band 9 IELTS score. The line graph sample prompt includes a detailed scoring explanation. You can learn more about scores for IELTS Writing Task 1 by consulting the official IELTS rubric .

  • Take a good look at our guide to IELTS Writing Task 1 paragraph structure . The guide tells you everything you need to know about how Writing Task 1 essays and paragraphs should be structured, with an example question and model essay.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Samples: The Major Question Types

Below are questions for each common infographic in IELTS Writing Task 1: bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, process diagrams, and maps.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Line Graph with Model Answer and Scoring Explanation

IELTS Line Graph - image by Magoosh

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Bar Chart With Model Answer

IELTS Bar Chart - image by Magoosh

Pie Chart with Model Answer

IELTS Pie Chart - image by Magoosh

Process Diagram with Model Answer

IELTS Process Diagram - image by Magoosh

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Map with Model Answer

IELTS Map - image by Magoosh

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Two Different Types of Graphics

IELTS Graph - image by Magoosh

Additional Resources for Writing Task 1

Now that you’ve seen some models for how this task is done, you should be ready for some real practice! Here are some resources from Magoosh that should help.

  • Practicing using these common IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 linking words .
  • Familiarize yourself with the test with IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Ultimate Guide video , and use a Writing diagnostic quiz to assess your current strengths and weaknesses.  

  • Use study schedules to help you find time to study and stay motivated. To help you organize your time, use this IELTS study schedule if you only have a week to go before you will take the IELTS. If you have a month, this one month IELTS study schedule offers more extended practice.  
  • Find high-quality study materials. We offer a huge collection of study reources for the whole IELTS Writing seciton ! Don’t forget about Magoosh IELTS Prep which includes lessons on IELTS Writing Task 1 (and all other sections of the exam!) to help you prep smarter. In addition to many video lessons and practice essays, the 6-month plan allows students to get feedback and scoring on four practice IELTS Writing essays; the 1-month plan includes feedback on one essay. You can also browse more recommended books and resources !

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 

This page covers all the basic information you need to know about IELTS Academic Writing Task 1.

It includes:

  • Key information
  • Task overview
  • Assessment & marking criteria
  • The 7 types of questions
  • Sample questions

Once you have a good understanding of Task 1, I’ll show you step-by-step how to produce high scoring essays for each of the 7 types of questions. You’ll find all these important lessons by following the links to the related pages. 

Key Information

1)   You are required to write 150 words or more.

If you write less than 150 words, you are unlikely to get more than a Band 5 for ’task achievement’ as you won’t have fulfilled the marking criteria.

2)   You have around 20 minutes to plan and write your essay.

3)   You should use a formal style of writing.

4)   Task 1 contributes half as many marks to your score as Task 2. So, Task 1 is worth 33% of the total mark in the Writing test.

Task Overview

You will be presented with one of the following graphics:

  • Table Chart
  • Process Diagram
  • Multiple Graphs

You are required to write a short report about the main features. For example, you may be asked to:

·         summarise data

·         describe the stages of a process

·         explain how something works

·         describe an object or event

The format of the question will always be the same. It will include:

·         A brief description of the graphic

·         The instructions

·         The graphic – chart, graph, table, etc.

Here’s a typical question. The highlighted words are always the same no matter what type of question you get.

The line graph below shows the consumption of 3 different types of fast food in Britain from 1970 to 1990.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

topic for writing task 1

With the format of the question always the same, this means that you can use the same basic method and essay structure to write any essay for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1.

We’ll be looking at a model method and structure in the lesson on Planning an IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Essay . 

Assessment & Marking Criteria  

As with all parts of the IELTS exam, Task 1 is marked according to four criteria.

  • Task Achievement  – appropriate response to the task
  • Cohesion   & Coherence   – the ability to present a well-structured essay
  • Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)   – the ability to use a range of appropriate vocabulary and to use it correctly
  • Grammatical   Range & Accuracy   – the ability to use grammar correctly and to use a range of grammar forms

Each carries 25% of the marks.

I’ve created separate lessons on Vocabulary and Grammar for Task 1, so here, we’ll look in more detail at just the marking criteria for Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion. We’re going to focus on Bands 6 - 8 as these are the levels most students are aiming for.

You can see a full table of all the band level marking criteria for Writing Task 1 by clicking this link –  Task 1 Marking Criteria . 

Here are the marking criteria for Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion. Don’t worry if the detail seems rather complex. Don't feel overwhelmed. If you follow my advice in all the lessons on how to write essays for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you’ll be able to meet these criteria and get a good score.

Marking Criteria  –  Task Achievement 

topic for writing task 1

Marking Criteria  –   Cohesion & Coherence 

topic for writing task 1

The 7 Types of Task 1 Questions

Now, we’re going to look briefly at the different type of questions for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 and a sample question for each.

The biggest challenge for many students is that they are not used to working with charts, graphs and tables and don’t know how to interpret this type of data. Don’t worry about this for now as I’m going to show you how to do this in the step-by-step guides.

On this page, I just want to familiarise you with the question structure and the different types of graphics you might get.

First, a reminder of the 7 question types:

Click the links for step-by-step instructions on how to write each type of essay, including a model answer.  

1) Bar Chart

Bars charts or bar graphs are very common Task 1 questions. The data can be presented vertically, as in the example below, or horizontally.

The bar chart below shows numbers of seals, whales and dolphins recorded in the Gormez Straits from 2006 to 2018.

Write at least 150 words.

topic for writing task 1

2) Line Graph

Line graphs are also common in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. They are easier to interpret than they may look.

The graph below shows the population for India and China since the year 2000 and predicts population growth until 2050.

topic for writing task 1

Source: Official website IELTS Essentials

Tables also come up regularly in Task 1. Some students find these harder to interpret as they are just sets of numbers with no visual representation. However, they are never very complicated. Remember, the IELTS exam is designed to test your language skills, not your mathematics ability.

The tables below give information about the world population and distribution in 1950 and 2000, with an estimate of the situation in 2050.

topic for writing task 1

Click this link for step-by-step instructions on how to answer this question including a model answer:

Table Chart – Instructions & Model Answer

4) Pie Chart

Although pie charts are not as common as bar charts and line graphs, you need to know how to answer this type of question in case you do get one. They are just another way of visually presenting data.

The chart below shows the reasons why people travel to work by bicycle or by car.

topic for writing task 1

  Pie  Chart – Instructions & Model Answer

5) Process Diagram

Another less frequent question type is the process diagram. It could be a natural process such as the water cycle, a manufacturing process or the diagram of a system such as the central heating system in a house.

The diagrams below show a structure that is used to generate electricity from wave power.

Write  at least 150 words.

Generating Electricity From The Sea

topic for writing task 1

Process Diagram  – Instructions & Model Answer

Occasionally, the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 question will be about a map. It may ask you to compare two or three maps of a place over a period of time as in this question.

The diagrams below show the changes that have taken place at Queen Mary Hospital since its construction in 1960.

topic for writing task 1

7) Multiple Graphs

Multiple graph questions have more than one type of diagram and are fairly common. They usually include two diagrams such as a bar chart and a line graph or a pie chart and a table as in this sample question.

The diagrams below give information on transport and car use in Edmonton.

topic for writing task 1

Now that you have a better understanding of IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 and are familiar with the 7 different question types, you’re ready to learn how the write a Task I essay.

Just follow the links below to the individual lessons.

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Ielts academic writing task 1 – all lessons.

IELTS Academic Writing  –  A summary of the test including important facts, test format & assessment.

Academic Writing Task 1  – The format, the 7 question types & sample questions, assessment & marking criteria.  All the key information you need to know.

Understanding Task 1 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 1 Essay  –  Discover  3 reasons why you must plan, the 4 simple steps of essay planning and learn a simple 4 part essay structure.

Vocabulary for Task 1 Essays  –  Learn key vocabulary for a high-scoring essay. Word lists & a downloadable PDF.

Grammar for Task 1 Essays   – Essential grammar for Task 1 Academic essays including, verb tenses, key sentence structures, articles & prepositions.

The 7 Question Types:

Click the links below for a step-by-step lesson on each type of Task 1 question.

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IELTS Writing Task 1 for the Academic and General Training exams

IELTS writing task 1

Learning how to answer Writing Task 1 in either IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training is key to achieving a great band score in this section. In this article, you will learn how to answer IELTS Writing Task 1 in both tests, become familiar with the types and topics in this task and how the task is marked.

How to answer Writing Task 1 in IELTS?

Your answer in IELTS Writing Task 1 will depend on the type of test you will be taking.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:

In Academic Writing Task 1 you are shown a visual representation of information; a graph, table, chart, process or map, and you are asked to describe this by summarising the information you see.

Make sure you organise your response into three main parts, the introduction, an overview and the main features supported by figures from the diagram.

IELTS General Training Writing Task 1:

In General Training Writing Task 1 you will be given a situation where you will need to write a letter, perhaps to request information or explain a situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style. You might be asked to write a letter to suggest how to improve the facilities at a library, for example.

Examiners will look at your ability to provide information in relation to the task, such as expressing needs, wants, likes and dislikes, as well as opinions, views and complaints.

Common IELTS Writing Task 1 types

In the IELTS Academic exam, there are various Writing Task 1 question types that you could be given, and some are more common than others. Here's a list of the types of questions you could find in Writing Task 1 and some strategies to deal with the different question types.

When answering these different question types, you should summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Line Graphs

Line graphs commonly occur in Writing Task 1 on the IELTS exam. The topics vary and there may be one or multiple lines, representing various types of information, over different periods of time.

The graph below shows radio and television audiences throughout the day in 1992.

The graph below shows radio and television audiences throughout the day in 1992.

Bar charts or bar graphs are another common Writing Task 1 question type. Again, there could be one topic or multiple topics all on one chart. The chart could also be vertical or horizontal.

The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time.

The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time.

Pie charts don't appear as often as line graphs and bar charts, but they are sometimes a question type in Writing Task 1 in the IELTS exam.

Tables are also a possible question type in the IELTS exam. Again, there can be various topics included in one table.

Processes do not occur as often on the test, but they do appear as a Writing Task 1 question. There can be a wide range of processes, such as how machines work or how food is processed.

The diagram below shows the process by which bricks are manufactured for the building industry

 The diagram below shows the process by which bricks are manufactured for the building industry

Just like the processes, maps don’t occur very often, but they do appear from time to time. The maps are usually of cities and towns which have developed over a period of time.


The combination of different task types such as a graph and a pie chart, or a table and a bar graph, happens quite often in the IELTS test. Although they happen often, you should know how to write each task type individually, and then you'll be able to combine them more easily.

Natural Processes and Life Cycles

The task of writing about a natural process or life cycle only happens once in a while but is still a possibility.

For task types such as line graphs, bar charts, and pie charts, try to use specific language such as adjective-noun and verb-adverb combinations. This vocabulary works for chronological graphs and charts. Comparatives and superlatives work well for graphs and charts that compare data. With tasks such as processes, maps and natural processes and life cycles, try to use specific language for the topic. This may be language you already know or the vocabulary that is used in the diagram. Using the proper language to describe how you think the process works is more important than knowing exactly how the process works.

Furthermore, when describing task types such as graphs, charts, and tables, use an active voice. For task types such as processes, maps, and natural processes and life cycles, use a passive voice. Making this distinction can mean a higher overall band score.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 topics

You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe it by summarising the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and present data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object, plan or design.

IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 topics

In the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 , you are asked to write a letter, where you demonstrate your ability to communicate using English letter-writing conventions.

You will be given a common, everyday situation such as writing to apologise for missing a friend’s party, complaining to a company about bad service, writing to give advice to a friend about where to go on holiday, or writing to express your interest in a new job.

How is IELTS Writing Task 1 marked?

For Task 1 of both AC and GT Writing tests, this criterion assesses how fully, appropriately, accurately and relevantly the response fulfils the requirements set out in the task, using a minimum of 150 words.

  Academic Writing Task 1  Writing task 1 in IELTS Academic has a defined input and a largely predictable output. It is basically an information-transfer task, which relates narrowly to the factual content of a diagram, graph, table, chart, map or other visual input, not to speculative explanations that lie outside the given data.

The task achievement criterion (TA criterion) assesses the ability to summarise the information provided in the diagram by:

Selecting key features of the information.

Providing sufficient detail to illustrate these features.

Reporting the information, figures and trends accurately.

Comparing or contrasting the information by adequately highlighting the identifiable trends, principal changes or differences in the data and other inputs (rather than mechanical description reporting detail).

Presenting the response in an appropriate format.

General Training Writing Task 1

For the General Training test, Writing Task 1 also has a largely predictable output in which each task sets out the context and purpose of the letter and the functions the candidate should cover to achieve this purpose.

The TA criterion assesses the ability to:

Clearly explain the purpose of the letter.

Fully address the three bullet-pointed requirements set out in the task.

Extend these three functions appropriately and relevantly.

Use an appropriate format for the letter.

Consistently use a tone appropriate to the task.

IELTS Writing Task 1: Vocabulary

There's no specific vocabulary to use in Writing Task 1 ; however, it should be related and appropriate to the task. Here is a breakdown of the IELTS Writing Task 1 Band Descriptors:

Task Achievement – Did you respond to or achieve the task asked of you?

Coherence and Cohesion – Did you link ideas through logical sequencing and use varied cohesive devices appropriately?

Lexical Resource – What is the range of the vocabulary that you demonstrated?

Grammatical Range and Accuracy – Did you demonstrate your grammatical skills by using a range of accurate grammatical structures?

Also, here are some examples of formal and informal vocabulary and structures that you can use in your IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 response:

By following these descriptors and these suggested vocabulary structures, you will be able to achieve a good band score and ace your test. Also, learn how to get a high score in Academic Writing Task 1 .

IELTS Writing Task 1 FAQs

1. How long is IELTS Writing Task 1?

The Writing test takes 60 minutes. There are two tasks to complete. It is suggested to spend about 20 minutes on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words.

2. Does IELTS Writing Task 1 need a conclusion?

IELTS teachers will often tell you to put the overview at the end like a 'conclusion' in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1; however, an IELTS Task 1 response does not need a conclusion.

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IELTS Writing Task 1: Everything You Need to Know

Ielts writing task 1 in 6 simple steps.

topic for writing task 1

Academic Writing Task 1 Strategy

  • Understand how the test is marked. Knowing the marking criteria will allow you to give the examiner exactly what they need.
  • Paraphrase the question. It is best to paraphrase the question in the first paragraph. You can do this by using synonyms.
  • Write the overview. To write your overview , pick 3 or 4 of the main features and write about them generally without referencing any data.
  • Support the main features. In a new paragraph, support the key features with the data in the information given to you.
  • Check your work. Check your report for spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure that the data you mentioned is also accurate!

Image: IELTS-Writing-Task-1-2

Essential Writing Task 1 Skills

  • How to Write an Overview Paragraph 
  • How to Paraphrase 
  • How to Write a Complex Sentence
  • How Many Words? 
  • Task 1 Charts Checklist
  • Task 1 Tips
  • The Danger of Synonyms
  • 6 Common Mistakes
  • Paragraphing and Editing

Writing Task 1 Full Lessons

  • Writing Academic Task 1 in 5 Easy Steps 
  • Charts Lesson
  • Maps Lesson
  • Multiple Charts/Graphs 
  • Process Lesson

Image: IELTS-Writing-Task-1-Graphics

Academic Task 1 Sample Answers

Image: Writing-Task-1-1

  • Bar Chart Sample Essay (Cars in Asia) 
  • Process- Cement and Concrete Production
  • Pie Chart (Italy and Yemen Populations) 
  • Process Question
  • Bar Chart Question (UK Telephone Usage) 
  • Line Graph (US Consumption of Energy)
  • Bar Chart Sample Answer (International Students)

General Training Writing Task 1

Image: IELTS-Writing-Task-1-Graphics-1

General Training Writing Task 1 in 5 Simple Steps

  • Understand how the test is marked. Knowing the marking criteria is the best way of giving the examiner exactly what they need and nothing else.
  • Decide whether the letter is formal or informal. This part is easy. If the question asks you to write to a ‘friend’, it should be an informal letter. If the question asks you to write to anyone else, it should be a formal letter. It is that simple!
  • Discuss each bullet point from the question. Make sure to take a new paragraph for each bullet point. This will make your letter easy to read and understand.
  • Sign off your letter. Don’t overcomplicate this part. Include a sign-off suitable to your letter’s tone and write your name beneath.
  • Check your work. Make sure your letter doesn’t contain any grammar or vocabulary mistakes.
  • Letter Writing Tips
  • How to Write an Informal Letter
  • How to Write a Formal Letter

General Training Essential Writing Task 1 Skills

  • Task 1 General Training Writing Strategy
  • Task 1 General Training Writing Guide

Sample Answers

  • Formal and informal sample letters.

Writing Task 1 Essential Information

  • People doing the Academic test will write a report on a data set, map, or process. People doing General Training will write a letter.
  • You must write 150 words or more.
  • You should spend around 20 minutes on this part of the test.
  • Task 1 is worth 1/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.
  • You will be assessed in four areas: Task Achievement (25%) Coherence and Cohesion (25%) Lexical Resource (25%) Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
  • The most important thing is that you can demonstrate that you can clearly communicate in English.
  • The key to doing well is to know exactly what the examiners want and give it to them.
  • Grammar and Vocabulary Guide

Image: IELTS-reading-1

  • Top 10 Grammar Mistakes

IELTS Writing Task 1 FAQs

How can i improve my writing.

You will find all the resources you need on our Writing Task 1 page. Click the link below:

Writing Task 1

If you need serious help or personalised feedback, you should check out our online course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name here:

How can I get a Band 7, 8 or 9?

The answer to this question is different for every individual IELTS student, as it depends on a number of factors, including your work ethic, English skills and exam strategy. You'll find a guide to answering this question in this article

If you need serious help with improving your IELTS scores, you should check out our online writing course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name by clicking the link below:

Can you correct my writing?

Please click the link below and it will give you all the information you need about our writing correction service:

Writing Correction Service

Do you have any sample answers?

Yes, you will find them at the link below:

Task 1 Sample Answers

Will using 'high level' or 'academic' words help me improve my score?

Probably not.

Read my recent article about IELTS vocabulary here:

5 Things You Need to Know about IELTS Vocabulary

How many paragraphs should I write?


You can put the overview at the end if you'd like.

Can I use idioms?

No, you should typically avoid using idioms in Writing Task 1.

The only time this is acceptable is if you are taking the General Training test and must write an informal letter.

Should I write a conclusion for Task 1 Academic?

No. A conclusion is a summary of YOUR ideas and your opinion. Task 1 is simply reporting what you see, so there shouldn't be any of your ideas or your opinion.

Instead of a conclusion, you should write an overview.

The reason lots of people get confused about this is that some teachers, books and even one British Council website call the overview a 'conclusion'. It's not a conclusion, it's an overview.

Finally, it does not matter where you put the overview paragraph. We teach our students to put it after the introduction, but it is also fine to have it as your final paragraph.

How many words should I write?

You must write at least 150 words in Writing Task 1 (yes, the examiners will count them!)

I would suggest that you aim to write around 160-170 words for Task 1. Aiming for 20-30 words more than the required amount makes you more likely to reach the word limit without setting an unrealistic goal.

Will I lose marks if I don't write enough words?

Yes. If you don't write the required number of words, you will lose marks in 'Task Achievement' for not answering the question fully. Read more here .

Can I use contractions?

No, should not use contractions when you are writing an academic essay or formal letter. However, it is fine to use contractions in an informal letter.

When should I write formally?

There are a few signposts that indicate when you should write formally or informally. Watch our video lesson to find out what they are:

IELTS Writing Task 1 General Training: Formal or Informal Letters?


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