IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

IELTS academic writing

In IELTS Academic writing, you must complete two tasks during the writing part. Task 1 is a written description of a visual. It is not an essay, so you don’t have to give your opinion or argument. Examinees must describe a bar chart, line graph, flow chart, map or another type of diagram in a minimum of 150 words. You have only 20 minutes, so you should be prepared for this type of task to get the best band score during this time.


Time Management:

Dedicate 2 to 3 minutes at the start of the task of planning your written assignment. Keep one minute, in the end, to quickly review your finished work. Let’s take an example.

The chart below shows the number of projects completed by people of different employment status in the same company in March 2018. Write a report for the company manager describing the information shown in the chart.

The chart in the exam may be a flow chart, table or a pie-chart. You should divide your description into four paragraphs: an Introduction, Overview, Main Body Paragraph 1 and Main body paragraph 2.

After planning, you have about 16 minutes to complete these four paragraphs, so give yourself about four minutes for each one.



Carefully study the visual of Writing Task 1. Analyse the horizontal and vertical axes and identify what they mean exactly. Find out if there is a unit of measurement, cost or calculation and include this in your written task. Identify any trends, differences or comparisons. Then, decide how to group your information. You should normally have two or three groups of information (such as Map 1, Map 2, Map 3) that you place into two or three paragraphs respectively.


Use of Language:

For Task 1, use introductory expressions to present the main idea. For example:

This bar graph shows the quantity of projects finished by employees of different status in the same organization in the month of March, 2018.

Note that this main sentence is a paraphrase of the original statement in the question.

Your second paragraph defines movement and trends in the graph, using key verbsto express this:

The number of projects increased in the first week of March. They declined to 25 projects in the second week.

In Academic writing, The writer uses the past simple tense to describe movement.You can alternate verbs with their synonyms.

For example:

Hours rose (instead of increased) in the first week of Match. They dropped (instead of declined) to 25 hours in the second week).


Coherence and Cohesion:

To achieve band score 6 and above, you need to adhere to the standards of the IELTS criteria. This means clear paragraphing into this structure: an Introduction, Overview, Main Body Paragraphs 1 and 2.Use cohesive devices to open, link, contrast and end your ideas.

  • Overall,…
  • Furthermore,…
  • Moreover,…
  • However,…
  • Finally,…


Grammar Range and Accuracy:

The passive form is often used in Writing Task 1.

For example:

Forty projects were completed by the end of March 2018.

The past forms (past simple and past perfect) are often used in Writing Task 1 if the visual represents data from the past. However, check the dates as the graph may be a future forecast or current information. Use the appropriate tense correctly.