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    How to Write an IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 with Ease

    Want to know how you can pass the IELTS academic writing task 1 section with flying numbers? Learn the top strategies that helped thousands of my students achieve a high band.


    The IELTS academic writing task 1 section requires you to look at some sort of graphs like a pie chart, image, or bar chart and write a description of what the image represents in a minimum of 150 words.

    As an experienced IELTS instructor, I have seen many students struggle with completing their IELTS academic writing task 1 question. Especially because you will only be given 20 minutes. Because of this, I wrote this article to help you be able to strategize your time and make sure you write an answer that will score you a high band.

    You are going to learn about the IELTS writing format you should follow, certain IELTS writing topics you may get, you will also see an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer. Furthermore, you will also learn about the IELTS writing task 2 academic section.

    This post is all about the IELTS academic writing task 1 section.


    All About the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Section

    When you are completing the IELTS academic writing task 1 section, you should make sure you plan out what exactly you are going to write about before you start writing your answer. This “planning stage” is called outlining.

    While outlining your IELTS Academic writing task 1 answer, you should make sure you jot down the main idea you are going to discuss in each paragraph in a few words.

    Your outline should be as follows:

    Paragraph 1 (Introduction) – Include 3-4 words about what the visual represents

    Paragraph 2 ( Image Overview) – 3-4 words about the image you will discuss

    Paragraph 3 (First Main Idea) – 3-4 words about the first main idea

    Paragraph 4 (Second Main Idea) – 3-4 words about the second main idea

    Have a look below for the exact IELTS writing format you should be following.

    The IELTS Writing Format You Should Use


    Here you will see an IELTS writing format that you should use when structuring your IELTS academic writing task 1 question:

    Paragraph Description
    Paragraph 1 (Introduction) The introduction should explain what the visual represents or what is being compared. If there is a comparison, describe what is being compared in your own words.
    Paragraph 2 (Image Overview) In your own words, discuss the 2-3 features the image shows. You don’t need to add any numerical value in this paragraph. However, it’s recommended to include any percentages you can elaborate on. For example, you can mention that the percentage was low for 3 years then had a drastic increase afterward.
    Paragraph 3 (Main Idea #1) Choose one main idea to discuss from the piece of data. While discussing this piece of information, be specific in your words when comparing the differences and similarities. Avoid choosing something obvious to discuss.
    Paragraph 4 (Main Idea #2) Choose the second specific piece of data to discuss while being specific when you are discussing the similarities and differences.
    Conclusion There is no need for a conclusion in IELTS writing task 1 since you discussed the main ideas throughout your answer already. Do not worry, you will not be taken off any marks for not having a conclusion.

    Now have a look at the sentence structure for each paragraph for your IELTS writing task 1 answer.

    How Many Sentences Each Paragraph Should Have For Your IELTS Writing Task 1 Answer


    Here is an exact breakdown of how you should structure your IELTS writing task 1 answer and how many sentences each paragraph should have:

    Introduction: 3 sentences

    Image Overview (second paragraph): 3 sentences

    Specific Idea # 1 (third paragraph): 3 sentences

    Specific Idea # 2 (fourth paragraph) 3 sentences

    Keep in mind that each sentence should include around 15-20 words. If you aim for around 17 words in each sentence, you will be at the minimum word count that is required for the IELTS writing academic task 1.

    The minimum word count for this section is 150 words. I always recommend aiming for 150-175 words because this will encourage you to write in a clear and concise manner.

    Also, remember that a sentence is not defined as one line. A sentence has a period after a cluster of 15-20 words, so it is important that you are able to write a sentence where you are writing about one thought before discussing another.

    Now that you know what IELTS writing format will help you keep your answer organized, have a look at an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer that follows the rules that were discussed above.

    IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer

    Here is an example IELTS writing task 1 sample answer that would score you a high band:


    INTRODUCTION: The bar chart shows the average number of minutes per day men and women in Great Britain spend on jobs around the house. The trend suggests that women do more of the household chores compared to men.

    GENERAL OVERVIEW: In general, men have a preference for gardening compared to other tasks such as cleaning the house. This is quite evident since women spend most of their time in the kitchen, cooking. Meanwhile, maintenance is a job they spend the least amount of time doing.

    DETAILED PARAGRAPH 1: According to the information shown, men only spend two-and-a-half hours on household tasks, whereas women spend slightly more than four hours. Women

    spend more than twice as much time doing kitchen tasks at 74 minutes compared to men who only do 30 minutes. This is a difference of more than double. Women are also more active in cleaning the house. 58 minutes of their day is spent cleaning, compared to only 13 minutes for men. Similarly, women put in more than twice as much time as men for childcare, with 25 more minutes of this kind of care being provided by women.

    DETAILED PARAGRAPH 2: On the other hand, men are more active in the garden and with pet care, where they spend twice as much time as women. For maintenance and odd jobs around the house, men spend 15 minutes more than women do. Women account for almost all the time spent on washing and ironing clothes with a significant difference of 23 minutes spent on these chores by women. In fact, men spend only two minutes on this task.

    IELTS Writing Topics And Question Types You May Get

    While having an idea of the IELTS writing topics is important to know for the task 1 academic exam, it is equally important to understand the different question types you may get.

    By question types I mean the types of images you may need to translate to written form. Here is a list of IELTS writing question types you may get:

    • Pie Chart
    • Bar graph
    • Comparison Chart
    • Flow Chart
    • Diagram
    • Table
    • Pie Chart

    Furthermore, the IELTS writing topics can range from:

    • the profit / the loss of a business
    • numerical data comparing 2 sides (such as males vs females)
    • Numerical rates of a social norm or problem between two countries

    If you are not sure how these question types look with different IELTS writing topics, then have a look at this post titled IELTS Writing Examples to Score a Band 9.

    When looking at the different question types you may get for the IELTS writing task 1 academic section, you should also learn about certain IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary that you can use to help describe the graphic/image you need to discuss.

    IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary To Use In Your Answer

    There are so many different IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary words you can use throughout your answer. It is important that you use the right vocabulary to describe the exact situation happening in the image. Essentially, if you are able to use different IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary in your answer, this will help you score a high band.

    Have a look at some vocabulary below:


    When looking at these IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary words, it is important to identify when the best situation would be to use these words.

    Although choosing the right IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary words is important, making sure you understand the IELTS band descriptors is extremely essential, especially because this is the first step to scoring a high band.

    Understanding the IELTS Band Descriptors

    The IELTS band descriptors are what the examiner evaluates you on and gives you an overall score. The examiner will be marking you on 4 major parts.

    Have a look at the exact 4 sections of the IELTS band descriptors the writing task 1 section includes:

    • Task Achievement
    • Coherence and Cohesion
    • Lexical Resource
    • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

    If you are able to perfect these 4 different parts and are able to show the examiner your abilities to speak like a native English speaker, you will be able to score a high band.

    If you want to learn more about the IELTS band descriptors in detail, check out the article titled IELTS Band Descriptors – 5 Secrets On How To Use Them To Your Advantage!

    Here is a video that provides examples of a sentence that would score you a low band compared to a high band in the IELTS writing section.

    Lastly, if you are looking for ways to improve English writing skills, then check out these 7 easy steps that will help you in your IELTS writing task 1 section.


    This post was all about the IELTS academic writing task 1 section.

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