Approaching IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic)

What is Task 1?

In the Writing Task 1  of the IELTS Academic test, you will be given a prompt and you will have to describe the data you have been given. It is your job in Task 1 to describe the data but do not try to explain it. Your answer should give an overview (explain the big picture) and also give some details.

A good answer to Task 1 means your reader should understand the information provided in the prompt without seeing it. Your description should tell them everything they need to know.

What kind of prompt will I have to describe?

In Task 1 you will be given a table, graph, chart, diagram or map to describe. Although the type of prompt might be different, your job is still the same. Identify and describe the most important feature and give some details so that your reader understands what the prompt shows.

How do I get started with Task 1?

Look at the prompt carefully. What patterns do you see? What are the main features or the most interesting information? Write notes on the question paper, highlighting key point that you have to mention in your answer.

Plan the flow of your answer. For example you can start with a sentence describing briefly what the chart shows, then move on to the main trends you have noted and support your answer with figures. You don’t have to divide your answer into paragraphs in Task 1 but it does need to be well-organised and logical.

Examples of Academic Writing Task 1 papers

Click on the links to see example questions, answers and explanations.