Learn how to write IELTS Task 1 - Academic

How to Write IELTS Task 1 - Academic

How to Write IELTS Task 1 - Academic

The IELTS writing task 1- Academic is often neglected by most of the test-takers. Most of the tutors and test-takers themselves focus more on writing task 2 only. They do not realise their low scores can be due to inadequate performance in this task as well. 

In this article, I am trying to cover key points that should be included while writing task 1- Academic.

In this task, test-takers are supposed to write on an image that could be anything like a map, graph, pie chart and so on. 

Let us first list out the most common types of images. 
1. Diagrams
2. Maps
3. Graphs- Line, Bar, Mixed
4. Pie Charts
5. Process
6. Tables
7. Images

Word limit---- 150 words minimum
Recommended word limit----- 180-200 words

The main features which you should include are the following:

1. Introduce the main points of the image.
2. Explain the main features.
3. Show trends (Very important).
4. Conclude (close the task).

Let us discuss them one by one.

1. Introduce the main points

Here, you need to mention the heading or the information given on the image in our own words i.e. Try to rephrase and modify the arrangement of the words and grammar. Don't just copy from the image itself. 

For example:
The bar chart shows/illustrates.......
The pie charts depict........
The line graph compares......

2. Explain the main features

Here, you need to mention maximum values or information from the image in terms of facts and figures from the image.

For example:
The price of gas stood at USD 30 per gallon in the year 1989. 
The export of sugar accounted for 20% for India's total export figures in the year 2003. 

3. Show trends 

In this, you should mention all the trends i.e. the movement of values/figures in the given period on the image. 

For example:
The price of gas steadily increased over the last five years. 
The export of sugar dropped significantly last year in Austria. 

Try to remember a few vocabulary words to write effectively.
For example:
This has shrunk.
The sales rebounded slightly.
A massive increase was observed.

This part is the most crucial one. Try to find out something that happened: some rise, some fall, some movements shown in the image. Describe trends as far as possible covering all the aspects and categories in comparison. 

4. Conclusion
This is quite simple as compared with the writing task 2. You just write a single line to close the task

For example:
In conclusion, one can say that from 2018 to 2020, there has been an increase in the overall numbers of sales for all the categories.

Lets us discuss one example

How to Write IELTS Task 1 -  Academic


1. Introducing 
The bar chart compares the UK's gross domestic products components from IT industry and Service industry for the period of nine years from 1992 to 2000. 

2. Explaining the main features
Starting with the IT industry, its share in GDP was around 6 per cent in 1992 which reached a slightly high value of 8 per cent in 1994 followed by a negligible decline in 1996 from 1994; thereafter, its contribution rose to a considerable value of 12 per cent in 1998 followed by a miraculous jump in its share reaching 15 per cent in 2000. 

Moving on to the service industry, its share in GDP, which was only 4 per cent in 1992, had reached a value of 6 per cent by1994. In the next few years, the service industries share in GDP hovered around 8 per cent.

 3. Showing trends 
If we analyze the data, we can see several trends clearly emerging. For the IT industry, its contribution to the UK's GDP remained at around 7 per cent, but its share almost doubled in the last few years of the chart. However, the contribution of the service industry remained almost constant at around 7 per cent for most of the period. 

4. Concluding 

Overall, the contribution of the IT industry in the UK's economy is almost double than the service industry in the given period.


I hope you can compose any task now with these guidelines. 

So the final answer to the above example will look like this:

The bar chart compares the UK's gross domestic products components from IT industry and Service industry for the period of nine years from 1992 to 2000.

Starting with the IT industry, its share in GDP was around 6 per cent in 1992 which reached a slightly high value of 8 per cent in 1994 followed by a negligible decline in 1996 from 1994; thereafter, its contribution rose to a considerable value of 12 per cent in 1998 followed by a miraculous jump in its share reaching 15 per cent in 2000. 

Moving on to the service industry, its share in GDP, which was only 4 per cent in 1992, had reached a value of 6 per cent by1994. In the next few years, the service industries share in GDP hovered around 8 per cent.

If we analyze the data, we can see several trends clearly emerging. For the IT industry, its contribution to the UK's GDP remained at around 7 per cent, but its share almost doubled in the last few years of the chart. However, the contribution of the service industry remained almost constant at around 7 per cent for most of the period.  

Overall, the contribution of the IT industry in the UK's economy is almost double than the service industry in the given period.

Here one important thing to take care of is to use a variety of sentence structures along with vocabulary variation. And not to forget, cohesion and coherence. 

Please note how I have used complex sentences and structure in this task: use of the conditional clause, complex-compound sentence and semi-colon. 

Now let us discuss some important vocabulary and tenses for this task.

VERBS and NOUNS for describing trends

1. Describing Trends - Increasing

a) Nouns
a rise
an increase
an upward trend
a boom
a surge

b) Verbs
rise/rose/risen
go/went/gone up
grow
double
triple
soar
surge
rocket

2. Describing Trends - Decreasing

a) Nouns
a fall
a decrease
a decline
a drop
a slump
a plunge

b) Verbs
fall/fell/fallen
decline
decrease
dip
drop
go down
plummet
slump
plunge
dive

3. Describing Trends - Constant

a) Nouns
a level
a plateau
reach a peak
hit

b) Verbs
stand/stood at
stabilize
peak

ADJECTIVE and ADVERB for a degree of change

1. Enormous Change 

a) Adjectives
dramatic
miraculous
enormous
tremendous

b) Adverbs
dramatically
miraculously
tremendously
enormously

2. Huge Change

a) Adjectives
considerable
remarkable
significant
substantial

b) Adverbs
considerably
remarkably
significantly
substantially

3. Mediocre Change

a) Adjectives
noticeable
moderate
marked

b) Adverbs
noticeably
moderately
markedly


4. Negligible Change

a) Adjectives
slight
minimal
small

b) Adverbs
slightly
minimally


ADJECTIVE and ADVERB for speed of change

1. Sudden Change
a) Adjectives
rapid
quick
sharp
swift
steep

b) Adverbs
rapidly
quickly
sharply
swiftly
steeply


2. Slow Change
a) Adjectives
steady
gradual
slow

b) Adverbs
steadily
gradually
slowly


3. Unexpected Change
a) Adjectives
abrupt
unexpected
sudden

b) Adverbs
abruptly
unexpectedly
suddenly

Moving further, I would ask you to revise all the tenses and their uses as we generally need to describe the images in present/past/ and future tenses based on the data shown.

Now let us discuss a very important tense combination involved in IELTS task 1 Academic which can lift your writing to band 7.

Mostly, the images that come in the exam are in the past tense. The trick here is to use past perfect tense.

Generally, candidates write in simple past tense i.e. sub + verb II form, but if we use past perfect tense i.e. had + verb III forms, we can expect a really good band score in task one.

For example:
Moving on to the service industry, its share in GDP, which was only 4 per cent in 1992, had reached a value of 6 per cent by1994.

To use past perfect tense you must use 'by year' as in the above example, I have used 'by 1994'

Coming to the end, I hope you must have got some useful information from this.

For details on the marking criteria of these tasks, please check my article on band descriptors and golden trick for writing to sail safely in the IELTS exam. 




Good Luck!



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Comments

  1. Sir,it would be of great help if the examples would have been illustrated by small graphs showing trends. For example, sharp fall , dramatic increase, plateau, etc. Hope you will provide such.
    Thank you so much for your description. Fruitful for everyone, who want to achieve a high band score.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Satinder. I will surely add more examples to this in the near future.

      Delete

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