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IELTS Writing Task 1: Tips For IELTS Writing Task 1

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

ielts writing task 1

IELTS or International English Language Testing System is the world’s leading English-language test used for work, foreign education, and migration. The IELTS test has two typesIELTS Academic and General Training. There are four compulsory sections of the test – Writing, Reading, Speaking and Listening. There are two IELTS Writing tasks. Writing Task 1 is different for IELTS General Training and Academic. Task 1 for Academic is a summary of graphical representation and for General Training, it is letter writing. Applicants preparing for IELTS Writing Task 1 should have complete knowledge about the task, test pattern, skills, and tips to get an excellent band.

IELTS General Writing Task 1

General Writing Task 1 requires applicants to write a formal or semi-formal letter on a particular subject in 150 words. The question focuses on testing the functional writing skills of the students. It evaluates the English language writing skills and the applicant’s ability to draft a letter for purposes like an apology, invitation, complaint, job application, or requesting information. It also evaluates the ability of applicants to write about practical issues in English before working or studying in an English-speaking country. 

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

In IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 starts with a diagram, a visual representation of information. It can be a table, map, graph, process, diagram, or picture. Applicants need to draft a summary of 150 words within 20 minutes based on the visual. It evaluates the applicants’ ability to select and analyze important facts, data, and features, by comparing data and trends or developing a particular process. The task measures English language proficiency and analytical skills.

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Tips for IELTS writing task 1

Task 1 is different for IELTS Academic and General Training.

Here are all the important tips that can help applicants from both academic and General Training modules. 

IELTS General Writing Task 1 tips

  • Draft the letter as per instructions. Identify the type of letter, and make sure the tone and style match the type of the letter. A formal tone cannot be used for an informal letter. Choose the right words.
  • The letter must have an introduction and conclusion. The introduction should have all the necessary details that justify the purpose of writing the letter. It should have a clear picture of the entire letter.
  • Don’t use common vocabulary in the letter. Use positive words and avoid a negative tone.
  • The letter should be grammatically correct. Draft short, coherent, and organized sentences. Do not make mistakes in using the tense forms and sentences should be linked properly with connectors.
  • Organize the entire 150 words in small and readable paragraphs. Do not write lengthy paragraphs.
  • Do not make spelling mistakes. Avoid complicated and long words if you are unsure about them.
  • The letter should have all three points – explaining the problem, describing the cause, and suggesting a remedy or solution.
  • Read sample letters of both formal and semi-formal formats. Practice writing letters for different purposes and do not memorize them.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic tips

  • Keep the summary within 150 words. Finish task 1 within 20 minutes to have sufficient time for task 2.
  • Focus on task achievement, grammar, vocabulary, and coherence. These are the main factors of scoring in task 1.
  • Mention all the relevant data, information, and facts after analyzing the diagram carefully. Do not miss out on any information from the diagram.
  • Study and understand the diagram properly. Only then you will be able to state the important features and information represented in the visual.
  • Sentence construction is important. Use connectors to maintain the right flow of ideas and opinions while writing.
  • To write your overview, pick 3 or 4 of the main features and write about them generally, without referencing any data.
  • Support the key features with the data in a new paragraph.
  • It is best to paraphrase the question in the first paragraph. Do this with the help of synonyms.

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Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

IELTS Writing Task 1 skill

Both IELTS Academic and General aspirants must have the below-mentioned skills: 

  • Task 1 of both Academic and General Training should be completed in a unique manner. The answers are not marked right or wrong. They are evaluated based on facts, grammar, and vocabulary. Test takers must have unique writing skills.
  • Finding the facts to draft an overview paragraph is the most important part of your whole Task 1 essay. It must include the factual information and features that will represent the data.
  • Ability to select & report the main features, describe & compare data, identify significance & trends in factual information, or describe a process.
  • Having a wide vocabulary is an asset of a successful writer. To enhance your writing skills, try to listen, speak and read a lot of English language every day. The more you read and listen, the better words you will know.
  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are very important no matter how well you write. These are some of the must-have writing skills. Poor punctuation and spelling affect the quality of writing.
  • Maintaining a tone is an important writing skill. It should be as stated in the question. Academic writing is always in an informative and formal tone.
  • Use facts in your task 1. Facts and numbers enrich your essay. Use evidence when the question asks you to do so.

Essential Information for IELTS Writing Task 1

IELTS Writing task 1 requires you to provide a summary of 150 words against a given problem which can be a bar graph, line graph, or pie chart. In doing so, you need to select and report the critical features of the bar graph. Therefore, it becomes necessary that you enhance your ability to identify the significant components, express opinions, needs, or wants, engage in personal correspondence, and draw comparisons using the factual information. The time that you need to spend on this task is 20 minutes. 

IELTS Writing Task 1 Samples

IELTS Bar Graph

Writing Task 1 Line Graph

Table Chart IELTS Task 1

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Strategy

Before moving ahead with the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you must devise a well-thought-out strategy. Here are some points you can include in your strategy for the IELTS academic writing task 1 strategy.

  • Get familiar with the marking scheme: Before you headstart your journey to a place, you require a road map so that you do not take the wrong routes. Similar is the case with preparing and devising the strategy for IELTS writing task 1. You need to get familiar with the marking scheme so that you attune yourself to the wants and needs of the examiner.
  • Start your answer by paraphrasing the question: The best way to proceed with your responses is to paraphrase the question. This can be done by tweaking the question statement and using different synonyms.
  • Be careful with the overview: Overview requires you to write the gist by picking three or four of the vital features of the data provided in the question. Do not reference any data while writing the overview. 
  • Back the vital information with the given data: After providing the overview, start the new paragraph by supporting the main features with the information provided to you in the question. 
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors: The final report should be free from grammatical or spelling errors. Revise the entire content for any kind of errors, factual or typographical. 

Should I write a conclusion for Task 1 Academic?

The conclusion is different from reporting the information based on the data provided to you in the question. In IELTS task 1 academic task, you need to report what you see and keep your opinions and ideas aside.

Some candidates get confused between overview and conclusion. There is a clear distinction between overview and conclusion. It is often placed after the introduction, but it is also fine if it is placed as the ending paragraph.


The IELTS Writing Task 1 is designed to test the English writing skills of individuals planning to immigrate to an English-speaking country for work, education, or general purposes. The test is different for General and Academic applicants. The IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic needs applicants to summarize the information provided in visuals like tables, graphs, diagrams, pictures, etc. IELTS General Writing Task 1 needs applicants to write letters for various purposes. Certain tips and tricks can help applicants to understand the test better and get a good band score. For more queries related to the writing section, consult academic counselors of upGrad Abroad.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to write writing task 1 academic in IELTS?

Writing task 1 academic in IELTS is a very simple task. In this activity, you need to report what is given in the question and form an overview of the same. While forming an overview, you need to keep in mind that you do not include your opinions or ideas in it.

How to start IELTS writing task 1?

The first step to IELTS writing task 1 is to get familiar with the marking scheme and understand the needs of the examiner. The second step involves paraphrasing the question, followed by supporting the key features, and the last step includes forming an overview in the form of a paragraph.

How to improve IELTS writing task 1?

In order to improve IELTS writing task 1, you need to have an eye for details and pick the most critical information from the data that is provided to you and write a report based on the factual information. For this, you need to practice as much as you can by going through various sample responses and practicing them regularly.

How to write IELTS writing task 1 general training?

The IELTS general writing task 1 takes the form of a letter that must be completed in 150 words in 20 minutes. In this task, the candidates are asked to respond to a request, complaint, enquire or recommend information or explain a certain event.

The following steps will help you in writing the IELTS writing task 1 general training:

  • Read the question carefully and understand what the question demands of you
  • The information that you need to accommodate in your letter is as follows:

The purpose of the letter

The highlights of the letter and the extension of the main points in the letter

"You have switched your company and want to write a letter to your former colleague.

In your letter, you should:

  • tell him/her why did you switch the company, where did you go, and what are you doing there (Purpose)
  • how do you describe your feeling (Extension)
  • invite your friend for a visit (Extension)

Make sure you cover all the three points and write a paragraph on each of these points.

Revisit your letter to check for grammar and spelling.

How to prepare for IELTS writing task 1?

Here are some of the preparatory tips that you can adopt for IELTS writing task 1:

  1. Understand the task and its limitations. For instance, there are six kinds of graphs, and sometimes it can be a combination of two graphs that can appear in your exam, and you need to write a report on it within a word limit of 150 words. In the case of General training writing task 1, the report takes the form of a letter, both formal and informal.
  2. Practice as many tests as you can
  3. Get yourself acquainted with the marking scheme and band scores. The candidates are assessed on the following parameters:

Grammar - 25%

Vocabulary - 25%

Task achievement - 25%

Coherence and cohesion - 25%

  1. Practice writing the introductory paragraph and get acquainted with the vocabulary that can be used in it. Also, practice forming complex sentences if you wish to scale a band score of 7 and above.
  2. Practice writing the overview. Trace the main features that will form the backbone of the overview. Sometimes the main features involve the contrast between the categories or the lowest and the highest categories. Once you get a hold of this exercise, you will be able to write an impressive overview.
  3. Pay close attention to structuring your report as the examiner assesses your organizational skills when it comes to information and paragraphing. Structuring and using linking tools come under the coherence and cohesion part, which form the criterion for one-fourth of marks.

What is IELTS writing task 1?

In IELTS writing task 1, visual information is given to you in the form of graphical representation, and you need to write a summary of 150 words highlighting its critical elements of it.

How to make a comparison in IELTS writing task 1?

In IELTS writing task 1, sometime it may require you to draw the comparisons and contrasts between two categories. While doing so, you need to accommodate the vocabulary like the use of comparative and superlative adjectives like high, higher, and the highest or good, better, and the best for drawing comparisons.

How to write an introduction in IELTS writing task 1?

The introductory paragraph of IELTS writing task 1 should encompass the visual representation's details (contrast or the comparison). For instance, if 

the question says:

The bar graph below shows changes in the amount and type of grains consumed by Indian people from 2005 to 2020.

And you can paraphrase the question by saying:

The bar graph illustrates the comparison of the consumption of grains for 15 years between 2005 and 2020 of Indian people from 2005 to 2020.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.