Tips of IELTS Writing Task 1

By Mahjabeen Malik

As you know, IELTS is an International English Language Testing System. It has 0-9 bands; 9 is the highest level whereas 0 is the lowest level in the exam. IELTS has four different sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. In this article, I would like to highlight the problems you may face in writing test with their possible solution.

Writing task is divided into two categories; one consists of academic and second one consists of general. In writing task 1 you need to write 150 words summarizing a graph, table, chart or process. In writing task 2 you require to write 250 words.

 Writing Task 1         

There are four areas for Writing Task 1. Each one is worth 25% of your marks for that section:

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

Finding Sample Questions and Answers

If you make practice some sample questions for preparing the IELTS writing task 1, it is the best things you can do to prepare for the IELTS Writing Task 1. After writing your answers, match them from the answer book.

You don’t need to purchase a book with sample questions and answers: alternatively, there are lots of websites with free help available, and you can find plenty of sample questions and answers here:

General course

IELTS Sample Letters (from

IELTS Writing Task 1 (from IELTS Advantage)


Academic course


IELTS Sample Charts (from


IELTS Writing Task 1 (from IELTS Advantage)


Here are some Tips for the IELTS Writing Task 1

1: Plan your answer before you start writing. 

Timings are fixed, but you are required to cover everything well if you plan ahead. You have only 20 minutes for Writing Task 1, so use it well. You might aim for 3 minutes planning, 15 minutes writing, and 2 minutes checking over what you’ve written for mistakes.

This is particularly important if you’re taking the Academic route, as you won’t be told what key information to look for. With the General route, you’ll be given bullet points to cover, and these should form the main paragraphs of your letter.

2: Practice, practice, practice. 

Try out lots of sample questions so that you can get comfortable with the exam format. Even if your English is good, you still need to be able to meet specific exam requirements. For instance, you’ll need to know what 150+ words looks like on the page (or on the screen) so you can be confident you’ve written enough.

If you have short time to write out answers to plenty of practice questions, write out full answers for a few questions, and write a plan of how you’d answer several others.

3: Bear in mind 150 words is the minimum word limit.

If you could have written less than this, you’ll receive lower score. There’s no maximum, but since you only have 20 minutes, you won’t be able to write pages and pages!

Aim for around 160 – 190 words, so that you can fully cover everything you need to write. If you write too much, you’ll likely end up adding irrelevant information … which could penalize you.

4: Try to vary your vocabulary where appropriate:

 If you are describing several different upward trends on a graph, you could use the words “increased”, “rose”, “went up”, or “got superior” rather than using the same word or phrase each time.

Be careful, though: don’t be tempted to use fancy vocabulary in your exam unless you’re 100% sure that you’re using it correctly.

5: Give an overview in your first paragraph.

 By means of the Academic course, this overview can be a paraphrase of the information given about the chart/graph. For a letter in the General route, your overview should clearly state why you’re writing the letter.

Don’t simply copy the information given in the question for your overview though. Instead, paraphrase it by turning it into your own words .If you copy it, those words won’t be counted toward your 150 word total.

 Do your best to prepare well for the IELTS exam – but remember, you can take it as many times as you want, so if you don’t quite get the result you want the first time, you can always take it again.



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