In the IELTS Academic Writing test there are 2 tasks:
- Task-1- Summarize the information given in a graph, table or chart or describe a process( how something works or is done)
- Task-2- Essay writing
On the whole, 60 mins / 1hour will be given to the candidate to complete the both the writing tasks.
Task 1 -20 minutes
Task 2- 40 minutes
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
Usually diagrams, charts, graphs or tables are given in task-1.
You will be assessed on your language skills, your ability to report facts, identify main features and to compare and contrast any given data.
The word limit is usually 150-200 words, but always read the instructions given.
- Comprehension:This is a crucial step, even before you start writing. The success of the task lies in how well you understand the given picture/table/diagram. Skim through the table and understand what the table represents.
Eg., look at the given example here,
This a table which gives information on consumer expenditure in 5 countries on various products in the year 2002.
Here, we need to focus on the key points,i.e.
What is the table about? – Consumer expenditure
How many items/ names/countries are listed? – five
Any specific year –2002
If we can grasp this information, we can move on to the next step.
- Proper introduction:
Introduction is an essential component of any writing task. It gives a good head start to your draft, with which you will get a chance to create a good impression in the evaluator’s mind.
Do not repeat the sentence given in the task
You can introduce the topic like this, instead of using the same sentence given in the question.
The table compares expenditure on different goods by consumers in 5 different countries in the year 2002.
- Compare and contrast :
Use comparison words like– similarto, as much as, more than, less than, however, although, as much as, like, maximum, minimum, most, least and other words to compare and contrast given data.
For example, in the given table, compare and contrast each and every country’s expenditure with the others. We can also compare expenditure of each country on each item.
Turkey spent the most on Food, Drinks and Tobacco with Ireland coming a close second. Italy Spain and Sweden spent approximately similar amounts on Food, Drinks and Tobacco.
Among all the countries, Spain spent the least amount on Leisure and Education while Turkey spent the most under this category.
- Use linkers :
Linkers join two or more simple sentences to form a single complex or compound sentence.
In task-1, linkers play a key role as you need to compare or illustrate or describe the given picture.
For example: However, even though, first of all, instead, to illustrate, in addition, moreover, according to, rather……..
Using the above table as an example, we could say:
Spain spent less on education / leisure, whereas, Italy spent more in that category. At the same time, both the countries expended almost the same amount on clothing /footwear.
- Divide into paragraphs
Divide the passage you have written into 2-4 paragraphs, to make the passage look more orderly and well structured.
Start with an introduction about what the picture/graph/table is about.
The next para should talk about one area or subject shown in the illustration.
The next paragraphs also could carry different ideas.
Make a concluding paragraph with a summary of what you think.
Using the above table as an example you could structure your passage in this manner:
What is the table about?
What does each country expend most and least on?
Which countries spend more on Food/Drinks/Tobacco; Clothing/Footwear; Leisure/Education—compare and contrast
Each country spends most on Food, Drinks and Tobacco and least on Education and Leisure.
- Accurate information:
It is one of the key points for your success.
It is important to explain the data in the given image exactly. For this we need to use the same facts: percentage, numbers, dates, names etc. You cannot change the figures. Even if you write an excellent passage in correct English, you will lose points if you make mistakes while describing the facts.
- Word limit:
Practice writing within your word limit of 150 words.See how many lines of your regular handwriting makes up 150 words. Practice writing within that many lines.
You need to write a minimum of 150 words and you can go upto 200 words.
The main scoring point in IELTS Academic Writing is that you should be able to follow instructions and comprehend the task.
Writing more or leass than the word limit will fetch you less scores.
- Time Management
Plan to finish Task1 within 20 minutes.
Manage your time by dividing your task into several time pockets:
3 minutes—Skim the given image
2 minutes—note down the main features
5 minutes—make a first draft describing the picture.
2 minutes –correct mistakes. Divide the passage into paragraphs by making lines and notations.
5minutes –copy from your notes to the answer sheet.
2 minutes —check for grammar and spelling errors.
- Vocabulary, grammar and spellings
Get a very high score by using good vocabulary, keeping your writing error free: no spelling mistakes and no grammatical mistakes. Use simple vocabulary and simple grammar if your level of English is not that high.