Common Academic Writing Task 1 Questions

There are a variety of question types that you may see in Task 1 on the IELTS exam. However, there are a limited number of question types and some are more common than others. Here are the different types of questions you may encounter and strategies you can use when completing Task 1 on the IELTS test.

Line Graphs

On the IELTS exam, line graphs commonly occur in Task 1 questions. A variety of information may be represented on one or multiple lines and there could be various time periods.

Example:

The graph below shows the population for India and China since the year 2000 and predicts population growth until 2050. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 1

Bar Charts

Another common Task 1 question type is bar charts or bar graphs. Various information may be presented on one vertical or horizontal chart.

Example:

The following charts represent the weight measurements of people living in Charlestown in 1955 and 2015. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 2

Pie Charts

Pie charts are another type of question in Task 1 on the IELTS exam, however, they do not occur as frequently as line graphs and bar charts.

Example:

The charts below shows the reasons why people travel to work by bicycle or by car. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 3

Tables

Another possible Task 1 question type on the IELTS exam is a table. A table could include one or multiple topics.

Example:

The table below gives information about languages with the most native speakers.Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 4

Process

A process can appear as a Task 1 question, but does not occur as often as the other question types mentioned above. How machines work and how food is processed are examples of the variety of possible processes.

Example:

The diagrams show a structure that is used to generate electricity from wave power.Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 5

Maps

Maps appear from time to time as a Task 1 just as processes do, but not very often. Usually, developments over a certain time period of cities or towns are represented in maps.

Example:

The diagrams below show the changes that have taken place at Queen Mary Hospital since its construction in 1960.Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 6

Combinations

Another question type that happens quite often on the IELTS exam is the combination of different task types such as a line graph and a table, or a bar chart and a pie chart. You should know how to write each task type individually as this will make it easier to combine them in combination question types.

Example:

The diagrams below give information on transport and car use in Edmonton.Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 7

People's reasons for using the car in city

Commute to work 55% 
Shopping 15%
Leisure activities 15%
Taking children to school 40%
Business 45%

Development

The final question type you may encounter is writing a Task 1 about a development, however, this only occurs once in awhile. Other question types that occur on the test, such as the process and the map, can be similar.

Example:

The diagram below gives information on the evolution of the horse. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Academic Writing Test Example 8

Strategies

Here are some strategies on writing different question types for Task 1 on the IELTS exam.

Know specific vocabulary for the task

Try to write specific language, such as adjective-noun and verb-adverb combinations when writing question types like line graphs, bar, and pie charts. Chronological graphs and charts work best with this type of language. Graphs and charts in Task 1 questions that compare data use comparatives and superlatives. Language you already know or that is used in the diagram should be used when writing tasks such as processes, maps, and developments. Using the proper language to describe how you think the process works is more important than knowing exactly how the process works.

Know tense and voice

Correct tense is crucial in getting a higher score. Make sure to write in the correct tense. Decide if the diagram is past, present, or future, or if there is no period of time. Use the present tense if the latter is true. Special language is also used for predicted information.

Use the active voice for task types such as graphs, charts, and tables. Use the passive voice for question types such as processes, maps, and developments. Making this distinction can mean a higher overall band score.

Take time to analyze before writing

Before putting pencil to paper, think about what you’re going to write. Decide if it makes sense after saying it to yourself, and then write your ideas down once you have made them clear. It will help make your writing more coherent for the examiner, thus helping you achieve a higher score.

Categories: IELTS Academic, Writing
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