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What you need to know to succeed in your IELTS Writing Task #1

What you need to know to succeed in your IELTS Writing Task #1

Writing; you either love it or you hate it. While some people adore writing for the subjectivity and creative power it gives the writer, others despise it for the lack of direction and the fact it relies so heavily on interpretation. Whatever your stance on writing is, it’s an important part of learning any language, so it’s a tough thing to avoid.

As someone who loves writing, I want to offer a helping hand to all of my friends with an upcoming IELTS by offering some tips when it comes to the writing portion. In this article, I’ll go over what to expect and how to prepare for task number #1, and I’ll address the ins and outs of task number #2 in another article!

So, What is IELTS Task #1?


Understanding the first task is the first step to doing well on the writing portion of your IELTS! For task one, you will be required to write an academic report based on a chart or graph. You should make sure to write over 150 words because you will be penalized if you’re under the word count, resulting in a loss of marks. You should only spend 20 minutes on your report so you can allocate more time for Task #2 since it is worth almost double the marks.

What is the Marking Scheme?


For Task #1, your examiner will mark you on task achievement, coherence and cohesion, vocabulary, and grammatical range and accuracy. All of these are weighted equally at 25%, so your examiner will give you a band score based on each specific criterion and your final score will for writing Task #1 be the average of all four criteria.

The Types of Charts You Might See

As aforementioned, Task #1 is all about writing an academic report based on a chart of some sort. The six main types of charts you might see are maps, diagrams, bar charts, tables, line graphs, and pie charts. There is also a chance you might receive an IELTS writing task with more than one chart. For example, you may have a combination of a bar chart with a pie chart that you are required to interpret and write a report on, so it’s important to practice and look at sample IELTS charts to better understand the task.

Once Upon a Time…

All good reports and papers begin with an attention-catching introductory paragraph or statement. It’s usually very quick and almost formulaic. For more information on how to write a good introductory paragraph for a bar chart, check out this link:



It’s always a good idea to have lots of words to choose from when writing, so make sure you focus on learning lots of English vocabulary prior to your writing task. Using a range of words and paraphrasing is a great way to achieve a successful score on writing Task #1, but also make sure you don’t sacrifice correctness when trying to explore your vocabulary options. In my opinion, it’s helpful to learn some useful words that you know you can use effectively so they can be recycled throughout your writing. For example, a word I often use in my writing is, “furthermore,” because it allows me to transition from one idea into another very seamlessly. It has many applications, so it’s words like “furthermore” that are very handy when performing a written task.

Grammar? Like Grammar and Grandpa?

To score well on your IELTS writing task #1, it’s also important to work on complex sentence structures. As annoying as grammar can be to learn, it’s a very important part of learning a language and developing sentences that sound authentic and formal.

Writing Task #1: Complete!

With these things in mind, your IELTS writing Task #1 should be no problem. I wish you all the best of luck on your upcoming IELTS! Thank you for reading, and happy writing!

For more information on the IELTS writing Task #1, check out

Source: IELTS Preparation Tips
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