What is IELTS Academic Writing Task 1


The IELTS Writing test will take 60 minutes. There are two tasks. Candidates are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2. Both responses should be written in a formal style. This chapter will dive deep into IELTS academic writing task 1.

What is Task 1 academic writing?

IELTS Writing Task 1 is a test designed for the test takers where they may be asked to describe facts or figures presented in one or more graphs. You will be asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works, or describe an object or event. You need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Download the sample question from the materials section.

Let’s take this question as an example:-

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.The charts summarize the weight measurements of people living in Charleston in 1955 and 2015.Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.Write at least 150 words. 
IELTS Writing Task 1

What is the purpose of the academic writing task?

This task assesses the ability whether you can identify the most obvious, important and relevant information a graph, chart, table or diagram, by using language appropriately.

Remember that the purpose of Academic Task 1 is to test your ability to distinguish and describe the changes and trends you see on the graph.

If you think that there is not enough information on the graph to write 150 words: don’t panic! Write in detail about every single alteration and support your writing with a lot of data.

If you think that there is too much information on the graph: also don’t panic! Don’t ornately depict each change on the graph, but try to see a few main trends instead.

Is there a time limit?

Even though it is written that you should spend about 20 minutes on this task, the given time here is a suggestion but not a compulsion. The total time for the writing module is 60 minutes which means:-

Task 1 + Task 2 = 20 + 40 minutes = 60 minutes, but following is perfectly fine too:

Task 1 + Task 2 = 15 + 45 minutes = 60 minutes, {if you take 15 mins to finish task 1 then you have 45 mins for your task 2}

Task 1 + Task 2 = 18 + 42 minutes = 60 minutes,{if you take 18 mins to finish task 1 then you have 42 mins for your task 2}

Task 1 + Task 2 = 25 + 35 minutes = 60 minutes, {if you take 25 mins to finish task 1 then you have 35 mins for your task 2}

………………. and so on.

The key is that you are obliged to accomplish your writing task within 60 minutes and 20 minutes for your writing task 1 is the perfect timing for writing 150 words.

How much should I write?

Examinees are asked to write not less than 150 words and will be penalized if their answer is too short. Although test-takers will not be penalized for writing more than 150 words, what should be kept in mind is that giving too much than required may become an overdose, and you know the consequences.

Also, a longer Task 1 may offer less time to spend on Task 2. However, just for the sake of making it 150 please don’t go off-topic and avoid using bullet points.

Where should I write the answer?

Examiners will provide you with specially designed IELTS writing answer sheets where you are supposed to insert information about you in the heading and your answers below it. Go to the materials tab and download the one written IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Answer Sheet.

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