Types of Questions in IELTS Writing Task 1

On the IELTS exam, there are various question types you could be asked on Task 1. However, there are only so many types of questions you can get and some are more common than others. Here’s a list of Types of Questions in IELTS Writing Task 1

1. Line graph

In this type of question in IELTS writing task 1, you will be given one or more than one graph. Line graph is a graphical presentation of objects. For each object, there will be a line that connect points and represents its changes over time. If there is one line only then it will be easier to describe. However, when the number of line increases, it will be more complex since you both have to describe and compare lines with each other.  Line chart is kind of versatile and common in IELTS Writing. You will be asked to write at least 150 words paragraph to describe, compare or point out the trend of the graph.

Example

The graph below shows the population of India and China since the year 2000 and predicts population growth until 2050.

Population growth in India and China

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

2. Bar chart

Bar chart is the question that there will be one or few charts meanwhile the data is demonstrated in vertical or horizontal bars. It is usually used to emphasize the comparison between objects. Depends on each bar chart, either the vertical or horizontal bar will indicate the data and compare objects. Still the same requirements, you will have to write at least 150 words paragraph to describe, compare or point out the changes or the trend on the bar chart.

Example

The graph gives information about changes in the birth and death rates in New Zealand between 1901 and 2101.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Birth and death rates in New Zealand
Birth and death rates in New Zealand

3. Pie chart

The pie chart is usually divided into many parts and each part represents statistic (in percentage) for a factor.  All these parts together indicate components of a general and bigger object. For example, the dietary ratio of Vietnamese people in February 2016 in different age groups which are 15 – 20, 20 – 25, 25 – 30, 30 – 35. Therefore, this kind of chart is used to analyze and compare objects in general, determine how many percents each factor occupies in the general object. As a result, you will be able to assess the importance or the domination of these factors.

Each factor is displayed in different colors. Name and color will be listed out in the note beside or below the chart

You will be asked to describe, compare and contrast the data in a 150 word-paragraph

Example

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The pie chart shows the amount of money that a children’s charity located in the USA spent and received in one year, 2016.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.


Revenue Sources and Expenditures of a USA Charity in one year, 2016.

Task 1 Sample - Revenue sources and expenditure of a charity

4. Table

There will be one or more than one table containing data about a topic. Your job is to write at least 150 words paragraph to analyze and compare the statistic given in the tables (or describe trend and changes toward time, …)

Example

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

5. Map

Compares to other types of the question above, map tends to appear with lower frequency. However, just because it is not very common does not mean you will not see it on the test. Be cautious.

In this type, you will write a 150 word-paragraph to describe the map. There are 2 main formats:

  •         One map: You are asked to illustrate a map of a random place, usually in present. Actually, this format rarely shows up in the IELTS Writing task 1 since there is one map only so there is hardly anything to compare and contrast.
  •         Two maps: This format likely to be more popular. In detail, you will be given two maps about the same place but maybe in two different timelines or projects. For example:

“You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The maps below show the city of Amsterdam in 2006 and 2010.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.”

Since the time is not identical, you should be able to use the tenses flexibly and point out the changes of the given place in different timelines.

Example

The diagrams below show the changes that have taken place at Queen Mary Hospital since its construction in 1960.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

6. Process

The image of a process will be given in the exam, this process could be a natural process such as the lifespan of an animal, or an artificial process like manufacturing or nourishing. You are responsible for writing a 150 word-paragraph to describe that process. In detail, you have to mention all the steps or phases in order without missing one, the steps will be displayed using arrows.

Example

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The diagram illustrates the process that is used to manufacture bricks for the building industry.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

IELTS Process Diagram Brick Making

7. Multiple charts

In IELTS Writing task 1, sometimes you will encounter the test that tells you to write a paragraph with at least 150 words describing two or more different types of chart and graph. For instance, pie chart and bar chart, line graph and pie chart. In some cases, test takers might feel very confused and nervous to deal with this task. However, there is no need to feel that way because the charts will be related to each other.

Example

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The line graph shows visits to and from the UK from 1979 to 1999, and the bar graph shows the most popular countries visited by UK residents in 1999.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

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