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Can you become a good writer for IELTS Writing Task #1?

ielts ielts writing task #1 Mar 25, 2019

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Fahad was confused and came to me with these questions.  What should I understand about IELTS Writing Task 1?  How can I write 150 words about the diagram in 20 minutes?

These two questions are crucial to the success of IELTS Writing Task #1.

When you look at the chart, diagram, or graph, first try to understand the main idea.  In this example, we can see in the title that there is a comparison of the number of people in two countries, India and China.

Always read the instructions!!  Be sure to understand how you are being asked to explain the picture.

How to write IELTS Task #1

You can write Task #1 with 3 paragraphs (4 paragraphs is also okay).  Try this pattern:

  1. Introduction and Overview
    • Paraphrase the task and tell what the picture shows.  
    • Explain the main points and features.
  2. Body Paragraph 1
    • Give first detail that supports the main point.
  3. Body Paragraph 2
    • Give second detail that supports the main point.

No Hook and No Conclusion

You don't need a hook in the introduction and you don't need a conclusion for Writing Task #1.  Be clear to your main points.

Writing Task #1 Example

Prompt:  The chart above shows the predicted population growth for India and China.  

Introduction and Overview:  

  • Paraphrase the prompt; don’t copy.
  • Report the key features.

Paragraph 1:

The chart shows the number of people living in India and China from 2000 and compares the growth expectations to the year 2050.  In 2000, it can be seen that India's population is less than China's population.  However, China's population begins to decline around the year 2030 and India's population overtakes China's population and continues to increase.

Paragraph 2:

In the year 2000, China's population is approximately 1.2 billion and increases to approximately 1.45 billion in 2030.  China's population steadily increases until the year 2030.  By the year 2050, China's population is predicted to decline to a little less than 1.4 billion. 

Paragraph 3:

In the year 2000, India has one billion people.  The population growth in India increases steadily and is predicted to be 1.6 billion by the year 2050.  India’s population growth does not experience a decline during the fifty year period. India's population overtakes China's population around the year 2030.

So how do you make sure you have 150 words in 20 minutes?

Practice writing for Task #1 on the actual writing answer sheet.  

  1. Write 150 words or more in your own handwriting.
  2. Count the number of lines on the answer sheet where you have 150 words.
  3. Be sure to write this much plus one more line on the real IELTS test. 
  4. Understand that it wastes your time if you count words during the test.

 After Fahad understood this strategy, he got more confidence.  He practiced becoming a better writer.  This would be helpful for him because he also had questions about Task #2.  

Want to know more about how to write your essay for IELTS Writing Task #2?  It is different than Task #1, so let me know your questions.  I'll write more in the next post.  Send your comments and questions to me at [email protected].  

You can also learn more academic vocabulary by looking at my Instagram feed.  Find it here:  Instagram



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