Do you know how the examiner marks your writing paper? The key to success in IELTS Writing Task 1 is to give the examiner exactly what they want and nothing else.
Below are links to all the resources you will need on this site to do well in IELTS Writing Task 1. In this article you’ll find:
- Writing Task 1 Essential Information
- Writing Task 1 Academic: Writing Skills
- Writing Task 1 Academic: Full Lessons
- Writing Task 1 Academic: Sample Answers
- Writing Task 1 General Training: Letter Writing Skills
- Writing Task 1 General Training: Full Lessons
- Writing Task 1 General Training: Sample Answers
- Grammar and Vocabulary Guide
- Essay Correction Service
- IELTS Writing Task 1 Course
To get started, I’d suggest that you watch my latest video lesson about Writing Task 1. It tells you how you can get a Band 7+ in 6 simple steps:
IELTS Writing Task 1 Essential Information
Below are 7 essential facts about Task 1. Many students worry about these small details instead of focusing on what really matters- improving your performance. These facts will help you understand what the test is and how it is scored so that you can move on to improving your performance.
- People doing the Academic test will write a report on a data set, map, or process. People doing General Training will write a letter.
- You must write 150 words or more.
- You should spend around 20 minutes on this part of the test.
- Task 1 is worth 1/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.
- You will be assessed in four areas:
- Task Achievement (25%)
- Coherence and Cohesion (25%)
- Lexical Resource (25%)
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
- The most important thing is that you can demonstrate that you can clearly communicate in English.
- The key to doing well is to know exactly what the examiners want and giving it to them.
Writing Task 1 Academic: Writing Skills
Your overview paragraph is the most important part of your whole Task 1 essay. This article will show you how to pick out the main features and how to include them in your overview.
Paraphrasing is one of the most essential IELTS skills, not just in Writing Task 1, but in all parts of the IELTS test. You should paraphrase the question in every essay and I recommend doing this in the very first sentence to help boost your vocabulary score.
Complex sentences help you boost your score for grammar. Complex sentences are actually very simple to write and are not complex at all- in this article we show you how.
Around 150 words? Exactly 150 words or over 150 words? How many words over? How do I know how many words I have? This article answers all those questions.
This is a quick checklist that you can use for any Task 1 question to help you make sure you have everything you need to get your best possible score.
Here is a list of all the tips I give my students doing Task 1.
Synonyms are very important, but they can also really reduce your mark if used incorrectly.
The six most common mistakes that stop students getting over a Band 6.
This article will show you how to make your writing as clear and as easy to read as possible. It will also give you advice on whether to use a pen or pencil.
Writing Task 1 Academic: Full Lessons
Task 1 can seem really difficult if you haven’t seen one before. This lesson breaks the question down into 5 easy to understand steps.
Charts are probably the most common Task 1 question. We show you what data to choose and how to describe it.
Maps are not very common, but they are the easiest (in my humble opinion). If you don’t learn how to do them, you will really regret it if one appears on your paper.
What should you do if you get two different charts or graphs? This lesson shows you how.
Sometimes you will be shown a process such as a life cycle or how something is manufactured. This requires a very specific approach and we cover everything here.
How to Choose Key Features in IELTS Academic:
Writing Task 1 Academic: Sample Answers
- Bar Chart Sample Essay (Cars in Asia)
- Process- Cement and Concrete Production
- Pie Chart (Italy and Yemen Populations)
- Process Question
- Bar Chart Question (UK Telephone Usage)
- Line Graph (US Consumption of Energy)
- Bar Chart Sample Answer (International Students)
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Checklist
Your Task 1 report is worth 1/3 of your overall IELTS Writing score. This checklist will help you ensure that you give the examiner everything they need to award you your required score:
Writing Task 1 General Training: Letter Writing Skills
Should I write a formal or informal letter?
Writing Task 1 General Training: Full Lessons
These lessons will teach you my step-by-step strategies for scoring a Band 7+ on the General Training IELTS exam.
Writing Task 1 General Training: Sample Answers
Grammar and Vocabulary Guide
There are some very specific grammar structures and phrases you need to score high in IELTS Writing Task 1. We show you all you need to know.
Here are some common grammar mistakes I have found after marking thousands of tests.
How to Know Which Tenses to Use in IELTS Academic Task 1:
IELTS Writing Correction Service
Check out this article if you’re unsure how to effectively practice writing essays and reports:
Need help writing essays like these? Check out our ESSAY CORRECTION SERVICE.
IELTS Writing Course
We offer help to a very small number of students with IELTS Writing Task 1 and all other areas of the test. I do not believe that simply offering students lots of videos helps them, so we do things very differently on our online courses.
We believe that students do best when they have the full support they need and can get personalised help with their specific problems. We treat our students as individuals, not numbers in a classroom. If you would like more information about our courses, please feel free to check them out here.
Due to the success of our courses and overwhelming demand, there is normally a waiting list. You can join it here.
We are constantly adding to our IELTS Writing Task 1 resources, so if you have a suggestion please let us know by leaving a comment below.
If there’s anything else I can do to help you prepare for the IELTS exam, send my team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
See the interactive tool below for the most commonly asked questions we receive about IELTS Writing Task 1:
The answer to this question is different for every individual IELTS student, as it depends on a number of factors, including your work ethic, English skills and exam strategy.
If you need serious help with improving your IELTS scores, you should check out our online writing course.
There is a waiting list, but you can add your name by clicking the link below:
Please click the link below and it will give you all the information you need about my writing correction service:
Check out my Task 1 Grammar and Vocabulary Guide below for more help on this:
You can put the overview at the end if you'd like.
You should not write idioms for Task 1.
The only time this is acceptable is if you are doing General Training and it is an informal letter.
No. A conclusion is a summary of YOUR ideas and your opinion. Task 1 is simply reporting what you see, so there shouldn’t be any of your ideas or your opinion.
Instead of a conclusion you should write an overview.
The reason lots of people get confused about this is some teachers, books and even one British Council website call the overview a ‘conclusion’. It’s not a conclusion, it’s an overview.
It does not matter where you put the overview paragraph. I teach my students to put it after the introduction, but it is also fine to have it as your final paragraph.
I would highly recommend planning your essay.
A good plan acts like a map that guides you through the essay, ensuring that you give the examiner exactly what they need to award you the score you need. You can find help with planning your essays here:
You must write at least 150 words in Writing Task 1 (yes, the examiners will count them!)
I would suggest that you aim to write around 160-170 words for Task 1. Aiming for 20-30 words more than the required amount makes you more likely to reach the word limit without setting an unrealistic goal.
Yes, if you don’t write the required number of words, you will lose marks in ‘Task Achievement’ for not answering the question fully. Read more here:
No, should not use contractions when you are writing an academic essay or formal letter.
However, it is fine to use contractions in an informal letter.
There are a few signposts that indicate when you should write formally or informally. Watch our video lesson to find out what they are: