Comprehensive Guide to IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

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In the IELTS academic writing task 1, you are expected to generate a report based on the given visual data.

The data is most presented as bar and line graphs, pie charts, flow charts, tables, and diagrams.

Task 1 is worth 33% of your total IELTS academic writing section. Moreover, it requires writing at least 150 words in 20 minutes.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task and write at least 150 words.

Besides, you may ask to describe two charts or graphs through comparison and making connections between the two.

To succeed in the IELTS academic writing task 1, you need to summarize the given information. This summarizing should include the main features and comparisons where relevant.

Structure of the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Report

Each essay should include an introduction, an overview, and a summary of the details.

  •  Introduction: Explain what the graph or table is showing in your own words
  • Overview: Summarize the main/interesting features of the graph.
  • Body: Use two body paragraphs if you have two graphs/tables/diagrams.
  • Do not forget to summarize the key points, meaning and the major areas of the graphic.

The key to performing well in this academic writing task 1 is understanding the marking criteria. Additionally, you have to know how to use this data to give the examiner exactly what they want.

Report Types in Academic Writing Task 1 of IELTS

The major report types in this section:

  • Bar chart
  • Line graph
  • Table
  • Pie chart
  • Flow chart
  • Diagram
  • Map

Ok, let’s have a deep glance on the IELTS academic writing task 1 report types:

Bar Chart

The bar chart is a graph that consists of either horizontal or vertical bars for data comparison among variables and categories.

In the writing task 1 of IELTS academic, you might get a bar graph with distinct variables shown by the height and length of lines of equal width.

Moreover, it shows the comparison of quantitative data that is expected to write a report that summarizes the diagram.

Line Graph

A line graph is a tool of data presentation with a graphical approach that changes over time. 

It uses line segments to display data changes and connects data points and displays data changes using line segments.

The line chart uses the x and y-axis to denote data changes. But, there are points within the line graph, connected to show the value changes.


The table chart in the IELTS academic writing task 1 describes the visual information.

It displays the given data in the form of columns to illustrate a set of facts and the association between them.

Pie Chart

The pie chart is a visualization tool based on the division into distinct parts.

Each segment of this pie chart is a specific category within the total data set. Moreover, it represents a percentage distribution.

Flow Chart

The flowchart is a process used to represent the workflow of data and is a diagrammatic representation of the given algorithm.

Moreover, the flowchart follows a step-by-step approach to solving the given task.

The flowchart displays the steps in the form of boxes with order connecting those boxes with arrows .


A diagram represents the given information using visualization techniques.

In a specific sense, diagrams contrast with the technical illustrations, technical drawings, infographics, and maps.


A map is a chart that represents items. It contains distinct types of information in one or more layers.

Maps can contain interactive display markers or shapes of various types on an image or map background.

Till now, you have come across distinct report types in academic writing task 1 of IELTS.

Now, let’s have a quick look at task 1 scoring criteria in academic writing

Scoring Criteria of IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

Understanding the scoring criteria helps you know what examiners look for and how they award or deduct points.

The marks are calculated based on four major factors:

Task Achievement (25%)

  • Analyzing and identifying the key features
  • Highlighting the key features
  • Supporting body paragraphs
  • Writing a factual report and avoiding wrong information
  • Writing over 150 words

Coherence & Cohesion (25%)

  • Planning and including the information
  • Structuring and paragraphing
  • Linking devices without mistakes
  • Using references

Grammar (25%)

  • Maintaining sentence structures
  • Using proper tenses for the charts
  • Using key orders of the words (noun/verb)
  • Using the right punctuation without mistakes

Vocabulary (25%)

  • Usage of wide vocabulary range
  • Presenting data using appropriate vocabulary
  • Understanding collocations
  • Usage of formal language
  • Avoiding spelling mistakes

Furthermore, all these factors are based on the descriptors published by IELTS.

Skills to crack the IELTS academic writing task 1:

Here is the list of essential skills to crack the IELTS academic writing task 1:

  • Write clear and concise
  • Understand the marking criteria
  • Paraphrasing the question
  • Do not miss overview
  • Support the overview with detail
  • Verify your work
  • Use language to persuade and inform
  • Use appropriate grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Finally, let’s look at the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Checklist:

The below checklist can help you improve your report generation in IELTS academic writing task 1.

  • Did you complete the task in less than 20 minutes?
  • Is the description length between 150 and 200 words?
  • Have you referred to all the key points in the data?
  • Are the sentences range between 15 and 25 words long?
  • Is proper linking exists between the sentences?
  • Have you paraphrased the given question?
  • Have you grouped the information clear in paragraphs?
  • Is enough academic vocabulary used in the description?

You will be penalized if you go off-topic at any point during report generation or failed to adhere to basic requirements, such as sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

If you have any questions on this IELTS academic writing task 1? Feel free to comment below so that we can provide you with the needed information at the earliest. All the best for your upcoming IELTS test.

If you are looking for IELTS training, choose the best IELTS coaching center so that the expert trainers can help you reach your desire score.

FAQ – IELTS academic writing task 1

1. How much is IELTS Academic writing task 1 worth?

It is worth one-third marks of IELTS academic writing.

2. How many types of task 1 are there?

There are several types for the academic IELTS paper. The major types include: bar charts, line charts, pie charts, tables, diagrams, maps and flowcharts.

3. What is the difference between IELTS academic and general writing?

In academic writing, you have to generate a report whereas in general training, you have to write a letter.

4. How many words should an academic writing report have?

The academic writing report should have at least 150 words.

5. What is the scoring criterion for IELTS academic writing task 1?

The marks are calculated based on four major factors:

  • Task Achievement (25%)
  • Coherence & Cohesion (25%)
  • Grammar (25%)
  • Vocabulary (25%)

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