Monday, April 4, 2011

How to pass the Academic IELTS Writing Task One (Part one)

Hi again my tireless IELTS students!

I remember myself when I was preparing for the writing task one for Academic IELTS: at the beginning I thought this was so difficult because of three reasons:

1. I had to understand the graphic

2. I had to create an overview of the graphic

3. I had to use many prepositions, adverbs, adjectives and verbs in order to explain the graphic.

and....everything in English!!

Well,  this is what I did in order to beat the IELTS in the Academic Wrting Task One. I do mean:

1. You have to understand the graphic: Depending of the data, you have to find patterns or trends between groups of information and then make comparisons.  Some questions are simple and you have only to describe the graphs.

2. You have to create a overview of the graphic: Your first paragraph must include and overview of all the graphic. This means that you have to say, for example, that the overall trend is increasing or decreasing but you must not explain details in this part of your essays will not have enough words for your second paragraph!

3. You have to describe the most relevant information of the graphic: In the second paragraph you have to highlight the information so you need to show your command of  prepositions, adverbs, adjectives and verbs.

This is something that you can not avoid and the only way to overcome this is just practicing and receiving feedback from your teachers. Another way is asking for help in online communities (forums and blogs related to IELTS) . I know it is difficult to receive feedback every time that you write an essay, but you have to write as much as you can. There is some software that can help you to correct your essays in three aspects: grammar, spelling and style. I will talk about this in a short term.

Well, let's see a simple example:

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The graph below shows the differences in wheat exports over three different areas.
Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.
Write at least 150 words.


model answer:

The three graphs of wheat exports each show a quite different pattern between 1985 and 1990. Exports from Australia declined over the five-year period, while the Canadian market fluctuated considerably, and the European Community showed an increase.

In 1985, Australia exported about 15 millions of tonnes of wheat and the following year the number increased by one million tonnes to 16 million. After that, however, there was a gradual decline until 1989 and 1990 when it stabilised at about 11 million tonnes. Over the same period, the amount of Canadian exports varied greatly. It started at 19 million tonnes in 1985, reached a peak in 1988 of 24 million, dropped dramatically in 1989 to 14 million tonnes and then climbed back to 19 million in 1990. Seventeen million tonnes were exported from the European Community in 1985, but this decreased to 14 million tonnes in 1986 and then rose to 15 million in 1987 and 1988 before increasing once more to 20 million in 1990.

(165 words)


1. You have to understand the graphic: The graphic shows lines or trends and the question is "describe the information". In other words, you have to say when the lines go up and go down using adverbs, adjectives and verbs .

2. The first paragraph shows and overview of the information of the graph. There are no expressions  like "decrease in at 19 million tonnes in1989" or "increase to 20 million in 1990". In this part you only have to say the overall tendency of each line: decrease or increase.

3. Finally, in the main part of your essay you have to highlight the most relevant information of the graphic. I do mean you have to say how and when the lines start, when and how the lines reach a peak or bottom level and when and how the lines end. Do not describe what happens every year in the graphic because there is not much time for that!

That is it!

By the way, I am sharing with you a link related to prepositions exercises . Prepositions in graphics are so important for IELTS Academic Writing part one, so if you want to improve this you can practice further on this link below.

Well guys, keep practicing but enjoy life too!



  1. Thanks for sharing this nice post.The best way to improve IELTS Graph essay section is to learn through IELTS sample Graph.

  2. IELTS Academic Writing section is very important for overall IELTS Score, You can improve your Academic IELTS writing through tips and practice.

    IELTS Academic Writing Tips