The IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

In the IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic test, candidates are given a title based on some graphic or pictorial information, and they are expected to write a descriptive report of at least 150 words on the information provided in about 20 minutes.

Writing Tips for The IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

Make sure you know how to manage your time. Remember that Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1. You should spend approximately 20 minutes on Task 1 and approximately 40 minutes on Task 2.

  1. Make sure you know how to manage your time. Remember that You should spend approximately 20 minutes on Task 1.
  2. Pay attention to the number of words required for the task. You will lose marks if you do not write at least 150 words for IELTS Writing Task 1.
  3. Learn to recognise how long 150 words look in your handwriting; you will not have time to count during the test.
  4. Write your answers in pen or pencil.
  5. You may make notes on the question paper, but nothing you write on the question paper will be marked.
  6. Analyse the task properly and spend some time making notes.
  7. Highlight or underline keywords in the task to make sure that you focus on what you have to do.
  8. Plan your answers.
  9. Use paragraphs clearly by putting one idea in each paragraph.
  10. Do not copy whole sentences from the question. You will receive no marks for this.
  11. Keep to the topic. Do not write about unrelated subjects.
  12. You must write your answers in full. Answers written in note form or in bullet points will lose marks.
  13. Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You will lose marks for mistakes related to these.
  14. Avoid informal language and contractions like can’t, don’t, it’s, etc.
  15. Do not memorise model answers. Examiners are trained to recognise them and your test will be invalid.
  16. Spend several minutes re-reading and correcting your answers.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Preparation

For writing skills, you should refer to a number of books on the market, which are designed to be used for self-study. They include practice material, sample tests, vocabulary learning, various exercises, hints and tips, etc.

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic.

Official IELTS Practice Materials 1.

Official IELTS Practice Materials 2.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Samples.

IELTS Trainer 2 Academic.

Ideally, it is a good idea for you to rely on an expert or a teacher of English to correct your pieces of writing. It will certainly be a great challenge for you to study writing on your own as you have no way of receiving feedback on your errors to be able to improve your writing ability effectively.

Click here to learn from highly experienced and qualified British Council teachers.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Samples

Downloadable Academic Writing samples tests.

  1. Academic Writing sample task 1A.
  2. Academic Writing sample task 1B.
  3. Academic Writing sample task 1C.

Writing Task 1 Academic Marking Criteria

Writing Task 1 Academic test is evaluated based on the following marking criteria:

  1. Task Fulfillment:
    • This comprises Task Achievement and Task Response. This criterion concerns whether you addressed all parts of the question, and also whether you fully developed all parts of your answer.
  2. Coherence and Cohesion:
    • Coherence refers to your writing being easy to understand, and cohesion refers to the way it fits together, such as the quality of your sentence structure, paragraphing, and use of connective devices.
  3. Lexical Resource:
    • This criterion bases on whether your use of vocabulary is appropriate, varied, and accurate or not.
  4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy:
    • This refers to all aspects of grammar and how well they are applied in your writing . This criterion also includes spelling and punctuation.


For each writing task, the four marking criteria are applied equally. Except for the first one, which is Task Fulfillment, the other three are the same for both tasks.

How to Gain a High Score for The IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

  1. The information given in a visual format must be presented accurately and coherently.
  2. The paragraphs should be linked by sentences that are logically connected with one another.
  3. The main features given in the graph, chart, table, or diagram must be reported. Candidates’ personal opinions must not be included.
  4. The organisation is of logical paragraphing with an introductory sentence, a well-organised body, and a concluding sentence.
  5. Your report must be of at least 150 words written in 20 minutes. Failure to do so will be penalised.
  6.  You should never use bullets but write as if you were writing an essay or a letter.
  7. The introduction should describe the purpose of the report and say what overall trends can be seen. You should not copy words from the task prompt but rephrase and use synonyms instead.
  8. In Task 1, the two most common tenses used are the simple past and simple present tenses. It is normal to stick to one tense, and it is good advice not to try too many variations as you are likely to make mistakes that way. You need to look at the visual data and think about what tense best describes that particular information.
  9. You do not need to write a conclusion in Task 1. If you have time or your writing does not reach the word limit, you can restate the general trend, basing on what you have written. This is a typical Task 1 title.
    • Example:
      You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
      The graph below shows…Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.Write at least 150 words.
    • When reading this title, you just need to focus on the sentence “The graph below shows … ” so that you can stay on topic. The remaining sentences are almost similar in any Task 1 titles.

Frequently asked questions

1. How are IELTS Writing Task 1 scores calculated?

The examiner will pay attention to the four marking criteria mentioned above. These four criteria are graded equally.

2. How are the scores for each criterion calculated?

Each criterion is given the same weight.

3. Can I ask the supervisors when I have any questions related to the tasks?

No, you cannot.

4. How many words should I write in IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic?

A minimum of 150 words is needed.

5. What if I don’t write at least 150 words?

You will be given a penalty for your Task Fulfillment.

6. Should I count how many words I have written?

No, this is a waste of your time. You should use the time to check your writing instead. If you want, you could approximate how many words you have by counting the number of lines and estimating how many words per line you have written .

7. Can I do Task 2 first?

Yes. Task 1 and Task 2 are both important, but Task 2 is slightly more important than Task 1 in that it receives more weighting.

8. What if my handwriting is not so nice?

You should write legibly. Though marks are not granted or taken away for poor or messy writing, the examiner should be able to read what you have written without undue difficulty.

9. Can I use American English?

Yes, both American and British English are acceptable.

10. What if I have made mistakes in spelling?

Spelling does affect your score. Not only spelling but your incorrect punctuation will be penalised as well.

11. When writing, can I leave a line for each paragraph?

Yes, you had better leave a line between each paragraph.

12. Should I indent the first sentence of each paragraph?

It doesn’t matter, but modern writing uses no indent and it is also easier for the examiner to read.

13. Should I write the minimum number of words only?

If you have time, you could write a few more. Sometimes, going a little over allows you to cover the task better.