IELTS Writing Task 1

This post contains all the information, tips, answers, lessons and help you need to do well in the IELTS writing task 1. Learn about the IELTS writing task 1 marking criteria, paragraphing, vocabulary and much more.

About The IELTS Writing Task 1

There are two types of IELTS Writing Task 1 test:  Academic and General Training.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic


A graph, table, chart, or diagram will be provided to you, and you will be asked to describe, summarize, or explain the information in your own words. You may be requested to describe and explain data, process phases, how something works, or a specific object or event.

Task 1 Tips & Format:

You may be asked to describe data or numbers offered in one or more graphs, charts, or tables on a related topic in Writing Task 1, or they may be given a schematic of a mechanism, equipment, or process and asked to explain how it works. They should use academic or semi-formal/neutral writing styles and contain only the most important and relevant aspects in the diagram. Some small information or points may be omitted.

This task should be completed in no more than 20 minutes. You must write at least 150 words, and if you do not, you will be penalized. While there will be no penalty for writing more than 150 words, test takers should keep in mind that a longer Task 1 answer may imply less time for Task 2, which counts for twice as much in the Writing band.

You should also be aware that if your response is off-topic or not written as a complete, connected text, you will be penalized for irrelevance (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.). Plagiarism will result in serious consequences for you (i.e. copying from another source).

You must fill out the answer booklet with your answers.

Task focus:

This task assesses the ability to identify the most important and relevant information and trends in a graph, chart, table or diagram, and to give a well-organised overview of it using language accurately in an academic style.

IELTS Writing Task 1 General Training

IELTS Writing Task 1 General Training

A problem will be presented to you, and you will be asked to compose a letter asking for information or describing the situation. The letter can be written in a variety of styles, including personal, semi-formal, and formal.

Task 1 Tips & Format:

In Writing Task 1, you are presented with a situation and required to write a personal response in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter of at least 150 words in the answer booklet provided. The situations you are asked to write about are common, everyday ones such as: writing to a college accommodation officer about problems with accommodation, writing to a new employer about time management problems you are having, writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport, writing to a renting agency to sort out problems with the heating system in their house.

You are told what kind of information (in the form of three bullet points) you must include in your response. You may be required to request or give information and/or explain a situation. To do this, you may need to do some of the following: ask for and/or provide general factual information, express needs, wants, likes or dislikes, express opinions or complaints, make requests or make suggestions/recommendations.

The style of writing that you use depends on who you are asked to write to (i.e. the audience) and how well you are supposed to know them. You need to write in a style that is appropriate for your audience and that will help you to achieve your purpose for writing, e.g. writing to a friend (informal) or writing to a manager (semi-formal or formal). You do not need to include any addresses at the head of their letters.

You should spend no more than 20 minutes on this task. You are asked to write at least 150 words and will be penalised if their answer is too short. While you will not be penalised for writing more than 150 words, you should remember that a longer Task 1 answer may mean that you have less time to spend on Task 2, which contributes twice as much to the Writing band score.

You should also note that you will be penalised for irrelevance, if the response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.). You will be severely penalised for plagiarism (i.e. copying from another source).

Task focus:

This task assesses the ability to follow English letter-writing conventions (i.e. what order to put information in, what style to use, how to start and finish a letter), to use language accurately and appropriately and to organise and link information coherently and cohesively.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Questions

All the IELTS Writing Task 1 questions can be classified into the following:

Marking Criteria

The IELTS writing task 1 is worth only about 33% of your total writing marks. And you will be marked on:

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

Click here to learn more about IELTS Writing Task 1 Band Descriptors.