IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Study Guide, Strategies and Samples

IELTS Academic Writing task 1

IELTS academic writing task 1 deals with report generation. In this task you have to summarise or describe the information from a given chart/graph/table/diagram. IELTS writing task 1 for academic tests your ability to identify key information and report, describe a process, data comparison and transforming graph labels into grammatical sentences.

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

Besides, this part of the test is more predictable as there are only a few data types that you could encounter.  IELTS academic writing task 1 is different from the IELTS general test task 1.

Moreover, most students seem to be excited by IELTS academic writing task 1 because it wasn’t what they expected but consist of different question types.

The major areas to discuss in this IELTS Academic Writing task 1 are:

  • Report Types
  • Scoring Criteria
  • How to prepare for IELTS academic writing task 1
  • IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Checklist
  • Frequently Asked Questions

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Report Types

This task 1 of the academic writing test is known as a “report” describing one of the following:

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

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

Bar Chart

The bar chart or the bar graph comprises of either horizontal or vertical bars. These bars represent data comparison among variables and categories.

In the writing task 1 of IELTS academic, you might get a bar graph with numerical values. However, these can be distinct variables shown by the height and length of lines of equal width. They even can be rectangular shapes.

Moreover, it shows the comparison of quantitative data or categories expecting to write a report. Moreover, this report summarizes the diagram with the given information.

Read: How to describe a bar chart in IELTS

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Bar graph
Sample Bar Graph Source: Cambridge Book

Line Graph

A line graph or a line chart is a tool of data presentation with a graphical approach that changes over time. To connect data points and displays data changes using line segments. 

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Line Graph
Source: Cambridge Book

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

Furthermore, the title of the line graph displays the general data overview. the X-axis presents the occurrences and categories while Y-axis represents the scale, organized in an equal interval for perfect data visualization.


The table chart in the IELTS academic writing task 1 describes the visual information. It contains numbers, words, and signs, or a combination of all these. 

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Table

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

Of course, the table is the same as that of any other tool that deals with data visualization.

Pie Chart

The pie chart is one of the major data visualization types used in task 1 of the IELTS academic test. These were designed to visualize 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.

Know: How to describe a Pie chart in IELTS

Academic IELTS Writing Task 1: Pie Chart
Source : Cambridge Book

Flow Chart

The flowchart is a process of representing the workflow of data. It can also be termed as the diagrammatic representation of the given algorithm. 

However, 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 is one of the major types of data representation tools used in IELTS academic task 1. It symbolically represents the given information using visualization techniques.

IELTS Writing Task 1 for Academic: Diagram
Source: Cambridge Book

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


A map is a chart used to geographically represent items. However, these charts contain various 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.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Map
Source: Cambridge Book

Irrespective of the type, task 1 of ielts academic writing should be done within 20 minutes.

Scoring Criteria of IELTS Academic Writing Task1

Understand how to attain a high score by knowing what examiners look for and how they award or deduct points.

The marks are calculated based on:

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
  • Proper usage of key orders for the words (noun/verb)
  • Using the right punctuation without mistakes

Vocabulary (25%)

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

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

How to Prepare for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1?

Here is a brief note on preparing for the IELTS academic writing task 1.

  1. The first and foremost is understanding the way “how the IELTS academic writing task 1” is marked. Also aware of the marking criteria as it allows you to provide the examiner what they actually required.
  2. Next comes, paraphrasing the question. It is the best practice to paraphrase the given question. Moreover, using synonyms helps you in providing the best outcome.
  3. Write an overview through picking 3 or 4 key features generally without any references.
  4. Support the key features. This is one of the best ways to attain a good score in task 1. Start supporting the key features in a new paragraph with the data that is given to you.
  5. Verify your work. Verifying your report for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Make sure that you have mentioned the data which is accurate.

Tips to Improve your score in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

Here are the IELTS academic writing task 1 tips for achieving a high score.

  • Answers must be in formal style.
  • Describe and analyze data in one of the following:Bar chart,Pie chart, Line graph, Table, and Diagram.
  • Write the Overview.
  • Support the key  features.
  • Finally, Check your work.

Following the above mentioned tips help you complete your task quickly and attain your desired score.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Checklist

The following checklist can help you avoid mistakes and improve your report generation in task 1.

  • Check whether you finished the task under 20 minutes?
  • Have you referred to all the key points in the data?
  • Is the description length between 150 and 200 words?
  • Have you grouped the information clear in paragraphs?
  • Are the sentences range between 15 and 25 words long?
  • Is proper linking exists between the sentences?
  • Have you suitably paraphrased the given question?
  • Is there sufficient academic vocabulary in the description?

FAQ about IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 

1) How much is academic writing task 1 worth in IELTS?

It is worth one-third marks of your IELTS writing test.

2) How many types are there in report generation of task 1?

As you aware of, there exist several types for the academic writing task 1. The key types among them include bar chart, line graph, table, pie chart, flow chart, diagram, and map.

3) What is the difference between academic and general training of IELTS writing task 1?

In an academic paper, you have to write a report on a chart whereas in the general training you have to write a letter.

4) How many words and paragraphs should I write?

For IELTS academic task 1, three or four paragraphs totaling 150 words is sufficient.

5) What is the best way to score a higher band in IELTS?

Getting trained from experts in the field is the best way to score a higher IELTS band.

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