Writing Task 1 – Overview

  • Writing is different for Academic and General Training.
  • The IELTS Writing test lasts around 60 minutes.
  • The examiner does not control the time of your answers.
  • It is suggested to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2
  • There are 2 Sections to the test
    • Task 1 = 150 words (or more) Describing a graph, chart or table
    • Task 2 = 250 words (or more) Essay
  • Task 2 carries more marks than Task 1
  • The Writing test is marked using an Assessment Criteria

Writing Test Task 1

The examiner does not control your time in the test, therefore it’s important you don’t spend too much time on task 1, as Task 1 relates to less of the overall score. We suggest taking 20 minutes to complete Task 1. If you have not finished after 20 minutes, we suggest you go onto Task 2, and return to Task 1 if you have time at the end of the test. Test takers will write at least 150 words in Task 1. Test takers will be penalised if their answer does not relate to the topic, so memorised answers would not assist you in the test. Answers should be written in full sentences.

Writing in IELTS Academic

Task 1: Test takers describe a graph, table, chart or diagram in their own words. These may be in the way of:

  • Bar Chart
  • Pie Chart
  • Line Graph
  • Table
  • Diagram
  • Map
  • Or a combination of any of the above

IELTS General Training

Task 1: Test takers write a letter in response to a given everyday situation. These letters may be a

  • Letter to a friend
  • Invitation letter
  • Apology letter
  • Amendment letter
  • Complaint letter

Each of these questions, topics, task modules and sections need different skills to be developed in order to gain a high score. Knowing these will give you a huge advantage because each of them requires a different approach and strategy. Not knowing these skills are one of the main reasons why native English speakers fail this test, not that English is too hard. So, although knowing English is a huge advantage, knowing these skills are also work practising.

In your IELTS preparation, although learning using everyday situations to learn English is a great strategy, much of your time should be spent learning these skills as well.  Combine these skills with a high level of English you are most of the way to getting a high score. Knowing what the examiner is looking for and how the IELTS test is scored is the next bit of knowledge which is invaluable in gaining the higher score.

Spread the love