Writing Tips

Golden rules and useful tips for IELTS Writing Task 1

Do Task 1 first. There is a reason why it is Task 1. From the psychological point of view, it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you have finished it.

♦ A common feature of the writing process is the concept of getting oneself going. With the shorter task you can get yourself into your stride in writing. By the time you start Task 2, you will then be much more alert and perform Task 2 much more efficiently.

♦ Spend 20 minutes on this task. A common mistake which candidates make is to spend longer on Task 2 and leave themselves 15 minutes or less to complete Task 1

♦ Take Task 1 seriously, even though Task 2 carries double the marks

♦ Skim the instructions and study the diagram. Use the general statement about the data to help you interpret the graph.

♦ Spend the recommended 20 minutes as follows:

– 2-3 minutes analysing and planning

– 14-15 minutes writing

– 2-3 minutes checking

♦ Check the values and numbers on the vertical and horizontal axes.

♦ Work out how many lines 150 words are in your handwriting, e.g. if you write about 10 words per line, then you will need to produce at least 15 lines. Aim to write no more than 170/180 words.

♦ Check that you have written at least 150 words. If you write less, it will affect your score.

♦ Compare general trends, differences, etc and support this with information from the diagram. Avoid focusing too closely on the details.

♦ If you have more than one graph or chart or mixture, link the information.

♦ Make sure you write in paragraphs: an introduction, one or two paragraphs for the body of the text. Then write a brief conclusion.