IELTS Writing Task 1 Tips from a professional teacher for students.
Step by step guide on how to achieve band 8 in IELTS task 1.
The following list is valid for describing pie charts, lines, graphs where comparison is required. Processes will be discussed separately.
- Read as many model answers as possible (make sure you find good ones – in coursebooks and testbooks). Be careful with the ones on the internet.
- Once you have found them, read them carefully, analyse their structure and underline useful language. I’ll strongly recommend you copying whole descriptions and learning them by heart.
- When you write your version, stick to the following:
- Start with an introductory sentence. Don’t use the same words as in the task. Paraphrase.
- Quickly analyse the information, concentrate on main trends and facts and ignore detail.
- Don’t describe; compare and contrast all the time, using set phrases (conversely, by contrast, in comparison with, in a similar way).
- Strike a balance with the figures. Don’t use too many of them, but use sufficient (this is one of the hard points).
- By no means express opinion or judge. Just analyse the information you are given.
- Write a conclusion that follows logically from what you’ve written so far. Summarise the most important trends in a clear, well – expressed way.
- Use neutral language, avoid expressive words (such as "wonderful", "great", "amazing"). Don’t use contractions – I’m, he’s.
These tips have helped students achieve bands as high as 8.5.
Useful language for trends:
Rising: kept on rising, steep increase, sharp rise
Falling: dropping to, considerable fall, marginal decrease, substantial decline
Neutral: remain relatively stable, fluctuates within limits.
Good luck and remember practice is the key to success!