In your IELTS Academic examination, the first job of the Writing section will have one or more graphs, tables, maps, flowcharts, and you will require to summarize that information, compare data from these graphs, show distinctness or similarities, identify major trends, or describe the process.
You will need to write a minimum of 150 words. It is recommended to spend 20 minutes writing the answer to this task. How will one describe factual data from a diagram to avoid assumptions, even if these are well-known facts? How to write so that the reader (examiner) can comfortably trace the trends of the chart and understand the real information about the chart? This will be discussed further.
Cafe Converse, Delhi’s leading institute for IELTS coaching shares tips to crack the IELTS Writing Task 1 in this blog.
Step# 1 Read the task carefully
The instructions for the task always have a short sentence summarizing the information (the prompt). Also, graphs generally, have a name. Read these things first, since, they give a pretty good overview of what the visuals contain. Usually, they are in bold. This summarized information would be quite useful for writing the first paragraph of your answer where you need to “introduce” the visuals.
Step# 2 Analyze the visuals
Before you start describing the graphs the correct way, look at them properly and analyze them: look for general trends, alterations, and key features to understand how you are approaching to structure your information. You also have to select which information to leave out and which to include in your response. Make a note of it.
Try to find an interesting aspect to look at in a table or graph. You can begin simply. Can you check if the time is shown in the graph? If so, is the time displayed in hours, days, weeks, months, etc.? Does the graph indicate any trends: rise, fall, fluctuations, etc.? The line might lead up or down, or the pie chart sections may have different sizes. Do you observe any sequence of events or steps in the process?
Step# 3 Structure your response
Once you have considered all the possible trends displayed in the graph or chart, begin writing your answer. It is recommended to structure it as follows:
If you find that you do not have sufficient information to write 150 words, describe in detail everything that has altered in trends and add data from a graph or table.
On the other side, if you have excessive information to fit in 150 to 200 words, try to pick just the most important trends.
Step#4. Check what you have written.
Be certain to check your answers for spelling and grammar mistakes. Also, check the visuals and make absolutely sure the information you used is accurate.
Do not forget to use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions and other associated devices to make the text you write look coherent. Remember about tenses in sentences. Use synonyms and proper vocabulary (academic).
Step#5. Allocate your time properly.
Appropriate timing is a guarantee that on the day of the examination, you will not worry and have time to do everything. Thus, as you prepare for the exam, keep track of how much time it takes you to complete the task. Get a mock test closer to the examination date. It would be good if you fit into the following time frame:
- Reading the instructions and planning the response: 3 to 5 minutes
- Writing the text: 10 to 15 minutes.
- Proofreading and editing: 3 to 5 minutes
Ms Sonu Goel is a professionally acclaimed certified ESL trainer from British Council having 15 years of strong background for teaching English language in both online and physical classes. She is dedicated to the teaching of English in an interactive and practical way, whereby learners feel enriched with knowledge and experience the language hands-on. She uses creative ideas and aids to let the learning happen as organically and efficiently as possible. Ms Goel has travelled various European countries and experienced an array of cultures and linguistic skills for the English language.