How to Do Map Question in IELTS Writing Task 1?
In IELTS writing task 1, map is another type of questions that can be asked apart from the figurative diagrams of bar charts or pie charts. You may find only a single map where two sites S1 and S2 might have been proposed for constructing a building, shopping mall etc. Other than this, there can be another type of question in IELTS Writing Task 1 where you may find two maps. The two maps can be of a city in two different time periods where you would need to explain the developments that might have been made in that city after a specific time period of 10 years, may be. Let us find out how to do a map question in IELTS writing task 1.
Step 1: Read Question and Map Carefully
As it is quite common in all the IELTS writing task 1 questions, you must read the question statement carefully in the map. Along with reading the question, you should go through the labels given in the map. For example, if there are 5 labels in different colours, you can locate which colour belongs to which area of the map. Also, check if you are given a compass or not which you can use to describe locations.
Step 2: Write Map Introduction
After you have read the IELTS writing task 1 map question properly, you can now start writing introduction. Use your paraphrasing skills to write a good introduction. You may include synonyms of words in the question or rearrange words/phrases to form a restructured paragraph. For example,
The city planner of A city shows two proposed sites S1 and S2 for constructing a shopping mall.
The given map of A city shows two sites S1 and S2 proposed by the city planners for construction of a shopping mall in the city.
Step 3: Start Analysing Map According to the Question
After writing introduction, you can start analysing the map to identify its important highlights. You need to analyse the map according to what the question is. Hence, it is only by reading the IELTS writing task 1 question carefully that you can come to know what you have to do in the question. For example, if the question states that two sites have been proposed for construction of shopping mall, you may analyse the surroundings of both S1 and S2 areas to determine which of the two can be a better site for having a shopping mall.
Step 4: Write Body Paragraphs about Key Features of Map
After you have got some points about S1 and S2 in the IELTS writing task 1 map question, you can start writing your body paragraphs. For example, you may have points in the map about S1 that you can describe as, for example, “ S1 is located in the north-west region and is closer to residential apartments. Hence, constructing a shopping mall would benefit the residents. ” You may structure the body paragraphs into two, such as, writing about S1 in first paragraph and writing about S2 in the second paragraph, for better clarity of your ideas.
Step 5: Write Main Conclusion
The main summarised points of IELTS writing task 1 question play a very important role and hence, these points must be included either after introduction or at the end. In the map question, you may write the conclusive points in 2-3 lines that describe S1 and S2 locations in totality or you may write which could be a better site out of the two and why.
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IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps: The perfect format
Sometimes we get two or three maps in IELTS Writing Task 1 Map questions in order to describe the changes between the maps.
These maps normally are either layouts of towns and villages or designs of parks and similar structures.
You will never get a single map to analyze. There will always be either two or three maps belonging to different time periods. You have to figure out and report on the changes between the maps to get you closer to your dream of studying abroad courses .
Analysis of IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps
Look at a sample IELTS Writing Task 1 question below.
WRITING TASK 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
Write at least 150 words.
Birshire (future plans)
How to describe a map in IELTS Writing Task 1?
The following are the changes that can occur between maps.
- addition : A new structure not present in the old map may be seen in the next map. This means construction of a new feature. For example, in the maps above, you can see items like a supermarket and a sports center will have been built in the future.
- removal : Old structures may be demolished and erased from the map. In Birshire, you can see that the farms and the farmer’s market will be removed.
- expansion : Some items may be extended to make them bigger. For an instance, the housing area and the Corbie Road will have been expanded in the future.
- downsize : Opposite to expansion, some structures may be reduced in size when comparing two maps.
- replace : On occasions, you will notice that some features from the older map may be absent from the newer one with some other feature in its place. If you look at the maps above, you will find that the Hoolahan Farm will have been replaced by a car park, while the shops will have been replaced by houses.
IELTS Writing Task 1 Map Questions: Locating places in a map
Describing the alterations and modifications in the maps is one aspect, but we also need to give details of where those changes have occurred.
- top / bottom : If directions have not been given, then mention whether the places in the map are at the top or at the bottom.
- left / right : Similarly, in the absence of directions, include whether the places are on the left-hand side or the right-hand side.
- north / south / east / west / northeast / southeast / northwest / southwest : Some maps include a compass rose. In such cases, locate places using directions instead of simply top, bottom, left, or right. Sometimes only one direction, usually North, is given. You have to work out the other directions by yourself.
Overview for IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps
According to IELTS Writing Evaluation guidelines , you need to write an overview or summary of the changes you see between the maps. You need to write just two sentences and nothing more.
- Describe the biggest change in a short sentence.
- State the names of other few changes from the map. Do not mention the location of these.
IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps Sample answer 1
Passive voice for ielts writing task 1 maps.
It is advisable you use passive voices in the perfect aspect of tenses to comment on the amendments in the maps.
If the maps are of a past date, use the past perfect tense in the passive form.
If the maps set out the changes till today, then use the passive form of the present perfect tense.
For maps which deal will future changes, apply the future perfect tense in the passive voice.
IELTS Writing Task 1 Map Tips: Relative clauses
A clause is a group of words with a subject and a predicate. A relative clause is a clause which uses relative pronouns like who , which , and that .
Relative clauses can be used to either define a noun or add information about the noun.
Consider the following examples:
The playground, which is in the middle of the park , has been downsized.
The branch manager who meets all the company goals will be promoted.
The sculpture, which was built in 2014 , has been vandalized by thugs.
The underlined parts in the above examples are relative clauses. If they are removed from sentences, the sentences might still be grammatically correct, but they will lose some information.
Relative clauses make sentences complex, thereby boosting the chance of scoring high in IELTS Writing.
IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps Sample answer 2
Central Park, 1990
Central Park, 2020
IELTS Essay Format: Solving Writing Task 2 Easily
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Ielts writing task 1: highly effective tips for describing images, ielts writing task 1 tutorial: easy tips and tricks, ielts writing task 1 introduction paragraph: try this easy method, writing the perfect ielts writing task 1 overview.
Very helpful and good aap 👍👍
Thank you so much Rajveer for your support.
he is pathetic are you blind
i learnt alot today thanku
Great to hear that Anu. Thank you for visiting.
yo yo wassup bro, it is the most crucial essat for me thanks
I am glad I could help.
very poor vocab dude stop this
Thank you for your comment Harjeet. I would be grateful if you point out the mistakes so that I could revise them.
hi i need a study friend who will be my coach. i woould like to write for corrections. thanks.
Best of luck for finding a study mate. In the meantime, you can email me one sample answer, and I will correct it for you. Send it to [email protected] in MS Word file or a PDF file.
Shall I send you one writing,i really need to take feedback
You can email me a sample answer, and I will evaluate it for you. Send it to [email protected] in MS Word file or a PDF file.
that was very helpful materials, thank you. can you write to my email, pls? i wanted to ask somethings about IELTS and its writing tasks?
Can’t thank you enough Dear 😊 very useful
It’s my pleasure Neha.
thank you for the best explanation
I am so happy that this blog is helping people like you.
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I am happy to be helpful to you. Thank you for the compliment.
The diagrams illustrate and compare some improvements which had been made in a public park from 1990 to 2020. Overall, Central Park was relatively small in 1990, and by 2020 it had undergone a drastic change with new infrastructure and amenities, it is now a more touristic place. Selecting the main features of the plans, the flower garden had been reduced in size to make way for a stage for programs. Similarly, the children`s play area had been reduced in size to build a toilet in the southwest corner. To the northwest corner, we find the Krishna temple which had remained unspoiled throughout the years, while in the northeast corner the toiled had been demolished to build a Museum of Local History. Furthermore, the Buddha statue, which is at the center of the Public Park, remained untouched. At the bottom center of the park, the telephone booth and the entrance had been demolished to make way for a Café. Along the north side of the Café, there used to be two shops, however, by 2020 only one shop remained. Finally, the entrance had been changed to the northwest side in the center.
Excellent answer Fabricio. Such an answer will surely get you a high score in the IELTS test.
why was the essay written in Past Perfect? can anyone answer, why shouldn’t it have been just past simple?
The past perfect tense is used to describe an action which was completed in the past.
In IELTS Task 1 map questions, we use the perfect tense because we are reporting on events which have been completed. If we are given a past map, it is better to use the past perfect tense because the changes in the map have already been made. However, using the simple past tense would not be entirely incorrect. It is just a common practice to use the perfect form.
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IELTS Preparation Courses
IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps Lesson
This guide on IELTS Writing Task 1 maps questions will cover:
- Different kinds of map question
- Describing specific changes
- Describing general changes
- Describing locations
- Sample answer
You will also be able to learn some new vocabulary that will help you deal with any Task 1 maps question.
In the IELTS writing test, you might be asked to describe a map in task 1. This type of question is becoming increasingly popular- in fact, it was on the exam last weekend here in Vietnam- and in my opinion, the easiest one to score high marks in if you’re prepared.
Many students, books and teachers overlook this type of question, and it is, therefore, a bit of a shock when one comes up. Therefore, if you are prepared, you will probably do better than most of the other students.
Different Kinds of Map Question
There are three main types of map questions:
- Describe one map in the present day.
- Describe two maps- one in the present and one in the future.
- Describe two maps- one in the past and one in the present.
The first kind is very rare, as it only requires you to use the present simple, and no comparisons can be made.
The second kind occasionally comes up and requires you to use present and future tenses. This kind of question is normally about the future development of a town or city. It requires the same vocabulary as the other two.
The third is the most common and will be the main focus of this post.
You will normally be shown two maps, as above and asked to select and report the main features and make comparisons where relevant. You will obviously use both present and past tenses to describe the maps and how the town has developed.
Also, as this is a man-made process, we will use the passive.
Source: Cambridge English Practice Papers.
To describe two maps, I advise my students to follow a four-paragraph structure.
Paragraph 1- Paraphrase Sentence
Paraphrase question using synonyms.
Paragraph 2- Overview
Make two general statements about the map. You should describe the maps generally and write about the most noticeable differences between the two maps. You could ask yourself the following questions to identify general changes. Is the map more or less residential? Is there more or less countryside? Are there more or fewer trees? Were the changes dramatic or negligible? Were there any major infrastructure improvements? How have the buildings and leisure facilities changed?
Paragraph 3- Main Body 1
Three to four sentences about specific changes that have occurred.
Paragraph 4- Main Body 2
Further, three to four sentences about specific changes that have occurred.
You can group information in paragraphs 3 and 4 by time or location, depending on the question asked.
Look at the sample answer below to see how I have used this structure.
How to Describe Specific Changes
The ability to describe change is crucial to answering these questions. The various buildings and features will normally be labelled for you. You need to work on how to write about how they have changed from the past up until the present day.
Tip: You may be asked to describe your hometown in the speaking test . The vocabulary and grammar in this post should come in very useful.
Below I will list various buildings, features, and verbs we could use to describe their change.
Buildings – demolished, knocked down, flattened, replaced, renovated, built, constructed, reconstructed, developed, extended, expanded, relocated, converted and modernized.
The government demolished the industrial estate and developed a sports ground.
They removed the shops and replaced them with a skyscraper.
A port was constructed at the edge of the river.
The factory in the city centre was demolished and relocated to the city’s north.
The old warehouses were replaced with new hotels.
The factory was converted into apartments.
Trees and Forests- cleared, cut down, chopped down, removed, planted.
The forest was cut down and replaced with a shopping centre.
The trees were cleared to make way for houses.
Roads, bridges and railways lines- constructed, built, extended, expanded and removed.
The main road was extended, and a new bridge was built over the river.
Leisure facilities- opened, set up, developed.
A skate park was set up next to the swimming pool.
A park was developed beside the forest.
How to Describe General Changes
As this is an IELTS writing task 1 question, we must write an overview, where we generally talk about the main changes between the two maps.
Below are some examples of general statements we could use to describe change in towns and cities.
- Over the period, the area witnessed dramatic changes.
- From 1995 to 2005, the city centre saw spectacular developments.
- The village changed considerably over the period.
- During the 10-year period, the industrial area was totally transformed.
- Over the past 20 years, the residential area was totally reconstructed.
- Over the period, the old docks were totally redeveloped.
- Between 1995 and 2005, the old houses were rebuilt.
- The central business district was completely modernised during the period.
Pick two or three of the most noticeable differences in the map and write a general statement for each. This will be your overview paragraph.
The more specific changes should be included in your main body paragraphs.
How to Describe Locations
You will also be expected to describe where things are maps and describe where changes have occurred.
You can use ‘to the left’ and ‘to the right’, but a better way is to use ‘north’, ‘south’, ‘east’ and ‘west’. I normally advise my students to draw the symbols on the question paper if they are not already there.
The forest to the south of the river was cut down.
A golf course was constructed to the north of the airport.
The houses in the southwest of the town were demolished.
The green fields to the city’s northwest were redeveloped as a park.
The airport in the city’s centre was relocated to the northeast of the river.
The school to the southeast was knocked down and a new one was built to the east of the forest.
Finally, you will also be expected to use prepositions of place , e.g. at/in/on/by/beside/to/off/from, to describe where things are.
Dramatic changes took place in the city centre.
To the town’s south is a golf course surrounded by trees.
A new school was built next to the swimming pool.
The old road running from north to south was replaced by a new motorway.
A marina was built on the banks of the river.
Both maps display an island before and after it was developed for tourism.
The island is approximately 250 metres long, has palm trees dotted around it, is surrounded by ocean and has a beach to the west. Over the period, the island was completely transformed with the addition of a hotel and a pier; however, the eastern part of the island appears to have been left undeveloped.
The most noticeable additions are the hotel rooms. 6 buildings, surrounding some trees, have been built in the west of the island, and 9 buildings have been constructed in the centre of the island. A reception building and a restaurant have been developed between the two accommodation areas.
A pier has also been built on the island’s south coast, allowing yachts access to the resort. Apart from the trees, the beach remains the only natural feature to remain relatively untouched; however, it appears to be used for swimming.
Do you need me to correct your essays and give you feedback on them? Check out our essay correction service .
I hope this lesson has helped you and if you have any questions, please comment below.
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How to write about map changes in IELTS Writing Task 1 - Academic
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IELTS Map: Model Answer
Below is an IELTS map model answer which is estimated at band score 9. This is a comparison of three maps in different time periods for the academic writing task 1. If you wish to do practice exercises for grammar for the maps below, before you read this model, please follow the link: IELTS Map Comparison Exercise .
Source: Map above not produced by IELTS Liz.
Model Writing Task 1: Map Comparison
The maps illustrate how Meadowside village and Fonton, which is a neighbouring town, have developed over three different time periods (1962, 1985 and the present).
Overall, Meadowside village increased in size and has become Meadowside Suburb as it merged together with Fonton. Furthermore, there have been significant changes in infrastructure, housing and facilities over the period given.
In 1962, both Meadowside and Fonton were completely separate with no roads or rail connecting them. While Fonton had a railway line running through it to the north, Meadowside, located to the west of Fonton, only had a small road from the west.
By 1985, there was a considerable growth in the size of Meadowside village and Fonton. The small road in Meadowside village had been converted into a main road and was also extended to the east to connect with Fonton. Meadowside, moreover, had also developed a housing estate in the west, a leisure complex and a supermarket in the south.
Currently, both Meadowside, which is now a suburb, and Fonton are joined. The railway line, which runs through Fonton, has been extended to the west where a train station has been built. To the north of the station, a hotel has been constructed and opposite the station, to the south, there is now a business park.
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The maps provide information about two neighbouring settlements, Meadowside(a village) and Fonton(a town), which have undergone development in the space of 60years. Overall, there has been development in the infrastructure, housing and transport systems in both Meadowside and Fonton, and the two areas have increased in size over the years.
Notably, there was a huge difference in both the size of Meadowside and its infrastructures between 1962 to 1985 as housing estate, leisure complex and super store were all constructed in 1985 as opposed to the lack of these facilities in 1962 in the village. In the same period, Fonton town was developed with increased size and construction of road passing from the southeast to the southwest, connecting Meadowside and Fonton together.
At the moment, both Meadowside and Fonton has been transformed with amenities such as station, business park and a hotel which serve both the suburb and the town.
Impressively, while Meadowside was merely a village up till 1985, it is now a suburb area. Also, Fonton town and Meadowside are now connected together as their sizes have increased to joining each other.
you need to describe the map. stating the location of the buildings developed using the map axis will be better..
Hi Liz, I hope you are doing great on your job. I just want to know that if you have released any updated article for IELTS writing recently as I believe that structure of IELTS writing is modernized by the changes of time. Thank you so much in advance for your response.
The writing test hasn’t changed. The format is the same as it always was. The marking is the same. The techniques are the same. Nothing has changed.
Thank you for this update
You’re welcome 🙂
The map illustrate the change that foncton and meadowside village went through in three time periods (1962, 1985 and the present).
Overall, the two neighbors used to be separate with no road or railway connection whatsoever, the two entities managed to grow over time, first to be linked with a road and merged at the end with new different infrastructure facilities.
in 1962, Meadowside village had only one small road coming from the west of the village and heading north. Meanwhile, foncton had a railway coming from the north, passing through the city and going west.
in 1985, the only road in Meadowise village got increased with an extention linking to it’s neighboring village and going east.Furthermore, a housing estate and a leisure complex were builled north of the West-East road, and a superstore was constructed on the south side of the that road.
Currently, Meadowside village name changed to Meadowside suburbs as it merged with foncton, a new business park was constructed south to the East-west road, a new train station was build at the center of the merging neighbors with a new railroad linked to the old one, north of it, a hotel was build.
The maps illustrate the progress occurred in Meadowside village and its neighbor, Fonton in three different time periods.
Overall, there were significant changes clearly seen in these two areas, one of which is their merging at present.
In detail, both Meadowside and Fonton were separated in 1962. The foremost was still a small village with steep road that passed from north to west. The latter, on the other hand was larger in size with rail ran through north to east.
Meanwhile, in 1985 both towns increased their land areas. There were leisure complex, superstore and housing built in Meadowside. Moreover, the steep road was converted into wider roads, one of which was extended to Fonton.
At present, Meadowside village which is now a suburb is combined with Fonton. Hotel and station has been established in the eastern side with newly built business park adjacent to the main road connected to Fonton. Alternatively, Fonton formed additional railway across west nearby suburb.
This map illustrates how Meadowside village and Fonton , which is neighbour town, have developed over three different times (1982, 1985 and now). Now Meadowside village is grown much more than 1982, it is merge with Fonton and grown significate infrastructure, 1962, this two village were completely separated. There where no rail and Road transportation, they didn’t have any kind of communication. They was only road from west. 1985, there was growth in Meadowside village, there was Leisure Complex, Housing Estate in west. Super Store in south. Small road converted to main road and also extended to Fonton has also developed. Now, they are now connected through subways and fonton is now joined .They are more developed. Railways are built in west and run in fonton where the station are built. To north side of the station, a hotel is construction and opposite the station . There is the business park built in south.
Hi Liz ! Thank you so much for sharing with us such a well-explained essay. I found your website veru useful. I will take IELTS exam in the coming month and I will inform my score with you.
The way you explain is extremely beautiful like you. And apologies if i am crossing my limit but your smile could make anyone’s day. Thank you for providing all the information regarding task 1 and 2. Keep smiling.
That’s a lovely comment. Thank you. I’m glad my lessons are useful 🙂
Are you briliant teacher
you are really very good person and Don’t forget keep always smiling 😊
The map illustrates the meadowside village and Fonton which are the neighbouring towns, have developed over the different time periods from 1962, 1985 and the present era.
Overall, the Meadowside village developed their infrastructure which includes transportation, buildings, hotels etc and connected with the Fonton town.
In 1962, both the villages Fonton and Meadowside were not developed as there was no means of transportation between these two places. While Fonton had a railway line running from the north to eastern side of the village. Whereas Meadowside had a small road running from the northern part to western side of the village.
In 1985, there has been considerable changes in both the villages, especially in Meadowside village. The small road which was running from north towards the western part of the region had been converted into a highway road and the southern part of this road were merged with another road line which connects to Fonton village. Since then travelling between two villages became more convenient. Moreove in Meadowside village three important landmarks were added to their infrastructure, the Leisure complex in the western part, Housing estate in the eastern side and Super store at the southern area of the village.
At present both the villages were developed by improving the mode of transportation, as new connection railway lines were constructed from the western part of Fonton towards the centre location between two villages. To enhance the tourist economy of this area, they built a hotel behind the railway station and the business park on the opposite side of the station towards the south.
The map compares the development of Meadowside Village and its neighboring town Fonton throughout three periodical times (1962, 1985, and present time). Overall, the size area of the village and the town have increased and both areas become one union with Meadownside become a suburb area under Fonton administration. There are also developments in infrastructures such as roads, railways, housing, and business center. In initial year, Meadowside was only a small village with a small road crossing through the village. Located in the east of the village, there was Fonton, a neighboring town with railway running through it. However, there was no road that is channeling both areas. In 1985, the size of both areas increased. The big road was built in this year, being the hub between the village and the town. There were also a development in infrastructure, as housing estate, leisure complex, and superstore were built in Meadowside village. In present time, these two areas eventually merge as one, results in Meadowside became a suburb under Fonton town. They also built some facilities in area between Fonton town and the suburbs, such as hotel and business park. The railway line which once was only running through Fonton now extends to Meadowside as a new station was built around there.
The maps indicate the developments of a village called Meadowside and of a near town called Fonton, over a period started in 1962.
Overall, it can be seen that over the period in question the village and the town were expanded with the addition of a motorway and some facilities. Nowadays, Fonton and Meadowside are connected to each other.
In 1962 the village covered a small area and was crossed by a small street. In the following thirteen years it was improved, with the additions of a leisure complex, a housing estate and a super-store. Also Fonton was expanded and the two sites, in 1985, were connected with a motorway, which crossed both of them, from west to east.
Now, Meadowside and Fonton share only one area. To the west, there are Meadowside suburbs and to the east there is Fonton. The most noticeable additions are the hotel which is collocated between them in the north of the area, the station, built along the motorway and the business park.
Keep up the good job ✊Your explanation is liked me 😉
The rendered map illustrates the information about the improvments in town namely frenton in 32 years between 1990 to 2012.
Overall, it can be clearly seen from the map that there were tremendous changes after three decades in frenton. Se buldings had been improved. At the outset , school and library were only buildings which stay unchanged and in west side of high street . Trees were cut down to set up a techpark in left bottom side of town, further more , there was a bank beside the school was converted to restaurant . Hospital in the centre had been axpanded . Proceeding further , bottom playing feild with trees was demolished in order to make blocks of flates , new flats also opened alongside high street . Houses were changed to flats. There were cafe and park in east side of town which were improved into hotel and golf course . Theatre and shops were modernized in cimema as well as supermarket in last year
Hey Liz, i just want to know that can we write things in brackets as you have done in introduction, is it accepted in ielts.
Yes, of course. It’s 100% fine and in fact very useful for Writing Task 1. However, don’t overuse them. You need to vary the way you present data. They are mainly useful for line graphs, bar charts, tables and pie charts.
The map shows the different development for three years (1962,1985 and currently) in Meadowside village and Foton, a neighbouring town.
In general, the small road was replaced by big two main roads. One of them running through the Meadoside village and the other crossing the south-east of Foton. The two states have been together in the present and the size of the place was increased. There are more buildings were constructed during the three years.
In 1962, the village was spirited from the other. Also, there were no buildings and connecting the main road between them. The size of tow places was small. However, Foton was bigger than the village.
In 1985, Meadowside village constructed by lot of buildings such as ( i can’t see the names) On the other hand, Foton remains the same thing without any buildings except the size of the place which has been increased during the period.
In the present, the two places become bigger together and the have been untied by a big road accessing the place from the southeast to the southwest. And the other one from the north ending with the previous road. Between the main roads in. northeast there has been built a hotel and a station. So the number of entertainment buildings has been increased.
Hi, Liz, Hope you are safe. I have a doubt about your writing task 1 practise charts.
Which tense to use for the map “an island before and after the construction of some tourist facilities”?
It would depend on the fixed date. If the before date is in the past, you use past tense. If the after date is in our current past, you use past tense. However, if it is in our future, you use the future forms. English grammar rules apply as normal to IELTS.
Thank you, Liz, but there are no dates in the question only before and after. That’s why I’m confused.
Where did you find this question? Which IELTS Cambridge book did you find it in?
Pardon, the section’s name is ” IELTS CHARTS FOR PRACTICE”.
I know the one. You use past tense for “before” and present tense of “after”.
Thank you so much, Liz. Thank you for your valuable time.
Thanks Liz 😍💜
Its clear now Liz . Thankyou so much for quick response and help.
I wanna ask how is this task 1 estimated at band score 9 as it has 200+ words. I read in one of your reply that band score 9 has words between 170 and 190.
Can you please elaborate?
Don’t confuse advice with rules. There is no upper limit for words. However, you should aim for between 160 and 190 words (more or less). Writing more might lead you to add more detail and also increase your chances of making more language errors. You don’t get a particular band score because you have written a particular number of words. As I am fully trained and also a native English speaker, I can get away with reaching slightly over 200, but even so, most of my model answers fall just under 190 words.
Liz thank you so much 😊
Thanks you so much Liz mam ❤️❤️
Dear Liz I heard that there is a new rule of British Council that there should write a conclusion in Writing part 1? Is it true?
No. Writing task 1 is a report and you will see on the band score descriptors published by IELTS that the examiner is looking for an overview. Some people write a conclusion which is actually an overview – that is fine. It is about content and functionality. A conclusion traidtionally contains your opinions summarised – task 1 cannot contain opinions. A conclusion traditionally restates main points – task 1 cannot have repeated information. An overview is the one and only paragraph containing the key features of the task – it can be put after the introduction or at the end – some people put it at the end and call it an conclusion. That is the reason you are confused.
@Liz, which one is the best and good for achieving the IELTS band score. 1. Introduction > Overview > Paragraph 1 > Paragraph 2. 2. Introduction with overview > Paragraph 1 > PParagraph 2 > Conclusion.
I am really so confused between above them. Please share your opinion.
See this page to learn: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-1-lessons-and-tips/ . Use everything I have written to train yourself. That is the purpose of this site 🙂 The answer is there for you to find 🙂
Is it a must to write a conclusion in Task 1? Many people say, that you lose marks if there is no conclusion paragraph
You are immediately penalised if you do not write a conclusion in task 2. You are also immediately penalised if you do not write an overview in task 1.
I have heard that there should be no conclusion or overview in diagrams of writing task 1
That is completely untrue. ALL writing task 1, for the academic paper, MUST have an Overview.
Liz is considered by me to be perfect teacher for all type of information regarding ielts. Thanks for giving ur precious time to us.🙏🙏
Hi Liz,I just wanna know if it is a band 9 sample ?!
And as i realize from this sample , each paragraph explains about only the related map.I want to know whether we need to compare all the three maps with each other or not.
In writing task 1, you compare when necessary – it is not necessary to compare all things at all times. You task is to write a report which is about reporting features – comparison often only comes in the overview. For a diagram, it sometimes doesn’t come at all. For some bar charts (not all) it is the main feature of the report. Each task type is different.
Hello Mam…some IELTS coaching institutes say that we should write overall in task 1 academci at last instead of after introduction because it also also like a conclusion and we write conclusion always at last…is it okay with this?
There are no fixed rules about this in IELTS. You can choose the position of the overview. However, remember that this is not an essay – it is a report.
This task contain much more words than 150 …i think we are suppose to write upto Maximum 180 word… .
Your task is to write over 150 words. A high band score task 1 will usually have between 170 and 190 words. On the whole, it is best to avoid 200 words plus in order to reduce the density of errors and show the ability to select information.
Dear Liz can we write “Meadowside village has been increased in size” But you have written “Meadowside village increased i size” we can still see that the village has increased.But why didn’t you write it in present perfect passive.Please clarify
Meadowside village increased in size” is correct. You would not choose a passive voice for that statement.
I just watched your Map video Liz, in that you told that we should use the key ( Housing area), (town center) to change into small letters but in this model band 9 sample response it isn’t changed into small letters (meadows and fonton). Pls kindly clarify my doubt. Thanks to YOU
You need to listen much more carefully to my video lessons. I did not say you remove ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. I said you must adapt the headings or labels to make them grammatically correct when you write them in a sentence. The word “Tennis” is usually given with a capital letter in a bar chart, but we do not use a capital letter with that word in an English sentence. The word “Food” might have a capital letter in a graph, but we don’t use it with a capital letter in an English sentence. You need to look at your map or chart and decide which headings must have the capital letter changed to make it grammatically correct in a sentence. Do you understand now?
Hotel has been constructed or hotel has constructed . What is duffernce between both sentences. Is it same meaning? Plz help me 🙏
The first is passive voice. You need to learn when to use it and when to use active voice.
The difference is bellow: someone has constructed the hotel the hotel has been constructed by someone
Writing task 1 I do not feel like writing properl.So learn me
This website is for people learning IELTS skills for a high score. It is not for people struggling with English. If your English level is not strong, you will need to improve your English before you think about IELTS.
Hlw, in this task there are more than 4 paragraphs but in your video you told that there will be 4 paragraphs .. is it fine to write more paragraphs?? I am so confused now
The most common is 4. There is no fixed rule about the number of paragraphs for IELTS writing – only advice. It also depends on the task you are given and the information in the map or graph.
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How to Describe an IELTS Writing Task 1 Map
Below, I’m going to walk you through the five steps to writing top-scored IELTS map essays:
- Master the basic vocabulary
- Understand the objectives of the task
- Fully describe the items on the map
- Describe the way elements of the map change (an IELTS Writing map is two part, showing how a place changes)
- Combine all of these skills into a full essay
A full walkthrough of Writing Task 1 maps, including a model essay, can be seen in Eliot’s video above. (You can watch the video now, or check it out later after reading this guide!)
IELTS Map Vocabulary
Before we look at the finer parts of how to write about an IELTS map, let’s think about the basic features of these maps and the IELTS map vocabulary used to describe them. In a nutshell, most IELTS maps will show a large location with buildings and other specific types of areas and locations. And typically, there will actually be two maps: a before and after map. With that in mind, there are three major important categories of vocabulary for describing such maps. For each of the three categories below, I’ve given a partial list of the kids of words you might use. This should give you a general idea, and I would encourage you to think up additional similar words on your own.
Words that Describe the Places
Adjectives:, words that describe the locations of places, compass words:.
- NOTE: Even if a compass does not appear on a map, you can assume that up is north, down is south, left is west, and right is east
DIRECTIONAL WORDS AND PREPOSITIONS:
- across from
Words that Describe Actions and Change
How to Write About an IELTS Map
How to write a map essay in IELTS involves a simple 5 step process:
1. Get Fluent in Basic IELTS Map Vocabulary
Develop your skills and knowledge for words that describe places, where places are located in relation to each other, and how places change in IELTS Writing maps. The lists I’ve provided are a great place to start.
2. Understand The Objectives
To tackle the challenge of describing a map for the exam, you must understand the objectives of the task at hand. Importantly, while 75% of your score represents your linguistic performance (coherence and cohesion, vocabulary, and grammar), 25% depends on your achievement of the task.
Earning a high band score for task 1 completion is awarded for a “clear overview of main trends, differences, or stages.” If a clear overview cannot be achieved, you must minimally highlight the key features related to the prompt.
With this in mind, check out the image below:
If we want to consider key features or trends, it wouldn’t be enough to say that there are rides, recreational areas, and places where goods can be purchased. This doesn’t provide any overviews; it simply lists elements. Noting patterns and overall “trends” requires looking at the bigger picture, not isolated elements. An overview might point out instead that rides and tours tend to be farther from the parking area (i.e. the roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and magic castle), and that places where visitors can rest are closer to the theme park entrance (i.e. the food court and the playground/picnic area).
But you probably won’t be given an image and simply told, “describe it.” Instead, you will be given a specific task, and you will use the information in the image to complete it. For example, for the image above, a the full task is actually to describe the key features and differences between the current layout of the theme park, and the way the theme park will look after some planned future changes.
3. Go Beyond Naming
Ultimately, your task requires more than mere description. While nouns are obviously important (for naming various structures and natural elements and their basic positions on the map), task completion involves more than listing items. Describing trends, differences, or stages requires noting the relationship among elements and between images for comparison. Remember, there’s far more to IELTS Writing Task 1 vocabulary than just the names of things.
Imagine that your task is to examine before and after illustrations of a neighborhood over the course of a century.
For this task, it is clearly not enough to name what is new. Don’t just describe what’s there, describe the relationship between what’s there.
For example, do not simply say “there is an office complex that wasn’t there before.” What relationship does this have to the big picture? Remember, you must be able to provide an overview .
4. Describe the Changes Between the Two Maps
But, wait! Your overview shouldn’t just mention elements and their relationship to one another. How are the elements that you’re describing relevant to the prompt? What changes have been made? We must connect these observations to the before and after context, reflecting change:
- The cannery along the northwest side of Oak Avenue was replaced by an office complex.
- The main road is connected to side roads that are closer to the lake and river. In the second map, the road that ended near the river now goes over the river via bridge.
- There is a petrol station on the other side of the road from the Yang Office Complex, where the elementary school had been on the older map.
- The main road currently has two shops, where previously there had been just one shop. These shops sit between the more recently constructed apartment buildings and an expanded set of homes.
- The smaller elementary school on the north side of Miller’s Lake was expanded and moved to the east side of the lake.
Now that’s more like it! Always remember that the IELTS Writing Task 1 map comparison between the old and new features is very important.
5. Put These Skills Together into a Full Essay
At this point, you’ve mastered the basic vocabulary, made your descriptions of the places on the map more detailed, and learned to describe change between two maps. Of course, these are just a few of many ways you could describe the map above. Your final step is to apply all this knowledge to map essays of your own creation. Try writing your own essay about the map above, or create an essay based on our full set of IELTS Writing Task 1 practice questions . That set includes a link to the full model IELTS Writing Task 2 essay based on the map above .
Final Takeaways For Using IELTS Writing Task 1 Map Vocabulary
Main takeaways for using IELTS map vocabulary to compare and describe an IELTS map:
- Remember that the examiner is looking for an overview with main points, not an exhaustive list of elements. (Notice, for example that I didn’t precisely quantify housing units, describe exact comparative distances, or give the exact names of every location.)
- Think of the big picture. Rather than focusing on what’s there, think about how they’re related to the overall developments.
- Don’t forget your primary task – What changes have been made? What occurred, resulting in the differences you see?
Check out more helpful articles on the use of IELTS Writing Task 1 map vocabulary ( and this bonus IELTS Video! ) on preparing for the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:
- How to Describe an IELTS Academic Pie Chart
- How to Describe an IELTS Academic Bar Chart
- How to Prepare for Academic IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
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David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles , his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube , Facebook , and Instagram , or connect with him via LinkedIn !
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5 Responses to How to Describe an IELTS Writing Task 1 Map
THANKS I LOVE IT !
Perfect explanation about the format of task 1.
If we use passive voice for present change then do we have to use have been or has been. In the above explanation, can we use has been instead of have been?
“Have been” is for plural subjects, and “has been” is for singular subjects. Here’s one of the examples from above:
The western and central parts of the island have been developed into a resort.
“Western and central parts” is plural, so you use “have.” If we change this sentence so that the subject is singular, it becomes:
“The western part of the island has been developed into a resort.”
Since this example has only one part, we use the singular “has.” I hope that answers your question!
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Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Bar Charts
- Writing tips
If you didn’t get Band 7 for Academic Writing Task 1, and you blame it on your vocabulary or grammar, think again!
In the 10 years Adam worked as an examiner at the British Council, he saw times and times again that test takers weren’t getting Band 7+ because they were writing their answers the wrong way (and NOT because they lacked vocabulary or didn’t know grammar).
So he made this video to show you the right way to answer the Academic Writing Task 1 .
By watching this video, you will
– learn how to describe bar charts in your Academic Writing Task 1 – know how to organise the information in your answer – save time on Writing Task 1 and use it for Writing Task 2, which carries more weight
Watch the lesson on YouTube , or below:
In the video
1. What are you comparing? In this particular diagram it is the percentage of New Zealand Smokers, tobacco products, years 2014 to 2018.
2. How are you comparing? The values are percentages, which means you can use some synonyms of ‘per cent’ (e.g. proportion).
3. When are you comparing? In the past, so your choice of grammar should be from the past tenses.
4. Which group was the largest? Any overall trends? Drastic changes? Make sure you mention them.
And this is just the beginning, so do watch the entire video , because insider tips from an IELTS examiner are priceless if you want a higher score.
Adam doesn’t give you a model response in this lesson, because he would like you to have a go and write your own. But if you’d like to see a Band 9 sample, check out our High Scorer’s Choice IELTS practice tests . This particular topic can be found in Package 2 and we also provide a model response for it, as well as all the other writing tasks.
Enjoy the lesson!
- Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Pie Charts In today’s video lesson you will learn a great way...
- Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Line Graphs When you don’t get Band 7 for your Academic writing,...
- Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Tables In today’s video lesson Adam (our own ex-IELTS examiner with...
- Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Maps Many test takers feel nervous when they get two maps...
- Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Process Diagrams You got a process diagram to describe and you want...
3 thoughts on “Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Describe Bar Charts”
The given bar chart illustrates a percentage of new Zealand smokers and tobacco product consumption, in proportion to age group for a period of four years.
Overview Overall we can see that the use of cigarettes was the highest over the given period, while as E-cigarette consumption saw a tremendous rise within the same time. Further more Cigars experienced a fluctuated demand.
From 2014-2016 cigarettes were the most favoured tobacco product as compared to E-cigarette and Cigars. However despite being the most popular product, in 2015 it started experiencing a significant drop with a sharp decrease of 5.3% over the stated period.
On the other hand the population of smokers opting for E-cigarettes sky rocketed from 2014-2018. Similarly the consumption equally grew from 5.5 to 15.3% by 2018. With regards to the surge, in 2017 both E-cigarettes and cigarettes products were at par (in spite of the drop in cigarette sale) (15.3%) respectively.
Lastly market for cigars kept fluctuating over the 8 years. Still there was a slight rate of increase in clients using the product from 2014-2015 and a huge jump of 4% between 2016-2017. Even though there was this change, cigarette and cigar utilisation were the same in 2017 and 2018 respectively and there after a 4.5% sank appeared.
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How to Describe Maps for IELTS Writing Task 1
Posted by David S. Wills | Mar 17, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0
Today, I am going to show you how to describe maps for task 1 of the IELTS writing test. I have written about this before, but this will be the first in-depth lesson on map descriptions. In this lesson, you will find out everything you need to know in order to get a great score if you encounter a map in your next writing test.
Maps and IELTS: An Overview
First of all, you need to understand the purpose of IELTS map description. In fact, it is important to recognise the purpose of task 1 of the IELTS test! This part of the exam is designed to see how well you can describe things. In that regard, it is quite different from task 2.
Maps are used in IELTS because they require you to describe the physical layout of a location in addition to showing changes over time. Normally, you will be given two maps of the same area and you will be asked to explain what changes have occurred.
It is really important to know this because otherwise you might not understand how to approach the essay. There are many misconceptions about IELTS but really it is quite simple – you are required to show that you can use the language for different purposes.
Types of Map
You will see different types of map in the IELTS writing test. There are maps of streets, towns, villages, islands, parks, and even interior layouts of buildings in some rare cases. However, they pretty much all serve the same function – there will be two maps that show changes over a period of time.
You should not think too much about the type of map as the function is basically the same – it will show a physical location . Your job is to describe that location and then highlight the changes that take place.
Vocabulary for Map Descriptions
I have a full article on vocabulary for describing IELTS maps so you should read that if you want to know the details. This lesson is quite important because it teaches you about the key things you need to know. I will summarise the important parts here.
In describing a map, you have to imagine that your reader cannot see the same image that you see. Your job is to put that image into their head. This requires you to be accurate and concise in the words that you use.
Start with cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. These will help you immensely. It is not enough to say “on the right” because that is relative. One person’s right could be another person’s left.
You need to know prepositions as well. This is incredibly important. If you get your prepositions wrong, it could lead to a totally inaccurate description of the map. That would be a huge problem.
Example of Direction and Preposition Use
Look at these two maps of a place called Felixstone:
We can see many changes but before we begin to describe them, we need to explain where those things were.
Where is the farmland?
- In 1967, there was an area of farmland in the eastern part of the map, just to the north of the road.
Where is the private beach?
- In 2001, there was a private beach in the southeast of the map. It meets the road at its northernmost point and leads all the way to the sea at the south.
Where are the wind turbines?
- By 2001, four wind turbines had been added between the dunes and the sea.
Please note that there could be other great ways to describe any of these things. These are just a few examples to show you the uses of accurate language.
Here is my full description to the Felixstone map:
There are two maps of a place called Felixstone. One map is from 1967 and the other from 2001. Many changes took place in the intervening years, including the removal of a marina and pier. In 1967, Felixstone was comprised of a road with a golf course, high street, and farmland to the north of it. To the south, there were trees and dunes, a hotel and a café, and a marina and fish market. By 2001, the farmland to the north of the road had been replaced by a hotel with a swimming pool and tennis courts. Half of the shops on the main street had been converted into apartments. To the south of the road, the hotel had gained a large car park and some wind turbines were added between the dunes and the sea. However, the biggest change was the removal of the marina and pier, which were replaced by a public beach and a private beach. The fish market beside the pier was also removed.
Tenses and IELTS Task 1 Maps
One thing that people often overlook is the importance of accurate tense use in IELTS task 1. Of course, verb tenses are always important in English. They are complicated but essential for conveying meaning. However, in task 1 people often focus on just describing the physical layout. This is important, but so is capturing time.
Considering my example above, let’s look at the first sentence of paragraph three:
- By 2001, the farmland to the north of the road had been replaced by a hotel with a swimming pool and tennis courts.
Why did I use the phrase “had been replaced”?
This is the passive form of the past perfect tense . I used the passive form because it was appropriate here. In describing map changes, we do not know who made the change, so passive voice is necessary. As for past perfect, this is how we look further into the past from the perspective of a point in the past.
Let me explain more: This map referred to two points of time – 1967 and 2001. Both of these points of time are in the past. Thus, when we look at changes that have occurred by 2001, we must use look back into the past from the past! It seems so complicated, but it really isn’t.
Choosing What to Describe
When it comes to IELTS maps, you might face two potential problems about choosing what to describe:
- There are too many things to describe.
- There aren’t enough things to describe.
This can be difficult, particularly in an exam scenario. I would offer the following advice:
- If it seems that there are too many things, then begin by picking the most important and then describe it as best you can. Then pick other things logically. If you find it is taking too long, you can finish and not worry about the others. After all, you don’t need to describe everything .
- If it seems that there aren’t enough things, you are going to need to get creative. You should devote a little extra effort to giving details about the key aspects of the map. Don’t just say “there is a bridge in the north.” Say “there is a bridge in the north of the map that goes over the Severn River. It connects the towns of Dorwith and Forlsom.” This will help you to use more words. However, it really shouldn’t be a problem as IELTS maps tend to contain enough data to easily write 150 words.
Anyway, the most important thing is that you select the most important data and sequence it logically.
How to Structure an IELTS Map Description
I wrote this article on IELTS writing task 1 essay structures. You should read this because maps really don’t require anything special. The structure will basically be the same as it would for charts, tables, and so on. It should look like this:
- Introduction – say what the map is and highlight a key change
- Body paragraph one – describe the first map
- Body paragraph two – describe the second map and highlight changes
There are other reasonable ways to approach this. You may, for example, devote a paragraph to the main changes and another paragraph to lesser changes. However, it is usually best to give a paragraph on each of the two maps.
One thing is the “general trend” sentence. As you probably know, IELTS writing task 1 essays require a sentence that gives the general trend of a chart or table. However, there is no such thing for maps. You can instead highlight a significant change or try to capture the gist of the differences.
Video about Difficult Maps for IELTS
Last year, I made this video about describing difficult IELTS maps. You might find it useful given the information in this lesson.
You can also find sample map descriptions here and here . On a related note, you can find IELTS listening map skills here .
About The Author
David S. Wills
David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.
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How To Write an IELTS Map Essay
IELTS map questions are the easiest to answer. There are no numbers to analyse, just 2 or 3 maps to compare. Very occasionally, there might only be a single map, but this is rare.
The maps will be of the same location at different times. This could be in the past, the present time or a plan for a proposed development in the future. You are required to write about the changes you see between the maps.
There are 5 steps to writing a high-scoring IELTS map essay:
1) Analyse the question
2) Identify the main features
3) Write an introduction
4) Write an overview
5) Write the details paragraphs
I must emphasise the importance of steps 1 and 2. It is essential that you complete this planning stage properly before you start writing. You’ll understand why when I guide you through it. It should only take 5 minutes, leaving you a full 15 minute to write your essay.
In this lesson, we’re going to work through the 5 stages step-by-step as we answer a practice IELTS map question.
Before we begin, here’s a model essay structure that you can use as a guideline for all IELTS Academic Task 1 questions.
Ideally, your essay should have 4 paragraphs:
Paragraph 1 – Introduction
Paragraph 2 – Overview
Paragraph 3 – 1 st main feature
Paragraph 4 – 2 nd main feature
We now have everything we need to begin planning and writing our IELTS map essay.
Here’s our practice question:
The maps below show the village of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.
Step 1 – Analyse the question
The format of every Academic Task 1 question is the same. Here is our practice question again with the words that will be included in all questions highlighted.
Every question consists of:
- Sentence 1 – A brief description of the graphic
- Sentence 2 – The instructions
- The graphic – map, chart, graph, table, etc.
Sentence 2 tells you what you have to do.
You must do 3 things:
1. Select the main features.
2. Write about the main features.
3. Compare the main features.
All three tasks refer to the ‘ main features ’ of the graphic. You do not have to write about everything. Just pick out 2 or 3 key features and you’ll have plenty to write about.
Step 2 – Identify the Main Features
All you are looking for are the main features. Start with the earliest map. Identify the key features and look to see how they have changed in the later map, and again in the final map if there are three.
Here are some useful questions to ask?
1) What time periods are shown?
Are the maps of past, present or future situations? This is important to note because it will determine whether you write your essay using past, present or future tenses.
The two maps in our practice IELTS map question show the village of Stokeford at two different times in the past. This immediately tells us that we will need to use the past tense in our essay.
2) What are the main differences between the maps?
What features have disappeared? What new features are in their place?
3) What features have remained the same over the time period?
Although the location on the maps will have undergone major development, some features may remain unchanged.
Also, think about directional language you can use, such as:
So, what information is contained our maps? Here they are again.
Source: IELTS past paper
There are a number of different features we could select such as, the loss of the shops, the disappearance of farmland, the enlargement of the school and the development of the large house into a retirement home.
Many maps will contain far more changes than our sample maps and the changes may be more complex. In such cases, you won’t have time to write about all of them and will need to select just 2 or 3 main features to focus on.
Our maps are quite simple so we’ll list all 4 of the major changes I’ve just identified.
Main feature 1: The farmland has been built on.
Main feature 2: The large house has been converted into a retirement home.
Main feature 3: The school has been enlarged.
Main feature 4: The shops have disappeared.
The key features you select will be the starting point for your IELTS map essay. You will then go on to add more detail later. However, with just 20 minutes allowed for Task 1, and a requirement of only 150 words, you won't be able to include many details.
We’re now ready to begin writing our essay. Here’s a reminder of the 4 part structure we’re going to use.
For this essay, we’ll adapt this a little to write about two of the features in Paragraph 3 and the other two features in Paragraph 4.
Step 3 – Write an Introduction
In the introduction, you should simply paraphrase the question, that is, say the same thing in a different way. You can do this by using synonyms and changing the sentence structure. For example:
Introduction (Paragraph 1):
The two maps illustrate how the village of Stokeford, situated on the east bank of the River Stoke, changed over an 80 year period from 1930 to 2010.
This is all you need to do for the introduction.
Step 4 – Write an Overview (Paragraph 2)
In the second paragraph, you should describe the general changes that have taken place. The detail comes later in the essay.
State the information simply. No elaborate vocabulary or grammar structures are required, just the appropriate words and correct verb tenses.
Overview (Paragraph 2):
There was considerable development of the settlement over these years and it was gradually transformed from a small rural village into a largely residential area.
Two sentences would be better than one for the second paragraph but we’ll be getting into the detail if we say more about these maps at this point, so we’ll leave the overview as one sentence.
Step 5 – Write the 1st Detail Paragraph
Paragraphs 3 and 4 of your IELTS map essay are where you include more detailed information. In paragraph 3, you should give evidence to support your first 1or 2 key features.
In the case of our main features, 1 and 3 are closely related so we’ll write about these two together.
Here they are again:
And this is an example of what you could write:
Paragraph 3 :
The most notable change is the presence of housing in 2010 on the areas that were farmland back in 1930. New roads were constructed on this land and many residential properties built. In response to the considerable increase in population, the primary school was extended to around double the size of the previous building.
Step 6 – Write the 2nd Detail Paragraph
For the fourth and final paragraph, you do the same thing for your remaining key features.
Here are the two we have left:
This is an example of what you could write:
Paragraph 4 :
Whilst the post office remained as a village amenity, the two shops that can be seen to the north-west of the school in 1930, no longer existed by 2010, having been replaced by houses. There also used to be an extensive property standing in its own large gardens situated to the south-east of the school. At some time between 1930 and 2010, this was extended and converted into a retirement home. This was another significant transformation for the village.
Here are the four paragraphs brought together to create our finished essay.
Finished IELTS Map Essay
This sample IELTS map essay is well over the minimum word limit so you can see that you don’t have space to include very much detail at all. That’s why it is essential to select just a couple of main features to write about.
Now use what you’ve learnt in this lesson to practice answering other IELTS map questions. Start slowly at first and keep practicing until you can plan and write a complete essay in around 20 minutes.
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Ielts academic writing task 1 – all lessons.
IELTS Academic Writing – A summary of the test including important facts, test format & assessment.
Academic Writing Task 1 – The format, the 7 question types & sample questions, assessment & marking criteria. All the key information you need to know.
Understanding Task 1 Questions – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.
How To Plan a Task 1 Essay – Discover 3 reasons why you must plan, the 4 simple steps of essay planning and learn a simple 4 part essay structure.
Vocabulary for Task 1 Essays – Learn key vocabulary for a high-scoring essay. Word lists & a downloadable PDF.
Grammar for Task 1 Essays – Essential grammar for Task 1 Academic essays including, verb tenses, key sentence structures, articles & prepositions.
The 7 Question Types:
Click the links below for a step-by-step lesson on each type of Task 1 question.
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IELTS Writing task 1 academic: Maps Lesson
Writing about maps in ielts.
Updated: Feb 2023
Maps sometimes show up in IELTS academic writing task 1. There are different types of maps and the most common is the past and present (this task below) or sometimes both maps may be in the past. There are also maps which show proposals for the future such as a redevelopment scheme.
You will need to use specific vocabulary in this task and the grammar needed would be the past tense (was /were), the present perfect passive to describe change and prepositions . You also have to use specific language that shows location and change.
The structure for Writing task 1
Click the blue button to see the structure for all IELTS task 1 academic tasks.
Key vocabulary to use for describing maps
Note that the grammar used to describe changes is in the passive.
- The offices were demolished and the surrounding area was redeveloped with a new leisure centre opening up .
- The shopping centre was extended and the parking area was enlarged to accommodate more cars
- The trees were cut down and a new office block was erected .
- A railway was constructed with the introduction of a new train station.
- The industrial area was modernised and made bigger with lots of new factories being built
- The local government had the sports facilities renovated and the small park was made into a children’s playground
- The park was replaced with a new housing complex.
Vocabulary for showing location
When describing the location of something on a map that has a compass symbol you should use phrases like:
- to the north of
- to the east of
- in the west
- to the south of
- north-west of
Prepositions are essential when describing the location on a map, such as:
- from north to south
- from east to west
- across from
- The trees to the north of the river were cut down and a new office block was built .
- A railway was constructed to the east of the housing estate with the introduction of a new train station.
- The forest to the west of the park was cut down and a new housing complex was constructed.
- The industrial area to the south-west of the station was expanded.
- Houses were constructed next to the primary school.
- The forest near the river was cut down.
- A new railway running from north to south was built.
- The footpath by the river was expanded.
- Parking facilities were added to the city centre.
- The school across from the park was extended and new sports facilities were built.
Vocabulary for describing change over time
When describing change, the present perfect and the present perfect passive is often used. Time phrases are also used such as: over the 20 year period, from 1990 to 2000, over the years, in the last 10 years, in the years after 1990 and so on.
The present perfect and The present perfect passive shows that something started in the past up until the present moment (or near present)
Examples: has witnessed big changes / has become more industrialised / has been built/ has been modernised
Theses sentences below are often used to give an overview of the main differences between the two maps.
- Over the 20 year period , the area has witnessed big changes especially to the farmland areas which were redeveloped.
- From 1990 to 2010 a new housing estate was constructed where a school once stood.
- The forest and green spaces have been profoundly affected over the two decades and were replaced by housing.
- In the period from 1990 onward , the leisure facilities were completely renovated.
- The city centre has seen dramatic changes over the years .
- In the years after 1990 , the city centre was extensively modernised.
- The town used to be very green but it has become much more industrialised in the last 15 years.
- A new stadium has been built and more sports faciities have been opened up over the years.
The overview comes just after the introduction and makes a general statement about the main differences between the maps. The overview is quite short, maybe about 2 or 3 sentences. Do not go into detail in the overview.
In the task below there are 2 maps. The past (1986) and present. In this case, you will need to use the past tense and the present perfect to describe the changes.
Click the blue button to see the full model answer.
‘The two maps below show the changes in the town of Denham from 1986 to the present day. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.’
The maps illustrate the main changes which have taken place in the town of Denham from 1986 to the present moment.
Overall, the town has most notably shown an increase in housing development which indicates a higher population and a move away from agriculture and farming.
One change that stands out is that there has been a significant redevelopment over the whole period. To the east of the river stoke housing now dominates the area of what was once farmland. In 1986 there were shops and just a handful of residential properties. Now there are neither shops nor farmland left, although the post office is still there. The bridge over the river stoke still stands as it did in 1986.
Another noticeable change is that more roads have been built around the housing complex. Additionally, the gardens that were in front of the large house in 1986 have been removed and the house has been expanded and converted into a retirement home. The primary school still stands and has been extended in the decades since.
Aim for around 170 to 190 words in this task. You will not have time to go into a long report and you need to be selective in writing task 1.
Any questions? leave a comment below.
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How To Improve IELTS Writing Task 1 – 7 Best Tips
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- February 28, 2023
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IELTS is one of the most common and easy language testing exams in India. Most universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, and other foreign countries accept the IELTS score.
Universities accept test scores of various other exams like the TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo. However, IETLS remains the first choice of students, especially in India. As easy as it may be the IETLS is a competitive and slightly tricky exam.
You need complete preparation of every topic and a clear understanding of concepts to get the highest score possible. The IELTS tests your English on the basis of your performance in 4 sections:
- Writing section
- Listening section
- Speaking section
- Reading section
Among these, several students face difficulty in the Writing section of the IELTS. The writing section can be tricky for non-native speakers, but the writing section’s score can be easily increased if the right tips are followed.
In this blog, I will answer your question about how to improve IELTS writing task 1, as this is the first concern of a student who plans to take the IELTS exam.
Before discussing it, you must understand the format for the IELTS writing task 1.
If you want to learn How To Start Writing Task 1 In IELTS , read our other blog.
Table of Contents
Format Of The Writing Section Of The IELTS
The writing section of the IETLS evaluates your skill in forming opinions and writing them in English. The writing section also tests your knowledge to interpret several forms of data and convert them to a passage.
The writing section of the IELTS is divided into 2 parts:
- Writing task 1
- Writing task 2
Writing task 1 is different for Academic and the General IELTS, and thus the questions are also different.
Writing task 1 for academic consists of visually represented data in the form of graphs, tables, charts, diagrams, Venn diagrams, etc. You will be asked to first understand this data and then interpret it by explaining it in words.
For general training in IELTS writing task 1 there will be a letter writing, which can be of three types.
You will have to first organize your thoughts and then try to frame your answer in 3 parts, an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion.
Writing task 2 tests your critical thinking skills. You will be given a general question that can agree or disagree, argumentative, opinion, problem and solution, and direct essay. These topics will be kept as general as possible.
To get the sample answer for IELTS writing task 2, download IELTS Writing Task 2 PDF .
Tips on How to improve IELTS Writing task 1
Now that you are familiar with the format of the writing section of the IELTS we can proceed to the tips that will be helpful to you, and you will be able to get a clear answer of how to improve IELTS writing task 1.
Interpret Carefully Before Writing
Many students directly write the answer after looking at the data. You should first avoid this mistake by analyzing the data first and then start answering. Analyzing the answer includes organizing your thoughts in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
Take proper time to analyze the full data, many students analyze the data in a hurry which results in mistakes. If you interpret in a hurry, you will lose important information, this can lead to a reduction of marks.
To achieve a score of 7 or more bands, you need to write a sharp and to-the-point answer. For example, if a bar chart or a pie chart is given along with the question, then read the question first to know what information is given.
Getting an idea of what the question is asking will get you a clearer introduction to your answer. If a graph is to be interpreted, carefully analyze what quantity is defined by the X-axis and the Y-axis. Do not forget to include mathematical units in your answer if they are given in the data.
This is the first tip on how to improve IELTS writing task 1.
Mention Only Important Information
Many students analyze the data to fill in the word limit and forget to add important information to the data. Do not include irrelevant information in your answers; try to be on the point and include only the most important parts.
If you are facing an issue with the word limit, you can describe your data more elaborately but don’t skip anything. For example, you can write the data like this “The percentage of people infected with water-borne diseases in a particular area was 50 in the year 2019, and then an increase in percentage to 70 was seen in the year 2020. In the year 2022, the number again decreased to 50.”
Rather than describing the data as given above, you should first introduce the situation in the answer and then describe it in a simpler way.
Like, It can be observed from the graph that the percentage of water-borne diseases in a particular area is increasing (50%, 70%) and then decreasing(70%, 50%) by 20.
This is the second tip on how to improve IELTS writing task 1.
To download the IELTS Writing Task 1 PDF for academics, read our other blog.
One of the most important tips for how to improve IELTS writing task 1 is paraphrasing. You need to re-write the data into a meaningful sentence.
You can use some vocabulary that you have learned to rewrite the data given. Try to use better synonyms, change the word order, and convert sentences from active to passive speech.
Do not copy the questions as they are. After analyzing the data, look for similarities and dissimilarities or anything that can be compared easily. Then keep an eye on differences and highlight the differences in the conclusion.
Understand What Type Of Data Is Given
You will have to interpret and analyze the data. To do this, you will first have to understand what kind of data it is.
You will have to write a descriptive text that comments on visuals. Write at least 150 words and spend about 20 minutes on writing task 1.
The visual data may be in the form of a line graph, bar graph, Venn diagram, Venn diagram, flowchart, or map.
Don’t Waste Too Much Time On Task 1
Wasting too much time on task one is often the issue with many students, they just keep analyzing the data and the time goes. The interpretation needs to be completed in a few minutes.
If you spend too much time on task 1 you may get less time for task 2 which is a time-consuming task. Task 1 should take not more than 20 minutes, including the review. If you exceed this limit then you might face challenges in completing writing task 2 in less than 40 minutes.
The other interesting and important thing about how to improve IELTS writing task 1 is that it contributes just 30% to the overall score of the writing section. You can devote 2-3 minutes to interpreting and organizing your thoughts.
10-15 minutes will be enough for writing the answer, and 2-3 minutes for proofreading or review. Writing more lengthy answers is good but manage your time appropriately.
To get the best tips on How To Score 7 In IELTS Writing , read our other blog.
Many students make the mistake of not reviewing their answers before moving ahead in the test. Reviewing your answer at the end is critical, as there are many grammar mistakes when we are thinking and writing simultaneously.
So always try to review your answer; this can drastically improve your answer quality and can increase your score. When you are reviewing, look for mistakes related to grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, spelling, tense, etc.
These are the common mistake areas that we face while writing. These can be easily corrected with a short review. This review will only take 1-2 minutes, so make sure to write your answer accordingly. You can also use your review strategy for the whole paper once you have completed it.
You do not know what data is going to be asked in the exam, but you can practice such types of questions from the internet. You should plan your answer and think mindset accordingly.
It is easy to answer the question if you have prepared well about what to include and what not to. You can start your answer by reading the title of the graph given.
Understand the title well and try to focus on the formulation of the title of the answer to make sure that your answer is accurate in the correct order. After reading the title, decide what are the main feature of the data.
The data or report may have data variables linked by comparison. Look for similarities and dissimilarities; if there are not any, then specify in your answer that the data is random and not related. Try to focus on the main points by asking yourself what was the reason this data has been added here.
The final task is to write your thoughts in a correct sequence and identify and state the patterns that you found important.
This is the last and final tip on how to improve IELTS writing task 1.
Read our other blog to know How To Start IELTS Writing Task 2 .
The writing section of the IETLS is somewhat tricky, but you can easily improve your score if you prepare for both tasks in the correct way.
Writing task 1 is not that hard and can be easily done, but many students do not give the required time to this task which results in lower scores.
You will need to manage your time properly. The interpretation is rather easy, but summarising the data into a few lines can be hard.
However, after these tips on How to improve IELTS writing task 1, you will be able to get your desired score.
Download the IELTS Writing GT Task 1 pdf , to get the sample answer for the IELTS GT task 1.
Which task is difficult in IELTS?
The writing and speaking modules in the IELTS exam are considered the most difficult, because in these modules you have to present your own ideas, and many students failed to get good band scores in these modules.
Does IELTS repeat questions?
Yes, in the IELTS exam, the questions get repeated as the same cue card in the IELTS speaking can be asked from many students.
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IELTS Academic task 1
Here on IELTS Podcast, you will find useful IELTS Academic writing task 1 tips, tutorials, sample essay questions and answers to help you prepare for your Academic task 1 exam.
How much time should I spend on IELTS writing task 1 in the IELTS test?
Ielts task 1 marking criteria.
Task 1 is marked according to the following:
IELTS Graphs, Charts or Diagrams
Academic writing task 1 requires that you summarise and compare a diagram, chart or graph, talking about the main features.
Academic writing task 1 is a report on a bar chart , pie chart, table, map diagram or process. Below we have tutorials, guiding you on how to answer the different task 1 questions.
Summarise and Compare
A good description will look at trends, at highs and lows and at the times that these occurred – beginnings and endings in other words. You need to describe the key features and changes in the graphs. That means just talk about the main features and don’t try to describe everything! A great tip is to use superlatives. For example:
The lowest point was…
Start off by looking at the graphs to determine what you need to summarise and compare. Write an introduction of one to two sentences. Then offer a general overview, describing trends. The next paragraphs should get into the specifics, grouping your information according to the main features and then describing each of them.
Preparing for the Exam
Useful links to help you prepare for academic task 1:
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IELTS Writing Task 1:
Lessons, tips and strategies.
In the IELTS writing Task 1 for academic you have to describe some kind of graph, diagram, map or process.
Here you will get all the tips and techniques you will need for writing about the Task 1, or to find out how to improve your score if it has been too low.
Taking General Training? - IELTS Letter Lessons
IELTS Writing Task 1 Lessons:
How to Write an Academic IELTS Task 1 This starter lessons tells you in simple steps how to structure and write a basic IELTS Graph.
Types of Graph
Graphs Over Time This important lesson shows you what you must do to properly describe a graph or chart that has a period of time.
IELTS Pie Chart In this lesson you'll learn how to write about a pie chart, with tips on how to best organize your answer and advice on the language to use.
IELTS Process In this lesson you'll learn how to describe an IELTS process diagram, with information about organizing your answer and using the passive voice.
Two graphs together Sometimes you get two graphs to describe together. This lessons shows you how to organize your answer if you do.
IELTS Tables This lesson provides you with IELTS practice for tables. It shows you that tables are not that different from other types of graph.
Task 1 Language
Language of Change This lesson explains some useful sentence structures using some common language of change and you can practice the words with a gap fill.
Language to Compare and Contrast Compare and contrast language is needed for most graphs and diagrams so it is important to learn and practice it.
A Common Mistake This lesson takes you through a mistake that is common when describing graphs in Task 1.
Using Prepositions Learn how to use the right prepositions when you are using the language of change in a graph over time.
Describing graphs in the future Sometimes you may be given a graph to describe that is predicting what will happen in the future. View some strategies on how to approach a task 1 like this.
Tenses for graphs, processes, and maps This lesson gives you tips on the types of tenses you should know for the various types of task you could be given.
Task 1 Quizzes Try out these quizzes which give you fun practice or a chance to test your knowledge of the variety of language used for academic task 1.
Organizing a Line Graph (Part 1) Find out about how there is more than one was to organize a task 1 graph, and learn how to write about a graph divided into 'age groups'.
Organising a Line Graph (Part 2) If you want to achieve a high band score for your graph you must ensure it is well-organised. This lesson tells you more about one possible way of doing this.
Overview of Academic Task 1:
Task 1 Quiz Exercises:
Check out our IELTS Quiz page for various interactive quizzes to test and teach yourself about the language for the IELTS writing task 1:
- IELTS Task 1 Quizzes
IELTS Writing Forum:
The writing forum is a place for you to discuss the test or ask questions about it. Reading previous questions asked may help you with things you don't understand so check out the forum here:
- IELTS Writing Task 1 Forum
These are some useful topics and questions that have already been discussed:
- How should I paragraph in IELTS writing task 1?
- How do I organise my graph?
- What tenses do we use in the Task 1?
- What happens if I didn't finish my graph?
And remember you can ask your own question if there is something in the test that you are unsure about.
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Excel in IELTS Writing Task 1 & 2
This article will give you a quick guide on how to excel in IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2. Getting a high score in the Writing section of the IELTS test is not easy. These tips will help you to achieve your goal!
What is IELTS Writing?
The IELTS Writing test assesses your ability to write two different writing tasks (Task 1 and Task 2) within 60 minutes. Writing well in the IELTS test requires specific skills and lots of practice. Even if you are confident at writing in English, it’s always a good idea to prepare carefully.
The #1 tip 🏆
The number #1 tip to excel in IELTS writing is that you must be prepared for the test! Do some practice tests and have them assessed so you can know your current level. Then you can work out how much you need to improve before you do your official IELTS test. If you are currently a band score of 6, and you need an 8; you will need to improve 2 band scores. That is your learning goal!
Set your goal with a goal download PDF
Preparation is essential if you want to achieve a high score, so why not consider a study plan to get ready for your test? This can keep your study on track by setting daily or weekly goals and providing checklists according to each of skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
IELTS General or Academic?
There are two different types of IELTS tests – General Training and Academic . General Training is often used for migration purposes, while Academic is needed for university applications. While Writing Task 2 is basically the same on these two test types, there is a big difference in the writing task 1 item.
Task 1 (General Training) requires you to write a formal, semi-formal or informal letter that requests information or explains a situation.
Task 2 (Academic) requires you to describe a graph, table, chart, or diagram.
IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 – Writing tips
In Task 1 General Training, you must write a letter in approximately 20 minutes. You will need to analyse the question, plan your answer, write your answer and check your answer in only 20 minutes, so you need to work quickly! You must write at least 150 words.
Learn the basic letter structure that you can use for all 3 letter types.
· Body 1
· Body 2
· Body 3
· Sign off
As there are 3 different types of letters (formal, semi-formal and informal), you will need to slightly modify this structure to match the required type of letter.
It’s good to keep the below in mind when writing your letter:
Formal letters – You are writing to someone you don’t know
Semi-formal – You are writing to someone you know, but you are not friends or family with them
Informal – You are writing to a friend or family member
Spend NO MORE THAN 1 minute to plan your answer. A very common problem is that students will waste 3-5 minutes planning and then they don’t have enough time to finish their letter. Practise planning in 1 minute only. Use an alarm to check that you only take 1 minute.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 – Writing tips
In Task 1 Academic, you need to review a visual image and describe the important features. There are a variety of different task types, such as line graph, bar chart, pie chart, table, map, process and mixed charts. You must write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.
Learn the 4-paragraph structure that is used to write all Task 1 Academic answers.
· Key Features 1
· Key Features 2
Make sure you have practised all the task types. Many students focus on one or two types and are not prepared for other types. This is very risky because you don’t know which task type you will have until you are doing your test. You must be ready to answer all task types.
Learn the difference between dynamic graphs (which change over time) and static graphs (which are one moment in time). It’s essential to know the difference so you know what to focus on when analysing the task and writing your answer.
There are two task types which are very different compared to the others. These task types are processes and maps. These task types don’t include data and require you to analyse in different ways.
For processes, remember to answer three questions in the Overview .
1) How many stages are there?
2) What is the first stage?
3) What is the last stage?
Then, divide the total number of stages in half. Answer the first half in Key Features 1 and the second half in Key Features 2 . Use sequencing words to connect your stages, as well as the passive voice.
For maps, divide each map into two (e.g. north/south, or east/west). Compare the first and second map, and review what has changed. Remember that you must include all changes in your answer. After you have divided each map in half, write about the initial situation and then subsequent changes in one part of the map (e.g. north) in Key Features 1 . Then, write about the initial situation and changes in the other part of the map (e.g. south) in Key Features 2 . Try to use the passive voice.
DON’T forget to include lots of data in the Key Features paragraphs. This is important if you want to get a high score. Even though maps don’t include data, remember to check the dates of the two maps (e.g. 1950 and 2000, or 1980 and 2010). Most IELTS maps are from the past, but it is possible to see a map that includes either the present time (e.g. 1980 and Now) or the future (2000 and 2050). If the map is from the present or the future, this will affect the verb tenses that you use to describe the map.
If you want to revise grammar, E2 offers skill building classes in our weekly live classes. You will be able to boost your scores in Speaking, Listening and Writing through our weekly classes.
IELTS Writing Task 2 – Essay writing tips
The Task 2 essay is similar for both General Training and Academic questions. You need to write at least 250 words in approximately 40 minutes. Your essay is your response to a point of view, argument or problem.
Prepare to analyse the question and plan your answer, write your essay and then check over your own writing in about 40 minutes.
To do this, you must learn the simple and effective 4 paragraph essay structure.
Not only do you need to learn the structure of each paragraph, but you also need to understand the role of each sentence. When you know the role of each sentence in every paragraph, it is much easier and faster to write. This role is dictated by the essay question type. There are different essay questions types that are possible, such as Opinion (e.g. Agree/Disagree), Discussion, Problem + Solution, Advantages & Disadvantages, and Double Question.
The question type is very important because it tells you how to structure your answer. For example, if the question is Agree/Disagree, in Body 1 you will describe your first idea, and in Body 2 you will describe your second idea. If it’s Advantages & Disadvantages, Body 1 states the two advantages while Body 2 is the two disadvantages.
You must learn the 5 different sentence structures of single idea body paragraphs and double idea body paragraphs.
Time is money
Watch for your time. 40 minutes is not a long time, so you need to use every minute effectively. Follow the structure and make sure you know each sentence’s role. Practise writing each part of the essay (Analyse and Plan, Intro, Body 1, Body 2, Conclusion) within a specific time limit.
Good luck for your next IELTS exam!
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Sasha is an IELTS preparation teacher with E2. He is a former examiner with over 20 years’ teaching experience.
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IELTS Writing Task 2: Preparing to write, how to generate ideas Here are some suggestions and ideas to better prepare you for your IELTS Writing test.
- CRS , english , express entry , ielts , ielts general training , PNP
Many students start writing before planning what they are going to say.
This could lead to a writing response which is disorganized and could negatively affect their score. In this blog, we’ll look at how you can improve your writing skills and suggest some ideas for effective planning so that you are ready for test day.
Read the following Writing Task 2 question and an example introduction. Do you think the writer has fully understood the question?
Rushing into writing
It looks like the writer has not spent the necessary time to read and understand the question before beginning to write, and has started to write the wrong type of essay as a response. This type of mistake happens in the IELTS Writing test when test takers are understandably nervous about writing 250 words in only 40 minutes so are in a rush to get started. However, by taking the time to fully analyse the question, test takers can ensure they write about the right topic, with the right focus, and the right type of essay.
See more sample IELTS test questions
Here are a few steps to follow to make sure that you are fully prepared before you start writing and to avoid making this type of mistake.
Step 1: Analyse the question
Before you start writing, you need to spend some time with the question. Read the question and instructions carefully and ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have to give my opinion?
- Do I have to discuss both sides of an argument?
- Do I have to answer any questions?
This will help you to identify the type of essay. Ask these questions about the previous example Writing Task 2 question and identify the key words that helped you.
Once you’ve identified the type of essay, be sure to identify the focus of the essay. What problem is it that you’re being asked to discuss in this question? What key words would you underline or highlight?
If you are doing IELTS on paper, you are free to write on the question paper. If you are doing IELTS on computer, you can also take notes and highlight text in the online platform, or use the piece of scrap paper that you are provided with. Any notes that you take aren’t assessed, and the Examiner will not see your rough notes.
Why do I need to take rough notes?
Remember that you only have 40 minutes to write your essay so this means that you do not have time to write a first draft. Instead, you can plan your ideas and prepare an outline of your essay in rough notes. The more ideas you can put down, no matter how roughly, the more you’ll have to write about. Also, if you prepare what you’re going to write about in advance, you can focus on how you’re writing once you’re ready to start.
Step 2: Brainstorm your ideas
How you write your rough notes is entirely up to you. You might want to write your notes in a mind map or in bullet points or as a table. Whatever method you choose, take a few moments to jot down as many ideas or arguments as you can.
Consider alternative perspectives
If you are struggling to come up with ideas, for any question type, consider alternative perspectives to your own. Think of the categories of people who would be interested in or affected by the topic of the question. For the example question above, you could ask yourself about the individual roles and responsibilities of those involved in a child’s life. Think of the following questions as a guide for a variety of topics and question types that may come up on test day:
- What could the individual do?
e.g. children could save pocket money for occasional treats
- What could parents do at home?
e.g. limit screen time, increase time outside
- What could schools do?
e.g. ban junk food on school premises
- What could companies and businesses do?
e.g. sponsor healthy food initiatives
- What could the local or national government do?
e.g. sugar tax
Step 3: Choose your best arguments
Once you have a list of all the arguments, all the ideas you can think of, you can then choose two to three to write about in your essay. Make sure that you choose the points that you know you can write about. Consider these questions when making your choices:
- Which of the ideas could you write most about?
Remember the instructions in Task 2 state that you have to write from your own knowledge and experience. You are not expected to have any specialist knowledge or expertise, but it is important that you choose arguments that you know you could expand on.
- Can you think of reasons, examples, and results of each idea?
Take a note under each idea in your mind map/table of the key words that you will use in your supporting arguments. Consider providing reasons and examples for your argument as well as outlining any possible impact or effects.
- Which ideas are different from each other?
Avoid writing about very similar ideas or arguments. This will help your paragraphs to have clearer central topics and avoid too much repetition of language.
- Have you chosen ideas to support your position?
In opinion or discussion essays you are explicitly instructed to provide your position, make sure that you choose ideas that clarify your position for the Examiner. In problem and solution essays, your position is implicit in your choice and description of effective solutions.
- Have you chosen an idea to balance the essay?
This is optional in opinion essays but is essential in 2-sided discussion essays where you must discuss both sides of the argument. In problem and solution essays, you do not need to debate whether or not the problem exists when it is presented as fact.
Take an IELTS practice test and get feedback so that you are ready for test day
Doesn’t all of this planning waste too much writing time?
These steps can be completed in just two to three minutes and this time is very well spent. Conversely, it would be a waste of time to rush into writing and realise halfway through that you have not fully understood the question, and don’t have enough time to make the corrections.
As you prepare for your IELTS test, make planning a part of your test practice. The more often you do this, the quicker your idea-generation will be, and the more prepared you’ll be to write the best essay you’ve ever written on your actual test day.
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Ielts Writing Task 1-Level 1-Part 2-U7-10
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Model IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Prompt: Describe a Map The diagrams below show changes that have taken place in the Sawry District neighbourhood since 1920. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Model Essay
These are the most recent/latest IELTS Writing Task 1 Task topics and questions starting in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and continuing into 2023. You can find all the most recent IELTS writing task 2s here and the general training questions here. I also have recorded all the IELTS speaking questions here.
How to Tackle Maps in IELTS Writing Task 1 Questions Maps occasionally show up in IELTS academic writing task 1 and when they do, you will see two maps. Often one map is in the past map, while the other is in the present. You'll also encounter scenarios where both maps are in the past.
Step 1: Read Question and Map Carefully As it is quite common in all the IELTS writing task 1 questions, you must read the question statement carefully in the map. Along with reading the question, you should go through the labels given in the map.
Comments. This IELTS task 1 map would receive a high score. The map has a clear overall progression and organisation as it is introduced, the main features are identified, then it clearly compares the first map with the second.. There is a mix of vocabulary, with the right language of location used to say where things were positioned and the language of comparison and contrast used to good ...
IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps Sample answer 1 WRITING TASK 1 You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. The maps below show the center of a small town called Birshire as it is now, and plans for its development. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words.
To describe two maps, I advise my students to follow a four-paragraph structure. Paragraph 1- Paraphrase Sentence Paraphrase question using synonyms. Paragraph 2- Overview Make two general statements about the map. You should describe the maps generally and write about the most noticeable differences between the two maps.
In IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic, you might get asked to write about map changes. IELTS gives you one map which shows a place before and then another map that shows the place after some major changes have taken place. You need to compare the maps and write about them. What is essential to do is include the passive in your answer.
IELTS Essay Task 1: Leather Process. IELTS Essay Task 1: Employment for Men and Women. IELTS Essay: Map of a City in 1950. IELTS Essay: Cement and Concrete Production Process. IELTS Writing Task 1: Map West Park Secondary School. IELTS Task 1: Influencers Bar Chart. IELTS Essay Task 1: University Sports Courts.
How to do IELTS
IELTS Map: Model Answer. Below is an IELTS map model answer which is estimated at band score 9. This is a comparison of three maps in different time periods for the academic writing task 1. If you wish to do practice exercises for grammar for the maps below, before you read this model, please follow the link: IELTS Map Comparison Exercise.
How to write a map essay in IELTS involves a simple 5 step process: 1. Get Fluent in Basic IELTS Map Vocabulary Develop your skills and knowledge for words that describe places, where places are located in relation to each other, and how places change in IELTS Writing maps. The lists I've provided are a great place to start. 2.
The city hospital building itself was unaltered. 1. The first sentence describes what didn't change much. 2. My second sentence details how the roads around the hospital didn't change, though lanes and roundabouts were added. 3. The final sentence of this paragraph states that the hospital itself was unchanged. 1.
So he made this video to show you the right way to answer the Academic Writing Task 1. By watching this video, you will. - learn how to describe bar charts in your Academic Writing Task 1. - know how to organise the information in your answer. - save time on Writing Task 1 and use it for Writing Task 2, which carries more weight.
As you probably know, IELTS writing task 1 essays require a sentence that gives the general trend of a chart or table. However, there is no such thing for maps. You can instead highlight a significant change or try to capture the gist of the differences. Video about Difficult Maps for IELTS
There are 5 steps to writing a high-scoring IELTS map essay: 1) Analyse the question 2) Identify the main features 3) Write an introduction 4) Write an overview 5) Write the details paragraphs I must emphasise the importance of steps 1 and 2. It is essential that you complete this planning stage properly before you start writing.
Maps sometimes show up in IELTS academic writing task 1. There are different types of maps and the most common is the past and present (this task below) or sometimes both maps may be in the past. There are also maps which show proposals for the future such as a redevelopment scheme.
Follow this step-by-step lesson on IELTS Map essays. Discover how to plan, identify key features and structure a high-scoring essay. Work through a practice ...
For general training in IELTS writing task 1 there will be a letter writing, which can be of three types. You will have to first organize your thoughts and then try to frame your answer in 3 parts, an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. Writing task 2 tests your critical thinking skills.
Writing tips for academic task 1; Summarise and Compare. Read the question carefully. Academic writing task 1 may contain two to three charts which may be a line graph, a table, a pie chart, a map, a diagram or a bar chart.To do well in this task you need to take a general overview of the task.
In the IELTS writing Task 1 for academic you have to describe some kind of graph, diagram, map or process. Here you will get all the tips and techniques you will need for writing about the Task 1, or to find out how to improve your score if it has been too low. Taking General Training? - IELTS Letter Lessons IELTS Writing Task 1 Lessons: Overview
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Writing tips. In Task 1 Academic, you need to review a visual image and describe the important features. There are a variety of different task types, such as line graph, bar chart, pie chart, table, map, process and mixed charts. You must write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.
This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of a map of west park secondary school from the real IELTS exam. Find all the most recent task 1 topics here, my online courses here, and my full IELTS Ebooks here. Dave. IELTS Writing Task 1: Map West Park Secondary School
Step 2: Brainstorm your ideas. How you write your rough notes is entirely up to you. You might want to write your notes in a mind map or in bullet points or as a table. Whatever method you choose, take a few moments to jot down as many ideas or arguments as you can. 1.
Describing Maps in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. In this lesson. You may be asked to describe a map in task 1 of the IELTS Writing test, so today we are going to look at a test question, talk about some of the specific vocabulary that you would need to answer this question, and then try editing an answer. Emma Cosgrave. 21 September, 2020. Share.
WRITING. IELTS TASK 1 LEVEL 2 (U7-10) ... 72 TASK 9: Look at the map and fill the blanks with the phrases below:-a relocation -a future plan - in the north-east corner -to take over-adjacent to -no change-Improvements had been made to -was extended. 73 TASK 10: 74 TASK 11: The two maps below show the changes in the town ...
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Maps BestMyTest 146K subscribers Subscribe 4.2K 173K views 2 years ago IELTS Writing In this video, you are going to learn how to describe maps that you'll...