When you sit down to write the task 1 essay, you need to analyze the information that is provided to you. You will be judged on your command of vocabulary and ability to describe the information presented in the graph, map or chart. Here are a few more tips to help you achieve success :
- Know your graphs. Before you settle in to write, you need to identify the graph you’ll be working from. Is it a bar graph? Pie chart? Line graph? Take the time to learn the types of chart and the sort of information they represent. While you should practice all areas of the test, you’re very likely to get a graph on the day of the test.
- Practice your word count. The test is hand-written, so you need to practice ahead of time and know about how many words you have on each line. This will allow you to quickly estimate when you’ve reached the minimum 150 words on the test. When you’re practicing, be sure to use a printable sample of the writing task.
- Be specific. As you describe the data in the chart or graph, keep in mind that you are trying to give the same information in the graph to someone who has never seen it. If you have described the data correctly and in detail, that person should be able to reproduce the chart you are describing. Does your answer give enough details?
- Take time to analyze. With such a tight time limit, it may be tempting to write and figure out the graph as you go. This will result in a poorly written report and you could lose points for that. You will have better results if you take a few minutes at the beginning to analyze your chart or graph, decide how to present the information and then begin to write.
- Double check the data. Once you are finished writing the essay, look back and double check all the data you have used. It’s easy to mix up numbers or to write down the wrong statistic. Don’t lose points because you didn’t make time to check this.
There’s no way to predict which graph or chart you will be assigned on the day of the test, so be sure to practice with all of them. Remember to use lots of details and to keep the information easy to read. Since this is a good, short section, it will be finished before you know it.
Here’s a sample line graph essay for Task 1.
The graph below shows in percentage terms the changing patterns of domestic access to modern technology in homes in the U.K.
Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task and write at least 150 words.
1) Read the title and labels carefully.
2) Look for 2 main features or trends that stand out. Straight away you can see access for all 4 technologies increase. I also noticed that the growth for CD players and home computers were very similar – steady with similar gains. And the growth for mobile phones & internet use was faster (steeper rise in shorter time). So I decide to focus on those trends and to organize my essay around that.
3) Structure :
1st paragraph: Paraphrase title of chart
2nd paragraph: Overview/summary paragraph where you clearly state the main trends you identified.
3rd paragraph: Details about first trend – CD player & computer
4th paragraph: Details about second trend – mobile phones & internet use
No need for a conclusion since you are just relating data. No need for any subjective interpretations or opinions on the content.
My full essay (165 words):
The graph shows the upward trend of household access to CD players, mobile phones, home computers and the internet in the UK from 1996 to 2003.
We can see that while overall domestic usage for all personal technology steadily increased, there was a more dramatic rise in mobile phone usage and internet access, which had only started to be recorded from 1998.
In 1996, CD players were by far the most accessible at 60 % of UK households, increasing steadily to just over 80% by 2003. Similarly, home computer accessibility also steadily gained about 20% from roughly 30% to 50% domestic usage.
On the other hand, while mobile phones started with the lowest accessibility in 1996 at about 18% usage, it climbed dramatically, surpassing home computers at the beginning of 1999 to about 70% usage by 2003. Similarly, internet access, which roughly only 10% of all households had in 1998, quickly climbed significantly to being used by almost half of all UK households by 2003.
** For more examples with step-by-step explanation see IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 E-book
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