Ielts Writing Task 1

America's total student debt, at over $1.5trn, is larger than the national borrowing of most countries. It has quintupled in kích cỡ since 2004, overtaking both borrowing on credit cards and car finance.

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I've highlighted a few useful features in the two sentences:

adding a statistic between two commas using "at"a comparative: larger thancohesion (referencing) using the pronoun "it"quintupled = increased fivefoldovertaking: you may be able lớn use this word when describing a graphcomparing và contrasting using "both... And..."

If you're reading articles in English, look out for real examples of the types of mô tả tìm kiếm that you might use for an IELTS task.


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February 20, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: comparing numbers


Fill the gaps in the following text using the words below it. If you find any of the gaps difficult, miss them & come back to lớn them after doing the easier ones.

Emigration from the UK

The number of people leaving the UK for 12 months or more ______ ______ record ______ in 2008, ______ an estimated 427,000 people emigrating. This ______ ______ from 341,000 in 2007.

There has been a large ______ ______ the number of people emigrating for work related reasons, particularly those with a definite job lớn go to. In 2008 an estimated 136,000 people emigrated from the UK to take up a definite job, ______ ______ 100,000 in 2007.

- in- high- increase- up- reached- with (x2)- a- compared- was


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February 13, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: the opposite of "doubled"?


You probably know how khổng lồ describe a 'double' increase. For example:

The number of x doubled.There was a twofold increase in x.

But how bởi we express the opposite e.g. A decrease from 10 lớn 5?


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February 06, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: paraphrasing examples


Here are my suggestions for the paraphrasing exercise that I gave you last Thursday. Notice that I try to keep my paraphrasing quite simple.a

consumer spending on five different products =the amount of money that people spent on five itemsthe consumption of rice & pasta in three European countries =the amounts of rice and pasta that people in (name the countries) eatchanges in the cost of renting a home between 2009 & 2019 =information about residential rental prices over a 10-year periodthe market giới thiệu percentage of four UK electricity suppliers =the proportion of the UK electricity market served by (four names)

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January 30, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: noun phrase practice


Can you paraphrase (rewrite in a different way) the noun phrases below?

consumer spending on five different productsthe consumption of rice & pasta in three European countrieschanges in the cost of renting a trang chủ between 2009 and 2019the market chia sẻ percentage of four UK electricity suppliers

Note: There are no verbs in the phrases above, so they are not sentences.


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January 23, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: long noun phrases


One feature of many academic task 1 answers is this: the verbs that we use are often easy, but the noun phrases that we write are long và relatively difficult.

Look at the following examples from my most recent sample answer:

Verbs are highlighted in green.Noun phrases are highlighted in blue.

Export revenues in all but one of the five sản phẩm categories increased.The country’s export earnings from these goods went up by 8.5%.

So, don't try to lớn impress the examiner with the verb structures that you use in writing task 1. Work on your noun phrases instead.


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January 16, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: collocations và phrases


Here are some good collocations & phrases from the sample answer that I shared last week.

Remember: a collocation is a group of words that are often used (and work well) together e.g. Increased significantly, export earnings, textile industry.

a country's export earningsexport revenuesincome fromearnings fromthe highest earning exportsit is noticeable thatfive sản phẩm categoriesover the period shownthe textile industrysaw the most significant growth inrose from... To...which was an increase ofreached a similar levelwent up by... Lớn approximately...there was a ...% increase inrising from roughly... To...there was almost no change inthe amount of money earnedwhich remained at just overdecline in incomefell by ...% to...

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January 09, 2020


IELTS Writing Task 1: two-chart answer


The chart below shows the value of one country's exports in various categories during năm ngoái and 2016. The table shows the percentage change in each category or exports in 2016 compared with 2015.

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(Source: Cambridge IELTS 14)

Here's my band 9 sample answer:

The bar chart và table give information about a country's export earnings from five groups of products in 2015 and 2016.

It is noticeable that export revenues in all but one of the five product categories increased over the period shown. While petroleum products were the highest earning exports in both years, the textile industry saw the most significant growth in earnings.

Export earnings from petroleum products rose from around $61 billion in năm ngoái to $63 billion in 2016, which was an increase of 3%. Income from engineered goods reached a similar level. The country’s export earnings from these goods went up by 8.5% khổng lồ approximately $62 billion in 2016.

From năm ngoái to 2016, there was a 15.24% increase in export revenue from textiles, with earnings rising from roughly $25 billion to over $30 billion. By contrast, there was almost no change in the amount of money earned from agricultural products, which remained at just over $30 billion. Finally, the only decline in income occurred in the gems và jewellery hàng hóa group, where export earnings fell by around 5% lớn approximately $40 billion in 2016.


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The easiest way lớn write your task 1 introduction is by paraphrasing the task statement.

The task statement in this lesson contains two sentences:

The chart below shows the value of one country's exports in various categories during 2015 and 2016. The table shows the percentage change in each category or exports in năm nhâm thìn compared with 2015.

Let's try to lớn paraphrase this in just one sentence:

The bar chart & table give information about a country's export earnings from five groups of products in 2015 and 2016.

Note:- "give information about" is a good phrase when we have two related charts.- Try to lớn make your introduction concise rather than complicated.


When there's a strong relationship between the two charts (as below), it makes sense to lớn connect the information in your 'details' paragraphs.

Let's try writing two sentences using the information that I've highlighted.

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1) Connect the information highlighted in yellow:

Export earnings from petroleum products rose from around $61 billion in năm ngoái to $63 billion in 2016, which was an increase of 3%.

2) Connect the information highlighted in green:

There was a 15.24% increase in export revenue from textiles, with earnings rising from roughly $25 billion khổng lồ over $30 billion.


The overview or summary is a very important part of your task 1 answer. Before you write your overview, you need to lớn identify the key features, trends or differences. Look at the 'big picture' rather than small details, and summarise the information without mentioning any numbers.

Look at the key features that I've highlighted in yellow below.

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Here's a two-sentence overview, describing the highlighted features:

It is noticeable that export revenues in all but one of the five sản phẩm categories rose over the period shown. While petroleum products were the highest earning exports in both years, the textile industry saw the most significant growth in earnings.


A few people have asked me for help with the following task from Cambridge IELTS 14. Let's start with a simple question:

Would you compare the chart and table, or describe them separately?

The chart below shows the value of one country's exports in various categories during năm ngoái and 2016. The table shows the percentage change in each category or exports in năm nhâm thìn compared with 2015.

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Let's look at the 'future tense' exercise that I gave you last Thursday. Have you ever tried playing around with verb tenses lượt thích this?

Here's the original paragraph, with verbs in the past tense:

In 1985, the average person travelled 3,199 miles by car, & this rose to lớn 4,806 miles in the year 2000. The figures for miles travelled by train, long distance bus, taxi and other modes also increased from 1985 lớn 2000. Travel by taxi saw the most significant change, with more than a threefold increase from 13 miles per person per year in 1985 to lớn 42 miles in 2000.

Now let's write the same mô tả tìm kiếm as a future prediction:

In 2025, it is predicted that the average person will travel 3,199 miles by car, and this will rise lớn 4,806 miles in the year 2030. The figures for miles travelled by train, long distance bus, taxi & other modes are also expected lớn increase from 2025 to lớn 2030. Travel by xe taxi should see the most significant change, with a projected increase from 13 miles per person per year in 2025 lớn 42 miles in 2030.


A student asked me for advice about describing future years. Let's vì chưng a simple exercise lớn practise this.

Change the following 'past description' into a future description.

In 1985, the average person travelled 3,199 miles by car, and this rose lớn 4,806 miles in the year 2000. The figures for miles travelled by train, long distance bus, taxi và other modes also increased from 1985 to 2000. Travel by taxi saw the most significant change, with more than a threefold increase from 13 miles per person per year in 1985 to 42 miles in 2000.

For example, we could begin lượt thích this:

In 2025, it is predicted that the average person will travel 3,199 miles by car...


In the latest lesson on my thành viên site, I talked about the problem of using synonyms. For example, if you're describing a chart that shows percentages of poverty, you might think that you need to lớn use synonyms of the word poverty in your answer.

If you look for synonyms of 'poverty' in a dictionary, you'll find words like:

destitution, pennilessness, deprivation, impoverishment, pauperism

Unfortunately, these words will seem forced và unnatural. Also, you don't have access lớn a dictionary in your test, & it's unlikely that you would have these words in your head.

My advice in the video clip lesson was this: showroom variety by using collocations instead of synonyms. For example:

Collocations with the word poverty:

poverty rateslevels of povertybelow the poverty line

Collocations with the adjective (poor) instead of the noun (poverty):

poor peoplepeople who were classed as poorpoorer individuals

In the academic test, this is the best way to lớn reduce repetition và to showroom variety khổng lồ your task 1 answers.

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You might assume that mistakes affect only your grammar score. But some mistakes are vocabulary mistakes. For example:

a spelling mistakea word formation mistake (e.g. Incorrect formation of a past participle)a word choice mistake (e.g. Inappropriate or unnatural use of a word)

For me, word choice is the big one. If you want khổng lồ be a good writer, even in your own language, word choice is the skill that you need khổng lồ develop. Interestingly, we refer to lớn the greatest writers, lượt thích Shakespeare, as 'wordsmiths' due lớn their mastery of word choice.

So, the next time you're writing in English, try to imagine yourself as a 'wordsmith'. Think about the different vocabulary options that you have, và make word choice your priority as you write.

I'll be going deeper into this aspect of the writing demo in the next few video clip lessons on my member site.


One feature of many academic task 1 answers is this: the verbs that we use are often 'easy', but the noun phrases that we write are long & relatively difficult.

Look at the following examples from last week's answer:

Verbs are highlighted in green.Noun phrases are highlighted in blue.

The total number of miles travelled by English people using all modes of transport increased significantly.The figures for miles travelled by train, long distance bus, taxi & other modes also increased.There was a fall in the average distances for three forms of transport, namely walking, bicycle and local bus.

We could represent these sentence structures lượt thích this:

x increased significantly.x also increased.There was a fall in x.

(x = noun / noun phrase)

Have a look at your own task 1 answers. Can you find some 'easy' verbs và long noun phrases?


The table below gives information about changes in modes of travel in England between 1985 and 2000.m

Average distance in miles travelled per person per year, by mode of travel

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aHere's my full sample answer. We'll analyse it next week.

The chart shows average distances that people in England travelled using different forms of transport in the years 1985 và 2000.

It is clear that the total number of miles travelled by English people using all modes of transport increased significantly between 1985 & 2000. The car was by far the most used khung of transport in both years.

In 1985, the average person travelled 3,199 miles by car, & this rose lớn 4,806 miles in the year 2000. The figures for miles travelled by train, long distance bus, taxi và other modes also increased from 1985 to 2000. Travel by taxi saw the most significant change, with more than a threefold increase from 13 miles per person per year in 1985 to lớn 42 miles in 2000.

There was a fall in the average distances for three forms of transport, namely walking, bicycle and local bus. In 1985, English people walked an average of 255 miles, but this figure fell by 18 miles in 2000. Bicycle use fell from 51 to 41 miles over the period shown, while the biggest downward change was in the use of local buses, with average miles per person falling from 429 lớn 274 over the 15-year period.


When the graph or chart contains a lot of information, you won't be able to lớn include every number. Here's an example of how you might giảm giá khuyến mãi with this problem.

Task: My aim is to write a paragraph about the information highlighted in yellow. I want to lớn write three sentences only!

Average distance in miles travelled per person per year, by mode of travel

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Here's my three-sentence paragraph about the 'yellow' data:

In 1985, the average person travelled 3,199 miles by car, và this rose khổng lồ 4,806 miles in the year 2000. The figures for miles travelled by train, long distance bus, taxi and other modes also increased from 1985 lớn 2000. Travel by xe taxi saw the most significant change, with more than a threefold increase from 13 miles per person per year in 1985 to 42 miles in 2000.

Analysis questions:

1. Did I mention every mode of travel highlighted in yellow?2. How many numbers did I mention specifically?3. Which modes of travel did I choose lớn focus on, & why?


To describe the information in the table below, it would be a good idea to find a way to lớn group it.

I usually try lớn create two information groups, so that I can write two separate 'details' paragraphs. I've used green & yellow highlighting lớn suggest a way to lớn create these two paragraph groups.

..........

The table below gives information about changes in modes of travel in England between 1985 and 2000.

Average distance in miles travelled per person per year, by mode of travel

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..........

Can you see what connects the data in the green và yellow groups?


The table below gives information about changes in modes of travel in England between 1985 và 2000.m

Average distance in miles travelled per person per year, by mode of travel

*

Here are two 'overview' paragraphs for the table above. Which vì chưng you prefer? What 'technique' did I use when writing them?

Overview 1It is clear that the oto was by far the most used mode of travel in both years. Overall, English people travelled significantly more in 2000 than in 1985.

Overview 2It is clear that the total number of miles travelled by English people using all modes of transport increased significantly between 1985 & 2000. The car was by far the most used size of transport in both years.


A student asked me khổng lồ look at the following task, which comes from Cambridge IELTS book 6 (test 2).

The table below gives information about changes in modes of travel in England between 1985 và 2000.

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Quick task: What main or general trends would you choose for your overview paragraph? Think about how lớn summarise the information.


In last Thursday's lesson I asked you to suggest where we could địa chỉ one extra detail to my 'fish pie' answer. I had forgotten lớn write that the pie is in a microwaveable container.

People suggested two sensible places to địa chỉ cửa hàng this detail.

1) At the beginning of paragraph 2:

The fish pie contains salmon, peas, sauce & potatoes in a microwaveable container.

2) In the last sentence of paragraph 4:

The resulting fish pies are placed in microwaveable containers, wrapped, frozen và then stored or dispatched.


Here's my full description of the fish pie process diagrams:

..........

The pictures illustrate the ingredients that go into a factory-made fish pie, và the various steps in its production.

The pie contains salmon, peas, sauce and potatoes, & there are ten stages in its manufacture, from delivery lớn dispatch. One of the ingredients, potato, goes through its own six-stage preparation process before it can be added to the pie.

Potatoes are the first ingredient to be prepared on the production line. They are delivered lớn the factory up lớn a month before the process begins, & they must be cleaned, peeled và sliced. Potato peelings are thrown away, và the sliced potatoes are boiled, then chilled & stored.

When fresh salmon arrives at the factory, lemon juice & salt are added, and the fish is cooked in a steam oven within 12 hours of delivery. Next, factory workers remove & dispose of the skin và bones, and the fish is inspected. Following inspection, pre-prepared peas, sauce and potatoes are added. The resulting fish pies are wrapped, frozen và then stored or dispatched.

(175 words, band 9)

..........

Task: I forgot to mention that the fish pie is in a microwaveable container. Where could you địa chỉ this information in my answer?


Can you create a paragraph from the following list of sentences? You'll need to use linking & sequencing words (and, then, next, after which etc.).

The sentences describe part of this diagram.

- Fresh salmon is delivered to lớn the factory.- Lemon juice and salt are added to lớn the salmon.- The salmon is cooked in a steam oven within 12 hours of delivery.- Factory workers remove và dispose of the skin & bones.- The fish is inspected.- Prepared peas, sauce & potatoes are added.- The resulting fish pies are wrapped.- They are frozen và then stored or dispatched.