The INSTRUCTION of "How to write IELTS TASK 1?"


This part accounted 1/3 of the overall score. There are 7 main types in this section, which are: Line graphs, Pie charts, Bar charts, Tables, Processes, Maps và Multiple charts. 

Depending on the feature of each chart type, the words and structures required will be different. But in this article, Testuru will introduce the general method for all types of IELTS writing task 1 to you.

First, you need to understand IELTS Task 1 is a test to inspect your linguistic ability to select, describe and present examinees' views in an objective way.

1. Structure of a writing task 1

IELTS Writing task 1
Ielts writing

- Introduction ( Introcue the chart)

- Overview (The general overview, the comprehensive look)

- Detail 1 (Detailed information, comparison of similarities and differences)

- Detail 2 (Detailed information, comparison of similarities and differences)

2. How to write Introduction

how to do Ielts writing task 1
how to do Ielts writing task 1

The content of the introduction is to answer the question: What does the graph describe?

The beginning of a paragraph will always be 1-2 sentences introducing the chart. As usual, this opening sentence is also the question of the problem that you see in the topic, but you will not write exactly the same as that, you must use the method "paraphrase".

"Paraphrase" is a way of rewriting a topic but using your ideas and vocabulary. This is the quickest and easiest way to get point for the Intro.

Commonly used phrases for opening paragraphs are:

The bar chart(s)/ pie chart(s)/ map(s)/ table(s)/ chart(s)/ line graph(s)… show(s)/ illustrate(s)/ compare(s)/ figure(s) for/ number of …


The topic of task 1 is as follows: “The table below shows the figures for imprisonment in five countries between 1930 and 1980.”

Rewrite: “The bar chart compares the number of people in prison in five different countries over a period of 50 years.”

3. How to write Overview

As the meaning of the name, this is the section for us to give the most general overview of the given graph. In this article, you need to list the most general changes or points, rather than going into specific details of each category.

Only 1-2 sentences should be written for this part. Writing too long will make you ramble around and make mistakes in writing details.

Sometimes you may find that this overview is quite similar to the conclusion of an article. So you can put this part at the beginning as well as the end of the article. However, because task 1 is a chart description, it does not require personal comment, so this is called an overview, you should not give an individual opinion and conclusion.

Phrases are often used to start Overview:

+ Overall

+ It is clear that

how to write overview in writing task 1
how to write overview in writing task 1

4. How to write Detail Paragraphs

After finishing the Introduction and Overview, you will move on to the detailed analysis of charts.

According to the structure of most writing task 1, we will have 2 paragraphs to give more details about the information of the chart. Usually, each detailed paragraph will consist of 3-5 sentences.

To complete the content in the detailed paragraphs, we should use the information grouping method. It is finding out the similarities and differences of the figures given in the papers and charts, then, group them together. Usually, the chart will give information to compare two things or similar things. Your task will be to find the similarities and differences, then group them into "detail paragraphs".

how to write detail paragraphs
how to write detail paragraphs

5. Check the post after finishing

To make sure the accuracy of the article, with task 1 and task 2, you need to spend a short time to check your writing to prevent loss of points due to unnecessary errors like carelessness.

checking again
checking again

Noting points when writing IELTS writing task 1:

  • Spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • The tense of the verb (with the singular and the past tense).
  • Check the context of the verbs.
  • Consider the repetition of the vocabulary.
  • Diversify sentence structure and grammar.
  • Has the article covered all the highlights or highlights?
  • Check if the number of words is enough for the request.

6. Time management

be careful with your time
be careful with your time

You will spend about 20 minutes on task 1 writing, this is not a long time for an exam, so you need to allocate a reasonable time to work effectively. It is suggested that you divide the time into 4 stages, each step is about 5 minutes and every 5 minutes corresponding to one paragraph.

+ Step 1: Take 5 minutes to read and understand the question and select the main data that you decide to include in the article.

+ Step 2, 3, 4: Spend about 5 minutes each paragraph for the Overview, Detail 1, Detail 2.

Note: you need to spend about 1-2 minutes late to check the whole article, so try to shorten the time for the above section a bit.

7. How to practice IELTS Writing task 1 effectively?

  • Know clearly the 7 types of topics in IELTS writing task 1.
  • Practice 'paraphrase' (this is one of the key points and also the most essential skill for your introduction).
  • Practice writing Overview (remember that it is Overview, not Conclusion).
  • Read a lot and learn how to select the details to include in the article, especially the comparison in the 2 Detail paragraphs.
  • Improve vocabulary and flexible adverb usage (especially trending adverbs).
  • Try to stick to the 4-part layout as outlined, this is the most appropriate layout for task 1 writing.
  • Try to write as much as possible, only regular practice will help you improve your writing skills.

8. Typical errors in the IELTS Writing task 1

things you need to say "no" trong writing task 1
things you need to say "no" trong writing task 1
  • Do not repeat the topic of Introduction, paraphrase them.
  • Do not write too many paragraphs, 4 paragraphs based on the basic structure will be the best and most suitable choice.
  • Do not spend too much time on this part, this section only accounts for 1/3 of the points so you should also allocate a reasonable time. (20 minutes will be a good time for task 1).
  • Do not write too much information. It would make you easily lead to rambling ideas and not getting to the main point.
  • Do not focus on describing each chart separately, use multiple comparison structures and the comparison should be throughout the whole article instead of focusing on the separate description.

The above is the method as well as the notes that Testuru would recommend to you. I hope you can successfully apply it to practice so that you can get a high score in the IELTS writing section.

Good luck!

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