This is the part of the test that iscounted for one-third of the writing score. The main types of diagram in this section are: Line graphs, Pie charts, Bar charts, Tables, Processes, Maps and Multiple charts.

Depending on the type of diagram, there will be a way to write the topic and choose appropriate words. However, in this post Testuru will introduce you the general notes for all types of charts.

First of all, you need to understand that IELTS Writing task 1 is a test to inspect your proficiency in selecting, describing and presenting information in an objective way, not with the writer's perspective.

1. The format of IELTS Writing task 1

IELTS Writing task 1
IELTS Writing task 1

 - Introduction - Introduce the chart

- Overview - General view

- Detail 1 (Detailed information, similarities and differences)

- Detail 2 (Detailed information, similarities and differences)

2. How to write the Introduction

cách viết bài và tips của IELTS writing task 1
how to do the ielts writing task 1

The introduction is about answering the question: What does the chart describe? The beginning of the paragraph is usually from 1 - 2 sentences introducing the chart. As usual, this opening sentence is also the question in the topic, but you are not allowed to write exactly the same as the topic. You should use the "paraphrase" method. "Paraphrase" is a way of rewriting the topic but using your ideas and vocabularies. This is the quickest and easiest way to get the point for this first part.

  • Example:

Đề bài task 1 như sau: “The table below shows the figures for imprisonment in five countries between 1930 and 1980”

Có thể được viết lại như sau: “The bar chart compares the number of people in prison in five different countries over a period of 50 years.”

Common phrases used to open a paragraph are:

The bar chart(s)/pie chart(s)/ map(s)/table(s)/chart(s)/linegraph(s) ... number of

  • Example:

Topic: "The table below shows figures for imprisonment in five countries between 1930 and 1980"

It can be rewritten as: "The bar chart compares the number of people in prison in five countries over a period of 50 years."

3. How to write the Overview

Just like the meaning of the word “Overview”, this is the part that you will find out the overall view of the given diagram. In this paragraph, you need to mention general changes or main points, not specific details of each type.

Only write 1-2 sentences for this overview. Writing too long might make you wander and easily make mistakein writing detailed information.

You can see that this overview is quite similar to the conclusion of an essay. And you can leave this section at the beginning of the essay or at the end of it. However, task 1 is a description of the chart, it does not require a personal opinion. This is a reason why it is called the Overview, not Conclusion.

Phrases are often used to write the Overview 

+ Overall

+ It is clear that

cách viết bài và tips của IELTS writing task 1
how to write overview in writing task 1

4. How to write the Detail Paragraphs

After writing Introduction and Overview,you will continue to write detailed analysis of the charts.

According to the structure of most writing task 1, we will have 2 paragraphs to clarify the details of the chart. Each detailed paragraph usually consists of 3 - 5 sentences.

To complete the detailed paragraphs, we should group the information, which means finding similarities and differences of the data mentioned in the papers and charts. The graph usually gives information to compare between two similar things or events. Our task is to find the similarities and differences, then putting them into "detail paragraphs".


cách viết bài và tips của IELTS writing task 1
how to write detail paragraphs

5. Checking after finishing

To ensure the accuracy of the writing, with both task 1 and task 2, you need to spend a short time to re-check your essay in case of losing points because of unworthy errors due to your carelessness. 

checking errors
checking errors

Some tips that you must pay attention when writing Ielts writing task 1

• Spelling, punctuation and grammar.

• The verb tense (with singular, and past tense).

• Check the context.

• Be careful with the repetition of vocabulary.

• Diversify sentence structure and grammar.

• Does the article cover all the main points or highlights?

• The number of words is sufficient with the request.

6. Time Management

cách viết bài và tips của IELTS writing task 1
be careful with the time

You will spend about 20 minutes on task 1.This is not a long time for an exam, so you need to allocate reasonable time to do the test. One suggestion from Testuru is that you should divide the time into 4 stages, each stage is about 5 minutes and every 5 minutes is spent onone paragraph.

  • Stage 1: Take 5 minutes to read the question and select the main information that you decide to put in your essay.
  • Stage 2, 3, 4: Spend about 5 minutes each paragraph for the Overview, Detail 1, Detail 2 sections.

Note: you should spend about 1 to 2 minutes at the end to check the whole article, so trying to shorten a bit time for the writing.

7. How to do Ielts Writing task 1 effectively?

  • Understand 7 types of topics in Ielts writing task 1.
  • Practice “paraphrase” (this is the most essential skills for your introduction).
  • Practice writing the Overview (remember clearly that it is the Overview, not Conclusion).
  • Read a lot and learn how to select details to put in your paragraph, especially the comparison in the 2 Detail parts.
  • Cultivate vocabularies and know how to use flexible adverbs (especially trending adverbs).
  • Try to follow the 4-part layout as stated, this is the most appropriate format for task 1 writing.
  • Try to write as much as possible, only regular practice can help you improve your writing skills.

8. Typical errors in IELTS Writing task 1

cách viết bài và tips của IELTS writing task 1
mistakes that we must say "no" in writing task 1

• Absolutely do not repeat the topic when writing Introduction, paraphrase them.

• Do not write too many paragraphs, 4 sections according to the basic structure will be the right choice and the most suitable format.

• Do not spend too much time on this test, this part only accounts for 1/3 of the writing score, so you should spend a reasonable time on this section. (20 minutes will be a perfect time for task 1).

• Do not write too much information, which easily leads to the rambling idea​​ so that you might not get into the main issue.

• Do not focus on describing each diagram separately, you should use multiple comparison structures and comparisons should be used throughout the whole article instead of focusing on individual descriptions.

So these are the methodsand alsosomepoints which you should be concentrated of. Testuru introduces to you and we hope that you can successfully apply to achieve a high score in the writing section of IELTS.

Good luck. 

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