Writing Task 1 (Academic) FAQ


Hey there!

If you’re looking for some advice from real IELTS examiners to improve your score in Task 1 (Academic) of the IELTS Writing Test, then this is the right place.

Check out the FAQ below, and then make sure you check out the “8 most important tips” after!


IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic) – Important Information FAQ:

IELTS Task 1


8 Tips to Improve your Writing Task 1 (Academic) Score:


Writing is really something you need to practice in order to get better, and it will take time.

However, if you’re just looking for some quick tips and strategies you can apply right now for Task 1 Academic, here are the most important ones:

  • TIP #1: Organize your answer beforehand. Figure out what information you will put into Body Paragraph 1 and 2 before you start writing. Taking a minute or two to do this (or at least think about it) at the start will save you time in the end. And, candidates who organize their answers beforehand almost always get higher scores.
  • TIP #2: Be accurate. It’s important to be accurate when you mention the data in Task 1, so double check that it’s right! Incorrect data will lower your score.
    • Note that often it’s impossible to tell the exact number, year or amount of something from a graph! This is not a problem. All you need to do to be accurate in these cases is use words like “around 50km”, “about 15% higher”, “approximately 47”, if you can’t tell what the exact numbers are.
    • If you want some tips about how to accurately cite data, check out our lessons on Task 1 TOOLS.
  • TIP #3: Don’t try to be fancy! People often think they have to use very complicated grammar or special vocabulary on the IELTS test in order to impress examiners. You don’t! In fact, this is a really bad idea.
    • The best thing you can do here is just be simple and conversational in your style. Be yourself, and explain things in a natural way using words and grammar that you understand well. This will get you a great score… trust me!
    • The worst thing you can do is use complicated grammar or vocabulary incorrectly.
  • TIP #4: Don’t include personal opinions or speculation. Task 1 is just about reporting information that you see in the picture. You should not try to guess the reasons why things are happening, or give your opinions about it!


“Sales at the hamburger stand peaked in the summer months of July and August, reaching an average of over 90 burgers sold per day in both months.”


“Sales at the Hamburger stand peaked in the summer months of July and August, probably because more people were out enjoying the nice weather in these months.”

  • TIP #5: Don’t try to include everything on the graph. The instructions say to “Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features”, so stick to the most important information or trends, and don’t try to report every single little detail! This is not a science report, it’s just supposed to be a display of your ability to communicate key information.
    • Again, try to stick to reporting information about the most important features and trends, like high points, low points, sharp or dramatic increases or falls, and moments when one or more variables switched places or experienced other big changes. Basically, include anything that seems interesting.
  • TIP #6: Do link your observations together coherently! Don’t just list your observations one after another; compare and contrast them with other data in the picture.
  • TIP #7: Write clearly! If the examiner can’t read it, your score will drop! One easy way to do this is to practice writing bigger letters.
    • Note that you can print or handwrite, but I strongly recommend printing in large print so the examiner can read it. Have a friend or teacher look at your writing to make sure it’s readable!
  • TIP #8: PRACTICE! Okay, this one is obvious… but you will absolutely not get a good score unless you practice a lot!
    • Use the actual examination paper when you practice. This will make your practice more realistic, and it will help you count your words faster by just counting the lines and multiplying by your average words-per-line.
    • Practice with many different question types! To see what kinds of questions you might get on the test, check out Task 1 - Question Types.
    • If you would like an IELTS expert to take a look at a Task 1/2 for you, we can do that.

So, now you know what to expect from Task 1 (academic) of the IELTS Writing Test, and you have some advice to apply right now in your practice. Good luck.

The next step, for those who want to get more serious, is to go a little deeper into IELTS writing strategy. I recommend starting with How to Organize Your Task 1 Answer.


Good luck.