Navigating IELTS Task 1 - the easy way

Add an extra 33% to your result

There is another way to do the IELTS writing exam, and it is not what you have been taught in school or at university.  This blog will change your entire way of thinking.  As the subtitle suggests, there is 33% that is very easy to get when you know what to do.  Many students simply don't prepare enough for this task and consequently add to the pressure of doing well in task 2.  Instead we recommend spending about 50% of your preparation time on task 1 and taking the pressure off task 2.

Types of IELTS task 1

There are many different types of information that students are tasked to summarise on the IELTS test including bar charts, line charts, pie charts and diagrams.  Many would argue that the most difficult to write about are maps or diagrams as they are very different to the charts that you are asked to summarise, so we will look at these first.  




Stay focused

When presented with multiple pieces of information, it is easy to move from object to object in no particular order, all the while trying to display a use of large vocabulary words that you have memorized for the test.  Unfortunately, this is a method that will result in a score that fails to meet the expectations that you set prior to the exam, as it disorients the reader.

Two Strategies

Two strategies that guarantee a much better result are a top down approach or a walk through approach.  By doing this, it is not necessary for your reader to see your the data that you were provided with, because they can use your skillfully crafted words to draw a picture in their own heads.  We will start with the top down approach as it is considered my many of my student as the easiest to master.

IELTS - Top Down Approach

Imagine that you are flying an aerial drone and and that you are flying over the island that you have to summarize for the reader.  Where does your eye naturally move to?  If you answered that it starts at the biggest objects first before taking in more of the smaller detail, then you are 100% correct. 

The tricky bit is that, to really get a top result you need to make sure that you are comparing all of the information that you have been given and breaking it up into paragraphs.  This can be done using things like before and after, big and small, cheap and expensive, outdated and modern, and process position.  In this example we will use before and after.  Early in your writing you can tell the reader how the object started out, before describing the renovations that were made.  

IELTS - Walk though

The second technique is to walk the reader through the diagram that you have been provided with.  As in all diagrams and with all maps, there is a logical starting point.  This will be the position where you would commence if you were using your own legs to wander around.  Now I say use your own legs on purpose as, I want you to think this way of relation to your descriptions of any data that you are trying to explain.  This is the best way to avoid jumping from location to location disorienting the person responsible for giving you your result.  Again, don't forget to compare all the diagrams that you have been given.

Conclusion - Task 1 Diagrams

To see how to describe task 1 using the techniques explained above, click here and let our expert explain the best ways guarantee you get the highest grade possible.  The best part about this tutorial is that you can transfer the skills to lots of different questions.