Introduction to Task 1
In this lesson, we look at what you need to know about task 1. This lesson has a video, but If you’re short of time, feel free to skip it and move directly to the text and quizzes below. Once you have finished this lesson, click on the ‘complete’ at the bottom of this page. Happy studying!
Here is an example of academic task 1. Source: ielts.org
Frequently asked questions about task 1
There are two parts to both the General and Academic writing test. Writing task 1 is a report (for academic) or letter (for general), and writing task 2 is an essay (for both).
The General training test is mainly taken by people who want to migrate to a foreign country. For this test, students need to write a letter for task 1 and an essay for task 2.
The Academic test is mainly taken by people who want to enter a college or university. For this test, students need to write an academic report for Task 1 (based on a bar chart or other types of graphics), and an essay for Task 2. Most people do the Academic test.
Many people think that the General test is easier than the Academic test. This is because most people have more practice writing letters than writing reports.
In the paper based IELTS test, you need to write using a pen or pencil. In the computer delivered IELTS test, you have a computer to write your answers.
They are the same test. However, in general people can type faster than they write. If you write slowly or struggle with time pressure, then it might be better to do the computer based exam.
Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones, pagers and electronic devices of any kind must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone/pager or any other electronic devices, or keep it on you, you will be disqualified. Personal watches are not allowed in the test room.
The listening, reading, and writing tests are always completed immediately after each other (in that order) within the same day. The speaking test is held either on the same day or seven days before or two days after, depending on where you are doing the test.
You can make notes and plan on the question paper (We highly recommend this).
We recommend quickly reading task 2 first to know what the question is, but starting task 1 first. If you do this, your brain will begin to think of ideas for task 2 while completing task 1. Writing task 2 is worth more marks but, in our experience, most students score lower in task 1 so it is important to spend 20-25 minutes on task 1.
You should write more than 150 words for task 1. There is no limit to how long your answer can be. You can put up your hand and the supervisor will give you more paper.
You don’t need to write a conclusion, but you should write an overview (at the beginning or end of your answer). How to write an overview is covered in this course.
The main types of graphic for task 1 are: table, line graph, bar graph, stacked bar graph, pie chart, process diagram, and map. You can also have a combination of two of these together. All graphic types are covered in this course.
Task 2 is worth double your task 1 score. However, most students get a lower score in task 1 and see greater improvements in their writing score by focusing on task 1.