ESL and IELTS Help 4 U

Test Strategies – Writing Task 1

Posted on: June 14, 2010

Here are a few helpful hints about the first task of the writing test.

This task will ask you to analyze a diagram or one or two charts or graphs. You are asked to report the information and maybe compare information on two graphs.

1. Read the instructions closely.

2. Take a few minutes to look closely at the diagram or graph(s). Be sure you understand the information.

3. The first sentence of your essay should tell what the chart, process or diagram is about. Try to use words that are different from the words used on the test. You will be marked down if you copy the same wording.

3. If you have a diagram, then you need to write about a step by step process. What happens first? Second? Third? You will need connecting words like “then” or “after this step” or “next.”

4. If you have a chart or graph, what is the most important information? What is the main trend in the data?  Make sure you write this in your essay. Then go to the details.

5. You should take only about 20 minutes for this essay. This essay is supposed to be 150 words and you are marked down if you have less than 150. But don’t write too much over 150. If you do, you may run out of time.

6. Remember: in this essay you are reporting the data. You are not being asked your opinion about why or how. Just report what you see.

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