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IELTS Writing Task 1

This section of the IELTS Writing Examination allows you to demonstrate your proficiency in writing when prompted by a verbal, textual, or visual cue.

This page contains lessons, tips, and ideas on how to successfully prepare for IELTS General and Academic Writing Task 1. We have included a number of important details that you need to remember to achieve your best possible score.

Basic Information For IELTS Writing Test 1

In writing task 1, you will receive an evaluation and grade equally based upon your performance in the following areas:

  • Achieving the assigned task
  • Coherent and cohesive writing
  • Vocabulary use
  • Correct grammar

You also need to remain aware of IELTS examination guidelines and suggestions that can help you better understand how to take the test. These include:

  • While you may take as long as you wish, try to budget no more than 20 minutes for this section. Take between three and five minutes to compose an outline to organise your thoughts.
  • Plan to write more than 150 words. Between 160 and 180 is considered optimal.
  • Writing Task 1 equals 33 percent, or one third, of your final grade on this exam.
  • IELTS academic writing task 1 asks you to compose a report based on analysing a chart or a graph.
  • The General Training writing task focuses on writing a personal or a business letter.
  • All words will be counted towards the total.
  • All numbers only count as one word.

How To Increase Your Score On Task Achievement

Evaluation criteria for writing task 1 focus on the mastery of clear expression in the English language. The test respondent should practice the writing techniques described below. Using these helps to demonstrate proficiency in English expression and will lead to higher scores:

  • Describe all key features of the chart assigned for the task.
  • Highlight the most important key features in a preliminary overview.
  • Use statistics, dates, and other data to provide supporting points and evidence.
  • Make sure that any information included has a factual basis.
  • Do not express a personal opinion on any part of the topic.
  • Conform writing to coverage of facts that can be demonstrated by the materials assigned.
  • The composition needs to meet or exceed 150 words.

How To Increase Your Coherence And Cohesion Score

Using the right words correctly and giving an explanation of the provided materials will only go so far to produce your best possible score.

Your essay response must also follow general English rules of understandability. The writing must be organised in such a way as to be well understood by most English readers.

Practice the following to boost your score on coherence and cohesion.

  • Use an outline to plan how to present the information in your writing.
  • Prioritise the most important information first and least necessary at the end.
  • Your essay needs to have four complete body paragraphs.
  • Use a variety of different linking devices to improve writing “flow.”
    Stay away from linking word errors.
  • Correctly words that indicate reference, such as “this” or “it”.

How To Boost Your Score In Vocabulary Usage

Using advanced levels of vocabulary will help to increase your score. We, however, suggest that you stick to words that you have already mastered. Misuse of advanced syntax can lower your score. The following tips should help you perform better to meet IELTS criteria:

  • Use the widest possible range of vocabulary without affecting cohesion and comprehensibility.
  • Use precise vocabulary for presenting data and evidence.
  • Understand proper and conventional ways of matching verbs and nouns.
    Spelling counts.
  • Avoid misuse of words, informal language, slang, or “texting language.”

How To Make Sure You Score Your Best In Grammar

Proper grammar represents one of the most important benchmarks in measuring your ability to express yourself effectively in the English language. To score better in grammar, we suggest focusing on the following:

  • Use different types of sentence structure.
  • Make sure that you write in the proper tense, which is the same one presented in the materials. Stay consistent with the verb tense especially.
  • Follow language conventions in word order, such as placing the adjective before the noun or the verb prior to the adverb.
  • Avoid ending sentences with prepositions.
  • Use proper and appropriate punctuation.

Other Important Tips

Obtain a list of the six main charts and graphs used in IELTS writing task 1. Study them and become familiar with how to both use and describe the information presented. Pick out and then examine the key points from each chart.

Get a list of vocabulary terms commonly used with each type of chart or graph. Become comfortable using and applying these terms in explanations or discussions. Remember to be sure of any word that you use in both spelling and meaning. Mistakes will reduce your grade in this section.

Scoring well in grammar does not only mean abiding by the rules. To get the best possible score, you must demonstrate proficiency in using different types of complex sentence structures to create a more natural and less staccato flow. Correct usage of different types of linking words to express complex ideas and situations is a key indicator of grammar mastery.

Structure your essay in the following manner. Divide your essay into four main paragraphs, although sometimes a short fifth introductory paragraph is appropriate. Following the introduction comes the overview, important because it lays the foundation for the main points to come. Forgetting or downplaying the importance of the overview paragraph will cost you points.

Next come the two body paragraphs, which you will use to explain your points. A conclusion should take only one sentence, two at the most, to wrap up the topic and your own conclusions.

Some writers have found that the overview is more effective as an ending paragraph. If your essay flows well and explains the main points effectively, moving the overview to the end will not adversely affect the score. That said, do not forget to incorporate the overview and utilise this paragraph for its intended purpose.

Tips On Scoring Well On The General Training Writing Task 1

The General Training, or GT test, requires that the respondent compose a letter. This assignment comes with instructions, including three points to include in your letter.

Below, we have included general tips on how to compose the letter to achieve the best possible score:

  • Budget 20 minutes of your allotted time to write the letter. Outlining and organising should take between three to five minutes.
  • You must write over 150 words. The optimal range lies between 160 and 180 words.
  • Your letter is worth 33 percent, or one third, of your final grade.
  • Do not include an address on the letter.
  • Make sure that your tone and language are appropriate for the person to whom you address the letter, as well as the overall purpose of it.
  • Include all three required points in natural language and expression.
  • You may use your imagination to fill in details and other plot points.
  • Begin the letter with an appropriate opening statement and end with the proper closing structure.

Types Of IELTS Letters That The Exam May Assign

The IELTS will provide a choice of letter types for you to consider. They are personal, semi-formal, and formal. Each style of letter requires its own tone and level of personal familiarity. You will need to be familiar with which topics best match the types of letters offered.

For example, you would write a personal letter to invite a friend to an informal get together. A semi-formal letter may be addressed to a friend or acquaintance, yet have a professional purpose such as requesting a job with their company. Formal letters request a service or favour from a person or an institution with whom you have little or no personal connection.

Here are some other tips on what to consider for each form.


  • Open with “Hello John.”
  • Close with “Best Wishes,” “Take Care,” or another friendly closing.
  • Contractions, informal language and slang are appropriate.
  • Widespread use of first and second person.


  • Open with “Dear John.”
  • Close with “Sincerely.”
  • Do not use contractions, informal language, slang, or obscenities.
  • Limit use of first and second person if possible.


  • Open with “Dear Mr. Smith.”
  • Close with “Sincerely.”
  • Do not use contractions, informal language, slang, or obscenities.
  • Use first or second person as sparingly as possible.

Purposes Of The Letter

You will be assigned a purpose for your letter. The purpose must properly match up to the level of formality expressed in the letter. For example, a letter of complaint to a local restaurant whose owner is a stranger to you should take a formal tone.

The form of the letter will always be determined first by the type of relationship that the writer has with the recipient, combined with the letter’s purpose. This is not a hard and fast rule so much as a guideline. In real life, each situation will be unique and may require a different approach than that suggested.

Below are listed suggested letter types for possible purposes:

  • Complaints are almost always formal.
  • Most invitations are either personal or semi-formal.
  • Job applications (cover letters) or written resignations usually adopt a formal tone.
  • Letters of request are general enough that they could take any form.
  • Arrangements are usually requested or described in a formal letter.
  • Letters of explanation can take any form, but are most often personal or semi-formal.
  • Apologies can take any style.

Paragraph Structure

Just as in the academic writing task, the test respondent must demonstrate proficiency in forming paragraphs, including proper introductory statements and transitions.

Make sure that when you craft your outline for the letter that you follow the proper fundamentals in paragraph format and letter style, including:

  • Title
  • Opening statement that provides the reason for the letter
  • First body paragraph, addressing the first assigned point
  • Second body paragraph, addressing the second assigned point
  • Third body paragraph addressing the third assigned point
  • Closing statement
  • Sign off, then your signature

Planning The Letter

You should spend between three and five minutes outlining and planning your letter. The structure of the letter, including proper paragraph form, will account for half of your grade on this section of the test. Planning the letter correctly will help to ensure that your letter follows a cohesive and coherent organisational structure.

Keep the following points in mind while planning the letter.

  • Read directions thoroughly.
  • Figure out which style of letter to compose.
  • Consider the number of paragraphs you will include and which ones will address the assigned points.
  • Think about what information you will use to elaborate on each point, whether real or imagined.
  • Consider how best to open the letter, keeping in mind appropriate style.
  • Give the letter an appropriate closing.
  • Plan and outline each paragraph.
  • Commence writing.
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tharanga silva
tharanga silva
12:09 02 May 23
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11:04 05 Apr 23
I got my desired score on the first attempt. I had no idea about PTE before as it was my first time. I'm very grateful... to English Wise and especially my tutor Sarah. I recommend everyone to join English wise to achieve your goal. I took 20 hrs private classes with trainer Sarah. She is very professional and guides you thoroughly. She is very supportive and she delivered very practical and useful learning sessions. Her constructive feedback and teaching techniques and strategies helped me to improve on my weakness. The course material and resources from English wise are very helpful to achieve the desired score. Highly recommended!!read more
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Safa Moeed
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I prepared for my PTE exam under the guidance of Ms. Ambika Sharma in less than a months time. I am so happy that I got... my desired score. She picked out where I am losing marks and helped me with teaching the right tips and strategies. Highly recommended!read more
Swikriti P
Swikriti P
03:14 18 Mar 23
Thanks to Ambika ma’am for providing me her precious time and guidance to achieve my desired score. I’m more than... grateful to her efforts. She was always helpful, supportive and always available for any issues. Greatly recommend more
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Navdeep Randhawa
10:17 13 Mar 23
Best place I would recommend for Naati preparation. Jaswinder mam is really helpful and she is friendly and humble. She... will take your questions and will solve them instant. She will help you practice a lot in the class and gives chance to all the students in the class for the participation. Thank you so much ♥️read more
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Puneet Dhingra
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I have learned so much in my PTE classes with Englishwise."HIMZY/HIMNEET" is an excellent tutor.Himzy's method of... teaching is so wonderful & refreshing.I want to thank Englishwise & Shivi as well, EW arranged online, one to one pte classes in just one call. It was all easy n hassle free.As i had only 10 days to prepare for my exam so HIMZY broke down the pte learning material according to that. She was always patient and eager to help.& Finally, in just 6-7 one-to-one classes, I learned the methods, tips & tricks from Himzy to crack PTE exam, and i scored more than 80 in each module.I'm thrilled to have found more
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Mohit Ahuja
22:29 17 Feb 23
English wise has been phenomenal with their course material and services. Special shout-out to the PTE and Jaswinder... from the NAATI team for providing the calibre of coaching that allowed me to clear the exams in one attempt! Definitely recommend these guys ????????read more
Harsh patel
Harsh patel
10:43 16 Feb 23
My experience with English-wise was so good. I started my coaching 1 on 1 in first week of February and gave my PTE... exam on last week and got my desired score once. I am very thankful to Sakshi mam. She taught me so nicely, help me in rectifying all my mistakes, and directed me in the right direction. Very much thankful from the bottom of my heart. Cheers English-wise team. Keep up the good more
Jayanta Bishwokarma
Jayanta Bishwokarma
05:51 06 Feb 23
I got my desired score at first attempt. Trainer guided me with instant feedback which helps me a lot. I would really... recommend English wise, if you looking for PTE classes.Thank you English wiseread more
05:26 06 Feb 23
I highly recommend English wise to whoever struggle to get their desired score. In my journey I did both in person and... online study mode. First I have to thank Senorita and Sakshi for all their effort to guide me and helped me to clear all my doubts and also given me many tips every time and they encouraged me each and every mock test with patience.During my online feedback class Sohal play a major role, especially on my all mock test feedback classes. Sohal always spot on all the mistakes I had made and corrected them and guided me, and all the staff who works in English wise are very kind and easy approachable.Thank you Duen lobo as well and my another online trainer Satvik. Thank once again for all of you, you people are very great.I got my desired score on my first attempt within two month of my more
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Vidhit Narang
02:02 02 Feb 23
Thank you so much English wise team and my tuter Amee mam, specially, i scored my desired score in first attempt !!... Also with my working scedule tuter is very flexible and very proffesional !! Thanks for your templetes and mock tests really work for me !!😊read more
Erleen Kaur
Erleen Kaur
05:20 12 Jan 23
My experience with English-wise was so good. I started my coaching in 1 week of December and gave my PTE exam today and... got my desired score once. I am very thankful to Miss Mannvinder. She taught me so nicely, help me in rectifying all my mistakes, and directed me in the right direction. Very much thankful from the bottom of my heart. Cheers English-wise team. Keep up the good more
aruna mudiyanselage
aruna mudiyanselage
07:46 04 Jan 23
Thank you so much English wise team and my tuter Himnet, specially , i scored my desired score in first attempt !! Also... with my working scedule tuter is very flexible and very proffesional !! Thanks for your templetes and mock tests really work for me !!read more
kamal sandhu
kamal sandhu
06:02 22 Dec 22
Thank you Jaswinder mam for boosting confidence and for being friendly in teaching naati Punjabi. Today I passed my... naati exam. Thanks to Englishwise for providing such a good more
Madhavi Bhusal
Madhavi Bhusal
06:30 29 Oct 22
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Hairong Liu
Hairong Liu
04:50 16 Jul 22
Thank you so much.Englishwise helped me pass my PTE exam. I tried three times, but could not get 65, then I choose a... one on one course, just for one week and I pasted my exam with a good score of 72, so surprised!Ambika is a very good teacher, she helped me a lot, her tips were very useful. She encouraged me and built my confidence. I Highly recommend this more
Caner Unal
Caner Unal
04:23 14 Jul 22
I strongly recommend Englishwise for PTE exams. I passed on the first attempt. Staff was really helpful during the... registration process. I had one on one lessons from Ambika and she was really helpful. She guided and trained me very well so I passed on the first attempt. Thanks very much Ambika and Englishwise!!read more
Nancy Verma
Nancy Verma
09:57 20 Jun 22
Thank you Englishwise for the amazing guidance that you provided me during my course. The staff was very cooperative... and helpful and gave personal feedback on my performances which helped me a lot to get the desired scores. I highly recommend to join Englishwise if anyone wants to get the desired scores.Thank more
Veronica johanna garcia lozada
Veronica johanna garcia lozada
03:08 14 May 22
I paid for one month 250 dollars, I had an emergency with my family, I sent and email request my course cancellation,... they refused. I check the prices and for 250 dollar you have 6 months for use the platform, I ask to them because I paid 250 just for one month. I used the platform, I tried to be in class and I was connected with many people and waiting for the teacher more than 15 min. I didn’t get any class with teacher! Any class!! Any feedback …They send me an email and they told me I can access for 6 months to the platform because I paid 250 after one month the close the platform I asked them and they said it was the deal. I wasted money and time and I had an terrible experience and stressful. I could paid this money in a better place o paying my test.Please don’t get agreement with this people!!!Don’t waste your money and time. Awful experience!read more
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