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IELTS Writing Task 1 - General

In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given problem with


a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. It is
suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which
requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Depending on
the task suggested, candidates are assessed on their ability to:
engage in personal correspondence
elicit and provide general factual information
express needs, wants, likes and dislikes
express opinions (views, complaints etc.)

EXAMPLE 1:
THE CHART
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The chart below gives information about Someland's main exports in 2005, 2015, and future
projections for 2025.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons
where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.

Model answer
This bar chart illustrates the performance of Someland's primary exports in 2005 and 2015. It also indicates future
projections for 2025. According to the data, it seems likely that international tourism will become the dominant
industry, although dairy exports will remain strong. In 2005, we can see that tourism was the greatest exports earner
of the three industries, with revenue standing at just over $6 billion.
This figure has increased slightly, so that now, in 2015, it has reached almost $7 billion. It is estimated that
international tourism will continue to grow, so that by 2025, it will be earning around $8 billion for the country. In
2000, dairy exports were worth around $5 billion, but since then there has been a dramatic increase, and sales for
this year are approximately $8 billion. Experts are predicting that exports in this area may fall slightly, so a figure of
$7.5 billion is expected for 2025. Meat products are the third key industry in Someland, but sales have dropped since
2000 and now stand at $3.5 billion. It is expected that sales will continue to decrease in the future.
(187 words)

TEST TIP
1.

When writing a Task 1 answer, it is important to describe numbers and data in different ways to avoid repetition. You
will be given credit for doing this, as it will show you have a wider range of vocabulary.

When you first see a bar chart, ask yourself the following questions:
1) What do the numbers on the vertical/horizontal axis measures?
2) How is the information grouped on the other axis?
3) What do the different shades of the bars show?
4) When was the data collected?
The answers will give you the essential information for understanding it. Make sure you know which units are being used to measure
quantities.
2. Comparing and grouping information Summarizing charts always involves making comparisons. Some diagrams also
require comparisons, particularly if you have to describe stages or have more than one piece of visual material. Part of
the task of organizing your answer involves deciding how to categorize or group the information you need to compare.

3.

Example 2 :
The Graph
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The graph below shows relative price changes for fresh fruits and vegetables, sugars and sweets,
and carbonated drinks between 1978 and 2009.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons
where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.

Read the following model answer. Complete the answer by filling the gaps with a
word from the box below.
periodic

period

temporarily remained

and

steady

steadily

by

trend

from

Model answer
The graph shows changes in the price of fresh fruits and vegetables, sugar and sweets,
and carbonated drinks over a thirty-year .......... in the US between 1979 .......... 2009. The
graph also shows the general .......... in the consumer price index during this time.
While the consumer price index showed a slow and .......... increase from 1979 to 2009,
the same cannot be said for the price of carbonated, or soft drinks. After rising briefly
between 1979 and 1981, they .......... fairly constant until 1999, when the price did begin
to increase slowly.
In contrast, there was a marked difference in the price of fresh fruits and vegetables,
which, despite.......... fluctuations, rose .......... throughout this period. In fact, fresh food
prices only levelled out.......... between 1990 and 1992 and again .......... 2000 to 2001.
However, .......... 2008 the price had increased by more than 300%.

Model with Answer :


The graph shows changes in the price of fresh fruits and vegetables, sugar and sweets, and carbonated
drinks over a thirty-year period in the US between 1979 and 2009. The graph also shows the
general trend in the consumer price index during this time.
While the consumer price index showed a slow and steady increase from 1979 to 2009, the same cannot
be said for the price of carbonated, or soft drinks. After rising briefly between 1979 and 1981,
they remained fairly constant until 1999, when the price did begin to increase slowly.
In contrast, there was a marked difference in the price of fresh fruits and vegetables, which,
despiteperiodic fluctuations, rose steadily throughout this period. In fact, fresh food prices only levelled
out temporarily between 1990 and 1992 and again from 2000 to 2001. However, by 2008 the price had
increased by more than 300%.

EXAMPLE 3
THE LETTER
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
You had a good meal in a local restaurant with your family. Write a letter to the newspaper to tell
them about it, describe the meal you had, and why you think the restaurant is worth visiting.
You should write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows:
Dear Sir,
Model answer
To the Editor,
I am a long standing member of our local community and I am writing a recommendation to other citizens
for one of our fine neighbourhood dining establishments; The Lone Star Caf.
There were many impressive attributes which struck me upon my entrance, such as the dcor and
ambience. I particularly enjoyed the laidback attitude of the place. But for my mind it was the service
along with the size and quality of the portions that was most memorable.
The service was professional yet intimate, and along with the sheer quantity of the dishes served,
motivated me to pass on my recommendation. I enjoyed a steak of mammoth proportions and a giant
fresh, crisp salad accompanied by a selection of appropriately selected seasonal vegetables. The piece
de resistance, however, was the rich Black Forest gateau served as dessert and all for a reasonable
price.
I hope after reading this, potential customers will frequent this diner Bon appetite.
Yours truly
(161 words)

IELTS Writing Task 1 - General

EXERCISE #1

The graphs below show the numbers of male and female workers in
1975 and 1995 in several employment sectors of the republic of
Freedonia.
Write a report for a university teacher describing the information shown.
You should write at least 150 words.
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

ANSWER
Model Answer 3:
The provided illustrations compare the male and female workers in different employment sectors in
Freedonia over 20 years of time by providing data for the years 1975 and 1995. As is observed from the
given line graphs, women were far behind in employment in Freedonia in 1975 but within 20 years they
made remarkable progress almost in all sectors and went well ahead of men in communications and
wholesale & retail trade sectors.
The graphs compare the number of male and female workers in 6 different sectors of Freedonia per
thousand. In 1975, more men than women were employed in almost all the mentioned sectors of job
categories. For instance, approximately 650 men were employed in manufacturing related jobs compared

to only 300 women per thousand of total employees in the same sectors. In almost all other cases, the
numbers of male employees were much higher than the women and in communication sectors men were
bit ahead than female in their employment ration. After 20 years, in 1995, women made outstanding
progress in Freedonian job sectors. For instance, in communication sectors almost 600 female were
employed compared to 300 male workers per thousand. Women went ahead of men in wholesale & retail
trade sectors too. Except for the public sectors (non-defence) women hold the trends of progress
compared to men in all other sectors. In 1975 only about 40 women worked in defence sectors and this
number grew to more than 100 per thousand after 20 years.
In summary women did remarkable progress in Freedonian job fields over 20 years and they went ahead
of men in many job sectors.

EXERCISE # 2

Eating sweet foods produces acid in the mouth, which can


cause tooth decay. (High acid levels are measured by low pH
values)
Describe the information below and discuss the implications for dental health.
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
You should write at least 150 words.

ANSWER: The given line graph gives information on the acid level produced in our mouth decay after
consuming fruit sugar, cane sugar and honey and compares the possible implication those three sweet
food items have on our tooth decay. As is observed from the given presentation, honey causes the least
tooth decay while the cane sugar possesses the possibility of decaying our tooth among the mentioned
three sweet foods.
The graph shows that different acid level is created in mouth after we consume different sweet food items.
High acid level is measured by low pH level and tooth decay is occurred when the pH level goes below
the 5.5. After we eat fruit sugar, the pH level of our mouth declines below 5.5 in 5 minutes and remain in
danger level until 13 minutes. Similarly Cane sugar causes the pH level to get under pH level 5.5 in 5
minutes but it remains in danger level for more than 30 minutes which shows the fact that can sugar can

cause more tooth decay than the fruit sugar. Finally, in 5 minutes the pH level of our mouth reaches to
danger level in 5 minutes after we take honey and this level remain in danger zone for about 20 minutes.
The comparison of the three sweet items indicate that the honey is comparatively safer for our dental
health as it posses the least possibility of tooth decay while cane sugar possesses the most danger to our
dental health as it would possibly create the most tooth decay.

EXERCISE 3:
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
You would like to buy some electrical goods at a shop in a nearby town.
Write a letter to the shop and ask if they have the things you want or whether they will be able to
order them. Ask what the prices are and how long they will be able to hold the goods for you.
You should write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir.
Model answer
Dear Sir,
I am writing to enquire if you have various electrical goods that I want to buy. I have tried shops in my own
town but they dont have exactly what I want.
I want the new Sony DVD player, a Technics turntable and a radio with long wave capability. Do you have
these items in stock or, if not, will you be able to order them soon? I also need to know what price you
charge for these items. If you do have these things, would you be able to hold them for me and for how
long? I am free this weekend and, if you have them, I can come over on Saturday morning to pay you and
pick them up.
Please write back to me as soon as possible at the above address or call me on my mobile number
(07364 957 143). I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours sincerely,
Peter Jervis
(159 words)

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