Welcome to English42’s IELTS Writing tutorial! Here, you can find an IELTS Writing Part 1 sample answer, and understand why it deserves a score of 9.0. After this, you can get ideas and inspiration to help you improve your IELTS score.
First, let’s take a look at our question…
The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education
in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features,
and make comparisons where relevant.
IELTS Writing Part 1 sample answer
Now, let’s look at our IELTS Writing Part 1 sample answer:
The graph displays statistics about the amount of men and women in third-level education in the UK over three academic years, divided by those in full-time education and those in part-time education.
The most striking feature of the graph is the fact that, while the number of men in full-time education fluctuated during the three given years, that of women consistently increased. With regards to part-time education, there was a steady increase in numbers of both men and women.
In the first year for which data is given, 1970-71, the amount of men studying full-time was higher than that of women. By the second year, 1980-81, women had almost achieved parity with men in this respect. By the final year, 1990-91, they had superseded men, with a figure of around 1,100 versus around 1,000.
In addition, more women than men were studying part-time in British universities by 1990. This superiority had in fact been achieved by 1980, when there were around 50 more women attending university than men. This occurred in spite of the fact that men far outnumbered women in this regard in 1980, by a difference of around 100.
IELTS Writing Part 1 sample answer – an analysis
Why would this answer get a score of 9.0 in an IELTS exam? To understand this, let’s look at how this answer meets the 4 criteria of the official IELTS score system…
First of all, we need to ask: has the question been answered? To begin with, we can see a good overview, where we have discussed the most basic details (like the increase in the amount of women studying). After that, the answer highlights more “key features” in great detail. These features include the 3 years and the numbers of students.
Coherence & Cohesion
The second criterion asks: Is there a good structure in the answer? Most importantly, we can see paragraphs containing different kinds of information: by using paragraphs, our score is a minimum of 6.0. However, we have improved this score by using discourse markers like With regards to and In addition to. Our answer contains linkers to make sentences longer, showing fluent English.
Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
The third criterion is vocabulary.
The first question an IELTS examiner would ask is: Are we using the correct words? The answer is yes – an English speaker would not be confused by any of the words we have used.
Next, we must ask: are we using advanced vocabulary? Yes, and we can find many examples of this, such as parity and superseded.
Lastly, are we using synonyms? These are words which have the same meaning as words which we can see somewhere else. For example, while the question uses the phrase further education, the answer replaces this with third-level education.
Grammatical Range & Accuracy
Here in our last criterion we’re talking about grammar. This mainly involves 3 ingredients: tense, prepositions and sentence length. The graph gives data from the past so the answer mainly contains the past tense. All of our prepositions are correct. Finally, some sentences are short, but other sentences are long and – most importantly – we have correctly structured these sentences. Therefore, this answer would not confuse an English speaker. In fact, many of the sentences are very impressive, and they look like they were written by a native speaker!
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