One test. 150 words, 20 minutes: the IELTS Writing Task 1 test is not only difficult, but very important for you.
How can you do the best you can, and get the score you need?
On this page, we will offer you some professional, free advice on how to succeed in this test. With lessons, videos and an opportunity to meet our IELTS teachers, this page is everything you need to do well in your test. Let’s begin!

1. Check your Writing

In our experience correcting IELTS Writing Task 1 answers, 90% of students don’t get the score that they want simply because they’re making “silly mistakes”. These are mistakes that you know are incorrect, but you make them anyway. Why? Because you’re stressed, or you’re in a hurry. So you forget to put ….s at the end of some words, or you use a comma instead of a full stop, making your sentences too long. Together, these silly mistakes bring the IELTS score down.

How do you avoid these silly mistakes? The answer is simple: check your writing before you give it to the examiner. In the video below, English42 founder (and all-round IELTS expert) Simon tells you more about fixing this problem.

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IELTS Lessons with Simon

Simon teaches 1-to-1 online English lessons in IELTS, business English, general English and other English exams.
He is a native-English speaker with 10 years’ experience and professional teaching credentials.
Lessons with Simon take place online, via Skype. In your lessons with him, he gives you the help that you need to get the score that you want in the IELTS exam. Using practice tests, he will help you improve your IELTS Writing score and your IETLS Speaking score. In between lessons, you will receive official practice Listening and Reading tests online.

Learn more about IELTS lessons here, or for other kinds of lessons with Simon, simply contact us .

About Simon

Simon set up English42 in 2013, after teaching English around the world. He lives in Dublin, where he spends his time teaching exams like IELTS, as well as business English and English speaking. When he’s not teaching, he listens to music and tells terrible jokes.

Learn more about Simon in the About section.

2. Be Creative

A good IELTS student describes the data which he or she sees in the IELTS Writing Task 1 question. A great student does this too, and he/she writes something which most other students missed. You must remember that the IELTS examiner is correcting hundreds of Writing answers every day, and is sick of seeing the same sentences over and over again. An IELTS student who writes something interesting about the graph, chart, table, map or process is the student who will get a slightly higher score.

For example, take a look at this table. How would you describe it?

Most IELTS students might describe this table by giving numbers and maybe making a comparison here or there. This is fine. After all, the IELTS exam always asks you to describe “key features” and “make comparisons where relevant”.
But some clever IELTS students will see that this table also describes the same data over time. So, they can use words such as increase and decrease – just like they were describing a line graph. This is interesting and will earn higher points.

Another way to be creative is to use interesting vocabulary. The IELTS examiner loves seeing interesting phrases or words in your answer. However, you need to know those words when you’re writing. So let’s talk about vocabulary…

3. Know the different IELTS Writing Task 1 questions

There are 5 different kinds of question which you might get in IELTS Writing Task 1, and you need to be ready to answer any of them. You’re most likely to get a line graph – and you can get ready for this with our helpful GIF:


You’re also It’s also possible that you will have to describe a process or a map. You’ll need a different set of vocabulary to answer questions like this, so be prepared with our free IELTS sample-answer pack!

But, apart from a line graph, the most likely kind of chart you’ll get is a bar chart or pie chart. For this question type, you have to be ready to compare information and (if possible) use words like increase and decrease. (This language is necessary as well if you get a table of data to describe).
Here’s an example of a bar chart. Contact us for a free sample answer to this 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.

4. Know your vocabulary

Vocabulary is a double-edged sword: it is impossible to learn all of the vocabulary in the English language, but you need to have good vocabulary to pass the IELTS exam. In fact, it’s the key to getting a high IELTS score, especially in IELTS Writing Task 1.

What is good vocabulary? It is not just knowing the correct word – it is knowing different ways to say the same thing. In IELTS, these “different ways to say the same thing” are called synonyms. They are used in all of the IELTS tests: Speaking, Listening, Reading…and, of course, Writing.

So, how do you study vocabulary? Well, with IELTS Writing Task 1, it’s actually not so difficult. With each different type of question (see above), different vocabulary is needed. So, for example, it’s useful to know words like increase or decrease, but knowing scientific English vocabulary (for example) is not going to make a big difference to your score.

However, building good vocabulary is still essential to your English, and not just for your IELTS exam. But where do you begin? Let us help you with some free vocabulary advice. Click on the picture below to see 6 Tips to Improve your English Vocabulary.

5. Be Calm, Be Confident

Our number 1 motto here at English42 is DON’T PANIC. All of the advice on this page will work for you only if you are calm and confident when you are doing your exam.
Yes, this is an important task. Of course it is natural to be nervous. Unfortunately, you are under a lot of pressure. However, if you take a deep breath and believe in yourself, you will succeed. You will use the wonderful vocabulary you have studied. You will find interesting features to describe. You will finish your answer and then calmly check it for any “silly mistakes”. You will get the best score that you can get in IELTS Writing Task 1.

In our 1-to-1 IELTS lessons, the most important thing that we give our students is the confidence to do well in their exams. With practice tests and feedback, we tell our our students know what they do well and what they need to improve. Over time, English42 students become more confident and more ready to do their best in the exam.
So why not begin your IELTS success story today? Learn more about our personalised online IELTS lessons below!

IELTS practice tests

If you’re serious about improving your IELTS score, we’re here to help!
English42 offers professional online IELTS practice tests in Writing and Speaking. (We also offer 1-to-1 IELTS preparation lessons, with professional experts).
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Free IELTS Writing 9.0 samples

Free IELTS Writing 9.0 samples

Our IELTS professionals have written 4 sample Writing answers for you to study and learn from.
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