IELTS アカデミックモジュール TASK1 Band 7+

Worldwide statistics show that most people who took the IELTS Academic Writing Test in 2019 achieved a score of 5.5.  So… how can you change a 5.5 into a 7.0+?


Before you do anything else, make sure that you understand the marking system. Far too many candidates simply re-take the exam repeatedly and are disappointed to find that their scores fail to show improvement. As the popular saying goes, this is the definition of insanity!

Here are the marking criteria for IELTS Writing Task One:

As you can see, there are four areas of assessment:

Task Achievement

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy


Task Achievement

Let’s have a closer look at the public band descriptors for this area of assessment:

Band Task Achievement


8 * covers all requirements of the task sufficiently

* presents, highlights and illustrates key features clearly and appropriately



* covers the requirements of the task

* presents a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages

* clearly presents and highlights key features but could be more fully extended



* addresses the requirements of the task

* presents an overview with information appropriately selected

* presents and adequately highlights key features but details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate



* generally addresses the task; the format may be in appropriate in places

* recounts detail mechanically with no clear overview; there may be no data to support the description

* presents, but inadequately covers key features; there may be a tendency to focus on details


What does this mean? Basically, it means that your score for Task Achievement will be limited to Band 6 if you don’t:

* cover the task fully.

* write a clear overview.

* present and highlight key features appropriately.

In Task One, candidates are asked to interpret some visual information. Often this is in the form of one or more graphs or charts, but questions can also involve maps showing changes or diagrams showing a process.

Task One always asks you to ‘Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant’.


Here is a sample question:

Start the  with an introductory paragraph. This is usually a single sentence, paraphrasing the question. With this task, you could write:

This bar graph illustrates the number of male and female high school students at Redwood Secondary School who used the internet between 1995 and 2002.

The second paragraph should ‘present a clear overview of main trends, differences or stages’. To do this, you need to look at the information and decide which are the features that ‘jump out at you’. Don’t try to include too many. As a rule of thumb, three is usually a good number.

Take a minute to look at the graph and decide what the most important features are.

There is no ‘right answer’ but if you have chosen facts like these, you are on the right track:

  1. a) The number of students using the internet increased sharply between 1995 and 1998.
  2. b) The number of students using the internet continued to grow steadily between 1998 and 2002.
  3. c) The numbers of boys and girls using the internet was similar, particularly after 1998.


Then rephrase this information into two or three sentences, and you have your overview.  Perhaps something like this:

The number of students using the internet rose throughout the eight-year period, with the figures increasing more sharply in the first three years. Internet use was more widespread amongst boys between 1995 and 1998, although similar numbers of boys and girls went online from 1998 to 2002.



Practise identifying key features quickly and efficiently. A good overview should be clear, so don’t be tempted to make it overly complicated.

In paragraphs three and four, you need to ‘clearly present and highlight key features’. This is where you report the details. It’s essential that you do this accurately, and include specific data, or your essay will be limited to a ‘Band 5’. For this example, you could write something like:

In 1995, approximately 110 boys were internet users, compared to around 80 girls. Over the next three years, these numbers trebled and by 1998, around 290 boys and 300 girls were surfing the web. This was the first time that there were more female than male students using the internet.

During the period from 1998 to 2002, the number of boys using the internet continued to climb, but more steadily, whereas the number of girls fluctuated to some extent, falling slightly in 1999 and 2001. By 2002, roughly 325 girls and 320 boys were spending time online.



Cover the task fully. Be sure to include data to support your description.

Here is another typical question:

Before you have a look at a sample answer, try to identify the key features. Then compare your ideas with the overview in the answer below.

The two pie graphs show how people who worked or studied at a particular university travelled there in 2004 and 2009.

In 2004, the vast majority of people used their cars to get to the university, with bus travel the second most popular option. In 2006 and 2008, two major changes occurred: car parking charges were introduced, and a new university bus stop was created. The graph for 2009 shows the impact of these changes, with far more people opting to take the bus.

In 2004, 51% or just over half of the people travelling to the university went by car, whereas 33%, or a third, travelled by bus. Of the remaining 16%, 9% of people rode their bicycles, 4% went on foot and 3% took the train.

After the significant changes at the university campus in 2006 and 2008, the situation was very different in 2009. 46% of people took the bus, which was a considerable 13% increase from 2004, while the percentage of people choosing to drive fell sharply from 51% to 28%. The proportion of people cycling almost doubled to 16%. Walking and travelling by train became marginally more popular, increasing from 4% to 6% and 3% to 4% respectively.


Coherence and Cohesion

Here are the public band descriptors:

Band Coherence and Cohesion


* sequences information and ideas logically

* manages all aspects of cohesion well

* uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately



* logically organises information and ideas; there is a clear progression throughout

* uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately, although there may be some under-/over-use



* arranges information and ideas coherently and there is a clear overall progression

* uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and / or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical

* may not always use referencing clearly or appropriately.

What are the key differences between the bands?

Well, to get a ‘Band 7’ for example, you need to ‘organise information logically’ and ensure that there is ‘a clear progression throughout’.

One easy way to organise a Task One essay is:

Paragraph One – Introduction

Paragraph Two – Overview

Paragraphs Three and Four – Details

Have a look at this question:



The table below shows the cost of water in five Australian cities in 2004.


Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.


City Usage charge per kilolitre*

(up to 125 kl)

Usage charge per kilolitre*

(over 125 kl)

Average bill per household
Adelaide $0.42 $1.00 $312
Brisbane $0.84 $0.84 $310
Melbourne $0.78 $0.78 $253
Perth $0.42 $1.50 $332
Sydney $0.98 $0.98 $319


* 1 kilolitre (kl) = 1000 litres



Here is a model answer:

The chart provides information about the amount people had to pay for water in five cities in Australia in 2004.

 The cost of water per kilolitre varied significantly from one city to another. In some cities, water was much more expensive once a particular threshold had been reached, whereas in others the price remained unchanged regardless of the amount of water used. On average, households in Melbourne had the cheapest water bills while those in Perth paid the most for their water.

 Rates were the lowest in Adelaide and Perth at $0.42 per kilolitre for up to 125 kilolitres. In contrast, the charge was twice as high in Melbourne and Brisbane, with each kilolitre costing $0.78 and $0.84 respectively. The price in Sydney was even higher at $0.98 per kilolitre.

 Water costs in some cities showed a dramatic increase once water use exceeded 125 kilolitres..The price in Adelaide more than doubled to $1.00, while the cost of water in Perth rose threefold to $1.50 per kilolitre, which was the most expensive rate of the five cities. Residents of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney were charged the same irrespective of the quantity of water used. In general, people paid between $253 and $332 per billing period for their water.


Remember that you only have twenty minutes to complete Task One. Sticking to the structure outlined above can help you to use your time wisely.

Here is another sample question.

This line graph illustrates the way in which the population of Japan has changed in terms of age between 1960 and the present day, and it also includes projected figures from now until 2040.

Since 1960, there have been some dramatic changes. The percentage of people over 65 has risen sharply, while the proportion of the population under 14 has fallen significantly. These patterns are set to continue until 2040.  

In 1960, just 5% of the population of Japan was over 65. Currently, in 2022, this percentage stands at 28% and by 2040, it is predicted to grow even further to 35%. This represents a sevenfold increase over the eighty-year period. Conversely, 30% of the population was under 14 in 1960. At present this figure is 12% and projections indicate that it will fall even more to just 10% by 2040.  

The vast majority of the population is aged between 15 and 64. In 1960, 65%, or just under two thirds of the population belonged to this age bracket. This percentage has remained relatively unchanged over the last fifty years and stands at 60% in 2022. It is expected to continue to fall gradually over the next twenty years.

Task One of the IELTS Academic Writing Test often involves a single chart, graph or table. However, you may also be asked to describe two or more graphs together. There could be two bar charts, or there might be a combination of, for example, a pie chart and a line graph.

At first glance, questions involving multiple graphs can look a bit intimidating. It’s important to be prepared for this type of question so that you don’t get flustered in the exam.


Don’t panic if you are faced with a question which involves multiple graphs.

With this example, you could begin your essay by briefly introducing the three graphs.

The graphs show how many students attended universities in the UK between 1991 and 2001, and the amount of money the government spent on each of these students over this ten-year period. The pie chart illustrates the proportion of students whose families were classified as high, middle or low income in 2001.

In the overview, include the main features of each graph.

There was a marked increase in student numbers in the 1990s, although this tailed off slightly between 1999 and 2001. Government expenditure fell steadily between 1991 and 1997, before plateauing for the next four years. The statistics also show that in 2001, the vast majority of students came from middle income families.

In paragraphs three and four, you need to report the details. If there are two graphs, the easiest way to do this is often to write one paragraph about one graph and one paragraph about the other. With more than two graphs, it’s usually a good idea to combine the information.

In 1991, there were just over a million students at university in the UK. In the same year, the government allocated £6500 per student. By 1993, the number of students had risen to 1.5 million, but the funding had fallen to £5750.

This trend continued over the next four years, with student numbers reaching a peak of 2.1 million in 1999. In contrast, government contributions continued their steady fall, dropping to a low of just under £5000 by 1997 and then remaining at this level. In 2001, there were two million university students, with almost two thirds of these, 62%, coming from middle income families.


Don’t try to write too much. Even though you have two graphs, the time limit and the minimum word count are the same.

Lexical Resource / Grammatical Range and Accuracy

As you might expect, to achieve a higher score in these two areas, you need to use a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures as accurately as possible.

Lexical Resource

Paraphrasing effectively will enhance your score for ‘Lexical Resource’ and ‘Grammatical Range and Accuracy’ in both Task One and Task Two of IELTS Academic writing.

When we paraphrase, we express what someone else has written or said in our own words. Although you won’t find, ‘makes effective use of paraphrasing’ in the band descriptors, you will find assessment criteria such as, ‘uses an adequate (Band 6) sufficient (Band 7) or wide (Band 8) range of vocabulary’ or ‘uses a variety (Band 7) / wide (Band 8) range of structures’.

The model answers we have looked at so far have all included an introductory paragraph which involved paraphrasing. For example, to avoid repeating the words in the question, you could change:

The table below shows the cost of water in five Australian cities in 2004.


The chart provides information about the amount people had to pay for water in five cities in Australia in 2004.


Effective use of paraphrasing is more than just learning a list of synonyms. Make sure you can use vocabulary naturally and accurately.

Let’s look at a different type of Task One. Questions which involve maps or diagrams are less common, but the good news is that you can structure your response in exactly the same way:

Paragraph One – Introduction

Paragraph Two – Overview

Paragraphs Three and Four – Details

The two maps illustrate the way in which Stokeford changed between 1930 and 2010.

Over the eighty-year period, Stokeford underwent considerable development. Initially, it was a small village and much of the surrounding area was used for farming. Eighty years later, the village had grown significantly, and the farmland had been replaced entirely by residential areas.

In 1930, there was only one street, which ran north to south, roughly parallel to the river through the middle of the village. All the buildings, including the ten houses, the post office, the two shops and the primary school were on this street. There was also a large house which was set back from the road and surrounded by gardens.

By 2010, several new cul-de-sacs had been added, each with its own residential development. In addition, more houses had been constructed along the main street. The post office and the primary school were still there, but the shops had been knocked down. The large house had been extended and converted into a retirement home, while the gardens were less extensive, with some of the land being used to build more housing.


Learn how to use vocabulary which will enable you to interpret the infographic regardless of whether it is a bar graph, a line graph, a pie chart, a map, a diagram or a flowchart.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy

In the previous task, the maps showed the village of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010. So which tense would you need to use the most if you were answering this question: present simple, past simple or present perfect?

Right – the past simple. If you can use it accurately, there are also good opportunities to show that you are able to use the past perfect: ‘Eighty years later, the village had grown significantly, …’.

Reporting the information in the correct tense will have a positive impact on your Band Score for ‘Grammatical Range and Accuracy’.



Take your time to check which tense(s) you should be using before you start writing your essay.

Finally, the other type of question which you occasionally see in Task One involves a process or a flowchart like this:

The flow chart illustrates the way in which bottles and cans of carbonated drinks are produced.

The process involves two main ingredients, water and carbon dioxide, together with colouring, syrup and flavouring. The five-step procedure begins with the water being cleaned and ends with boxes of carbonated drinks being delivered to the supermarket.

Initially, the water is cleaned. This involves filtering the water and then adding water softener and other chemicals. After that, the treated water is pumped into a heating chamber where it is heated until it evaporates. The water vapour then passes through a cooling pipe before being combined with the carbon dioxide, in a process known as carbonation, to produce carbonated water.

Next, this carbonated water is transferred to a mixing tank. In this part of the process, it is mixed with the colouring, syrup and flavouring and the resulting mixture is then passed through a filter to produce the finished product. In the last stage of the manufacturing process, the carbonated liquid is put into bottles and cans. Once this is complete, the bottles and cans are packed into boxes and delivered to the supermarket.  



Tasks which involve flowcharts or processes generally require the use of passive forms. Make sure you can use these accurately.

List of Sources:


  1. Bar Graph – Redwood Secondary School – Internet Use:


  1. Pie Charts – Different Means of Transport:


  1. Chart – Water in Different Australian Cities:

* I re-typed this question because of the inconsistencies in the spelling.


  1. Line Graph – Population of Japan:

* The infographic is slightly different in appearance, but the information is the same.


  1. Multiple Graphs – University students in the UK:

* I’m afraid I can’t find the original. This source is similar, but the information is NOT exactly the same and there are some mistakes in the question.


  1. Maps – Stokeford in 1930 and 2010:


  1. Flowchart – Carbonated Drinks:



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