IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 requires you to write at least 150 words in response to a graph, table, chart, or process. You will be presented with factual information and asked to select and report the main features of the data in under 20 minutes. You can’t spend more than 20 minutes on Writing Task 1. This task consists of 33% of your total writing mask so you must avoid mistakes that can cost you this 33% of your total marks.
For a lot of candidates, a 6.0+ band score is a good goal for IELTS. So what will boost your band score in the shortest amount of time?
Let’s first understand the marking criteria for Writing Task 1 and what are the mistakes you should avoid to get a score of 6+.
You will be scored on the IELTS Academic writing test based on
1. Task Achievement – This is a measurement of “how appropriately, accurately, and relevantly the response fulfils the requirements set out in the task, using a minimum of 150 words.
2. Grammar Range and Accuracy – Your grammar should be varied. It’s important to mix up different, complex sentences as well as simple sentences.
3. Lexical Resource – IELTS examiners are looking for a wide range of vocabulary—correctly used.
4. Coherence and Cohesion – This is a measurement of your ability to present ideas logically and clearly.
Now, let’s check out the common mistakes that people make in their IELTS Task 1 and how you can fix them and improve your writing.
Mistake #1 – Not writing enough words
The instructions for Writing Task 1 clearly state that “You should write at least 150 words”. Even if you produce a great answer and only write 149 words, the examiner will mark you down under ‘Task Achievement’ because you haven’t answered the question properly.
You should write at least 150 words in response to the question in Writing Task 1. If you spend too long on Task 1, we guarantee that you won’t have enough time to answer part 2 adequately.
Mistake #2 – Not completing the task on time
Writing Task 1 asks you to summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features. This means you only need to mention the important facts and points. Keep your eye on the time while attempting Writing Task 1. If you fail to complete Task 1 in under 20 minutes, you may not be able to complete Task 2 in a proper manner. This in turn can affect your IELTS writing score.
Mistake #3 – Not organizing ideas logically
The most logical way to write a Task 1 report is:
Paragraph 1 – Introduction
Paragraph 2 – Overview of main features
Paragraph 3 – Details of main features 1
Paragraph 4 – Details of main features 2
Paragraph 5 – Details of main features 3 (if any)
Your ideas and paragraphs should be grouped together logically so anyone could understand what you’re saying. If you’ve been given a graph and asked to summarize, you should not just write down numbers or percentages without writing about the similarities or differences. If you fail to do so, you fail to interpret the information. However, make sure you remain focused on the most important trends or changes.
Mistake #4 – Adding your own opinions or assumptions
Writing Task 1 asks you to provide an objective summary of a graphic piece of information. That means you should describe the information you see on the diagram and not comment on it. Giving your opinion would distract from your writing response as this is not part of the task.
Mistake #5 – Not checking your writing response
Leave at least 3 minutes at the end of your summary for proofreading. You should check for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and whether or not you have used a formal style of writing.
By avoiding these common mistakes in IELTS Writing Task 1, you will achieve a higher IELTS score. So use them as a checklist while you’re preparing for the IELTS writing tests. Work on your weak points. If you are better at accuracy, then concentrate a bit more on variety, or if you’re good at task achievement, then work on the lexical resource part and vice versa.
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