This tutorial is a concise and valuable checklist for your Academic IELTS Task 1.
1. How to order your information
To achieve good marks, you must present your information in a logical format. Not only must you ensure that all of the information is presented, but you must also make sure that the essential points are highlighted. Below we have listed some of the ways that you can present your information in a logical format.
- Group similar items together
- Start the discussion with the most important information
- Discuss the general outline, highlighting any deviations
- Work along a timeline from earliest to latest
- Work from the biggest to the smallest.
It is essential that you accurately describe the diagram data in task 1 or you could lose points in the area of Task Response.
There is often heaps of data to handle so it is vital that you select the relevant information. This is often a difficult task. You will have answered the question adequately if someone reading the information could themselves make a graph from the data that you have presented to them in your report.
Not only is it necessary to make accurate use of numbers when you write your report, it is also vital that you use different words and phrases to describe the fractions percentages and numbers in your descriptions. In this section we offer you practice session to expand your vocabulary and to test your language skills in this arena.
Never lose sight of the fact that this is a language test.
Below we present two sentences to demonstrate how you can use language to describe two similar scenarios very differently.
- In South Asia 23% of the population live on $1.25, while in East Asia only 8% have a similar amount.
- Stated differently
- Less than a tenth of the population of East Asia live on $1.25 a day, whilst nearly a quarter of the people in South Asia live on a similar amount.
The second sentence sounds better because it makes more appropriate use of vocabulary. You should always bear in mind that this is a test of your language skills. It is vital for you to practice these skills so that you become skilled at using the language to describe and analyse the graphs.
You need the power of language because you can’t always see the numbers.
Frequently in the test you will receive a graph where you are unable to see the values. Without values you will have to describe the graphs using descriptors. To do this properly you will have to have a wide range of vocabulary that accurately describes the graph. You should include the following in your description.
3. What type of diagram is it – Identify the type of diagram as a table, flow chart, bar, line or pie graph.
4. The units used – Make sure that you identify the units used by scrutinising the x and y axis. They may be units of time such as hours or years, units of currency such as dollars or euros or they may be simple numbers.
5. The period of time – Does the data refer to current or past events or is it a prediction of what might happen in the future? You should not just get the tenses correct but should also refer to actual times in your description.
6. Trends and outlines – Your description should outline any patterns in the diagram and when expressed over time you should note any upward or downward trends. If there are similarities in static data it is also important that your point these out. For example if you have a chart of sales to various countries, you can use the data to point out where the largest, smallest and similar sales occur.
7. The subjects of the graph – Make sure that you include every subject on the graph. For example if you have a bar chart that compares seven countries ensure that every single one is mentioned in your task.
8. Exceptional data – If there is any exceptional data on the diagram, you should make mention of it as it is almost certainly key information.
9. Extremes – Make sure that you include the highs and lows and any other extreme information in your description. If there are too many to mention, you’ll have to make a judgement on the most important extremes.
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