The Requirements of Task 1 (Academic) IELTS Writing
Many people misunderstand what is required in Task 1 IELTS essay writing and score poorly as a result.
Unfortunately, much of the advice on the internet about what must be done in this task also fails to completely understand the requirements.
I was just looking at an IELTS advice site that was looking at a "process" type question about bottling wine. The problem is that the advice and sample answer guarantees candidates band 5 for Task Achievement, and much of what was written was additional information NOT available in the diagram (and which candidates could NOT be expected to know and ARE NOT expected to know) and therefore irrelevant to what the task question asks candidates to do.
Task 1 Writing in the Academic IELTS test is an "information transfer" essay.
You are NOT required to analyze or explain the data. You simply have to point out the main features of the information using the data to illustrate what you are saying.
All Task 1 questions, whether it is a graph, table, pie chart, process or map have EXACTLY THE SAME STRUCTURE (although grammatically, process and map questions normally require passive voice - don't get scared, its not too hard and we will get to it).
IELTS English will present a series of posts on Task 1 Academic writing with a wide range of task types so you can see exactly what is meant by "exactly the same structure".
What is the structure of a Task 1 (Academic Test)?
The Public Band Descriptors can give us a very good idea what to do.
At Band 5 for "Task Achievement" they say (in part):
This was easy to figure out, all we had to do was look at the information that is publicly available but many people don't know this and it leads to candidates getting a lower score than necessary.
Next time we will look at how this works in a real example.