IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Sample Answers

IELTS writing task 1 academic sample answers

Here are a number of writing task 1 sample essays for you to look at. Take a look through the questions and sample answers and compare them to your own work. Are they similar? Do you find them easy to understand? Do they answer the question? Can you see how the information has been structured?

It is important for you to look at sample essays when you are studying to see if your work is on the way to becoming a band score 7 or higher.

Read through the essay feedback and see why the essays have achieved a band score 9. The band 9 criteria are also at the end of this post. 


Sample Essay 1 - Pie Charts

The pie charts show the ratio of goods shipped from Great Britain from 2010 to 2015. The products are measured by percentage.

Overall, over the five-year period, the most exported goods were machinery and vehicles. These two types of goods were predominantly wanted out of all of the categories. The least amounts of goods exported were plastics and organic chemicals. Minimal changes occurred over the selected time period. 

On the one hand, machinery exports have a small increase as the amounts moved are 29% and 30% respectively. The percentage of vehicles shipped only rose slightly by 1% from 2010 (28%) to 2015 (29%). The machinery and vehicles export pattern remained steady throughout the five years.

On the other hand, the diagrams illustrate an increasing rise in the production of plastics at over 4% since 2010. Furthermore, the most relevant feature is the increase in the export of organic chemicals from 2010 (7%) to 2015 (10%). There is a huge difference in the production of pharmaceuticals, due to the fact that it experienced a decrease from 2010 (27%) to 2015 (18%). 

(Word Count = 180 / Band Score 9)


  • Task Achievement - The answer provides a paraphrased question, to begin with, followed by an overview that gives the reader key information.  The information selected is relevant.  
  • Coherence and Cohesion - The answer has been divided into clear logical paragraphs.      
  • Lexical Resource - There is evidence of paraphrasing, synonyms and some less common words.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - The answer has no grammatical errors. The sentences are mainly made up of multiple clauses and have a variety of structures. 

TIP >> Remember to identify two or three main features and write about those. You don't need to write about everything you see in order to gain a high band score. 


Sample Essay 2 - Line Graph Showing Future Trends

The line graph presented depicts the loan status of the Royal Bank of Scotland between the years 2012 to 2022. It is measured in millions of pounds sterling.

Overall, it can be seen that while student loans and mortgages are predicted to increase simultaneously over the period, auto loans and personal loans have highs and lows, therefore remaining much lower in comparison.

Firstly, it is clear that student loans and mortgages are following a very similar pattern over the years. Student loans stood at just under 1.500 million in 2012, noticeably, being the highest of the four groups. Though they remained constant up to 2013, they are expected to climb steadily to approximately 2.5 billion in 2022. Like the student loans, mortgages are predicted to follow a similar pattern and increase.

Secondly, auto loans are expected to show abnormalities of both highs and lows during the years. Although having initially grown, they will drop to 700 million in 2016, before reaching the peak of about 1500 million in 2020. Auto loans will end close to the amount where they began.

Finally, personal loans were staged at the lowest level of the four groups, at under 500 million in 2012. Despite climbing up and overtaking auto loans briefly in 2016 to about 800 million, this level will continue decreasing until 2022 to 400 million.

(Word Count = 223  / Band Score 9)


  • Task Achievement - The answer provides a paraphrased question, to begin with, followed by an overview that gives the reader key information. The final sentence has a future prediction.  
  • Coherence and Cohesion - The answer has been divided into clear logical paragraphs. The overview explains the trends generally then the specific information is written about in the main body paragraphs.      
  • Lexical Resource - There is evidence of paraphrasing, synonyms and some less common words. Specific vocabulary used to describe change over time has been used.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - The answer has no grammatical errors. The sentences have a variety of structures. 

TIP >> Remember to end the essay with a prediction for the future, after looking at the present.  


Sample Essay 3 - Process

The illustration shows the whole process of how a hydroelectric dam manufactures electricity from water.

Overall the main element of the procedure is the flow of water, making a reservoir of water, this is the first step until the last step where the power is produced and distributed. There are 5 main steps in this process. 

To begin, a body of water is stored in a large water reservoir holding the water until it goes into the intake. The dam will then control the flow of water to the intake. After that, water will flow to a cylindrical passage called a penstock, making it flow with a strong pressure until it reaches the turbine. Next, the current of the flowing water from the river passing through the penstock will maintain the turbine's rotation.

Subsequently, the rotation of the turbine would produce energy that will pass through a generator until electricity is produced. The generator is inside of the powerhouse, where long distance power lines are connected. Finally, from the generator, electricity is then transmitted to long distance power lines.

(Word Count = 178 / Band Score 9)


  • Task Achievement - The answer provides relevant information, describing the process through every stage. The overview gives clear information, leading into the main body paragraphs. 
  • Coherence and Cohesion - The answer has been divided into clear logical paragraphs, with clear cohesion between them with the addition of time connectors (after that, next, subsequently, finally). 
  • Lexical Resource - There is evidence of paraphrasing, synonyms and some less common words. 
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - The answer has no grammatical errors. The sentences are mainly made up of multiple clauses and have a variety of structures. There are no spelling mistakes and punctuation is correct.

TIP >> Write a good overview, with how many stages the process has, starting with..... and ending with......then go into the main detail of describing the process into the main body paragraphs.

TIP >> Describe the process and lead the reader through it by using time connectors. 


Sample Essay 4 - Line Graph

The line graph illustrates the climate conditions in Athens, Barcelona, and Sydney over the period of one year.

Overall, it can be seen that generally, the cities of Athens and Barcelona have a similar temperature movement in comparison with Sydney. Both Athens and Barcelona's temperatures peak during the summer months of June, July and August, while Sydney has lower temperatures during those three months. In contrast, Sydney's highest temperatures are when Athens and Barcelona have their lowest. 

To begin with, Athens has approximately 8 degrees of temperature in January with a gradual increase to 25 degrees in June. However, this trend slowly declined each month reaching close to 8 degrees by December. Similarly, Barcelona had a similar trend but started with just a little below 7 degrees in January. Nonetheless, after the succeeding months, there had been a steep incline to the temperature that peaked at around 28 degrees in August. But, a sudden drop to nearly 5 degrees per month was experienced for the remaining months until December with exact 6 degrees.

In contrast to Athens and Barcelona, Sydney’s temperature was just a little over 27 degrees in January but slowly decreased in the following months, reaching the lowest point at 14 degrees in July. Finally, this average monthly temperature incrementally increased each month, ending with the same temperature of 25 degrees in December.

(Word Count = 225 / Band Score 9)


  • Task Achievement - The answer provides a paraphrased question, to begin with, followed by an overview that gives the reader key information. 
  • Coherence and Cohesion - The answer has been divided into clear logical paragraphs. The overview explains the trends generally, then the specific information is written about in the main body paragraphs.      
  • Lexical Resource - There is evidence of paraphrasing, synonyms and some less common words. 
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - The answer has no grammatical errors. The sentences are mainly made up of multiple clauses and have a variety of structures. 

TIP >> Remember to compare and contrast information, using cohesive devices, such as overall, to begin with, similarly and finally. 


Sample Essay 5 - Table

The table illustrates the percentage of people who decided to shop in a humane way from 2012 to 2014.

Overall, it is evident that the free range/organic and fairtrade experienced declines in numbers of shoppers, whereas the pre-loved clothes became the most wanted items during the same period.

To begin, the proportion of people buying ethical clothing fell from just over half to only 20% or one fifth from 2012 to 2014. Similarly, the relative number of people buying Fairtrade items -- just under one quarter -- dropped by half in the same period. As for the free range and organic products, the relatively small percentage of people buying this type of product in 2012 (12%) also fell, although not significantly.

However, while the other three types of ethical shopping declined in importance, the opposite was true in the case of pre-loved clothes. In fact, while only a small minority of 12% were interested in purchasing these in 2012, this figure increased to well over half of all shoppers during the following two years reaching 58% in 2014.

(Word Count = 178 / Band Score 9)


  • Task Achievement - The answer provides a paraphrased question, to begin with, followed by an overview that gives the reader key information that is supported by data from the table. 
  • Coherence and Cohesion - The answer has been divided into clear logical paragraphs. The overview explains the trends generally, then the specific information is written about in the main body paragraphs.      
  • Lexical Resource - There is evidence of paraphrasing, synonyms and some less common words. 
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy - The answer has no grammatical errors. The sentences are mainly made up of multiple clauses and have a variety of structures. 

TIP >> Remember to highlight any trends that stand out, for example in this table, the number of people buying pre-loved clothes in 2014.


Writing Task 1 Band Score 9 Criteria >>


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