Academic Writing Task 1 Questions to Practice your Visual Literacy

Practice your Visual Literacy for IELTS

Visual literacy for IELTS is a critical skill, especially for Academic Writing Task 1, but it often takes a lot of practice to perfect it. On this page, you’ll find lots of practice to help you improve your visual literacy and speed up your ‘reading’ of charts, maps, processes, and diagrams. Soon, you’ll be able to very quickly ‘read’ the information that is presented in a visual format.

As always, I’m happy to score your response for free. Just write your description in the comments box below.

If you want more detailed feedback on your response please use my paid writing correction service.

Bar Charts

Percentage of Population aged 65 and over

The chart below gives information about the UK’s ageing population in 1985 and makes predictions for 2035.

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

For step-by-step instructions on how to structure your response, please take a look at the video and content on the Bar Chart Page.


Airport Visitors 1995-2000

The chart below shows the number of travellers using three major airports in New York City between 1995 and 2000.

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

For step-by-step instructions on how to structure your IELTS Writing Task 1 response, please take a look at the video and content on the Bar Chart Page.


Factors Affecting Work Performance

The bar chart below shows the results of a survey conducted by a personnel department at a major company. The survey was carried out on two groups of workers: those aged from 18-30 and those aged 45-60, and shows factors affecting their work performance.

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


Graphs

IELTS Academic 2019

The graph shows the band scores achieved by IELTS test-takers in 2019.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

For step-by-step instructions on how to structure your IELTS Writing Task 1 response, please take a look at the video and content on the Graph Page.


CAEL Overall Scores 2018 – 2020

The graph shows the overall scores achieved by CAEL test-takers in the years between 2018 and 2020.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

For step-by-step instructions on how to structure your response, please take a look at the video and content on the Graph Page


Burnaby Public Library

The graph shows the number of books read by men and women at Burnaby Public Library from 2011 to 2014.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant


International Student Enrolment

The line graph gives information about the number of Iranian, Greek and Turkish students who enrolled at Sheffield University between 2005 and 2009.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.


Tables

Cultural Activities

The Table below shows the results of a survey that asked 6800 Scottish adults (aged 16 years and over) whether they had taken part in different cultural activities in the past 12 months.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

If you’re having trouble with this question, it often helps to think in terms of the ‘trends’ it reveals.


Olympic Medals

The table below shows the number of medals won by the top ten countries in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.


Underground Railways

The take below gives information about the underground railway systems in six cities.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

If you’re having trouble with this question, it often helps to think in terms of the ‘trends’ it reveals.


Pie Charts

Someland Expenditures

The pie charts below show the changes in annual spending by local authorities in Someland in 1980, 1990 and 2000.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

For step-by-step instructions on how to structure your IELTS Writing Task 1 response, please take a look at the video and content on the Pie Chart Page.


Retail Sector Sales

The two pie charts below show the online shopping sales for retail sectors in Canada in 2005 and 2010.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

For step-by-step instructions on how to structure your response, please take a look at the video and content on the Pie Chart Page.


Canadian Graduates

The graphs below show the post-school qualifications held by Canadians in the age groups 25 to 35 and 45 to 55.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

If you’re having trouble with this question, it often helps to think in terms of the ‘trends’ it reveals.

Keep in mind that, because the question uses the present to identify the people, and the past to identify their qualifications, you should do that too.


US Expenses

The charts below show US spending patterns between 1966 and 1996.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

If you’re having trouble with this question, it often helps to think in terms of the ‘trends’ it reveals.


Processes

Work Experience Requirements

The flowchart shows the process involved in completing the work experience requirement for university students.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

As always, make sure you use the passive voice in your response because the passive voice is the language of academia.


Plastic Production

The flowchart illustrates the production of coloured plastic paper clips in a small factory.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

As always, make sure you use the passive voice in your response because the passive voice is the language of academia.


Peanut Butter Production

The diagram shows the  process  that a peanut goes through to become peanut butter.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features.

As always, make sure you use the passive voice in your response because the passive voice is the language of academia.


Maps

Canterbury

The map below is of the town of Canterbury. A new school (S) is planned for the area. The map shows two possible sites for the school.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

Make sure you use the passive voice in your response because the passive voice is the language of academia.

Take a look at this map essay sample for ideas about how to respond to these questions


Felixstone Developments

The map shows the development of Felixstone between 1967 and 2001. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

Make sure you use the passive voice in your response since the passive voice is the language of academia.

Take a look at this map essay sample for ideas about how to respond to these questions.


More Visual Literacy Practice

For more visual literacy practice in preparation for IELTS Academic writing task 1, try the prompts on these websites. At this point, your goal is to develop your visual literacy, particularly your ability to quickly identify two trends. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what picture you use. In other words, you could just do an image search for graphs, charts, or tables. Once you’re good at recognizing trends, start developing each one into a paragraph with a statement and details.

IELTS test online Has lots of practice questions

English exam – Offers a variety a practice questions.

IELTS Buddy – has a nice selection too

For same sample responses and suggestions about how to approach this writing task, take a look at the step-by-step instruction for a graph, a map, and a bar chart.

Once you’ve finished your response, you can submit it to my writing correction service.

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