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IELTS Writing Task 1 Topics - What you shouldn’t miss!

IELTS Writing Task 1 is different for General Training test takers and Academic test takers.

Letter Writing - Task 1 for General Training

Letter Writing - Task 1 for General Training students is letter writing which can be segregated into Formal, Semi-formal and Informal letter writing.

Some of the common IELTS Writing Task 1 topics under this category can be complaint letters, apology letters, letters of enquiry, job application letters, letters to government offices and personal letters to friends and family, inviting them over or giving them good/bad news.

However, the letter writing should not be confused with email writing. These two have no connection whatsoever and the rules of Letter writing should be followed religiously to avoid losing any bands.

Most students find it easy to write, but a word of caution, it should be not be taken lightly. If all the conditions of letter writing are met, the student can score good bands which will help him to boost his overall writing band as well.


The letter should be a minimum of 150 words and this does include the salutation and sign-off of the letter. Salutations and sign-offs have to be appropriate to the letter the student is attempting. The tone, the vocabulary of the writing should also suit the kind of letter.

For example, using formal vocabulary in the formal letter which is addressed to your boss or a student writing to his or her teacher. Mixing up lexical resources can be bad for the bands. Insistence on grammar, punctuation and spellings cannot be enough. One can lose bands over silly errors like the omission of a full stop or a comma at required places.

One should follow the sequence of the question and keep writing the answers for the same in a similar order. Covering all the points of the questions in the letter is a must. Do not play with the chronology while writing the paragraphs. Make neat and individual paras for every question and provide a closing statement at the end just before you sign it off.

Managing the time is quite important. So make sure that you finish the writing in 10-15 mins and have 5 mins at the end to review. Make reviewing your writing an essential habit.

Report Writing - Task 1 for Academic Training

Report Writing - In contrast to letter writing, Report writing has been found to be quite overwhelming for many students who are preparing for IELTS Academic exam. However, if understood once and with a little bit of effort and analysis, report writing can become a cakewalk.

To understand report writing, one needs to understand the IELTS Writing Task 1 topics first. It is quite a list which includes Bar charts, Line graphs, Pie charts, Tables, Maps and layout comparisons, Processes as so on. The most crucial thing to remember is that these can come as stand-alone or as a combination question, hence the student should practice both ways.


The minimum word count mentioned by IELTS is 150 words, therefore the student should make sure that they are writing not less than the prescribed limit, otherwise, it can attract a penalty. The report writing has to be crisp and precise but should also cover all the necessary points.

IELTS Writing Task 1 topics like a bar, line graphs, pie charts and tables have factual information. The data while writing the report has to be carefully selected and compared. Hence, such kind of writing requires planning and analyzing skills. However, this cannot be learned overnight and requires a lot of practice and patience.

On the other hand, questions based on processes, flow charts, maps, illustrations require an understanding of the diagram. Such reports do not demand any comparisons and contrast to be presented, only flow is to be depicted. In a way, such kind of questions become easier as it takes out the stress of selecting and choosing the right facts to write. One has to read the logic and present the diagram as it is.

Although IELTS does not define a hard-and-fast rule with regards to the timings, it is strongly recommended to the students not to spend more than 20 minutes on task 1. There are a couple of reasons for the same. The first being the weightage of the task is one-third whereas, task 2 counts up to twice as much. The second reason is the word count. Writing a minimum of 150 words should not take more than 10-15 mins, giving the student ample time to review the writing a review is an important aspect.

To know more about Writing IELTS Task 1 topics and for any further assistance, book a free session. You can also try a hand on some practice tests to sharpen your skills.

About the Author

I am a certified IELTS teaching professional and have a vast experience of training IELTS students to crack their test successfully and nurturing the IELTS trainers with their training journeys.

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