Academic IELTS Writing Task 1

Grammar

Even though, we think that grammar is not as important as lexis (vocabulary), students often want to focus on grammar as it provides some structure or a base to hold on to.

Additionally, Grammatical Range and Accuracy is 1 of the 4 band descriptors you will be graded on for the IELTS writing test. Therefore, grammar accounts for 25% of the overall score.You are assessed on the following 2 things:

  1. Your ability to produce grammatically accurate sentences, so to write without any mistakes. Examiners look for how many ‘error free’ sentences you have, therefore you need to make sure each, or as many sentences as possible sentence have no errors. Even a small mistake like the wrong article, or forgetting your s in plural counts towards this. This is why it is extremely important to check your work after you finish writing. Always leave two minutes at the end to check your writing and correct your mistakes. Checking for these simple mistakes, that we all make, and correcting them will get you higher score! So, don’t think those 2 minutes are a waste of time they are crucial for your overall score.
  2. Your ability to use a wide range of grammar structures, to use more complex grammar structures. To score well you will have to have a range of appropriate structures and tenses. Many students try to insert complex sentences and tenses into their answers, This is not how to do it and will result in your answers looking unnatural and you making mistakes. If you write a good answer, complex sentences, such as conditional and relative clauses will flow naturally.

Grammar structures to boost your IELTS writing score:

Overview:

We will have a look at the following grammar:

Describing Trends

In IELTS writing task 1 you will have to describe trends when analysing or comparing graphs. You could use the verb to be or start with a noun phrase.

Verb to be

There + be + adj. + noun + in + a noun phrase
Examples:

  • There was a gradual rise in the price of oil.
  • There has been a sharp drop in the price of oil.

Noun phrase

Noun phrase + verb + adverb
Examples:

  • The price of oil rose gradually.
  • The price of oil has risen dramatically.

As you can see in both structures you still need to know the proper vocabulary to describe trends. So, don’t forget to study your verbs, adjectives and adverbs for task 1.

Describing Increases and/or Decreases

In chart of IELTS writing task 1 you will have to describe either increase or decreases. This can be done in 3 different ways. You can again use either the verb to be or a noun phrase, but you can also use fractions.

Verb to be

There + be + noun + in + noun phrase
Examples:

  • There was a fall in literacy levels.
  • There has been an increase in the cost of coffee.

Noun phrases

Noun phrase + verb + adverb
Example:

  • The price of property fell sharply
  • The percentage of homes dropped dramatically.

Fractions

Examples:

  • The price of oil halved in less than a year.
  • The price of oil has halved since July.
  • By July, the price of oil has halved.

Making Comparisons

If there is one thing you will always have to do, with academic IELTS writing task 1, is compare data. To compare to things, you will need a comparative structure, to select one above all you’ll use a superlative structure.

Comparatives

More/few/less + noun phrase + than
Example: Overall, more people preferred public transport than taxis.

One syllable -er + than
Example: A higher number of people preferred public transport than taxis.

More/less + adj. of more than one syllable + than
Example: Taxis were more popular than public transport.

Superlatives

One syllable -est.
Example: The highest % of commuters preferred taxis.

The most/least + adj. of more than one syllable.
Example: The least popular mode of transport was buses.

Tenses

In any writing it is important to master your tenses, but especially in Academic writing task 1, where you might need to compare data over different times, the past, present, and the future. The key is to look at the title of the chart as well as the information contained on both axes. This will give you an idea which tense to use.

Examples:
If the time is one point in the past, for example January 1990, then we should use the past tense.
If it has projections for the future, for example 2045, we use future tenses.
It there is no time, we use present simple.

Tenses overview

The tense you will use depends on the information in the graph. It is crucial to have a good understanding of all tenses. The following tense are but a few of the crucial tenses needed for academic writing task 1.

Past Simple

To talk about an action that started and finished at a specific time in the past.

Example: The price of oil fell from $150 in Jan 2014 to $50 in Jan 2015.

As stated before, this is just a small overview of some of the tenses used. For the whole IELTS test you will have to make sure you can deal with all the English tenses. You will also need them for your speaking, your writing task 2, as well as your listening and reading.

So fare our overview of grammar needed for Academic IELTS writing task 1.

Present Perfect

One reason the use the present perfect is to talk about an unspecified action in the past, so we do not really know when it happened, or it is un important. In academic writing task 1,  it is used to talk about changes in the data that have happened over a period of time.

Example: The price of oil has fallen by $5 a barrel every week since July.

Present Perfect Continuous

In academic writing task 1 it is used to talk about something that started in the past and has continued until now.

Example: Oil prices have been decreasing since July.

Future Perfect

In Academic writing task 1 it is used to state that something will be finished by a particular time in the future, therefore we often use it with by or in.

Example: The price of oil will have reached $300 a barrel by 2020.

Share us with the world

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on vk

Get your writing and speaking corrected

Join the ever growing group of students who we helped on the road to success and get the professional help you have been looking for.

Useful Links

Writing Correction

Have one of our teachers look at your Writing Task and give feedback and correction within 24 Hours

Writing Task 1

Have a look at an overview of Academic IELTS Writing Task 1

Writing Task 1 Tips & Tricks

Have a look at some of the important tips and tricks to get a better score at Academic IELTS Writing Task 1

Writing Task 1 Grammar

Have a look at some of the grammar needed for Academic IELTS Writing Task 1

Writing Task 1 Vocabulary

Have a look at some of the vocabulary needed for the introduction and general overview of Academic IELTS Writing Task 1

Writing Task 1 Graphs

Have a look at how to deal with Graphs, how to analyse, structure, write,…

Writing Task 1 Graphs Examples

Have a look at some of the examples of Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Graphs and see how other people deal with writing them.

Writing Task 1 Graphs Vocabulary Change

Have a look at some Graph Vocabulary to deal with Dynamic Graphs and Changes.

Writing Task 1 Graphs Vocabulary Numbers

Have a look at some Graph Vocabulary to deal with Graphs and Numbers.

Writing Task 1 Graphs Vocabulary Practice

Have a look at some exercises and practice some of the vocabulary used for Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Graphs

Writing Task 1 Maps

Have a look at how to deal with Maps, how to analyse, structure, write,…

Writing Task 1 Maps Examples

Have a look at some of the examples of Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps and see how other people deal with writing them.

Writing Task 1 Maps Vocabulary 

Have a look at some of the vocabulary used for Academic Writing Task 1 Maps

Writing Task 1 Maps Vocabulary Practice

Have a look at some exercises and practice some of the vocabulary used for Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps

Writing Task 1 Processes

Have a look at how to deal with Processes, how to analyse, structure, write,…

Writing Task 1 Processes Examples

Have a look at some of the examples of Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps and see how other people deal with writing them.

Writing Task 2

Have a look at an overview of IELTS Writing Task 2 and how to deal with it.

If you think there are some questions missing, do let us know in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Can't find what you need?

our teachers

Can’t find what you need?
Ask our teachers: