In this lesson you will learn about Writing Task 1 and what is required to produce a good essay.
What happens in this part of the test?
You will spend 20 minutes writing an essay of at least 150 words. The essay should be written in an academic or neutral style. This essay is worth half the marks of Task 2 so don’t spend too much time on it.
What am I being tested on?
You are being tested on your ability to describe in writing. The task is designed to assess how well you can identify the most important information and relevant information in a chart, graph, table, diagram or plan. The essay is short so although you have to include relevant details, it is more important to give a well-organised overview of the information.
What do I have to do?
You may be asked to to describe facts or figures presented in one or more graphs, charts or tables on a related topic; or you may be given a diagram of a machine, a device or a process and asked to explain how it works. Sometimes the information is presented as a plan, for a building or street.
How should I approach this part of the test?
- Spend a minute or two carefully reading the information. It is very important that you understand it before you start writing about it.
- Look for the most important or significant information in the chart, graph, table or diagram. This might be a large or sudden change, a surprising change, a surprising comparison, or something else. The most significant feature doesn’t have to be dramatic, however: if a line graph shows slow and steady change then that is the most significant feature.
- Tip: Graphs, charts and diagrams are very common. Get into the habit of noticing them and working out what the most significant feature is.
- Plan your answer, either in your head or on paper.
- The essay is likely to be 3 or maybe 4 paragraphs long. Paragraph one gives a descriptive overview of the information, and draws attention to the significant features. This paragraph is very important. Do not include too much detail here.
- The remaining paragraphs then give much more descriptive detail, describing changes, making comparisons, etc.
- You may include a final paragraph summing up but this is not always necessary, and be careful not to repeat yourself.
Please open the exercise to continue.