IELTS Report

The first task in the academic section is the IELTS report. This is different from task 1 in the general section, the IELTS letter.

For the academic task 1 you’ll be given a figure or table to look at and describe. This could be a line graph, bar chart, pie chart or table. You might get more than one figure or table to describe in one question.

Write a good IELTS report and you could be studying in another country soon.

The first thing to do when writing an IELTS report is to look at the information you’re given carefully. Spend two or three minutes looking at the figure or table. Look for the main information contained within it. Possibly make notes about it or circle the important information you need to include in your answer.

But don’t spend too long doing this. You only have one hour to write answers to the questions in tasks 1 and 2. This means that you should only spend 20 minutes on task 1.

Also remember that the minimum word count for your answer is 150 words. If you write less than this you’ll lose marks. Try to get good at estimating how much you’ve written without having to count all the words. This will save time.



How to Write an IELTS Report

You don’t need to analyse the data given in the question and you don’t need any knowledge about the topic. You just need to be able to describe what the figure or table shows.

When writing your answer remember to use paragraphs; this makes your writing easier to understand and is also a marking criteria from the IELTS band descriptors published by the British Council. You should have:

  • One introductory paragraph that is short (one sentence), which describes what the data is.
  • Two main paragraphs that describe the information in the question.


In the main paragraphs describe the trends in the data and the main points. If you’ve been given just one figure or table refer to most or even all of the information included in it. Describe if the figure’s data goes up or down, if there are fluctuations or if there is no pattern.

You need to be able to describe what you see in words. This makes the task easy in some ways, you just need to look at the figure and write, and use English well.

The following are things you should remember to do when answering an academic task 1 question:

  • Remember to include the units if they’re given in the table or figure.
  • Look carefully at the information given in the question as you need to refer to it, quote data from the figure or table, but you also need to get it right. Make time to read the graph correctly.
  • Look for trends and highlight them by commenting about them.
  • Highlight interesting data points, these could be the starting and finishing points as well as data points that seem odd or out of place.
  • Refer to everything or as much as possible so you give an even and full summary of the whole graph or table. Don’t just describe one part in detail; describe the whole in slightly less detail.
  • If you need more help see the rest of the IELTS writing section on this site.



IELTS Writing Correction Service

The best way to get better at writing IELTS reports is to practice. You can do this by yourself, but it would be better if you had an IELTS writing tutor to help identify your mistakes and where you could use IELTS vocabulary better. Excellent Proofreading and Writing has a team of experienced ESL teachers who can help you get better.

See the page about our IELTS writing correction service or ask questions through the contact me page or on our Facebook page.



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