Task 1 - Golden Rules
Make sure you do Task 1 first – there is a big psychological advantage to this because you’ll feel more confident once you’ve finished it.
· For Task 1, you should make sure that you don’t go over 20 minutes.
o You should make sure that you take 2-3 minutes to plan your answer and put your thoughts in order.
o 14-15 minutes to write your answer
o 2-3 minutes to check your work for mistakes
Make sure you write at least 150 words – if you write less than 150 words you will lose marks. Don’t write more than 170-180 words, you’re just wasting time.
Make sure you do not copy parts of the question directly as these words will be taken away from your word count.
Make sure you understand the information before you start – especially the units used in the data. Don’t write’27’ when the graph says ‘27 million.’
Make sure that you compare general trends, differences and similarities; and make sure you back this up information from the diagram. DON’T just write a list of all the information, and DON’T focus too much on all the details.
If you have more than one chart make sure you link the information somehow.
Make sure you write in paragraphs; and you have an introduction, a body and a brief conclusion.
One very common mistake in Task 1 is to use grammar and vocab that is too simple and to use the same grammar and vocab too many times. When you practice, get used to using as many different ways to say things as you can and get familiar with how to include some complex grammar structures.
One of the key things is to practice every day. One good source for practicing Task 1 is the The Economist website which publishes a daily chart that is similar to the graphs and charts often used in Task 1.