Academic writing module: overview of first writing task

In the Academic Writing Module, the first task is to write a report.

You will be given a visual chart (a chart, graph, diagram or table). You have to transfer the visual information into text using your own words. Your response should be a short descriptive report of at least 150 ways.

If you are asked to describe two graphs or charts, you will need to compare and contrast the information and make connections between the two.

This task tests your ability:

  • to present, describe, interpret and compare data
  • to describe how something works
  • to use appropriate and accurate language

Pie charts

They are circular charts divided into ‘slices’. Pie charts are usually used to illustrate percentages.

Line graphs

Line graphs have an x-axis and a y-axis. They are used to show how something changes over time. Line graphs are commonly used to show trends. The x-axis usually shows the time period. The y-axis shows the data that is being measured.

Bar graphs

Just like line graphs, bar graphs too have two axes. They are used for showing how something has changed over a period of time. Bar graphs are made of rectangular bars that can be vertically or horizontally arranged.


Tables contain numbers and words. They are displayed in boxes or columns.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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