IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Analyze Charts, Maps, and Process Diagrams

hi there I'm IELTS master Li and this video lesson is on IELTS writing task 1 how to accurately analyze charts Maps and process diagrams first let's look at the writing task 1 problem and it's solution the problem is analyzing charts maps and process diagrams is hard it really is it's difficult test takers only have 20 minutes to analyze accurately plan and write and of course check if you have time so analyzing accurately analyzing things quickly and accurately is very very difficult the solution for this is to focus on your weak area and practice it in this case if you have trouble with analysis you need to practice analyzing just like athletes who play sports practice the area of their sport they have difficulty with you need to practice just the area you have difficulty with and then you can grow and practice the whole task but for now we're just going to practice analyzing practice analysis of these charts and maps and process diagrams in this video you'll learn how to practice analyzing charts maps and process diagrams one by one each part will also include an example analysis so first let's look at charts this chart analysis question list when you're practicing analyzing charts you can use this question list to help you analyze it correctly in the beginning you should look at all the questions on the list but as you practice more you can remember the process for analyzing these charts and maps and process diagrams and you don't need the question list as much but to get started let's look through these questions first what kind of data is being shown for line or bar charts what are the axes if you look at this really small line chart on the right the axes are the lines on the left side this then down line and the line on the bottom of it the right and left line usually the up and down axis is the number of something how many for example how many dollars or what percentage of people and then the bottom line is usually time not always but usually some kind of time on a line graph like this now if you have a table then you could ask yourself what are the columns or rows and what kind of data is being shown by the columns or rows next you'll ask what are the units of measurement for example the amount the percentage the age is it in Millions is it in thousands very important stuff because if you get this wrong your task achievement score for task one writing will go down all right next is there more than one group being compared for example sometimes there are three different countries being compared in one chart you need to make note of this next does it show change over time okay do we have time or are there multiple charts this is very common in IELTS so you need to be careful to notice if it shows change over time next what are the time periods shown if it does show change over time what are the time periods is it in the past is the present is it the future why is this important because if it's in the past then you need to use past tense for your grammar if it's in the future well you're going to use different grammar then if it were only in the past different sentence structures and different verb tenses alright next what is the general trend so overall you look at the graph the chart do you see it increasing do you see a decreasing or something else did it go up and then peak and then go back down you need to notice what the general trends are are there any large differences between groups or charts number seven so if there are multiple groups for example three different countries are there any big differences between these three different countries if it's a chart and you have multiple charts maybe you have a pie chart like on the top right and you have a line graph maybe you have two for one question what are the big differences and what do these different graphs or charts show you and number eight are there any groups or charts that share similarities so we looked at differences in number seven next we're looking at similarities what is very similar what is almost the same in these different groups or charts and finally number nine how can I break it into two parts okay when I'm writing task 1 reports I tried to write with 4 paragraphs I have my introduction my overview and then two body paragraphs because this is very logical for me and it makes it easy to organize so when I look at a graph when I look at the data that the IELTS task gives me I tried to break it into two parts this is very easy if you have two different charts but it can be more difficult if you only have one chart so think about it can you break it logically into two parts sometimes the answer is no but usually more often than not the answer is yes okay so these are the nine questions you can ask yourself to analyze charts let's look at an example next in this chart analysis example we have the chart on the right side we don't have the question we don't need the question we're just going to look at the chart and we're going to go through each of the questions on here number one what kind of data is being shown and so this is a bar chart we're going to look at the axes here on the y axis which is on the left the up and down line we have men and women in further education and in the thousands okay we want to make sure we don't mess up this either so it will be one hundred thousand two hundred thousand and so on and so forth and then in the x axis or on the x axis down below we have years and we have 1970 and 1971 this is very interesting and I don't know if it's easy to understand or not but if we look down below this is about education right education usually has school years so this first one 1970 to 1971 this is the 1970 1971 school year or you could just say the 1970 school year very important to notice what are the units of measurement okay so we have men and women I think the unit of measurement we have people so it's the amount of people and it's in thousands right is there more than one group being compared what do you think well yes there is more than one group being compared in fact we have a combination of different groups on the left side of the chart we have males on the right side of the chart we have females and in the black is full-time education and in the gray is part-time education so many different groups that are going on here very interesting does it show change over time well absolutely the x-axis shows years 1970 school year 1980 school year in 1990 school year so there's definitely change over time what are the time period shown do we have anything in the present or future I don't think so its 1970 1980 1990 this is all in the past what is the general trend okay well we have quite a few general trends here but there are a few that I see first is full-time education increased from the beginning to the end next female enrollments increased tremendously and they overtook males what else can we see here part-time education as a whole is maybe about the same if you look in 1998 males and females it's pretty close maybe too close to right about as a general trend alright so those are the some of the general trends I'm sure there are more number seven are there any large differences between groups or charts Wow okay how about full-time education versus part-time education huge difference right part-time education is much more popular from the beginning until the end but we do have some other interesting differences females increase the entire time whereas males decreased before recovering slightly okay so those are some differences are there any similarities any similarities well let's look at full-time education for both males and females the black once these both increased each year right so this is a similarity that we share and you can also say for females in both full-time education and part-time education they increased overall three years and then finally how can I break it into two parts well this is there are lots of options here you could do one part about full-time education and one part about full part-time education or you could do one part about males and the other part about females it's up to you and what you think is easiest to break down for the two paragraphs next let's look at maps map questions are pretty difficult they're rare they come out usually my students are upset when they get a map question but let's be prepared for these map questions question number one is there more than one map being compared usually the answer is yes but it's important to notice right what are the time periods shown past present future like we talked about before the time periods can change the language that you use and are they in different maps are they in the same map be different time periods number three what are the most noticeable differences between the multiple maps or time periods what are the biggest differences number four what parts of the map are the same in both maps and time periods and number five can the map or maps be easily broken into two parts and how all right interesting stuff let's look at an example number one is there more than one map being compared well yes there are two maps we can see the before and after here on the right side next number two what are the time periods shown well we have before and we have after but we don't know is this the past the present or the future and then are they in different maps or the same map well here they're on different maps number three what are the most noticeable differences between the multiple maps or time periods Wow there are quite a few differences well we see that there's been a lot of development in the second map right there's accommodation now there's appear their boats that travel to this island so people have started to live on the island there's a restaurant there's a swimming area out on the left number four what parts of the map are the same in both well interesting what is the same here mmm well the geography of the map overall is very similar right not much has changed in terms of the shape of the island the beach is still in the same area the island is still the same shape there's nothing new there and other than that everything else looks different I suppose the trees are the same but I'm not sure if the trees are actual features or just decoration in the map and then number five can the map be easily broken into two parts how hmm this is quite an interesting question can it be easily broken into two parts well if I were writing this how would I break it down into two parts you could write one about the different buildings that have been built and also about the transport networks that have been made the footpath and vehicle paths we can see this legend down here on the bottom right where it says footpath and vehicle track and so that's an important feature of this map we don't want to skip that so it might be valuable to write about this vehicle track and footpath and where they lead to in one paragraph and about the different places the restaurant and reception and accommodation and area and perhaps the boats in fear in another paragraph I would probably write about the buildings in the first paragraph and then the footpath and vehicle track in the second paragraph and that's just one way to do this if you can't think of a way to break down the map into two parts then that's okay you can just write one big body paragraph but it will be a little bit more difficult to organize all right that's for the map analysis example next process diagrams oh man everybody's favorite process diagram analysis question list number one where is the start of the process and where's the end number two how many total stages are there number three what kind of process is it is it a cycle or a linear process linear means start to finish so a cycle the beginning and the end are basically the same it just continues on and on and on and a linear has a beginning and then has an end and they're not connected number four what does each stage do and what is its connection with the previous stage and number five what is the end result is something produced finally number six can the process be easily broken into two parts how yes I really like this last question and I know it's in all of my question lists because it makes task one easier to write for me all right and the example for the process diagram number one where's the start of the process in the end let's look at this process diagram we actually have two on the Left we have cement production and on the right we have concrete production all right so we're making two different types of things very interesting but let's look at this left one first okay in the beginning we have the top so it starts at the top and it finishes at the bottom some process diagrams go from right to left others go from top to bottom and on the right I think we're also going from top to bottom but we just have these different ingredients that are going into the concrete mixer and mixing them so like they're only perhaps two steps we don't know the order on the right one which brings us to question number two how many total stages are there for concrete production it's not very clear and even for cement production we don't know exactly how many stages there but I'd say for concrete production on the right we have perhaps two stages two easy stages to write about one is adding all the ingredients and the other is the concrete being mixed so the ingredients being mixed together and cement production well we have the limestone and clay go through the crusher they're made into powder and then go into the mixer where they're passed on to the rotating heater which blows heat into it then they're moved to the grinder which puts them into cement and then into bags so I'm not counting right now but you can count how many or make a tally of how many processes it's not super important that you know how many stages are but if it's very clear then perhaps you can write how many stages are and if anything it helps you move and understand the process a little bit better number three what kind of process is it is it a cycle or a linear process well I think both of these are linear processes we have the cement production and then we have the concrete production and we don't finish with the original things again we finished with a different product so it's a linear start-to-finish process number four what does each stage do I just talked about that for both cement and concrete so I won't go back through it again but it's very important to note the connection with the previous stage as well how does it get to that part number five what is the end result is something produced whoo yes we have bags of cement in the cement production and we have concrete in the concrete production one so we definitely have something produced here and number six can the process be easily broken into two parts how well what a nice example we have two different process diagrams so this is quite easy to break up into two parts all right did you get that fantastic your action step for today is to find five tasks one writing questions and do the analysis for each of them just do the analysis questions alright you don't need to write the report you can if you want but you don't need to write the report for every question but do the analysis practice your analysis once you become comfortable using the question list try to use it a bit less each time until you don't need it anymore until it's so easy for you to analyze it that you don't need to read through each of these questions but you can be confident you're not missing any information great job thanks so much for watching guys I hope this video was useful for you for more IELTS lessons please subscribe to our Alps master YouTube channel you can find us at slash IELTS master or IELTS – master comm check out some more videos on the right side thanks so much

27 thoughts on “IELTS Writing Task 1 – How to Analyze Charts, Maps, and Process Diagrams

  1. Recently i have given test where i get a question that has two maps though question said nothing neither its map nor diagram …in that case what should we write in introduction? Are we allowed to write maps in introduction or not? (for example the maps illustrate)

  2. if any body interest to practice ielts together with me so please send me mail to make a group of practice for helping each others specially for checking of writing
    [email protected]

  3. your really master for ielts thats was the main problem for me .
    but kindly request to make one video about to avoid spelling mistakes and also in-light using of passive voice for diagrams ,maps and flow chart.

  4. Qus. If we have 2 same type of task bt before and after some changes do we need to write 2 brief conclusions or 1 only plse reply…

  5. Thanks for this beautiful lesson. Your passion and presentation skills spiced up with the humour made it just so amazing . However, Sir, I'll like U to through more insight in the following issues . Do I start my task 1 sentences by adding the sub headings , Introduction :
    Body paragraph 1:
    Body paragraph 2:

    Is it really necessary to add these sub headings at the beginning of each paragraph?

  6. Yes ~~!! You are so amazing ~! cause I have a difficult to write task 1 Now i know what i missed ! ! thank you ! i just got it. Thank you 🙂

  7. Is it correct to say "amount of people"? I thought it should be number of people, as people are countable

  8. Great video. Very helpful. Thank you.
    Please check out another helpful and informative IELTS source here:

  9. Hi,
    I am back. The videos are awesome and I remember that you told me English is an art not a Science.
    I have made a video , your feedback is appreciated.I am not sure whether it is good or the explanation is unclear for the audience. Anyway I hope my pronunciation is clear.

  10. Wow, what a great explanation! You're seriously one of the best teachers out there. Thank you for all the useful tips 🙂

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