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IELTS Diagram 2016: Model Answer

The IELTS diagram below was reported in the IELTS test in September 2016. It has been reproduced as accurately as possible. I have included measurements as it was reported that some measurements were available in the original.

The model answer will give you an idea of how to organise your writing task 1 report for these types of diagrams and how to report what you see.

I will upload a free pdf copy of the task and model answer on Friday for you to download.


Model Answer: IELTS Diagram 2016

The diagrams illustrate two types of stone cutting tools from three view points which were crafted by early man 1.4 million years ago and 80,000 years ago. Overall, the shape of the stones was similar in both periods but the tools from the later period were sharper,slimmer and made with more precision which shows the development of early man’s skills.

The stone cutting tools 1.4 million years ago were an irregular leaf shape with a base which measured 5 cm and narrowed at the tip. The tip, although pointed, was not sharp but blunt due to the lack of precision in making the tools. The method of carving was crude causing an irregular shape.

80,000 years ago, mankind had developed better skills and had perfected the cutting tool. By this time, the tool was more streamlined and measured only 3cm at the base. The sides of the tool were smoother and the tip of the tool was sharp, making it a more effective cutting tool.

Words = 164

You can find tips for IELTS writing task 1 by click on the following links:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Paragraphs

IELTS Writing Task 1 Conclusion or Overview

IELTS Writing Task 1 Model Answers and Tips

Main IELTS Pages

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  1. Hello,

    What size of paper should I use to print answer sheet required to practice writing?


  2. Santhosh Srinivasagan says:

    Hey Liz,
    I know that Assumptions are not supposed to be made in Task 1.
    In the second paragraph where you mention that the tools are blunt due to lack of precision.
    Since they have not mentioned precision in the question, It means you are making an assumption. right?

    • No, the accuracy of making the tools is shown in the diagrams. The diagrams actually illustrate the improvement in making tools – better accuracy, sharper etc. This is not my opinion – the diagrams show this. If you want an example of an opinion: “The tools have been sharper because people are developing better hunting skills and require more food”. This is an opinion – it presumes a reason that is not given.

      • Looking at the diagrams, I came up with two ways of analysis. One was the one that you wrote; development in tool making skills, and the other one was that the older stone had become less sharp because of erosion. If what you wrote isn’t assumption, will my second analysis (about erosion) also be appropriate?

        • The dates given are about when each stone was made – this means each item is current to the given date. They show examples of what the tools were like in that period. This diagram does NOT show erosion. Writing about erosion would mean that you have misunderstood the task and you will get a low score for Task Achievement which is 25% of your writing task 1 marks.

  3. Hi Liz, just want to clarify both the Academic and General module will get same type of writing task or it differs?

  4. Shravankumar says:

    Hello Mam,
    I have been following your IELTS tips and lessons for six months.You are providing such a beautiful lessons and guidelines.I registered for IELTS Academic yesterday and took date 24th May.
    I have little query regarding to the LISTENING Task.
    Can I write two different answers by putting forward slash(/) which I listened in audio in case of two probable answers?

    Please give reply Mam because your answers are most valuable to me and everyone.

    • No, you can’t write two answers and hope that one is correct. You write one answer and only one answer. This is a test!!!

  5. Erliza Abes Nieto says:

    Ma’am Liz you are such a wonderful man which is a very big blessing to us. Thank you so much for sharing with us your knowlegde.
    God bless you more my dear ma’am.

    Yours truly,
    Erliza Abes Nieto

  6. Thanks Liz. It is very helpful.

  7. Riccardo Erba says:

    Hi Liz. Thank you for your lessons and help. it is very commendable what are you doing here.
    i was wondering where can I find more diagrams like the one you posted here. i want to practice a bit more on these. thank you very much

  8. Hi Liz!
    Isn’t the “mankind have developed better skills” personal opinion? because I think I can’t say what is better.
    I heard Ielts do not recommend to write personal thinking on task 1
    However, I don’t know what extend is personal opinion and what is not.
    could you tell me about it?
    thanks a lot

    • The information in the diagrams shows that skills in making objects has improved. This is not my opinion – it is shown in the diagrams. If I said that their skills have improved due to better diet – that is opinion.

  9. Hi Liz, me and my husband are having an argument over third person singular, he says that “s”and “es” can only be used with he she and it. Thus this sentence ” the graph illustrates” is incorrect because it is not he she or it…plz clear my confusion I can’t argue over it with him he is very obstinate 😂🤣

    • the graph = it / the graphs = they
      the graph illustrates / the graphs illustrate
      I suggest you review your basic English grammar.

  10. Dear Liz,
    Is the overview the most important part of a writing task 1 essay? I got the news from someone and I am really confused. What should I do to write a good overview? Thank you.

  11. Hi Liz,
    Is it ok to add our own ideas (which haven’t been provided in the diagram) in task 1 such as “which shows the development of early man’s skills” and “mankind had developed better skills and had perfected the cutting tool”?

    • Your aim is to report what you see. Any information you add which is not in the diagram will lower your score.

      • Thanks Liz. The ideas I’ve mentioned have been taken from the model answer given above, but I’ve just read your replies to similar questions asked previously (by Monica, Bijay and Enrique) and I think I understand now.

        • Always remember that a report is aimed at summarising the information given. Your introduction will paraphrase the statement given. Your overview will contain the key features. Your body paragraphs will summarise the bulk of the task 1 with details / information – but all from the task given.

  12. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your tutorials. My question is, is it necessary to use indentations for your paragraphs.

    Best regards

  13. ulughbek says:

    hi Liz. I need your recommendation. Is it better to start with Task 1 or Task2.

    • It is your choice completely. Try it both ways and see which works best for you when you do some full practice tests at home.

  14. ulughbek says:

    hi dear. I found your videos very helpful for my IELTS preparation. Thanks a lot

  15. Ramandeep singh says:

    only three paragraphs suitable for diagrams or its depend upon theory?

    • All writing task 1 will have an introduction, overview, and body paragraphs (2 or sometimes 3). When the introduction is very short, I often attached my overview statement to the same paragraph.

  16. Hi, my name is Kirk. I’m from the Philippines and I am wondering if there’s anyone here who would be glad to be my speaking buddy… I’ll take the test in June maybe on the 2nd week. So if anyone is interested just leave a comment on this message or you can also include in the comment with your email or fb account.

    Btw, thank you liz for making this website available. I get most of my materials and questionnaires from you. Thanks

  17. Panth Patel says:

    Can i write ‘to recapitulate all the main ideas ‘ instead of ‘overall’

  18. Hello Liz.
    I have one doubt.
    When we are writing number, should we use dot (.) or comma (,).
    Because I red somewhere, that it doesn’t matter what is it in the picture/diagrams , we should use dot.

    Thanks a lot!
    You are the best!

    • In English, we use dots for decimal points, for example 1.25. We use commas in large numbers to help separate the numbers which makes it easier to read, such as 1,000,000 = 1 million. It’s easy to read that, then 1000000 – the zeros are difficult to count so we use commas to divide them up a bit.

  19. Hi Liz,

    Do you have model answers to different types of diagrams please? Like those samples you gave on your page (www.ieltsliz.com/ielts-sample-chart-for-writing-task-1/) for practice, do you have model answers for them please?


  20. Hey Liz,
    Do you mind correcting my task 1 for this diagrams? I got only 6 in last ielts for writing.

    The diagrams represents the changes in patterns of tools used by humans for cutting purpose from thousands to million years ago. Stones were the cutting tools.
    Overall, there was a slight change in the structure and size of stone used by ancient man and medieval man. The significant difference was the shape of upper surfaces of the in both ages, were the stones had curved edges and sharp edges 1.4 million years ago and 80,000 years ago respectively.
    It can be seen,1.4 million years ago, stones with base size of 5cm and curved edges were used as chopping instruments. These stones were much broader in size as compared to stones used years later.
    The structure of stones changed from round edges to pointed edges with 3cm of base as millions of years passed by. A major change was the pattern the stones used 80,000 years ago were chipped off, giving appearance of a spear head.
    Although differences were brought about in the size, structure and pattern; men used stones for cutting purpose for over millions of years.

  21. Hello Ms. Liz,
    Very nice of you , well let me know one thing that for general IELTS bar chart , pie chart and map are important or only we focus on different types of letters only for task 1.

    Best Regards

  22. Hi Liz,
    Tomorrow I’m going to attend my IELTS from UK. I would like to know,whether I will get a writing question from recent questions that seen in your blog

  23. Priya johny says:

    Hi liz,i am priya from kerala in india.you r doing very well job for us.really thanks to u.you might never heared about kerala but u have many followers from here.your blog is really benificial for us .thank u so much love you.
    By priya

  24. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for your website… I love it!!!!!! It is greeeeat help for me.
    I am preparing my Eilts exam in Chile.

    I want to ask you something:

    I’m going to have the test in two weeks. What you recommend me to study?? or How do you recomment me studing for the test in this last two weeks???

    Thank you!!!!!!
    I am in love with your page. You are a wonderful human!!

    • Start by learning as much as you can about IELTS: http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-help-faq/. Then review all tips and practice lessons on the main pages for each section of the test (go through the red bar at the top of the website). Then get the IELTS Cambridge Test books from 1 to 11 (11 is the most recent). Always prepare topics and ideas for speaking and writing.

  25. Hello Liz!
    Thanks a lot
    You are working like no one ….

  26. thank you for this sample 🙂

  27. Balvinder singh says:

    Dear mam,
    i have given this test and this topic was on 24 sept exam and i got 5.5 band in both
    tasks. Plz suggest me any idea to get 7 band in writing task. I will be highly
    thankful to you for this.

  28. barinder singh says:

    Thanks , that is my Final exam model

  29. This diagram is too difficult ..😳 Thanks Liz for sharing .. You really do care.. 👍🏻

  30. Thanks for sharing writing task . miss liza

  31. Monica Marie says:


    Is it appropriate to say that precision and development of skills lead to the making of a better cutting tool? Is it right to express idea/ opinion in this writing task? Thanks

    • It isn’t an opinion. The tools used have developed and been improved as the diagram shows. It would be an opinion or speculation to write about how they were made or what they were used for as that is not shown. But the diagrams do show the development in making the tools – this is the reason they are presented together to compare the tools.

  32. Dear all,
    in my point of view this chart very difficult to describe for the IELTS test taker.it’s too complicated.
    Many thanks

  33. Deepali gulati says:

    Hi liz
    Thkas for giving me this sample answer ….and u used very esy language and it’s very easyy to understand…….
    Thaks alot

  34. Thank you Miss Liz
    We appreciate your help and support

  35. Emmanuel Okezie Amah says:

    OK. Thank you.

  36. HI lIZ,

    As previously mentioned that no prediction or assumptions are allowed in task 1, but I want to know is it appropriate to say about the development of early man’s skills.

    I appreciate your effort.

  37. Gurbinder says:

    Is it advisable to use predictions, for example in overview section- which shows the….
    & same implies with body paragraphs.

    • As the diagrams don’t show predictions, you can’t use them. In writing task 1, you can only write about what is show on the paper.

  38. hie liz,thanks for the sample answer, that was a tough task though.Do these type of questions always appear in ielts exams?

  39. Dear Liz,

    First of all, thank you very much for providing this material. Your website has been extremely useful to me.

    My question is if it’s fine to use information which wasn’t directly stated by the task to actually accomplish it. For example, you wrote that the tips of the stone cutting tools 1.4 million years ago weren’t really sharp, but blunt due to the lack of precision in making tools. I know (and everybody knows as well) that this is an obvious assumption. As the diagram shows, men apparently got better in making tools as time went by. But this information wasn’t really provided, we assumed that. Perhaps the older cutting tools weren’t as sharp as the more recent ones for other reasons, such as culture and religous beliefs. We cannot simply deny this possibility with conviction because were are not anthropologists.

    I know I am probably overthinking about that, but as I cannot really affirm things like that, shouldn’t I restrict myself to merely describing the different tools and stating that maybe, perhaps, probably, “there is a chance”, that the cutting tools got sharper and slimmer due to the development of carving techniques?

    (This is a serious question, I never know what I can or cannot write or assume in the IELTS test, it always seems to be very rigorous)

    Thank you, Liz.

    All the best,

    • The information about precision to cut and make a sharp tip is shown in the diagram. It is not an assumption. In the diagrams you can see how precisely the tools were made and how sharp or blunt the tips are. Your task is to relate this information. Giving an assumption would be to add information about how they made them or for what purpose – that information is not given. You need to describe what you see and we all see the the tools were blunt 1.4 million years ago and sharper 80,000 years ago – those are the key features of the diagrams. Assuming and giving an opinion is about writing what can’t be seen.

  40. thank you liz for this model answer 😊

  41. Emmanuel Okezie Amah says:

    Hi Liz,
    I noticed that you merged the introduction and the overview together. Is it admissible to do it that way and what about making the overview a different, separate paragraph as you earlier taught to bring the essay to a total of four paragraphs?


    • The overview will usually come after the introduction. However, if the introduction is short, put the overview in the same paragraph. Using the linking word “Overall” indicates that the sentence is part of the overview, not the intro.

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