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. Hi Liz,

    Do you have model answers to different types of diagrams please? Like those samples you gave on your page ( for practice, do you have model answers for them please?


  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Priya johny says:

    Hi liz,i am priya from kerala in r doing very well job for us.really thanks to 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

  6. 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: 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.

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

  8. thank you for this sample 🙂

  9. 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.

  10. barinder singh says:

    Thanks , that is my Final exam model

  11. Thanks for sharing writing task . miss liza

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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

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

  16. Emmanuel Okezie Amah says:

    OK. Thank you.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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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