IELTS Map Comparison Exercise

It is possible for you to be asked to compare two or three maps in IELTS writing task 1 (academic paper). IELTS map comparison tasks are not common but if you get them, you must be prepared. Below is an example of a task with three maps.

The maps below show the changes that have taken place in Meadowside village and Fonton, a neighbouring town, since 1962.

ielts map comparison 3 maps

Source: The above map was not created by IELTS Liz.

Here are some questions to help you decide how to write your task 1 map report to compare maps that show change over a period of time.

1. What tense will you use?

a. Present Simple: There is considerable development in Meadowside …
b. Past Simple: There was considerable development in Meadowside …
c. Present Perfect: There has been considerable development in Meadowside…
d. Present continuous: Meadowside is developing considerably…

2. What changes can you see in the maps? Choose the relevant features from the list below.

a. change in infrastructure
b. change in transport
c. change in entertainment
d. change in industry
e. change in buildings
f. change in size
g. change in location

3. Find the grammar or vocabulary mistakes in the following sentences. Each sentence may one or more mistakes.

a. In 1962, there was a small road travelling through Meadowside village which was replaced by a main road in 1985.
b. Another main road was also constructing from the southeast to southwest in 1985.
c. A superstore is building in the west, south of the main road and housing state 1985.
d. There is currently business park which is locate between Meadowside and Fonton, opposite the station.

  1. c is the correct answer. We use the present perfect when writing about something that started in the past until now.
  2. All features are shown except for d (industry) and g (location).
  3.  a) travelling = running through Meadowside… / crossing Meadowside  b) constructing = constructed  c) is building = was built  d) business park = a business park,  is locate = is located


Recommended Lessons

Sample Task 1 Practice Charts
IELTS Video Lesson: How to structure your writing task 1


  1. Hi Liz,
    You are doing stunning work for us who are dependent for their IELTS preparation on websites mainly on your’s. Specially, I am really grateful to you for your wholehearted effort.

    Would you please add more examples!!!
    Best of luck.

  2. Hey Liz
    first of all thank you very much for these amazing tips and lessons
    in this kind of comparison let’s suppose that the maps are comparing between the following years :
    1962 – 1985 and 1999
    which tens is better ?

  3. Thank u liz, really i appreciated u for helping those students . who want to pass ielts exam.

  4. Hisham Hamadi says

    Thank you so much
    It helps me a lot 🙂

  5. There’s a typo in the instruction, FYI.
    “The maps below show the changes that have taken place in
    Meadowside village and and Fonton, a neighbouring town, since 1962.”

    “village and and Fonton” should be corrected to “village and Fonton”

  6. Hello liz,,
    where I can find the model answer for these three maps

  7. The map illustrates the alteration between Meadow side village and Fonton from 1962 up to now. The two places generally contiguous due connected for the adequate transportation.

    In 1962, there was a small road running through Meadowside village was replaced by a main road in 1985. Meadow side village is situated north west while Fonton is located north east. The railway crosses through Fonton from east has two way connecting north and west

    Overall there has been considerable development in Meadow side village which was build up such as supermarket, housing and complex, while in the Fonton has been development the railway and main road connected Meadow side village.

  8. The picture illustrate about the developing places between Meadowside village and Fonton from 1962to present. Based on the maps, the two places are generally connected with each other due to the augmentation of public transportation.

    In 1962, both Meadowside village an Fonton stay at the opposite place of each other which Fonton was in the North east and the Meadowside was in the Northwest and the dimension of Fonton was quite hug than the opposite one. The public transportation of the Fonton was a bit modern than the Meadowside because it had train transportation which means that economic growth was in higher level than the Meadowside.

    Obviously in 1985, there were hug of changing in Madowside village whch was built up some building such as housing estate, super store, leisure complex and also the increasing of number of road to other neighbouring town which was lead the economic run faster.

    Up o present, there are more construction which is built for example like the station, hotel, sunness park and lots of lead to increase more roads and make these both places to become one.

  9. hi
    how can I get more map questions for practice?

  10. Hi
    If there is no compass rose/icon on a map can we still use the terms north/south/east/west?

  11. hi, Liz

    Thank you for the lessons, but I find you make a mistake about question 3 answer b. It should be “was constructing = was constructed”

  12. Hi liz,
    could you please correct my introduction and overview on the cited map…

    The maps illustrate the developments that have been taken place in two neighbouring towns( Medowside and Fanton),and particularly happened in 3 different years.

    Overall,Meadowside village is the town which has got more developments than Fonton in 1962 and 1985. Although they were connected with each other by a main road which was constructed in 1985. Also they are more closer now by some common facilities developed in the centre of both towns.

  13. liz I realy excited with you detail explanation of ielts before i had no any information .But now atleast i can try.

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