Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

IELTS Map: Model Answer

Below is an IELTS map model answer which is estimated at band score 9. This is a comparison of three maps in different time periods for the academic writing task 1. If you wish to do practice exercises for grammar for the maps below, before you read this model, please follow the link: IELTS Map Comparison Exercise.

map comparison 3 maps

Source: Map above not produced by IELTS Liz.

Model Writing Task 1: Map Comparison

The maps illustrate how Meadowside village and Fonton, which is a neighbouring town, have developed over three different time periods (1962, 1985 and the present).

Overall, Meadowside village increased in size and has become Meadowside Suburb as it merged together with Fonton. Furthermore, there have been significant changes in infrastructure, housing and facilities over the period given.

In 1962, both Meadowside and Fonton were completely separate with no roads or rail connecting them. While Fonton had a railway line running through it to the north, Meadowside, located to the west of Fonton, only had a small road from the west.

By 1985, there was a considerable growth in the size of Meadowside village and Fonton. The small road in Meadowside village had been converted into a main road and was also extended to the east to connect with Fonton. Meadowside, moreover, had also developed a housing estate in the west, a leisure complex and a supermarket in the south.

Currently, both Meadowside, which is now a suburb, and Fonton are joined. The railway line, which runs through Fonton, has been extended to the west where a train station has been built. To the north of the station, a hotel has been constructed and opposite the station, to the south, there is now a business park.

Get my free lessons by email

Subscribe for free to get my new IELTS lessons sent to your email inbox.


  1. Hello
    Can you give a smaill idea to where to use capital letters on ielts writing task

    • You use capital letters where it is grammatically necessary to do so. There are no special IELTS rules. IT is about English grammar. If you do not know when to use capital letters in English grammar, you should not be considering IELTS. If your English level is so low, you should improve it before taking the test.

  2. Amelia Kurti says:

    Hi Liz, Im having my IELTS this Saturday and I haven’t had time enough to work with Writing task 1 and I haven’t even touched a thing about task 2. A need your advice, should I spend a lot of time working with Maps? what should I do and don’t to save time?
    I feel insecure tbh because I had my speaking task yesterday and among all the topics listed on your website, the one I hadn’t prepared it, was the one I had to deal with.

    • You can’t predict what you will be given in writing task 1. You should prepare for everything. I know your time is short, but this is your choice to do your test at this time. My advice will always be to prepare fully.

  3. Venkat Palaparthy says:

    I have practiced a lot of Cambridge reading academic materials close to 15 mocks but couldn’t able to improve the score. Am not able to achieve band 7 or more feeling tensed since my exam is on 17th of Jan. Any suggestions?

    • Did you write a list of keywords used in each and every question after you finished the reading test? Do you have a list of paraphrases used in each and every question? Do you have a list of reasons why you got one answer right and the other wrong? If you don’t have those lists, you have not been training properly. You do not improve by doing one test after another. You improve by analysing the reasons and language for your errors.

  4. Robinpreet Singh says:

    Hi Liz,
    I just want to ask at what position overall should be written ( at last or at second ).
    Please notify me as soon as possible.

    • Click on “writing task 1” on the RED BAR at the top of the page to find your answer about paragraphs and structure.

  5. Hi Liz,

    I have a question about describing maps. If there are no cardinal directions given, can I still talk about north, south etc. even though this could be considered making up the information? (I have the test tomorrow, wish me luck :P)

    Thank you,

    • Yes it’s fine to do that. But take a look at the information given – it isn’t always necessary to use north/south. There are many ways that locations can be described. Good luck tomorrow!

  6. Do we need to write conclusion for writing task if we have already provided and overview in the second paragraph?

  7. Mam for task 1 in today test ” Describe plans made for a small park in 1980 and at present ” ..what to write.? Is that similar to comparing maps?

  8. Asaf-uddowla Golap says:

    Your materials are very good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hi. How to get the approximate length of a place using the 100 meter scale provided in a writing task that illustrates the comparison before and after the construction of tourist facilities in an island?

  10. Hello Liz,
    I am wondering, should I express my opinion on a Map proposal question of IELTS task one, even though it is not specifically asked for?
    I am a bit confused as I have met different approaches on the Web, where some recommended doing so.
    For example:
    A task where given on a map two possible locations for a school and the instructions to “summarize the information and make a comparison where relevant”.
    There are some recommendations on the Web to indicate the benefits and drawbacks of each location and provide a personal preference. (The benefits and drawbacks are not indicated in the given information and have to be subjectively interpreted).
    Should the overview be at the end or second to the introduction?
    Appreciate your advice,

    • Absolutely NO writing task 1 for the academic paper will contain an opinion. Task 1 is a factual report of what is presented in the map, chart, graph table etc. NO OPINIONS!!! If you learn from websites, I hope you check who is writing the information???? I have completed the IELTS examiner training course – did you check who you are learning from? Be very careful who you choose as your teacher.

      • Hello Liz,
        Thank you so much for your prompt and clear reply. I feel much relieved now. I have seen about adding an opinion by someone who provides many IELTS lessons on Youtube so, as weird as it looked to me, I got insecure and confused.

        I definitely will take your gold advice and start trusting only on myself and on YOU ๐Ÿ™‚

        Is there any way I can get from you paid lessons or writing corrections?

        Thanks a lot,

        • It is really important to understand the requirements of task 1 and task 2. Task 1 is 100% factual and you can add nothing extra – you must only present and summarise what you see. Task 2 is an essay which also has specific requirements. I do have Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons which you can purchase on this page: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore. Each lesson is a 1 hour lecture explaining techniques in great depth. Sorry I don’t offer marking at the moment.

  11. Uzukjemal Toylyyeva says:

    Thanks Liz! It’s great! Wish to be ur studentโ˜บ

  12. Hi Liz! I noticed this is very long task 1, if im not mistaken it was over 200 words. However, you said in your other post that task 1 should be between 150-180 words. What exactly is the maximum number of words allowed in task 1? As well as in task 2? I need enlightenment. Thank u

    • There is no maximum number of words. There is no upper word count. The majority of writing task 1 will be between 160 and 180 words. However, some might hit about 190 or almost 200. It is not common to go over 200 and I wouldn’t recommend it. This sample answer is just over 200 words, but I am also a native speaker with no errors to lower my score. So, for students aiming for about band 7 or 8, aim for between 160 and 190 – depending on the task given. Do not get lost in too much detail.

  13. Sanjana Medipally says:

    Hi Liz,

    Firstly, I should thank you for offering such great tips and information on IELTS.
    I’ll be giving my IELTS Acadmeic test in a week. I had a query regarding IELTS Map in writing task 1.
    The maps illustrate an island, before and after the construction of some toursit facilities. Under both maps, there is a scale reading ‘100 meteres’ . Could you clarify on how to use and read that scale in regards to the island?

    Thank You.

    • It shows the length and width of the island. You can estimate lengths. An estimate means a rough guess. For example, “The island is approximately …. long.”. You need to use the words for approximation.

  14. I want to know the criteria of marking for reading and listening part.I mean out 0f 40 questions how many answers should be right to get 8 or 9 band.Please help.Thanks.

  15. Hello liz mam
    If 2 map are given 1998 and present
    What will be structure then ;
    Can I include some main points of 1998 and present map in body para 1
    Or i have to decribe 1998 map in body para 1
    And present map in BP2 ?
    Plz tell me

    Hoping for your relply soon thanks

    • You can choose how to organise your information. You might organise it by one year in one body paragraph and the other year in the other BP. Or you might decide to put everything that has changed in one body paragraph and everything that is the same in another. There are a number of choices available and you keep these in your mind during the test. You look at the map you have been given and spend at least 3 mins planning how to organise things and deciding key features for the overview.

  16. Hello liz mam
    If 2 map are given 1998 and present
    What will be structure then ;
    Can I include some main points of 1998 and present map in body para 1
    Or i have to decribe 1998 map in body para 1
    And present map in BP2 ?
    Plz tell me
    Hoping for your relply soon

    • You can choose how to oganise your information. You might organise it by one year in one body paragraph and the other year in the other BP. Or you might decide to put everything that has changed in one body paragraph and everything that is the same in another. There are a number of choices available and you keep these in your mind during the test. You look at the map you have been given and spend at least 3 mins planning how to organise things and deciding key features for the overview.

      • Hi Liz. What if the map doesnt have any time frame. It only shows that the first map is a coal mine then the second map is the redevelopment of that coal mine into an attraction site. What tense should we use?

        • If it is a redevelopment then one is in the past and one is in the present. It depends if it is a planned redevelopment or not. If it is a planned redevelopment, then the development is in the future. Look more closely at the description given.

  17. Thank you so much Liz for your all advices and this great website.

    Throughout my study for the IELTS exam i have practiced all types of writing 1 questions, howeever i have always delayed studying for the map question type. One day before the IELTS Exam i had watched your video about the map question type and i had tried to rewrite this sample question. The only study for the this type of question was that. And in the writing task 1 , i was asked a very similar map question together with a line graph and thanks to you i could manage the writing task 1 in the way that i wanted:) Thank you so muchhh Lizzzz <3 :)))

    • Brilliant !!! I’m so happy that you learned about maps! So many students believe maps are not worth learning about, but they do appear in IELTS and you need to be prepared. Well done to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Really helpful in doing my assignment

  19. Really helpful

  20. Hey Liz, I had my exam a few days back. My listening task went very well. I expected it to achieve 8.5 or a minimum of 8 but unfortunately I scored 7.5 I couldn’t figure out why? Do they consider grammatical errors like using upper or lower case, punctuation marks? 13 June Vs June the 13th, or June 13 and other confusing things like that? I’m gonna sit again in this exam and your reply will be of great help to improve my score

  21. Susan Magar says:

    hello mam.. Do i lose whole 25% task achievement marks if i forgot to put some information(data) on body paragraph??

  22. Nasib Al Habib says:

    Hi Liz
    Sorry to be a bother. I made a query regarding a listening issue I am facing and now I cannot find the link I commented on. So I am asking again. In every listening practice problem, I find 2 or 3 words that make me confused i.e clean-up, timetable, car-park, bookshop, high-quality etc. I donot realize sometimes whether to use a dash or write seperately or write such 2 part words as one. Can you please enlighten me in this regard?

  23. Hello Liz,

    I just wanted to say huge thanks for your work and advice in here; I’m passing my IELTS next Saturday and with you I was able to correct some skills which made me feel insecure in the situation. Everything has been so useful and clear, you also seem such a kind person, I’m really glad I landed in here! At the end, I would like to express big respect for your professionalism. You really do your best and that is visible and in my opinion rare nowadays. Keep going!!!

  24. ahmed sidhan says:

    hi mam,
    i had subscribed your about a month ago. But,till now, i dont get any information.

  25. Hanan Morsy says:

    Hi Liz , i enjoy your teaching lessons,
    you are splendid.
    can i ask you for some tips or a lesson for a life cycle description for writing task 1

  26. Hi Liz. Your lessons are helpful.
    I have a doubt. Can we use directions even if they aren’t mentioned?
    Thanks in advance

  27. Hi, Liz.
    I am preparing for my first IELTS exams next month and your recommendations and tips found in your site have boosted my initial skills and expectations. I am wondering if I could use the word “distinctive” in the place of “different” in the first paragraph of Writing Task 1, because I believe “different” is an overused word.
    For example: The maps illustrate how Meadowside village and Fonton, which is a neighbouring town, have developed over three distinctive time periods (1962, 1985 and the present).

  28. Guriqbal singh Ahluwalia says:

    Hi liz.
    Thank you for the help in ielts preparation. U are too good in explaining each module. Excellent

  29. Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot for the amazing work you have done here for us.

    My question is:
    Is there another word suitable for starting the overview?


  30. Hi Liz

    May I know what’s the meaning of Meadowside Suburb? Thank you!

  31. Biborno Projapoti says:

    I have a question. If I get a map of an island or a city illustrating the changes between two time periods; for instance between 1995 and 2005 , should I write the task taking the year 2005 as present?

  32. Hi Liz,
    First of all let me express my bunch of thanks for your help:)
    My speaking was on Jan19 & module:academic
    Test center : India
    > Do you work or study
    >why do u choose this profession
    > favorite color
    >has your colour preferences changed over time & why
    >what are the colour choices of your friends
    >Has their preferences over colour changed
    >what is your idea about robots
    >Have u seen them & how do u feel
    Cue card on an equipment used
    Following questions were based on how machine influenced human lives.

  33. Samina Begum says:

    Hi Liz
    My speaking test was on Jan 17
    Location Pakistan
    Module Academic
    Are you students or working
    What you do after you finished with your office
    what sort of game you played in your childhood
    Did you pay indoor games in your childhood
    What type of outdoor games your children play
    Two minutes talk on place you will prefer to visit in near future
    excursion places in Pakistan
    what do you think about future of tourism
    advantages and disadvantages of tourism

  34. in the 4th paragraph can we write The small road in Meadowside village was converted into a main road…instead of had been

  35. hello Liz
    i have a doubt regarding tense usage in writing task 1.At what time do i need to use present perfect.
    Eg.The price of oil rose gradually
    The price of oil has risen dramatically
    in this which one is best for vocabulary range.at what time can i write them.

  36. hi mame,
    really this blog is awesome and helpful,
    so, thanks a lot for this,

  37. Aasim Khan says:

    Hello teacher,
    I like your work very much!
    Will you help me about my so far prediction about IELTS writing task #1, the question type.
    Here what I’ve observed ….
    1. Bar graph or bar chart
    2. Line graph
    3. Pie chart
    4. Combination of either 1, 2 or 3
    5. Flow chart
    6. Table
    7. Diagram
    8. Maps

    Is there anything, I had left …

    Thankyou so much for your kind regard

    And keep it up, and God bless you

  38. Israa Ali says:

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for this useful blog it helps me to get all the practice I need ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ How can I improve my writing specially in task 2?

  39. Hello. Maรกm Liz, I have been watching many of your IELTS videos and I found them really informative and strategically presented. I’ve learned a lot.

    But I am looking for the video for describing flow chart in writing task 1.
    If you do have maรกm, could you please lead me to it to watch it.
    More power and God bless you more.
    Have a nice day.

  40. hello mam, in writing task 1, how many words we can write ?

  41. thank you for your tips it is for useful
    when i use has or have + been+ converted

  42. I love the teachings and comments thanks alot. Liz please help me with the link to download the official answer sheet of ielts

  43. thank you. The tips are very important.

  44. Hi liz,

    I want to ask question in writing section, Task-1.
    You said in video session about in this task , format of writing is Introduction, Overview , Description.

    But I check writing format in IELTS official Cambridge. they say that conclusion is also important in task-1.

    So I am confuse…

    • Just google the band score descriptors that IELTS have published. It clearly shows that task 1 has an overview and task 2 has a conclusion. The overview is a paragraph which contains the key features and some people call it a conclusion. But it can come after the introduction or at the end. At no time do you repeat information in a report so you can’t re-state information in a conclusion.
      All the best

  45. Dear liz
    please where can i practice more and more writing with model answers?
    and thanks much you are the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Dear Liz,
    Thanks a lot for all your hard work and effort , its an amazing website to prepare for IELTS test.
    In the model above I’m confused in the overview first sentence ” overall ,Meadoside village increased in size …” shouldn’t be ( Meadoside has increased in size …)
    As I have read your notice that you’ll be back in March .. so hope you will have a good break and looking forward for your reply and for other posts and lessons…

  47. “Fonton were completely separate”. Just wondering, is this correct. Wouldn’t it be “were completely separated?

  48. Hi, Dear Liz

    I took my exam 21 of December, unfortunately, I found your website one day before my exam. I run out of the time for writing but I could write intro, 2 paragraphs with explanation and examples and conclusion which contained 3 sentences. But I think it is about only 200 words. Will they penalise for being under word account. Task 1 was map and I wrote full overview and conclusion.
    Thank you. Your website is the best.

  49. Hi Liz! My name is Islom from Uzbekistan. Liz I have a question not related to the topic. In writing task one other types of essays also exist right? So do you have information about them?

  50. Hi Liz,

    Is this model answer written by you or a real exam taker?

  51. Hi Liz,
    Greetings from Canada!
    I just have a question, 3rd paragraph last sentence. How did you know that the railway line was going to the north, and the Meadowside’s small road was from the west? I mean, there’s no signs like arrows that would say where it came from and where to go. I would really appreciate to know the answer. I hope my question makes sense. Thanks a lot.


    • Roads run two ways – so either it’s from the west or east, or running west to east. Look at where it appears on the map and how it relates to the location you are currently describing. See my map video lesson.

  52. Hello Liz,
    In your earlier writing task 1 model answers regarding bar charts,pie charts,etc. you had given a structure with 4 paragraphs (introduction,overview, body paragraph A and body paragraph B). But here you have used 5 paragraphs. Is this alright and acceptable for a band score of 8 and above?

  53. i have writing problem , how con improved my writing task .please helps me..

    • Review all my lessons and start making a note of what your weaknesses are. You can also purchase lessons on writing task 2 from my online course – the link is given in the right hand column on this blog.
      All the best

  54. Hi Liz,

    What if the map shows a future development, will the tense be simple future or future perfect?

    Thanks for your help!

    • You can use future forms. Usually maps with future dates show planned development. So, you can write about “there are plans to build …” etc.
      All the best

  55. Hi can i ask where is the best part to write the overview in task 1 academic.? Ive read some model answer which the overview is at the end.thank you

  56. Hi Liz,
    Here can we paraphrase the words as below
    housing Estate= residential property
    super store= supermarket/ shopping center
    leisure complex= Sports complex
    business park= corporate offices

    In general, is it good to paraphrase the given information whenever and wherever possible? though,in some cases it’s impossible (or not benificial) to do so…

    Thanks a lot,
    Have a nice day.

    • It is good to paraphrase when the paraphrase is correct. In your examples, they are all fine. But some people try to paraphrase “town center” with “city center” which is completely different and not acceptable. If you can’t find a strong paraphrase, don’t try. It is fine to use the words they give you.
      All the best

  57. Elizabeth kasamn says:

    Hello mam,
    Is there any specific words for this type of question ?
    if there is , can you please give me the link ..?

  58. Hello ,
    I want to ask you a question if a diagram had some molecules such as CO2 should we write it carbon dioxide? I’m asking because one of my relative is taking some classes for ielts exam and her teacher told her it’s wrong to write it CO2 , and I saw some website wrote it CO2 ,so what do you think ?
    thanks always for your helpful information

  59. Hi ma’am Liz. Your site is very reliable that I am depending on it as part of my self-review. I failed once in UKVI test. I am very poor in Reading. I have been answering around 50 practice reading tests using different techniques but I rarely get scores of more than 30. Please help me learn more about reading techniques.

    • You should be practicing each type of question in turn, not just doing full tests. Spend 2 hours only working on sentence completion, then spend two hours working on short answer questions, and so on. Be focused and develop strategies and understanding for each question type. Also make notes of ALL paraphrasing you find in questions and answers – make a list.
      All the best

  60. swati mehra says:

    hello mam,

    please help me for my exam which held on 19 september and i am weak in english.

    • This blog is to learn IELTS exam skills. If you wish to improve your English, you will need to google and find an English language site.
      All the best

  61. Hi Liz! Sorry for bothering you but I am really in need of critics. I will be taking the exam this 27 and I need insights to improve my writing, which I am really working hard at. Would you mind taking a look?

    The maps illustrate the development of two nearby villages, Meadowside and Fonton, in three different periods (1962, 1965 and the present.)

    Overall, there is a huge change in the said villages in terms of area, railroad and infrastructure. Importantly, Meadowside village, now a suburb, and Fonton had been a single community.

    By 1962, Meadowside is a lone village in the west with a single path for transportation. Similarly, Fonton was a separate place in the east with a railway running through the middle.

    In 1985, Meadowside village more than doubled its land area compared to Fonton which added-up about a third. In addition, Meadowside village widened its road, extending to reach Fonton in the right. Also, leisure complex, housing estate and superstore were built at Meadowside.

    At present, Meadowside village became a suburb with a large increase in its perimeter making the suburb and Fonton as one. In between these are hotel in the north, business park in the south and a train station in the center.

    Thanks Liz! What score will you give on this?

  62. Mariya says:

    Mam, Please help me to improve my writing skills.

    The map illustrates how the Meadowside village and Fonton have developed fron 1962 till date.

    In 1962, there was no connection between both the area. There was a sigle road in the village extending from north to west and a single railway track in Fonton extending from north to east with no connection.

    In 1985, significant development was seen. A new road coonecting the meadowside village with Fonton was constructed for eaay transportation. Leisure complex was built where people could spend their free time effectively. To the west of the complex , housing society and to the south a super store was built.

    Presently, Meadowside village which is now a suburb is connected with Fonton . A railway station has been built midway and railway track extended to west. Also hotel and business park has been opened.

    Overall there has been a significant development in both the Meadowside village and Fonton since 1962 making lifestyle more convenient for the natives.

    • You need to work on your overview. This is the most important paragraph. It must contain ALL KEY FEATURES. To write that there are changes – of course there are changes but what changes? Be clear and specific. Please see my models to learn more about overviews.
      All the best

  63. Waqas Haider says:

    I have problems in reading and listening MCQ .Please suggest me tips

    • Please see the listening and reading sections of this blog. There are lessons, tips and free videos to help you.

  64. Hi Liz,

    when do I use past progressive and when past perfect when describing maps? Do I say: The road has been converted or was converted or had been converted? I assume ‘had been converted’ get used if something has changed in the past?

    Thank you,


    • It will depend on the dates and information in the map. You’ll need to visit a grammar website to learn more about the perfect tenses and when to use them. Also see my model map which you will find the writing task 1 section.

      • okay thank you for that! I have one more question:

        If there is just one map to describe, how is it possible to write an overview? It’ll be great if you can give me an idea!


        • If you have just one map, there are usually a couple of key features on the map. Just summarise those key features for the overview. There might also be a comparison you can make between them. Have you seen the Garlsdon map? For that you can write “Overall, while S1 is located in the city center, it is also situated in a no traffic zone which can be problematic for travelling to and from the supermarket. S2, on the other hand, is accessible by rail and road but it lies outside the town in the countryside.“. You can see that it just highlights the two key features.
          I hope that helps.

  65. Sibu Varghese says:

    Hi Liz

    Could you please help me with writing and reading.

  66. kajika jeong says:

    Hi Liz, your lessons are very easy to understand, plus I liked the way how you talked and explained things on your videos. It is just unfortunate though, that I have only discovered you blog recently. I have only about a week and a half remaining time to study for my ielts exams this coming end of the month, and your lessons really made a huge improvement on how I construct my writing task 1. I just finished all your topics about writing task 1, and now moving on to your task 2 tutorials, I really do hope I still have enough time to study. My aim is OBS 7 in each subject by the way, wish me TONS of luck! ^_^

    • You can do a lot in one week so keep focused and keep practicing in the right way. Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.