IELTS Maps: Vocabulary and Sentence Structures

This lesson gives useful tips for IELTS map vocabulary and sentence structures for writing task 1 academic paper.

IELTS Map: Video Tutorial

Useful Map Language

  • north south east west
  • north east, south east, north west, south west
  • X is located in the north east of the town.
  • The population of Y is 60,000.
  • Y has a population of 60,000.
  • X is located to the north east of Y, which has a population of 60,000.
  • The railway (main road) runs through / crosses / passes through /goes through Y.
  • A is located in the town center which has a railway running through it from north to south.
  • B is situated in the north east of the town just outside the housing area.

Paraphrases for Maps

Be careful with paraphrases. Most words in the key do not need to be paraphrased.

  • town center = city center / center of the town (a town is not a city, don’t try to paraphrase the word town)
  • road = street (road and street are different)
  • housing area = residential area
  • is located = is situated / lies / is


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  1. Snehalata says:

    Hi liz!!!!!

    Thank you for your help
    Good work

  2. Is it suitable to use phrasal verb? I don’t think so

    • Not all phrasal verbs are informal. The majority are and that is why the general recommendation is not to use them. But this phrasal verb is not informal at all and it fine to use. If you do not know the difference between informal phrasal verbs and those suitable for writing, don’t use them at all.

  3. Akudo Mba says:

    Hello Liz, I must confess that you are doing a fabulous job via your website. Just had my speaking test in Enugu Nigeria, and these were the questions asked.

    Part 1
    . What do you do?
    . Do you love your job?
    . Why did you choose that kind of job?
    . Do you had a cordial relationship with your colleagues?

    . How often did you celebrate your birthday as a child?
    . In your opinion, when is the best time(age) to celebrate one’s birthday (15, 25 or 60)?
    .What do you do on your birthdays as an adult?

    . Kindly tell me your views about adverts
    . What do you think about Internet pop-ups?
    . What do you think about adverts on buildings?
    . Do television adverts influence your purchasing power?

    Cue Card
    Talk about a good news you recently received
    .who was it about?
    .what was is on?
    .when and how did you hear about it?
    Explain how you felt about it.

    . What do you think about sharing good news?
    .What is the role of the Internet in sharing news?

    .Do you let others know about your success?
    .Talk about the importance of sharing one’s good news
    .What effects can good news have on others?
    .What do you think about foreign countries sharing their good news?
    .How can Nations benefit from the success of others?

  4. sahil salhotra says:

    Hello mam,i m not good in reading module
    Could you please help me.

  5. Hello Liz, after the video the link which u have provided for the Band score 9 that is not for MAPS . It contains both pie as well as bar. I cant find the Maps Bandscore 9 . Please help me find the Maps Writing part 1 . Thank you

  6. Hello Liz,
    your videos and lessons are incredibly useful for me. I would like to know more information about writing task 1 models in details. Thanks a lot, Liz you are so easy to understand. I’m planning to pass my IELTS exam next year in June, so I’m waiting forward your writing lessons soon:)

  7. Dear Liz,

    I am a little bit confused , do we have to use the past tense for the writing task 1 and 2 ?
    I am truly sorry if you already put the answer on your blog but I can not find it.

    Kind regards

    • You use whatever tense is suitable. Look at the dates given. If there are no dates, use the present tense.

  8. Kim Moreno says:

    Hello Liz,

    I just want to thank you for the big help. Ironically, my part 1 questions for speaking were your sample questions. Literally, it was the exact sample questions. Good thing, I was able to read through it and answer them on my own. 🙂 Anyway, I have one question though, what will happen if I answer a sentence but wasn’t able to complete it that I changed the whole sentence to express my point. For example, I don’t think pollution is…… I stopped from there because I cannot continue with another word. So, after a short pause, I said, Pollution is very unhealthy. What do you think?

    Thanks in advance,

    • It will affect your score for fluency if you hesitated and stopped regularly during your test. If the majority of your test was fluent, don’t worry. That was really good luck getting the same topic 🙂

  9. hi
    dear liz

    there is no video here…. I cant see your video and download it

    pleaaazzzzz work on it

    thank you so much for your great free lessons

  10. Hello Liz, Reading seems to be typical for me could you help on these with three tasks demonstrating

  11. hello miss, i m not perfect to write the task 2.during writing task 2 lot,s of spelling can remember the difficult spellings.its big problem for me . pls help me

  12. Thank for the very useful lessons.I Highly apprecitated !

  13. Thanks a lot,but what a bout process as writing task 1.

  14. Thank you Liz for your share.
    best regards

  15. Hello liz

    Thanks for your help !!
    Appreciate it!

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