IELTS Tips: Conclusion or Overview for Writing Task 1?

Watch this video to learn excellent tips about whether you need a conclusion or an overview for writing task 1 academic paper in IELTS. This is a common question asked by students and also a very common mistake to make in your test.

Knowing whether you need an overview or conclusion can make all the difference to your results. Transcript

Hello my name’s Liz. In this lesson I’m going to look at if you need a conclusion or an overview for IELTS writing task 1. This is a very important question and many students ask me about it. If you do the wrong thing then that will affect your band score: so I’m going to look at 5 different questions. Do I need a conclusion for task one? What is an overview? Is the overview important? Can I write an overview and a conclusion? and where can I put the overview? Let’s have a look at the first question.

Do I need a conclusion for task 1?

Well the answer is no, you don’t. In fact, it’s a bad idea to have a conclusion for task one. You have an overview for task 1 and you have a conclusion for task 2 for for your essay. Now a conclusion is a paragraph that repeats and restates the main points and of course in a short report you shouldn’t be repeating any information. So don’t have a conclusion. But you do need to have an overview. So that’s question two:

What is an overview?

Well overview is a paragraph and it contains all the key features of the chart or graph or whatever you have for your task 1. So all the key points are collected together and put in a overview paragraph.

Is the overview important?

It is so important it is critical for you IELTS writing task 1 this is for the criteria, task achievement. That’s 25 percent
of your marks and if you don’t have an overview, it will be almost impossible to get above band score five for that criteria. So very important indeed. And number 4:

Can I write an overview and a conclusion?

Please don’t. Again the overview contains all the key features and the conclusion is a repeat. We don’t want repetitive information. Also when you have an overview and a conclusion together, it means that you are dividing your key features into two different places and this will affect the criteria of coherence and cohesion, which is all about paragraphs. So it’s very important that all your key features are collected in one paragraph, in the overview, and they’re not again repeated anywhere else in that report. So definitely you cannot have both. And the last one :

Where can i put the overview?

The overview statement usually goes after the introduction but it is possible to put it at the end of your report after the body paragraphs. Which is the best place? For me, I prefer it after the introduction. I like to read all the main points before I read the details but again that’s up to you. Both places are logical. Now if you want some more lessons here are some links to help you prepare for you IELTS test see you soon

IELTS Writing Task 1 Structure and Paragraph Organisation

Conclusion or Overview: Video Tutorial

Note: This video replaces the reading video which will now be published next weekend.

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Comments

  1. Abhishek says:

    Do i really need to do planning before writing task2

  2. hi Liz,
    first of all special thanks for your kindest to make this website, I really appreciate that, I need some one to check my writing , before I sent a msg for you ,and u sent me just the of your website but unfortunately its not clear .
    Regards

  3. Can I write word called Conspicuous instead of OVERALL?

  4. Prince kumar says:

    Hi Liz,
    I want to know about task 1 that can we start the second paragraph of task 1 with a comparisons instead of overview or highlighting feature and give the overview in the end of the task?
    Does this effect my band score 🤔

  5. Gian Carlo says:

    Hi Liz!

    First of all thank you for creating this website of yours. It is so helpful for us. I just want to clarify one question, because my previous instructor in IELSTS told me it is not allowed for us to use all capital letters in writing, is is true that we might penalize for doing it? Thank you Liz!! 🙂

  6. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your advise. I want to ask that is it okay combining the introduction and overall paragraph in a one paragraph?
    Thank you,

    • It is possible but I only do it for diagrams when the intro sentence is very short. If you do put them together, make sure you use a linking word to highlight the overview statement. The intro statement and overview statement must be separate even if they are in the same paragraph.

  7. Alexandra says:

    Dear Liz,

    Many thanks for your useful website!!!
    Thats perfect!
    I would like to ask you how many paragraphs we need to have in Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2?

  8. Juliette HUA says:

    Dear Liz,

    Do we also need to have an overview paragraph if the diagram we have to present is describing the different steps of a process (e.g. manufacturing yogurt)?
    I don’t really see the point of an overview paragraph in this case.

    Thank you,
    Juliette

    • Yes, you MUST have an overview. Here’s an example: “Overall, yogurt is made after raw milk is passed through pasteurisation and various temperatures before being inoculated with starter cultures.”. So, you can see, that we are choosing the key features to put in the overview. Another possible and simpler overview is: “Overall, raw milk is passed though 5 stages before becoming yogurt.” The overview is the most important paragraph in academic writing task 1.

  9. Hello Liz,

    Should we mention and write about all given data in two body paragraphs or it’s not necessary. Which is better way to do?

    Thank you in advance.

  10. Dear Liz, First of all, thank you for your excellent tips in the lessons: I have few questions regarding the IELTS Reading and Writing:
    1. Should we use pen or pencil for the writing tasks?
    2. Is lower case writing (all are written in small letters) affect the score?
    3. Is few spelling mistakes (two to four words in total) in writing affect the score by too much?
    4. Does IELTS center provide more answer sheets for Task 2?

  11. Thank you Liz, it’s really a nice way to learn. You have a very clear voice.

  12. Anish Dhakal says:

    do the words enclosed inside braces count for the number of words in the writing task 1

  13. Hello.
    I did IELTS before 6 months and got score band 6 in writing 5.5 I had the mistake of in conclusion in task 1 does this mistake decrease my score 1 band or more.

  14. Hi liz!
    Writing task was same for both IPD and BC same or different.pls tel me.Because i am taking ipd exam.

  15. great

  16. thank you liz

  17. Liz, you are awesome, thank you very much 🙂

  18. Is it OK to write “Overall as the graph shows ….” or after “overall” simply state the key information without “as the graph shows”.

    • It’s not going to help your score writing “as the graph shows” but it also isn’t a problem if you decide to add it.

  19. Hi Liz, First of all, thank you for your helpful lessons.
    I have a question about overview part, is it right : we must not write any number in overview part ? for example:
    x experienced the greatest increase by 27% while y had the least growth by 5%
    is it better I don’t write the numbers ?

  20. Hi Liz, in the official Cambridge IELTS books, the overview is always in the end (in the model answers). Then why are you preferring to put overview after introduction? Please explain.

    • There is no right or wrong place to put the overview. It is usually best to present the key features because writing about detail. However, it makes no difference to the score.

  21. Hi liz ,
    What a wonderful and fantastic website for all ielts candidates!
    I feel like I have found the right medicine for my ielts test wound .
    Your lessons are very helpful for us . Thank you so much for your hard work and generous effort .
    Nay

  22. Hi Madam,
    What is the different between overview & conclusion please

    • A conclusion summarises main points already written. An overview contains key features not previously highlighted.

      • Shuvo Sarker says:

        Hi Liz,
        So overview and summary is different from each other. If use both..will it hamper or increase my band score?

        • You don’t repeat information in a short report. The overview contains the key features – you don’t summarise them again later.

  23. Abdulrahman says:

    Hello Liz,

    I would like to ask about the summary.
    Is it possible to write both the (Overview) which is after the introduction and the (Summary) which is at the end of the report ?

  24. Hi Liz,
    Can you tell me the differences between an overview and body part? i don’t know how to avoid repeating the key features in the body part. And if the task have 2 pie charts that i can’t compare information between them, what should i organize my report? do i need to have an overview for both or just move directly to body parts for each chart?
    Thank you

  25. Hi Liz! First of all, thanks for the great lessons!
    I got an overall 7.5 on my test. With 8.5 in speaking, 8 in Listening, 7.5 in reading, but only 6 in writing. I watched all your videos, and i followed all your steps. I cant figure out what i did wrong, other than the fact that both my essays were shorter than 150 and 250 words, and maybe some grammar mistakes. I’ll have my IELTS exam again in a few days. Any recommendations?

  26. Sreelatha rajesh says:

    Hi,

    I wrote ielts exam in last month . I got 6.5 in listening and reading ,6 in speaking,very less score in writing;5 . In which part should I focus more to get band score of 7.In which way I have to practice ??i am not getting enough ideas to write task 2 topics.Even I don’t have much knowledge about the topic as well.my exam date is 28th May.

  27. i got 6 overall band but 4.5 in reading ,6 from listening and writingand 6.5 in speaking

  28. very useful

    Really you are amazing ….I like your way to explain the steps

  29. HRN Blake says:

    Thank you so much, it is very useful. You are amazing.

  30. Hello Liz, I completely understand the choice of overview over a conclusion in task 1, nevertheless, I’m not sure if I should include also data in the overview paragraph or to provide it in the body paragraph? I mean to say if I should include for instance, data about years, currency etc as the case maybe?

    • The units and categories on the graph or chart should be put in the introduction. The selected key features should be in the overview. The only data that usually does in an overview is when you have totals, such as in a table.
      All the best
      Liz

  31. Hello!! I have a doubt. In task 1 when we have a map or a life cycle do we need to have an overview?? Thanks a lot.

  32. All of your videos and tutorial tips are very useful for preparation. Thank you very much for your Yeman service.

  33. Hello Liz.

    How to Calculate the band score in IELTS exam. Mostly in Writing parts.
    I am Little bit confuse on Task 2. So can you please helping out to me. My exam on 9th Jan 2016.

  34. Hello Liz,

    I wrote IELTS 2 times, But I couldn’t get band score more than 6 in writing both the times…
    In which part I have to focus to get 6.5 or 7

  35. Hi angel,just want u to know that u r amazing and generous…i am sure universewilpay you back…bless u xx

  36. Thank you very much for clearing the doubt between overview and conclusion.

  37. Hi, Liz

    You said that overview is important in Task 1. Conclusion is not a good idea for this task. But in “Road To IELTS” I have found that the sample task 1 uses conclusion. Since that free materials are suggested by British Council, I am little bit confused now. To me an overview is way better than a conclusion in task 1. Would you please tell me why sample passage in “Road To IELTS” uses conclusion?

    • There are many teachers and authors that tell students to write an overview. However, you will not find one ex-examiner or any person who has completed the IELTS examiner training course who will tell you to do that. However, this is your choice. The band score descriptors published by IELTS clearly show the examiner is looking for an overview in order to give any score over band 6 – you decide if you want to write one or not.
      All the best
      Liz

      • Hello, Liz
        you are very helpful but I am kind of confused, I am taking the test in one month and I have never heard that conclusion is not needed for writing Task 1. I was watching your video about writing Task 1 and I was waiting for the conclusion all way long. Then I was readdressed here and found out that the conclusion is not necessary as I was used to believe. Moreover, I have made quite a lot of practice tests, now I am starting to watch the videos to ‘fill the gaps’ do you think that’s the advantageous approach?
        Thanks in advance,
        Giorgi

  38. Is there difference between overview and conclusion?
    Do you think when I read more half an hour each day my writing skill will improve?
    Is there difference between task1 & task 2?

    • Please read my lessons on the main writing pages for your answers. All these questions have already been answered.
      Liz

    • Bonn Flores says:

      Hi Liz.This is my first time to take the IELTS test. What are your advices?

      • Watch my IELTS preparation video on the home page and then start reading IELTS lessons.
        Liz

        • Bonn Flores says:

          Hi Liz, Thank you for your reply. I have watched most of your videos however I’m still having a hard time to compose a sentence in writing an essay in terms of paraphrasing the introduction. The way I understood about paraphrasing the introduction is to literally paraphrased the whole sentence according to what has been written. (word for word) considering the task 1 and 2 of essay writing are very time limited. Please help. Thanks.

          • To rephrase something doesn’t mean writing it word for word. You paraphrase the meaning which means write it again in your own way.
            Liz

  39. hi liz. I can not write task 2 well. what should I do exactly? pls help me with this

  40. Hello Liz .
    I have a problem with the overview . In this video I know that it’s important to write a overview but when I read some exemples on Ielts Write Right book I did’t see any overview . But all of these exemples was graded over 7 band . So can you tell me why is it ?

  41. hi Liz, i really had a problem with my Writing Skill.. When it was explained, it seems very easy to me. But when i had to write on my own, i got nothing to say anymore..Can you please help me on this matter? thaNks 🙂

  42. Hello Liz,
    Here you mentioned about not writing the coclusion in short notes .However, when i was going through a book ” Cambridge ielts 8 “, I found an answer with conclusion in it ( at page 168 ) .so, I am confused what model to follow .
    also , do the examiner reduce the marks for handwriting and poor presentations ( like crossing the mistaken words here and there)

    Thank you

    • Sorry, I don’t know what you mean by “short notes”. There is no such type of task in writing task 1.
      All the best
      Liz

      • Hello Liz,
        sorry for not writing the question clearly , Here is what i mean.
        In this video ,you have mentioned about not writing the conclusion in short reports ( 1:10 secs in video ) ,as you mean to say not to write conclusion in writing task 1 . But when i was going through a page 168 of cambridge book 8, i found a answer with a conclusion . so i got confused as iam following your classes for preperation.
        Hope you will clear me out on this.

        Regards,
        Kishor

        • The IELTS Cambridge test books are written by IELTS not by teachers. They make their models as different as possible to ensure the exam remains challenging. It is always best to follow models from teachers who have been trained as examiner by IELTS. You should also follow the band score descriptors published by IELTS which clearly show that an overview is needed for task 1 and a conclusion is needed for task 2.
          all the best
          Liz

  43. Hi Ms.Liz
    Thank you for your ielts lesson scripts and videos. They are helping me enormously a lot since I am reviewing by myself.
    I wish I’ve seen your site before I took my first ielts so I might not have need to retake it again to have better scores.
    Anyways, more powers to you. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

  44. Your voice is strong , clear and pleasant . Your method of teaching is very easy and new style. Please give us more and more video lesson that is most useful.

  45. Shannel says:

    Hi Liz!

    I have my tutor assessed my writing task 1 yesterday.
    after watching your lectures on writing task 1, I used ‘Overall’ to start my overview but my tutor said that this is definitely a No No in Task 1. now i’m confused.

    • The examiner is looking for an overview and the word “Overall” indicates an overview. It is essential that the examiner can locate your overview quickly and easily. Using “overall” helps the examiner find your overview.
      All the best
      Liz

  46. great job

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