IELTS Writing Task 1: Life Cycle Diagram

Below is an IELTS writing task 1 life cycle diagram model answer and practice. This lesson focuses on the use of plural and singular nouns as well as using the correct verb form. You will also see how to write an introduction and overview for a diagram report.

IELTS Life Cycle Diagram

IELTS Lady Bird Diagram


IELTS Diagram Model Answer & Practice

This gap fill gives the first two paragraphs of the above IELTS practice diagram.

Use the words listed to fill in the gaps. You may need to alter the form of the word to ensure the sentence is grammatically correct, for example singular or plural nouns or verb form. Not all words are used.

wing     fix     spot    remain     hatch      end     behind      stage      emerge      eggs       lay         structure        elytra      finish     curl      over      

The first diagram illustrates the (1)……………. in the life of a lady bird, while the second diagram shows its body (2)…………………………… Overall, there are four stages in the life cycle of a lady bird from (3)………………….. to adult insect. The lady bird’s anatomy is characterised by colourful (4)………………. of red and black.

Initially, eggs are (5)…………………. on the underside of a leaf and (6) …………………. there for between two to five days. After this, larvae (7)……………… from the eggs and continue in that form for 21 days. At the end of the three weeks, the pupa stage begins where the larvae pupate by (8)……………… into a pupa on the backside of a leaf and this lasts for 7 days. At the (9)…………… of this stage, an adult lady bird emerges and the life cycle starts again.

The second diagram shows that the lady bird has bright red elytra with black (10)…………….. that cover both the wings and the abdomen. It also has six legs in total, three on each side. On its head, it has eyes and antennae, while just (11)……………. the head there is the pronotum.

  1. stages
  2. structure
  3. egg
  4. elytra
  5. laid
  6. remain
  7. emerge
  8. curling
  9. end
  10. spots
  11. behind



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  1. Mahmudul Hasan says:

    I do not get number 7 why it is (emerge). I presume that i would be “larvae emerged” or “Larvae emerges”.

  2. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your lesson.
    I have a question about the 5th blank. I notice that your answer is ‘laid’. But I checked the Oxford dictionary, which says that ‘lay’ means a bird, insect etc lays eggs, it produces them from its body, while ‘hatch’ means if an egg hatches, it breaks, letting the young bird, insect etc come out. It seems to be the same. Could I use ‘hatch’ in this blank?

    • “lay” means to produce the egg. “hatch” is the verb for the young chick (or in this case, the larva) coming out of the egg. They are completely different verbs with different meanings. A bird will lay 10 eggs and sit on them for 1 month. After 1 month, some of the eggs will hatch. Hope that helps.

  3. Dear Liz

    I have two questions, if you don’t mind. First, can we write lady bug instead of lady bird? (I know it sounds dumb but I need to know if I can replace it?) Second, I have noticed, sometimes, you write introduction and overview as one paragraph, is it because the introduction is too short to be count as one separate paragraph?

  4. Hi Liz;

    I noticed that the wings of the lady bird are actually shown as a transparent structure different from the elytra. I believe it is covered by the elytra. However, in your sentence “… that cover both the wings and the abdomen.”, it seems to me that the black spots and not the elytra is being referred to. Would “and” be more appropriate than “that” here?


  5. pooja singh says:

    Dear Mam,
    I had read many of your tutorial .They were really enriching.Please can u tell me how to enhance vocab and also how to prevent redundancy in my writing skills .

    • Sorry, I don’t understand “redundancy in writing”. This is not correct English. Please write your comment again so I can understand.

  6. sumina sunar says:

    thank you liz ! your lessons are helping me alot. My exam is on 31st oct. I hope I’ll score 7.

  7. Hi Liz,

    Can we use the short forms of some words like “i.e.,=that is, viz.,=namely, eg.=example”
    in our writing test..

    reply back as soon as possible because on 8th oct I have my writing exam…

    Thank you..

  8. Hi Liz
    Thank you so much for your wonderful website. I just have a request. Could you please upload a model answer of any flow chart?
    Kind Regards

  9. Dipankar Barua says:

    Dear Liz
    Thanks lot for your great teaching.
    I have faced so many problems in reading section. When I practice at home I just get 18 or some time 19 kinds of score. I need over 6 band. My exam is next month on 24 October. Please mam give me some tips specially for reading section.

  10. gurwinder kaur says:

    hello mam,
    thanx a lot for ur reply. i have one more query that if there is any difference between the questions,do you agree or disagree and to what extent do you agree? I mean that in both type of statements ,we can partially or fully agree? In the question agree or disagree, we have to choose one or we can sit on the fence for it?

  11. gurwinder kaur says:

    hi mam,
    If it is mandatory to write overview in process chart,diagrams and maps?


  12. Whoa. Thanks so much Liz for that wonderful tip that the verb “emerge” is used for frog eggs, worm eggs etc and that you can’t use hatch because it’s for chickens.. Thank you for this wonderful website. Plus, I also found your YouTube videos helpful especially with your tips on true,false,not given question. Before watching that, I could barely have a passing mark but now, I find that type of test in reading the easiest. Now, I’m enjoying learning writing from your website. I’m positive that I’ll get my target band score. More power to you.

    • That’s really good news! I’m glad you are beginning to enjoy learning and you are developing. I always hope students can enjoy IELTS as well as improve their score. Thanks for your support 🙂

  13. Hi miss Liz, my ielts test was on 13th of August and it was my first attempt essay was government should spend money on international aid and when they disadvantaged people such as; unemployment and homeless. So I couldn’t understand disadvantaged people even I couldn’t write conclusion due to less time in addition I didn’t complete questions of reading passeges.

  14. MonkeyEnglish says:

    Thank you Liz for your interesting lessons!

  15. Hello liz

    First of all, thank you for today’s lesson. I have a question regarding the 7th gap. Can we use ‘are hatched’ or ‘hatch’ instead of ’emerge’

    • No, hatch is used with chicken eggs, not worm eggs or frogs eggs. Diagrams are really testing your understanding on collocations.
      All the best

  16. I m a student of GT..pls send me the topics or tips for writing test related to this…

  17. Hello Liz,

    First off all, thanks for this useful site.
    I’m just wondering about the answer of the item 5, why don’t we use passive form of “remain” ?
    When I’ve filled the by myself, I thought the answer was “remained”
    Thank you,

    • Oh! sorry, It was my mistake. I should have checked it more carefully.
      The answer of the item 5 is “laid”


  18. Really your way in teaching so amazing !!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart 🙂

  19. Thanks. We need more help especially in academic writing. The fill in gaps practice is very fruitful.

  20. thanks. It’s really improving my level in ilets.

  21. Dear Liz,

    Initially,I would like to thank you very much for your efforts and time.

    And I’ve noticed that the word ( antenna ) in the second-to-last line in your answer is supposed to be ( antennae ), isn’t it ?


  22. Hi Liz,

    why does the answer of no 7 is not “emerges”?

  23. Dear Eizabeth,
    I am grateful to have someone like you and this page help me a lot. But still I have problems with writing. So please what will you advise me to enhance my writing skills.

    • My only advice is to review your writing for structure and linking devices, check my model essays for content of each paragraph and how to write topic sentences, learn the techniques for each type of question in writing and lastly check that your language is accurate and you are avoiding errors.
      All the best

  24. Hi liz. .this post is very helpful. .hope to see more from you. .i am having difficulty with diagram and processes . .hope you include that in yoir next post. .thank you.

  25. Wow~! It is really helpful practice for a diagram. I really appreciate your efforts~!
    Thank you very much~!

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