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. The maps illustrate the transformation of two neighboring towns (Meadowside and Fotton) in three distinct periods, 1962, 1985, and the present day.

    In general, Meadowside village has expanded and become a suburb as it merged together with Fonton. Additionally, there have been notable/considerable developments in infrastructure, housing, and facilities along the given time frame.

    In 1962, there were two towns entirely separated with no road or rail line connecting them. While there was a rail line crossing Fonton, from east to north, Meadowside itself was traversed by a narrow road from west to north.

    By 1985, there were substantial changes in both towns. Both Meadowside and Fonton had been expanded in terms of area, and they had been connected by a new road. Meadowside saw more development than Fonton in this period, it can be seen from housing and store which had been constructed.

    When it comes to the present, there are massive developments. Once Meadowside and Fonton expanded and merged, they become a suburb because there is a newly developed place between them. The rail line has been expanded from the east lead to a station near the eastern Meadowside. In front of the new station, also there is a Business park. Lastly, there is a hotel in the center of the newly developed place.

  2. Hi Liz, I have a question. If a map has no compass on it, then is it ok if we assume the top of the map is north and use other words like south east west in task 1?

  3. Moe Elayan says

    The three maps illustrate how Meadowside Village and its neighboring town, Fonton have changed between the year 1962 and the present.
    In 1962, Meadowside Village and Fonton were two separate areas of considerably smaller size. Furthermore, they were not connected by any road or rail line. Meadowside Village was served by a simple route connecting to other areas, while Fonton was provided transportation through one rail line.
    The period between 1962 and 1985 saw a major change in both places. Both Meadowside and Fonton expanded significantly in terms of area. Meadowside’s area became roughly three times as large in those 23 years and the expansion also featured the construction of prominent landmarks like the Leisure Complex, the Housing Estate and the Superstore. In terms of transportation, the roads serving Meadowside were expanded and a new road passing through Meadowside and Fonton was built during this period.
    Since 1985, the growth of Meadowside and Fonton has continued towards one another and the two areas have practically become one. New developments have also been introduced including a Hotel and a Business Park. The rail network of Fonton has also been upgraded to feature a new rail line and a station located halfway between Fonton and Meadowside.

  4. Ajaz Khan says

    The given maps display the changes occurred in Meadowside Village and Fonton in three stages, that is 1962,1985, and the present-day context.
    Overall, we can see massive growth in both the civilization. Moreover, in the present-day context, the village and the town has amalgamated and the Meadowside village has converted to suburbs.
    In 1985, there was a significant change recorded. Two highways were created, one going through the village, and the other connecting it to Fonton, this made the commute easy and accessible. Furthermore, a leisure complex has been built on the road passing through the village for easy access. A housing society and a superstore has also been established near the highway connecting both areas.
    In present day scenario, a new business park has been built on the south of the map, with a direct access from the east-west highway. A railway station has been constructed, directly opposite to the business park, with a newly laid train track connecting the original railway line. Lastly, a hostel has been created on the center of the map, which is located in between of the railway line and highway travelling towards the north side.

  5. Rashmi Perera says

    Great work liz!! Appreciate your hard work ❤️❤️

  6. Ammar says

    Hello liz
    1 paragraph =introduction
    3=talk about the map in 1962
    4=talk about the map in 1885
    5=talk about the map now
    Do you think this is a good idea to write the eassy with this order?

    • You need to look at the map and decide if you think this is the best way to organise information which will help someone understand the key features. If it is obvious that some things changed and some things stayed the same, this order of information would suit the map better. It would help the reader understand the information being provided and what the maps were actually showing. So, always look at the information given before you decide on body paragraphs.

  7. Jessica Nadal says

    The maps depict how the neighboring town Meadowside village and Fonton developed from 1962 up to present. Overall, it is clear that there has been a significant improvement in terms of size, buildings, and transportation systems for both towns throughout the time frame.
    In 1962, Meadowside village and Fonton were both a small open space. Both towns were isolated and the roads were connected separately to the north side of the map. Over 23 years, the land area of both towns was expanded and a road connecting the towns was built. Meanwhile, a substantial change could be seen in Meadow village. Their road towards the north increased in width and establishments (housing estate, superstore, and leisure complex) were constructed.
    In the present, a major development has been made since the beginning of the period. The growth in the size of both land areas has been made. The town of Fonton built an added railway connected to a station in the middle of the map. Additionally, the business park and hotel have been formed in the new area between the two town centers.

  8. Rene says

    What band I can get with the following?

    The maps illustrates how was the development and joint from Meadowside to Fonton.

    It is possible to understand several improvements in a chronological way. Such as, in terms of transport, infrastructure, commerce and tourism.

    In 1962, Meadowside firstly called as village, was a small and almost isolated village located at the west side. It had a simple road connecting the village to the north. Clearly, until this date does not exist any connection to Fonton, located on the east side.

    By 1986, the map illustrate some great developments of such area in the village.

    Now, it can be seen that there was built a bigger road connecting to Fonton and the north side. Constructed buildings for Leisure Complex in the center of the village, near the north road, and next to a new Housing Estate, which also has access to the north road plus to east road (Fonton). Moreover, now on the south side, it has a super-store with both access to the new roads.

    Currently, regarding the data given by the lastest map, no more called as a village, Meadowside turned to a suburbs of Fonton area and entirely connected in it. There are now places built in the middle area. A station connecting to the old Fonton’s railroad with a business park on the opposite side. Also, very close to the station, a new hotel was constructed in order to serve people who maybe travel to or from Fonton side.

  9. Romina says

    Hello ,
    Kindly check my below answer 😊

    The given maps illustrates the differance which have taken place in Meaowsid village and a neighbouring city fonton from the year 1962.

    As shown in the figure there was a enlarge of two areas with the renovation of providing facilities like Leisure complex and the housing estate in the Meadowside village .Similarly there was a construction of two road which was linked with Fonton in 1985 .Likewise there was a open area with no any facilities in 1985.

    On the other hand in the present day the two location is combined together with aiming to provide the service of hotel and station for the easiness of people whereas on the opposite side of the station the new construction of business park is made .Similarly housing estate and leisure complex remains same as before in present .

    Overall the new buildings and station was constructed for the people and the areas were combined together for creating new surroundings in present day.

    • Russell says

      Hi, there is a little mistake that is very obvious, town and city are not paraphrases.

  10. Hi,
    Thanks a million for the help you have been. Here’s my doubt:
    I see you are describing each map separately and not comparing items between each date. this is against what you say needs to be done pie charts.
    can you please tell me if this is how we should always approach a map question or can we use the pie chart method.
    Thanks again.

    • Each writing task 1 is approached in a different way depending on the information you have been given and the type of task it is. Some require lots of comparisons and some none at all.

  11. 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.

  12. sumaia says

    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 ?

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

  14. Hisham Hamadi says

    Thank you so much
    It helps me a lot 🙂

  15. 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”

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

  17. 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.

  18. kimlong says

    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.

  19. deepak says

    how can I get more map questions for practice?

  20. Chris says

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

  21. 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”

  22. Amardeep says

    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.

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

Speak Your Mind


error: Content is protected !!