IELTS Writing Task 1: Introduction Errors

Look at the graph and introduction below. Then answer the questions.


Source: The above chart was not created by IELTS Liz.


The graph give the information about the number of computer ownership by education level in two different years.

1. How many mistakes are there in the introduction above?

2. How would you write the introduction?

  1. The graph = The bar chart
  2. give = gives (s)
  3. gives the information about = don’t need “the”
  4. the number  of = the percentage / proportion of
  5. computer ownership by education level = copied from graph
  6. in two different years = should give dates

Model Introduction

The bar chart gives information about the proportion of people who owned a computer from five different levels of education in two years (2002 and 2010).


  1. Paraskevi Giouvanaki says

    Dear Liz,
    First of all I would like to thank you(a lot!!) for all your wonderful work and the segnificant IELTS tips I learnt from you.
    I want to express my “fear” when it comes to the writing task 1…
    Well, I feel that I don’t know from where to begin when I am about to report the data…could you please give me any tips?
    Thank you in advance.

    Greetings from Greece 🙂

    • You need to take a deep breath and relax. Task 1 is about being logical and writing a clear report. There are simple steps:
      1. Paraphrase the description given and put the list of categories in the introduction if possible.
      2. Circle the key features and then present them in an overview in either one or two sentences – occasionally three.
      3. Decide how you will divide the body paragraphs which contain the details. Always choose the most logical way – paragraphing should be easy to understand.
      4. Make sure each sentence in your body paragraphs is supported by data. In the case of maps or diagrams, use the words given.
      Four simple steps. Now go to my main writing task 1 page, which is located on the RED BAR at the top of the site, and read the model answers and also watch all the free videos and then review the practice lessons.
      Does this help?

  2. Hi liz, i just took the exam yesterday and i was worried because instead of saying diagram in my introduction i changed it to illustration. Will it affect my score?

  3. I find that I always write too much words (around 250 words) in the task 1. Will I have mark deduction about that? Do I give too much detail on the graph? or do I need to generalize it in order to decrease my number of words?

    • Your task is to select information and group information together. If you present too much small detail, it will affect your score. So, keep your task 1 to about 170 – 190. Only rarely does it hit 200 and never 210 or more.

  4. What should we suppose to write between these two sentences in introduction or, if is there no need to write any of these?
    1. The data is calibrated in numbers or percentage.
    2. Units are measured in numbers or percentage.

  5. The bar chart illustrates information about how many people owned computers in the two different years(2002 and 2010) on the behalf of their education level.

    Please let me know if I am wrong.Thankyou

  6. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for your sharing:)
    I have question about your ANSWER 3 on top of this page.
    Why could not we add the ‘the’ before the word ‘information’?Could you please give the reason?
    Many Thanks,

    • Because it is grammatically incorrect. We never write “gives the information about”, we only write “gives information about”.

      • Hi Liz,

        But when we using ‘data’ we write it as ‘the graph illustrates the data..’
        Is that incorrect?

        • The graph illustrates either numbers or percentages usually. The word data is not a paraphrase for number, the word data is a paraphrase for the word statistic. Never use a word unless you are 100% sure – mistakes in IELTS will lower your score.

  7. Aloysius Okeke says

    1. Three mistakes .
    2. The graph above shows the percentage of computer owners and their educational level in two different years .

  8. Zidael Meshichi says

    Hi Liz,

    When a chart/graph mentions ESTIMATED percentage or ESTIMATED sales, is there any different method of approaching such tasks or they are written in the same way as the other ones?

  9. Hi Liz,

    Can I use elucidate instead of illustrate?

  10. Hey mam…is it olryt if I write introduction as given below..
    The bar chart illustrates the number of computers owned by five different educational levels over the period given.

  11. Noha Faisal says

    Hi Liz ,
    actually i got a bit confused about the y-axis , is it the percentage of computers that has been owned by people ?
    or it is the proportion of people who have owned those computers ??

  12. Hi Ms. Liz! Good day! Can I always paraphrase YEARS to PERIODS?

    Thank you so much! 🙂

  13. Dr. Rehan says

    Hi mam, I have been following your websites and video lessons for many months. I find it very help and provides clear view about exam preparation. Its my first post and I hope you kindly check it.

    Introduction ::

    The bar chart illustrates the percentage of student owned computer in 2002 and 2010 in five education levels namely no high school diploma, high school graduate, college ( incomplete), bachelor’s degree and post graduate qualification.

  14. Wasi Abdullah says

    I gave the IELTS exam today. The writing task 1 had provided a table which showed the percentage of people who travel by bus in the UK during the years 2009 to 2011. The reasons were 5 in number.
    I made 5 paragraphs to describe the chart and finished it within the provided page. Is the examiner going to give me less marks as I made 5 paragraphs in writing task 1. It helped describe all aspects of the table. And I also made a Spelling mistake that I noticed at the very last moment and unfortunately didn’t have the time to correct it. Could you please tell me based on my 5 paragraph writing task 1, will my score be very poor ?

    • It is possible to have 5 paragraphs for task 1 even though it is unusual. You will get scored on how logical your paragraphs are so it will depend on the organisation of information into paragraphs. But you won’t get a lower score because you have 5. One spelling error is actually acceptable for even band 8. Lets wait for your results.

      • I’m sorry. I used 5 paragraphs to describe the 5 reasons given in the table. Apart from that I also had the introduction and conclusion. So, I would have to say, that is 7 paragraphs in total. I believe the organization of information was very relevant, however, I have checked several writing samples. They described the the first four in the 2nd paragraph

        My answer was as follows. Could you please see the answer that I provided in the examination and please tell me the minimum score I might receive for this “writing task 1”

        “The provided table depicts information about the percentage of people who provided reasons for traveling by bus in the UK for a period of 3 years, from 2009 to 2011.

        First of all, the table represents the portion of people who use the bus to travel for study. In the year 2009, the percentage of people was 8%. In the following year, the percentage decreased to 4%. In the year 2011, the percentage fell by 1% to 2%.

        Secondly, the table shows the percentage of people, who use the bus to travel to work. The percentage in the year 2009 was 6 %. In the next year, 2010, the percentage decreased to 2%. However, in the year 2011, the table shows that no one used the bus to travel to work.

        Next, the table depicts the information on the percentage of people who traveled by bus for shopping purposes. In the year 2009, the percentage was at 23%. Nevertheless, in the following two years, 2010 and 2011, the percentage of people who used the bus for shopping remained constant at 19%.

        Fourthly, the table represents information about the portion of people who used the bus to travel for visiting friends. It can be seen that the portion of people was at 16%. In the year 2010, the percentage declined to 10 %. The percentage of people further declined by 2 %, to 8% in the year 2011.

        Finally, the table shows the percentage of people, who used the bus to travel to long distances. In the year 2009, the percentage was at 13%. However, the percentage gradually declined in the next two years and fell to 8% in 2011.

        Overall, it can be inferred from the information that the percentage of people who used the bus to travel for study and gradually decreased. In addition, the percentage of people who use the bus to travel for different purposes differs in different ways.”

        ^This is the close proximation to the answer that I provided. I would also like to tell you that I finished this answer within the provided page.
        Can you please tell me, will I get a “very” low score for this in my writing. I’m very tensed.

  15. Francis Naing says

    ီီီDear Liz ,
    I have to take the exam on May 30 and I still couldn’t write writing task 1 very well .
    So, what shall I do in this situation for writing task 1 ? If you find time , reply and my comment and give me some useful advice please

    • I can only advise you to spend time developing your technique for each type of writing task 1. Learn how to organise information into paragraphs, how to write the overviews and what language to use. Go through my model writing task 1 and make notes on each type. You still have over two weeks – you can learn at a lot in that time.
      All the best

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