Writing an IELTS Task 1 Maps Answer with Tips and Tricks

Maps are a common Task 1 question type for the IELTS Writing Exam, which tests whether you can understand and interpret data. This blog post will look at writing an IELTS Task 1 Maps answer with tips and tricks to make it easier. It would help if you used a variety of vocabulary to describe the different aspects. Your answer should consist of a minimum of 150 words, but you can also use more if you feel you need to. The data contained in the map will be sufficient for at least 150 words, but you should choose the most critical facts and sequence them logically. We will look at how we structure our answers and teach you strategies for achieving a high score in the Writing section.

Where to start?

In IELTS writing task 1, you must mention the changes on the map that you have seen. It would be best if you also said the changes that occurred. It is essential to list all the features present at the same time in the past and the exact location. Having more information can help you find similarities and differences. So, don’t forget to review your sources. It is essential to include a short introduction and a conclusion and make sure you use both types of evidence to support your claims. 

The first part of the task is identifying the main features of the map. If you have two maps, it is essential to compare them, and you will need to use several adjectives to describe their differences. In addition, the IELTS Writing Task 1 question requires you to write two sentences that summarize the differences between them. Using these guidelines will help you quickly answer this challenging part of the exam.

How many words should I use?

You do not get more points for writing more words. You shouldn’t spend more than 20 minutes on this task as Part 2 is worth twice as many marks and requires a minimum of 250 words.

Writing Part 1 Answer Template

1)      Introduction – Around 30-40 words (one or two sentences) answer the question by paraphrasing when possible

2)      Main Features – Around 50-60 words (two or three sentences, both simple and complex) to discuss the main features of the data

3)      Further details –Around 70-80 words (four to five sentences, both simple and complex) to discuss the remaining data

4)      Conclusion – Around 20 words (one simple or complex sentence) to conclude the data and make any final remarks

IELTS Writing Map

The Island From 1901 to 2010.

Writing Part 1 Introduction

Your introduction needs to paraphrase and address the information and question you have presented. You should highlight essential number points to ensure that you know what is being asked—for example, using the data from the maps provided above. This will save you time when completing the writing task.

The two maps show the Islands growth and development from 1901 to nowadays (2010). From the first observations, it can be seen that there has been a lot of changes that we will discuss.

Writing Part 1 Main Features

A good strategy is to summarize the differences between the two maps. In the preparation stages to the exam, practice highlighting the differences between the two maps so you have a record. The next part of the map is a summary of the main features. When you finish it, you should have a good understanding of the difference between the two maps. This will be an excellent chance for you to improve your grammar. Then, you can try to use your map-making knowledge to write a better essay.

The main difference between these maps is the growth of commercial enterprises and developments. In 1901, there were no buildings, and it looked largely unpopulated. In comparison to nowadays, in 2010, there have been multiple new buildings including a restaurant and accommodation. 

Writing Part 1 Further Details

Here, you should compare two maps and write a paragraph about them. You should also use a sentence that sums up the differences between them. This is more of a general description of the remaining data. This is where you can describe the differences and similarities in a map. If you find that the differences are similar, group them.

More differences can be mentioned, such as the reception that has been built in the centre of the Island. It connects to the accommodation, restaurants and a pier, in contrast to 1901, where there were only trees and no manufactured structures to be seen. It is a small Island, and in the last 100 years, more than 50% of the Islands surface area has been built upon.

Writing Part 1 Conclusion

Finally, it would help if you concluded your findings. Summarise them by signposting your conclusion. You can use the following examples.





In summary, it can be seen that lots of changes have occurred on the Island from 1901 to 2010, which mainly includes commercial developments; however, it should be mentioned that the fauna on the Island has not been destroyed as a result.

And we’ve done it! We’ve completed a Part 1 answer. Well done! Now, try it for yourself and see if you can adapt this structure for any Part 1 answer. Leave an example in the comments below, or if you need any help developing your writing, check out our Intensive Courses that guarantee results!

If you would like to try some more practice or read more about IELTS Maps past papers on the British Council Website below.

Sample test questions (ielts.org)

If you’re unsure, try our Free or Intensive courses below!

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