IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Map With Model Answer

Pen and highlighters over blank IELTS writing map - image by Magoosh

Some IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 questions present a map, which you’ll need to describe and explain. To give you a better idea of how to approach this Task 1 question type, we’ll show you a practice question with a model band 9 essay.

To see why this essay is band 9, see our Band 9 essay with scorer commentary, and check out the official IELTS rubric for Task 1 (PDF).

This particular prompt is an IELTS map. Your approach to this map should be the same as your approach to any other Task 1 infographic. Take a look at the information and think carefully. What is the best way to summarize the way the information is structured and the main points? From there, how can you best compare the most relevant pieces of information? Finally, how should you structure that summary and comparison? For more advice on how to approach this, see our article on IELTS Academic Task 1 paragraph structure, as well as our main page for IELTS sample questions and practice resources.

Try to do this prompt yourself. Then check out our band 9 model essay below the prompt and compare it to your own work to see how you did.

Model IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Prompt: Describe a Map

The diagrams below show changes that have taken place in the Sawry District neighbourhood since 1920.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Model Essay

This pair of maps depicts change over the course of a century in the Sawry District neighborhood by showing the area in 1920 and 2020.

The overall change in the neighborhood is one of growth. By 2020 there are more businesses, more housing, and greater public services. However, not all businesses and services remained intact after 1920.

Business and housing saw the most change and growth. The cannery present in 1920 was replaced by an office complex. Two of the houses near the Elmwood River were demolished and replaced by a road and an apartment complex. Oak Avenue went from having two houses and a shop to having three houses, two shops, an apartment complex, and a petrol station.

The change in public services was less significant than the change in housing and businesses. Prestwich Primary School was demolished and then rebuilt as a bigger school, closer to Oak Street’s shops. And Elmwood River gained a bridge and a bike path, the latter of which replaced the small beach seen on the 1920 map.

More Practice IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Sample Questions with Model Essays

Also, make sure you are prepared for the entire Writing section. Click here for a page full of IELTS Writing resources.

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    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!