Academic IELTS grammar for task 1

I’m often asked by my students just before they take an IELTS test for some quick tips on what to study before a particular task.  Therefore, in this post, I will summarise the salient grammar and vocabulary features I found in very good introductions and overviews in the Academic IELTS  Task 1 tests using our English Grammar Profiler.  Firstly, our profiler has predicted all the texts together to be about C1, which makes sense since these sentences are from models to get a band 7 in IELTS.  The profiler quickly spotted these 3 key advanced language constructions that I would suggest that any student should have for this IELTS task:

C2 grammar or vocabulary in IELTS examples

Here are 3 examples of one C2 grammar point across these samples.  The adjective ‘Major’ is always used before a noun. For example:

  1. Germany was the major producer of vehicles.
  2. The village has experienced major changes.
  3. … cinema attendance in major cities…

C1 grammar in IELTS examples

Here are 5 examples of one C1 grammar point across these samples. Using modality with a passive structure where ‘it’ is a dummy subject, to summarise the findings, which is very common in academic writing. Notice also the use of the adverb ‘clearly’ that modifies ‘seen’ in two different positions and all the ‘that + clauses’.

  1. It can be clearly seen that the number of people employed has increased.
  2. It can clearly be seen that there are six steps.
  3. It can be seen that there are four main stages.
  4. It can be seen that the younger groups visit the cinema the most.
  5. it can be seen that oil is used the most.

Other essential language

The next most notable grammar and vocabulary is the range of verbs used in the present simple.  Never mind too much the CEFR level of the verbs.  Just be able to use a range that is appropriate and think about where the ‘-s’ goes after plural nouns or singular verbs.

  1. The table illustrates employment numbers. (C1)
  2. The maps illustrate changes. (C1)
  3. The graph presents data. (B2)
  4. The chart compares the number of cars. (B1)
  5. The diagram shows how car parts are assembled. (B1)
  6. The pie charts show the main energy resources. (B1)

Finally, use discourse markers for the overview sentence, such as:

  1. To summarise, (C1)
  2. To be specific, (C1)
  3. Overall, (B2)
  4. In brief, (B2)
  5. In summary, (B2)

These are the complete samples with links to other grammar:

The table illustrates employment numbers in Australia over a thirty-year period from 1970 to 2000.
Overall, it can be clearly seen that the numbers of people employed have increased over the period,  whereas the unemployed figures have remained stable.



The chart compares the number of cars that were made in France, Germany and Norway over a decade from 2000 to 2010.
In brief, Germany was the major producer of vehicles over this period followed by France and Norway.


The diagram shows how car parts are assembled. It can be seen that there are four main stages to car manufacturing.
To be specific, these are moulding, machining, joining and shearing.


The process shows how man-made fibres are produced. It can clearly be seen that there are six steps involved in the production of cloth starting with the raw materials and ending with the final product.


The maps illustrate changes in an English village over a century from 1915 to 2015.
In summary, in one hundred years, the village has experienced major changes transforming it from a small farming village to an industrial town.


The graph presents data from Ireland showing cinema attendance in major cities in 2016.
To summarise, it can be seen that the younger age groups visit the cinema mostwhereas older people rarely attend.



The pie charts show the main energy resources used to generate power in a town in Australia, while the chart shows how much energy was consumed by the community in 1989.
Overall, by looking at the charts it can be seen that oil is used the most as an energy source in this town and that most power is required for domestic cooling.