Check Out IELTS Writing Map Task 1 Sample Answers |


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IELTS Map Task 1: Sample Q&A, Essential Tips, & More

Assessing visual data or structure and outlining the information correctly in a proper format is what needs to be done in an IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 test to score well in this section. However, this part is a crucial segment in both IELTS Academic and General Training modules. Hence, in this comprehensive guide, explore the most confusing yet a little complicated IELTS map task 1, steps to draft a catchy essay, sample answers with the vocabulary used, and tips for nailing the task.

Introduction to IELTS Writing Map Task 1

In the writing map task in IELTS, candidates will be given maps-related questions about the identical location but at different times, whether in the past, present, or future. Hence, they will have to write and illustrate the changes that are visible between the maps. Also, many test takers often get confused between map and process diagram questions without noticing that they differ in many aspects.

However, the IELTS writing task 1 map indeed has confusing questions where the test takers need to compare 2 or 3 maps, or, very rarely, they would find a single map in the writing exam. Sometimes, the image presented in the question might not be as difficult as it seems. Here are the step-by-step criteria to draft a properly formatted essay based on the provided map diagram in IELTS writing task 1!

Steps to Write an IELTS Map Essay

Compared to other types of essays in the IELTS writing section, the map task is generally considered the easiest form in the IELTS exam. Hence, a candidate can get a good score in the writing task 1 map without extensively struggling with the vocabulary, phrasal words, and too much detailing while drafting an essay. You are either required to analyze 2 or 3 maps and compare them, or very rarely, you will find a single map.

Moreover, there are five steps to writing an appealing and high-scoring IELTS map essay:

1. Analyze the Question Carefully

Examine the map question carefully before drafting your essay. Remember, every task consists of a brief portrayal of the image, the instructions, and the graphic in the form of a map.

2. Pinpoint the Main Features

Identify the key points from the maps, such as what time of year is shown on the maps, the main differences between both pictures/maps and features that have been the same in both times.

3. Draft a Catchy Introduction

While writing the introduction or the first paragraph of the essay, try to rephrase the question, or say, write the same thing in a different form. Thus, changing the synonyms of a few words could change the sentence structure.

4. Write an Overview of the Given Map

In the 2nd paragraph, mention the general changes that have been made. Simply frame the complete information. Hence, you don't need to use vocabulary or grammar structures, just the appropriate phrases or words, and correct verb tenses.

5. Write the 1st and 2nd Detail Paragraphs

Now comes 3rd and 4th paragraph of your IELTS map essay, where you can enclose more detailed information. In 2nd section, you should add the points in support of your written 1 or 2 key features.

Here’s the structural breakdown of composing an IELTS map task 1 essay. Scroll and check it out!


  • Paraphrase the given maps and prompt
  • Do mention the time frame given


  • Provide a concise outline of key points and changes pictured

Body Paragraphs

  • Break down the details presented in the map in 2 paragraphs
  • Identify the changes or developments over time


  • Recap the main features, changes, and improvements illustrated in the maps.
  • Compare, review, and finalize your answers.

Further, let's check out the IELTS map task 1 sample questions in the next section!

IELTS Writing Map Task 1: Sample 1

Have a look at the sample answer on the topic - The Maps Show Improvement That Have Been Made to a University Campus Between 2010 and the Present Day. You can refer to the IELTS map task 1 sample answer to understand its correct format and the minimum word limit set for the test takers.

: The Map Illustrated the Changes That Have Been Made to a University |


The map demonstrates the renovations that have been done on a university campus from 2010 to the present day. It is transparent that the campus has undergone several expansions and transformations, with new buildings and amenities being introduced.

In 2010, the campus comprised four main buildings: a teaching block, university offices, restaurants & shops, and two student dormitories. The university office building was situated in the North in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of student housing facilities has increased in number and size.

Previously, there were two student accommodation buildings, one in the west and another in the southwest. At present, one of the buildings situated in the southwest has been destroyed and replaced by a new block for student facilities, which includes shops and offices and the restaurant is also incorporated with the new building. In addition to this, a dead-end access road has been added near the new student housing unit.

On the current map, the previous single teaching block has been replaced with a building only for arts subjects. Meanwhile, a new building has been established for science learners to the north of the campus by replacing the old university offices. Also, the lawn and seating areas which were attached to the lake have now been eradicated. Regardless, the lake is still there in the middle of the campus buildings, but now with a moderate grassy area.

It can be concluded that quite a few modifications can be seen between these campus maps.

IELTS Writing Map Task 1: Sample 2

Check out the IELTS map task 1 sample essay on the topic - The map below is of the town of Canterbury. A new school(s) is planned for the area. The map shows two possible sites for the school.

The Map Illustrated a Town of Canterbury Where a New School is Constructing. |


The map explicated two conceivable sites for a new school in the town of Canterbury and the surrounding region.

Starting with the first site (S1) is located in the countryside and to the northeast of the town hub. It is quite close to the main housing area of the town and not really far from the central road that converges Sturry with Canterbury. Hence, it would be an exemplary site for the students coming from Sturry, which is just 5 kilometers away, and even those who reside on the east side of Canterbury. Meanwhile, if students are reaching from Chartham, which is 7 km to the southwest, they would easily reach school by taking the main road that runs through Canterbury.

The second site (S2) is situated in the town centre itself. There are a few benefits of this, including for students coming from either Sturry or Chartham could find it practically equidistant from their regions. Moreover, it would be convenient for students residing in the housing area around the town centre to reach the school without any hassle. However, due to no traffic zone in the town centre, no parents would be able to drive their children to the school. Hence, this makes travel arrangements quite back-breaking for some parents.

Overall, there are two sites presented for the location of a school in the town of Canterbury.

Moving on, let's further discuss the vocabulary for IELTS used in these sample answers!

Vocabulary Used in Sample Answers with Meaning

In the table below, you will discover all the underlined words or phrases used in the sample map tasks for IELTS with their meanings.

Demonstrate To show or make something clear by reasoning or evidence.
Renovation The process of renewing, and repairing something to good and working condition.
Expansion The process of becoming greater in size or number / Growth
Transformation Change in form or in appearance
Amenity Something that makes a pleasant addition to lives to provide comfort or convenience.
Dormitory A large room or hall that contains numerous beds (Usually in colleges or universities)
Incorporate To unite something to form a larger part.
Regardless Despite everything
Eradicate To destroy to get rid of something completely
Moderate Neither too much or not little of something
Modification A change or alteration to make something work better
Explicate To explain something in detail
Conceivable Possible to imagine
Converge to move towards the same point / to link or connect
Exemplary Suitable to be copied by other people
Hassle A situation that causes difficulty or trouble
Back-breaking Demanding great effort

Also, to ace every section of the exam, it's crucial to have proper knowledge of the IELTS syllabus and the time assigned for each part of the test. Moreover, to nail the map diagram questions, here are the suggested tips which should be adopted by students while answering map task 1 IELTS.

Tips to Excel in IELTS Writing Task 1 Map

The IELTS writing task 1 map is considered the easiest among other questions. There are other IELTS writing questions, including graphs, processes, and pie chart task 1 in IELTS. To ace the map task, below are some of the points to consider while drafting such diagram questions:

  • Read out the instructions carefully and then understand the given map diagram question.
  • Make notes while examining the maps. Thus, you can circle, underline, or highlight the facts you think may be appropriate.
  • Remember, the more you plan what you want to write, the easier it will be to draft about it.
  • With proper planning, you may have some time to work on your spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Maintain the coherence of your answers.
  • Your essay should be grammatically error-free with the usage of proper tenses.
  • There is a time constraint in every IELTS section, so ensure that you complete your essay within 15 minutes.

Further, for students wondering how they can take the exam or if there is any specific IELTS eligibility, note that there are no criteria for the test. It is open to individuals from any educational background and age who wish to prove their English language proficiency.

You may also like to read:

  1. IELTS Writing Task 2 Structure of All Essay Types
  2. Types of Essay in IELTS: Structure & Samples
  3. Latest IELTS Writing Task 2 Topics & Questions in 2024


Are you preparing for the IELTS writing section but anxious about the task 1 map round? Worry not, you're not alone here! With the right preparation material and regular practice, you can improve overall IELTS bands in one go. However, if you go through Gradding's customized plans, they assure you can ace the exam on the first attempt. Moreover, they also offer online IELTS training for test takers like you with their personalized study plans. The training also includes separate mock tests for all four sections of IELTS. Also, to check your English level, make sure to go to the website and take the pre-IELTS test to review where you stand in your prep journey.

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