Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we’ll talk about a common rookie Task 1 mistake on IELTS, so you don’t make this error on your test.

We are specifically focusing on the Change Over Time question type today.

The classic COT graph has quantities on the vertical line and the horizontal line has years.

However, time isn’t always expressed in years.

One of our students posted a graph about audiences throughout the day in 1992. At first glance, this seems like Static because there’s only one year presented.

But, the horizontal axis shows months, and the numbers change through these months.

This goes toward our vital advice of the need for flexibility in writing when you look at the task question, in both Task 1 and Task 2.


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The rookie mistake to avoid would be mixing up the question types, and writing about this as a Static graph. The vocabulary for this essay is distinct from COT.

With numbers that change, your vocabulary expresses movement, while in Static it’s about making comparisons, such as paraphrases for ‘higher‘ and ‘lower‘.

It’s worthwhile to take an extra minute to focus on the question, and really understand what these numbers are expressing.

For Academic Task 1, you know exactly what you’ll have to write, so it’s easy to learn vocabulary for each type of question, as well as the sentence structures required. This is all in our course!

Do you have issues with Writing Task 1?

Ask questions in the comments section below!


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