Task 1 IELTS Writing (Academic) - Model Answer

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The bar chart below shows the number of overseas students enrolled in a third year Computer Science course at a Canadian college.

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

Write at least 150 words.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Bar Chart

The data provided gives information about how many international students decided to participate in a course in computing in an educational establishment in Canada.

Probably the most eye-catching feature of the statistics is that more females than males agreed to take part. For Singapore, Malaysia and France the figures for women were significantly higher than the corresponding numbers for men. In China - the country which contributed the highest amount of students - approximately ten percent more women than men took the subject. The only exception was Sri Lanka, where twice as many males took part.

It should also be noted that female participants were far more likely to choose the Networking option as opposed to the Database core, which was more popular amongst their male counterparts. For China, Malaysia and Singapore - three of the four countries from which most students came - the difference was pronounced. Only France did not follow this trend. This country provided the fewest students and just one of them- a male- opted for Networking.

Obviously, the pattern with regard to the Database course was entirely different: considerably more men wanted to study it. For instance, six times as many Sri Lankan men as women were interested in this subject. Similarly, three and a half times as many Chinese males as females preferred the Database class.


1. Many IELTS candidates would answer this question ‘country by country’. Remember that you need to ‘…select and report the main features, and make comparisons where relevant’. Clearly, the fact that most students came from China, followed by the other Asian countries and France is important. However, even if you decide to start with is information (which is certainly possible) you only need a maximum of two sentences and then you should focus on the gender (male-female) differences.

2. This answer is quite long for Academic Task 1 and it would still be a very strong answer without the final paragraph.

3. Look at how paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 are organised. They start with a main point and provide support for this main point.

4. Look at the attempts made to avoid repeating language from the question. It is important to avoid repeating words like ‘overseas students’, ‘enrolled in’ and ‘course’.

5. Look at how the words ‘corresponding’, ‘exception’ and ‘counterparts’ are used. These are complex words which can be used in Academic Task 1 Writing.