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IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps: The Perfect Format

IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps
IELTS Writing Task 1 Maps

When preparing for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you will encounter a total of 7 data types that are part of Task 1. This post will deal with the map task 1 questions in the IELTS academic writing. We will discuss how to handle this question with vocabulary and connectors for Task 1 and a sample map for practice.

How to handle map IELTS Task 1

In IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 portion, you might come across maps, two maps to be exact. In the writing task 1 map question, there could be different scenarios, but there will be two maps to deal with. It could be that one map shows the past while the second map shows the present. Another scenario might show you a current map and a second map showing future planning. So, it is imperative that you use the proper tenses according to the scenario.

When you are describing a map chart task 1, the essay structure consists of the following parts:

  • Introduction to the map, meaning to paraphrase the question.
  • Give an overview i.e. describe all the major changes that you observe that took place over time.
  • In paragraph 1, thoroughly describe the first map in your words.
  • In paragraph 2, thoroughly describe the second map in your words.

Before diving into the sample question, let us go through the phrases and vocabulary that should be used when writing directions or describing locations on the maps. You will see the example in the IELTS writing task 1 sample answer too.

Vocabulary/Phrases Example
To the north of/north of The shops are north of the hotel = the shops are to the north of the hotel.
To the south of/south of The hotel is south of the shops = the hotel is to the south of the shops.
To the east of/east of The abandoned building east of the river was demolished = the abandoned building to the east of the river was demolished.
To the west of/west of The shopping plaza will be built to the west of the high school = the shopping plaza will be built west of the high school
northeast of/to the northeast of

northwest of/to the northwest of

southeast of/to the southeast of

southwest of/to the southwest of

The cliffs are to the northeast of the harbor.


The police station is situated southwest of the public school.

in the west

in the east

in the north

in the south

Many of the shops are in the south of the city.


The new college campus is located in the west of the town.

on the south side of

on the north side of

on the east side of

on the west side of

The old factory on the north side of the main canal will be demolished.








The eastern area of the town is mainly marshes, while the western area is filled with houses and shops.


The community center faces northeast.


The church is located on the southwest side of the town.


The new security office is located in the northeast corner of the shopping plaza.


Example map for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

Following is an example map with writing task 1 sample answers, so you can practice and then check your answer.

The maps demonstrate some future changes to the central area of the town of Islip.

  • Largely, the key change to the town will include the construction of a ring road around the town center. Other changes will be centered around this new road including developments in housing and shops.
  • According to the first map, Islip town center is relatively small right now. There is a main road running from the west to the east with shops on both sides. The northern area of the town is the countryside, while the southern area comprises of houses. In the southwest corner, there is a school at the end of the fork road and a park in the southeast area.
  • The future planning map shows that the main road will be converted into a dual-carriageway, encircling all the new developments. The shops situated along the north side of the new pedestrian walkway will be flattened and replaced with a bus station, a shopping center, a car park, and a new housing area. The shops along the south side of the pedestrian street will remain. It seems that there will be a reduction in the size of the town’s park to make space for a new housing development.

Wrap Up

With the example and the vocabulary discussed in this article, you can now easily attempt the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Maps. There are many example maps available online that you can practice on and improve your skill.

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