Before you start Writing task 1 map, learn these:

In IELTS writing task 1 exam there are two types of map questions:

  1. Two or more maps
  2. Single map

In Two maps question you are given two maps of the same place in different years (1960 – 2016). Here you need to show what had changed over the years:


  • Introduction – Here you should write what the map shows.
  • Overview – State what the change is ( is the area modernized and etc.)
  • Body – Start with the most obvious changes and write all of them.

Example report:

The maps below illustrate how Frenton changed from 1990 to 2012


Sample Answer:

The maps show the developments that have taken place in Frenton over a period of 22 years between 1990 and 2012.

It is clear that Frenton underwent a dramatic transformation over the period, becoming noticeably less green and more built up.

The only places that remained the same in Frenton over the period were the school and the library. The playing fields in the south of the town , for example, were replaced with flats. Secondly, the houses in the west of Frenton were also made larger and factories were constructed on the site. Furthermore, the café and the park east of High Street made way for a hotel and golf course , while the theatre and shops became a cinema and supermarket, respectively.

The bank, located west of High Street and north of the school , was converted into a restaurant and the trees in the southwest of the town were cut down to make way for a technopark. One further development was the expansion of the hospital, located west of the High Street.

(175 words)

Second kind of Writing task 1 map is Single Map questions. Here it asks you to describe two different locations on the map or compare them:

  • Introduction – Here you should state what the map shows
  • Overview – Give general information about two different locations given
  • Body – Compare two locations

Example report:

Below is a map of the city of Brandfield. City planners have decided to build a new shopping mall for the area, and two sites, S1 and S2 have been proposed.  

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


Map of Brandfield with two proposed sites for a shopping mall


Sample Answer

The map illustrates plans for two possible sites for a shopping mall in the city of Brandfield. It can be seen that the two sites under consideration are in the north and the south east of the town.

The first possible site for the shopping mall, S1, is just north of the city centre, above the railway line, which runs from the south east of the city to the north west. If it is built here, it will be next to a large housing estate, thus providing easy access for those living on the estate and in the city centre. It will also be next to the river, which runs through the town.

The site in the south east, S2, is again just by the railway line and fairly close to the city centre, but it is near to an industrial estate rather than housing.

There is a main road that runs through the city and is close to both sites, thus providing good road access to either location. A large golf course and park in the west of the town prevents this area from being available as a site.

(190 words) 

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