This IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 post mainly deals with the methods/structure of writing an answer to a flow chart on getting/acquiring a driving licence. It also provides some essential tips on writing a great answer and presents a model answer to a flow chart.
Let’s have a look at this sample question first.
The flow chart shows the procedure to acquire a driving licence in a developed country.
A flow-chart is a diagram of the series of movements or actions of people or things involved in a complicated system or activity.
Writing an answer to a flow-chart can be problematic in some cases. A flow chart has similarities with a process diagram as both of them contain a sequence. We need to think about the chart, look at it carefully and decide on the structure of writing.
A great flow-chart/process diagram description in IELTS should have two paragraphs.
The first paragraph:
Introduce the picture by paraphrasing the title. Paraphrasing means to express the meaning of (something that is written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity. Here is an example of paraphrasing:
Look at the title of this chart. It says:
The flow-chart shows the sequential process of writing a great story.
Now look at the paraphrased line:
The displayed flowchart shows the steps involved in the procedure of acquiring a driving licence in a first-world nation.
This is how you should change the sentence.
You should also write a general statement or overview of the given picture with the introductory statement. An overview is a general review or summary of a subject. For this flow-chart, an overview or an overall statement can be:
Overall, there are five main stages in this system that initiates with registering for the licence in the driving licence centre and culminating in acquiring the licence.
The second paragraph:
Now, in the second paragraph, you should write a good detailed description of the chart or diagram.
You should carefully look at each stage and give a description. Be careful not to overstate anything. Keep it simple and use a variety of sentences such as active and passive forms, simple, complex and compound sentences etc. You should also use a number of linking words/ connecting words to describe the sequence of the chart or process.
NB: You need not to write a conclusion for a Writing Task 1 answer.
Thus, you can write an excellent answer to a flow-chart or process diagram.
Tips regarding flow-chart writing:
Here are some essential tips for you to remember when you write a flow-chart or process diagram:
- Use present indefinite tense or simple present tense.
- Use active as well as passive verbs.
- Spot how many stages there are in the chart and include them in the introduction.
- In an overview/overall trend/general trend of the picture, include the number of stages as well as the first and the last stages.
- Try using a range of linkers/connecting words to show the sequence.
- Use a range of vocabulary; change the words you see in the flow-chart, especially, the verbs.
- Avoid using the second person (you) as the subject of sentences in the detailed description, even though you find ‘you’ written in the picture.
The displayed flowchart shows the steps involved in the procedure of acquiring a driving licence in a first-world nation. Overall, there are five main stages in this system that initiates with registering for the licence in the driving licence centre and culminating in acquiring the licence.
The process begins with going to the driving licence centre and filling up a form. Subsequently, an eyesight test is taken which is compulsory for all. If someone fails the eyesight test, he or she cannot enter the next procedures. Success in the eyesight test leads to the following stages where a person needs to pay the fees for a written test and appear in the test. If the person passes the written exam, he or she is eligible for the practical or road drive test. However, failure in the written test means that he or she needs to retake the written exam for free. Failing again in the exam leads one to repeat the exam with a payment.
After successfully completing the road-drive test, a person acquires his or her driving licence. If he or she fails in the practical test, it can be taken again with another payment.
Here are some other diagrams that you can practice:
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