- Don’t copy the words from the task introduction for your own introduction. You should paraphrase the words from the task (rewrite it using some different words). If you do this these words will not be counted towards the minimum 150 words you need to write, and it will make a bad first impression with the examiner!
- Not providing an overall summary. It is absolutely vital that you write an overall summary for your task one report. This is a statement about what all the information shows. My suggestion is that you start the sentence with the word overall and you place the sentence at the end of your introduction. The end of the introduction is the most logical place for it and putting it here prevents the chance of you forgetting to write it; or in the event of running out of time not having written it. I cannot stress enough that this is the most important sentence of the whole report. Without it you cannot score beyond five for task achievement.
- Not covering all key data. As mentioned above the overall summary is the most critical sentence of the whole report. In order to score well you also need to cover the most important highlights of the task. For static tasks this is often the lowest and highest figures, and for tasks with multiple time periods it is often the categories that have changed the most; and also, you should always cover the start and end numbers for the period. Four processes you must cover every stage in the process. For maps you must cover every important feature of the map.
- Not including data. Another key aspect is to make sure that you always include data. Without this you cannot score above five for task response. For most tasks this requires you to put in some numbers or percentages.
- Confusing numbers and percentages. If the task is about percentages and you talk about more people instead of a higher proportion of people your task score will be dramatically reduced!
If you write under 150 words in the exam you will get a -1 penalty in the exam. Before writing, make a plan for your essay to make sure you have enough to write about.
Your report seems too long. The disadvantages of this are that you will have less time to proofread it, and you even might not be able to finish it. Speed up by writing a plan and working out what data you will include BEFORE you start writing.
You covered all the data but more highlighting is needed such as highlighting the highest and lowest data.
You did not include enough data (figures).
For change over time tasks the starting numbers and ending numbers are very important.
Factual errors lower your score here.
You cannot discuss numbers or amounts because the task is about percentages.