Describing spatial images on the Task 1 portion of your IELTS exam

Describing spatial images on the Task 1 portion of your IELTS examination requires particular vocabulary to be employed.

Let’s look at this cross-section of a new basketball shoe design, tentatively titled ‘Speedlite’, and a list of its components:

Speedlite shoe cross-section

IELTS Task 1 image - Speedlite shoe cross-section

Component Code Reference Chart

Component Code Description
3 pliable rubber shoe sole
11 patented one-directional mesh that lets moisture escape but does not let it enter
12 foot
13b heat-responsive foam that moulds the shoe to the shape of the foot
14a air duct allowing air to escape to make the shoe more flexible
14b flexible rubber framing the air ducts
15b patented Foamtech foam/plastic mix allowing for greater jumping ability

To describe this image properly, we would need to first select a part of the cross-section to begin with. Ideally, as we move from describing one part of the shoe to another, we want to transition smoothly. This means that the parts we describe in sequence will most likely be connected to each other in some way, such as the sole of the shoe (component 3) and the Foamtech part (component 15b). Thus, a plausible response would look something like this:

This image is a cross-section of the new Speedlite high-top shoe. The general shape of the shoe is somewhat standard, yet the basic components that make up the shoe are quite unique, 2 of which hold patented technology. From the bottom up, the sole of the shoe, Component 3, appears to be made of a pliable rubber base encasing 2 air ducts, 1 beneath the ball of the foot and 1 beneath the heel. The wearer stands on the patented Foamtech, which has been designed to give them an increased ability to jump. Surrounding the foot is a foam mould, denoted in this image as Component 13b. The tongue of the shoe harbors Component 11, a patented mesh, allowing excess water to exit but not enter. Above the ankle is a third air duct allowing for further flexibility.

Between the combination of pliable rubber, air ducts and Foamtech in-sole, the Speedlite is expected to allow its wearer to jump at increased height, making it an asset to any basketball player.

As you can see, our description moves from 1 part of the shoe to another in a sequence that follows how the shoe is built, giving the reader an better impression of the shoe’s overall structure. To avoid overly focusing on minute details, Component Codes are shared only as we move to new parts of the shoe and not for each individual part.

This response follows Single Data Source structure. You can read more information about this structure here.

About Ryan

I have been developing online IELTS training resources for over 10 years. For more information about me and how I can help your preparation for the IELTS, please email me: ryan@ieltsielts.com
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