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IELTS Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image

Posted on April 5, 2011 by

Cyclical images are images that depict a process that repeats, for example the life cycle of a butterfly or the process nature goes through to create rain. In this post, I’d like to go over some of the language you can use to accurately write the opening broad sentence in your IELTS Task 1 response. (Please note: this is the second sentence in your response following your data type description sentence. If you are unfamiliar with how to structure your Task 1 response, please view my Task 1 structure tutorial here.)

Let’s take the following diagram as an example. Here, we can see an image outlining the life cycle of a frog:

(Image source: infovisual.info)
(Image source: infovisual.info)

-From start to finish, the life cycle of the frog appears to have 7 stages. (Ryan’s note: The exact number of stages may depend on how you wish to dissect the image. Personally, I would break this image down into 4 stages: early growth, first physical changes, terrain adaptation stage and full development.)
How can we describe the overall process of this image? Take the following sentences as examples:

-The common frog undergoes a number of physical changes over the course of its life.

-From an egg to a fully-grown adult, the common frog experiences a number of radical physical changes.

-Adapting from a water-dependent creature into one capable of surviving on land, the frog undergoes a tremendous transformation over the course of its life.

2 Responses to “IELTS Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image”

  1. Faiz says:

    Your videos are excellent and helpful, Can you make video (Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image).
    Thank you

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Academic Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

This eBook groups all information the student needs to know to perform well on Task 1 of their Academic exam.

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General Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

Learn to write the 6 letter types that appear on the General exam.

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Academic and General Task 2: How to write at a 9 level

An eBook describing everything necessary to compose a successful essay.

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Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

Patrick answers your immigration questions

I had a very interesting chat with Patrick (101migration.com) about Canadian and Australian immigration. Several of your questions were answered. Tune in to hear the entire interview from start to finish:

Model response to an Academic Task 2 question seen 12 July 2014

 

(I’ve made this response a little bit longer than needed to demonstrate additional vocabulary and grammatical structures. Your IELTS essay would not need to be this long.)

Some argue younger people are not suitable for important positions in the government, while others think this is a good idea. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Government jobs carry with them serious responsibilities. It is therefore no surprise that a person’s age and experience come under scrutiny when positions in government need to be filled. Many feel influential government jobs should be reserved for those who are older and have more experience, while others feel the criterion for these positions should be capability, namely whomever is most able to carry out the job. This essay will look at both sides before drawing a logical conclusion.

On the one hand, many argue that younger people should be made ineligible for important government positions, and the implications of this opinion are clear. Those operating at senior levels within a country’s military, for example, require field experience to prevent disastrous decisions that could cause the needless loss of life. Were younger people allowed to fast track their ascension within a country’s military, they could find themselves having to make critical choices based more on theoretical study than practical experience, and this could have catastrophic results. Thus, is it understandable why many feel younger government workers should be incubated before given promotion to important positions.

However, there are several plausible counters to this argument. For one, younger workers bring creativity and fresh ideas to government. For example, young government workers in Canada successfully pushed to increase HIV understanding and dispel stigmas attached to the disease in the 1980s, a development that encouraged tolerance and reduced irrational fear. In addition to fresh ideas, it should be remembered that to get a government job, one has to successfully engage a rigorous screening process. If a younger person engages this process as well or better than an older person, it is hard to argue that age should be a decisive factor when offering employment. It is clear from these reasons that there is merit to awarding important government career options to younger people.

Although the above look reveals solid evidence for both sides of the argument, it is felt that the healthiest approach to designating government positions is to ensure candidates fulfil rigorous training programs. Thus, a person’s age should not be considered a universal precursor to the awarding of government jobs.

How to use concession in your argument essay

Looking at a point that opposes your own can be tricky in an argument essay. In this video, we go over what concession is and how you can use it.

Igor scores band 8.5

In this episode of IELTSCast, Igor, an IELTS instructor in Kazakhstan, details how he managed to score band 8.5. The resources Igor suggests are:

(Book) Listening Strategies for the IELTS (Beijing University Press)
(Website) http://www.renren.com – A Chinese social networking site with well established IELTS communities.
(Website) Everyone’s favourite former examiner Chris Green’s work at http://ielts-yasi.englishlab.net/

9 alternative words that will help you get to IELTS band 9

In this video we go over 9 words that you can use to supplant some of your plainer lexicon (see below for a list of the words):

Alternatives for “good”:

1. rewarding / 2. satisfying

(S) “I have a rewarding job.”

(S) “My career has been satisfying for several reasons.”

(S) “My time in Sydney has been rewarding.”

(WT2) Do you prefer to work for a large or small company?

“It is for this reason that I feel working for a large company is more satisfying than working for a small company.”

3. merit

(WT2) Some people believe that diet and exercise in a population are largely the responsibility of the government. Others feel people should…

“Thus, the argument that governments should be responsible for the diets and exercise levels of citizens holds merit.”

4. optimal

(S) At what time of the day are you most productive?

“My optimal work time is in the morning. It is when my mind is clearest and I can…”

(WT1) Pie charts comparing the diets of older men in varying states of health.

“The second pie chart illustrates optimal weightings of fat, carbohydrates and protein for men aged 50 and older.”

Alternatives for “faster/slower”:

5. accelerate

(S) “The clubs I joined at university accelerated my studies.”

(S) “Careers in high tech are typically accelerated in my hometown as many young people engage internships at the nearby tech park.”

(WT1) “Growth of laptop sales accelerated between 2002 and 2004.”

(WT2) Young people learn more and at an accelerated speed through the use of technology.

6. retard

“For example, libraries that do not electronically index their resources retard the rate at which a student can access information.”

Alternatives for important/unimportant:

7. key

(S) “The wedding planner we hired was a key individual for three reasons. Firstly, he was able to…”

(S) How do you define a “hero”?

“I think integrity, kindness and honesty are key. To me, a hero is someone that does the right thing even when no one is looking.”

(WT1) “A key feature of the diagram is the pause that occurs between the first and second halves of the paper making process.”

8. chiefly

(S) (In response to a Part 2 monologue about an important person in your country.) What do you think ___ will be most remembered for?

(S) “I think ___ will be chiefly remembered for his contributions to science…”

(WT2) “For example, it has long been established that carbon dioxide emissions are chiefly responsible for global warming.”

9. trivial

(S) How central was the Internet to your studies at university?

(S) “To be honest, the role it played was quite trivial. I found the vast amount of my studying was done using the traditional resources found at the university library.”

(WT1) (A pie chart comparing the impact various human activities have on the death rates of forest fauna.

(S) “Although pesticides account for 43% of all fauna death rates, mortalities due to human activities at campsites reveal the comparatively trivial figure of 0.01%.”

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