Below is an IELTS academic writing part one map task from the Cambridge IELTS Practice Tests Books. Before watching the video with an IELTS examiner showing how to write a 9 answer, think about

a – what the key features/ changes are

b- how you would organize them into paragraphs

Now watch the video:

The examiner talks of useful language for

a – describing where a feature is located

b – highlighting key information

c – for linking / organizing

d – talking about changes

Below such expressions are highlighted in the first part of example answer. Decide whether they are a,b,c,d above. Then look at the second part and find the expressions yourselves.

The provided map illustrates how one particular village by the sea has changed since 1995. Overall, the most significant developments would seem to be an increase in infrastructure for accommodation and supporting facilities, along with a corresponding decrease in more work-related infrastructure.

Beginning with perhaps the most noticeable change, we may observe that fairly large farmland in the north-west corner of the map and an adjacent forest to the south have been replaced by a golf course in the larger northern part and two tennis courts to the south. In the south-eastern section of the map, a less significant change can be seen in that the hotel there on a road running east to west has gained a car park to its right. This improvement of living facilities is further reflected in the appearance of apartments and restaurants on either side of the middle and western section of this road, notably at the expense of a fish market and shops respectively. Another noticeable change in the south section is the disappearance of a fishing port, which was obviously there to cater for the fish market.

This trend of additional accommodation infrastructure and supporting facilities is again visible when looking at the last section of the map, the north-west one. A relatively large amount of houses either side of a road running from the north-west corner to the south-east, where the previously mentioned hotel is, have seen the addition of two more. The tendency of developing supporting facilities for accommodation can be seen here as well in the extension of a road running west off the main diagonal one. Another two houses were added to this extension, bringing the number of houses next to this road to six.

Lastly, there is some useful “sure / not sure language”. Are the structures below “very sure” / “sure” / “fairly sure” / “not very sure” / very unsure:

would seem to be


are clearly

are quite clearly

seem to be

NOTE!!!! Don’t forget, you will not use the above language much, as you should not speculate in the writing part one!! The “speculating language” can be used, as mentioned in the video, if you believe the examiner might not agree. e.g. “Another large change is”, perhaps they may not agree it is large, then you can write “Another large change would be”