3 Ways to Prepare for Process Diagrams

This is just a short post today because I’m on holiday. 🙂 I’m currently in Antwerp, in Belgium, on a brief tour of Europe. Let me know in the comment section what you are doing for the summer!


Today’s lesson is about describing processes. It’s something many IELTS students really hate doing because it’s different from the other IELTS Writing Task 1 questions. You can’t just use the same vocabulary you would to describe a graph or chart. You need totally different vocab.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult. Any tough vocabulary should be included in the image (although you may have to decide whether it’s a verb or noun and how to use it accordingly). The verbs you will need to apply to describe the process are pretty simple.

So, how can you practice? Well, here are a few ways:

  1. When you’re doing anything in life, think about how to describe it to someone. Practice using transition phrases that make it clear in which order the events take place. For example, “First, open the door…” Obviously, it helps if it’s a bit more complicated like that, and is the sort of process you might see in the IELTS, such as food preparation or a system of some sort.
  2. Work on your passive voice. There are so many great resources for this online. Just Google it! It’s not something we use that often in spoken English, but it’s super important for the IELTS Writing Task 1.
  3. In your daily life, start thinking about changing verbs to nouns and vice versa. This comes in really handy for all IELTS Writing Task 1 questions. It’s a great way to boost your score. So thinking about connecting this to note #2, we could find the noun “observation” that might come up in a process diagram. What’s the verb? Observe! How do we make it into the passive? “The product is observed.” Simple.


Take a look at this handy YouTube guide to passive voice for IELTS writing task 1:

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.