IELTS Process Chart Vocabulary 2023: Latest Tips & More!

9 min read

IELTS tests are designed to determine the English language proficiency of candidates seeking to study or work in countries with English as the primary medium of communication. It assesses language proficiency on 4 crucial parameters: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The Writing section is an essential component of the IELTS test which includes two tasks. Task 1 differs for Academic and General Training tests. While in the Academic test, one has to write at least 150 words in response to a process chart, bar, graph or table. The following sections include a detailed rundown on IELTS process task 1 along with process chart vocabulary, samples, crucial tips and much more. 

IELTS Process Chart Vocabulary 2023: Latest Tips & More!
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process chart vocabulary

IELTS Process Task 1: An Overview

IELTS process diagram is an illustration that demonstrates how something is being done. This could range from the manufacturing of products to various naturally occurring processes. There are usually two kinds of process questions that one can expect in IELTS Academic task 1: manufacturing process and natural process. Students do not need to provide any deep insights, hypotheses or opinions about these process charts. They simply have to follow the processes depicted in the chart and describe them accordingly. Since this task can be a bit challenging, students need to follow a particular method to answer correctly. Notably, candidates can use the same type of process chart vocabulary while answering different types of process diagrams. 

Describing the IELTS Process Diagram Task

Process diagram tasks of the IELTS Academic test can be complicated. However, you can nail this task successfully if you keep these factors in mind while describing the process chart questions:

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The first thing that candidates should do for answering IELTS Academic task 1 is to formulate an overview. This overview must include all the steps needed throughout a process along with the first and ultimate step.

For instance, ‘The process chart shows the production of cheese, with a total of X steps, beginning with cows grazing and ending with the delivery of packed cheese’. Students can also mention the final result of the production. In case there are different types of processes involved, one can mention them in the overview along with various stages required.Let’s say the process diagram shows that the final result is tea. In this case, the overview could be: ‘This process chart demonstrates the production of five different types of tea, from growing tea plants to packaging. There is also another process diagram that shows six steps for the production of coffee beans.’If the chart illustrates a hydroelectric process, one can begin the following way: ‘Power generation starts with the sun heating up the water bodies, and the process ends with the hydroelectricity being supplied into homes, schools, factories and hospitals for consumption.’However, make sure to avoid copying the language provided in the process diagram word by word. You are allowed to use some of those words that are present in the process chart. 

Grammatical Accuracy and Range

Process diagram task of IELTS tests a candidate’s ability to use active and passive voice. There are certain verbs that cannot be used for passive voice. Thus, to ascertain which voice is appropriate for describing a process chart task, one needs to ask who is doing the action. Depending on the type of process task, it can be a worker, a machine, nature or something else.In addition, it is crucial to use relative clauses such as ‘after that’ to ensure a smooth transition.

Coherence and Cohesion

To keep your response free from repetitive use of words and phrases, it is ideal to use object pronouns. Object pronouns are specifically helpful in eliminating the chances of repetition.For instance, you can use phrases like ‘following this’, ‘following’, ‘after this’, ‘followed by’, ‘first, second and finally’, ‘once this step is completed’ and more to avoid repetition and thereby establish cohesion and flow. 

Use of Appropriate Verbs

Candidates can make use of a variety of verbs while describing the IELTS process diagram. Here’s a list of verbs along with the suitable prepositions that one can employ:

Verbs to be usedUse in Sentences  
Added toThe mixture is then added to a product.
Passes throughBricks are formed after clay passes through various pipes.
Flows out ofThis mixture slowly flows out of a gallon into a large vessel.
Processed byTea leaves are then processed by a specialised mixing machine.
FormedCheese cubes are formed by cube-cutting machines.
Sent toThe finished product is then sent to an assembly section.
Goes intoAfter that, the heated water goes into a spherical vessel.
Begins withThe process begins with the collection of tea leaves.
EntersOnce completed, the final product enters into the furnace.
DistributeManufactured milk packets are then distributed via the logistics team.
Placed intoOnce the first step is over, tea leaves are placed under a dryer.
Stored inBricks are stored in a dry chamber after completion.

Process Chart Vocabulary for IELTS

 Test-takers can use these verbs either in active voice or in passive, depending on the provided graphic process. There is a specific type of vocabulary that test-takers need to use for describing the steps as well as the type of diagram in the IELTS Academic Writing task 1.Here is a list of process chart vocabulary one can use to discuss the type of diagram in a process chart task:


  • Man-made
  • Linear
  • Natural
  • Human-produced
  • Cyclical 


  • Distributes
  • Creates
  • Produces
  • Makes 
  • Moves

For instance, if you are asked to discuss about hydrological process, you can use the following specific words to describe the process chart:‘This process chart illustrates the natural hydrological cycle through which water moves in the environment. This cyclical process includes steps like evaporation, condensation and precipitation.’In addition, one needs to use appropriate words while describing the steps in the process. The following section consists of the process chart vocabulary needed to describe the steps involved in a process effectively.


  • Stage
  • Step
  • Noun


  • Afterwards
  • Firstly
  • Secondly
  • During
  • While
  • Subsequently
  • Next
  • Following
  • Later
  • Finally/Lastly

For example, if task 1 includes a process chart for photosynthesis, here’s how one should explain the steps of the process with the suitable vocabulary.‘In the first step, there are three things that occur simultaneously. Water, light and carbon dioxide enters into the chloroplast. After this, water enters the thylakoids. In thesecond step, carbon dioxide gets incorporated into the Calvin cycle. Subsequently, chloroplast produces sugar and oxygen in the third step.’For describing a cycle of repetition, you are required to use the following process chart vocabulary:


  • Repetitious
  • Cyclical


  • Loops
  • Recurs
  • Repetition
  • Cycle
  • Continues indefinitely

Let’s take an example. If task 1 comes with a process chart describing the glass recycling process, you can include the necessary vocabulary in this way: ‘This cyclical process usually begins whenever a new product is manufactured. However, this process can continue in a loopNotably, candidates can appropriately discuss a process with the following verbs:

  • Begins
  • Starts
  • Continues
  • Ends
  • Follows
  • Repeats

For instance, to discuss the rock cycle process, one can use the verbs in this manner: ‘Rock cycle process starts with weathering and erosion. This process then continues with the transportation and deposition. It then ends when rocks melt in magma.

Samples of Process Diagram Task Questions 

The Writing section is, indeed, an important as well as challenging part of the IELTS test. The following sections illustrate a sample IELTS process chart task to help students get an idea about how to formulate the most appropriate answer for this task. Question: The image below illustrates the recycling process of discarded glass bottles. Provide a summary of the information by mentioning the main features and make appropriate comparisons wherever relevant. Here’s how you should chalk out a structure for your response:

  • Paraphrase: Recycling process of discarded glass bottles
  • Overview: State the three stages that go into recycling waste glass bottles
  • Paragraph 3: Elaborate on the first and second stages of the recycling process
  • Paragraph 4: Sent to glass factories, crushed by machines, the pieces are then burnt, molten glass and newly manufactured liquid glass coupled 
  • Paragraph 5: Discuss the final stage of the glass recycling process. 

What to Write?

Once you are done with creating the blueprint for your answer, proceed to draft the response. Here’s how the response should be:This diagram depicts the process of recycling discarded glass bottles.We can find out from the diagram that there are three main stages involved with the recycling of glass bottles, starting with the collection of wasted glass bottles, recycling of the bottles and finally the delivery of new products. At first, wasted and discarded bottles are collected at a particular point. They are transported to the nearby recycling centres by truck. After this, high-pressure water is used to clean these bottles and remove the dust and other objects. Once cleaned, these bottles are classified into three types on the basis of colour. These bottles are then sent to a glass factory, where they are crushed into finer pieces. The process continues in a furnace, wherein these crushed particles are burned at a high temperature until they become molten glass. Afterwards, this recycled glass is coupled with new liquid glass to manufacture recycled bottles. The newly manufactured bottles are filled with different kinds of drinks. The process concludes after these bottles are sent to the markets.

Steps to Write IELTS Process Diagram 

Candidates can use the following steps to draft a high-scoring essay in IELTS Academic Writing task 1:

Analyse the Question

Every question of Academic Writing task 1 consists of three parts. The first sentence is a brief description of the graphical representation, while the second part contains the instruction, and the third portion is a chart or diagram. Students need to analyse each of the sections of the question that would help them to identify and select the ‘main features’ of the diagram. 

Identifying Main Features

The next crucial step for successfully answering a diagram task is to identify correctly. These tasks usually do not include any numbers or data. You simply have to analyse the diagram to identify the labels, titles and captions.

Formulate an Appropriate Introduction

For the introduction part, one has to rephrase the question. This can be done easily simply by using synonyms or altering the structure of the provided question. For instance, if the question is: The diagram below illustrates a structure that is used to generate electricity from wind power.The introduction should be:The diagram demonstrates the method of manufacturing electricity from wind power with the help of a specially-designed man-made setup. 

Draft an Overview

In the next paragraph, candidates have to provide a brief description of the diagram. Make sure to avoid providing any detail in this section as it would come in the following paragraph. Provide the information as plainly as possible without any heavy vocabulary or grammar. 

Write a Detailed Paragraph

After the overview, you have to include a paragraph containing all the necessary details about the process. Here, you should explain the first key feature elaborately. 

Provide Another Detailed Paragraph

In the final paragraph, one has to add more details regarding the other main features of the diagram. Here are the various sections that should be brought together to create a high-scoring diagram essay.Candidates are required to employ the right process chart vocabulary to make the Writing task 1 response more appropriate and appealing. This detailed guide with samples, tips and vocabulary will help them to nail writing tasks with ease.

Process chart vocabulary


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1. Can I use idioms in Academic Writing Task 1?

Ans: You cannot use idioms while appearing for the IELTS Writing test. So, it is suggested to avoid idioms in Writing task 1. However, you are allowed to use it while writing an informal letter in the General Training Writing tasks.

2. Will I lose scores if I do not write the minimum words?

Ans: You will lose marks in the ‘Task Achievement’ section if you do not write the minimum number of words for the Writing sections

3. Can I use contractions in Writing task 1?

Ans: You cannot use contractions while answering the tasks in the Writing section. However, you can use it while writing an informal letter. 

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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