## Paraphrasing percentages and statistics in IELTS academic writing task 1.

**Updated: Feb 10th 2022**

One thing that can be challenging in IELTS writing task 1 academic is how to report on all the data in a chart or graph. Something that can help your vocabulary band score is using specific language, such as the language of approximation, proportion and fractions to paraphrase percentages.

It takes a bit of practice to use these in a task 1 report but if you can use them accurately it goes a long way to getting to Band 7. You don’t need to know about maths either so don’t worry this is not a maths lesson.

There are 2 methods to use here, paraphrasing percentages and using the language of approximation. Make sure you have practiced these well in your writing to avoid confusing the reader.

## Paraphrasing percentages:

- Four-fifths – 80%
- Three quarters – 75%
- Seven out of ten – 70%
- Just over half – 53%
- Two fifths – 40%
- Just over a third – 35%
- Just under a third – 30%
- One quarter -25%
- a fifth – 20%
- Less than a fifth – 15%
- One in ten – 10% (this is used for people or objects)
- From two fifths to less than a fifth – From 40% to 15% (for trends graphs)
- Halved (verb) – dropped by half

**Example sentences:**

*Around***fourth fifths**of university students stated that the library was the best place for their research.*Coal accounted for***one-quarter of**fossil fuels used as an energy source.**One in ten**people reported that they went to fast-food restaurants at least once a month.*According to the graph, car production in France***halved**between 1999 and 2004.**Just under a third**of visitors stated that they were happy with the renovations in the museum.*Exports of semiconductors dropped***from two fifths to less than a fifth**in three years.

## Approximation and proportion

I also advise using set phrases to show **approximation and proportion**, remember that these are approximate and not exact, such as:

- Just over a fifth – around 22%
- Just under a fifth – around 18%
- Slightly less than a quarter – 23%
- More than two fifths – around 42%
- Approximately half – 48%
- Around a fifth – 19%
- A large number of – around 70%
- A large proportion of – around 70%
- A significant proportion of – around 80%
- A small minority of – around 5 to 10%
- A small number/amount of – 5 to 10%
- An insignificant amount of – around 2%

**Example sentences (taken from various task 1 reports):**

**Approximately half of**all vehicles produced in Japan were exported.**A large proportion of**the population of Italy is under 65 years old.*This figure increased but then dropped to***slightly less than a quarter**in 2011.*The graph shows***an insignificant amount**of software was downloaded in the last part of 2002.*It can be seen from the table that***around a fifth of**all passengers used buses in the period between 2012 and 2016.*The pie chart shows that***a large number of**tourists visited Kyoto in the first part of 2015

### Practice 1

Try this exercise below using the statistics in brackets to help you. Then check your answers. More than one answer is possible。

1. According to the chart, _______________ of imports came from China in 2014. (75%)

2. Tourists accounted for _______________ of total visitors to the Tate gallery in 2016 (80%)

3. Production of TVs ____________ in the period between 2012 and 2014. (dropped by 50%)

4. Mobile calls showed a gradual rise to _______________ from 2000 to 2001. (23%)

5. * _____________* the population in Japan is expected to be over 60 years old in 2029. (around 70%)

### Practice 2

Below are 2 pie charts with percentages, Paraphrase the sentences using fractions or the language of proportion.

Can you paraphrase these sentences based on the percentages in the chart?

1. **40%** of people stated that comfort was a factor in driving to work.

2. The proportion of people stating that they cycled to work to reduce pollution stood at **30%**.

3.** 11%** of people said that driving to work was safer than cycling.

4. **15%** of people stated that they cycled to work because they did not have to worry about parking.

5. **14%** of those polled stated that the main factor for driving to work was to transport items.

**Leave a comment below if you have any questions.**