IELTS Writing Task 1: Paraphrasing Statistics

ielts writing task 1 statisticsParaphrasing percentages and statistics in IELTS academic writing task 1.

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 actually 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 so as not to confuse 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 a period of 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 form 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. Toursits 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 of _______________ from 2000 to 2001. (23%)
5.  _____________ the population in Japan is expected to be over 60 years old in 2029. (around 70%)

 

Answers:

1. According to the chart, three quarters of imports came from China in 2014. (75%)
2. Tourists accounted for four fifths of total visitors to the Tate gallery in 2016. (80%)
3. Production of TVs halved in the period between 2012 and 2014. (dropped by 50%)
4. Mobile calls showed a gradual rise of slightly less than a quarter from 2000 to 2001. (23%)
5.  A large proportion of 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 a main factor for driving to work was to transport items.

1. Two-fifths of the people polled 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 just under a third.
3. Slightly more than one in ten people said that driving to work was safer than cycling.
4. Less than a fifth of people stated that they cycled to work because they did not have to worry about parking.
5. 14% of those polled stated that a main factor for driving to work was to transport items. (no need to change this one)


 

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