IELTS bar chart model answer: coffee and tea drinking habits

IELTS bar chart comparing coffee and tea drinking in 5 Australian cities.

This bar chart is from an old IELTS practice book, Cambridge IELTS 15, but it is a good example of a bar chart that does not show trends or dynamic data. This is static data over one main period (over 4 weeks) so in this case I need to compare by using comparatives and superlatives. I advise practicing static data tasks as these are common in IELTS academic writing task 1 and you may get one in the exam.

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IELTS 18 writing task 1 bar chart model answer

ielts bar chart model answerModel answer for an IELTS bar chart on USA household income.

Here is a tricky IELTS academic task that I wrote a model answer for from the Cambridge IELTS 18 book. As I mentioned in posts before, always use authentic material such as IELTS Cambridge books or British Council material when practicing because there is a lot of fake IELTS stuff on the internet.

This task was quite difficult to write about as I had to spend longer than usual analysing the bar chart and I needed to plan the report to make it as concise as possible.

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Writing task 1: Process diagram about recycling aluminum

ielts process diagramModel answer for a process diagram about recycling.

Updated: February 2023.

Process diagrams are some of the easiest tasks in IELTS Academic writing task 1 as you are logically explaining a process using sequencers and passive grammar. The data is static so there are no trends to report on, it is pretty straightforward with enough practice.

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IELTS writing task 1: using prepositions accurately

How to use prepositions accurately in IELTS writing task 1 academic.

Updated: January 2024

It’s very important to get prepositions right when describing charts and statistics. I often see mistakes with prepositions when I mark task 1 reports and this is a particular issue when describing dynamic data.

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IELTS academic writing task 1: Table on consumer expenditure

Model answer and analysis of a table in IELTS writing task 1.

Tables sometimes show up in IELTS academic writing task 1. In some cases, they are in a double task such as a pie chart and table or a bar graph and table. In this lesson, we have a table on its own with a lot of data. This is taken from Cambridge IELTS 7, page 30, it is a popular example of a table for IELTS teachers.

Before writing anything you will need to analyse the task. Take around 4 minutes to plan, look at the categories, the countries, the year and the highest and lowest statistics. The grammar tense is important to get right too, you can see below that the table shows data from 2002, so I will write in the past tense.

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IELTS writing task 1: Paraphrasing statistics

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

Updated: April 2024

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.

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IELTS line graph with a future a trend

IELTS line graph future trendModel answer for an IELTS line graph with a future prediction.

Updated: October 2023

In this lesson I will look at a line graph from an old Cambridge IELTS book about US energy consumption by fuel type. As you can see, there is a date range from the past with predictions for the future. Always take around 2 minutes to analyse the task before writing anything. Give yourself 4 minutes in total to plan out what you will write.

This graph is from the old Cambridge IELTS 9 practice book. Only use authentic Cambridge IELTS material when practicing as there is a lot of fake IELTS material on the internet. You can get these books online such as Amazon.com. You can also download free practice tests from ielts.org or the British Council website.


Model Answer

The graph illustrates data from a 2008 report regarding energy consumption in the USA since 1980 with forecasts until 2030.

Overall, fossil fuels have shown increases in consumption since the start of the period with expectations for even more reliance on these fuel sources, whereas cleaner energy account for considerably less consumption with predictions for a similar trend.

Fossil fuels have seen steady increases in energy consumption since 1980. Petrol and oil started the period at 35 quadrillion units, fluctuated until 2000, and then climbed steadily with a prediction of over 45 quadrillion units by 2030. Coal followed a similar trend with expectations of around 30 quadrillion units by 2030. Natural gas usage demonstrated fluctuations and it is set to level off at approximately 24 quadrillion units from 2020 onwards.

Regarding cleaner energy fuel sources, they all began the period at under 5 quadrillion units and showed declines in their use, except nuclear, which climbed slightly to 6 quadrillion units in 2005 and is anticipated to reach about 10 quadrillion units. Solar and wind also expect to see slight increases. Hydropower is projected to remain relatively unchanged until 2030.

188 words


Notes:

Remember that you should not report on every single bit of data. You need to be selective and cover the main trends. A word count of around 170 to 190 words would be enough for a well-developed answer. You do not get a higher band score for a very long answer. Keep it concise and clear.


Static and Dynamic data

  • Static data means that the chart or graph displays one period of time.
  • Dynamic data shows two or more periods of time and how trends change over a period of time.

For static charts, you need to use comparatives and superlatives, while for dynamic charts you mainly need trends language. Before you begin writing, always make sure that you first analyse the chart or graph to see if it is one time period or if the data is changing over time.

Take 2 minutes to analyse the graph or chart because If you use trends language for a static chart then you will lose marks for grammar.


Analysing the task

Rubric: On the vertical axis it shows energy consumption in units of a quadrillion. On the horizontal axis, it shows the date range from 1980 to 2030 (history and projections)

Paragraphing: I need a short paraphrased introduction, an overview, and 2 main body paragraphs. No conclusion is needed. Word count would be over 170 words for a fully developed answer (150 words minimum)

Trends: The graph shows dynamic data. This means that there are changes over time. Fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) show the highest consumption with predicted increases, while cleaner energy (wind, hydro, solar, nuclear) has the lowest consumption and will remain relatively low.

Grouping the data: Straight away I can see that the best way to group the data would be in these two categories (fossil fuels and cleaner fuels) by grouping the data you will gain marks for coherence and cohesion.

Grammar: I will need to use the past tense/present perfect and language for future predictions.


Grammar for future trends:

To see a full lesson on grammar needed for future trends in IELTS academic writing task 1 click here

Click here for more details on grammar and vocabulary when describing trends in task 1.

Future simple (Will + base verb)

  • will rise,  will decline,  will remain the same, will drop , will level off …etc

Future perfect (Will + have + past participle)

  • will have risen,  will have dropped,  will have fallen by 20%, will have risen sharply, will have declined

The passive to express the future

  • is /are expected to
  • is/are set to
  • is / are predicted to
  • is / are anticipated to
  • is /are likely to

Any questions?  Leave a comment below.

Writing task 1 vocabulary: ‘number, total, amount, figure, accounted for’

Important IELTS academic writing task 1 vocabulary.

Updated:  Aug 2022

To get a high score in IELTS writing task 1 academic you need to have a good range of grammar and vocabulary. In this lesson, we will look at specific vocabulary that can be used in various ways. The words are: number, total, comprised, the proportion of, amounted to, accounted for, period and figure.

Try the exercises at the end of the lesson to test your knowledge then click the green buttons to see the answers. The key to learning is practice, so think about how you can apply this vocabulary to your academic task 1 reports, especially for graphs and trends.

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IELTS academic writing task 1: process diagram

ielts process diagramModel answer for the production of electricity.

Updated: June 2024

In the last lesson about process diagrams, I looked at the grammar and vocabulary needed to write about them. Click here to see the grammar needed.  This type of task often appears in IELTS academic writing task 1, so I advise practicing this before the exam.

The passive voice is used when describing a process and you will also need sequencers to show the step by step process. The structure needed is: an introduction, an overview and 2 body paragraphs. Word count is 150 words minimum, aim for around 160 to 180 words.

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IELTS bar chart with model nswer

UK telephone calls bar chart with model answer and analysis.

Updated: October 2023

Bar charts are quite common in IELTS academic writing task 1, so you need to be prepared in case you get one in your test. There are some things to be aware of, such as the correct structure to use, paraphrasing the introduction, a clear overview, and reporting on the data accurately.

In this lesson, I will look at a dynamic chart that shows changes over time. This bar chart is from the Cambridge IELTS 9 practice book (use only official IELTS material when practicing). I have given my model answer followed by an analysis.

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