A High Score Bar Chart Exercise

Fill in the gaps to complete the high score bar chart for  IELTS writing task 1. Use the completed bar chart report to model your own writing as it gives the right structure to use and a good range of sentence structures and language.

Below are useful sentence structures which are commonly used for bar charts for each paragraph (the introduction, overview and body paragraphs) to make up a complete task 1 writing model.

You will see a full report for the bar chart below and you must fill in the gaps to complete it by using the correct verb in their appropriate form.

The bar chart below shows the number of research students studying different subject in 2005.

IELTS bar chart

Model IELTS Bar Chart Report

Fill in the report below using the following verbs. You must put the verbs in the correct form and tense. Each verb can be used more than once.

to be   /   to see  / to study   /  to  illustrate  /  to show  /  to choose  / to learn  /  to prefer

The bar chart (1).  ………………… how many male and female research students (2). ……………….. six different subjects (linguistics, psychology, natural sciences, engineering, programming and mathematics) in 2005.

Overall, there (3). …………. more male research students than females in 2005. Although the most popular subject for both genders 4. …………..natural sciences, men least (5). …………….. linguistics and women (6). …………. little interest in mathematics. Linguistics was the only subject that 7. ………… favoured by women more than men.

There was a similar number of men and women in three subjects. There were equal numbers in research students (200) (8). ……………….. natural sciences. There was a difference between the genders of about 25 in both psychology and linguistic with more women (9). …………….. linguistics (around 110) and more men taking psychology (200).

A difference of about half (10)………… evident in engineering and programming where 150 men chose both subjects. By contrast, 200 men selected mathematics which was approximately five fold that of women (about 40).

  1. illustrates
  2. studied
  3. were
  4. was
  5. preferred
  6. showed
  7. was
  8. studying / learning
  9. studying / learning / choosing
  10. was


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Grammar Accuracy for IELTS Writing Task 1

When you describe a chart, for example a pie chart, in 25% of your marks is based on grammar. In the criteria of grammar, the examiner will check the range of sentence structures and also the accuracy of your grammar. The more mistakes you have, the lower your score will be.

There are a number of common errors which students make with their grammar. Here is a list:

  1. Articles (using a / an / the )
  2. Plurals
  3. Uncountable nouns
  4. Punctuation (commas and full stops)
  5. Noun verb agreement (remember that third person singular in the present tense has an ‘s’)
  6. Verb tense
  7. Prepositions (in / on / at etc)

How does grammar accuracy affect the band scores?

Band Score 5 = frequent errors and there may be mistakes in punctuation. Errors may cause difficulty for the reader.

Band Score 6 = some errors in grammar and punctuation but errors rarely cause communication problems.

Band Score 7 = has good control of grammar and punctuation. Few mistakes made.

Band Score 8 = the majority of sentences are free of errors.There are only occasional errors made.

ielts grammar exerciseGrammar Accuracy Practice

Look at the following sentences and find the grammar mistakes. Each sentence may have one or more mistakes.

1. While the spending on housing was 72.2%  in 2010 the spending was 22%.

2. The spending on food were 11.2% in 1950 and 34% in 2010.

3. The biggest spending in 1950 is 72.2% in 1950 while in 2010 the majority of money spent is on food.

4. Spending on other item was 4.4% in the first year and 19.2% in the second year.

5. The pie charts shows the typical expenditure of a household in 6 main categories.

6. There was an increase in spending in all area except with housing and education, which showed a downward trend over the period given.

7. The least amount spent in both years was in health care.

8. There was significant decrease in spending on housing from 72% to 22%.

  1. There should be a comma after 72.2%. (punctuation)
  2. were = was (noun verb agreement)
  3. is = was (verb tense – this mistake is made twice)
  4. item = items (plurals)
  5. shows = show (noun verb agreement)
    1. area = areas (plurals)
    2. with = for (prepositions)
  6. in = on (prepositions)
  7. There was  significant decrease… = There was a significant decrease…(articles)


Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 1 Line Graph

This lesson looks at some essential words to describe a line graph in IELTS writing task 1. To get a good band score you must show the examiner a range of different words to show upward and downward trends. IELTS line graphs show change over a period of time and you must vary your language when you write your report.

Line Graph Vocabulary

ielts line graph vocabulary

Mistakes when using words will affect your band score. To get band score 6, you must have only some errors with a range of vocabulary. To get band score 7, you must have few errors with a good range of vocabulary.


Fill in the gaps with the vocabulary from the table above. Make sure you adapt the words to make the sentences grammatically correct. The completed paragraph below is an example of a body paragraph for a line graph.

line graph vocab practice

Fill in the gaps with the correct vocabulary. You should use no more than two words for each gap.

The number of cases began at 100 in 1983 and then the figure 1. …………………… steadily to reach 200 in 1987. In the following year, there was 2. …………………… back to 100 before rising to 3. …………………….. 400 in 1989. The number4.  ………… slightly to 350 in 1991 and then 5. ……………….. dramatically to a low of 0 in 1992.

  1. rose / increased / climbed / grew / went up
  2. a fall / a decline / a slump / a decrease
  3. peak at
  4. dropped / fell / declined / decreased
  5. dropped / fell / declined / decreased (it is also possible to use “plummeted” or plunged)


Recommended Lessons

 IELTS Line Graph Model: click here
IELTS Video: how to write a line graph complex sentence, click here
IELTS Video: the 4 main complex sentences, click here
Video Lesson: IELTS writing answer sheet, click here

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Introduction and Overview for a Bar Chart

A sample introduction and overview for this IELTS chart is given below. The introduction is the easiest paragraph to write and the overview is the most important paragraph in your report. Look at the sample paragraphs below for the IELTS chart given and fill in the gaps.

The chart below shows the average monthly expenditure by British households in three years.

ielts chart

Introduction and Overview for an IELTS Chart

Fill in the gaps with no more than two words in order to complete the introduction and overview for the above chart.


The (1) ……………………… illustrates the typical (2)  ……………………….. of money spent each month on utility bills, transport, rent, entertainment (3) …………..groceries by households in Britain in three years (1990, 2000 and 2010). Units are (4) …………………. in pounds sterling.


(5) …………………., the largest expenditure was on rent,, (6)  ………………. the least amount of money spent was on utility bills and entertainment. While there was a significant (7)  …………………. in spending on rent, transport and utility bills, there was little change in the amount spent on the two other items.

  1. chart / bar chart
  2. amount
  3. and
  4. measured
  5. Overall (this is the most correct and appropriate linker to use)
  6. whereas or while (it is not possible to use “in comparison to” or any similar linker due to the grammar structure of the sentence. To use “in comparison to” the sentence must read “…the largest expenditure was on rent in comparison to the least amount of money spent which was on …”)
  7. increase / rise / growth
Tips & Vocab
  • Paraphrase the information for the introduction
  • shows = illustrates
  • average = typical
  • expenditure = amount of money spent
  • monthly = each month
  • Give the units if necessary
  • Put key features together in the overview
  • The overview is usually a separate paragraph
  • This IELTS chart is considered a simple chart and all students aiming for band score 6 and above should be able to write this report without many errors.
  • Watch the video lesson suggest below to learn about the correct paragraphing to use in IELTS writing task 1


Recommended Lessons

Writing Task 1 Diagram introduction and overview, click here
Bar Chart Model Band Score 9, click here
IELTS Video Tutorial: Structure and Paragraphs for Writing Task 1, click here

How to Describe Pie Charts in IELTS Writing Task 1

You can be given two pie charts to compare in IELTS writing task 1. Below are easy steps to write each paragraph in order to describe your pie chart in a complete report. Each step takes you through a paragraph practice and sample models.  Learn about the introduction, overview and body paragraphs for your pie chart.

IELTS pie chart lessonPie Chart Paragraphs Step by Step


You must paraphrase the information given at the top of the charts “The graph shows the main sources of energy for the USA in 1980 and 1990”. You cannot copy this, you must use your own language.


  • the graph = the pie chart
  • shows = illustrates
  • main sources of energy = energy production from different sources
  • for the USA = don’t change this
  • in 1980 and 1990 = in two different years (1980 and 1990)

Try writing your introduction before checking the model answer. Model

The pie charts illustrate the changes in energy production from five different sources (oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric power and nuclear power) for the USA in two different years (1980 and 1990).


The overview contains the key features of the charts. Answer the questions below to find the key features.

  1. What was the main source of energy in 1980?
  2. What was the main source of energy in 1990?
  3. Which produced the least energy in 1980?
  4. Which produced the least energy in 1990?
  5. Did the amount of energy produced by each source change a lot or just a little between the years?
  6. Did all types of energy increase by 1990?

Now write your overview before you check the model. Model

Overall, oil  constituted the main source of energy production in both years, while hydroelectric power  produced the least energy. There was a slight decrease in production from oil and natural gas, whereas an increase can be seen in the figures for coal and nuclear power.

Body Paragraph A

This paragraph will give details about oil and hydroelectric power, which we highlighted in the overview above.


  • You will need to write one sentence about oil comparing the percentage each year and then one sentence about hydroelectric power comparing the years.
  • You must add data (percentages and dates) to support each sentence

Here are two example sentences. Fill in the gaps with the right words.

The amount of energy produced by oil in the USA 1. ………………. 42% in 1980 and this, then, 2. ………………….. to a third (33%) in 1990. The proportion of energy from hydroelectric power, 3………………, remained constant in both years ………a mere 5%. Answers

  1. accounted for / comprised of / made up / was
  2. fell / declined / dropped / went down / decreased
  3. on the other hand / by contrast / in contrast ( we use a linker to highlight that this is opposing information to the previous sentence)
  4. at

Body Paragraph B

This paragraph will give detail about the other sources of energy in the pie charts.


  • which sources increased?
  • which sources decreased?
  • what were the percentages for each source?

Again, fill in the gaps in these model sentences.

The energy generated by natural gas, which was the second 1. …………… source of energy in the USA in 1980, fell 2. ………. 1% to a quarter of all energy produced in 1990. In contrast, production by coal 3. ……………… from 22% to 27% in 1990 4. …………….. there was a 5% rise in energy from nuclear power to reach 10% in the second year. Answers

  1.  largest / major
  2. by (this is used when writing about differences in amounts)
  3. increased / rose / went up / climbed / grew
  4. while / whereas


Recommended Lessons

IELTS PIE Chart Model
Practice Writing Task 1 Charts

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IELTS Line Graph Model (Band Score 9)

This model line graph for IELTS writing task 1 is estimated at band score 9. Use this sample writing as a template for structure, key features and language for any IELTS line graph. There are also some tips given below to guide you and help you understand how to describe this type of graph.

The graph below shows the consumption of 3 spreads from 1981 to 2007.

consumption of spreads line graph

Sample Answer

The line graph illustrates the amount of three kinds of spreads (margarine, low fat and reduced spreads and butter) which were consumed over 26 years from 1981 to 2007. Units are measured in grams.

Overall, the consumption of margarine and butter decreased over the period given, while for low fat and reduced spreads, it rose.  At the start of the period, butter was the most popular spread, which was replaced by margarine from 1991 to 2001, and following that low fat and reduced spreads became the most widely used spread in the final years.

With regards to the amount of butter used, it began at around 140 grams and then peaked at 160 grams in 1986 before falling dramatically to about 50 grams in the last year. Likewise, approximately 90 grams of margarine was eaten in the first year after which the figure fluctuated slightly and dropped to a low of 40 grams in 2007.

On the other hand, the consumption of low fats and reduced spreads only started in 1996 at about 10 grams. This figure, which reached a high of just over 80 grams 5 years later, fell slightly in the final years to approximately 70 grams in 2007.

Tips for Line Graphs

  1. Paraphrase the line graph information for your introduction.
  2. Put main trends and any other key features in an overall statement.
  3. Make sure each body paragraph sentence has numbers and dates to support it.
  4. Check the video lesson below to learn how to write a complex sentence for a line graph report.
  5. Practice!! Click here to get a selection of sample line graphs to practice writing for your writing task 1 preparation.

Recommended Tutorials

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Paragraphs for IELTS Writing Task 1

Learn how many paragraphs you should have in IELTS Writing Task 1 and also learn where to put your overview statement. Learn This video lesson below explains the correct way to structure your writing task 1 report for IELTS to do well in the criteria of coherence and cohesion which is 25% of your marks. If you want to see a bar chart lesson which organises information into paragraphs, follow the link after you watch the lesson below. Under the video, you will also see a link to a lesson explaining the overview paragraph. Transcript

Hello my name’s Liz. Let’s have a look at the structure you need to use for your IELTS writing task 1 report. The structure is very important, you have to organize all the information into a logical order and put them into different paragraphs this is very important and the examiner will check your structure and organization.


Now there are four main paragraphs that you need to use for task one. The first paragraph will be your introduction and that contains a description of the graph, what it shows. IELTS will always give you a  description and you can use that information for your introduction but don’t copy it. That is a mistake. You need to  paraphrase it. So write it again using your own English. The next paragraph after the introduction is the overview and the overview is a very important paragraph. It is often not too long but it contains all the key features of the graph or the chart – so the highest point, the lowest point  – all main features you put in your overview, after the introduction.

After that you’ve got the body paragraphs. And we’ve got body paragraph A, body paragraph B and this is where you put the detailed information. That will be the dates and the numbers and all the comparisons you can put that in the body paragraph. So they are the 4 main paragraphs that you need to use.

The overview statement I normally put that after the introduction because it’s important. I like the examiner to get that information out soon as he starts reading after the introduction but it is possible to also put it at the end. But make sure you don’t run out of time. That overview is very important. Well, that is the structure of your report. If you want more IELTS lessons just follow me on Facebook. That’s all I’ll see you again in another IELTS lesson. 

Video Tutorial: Organising Paragraphs for Writing Task 1


Recommended Lessons for Writing Task 1

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IELTS Diagram: Introduction and Overview

For an IELTS diagram, you need an introduction and overall paragraph containing the main features of the diagram or process in your report. The overview is one of the most important parts of your report if you are aiming for band score 6 and above. See below for an example of how to write the introduction and overview for the process shown in the picture.

The InfoVisual.info site uses images to explain objects.

Introduction and Overview

  • paraphrase the information given about the diagram for the introduction
  • choose the main stages for the overview ( eggs, water, tadpole, land, adult frogs)
Model Introduction and Overview
The diagram illustrates the different stages involved in the life of a frog. Overall, tadpoles, which emerge from eggs in the water, pass through a number of phases before going on to land and maturing into adult frogs.


Recommended Lessons