Answers to Organising Bar Chart Paragraphs

I can see that some of you are not clear about paragraphing and organising information in writing task 1.


You must have an introduction and an overview. They are usually separate paragraphs.

You CANNOT have one body paragraph and you CANNOT have four or more body paragraphs.

Your structure should be:

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3 (optional and not common)

Can the overview go at the end of the report? See this page: Paragraph Structure

Can you have a conclusion? See this page: Conclusion or Overview

Organising Details in Body Paragraphs

When you organise your body paragraph details, you must choose a simple, logical system. It should be easy for the examiner to understand your organisation. Your body paragraphs should help highlight main features.

The bar chart below shows the hours per week that teenagers spend doing certain activities in Chester from 2002 to 2007.

Source of Bar Chart:

Option 1 Body Paragraphs

Body Paragraph 1 = categories that increased over time

  • going to pubs/ discos
  • watching TV
  • shopping

Body Paragraph 2 = categories that decreased over time

  • doing homework
  • doing sport
  • bowling

Body Paragraph 3 = categories that fluctuated

  • watching dvds

Option 2 Body Paragraphs

Body Paragraph 1 = highest and lowest

  • watching TV
  • bowling

Body Paragraph 2 – all other categories

  • going to pubs/discos + shopping = increase
  • doing homework + doing sport = decrease
  • watching dvds = fluctuate

Which is best?

Both options are excellent. They both highlight key features and are organised logically.

Paragraphs do not need to be equal in length. This is not an essay, it is a report.

Model Writing Task 1

If you would like to see model answers for different writing task 1 as well as tips, click here: Main Writing Task 1 Page

All the best


Answers to Newspaper Questions

Hi guys,

Here are the answers to yesterday’s lesson about newspapers.

Below you will find

  • various answers to the four questions
  • a link to newspaper vocabulary
  1. What is an obituary?
    1. This is a notice of someone’s death. It is usually posted along with a biography of the person which gives information about their personal history and achievements. This is a popular section in the newspapers.
    2. In your IELTS speaking test, the examiner doesn’t usually ask direct questions about vocabulary. However, this is a useful section of the newspaper to talk about in your test.
  2. What is the most popular section in the newspaper in your country?
    1. This is a common speaking part 1 question for the topic of newspapers. Below are various possible answers – some have been posted by you all and I have also added one.
    2. The newspaper section which is currently very popular in my country is the political section. This is because the election period is fast approaching and there are lots of political issues in the country which arouses the interest of the populace.
    3. Well, I believed it’s the horoscope and sometimes the game part, where you can play crosswords and soduku. In my opinion, I find them interesting and often times you can enhance your mind by answering the game part after you’ve read the horoscope of the day.
    4. In my country Nigeria, the most widely read segment of a newspaper is politics. This is because of ethnicity and religious diversity of Nigeria.
    5. The most popular section of the newspaper is the Sports section, since the ongoing of the IPL in India people are more keen to know about the details and comments of experts and the predictions made by them in this regard. People are also take a keen interest in international football, and the spot light is mainly on thew star players, whom they want to hear about.
    6. I think it depends on who is reading. Men will often prefer the sports section or politics, while women might go for the gossip columns or general news. The world news and domestic news sections are pretty popular all round.
  3. Why do some people only skim the headlines?
    1. This is another common speaking question. Below are more answers posted by you and one from myself.
    2.  I think individuals quickly go through the newspaper headlines to know which one is catchy and from the headings one can tell what news it contains.
    3. Skimming through headlines could be a quick way to get a glimpse of what is going on around the world. It could also be that in today’s busy times people don’t have time to go through all of the newspaper and read all the news in details. It could be that, having a quick glance at newspaper to check for a any big news before leaving the house and then go through the details on the internet through the day. It’s always good to be aware of current affairs.
    4. The main reason for people skimming through the headlines is to locate the articles of news that interesting them the most because the headlines contain the gist of the article. It’s one way to save time, instead of ploughing through all the long articles and details which would take ages.
  4. Do you think newspapers will one day be completely replaced by online news?
    1. This is both an IELTS speaking question and also a potential writing task 2 topic. Below I will list ideas for this which you have posted and I’ll add my own.
    2. Yes, because online news provides easiest and quickest information in a single click.
    3. .I have a strong feeling it will, in this era where technology is booming and every thing is done and acquired digitally, why would a person take the pain of carrying a ten page newspaper and trying to find the page of his choice, rather than use a tablet or cell phone where at the press of a button they can get the required page on the go.
    4. Although online news has improved thanks to technological advancement, newspapers will still retain their importance. This situation will be same in future because some people like to read news by physically holding a newspapers.
    5. I don’t think that physical newspapers would go into extinction because there are still people that don’t have access to the internet and also old people are stuck on their old ways of doing things.Everyone has their preference hence they choose the one that suit them best
    6. Yes, I believe over time newspapers will eventually be replaced. Getting news online is a quick and easy way to access up-to-date current events wherever you are. Online news is up-dated, sometimes, by the hour, unlike newspapers which are only printed once daily. Furthermore online news is paperless which obviously is better for the environment.

Vocabulary for Newspapers

Click here: Newspaper Vocabulary

Hope this was useful 🙂

All the best


Answers to Royal Wedding Listening

Below you will find:

  • Questions
  • Recording
  • Transcript
  • Answers

Note: If you have not completed this listening exercise, please click here to do the lesson before you look at the answers. Click here: Royal Wedding Listening Exercise


  1. When did Queen Victoria get married?
  2. Which date in May did Prince Harry and Megan get married?
  3. How many people were invited to their wedding?
  4. How old is Prince Philip?
  5. What is the approximate cost of the wedding?
  6. How long was the bride’s veil?
  7. How many people watched the wedding worldwide?
  8. What year was Anne Boleyn executed?




Use the transcript to listen and practice your pronunciation.

Royal Wedding Listening Practice

Two hundred years ago the colour white was used for funerals. However, in 1840 Queen Victoria decided to wear a white dress for her wedding to Prince Albert. Since that day, white dresses have been considered traditional for, not only royal weddings, but all weddings in the UK.

The wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle took place on Saturday, 19th May, 2018 at Windsor Castle. About 600 people were invited to the service and even Prince Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, who is 96 years old, attended . The cost of Prince Harry and Megan’s wedding has been estimated at over £20 million. The dress alone is put at about £300,000. It was a simple design with a 16ft veil. The ceremony was watched by about 18 million people around the world. Strangely enough, the date of May 19th was actually the date that King Henry VIII executed Queen Anne Boleyn in 1536.

Notice: This information is from this website: Reader’s Digest


Answers may be written in lower case or upper case. I recommend you all to USE CAPITAL LETTERS FOR ALL ANSWERS.

  1. 1840
    1. No other answer is possible
  2. 19 / 19th / SATURDAY 19 / SATURDAY 19th
    1. No other answer is possible.
  3. 600
    1. no other answer is possible
  4. 96
    1.  no other answer is possible
  5. £20 MILLION / 20,000,000 POUNDS / £20,000,000
    1. £20 million is the best way to write the answer. If you have written 20000000 – it is very hard for the person marking to see correctly. Always punctuate your numbers to help the reader.
    2. £20 millions is wrong – there is no “s”.
  6. 16ft / 16 FEET / 16 FOOT
    1. No other answer is possible
  7. 18 MILLION / 18,000,000
    1. No other answer is possible. “millions” is wrong.
  8. 1536
    1. No other answer is possible

I hope you found this lesson useful 🙂

All the best


Did you read this word list? Environmental Problems

Hi guys,

I want to check that you have read my vocabulary and listening page for the topic of Environmental Problems?

It’s a useful page that contains all the key environmental problems with useful vocabulary.

Click here: Top 10 Environmental Problems

All the best


Questions for you about Overviews

Hi guys,

I want to check how much you understand about Overviews in IELTS writing task 1 for the academic paper. There are six kinds of writing task 1:

  • bar charts
  • pie charts
  • line graphs
  • tables
  • maps
  • diagrams (processes)

Questions to You

  1. Do you think all types of writing task 1 above require an Overview?
  2. Do you think the Overview is very important?


The answers are now available.

Click below to see the answers, get tips and free video lessons:

Answers about Overview in IELTS Writing Task 1

All the best


Answers for Salt Listening Paraphrases

Below you will find:

  • the questions
  • the audio recording
  • the transcript
  • the answers

to the listening for paraphrases exercise about Salt.

Try listening to the recording again and read the transcript at the same time. If you can speak out loud by following my voice, it will help your speaking skills and pronunciation 🙂


Write down the paraphrases in the recording for the following words:

  1. acquired
  2. familiar with
  3. thousands of years
  4. animal skins
  5. limited
  6. originates
  7. world



Early human hunters obtained their salt from eating animal meat. As they turned to agriculture and their diet changed, they found that salt (maybe as sea water) gave vegetables the same salty flavour they were accustomed to with meat. Over many millennia, they learned how salt helped to preserve food, heal wounds and also cure hides.  Nomadic bands would have carried salt with them and traded it with other bands for different goods. In Ancient Rome, salt was a scarce and expensive commodity, and soldiers were even partly paid in salt which is where the word “salary” comes from. The history of salt can be seen to have had a great impact on many aspects of life and culture across the globe.

Source: Adapted from


  1. acquired = obtained
  2. familiar with = accustomed to
  3. thousands of years = millennia
  4. animal skins = hides
  5. limited = scarce
  6. originates = comes from
  7. world = globe

Comments from Liz

I’m glad you found this lesson useful. The lesson had easy answers and also difficult answers, such as the word “hides”. I hope through these exercises, you will improve your ability to hear paraphrases and also develop your vocabulary. I will make more of these lessons for you 🙂


I Scored IELTS Band 9 Overall: My Tips

Mania achieved band score 9 overall in her IELTS test (academic).

You will see that IELTS Band Score 9 is possible!!!

Below she shares her tips for how she scored band 9.

Mania’s IELTS Results: Overall Band 9

  • Listening: 9
  • Reading: 8.5
  • Writing: 9
  • Speaking: 9

My test center was in San Francisco, CA, and I took the academic module.
Given that my English was already at a good level, it took me 5 days to study for the test, while working full-time. Please keep in mind I speak/write in English in my daily life, and had also acquired plenty of English degrees / certifications as a high school student; therefore there was no type of question in IELTS that I had never seen before.

IELTS Band Score 9 Tips

My tips for other individuals in my position are the following:

Listening: Probably the easiest part for all good language users. Your time should mostly be spent identifying the different question styles you might encounter. I took 1 practice test and looked at a couple more.

Reading: Remember that T/F/Not Given questions refer to what the text actually says, not what you think. The rest of the questions should be again very easy to handle for good language users. Again, I mostly spent time looking at question styles, rather than taking tests (only took 2 practice tests, mainly for the T/F/NG questions).

Speaking: My biggest fear was that the few minutes/seconds I had for each answer would not be enough to actually make a point (I talk A LOT). However, the examiner interacted with me to lead the discussion accordingly, which actually made it feel like an every day discussion. Fun fact: she kept me an extra 15 minutes after the recording for an actual conversation! In terms of practising, I looked at a few topics just to get an idea of what to expect, and then I just let the generic ones (hometown, family, profession etc) brew in my mind the days before the exam. Again, remember I speak English every day, and it does make a difference.

Writing: Of course, the fear for even the greatest language users is time. You might be able to compose your essays very fast, but in my opinion there is a risk of overthinking things, wanting to give more arguments and/or expand on sophisticated ideas the topic might trigger in your brain, which will actually cause you to lose valuable time. On the day of my exam, I met another woman who was an excellent speaker and had been living in the US for years – even had a green card. After the exam, she told me she ran out of time in the Writing section, what a pity! In a nutshell, look at Liz’s sample essays and identify how your ideal structure should be. When developing arguments, I prefer to stick to 2 arguments for each side of the topic, as I am able to expand on each one of them (it was actually impossible for me to stay under 300 words for Writing Task 2). The instructions Liz gives are super clear, just stick to the “approved” recipe! They don’t actually care how much of a thinker you are. Needless to say the Writing section is the one I focused my studying on. I wrote a total of 4 essays for each Writing task (not much more I could do in a week full of work!), and I self-corrected them in terms of how they could be more concise. After writing the first one and seeing I should write less, I studied the model essays provided here and then wrote the rest of my own; the improvement was significant.

Good luck to everyone! Once again, thank you, Liz!

Comments from Liz

Very well done Mania!! Band 9 is a Fantastic Result!

I agree very much with your preparation for listening and reading. Of course, it is important to do practice tests at home, but you also need to focus on question types. There are many different types of questions that involve different techniques and have different challenges – you need to be prepared for them all. Speaking is all about being ready for general topics and using ideas in a fluid way with different topics. The examiner is not marking your ideas, so you need to prepare your own memories and stories, and also think of your own opinions. Mania, you are spot on for writing 🙂

IELTS Speaking: Should I use Sir or Madam

Hi guys,

Here are some tips about how to address the examiner. I asked you if you should use Sir or Madam when speaking to the examiner in your IELTS speaking test. You all had very different opinions about that. Let me explain.

Using Sir or Madam Tips


The IELTS speaking test is informal. This means you speak to the examiner in a friendly manner as through you were chatting to a friend. Yes, you should be polite, but you do not use Sir or Madam.

Referring to the Examiner

The only questions you might ask in the test are:

  • Could you repeat that please?
  • Could you explain what you mean please? (only in part 3)

When you ask these questions you do NOT use Sir or Madam. It is actually incorrect to do so. The word “please” is the polite way of asking, no titles are needed.

When is Sir or Madam Used?

Sir and Madam are mainly used:

  1. in the hospitality industry when you are working in a hotel, for example, and you speak to a customer
  2. in formal letter writing when you do not know the name of the person you are writing to.

You do not refer to people in the street or doctors or teachers or anyone else as Sir or Madam. You should not refer to me as Madam.

Using the Examiner’s Name

The examiner will introduce their name. You can use it or not use it – it’s up to you. It is certainly not necessary to use their name. If you use their name, then you will use their first name. For example, if the examiner’s name is Sarah Biggins, you will call the examiner Sarah.


You should NOT use Sir or Madam in the IELTS speaking test. Your politeness to the examiner is by smiling, looking them in the eye when they are talking to you and when you talk to them, and saying “please” when you ask a question.


I wish to make it clear again.  I DO NOT OFFER A QUESTION/ANSWER SERVICE.

Always remember when you post a comment that I do not offer an answer service. I am sorry that many students will not receive a reply to their comments, but I work alone and cannot possibly reply to everyone. Always read comments written to other students in the past – you might find your answer there. This is not a conspiracy on my part, this is life – I can’t answer 2500 comments every month. Please do not get upset if your comment is not answered.

IELTS Liz website is to give you access to over 300 pages of lessons, tips, model answers and free video lessons. The materials on this site are extensive and you can learn a lot from them – this is the sole purpose of my site – to provide you access to my lessons. It is not my aim to provide an answer service.

Please enjoy the using and learning from my lessons and tips.

All the best