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Dec 2016 IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer

Below is a sample answer for December 2016 writing task 1. The task  consists of one vertical bar chart and two pie charts. The sample answer is estimated at about band score 8.  The sample answer contains some grammar errors – can you find them? Answers below.

You can download a PDF copy of it at the bottom of the page. You can also find links to the main pages of IELTS tips at the bottom of this page.

December 2016, IELTS Writing Task 1


December 2016, Sample Answer

Estimated at band score 8

The bar chart and pie charts illustrate the percentage of people in Glasgow having three levels of education (university, school and those with no qualifications) in 2010. Information is divided into five age groups in the bar chart and by gender in the pie charts.

Overall, the majority of people with university education were in younger age groups, while in the oldest age group most people did not have any qualifications. The proportions of men and women were similar and showed little different between the levels of education.

The percentage of people with university education was up to 76% in the younger three age groups compared to only 50% in those ages 50 to 75 and just 25% in those over 75. This trend was reversed in those with no qualifications (9% in younger people rising to 72% in the oldest age group). The figure for those with school education was relatively constant at around 20% but was as low as 3% in the over 75’s.

The proportion of men and women in each level of education was around one third with only a slightly difference of 3% in university graduates as well as those who didn’t have educational qualifications.

Words = 198

There are a few grammar mistakes in this writing. Can you find them? Answers provided below

Download PDF Copies & Answers

IELTS Writing Task 1: ielts-writing-task-1-december-2016

December 2016 Sample Answer: model-task-1-dec-2016

Answers to Grammar Mistakes – click below to open:


Paragraph 2: in younger age groups = in the younger age groups

Paragraph 2: little different = little difference

Paragraph 3: in those ages 50 to 75 = in those aged 50 to 75

Paragraph 4: a slightly difference = a slight difference

Paragraph 4: didn’t = did not


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  1. http://Nina says

    The bar graph and pie chart illustrates the degree of educational attainment by gender in Glasgow, Scotland in 2019.

    In general, it is evident that people without qualifications was inversely proportional to those that have earned a degree in college and school certificates. In addition to that, apparently males have a higher percentage of earning their university degrees as compared to women.

    The bargraph displays that a majority of people have earned their university degrees in glasgow apart from those aged 75 and above, the level started from 71, had a slight increase to 76 before it constantly declined and ultimately ended up with only 25. People with school certificates began with 20, fell by 5, and remained constant from ages 35 to 75 then plummeted with only 3. People without qualifications seem to increase with age from a constant 9 to a peak of 72 in ages 75 and above.

    Moreover, the piechart shows that men have a Higher percentage of gaining university degrees than women with 32% and 29% respectively. A big chunk of both genders earned their school certificates with 33%. Women in all ages is seen to have a higher percentage of those without qualifications than men with 38% and 35% respectively.  (207)

  2. http://K.Thanushan says

    Hi madam,
    I wrote the report as it is required, How much band score it is deserved for?

    This bar charts and pie charts illustrates percentage of people in Glagow who have tree different type of education qualification (University degree, School certificate and No qualification) according to the age and gender respectively.

    Overall, the youngest age group( age of 16- 24 and 24-35) have higher percentage of University degree, while oldest people who are in majority of no qualification, and men and women showed analogous proportion in all format of qualification,but there is a little different in percentage.

    Further, more than 70% of people in the age group of 16- 24, 24- 35 and 35- 50 are having University degree, in the mean while 50% is indicated by the age group of 50-75 .However people who are aged more than 75 years old showed 25% University degree.Then this trend is reversed for no qualification in which 9% and 72% for age group of 16-24 and more 75 respectively.School certificate remains pretty much constant as 20% except older people who has 3% .
    Moreover, men and women imply relatively same proportion in every in every qualification but there was 3% different in University degree and no qualification between men and women while school was stable in both.

  3. http://LARA%20H says

    i write my answer on a word doc and i cant re-type it again how can i send it to you??????????????????/

  4. http://Harsh%20Patel says

    well, there is a mistake in third para, it should be- ‘aged 50-75’, and second mistake in last para- slightly to ‘slight’

  5. http://Vibhor%20Gogia says

    Hi Liz

    Thanks for this beneficiary tool.
    I heard that the words which are used once are not counted again?

    Looking for a revert

    • http://Liz says

      Do you think the examiner is going to spend time making a note of how many times each word is used????? Really???? Examiners do not earn enough to do that. Words are counted in the normal way.

  6. http://Hrisely says

    Hi Liz,
    How the words are count? (I mean I, a, it, is, this, of… and numbers are counted like words?)
    Thanks for your lessons!

  7. http://Nikhil says

    Can we use this abbreviation “i.e.,” to explain?

  8. http://Sheeja%20P%20John says

    Thank you, Liz.
    just now I found your website. I feel, I have a guide now.
    God Bless You for doing this amazing work

  9. http://Marzi says

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the wonderful tips,
    just a quick question, I am a little bit confused here! In the above sample the writer has given an overall view in paragraph 2 and then the details in following paragraphs. is this a correct practice? I thought we put the summary in the last paragraph. I would appreciate if you clarify that.

  10. http://Prasad says

    Hi Liz, can I get a link of IELTS exam pass papers in 2018 plz…

  11. http://Muhammed says

    Dear Liz,
    It is written in the brackets of paragraph 3 “(9% in younger people rising to 75% in the oldest age group)”. Shouldn’t it be 72% as it is shown in the bar chart or Do I get something wrong?

    Thanks a lot for your help,

  12. http://Han%20Xiang says

    Hi Liz,
    can I confirm that using brackets like yours will not be penalized/ignored?
    Thanks in advance!

  13. http://Jamy says

    I saw your last sentence using (didn’t have). I thought (did not have) was the only sentence would be accepted by examiner compared to didn’t have.

    • http://Liz says

      Did you read the whole page above? The page is about spotting mistakes and the answers are given below the model answer. Read ALL the page!!

  14. http://Chima says

    Thanks Liz for your good work.
    In the writing the tasks on the writing sheets, do we have to leave a line line between paragraphs

  15. http://Muneez says

    Hello Liz,
    Thanks for such a wonderful and helpful website. I want to know that is this necessary that we have to include all the percentages or numbers mentioned in the graph for a various property during our writing. like do we have to provide numbers/percentages of all the properties mention in the graph. or just we have to mention the percentages/number of the extreme values.


    • You can’t ignore a category. But whether you will present all data relating to that category is something you decide when you look at the chart or table. You must decide if you will present it all or if you will group information together.

  16. http://Igor says

    Dear Liz, could you please advise whether it is critical to use the printed letters instead of capital when writing an essey?

  17. http://Salem says

    Good evening teacher
    I have a question is the pie chart and the bar graph the same ? I need to know

    Salem Alkaabi

  18. http://Muhammad%20kashif says

    Why can’t we use contractions in writing task ?

  19. http://Padmini says

    For eg if 2 different graphs are given with one pie chart describing the trends in 2000 and another table describing trends in 2005 then can we compare this pie chart and table and write a body paragraph???

  20. http://Aditya%20Darak says

    Hello liz,
    I think that in first line itself there is a mistake, it should have been ‘illustrates’ instead of ‘illustrate’, right?
    And one more thing, while writing in paragraphs, each para should start on next line with some space left blank at starting of the the para right?

  21. http://Hussain%20Khan says

    I really appreciate your effort.
    Thank you very much.

  22. http://faculty%20faculty says

    thanks Liz.

  23. http://Harkirat says

    I want to know that is your practice test are according to every country order or its related to uk conditions because my ilets tution teacher is suggesting me to write conclusion in task1????

    • http://Liz says

      The examiner is looking for an overview in task 1 and a conclusion in task 2. This is clearly defined in the band score descriptors published by IELTS which is the same for every country and has never changed.

      • http://Harkirat says

        Thankyou .

      • http://Ismael%20Jr.%20Thuco says

        I know that stating an overview in the middle of the essay is completely wrong, but does writing the overview in the last paragraph rather than the second affect the band score?

  24. http://Vanessa says

    Hi Liz,
    I have been told by my tutor that the overall is written at the end, as the last paragraph, but i see here that you always write it after the introduction.
    Could you tell me which way is right?

    Thanks very much.

    • http://Liz says

      In IELTS, you are marked on a logical order of information. In writing task 1, you can present your key features after the introduction or at the end of the report. It is more logical to present key features before smaller details. However, both locations are accepted by IELTS.

  25. http://Samira says

    Hello Liz. Firstly, thank you so much for all the content that you share. It is all so useful.
    Secondly :-), I would like to know if I can write first the writing task 2 and second the writing task 1. Thank you so much.

    • http://Liz says

      You can use the one hour as you wish. It is your time to manage. If you want to do task 2 first, you can. I personally don’t recommend it because students tend to use too much time on task 2 and then don’t have enough time on task 1. But this is your test and you decide what works for you 🙂

    • http://Ismael%20Jr.%20Thuco says

      I find task 2 easier than task 1, and it is worth a higher score I think. So I’m doing task 2 first.

  26. nouns should be written in capital or what in ielts listening

  27. http://Doaa%20Sami says

    Hi, Liz 🙂 I think there is a mistake in the 2nd paragraph “the majority of people with university education were”. I suggest it is “was” because the subject is just a proportion or percentage “majority”, Right?

  28. http://Aliya%20Arif says

    Dear Liz,
    Many thanks for your informative and inspirational insights into the IELTS. While going through your comments on the grammatical error on a paragraph; I realized that we’ve been using short forms of negation since ages. Such as didn’t instead of did not, shouldn’t instead of should not etc etc. So, will it lead to marks deduction in IELTS? Thank you for your answer so that I may not do this mistake.

    • http://Liz says

      I think you are referring to using contractions, for example it is = it’s. You can use contractions in speaking – it’s a good idea because they are a pronunciation features and will help your score. However, you should NOT use them in IELTS writing.

      • http://Keerthi%20Shetty says

        Thank you so much. I did not know that. From your classes on speaking session i gained a knowledge regarding use of didn’t isn’t i’d to improve the band score…. But here its other way round. Thanku so much liz

        • http://Lynn says

          Me, too! I only know it recently and had used contractions in my writing for many years when none of my teachers at school mentioned this kind of mistakes. They are even in model answers on our high school papers. OMG…

  29. http://tracey says

    Thank you so much, Liz, you are indeed a great help to all of us trying to pass the IELTS. I am very much convinced that with a lot of practice, getting techniques from the experts like you and with God’s favor, according to His will, we will pass. We may not pay you dear, but the Lord who sees your kindness will reward you thousand folds.

  30. http://Dayat says

    Hi Liz.

    I want to ask about the words in this task 1.
    Aren’t 198 words too many for task 1?

    • http://Liz says

      Most task 1 will be between 170 and 190 words. There is no upper limit but you don’t want to add too much detail. And certainly lower level students should not aim for a longer report.

  31. http://Amin says

    First of all, I would say many thanks for your useful guidance.
    Could you please tell me, what kind of tense is better to use for writing task 1?!
    Can we use perfect tense for this part?!

    • You use appropriate tenses. Past tense for charts in the past, present tense when no dates are given. You use passive voice or perfect tenses only when they are right and appropriate to use.

  32. When I watch your video or navigate through your website, I become very hopeful. The moment I watch a video from British council I become anxious and feels a sense of doom.

  33. http://Tünde%20Lagler says

    Dear Liz,
    I would give some feedback on my answer version that I know what it is because of a wish a good score.

    The two graphs tell us about education levels by varieties of age and gender in Glasgow, in Scotland, in 2010. The pie chart shows the separation of the gender. The list of figures presents the age difference. We can see that the range of gender is very balanced though the figures of age is contrary to.

    About one third of people finished University and belongs to the ca. 73% of working-aged part and to the half of the 50 to 75 years old ones, do not speak of the one fourth of the group of more than 75. The second third of the people has got scholar certificate and they belong to the 20% of all ages, except the 3% of the more than 75. The third 30% has no qualification and is 16 to 75 years old.

    We can say that the younger people recognise the importance of the learning and the woman can be able to keep pace with the men in the world of education.

    • Avoid using “we”. Don’t use “the graph tells us” use “the graph illustrates”. Also make sure you start your overview with “Overall” – it helps the examiner locate your overview statement.

      • http://Tünde%20Lagler says

        Thank you, Liz for your sent feedback. I shall use ‘I should say that the younger…’ instead of we, and at the begining the ‘overall’ to help the examiner put my survey statement and won’t write ‘tell’ rather illustrate or show. Thank you again.

        Could you say circa how many scores I should receive for my original answer and the corrected one?

        • Don’t write “I should say that” – you don’t add opinions. Task 1 is not an essay. It is a report where you present the data provided. “Overall, younger people …”

    • http://Jyles says

      The charts illustrate the proportion of people in Glasgow with different levels of education. This proportion is divided on the basis of age and gender.

      The percentage of people with university degree was up to 73% among the younger age group. This was 50% with 50-75 age group and 25% with people above the age of 75. The percentage of school education was between 15-20 with the youngest age group and those ages 50-75. This figure was as low as 3% with those ages above 75. In the category of people with no qualifications, this trend was reversed, in which younger age groups recorded 9%, those with 50-75 had 30% and 72% for the oldest.

      The proportion of education levels of men and women in all the three categories was more or less similar. The rate of school education was 33% among both the genders. 32% of men and 29% women were graduates with a university degree. As far as the unqualified are concerned, women outnumbered men with 38 – 35%.

      Overall, people with a university degree were the highest among youngsters, while majority of the elderly were unqualified. When it comes to gender,both the group had almost more or less equal level of education.

  34. http://Anshul%20Garg says

    Hi Ma’am,

    It’s is going to be helpful for those who are going to sit in IELTS now and then.

  35. http://Dr%20Nasarulla%20Babajan says

    Thanks so much Liz.I am able to clear IELTS with desired results in my 1st attempt itself.I didnt expect doing so.I followed your tips and advises .Didnt experiment too much.Particularly in writing task.I was very poor but just followed your guidance.I also had purchased access to your essay videos.
    My results
    Listening 8.5 Speaking 8.5
    Reading 7.5 Writing 7.5
    Overall 8
    Thank you very much

  36. http://Laskhan says

    Hi Liz,
    There are teachers giving various advices on writing tasks, some tells we need to write a summery after task one, some tells “No i am updated…, dont write a summery, what should i do? As IELTS check english , will it change the band score weather i write the summery or not?

    • Read the band score descriptors which IELTS have published. They clearly show that the examiner is looking for an overview in task 1 and a conclusion in task 2.

    • http://Ismael%20Jr.%20Thuco says

      Yep. It says “presents a clear overview.”

  37. http://Marc%20Micu says

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your guide and information. It helped me a lot on my IELTS exam however I didn’t do well on reading. Can I still take another exam? And how will my 1st take affect my 2nd take where I only need to pass is the Reading.

    Thank you and keep inspiring us..


    • When you take the test again, you will get all new results. This means that you might get lower or higher in any part of the test. Some students get 6.5 in writing in one test but only 6 in the second test. After the second test, you will have two test results. You can chose which set of results to use for your future.

  38. http://Pradeep%20Reddy says

    Hi madam, I started watching your video lesson and trying to reduce of making mistakes. Those videos are really helpful. Am very thankful for your tips and advises… I have a question im my mind i.e about general test writing task 1 question types. can u give details please.

  39. Is there any one willing(for free) to evaluate my essay ? I am not confident on my writing skill, and i have only 1 month for the preparation of my ielts exam. I must have an ielts score of 6.5+ to be admitted in the university which i plan to apply. any suggestion and tips ? thanks

  40. http://Gustavo%20Erivan says

    Last line of 2nd paragraph: different -> difference

  41. http://Mandeep%20kaur says

    Hii mam,
    My comments are not showing at your site
    What can i do else to contact you??

  42. http://john%20chisenga says

    Thank you very much liz for your well crafted lessons.You are my heroine.Since i started following lessons,my level of confidence has risen dramatically.God bless yu.

  43. http://anosha says

    Thanks Liz, it was so nice of you teaching in best method with more kindness,

  44. http://Rokya says

    In paragraph A, should it be …”but was as low as 3% among the over 75s” ? I mean should we add the word “among”?

  45. http://Sanjida says

    this task came in 3rd December exam in UK

  46. http://Lissa says

    Hi mam
    I am constant listener of your video classes, it is really worthy. My speaking test was on 4th & cue card was : a gift you presented to someone.
    my LRW is on 10th, please keep me on prayers.
    Thank you.

  47. http://Anar says

    The proportion of men and women in each level of education was. = The proportions of men and women in each level of education were – it must be like this I think.

  48. http://Vusala says

    As an ielts learner I have choosen you.Happy now for not wasting my time.How nice to see new writing tasks and the mistakes in order to practise visually…Thanks Liz.You are really one of the best teachers I have ever seen…

  49. in paragraph 4= didn’t=did not

    • http://Liz says

      Very well spotted !! 🙂

      • Thank you Liz and many thanks for your big job which you do! All available materials which I read on this website are really helpful. Moreover, I think that you use a unique method which inspires and motivates many people)

  50. http://Moraima%20Cano%20Valdez says

    Thank you very much. I did the task and it was very similar to me. Thank you for your feedback.
    I will take my next test next month

  51. http://Harpreet says

    Hi Liz , my test was on 3 dec . Melbourne . Task 1 bar chart top ten sports in1986and 2005 . 2 task advantages of travel .. Speaking on photograph . And funny moment on laugh . Reading history of writting on clay or stone 2 ,3 paragraph not remamber thank u

  52. http://Japan%20is%20Rajakaruna says

    Wonderful, how did you get that paper. I sat on 3 Dec. I had the same one for part 1???

  53. http://Natalija says

    Thank you, Liz!
    I’m very grateful that I found your web, because your work is excellent.

  54. http://Amit%20Chaudhary says

    Thank you so much mam!
    It’s very impressive answer.

  55. http://Mohammad%20Imran says

    Thanks mem

  56. Thanks a lot

  57. http://Reda%20Mohamed says

    Thanks alot

  58. http://Sujee says

    Thank you very much for your immeasurable service this website
    Im going to sit on saturday again

  59. http://sandeep says

    Hello mam . Thxs a lot to provide such a knowledge which conductive for us

  60. http://Lathika says

    Thanks a lot

  61. in 2010. Information is divided into five age groups
    Is= was

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