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IELTS Writing Task 1: Pie Chart Model Score 9

How to compare two pie charts in IELTS writing task 1. This sample answer illustrates the method of organising the report as well as useful language and sentence structures to get a band score 9. These pie charts were reported in the IELTS test in November, 2017.

The pie charts below show the comparison of different kinds of energy production of France in two years.

ielts pie chart comparison

Pie Chart Sample Answer

The two pie charts illustrate the proportion of five types of energy production in France in 1995 and 2005. 

Overall, in both years, the most significant sources of energy  were gas and coal, which together accounted for over half the production of energy, while nuclear and other kinds of energy sources generated the least amount of energy in France. In all types of energy production there was only minimal change over the 10 year period.

Energy produced by coal comprised of 29.80% in the first year and this showed only a very slight increase of about a mere 1 % to 30.9% in 2005. Likewise, in 1995, gas generated 29.63% which rose marginally to 30.1% 10 years later.

With regards to the remaining methods of producing energy, there was an approximate 5% growth in production from both nuclear power and other sources to 10.10% and 9.10% respectively. Petrol, on the other hand, was the only source of energy which decreased in production from 29.27% in 1995 to around a fifth (19.55%) in 2005.

Pie Chart Tips

  • Always highlight the largest and smallest proportions
  • If there are two pie charts in different time periods, then you must highlight the key changes / trends
  • Use pie chart language – accounts for / comprises of / represents
  • The phrase “Units are measured in …” should be used when the units have not been stated in the previous sentence.

Recommended Lessons

How to describe an IELTS pie chart, click here
IELTS Bar Chart Model Answer
Line Graph Model Answer

See All Writing Task 1 Tips, Model Answers and Video Lessons

Comments

  1. sarvjeet kaur says:

    I am confused about the structure of task 1 of academic because according to you it follows a particular pattern that includes introduction then overall and body paragraphs whereas some say overall should be at the end of the task 1 which just mean as a conclusion . So i am confused a lot about this . I request you to clear my doubt regarding the structure followed nowadays in ielts .

  2. Fathimath says:

    After describing the data in the body paragraphs, should we give the actual figure in brackets?
    For example; coal rose from 10% to nearly a quarter ( 25%) by the end of the given period.

    • You wrote “nearly a quarter” = this means it is under 25%. So, in this case, you would need to give the percentage because it is not actually 25%. For example, “nearly a quarter (23%)”. However, if it is exactly one quarter, then it isn’t a description to say so. One quarter would be accurate and there is no need to repeat 25% because one quarter is 25%.

  3. Muhammad Naveed says:

    Thanks madam your explanation style is so easy and so good thank you so much ….

  4. The charts illustrates consumption of water in six areas of the world by different means (industrial, agricultural and domestic). Units are measured in percentage.

  5. I have faced a problem when the pie chart showed “others” as the largest sector. For example, for a phone sales in 2012; Others 50%, Samsung 30%, and Apple 20%. Can I describe the graph as “Samsung accounted for the largest proportion at 30%” when we see that it is clearly not? but again, I can’t type “others accounts for the largest proportion at 50%”, that would not be a meaningful interpretation. Please suggest a way to express this.

    • You need to interpret the meaning of “Others”. In the case you have given, it is the percentage of phone sales by other phone companies.

  6. md ziauddin says:

    Thanks alot liz
    You are an inspiration

  7. Thank you liz for all your endeavors in sharing your knowledge to us. We, from the Philippines, trust you the most as an online ielts teacher. Your samples are quite easy to understand, therefore, I am becoming more confident to take my upcoming exam.

  8. Hi Ms Liz,

    1. Is it better to include the name of the types of energy production in the first paragraph?
    E.g. five types of energy production (coal, gas, petrol, nuclear, other) in France

    2. I think there is a grammar error: “with regards to” should be “with regard to” ?

  9. Jem Guillermo says:

    Thank you for your lessons and tips that are way beyond useful. Not only will they improve my skills in academic writing but also boost my confidence as I now have a pattern or a format in mind. I am positive that I will not get too overwhelmed at all because I know where my writing is headed to.

    All the best from the Philippines

  10. Ieltstaker2018 says:

    The charts illustrates the percentages of activities between the younger and older generation that makes their living a happy one. Overall, it can be seen that achievement at work was the topmost priority of both group , while other factors has the least proportion of their unspecified routines.

    Do you think its a good introduction for the pie chart ” what makes people most happy”

    Thank you and Good Day!
    Ieltstaker2018

  11. Dear Liz,
    I have one question for Writing task 1 , do we need to write “Nuclear” or “nuclear” , while using this sources in sentences ? For example : your given pie chart I want to write , “The most significant energy sources were gas and coal ” Or we can write “The most significant energy sources were Gas and Coal ? what is write in ielts exam ?

    • When you write a sentence, you must follow all the normal rules for using capital letters. “….energy sources where gas and coal.”

  12. Denver Renomeron says:

    Hi Liz. I have just taken my ielts yesterday under british council. This graph was the same graph on our writing task 1, I was so shocked and at the same time blessed because I was able to read your model answer repeatedly the night before my exam. I just have an extinct that this might appear and it was indeed. The listening part was kind of hard the audio was soo fast that most of us candidates didn’t got most of the questions. The reading part was easy. The speaking was really an edge for me because the long turn part of the speaking was “an occassion you have helped someone” and I have been practicing that since the first day of my review here in your website. Thank you Liz for all of the materials. Your page is highly advisable. I hop that I will pass the exam. Fingers crossed. Regards from your student here in the Philippines.

  13. Hi Liz,
    Usually percentage values are given in pie charts, so could I use the below noun phrases to start a sentence.
    Example- ‘Percentage of Japan’s energy consumption’, ‘Percentage of energy produced by coal’
    Could we use possessive form for countries, like Japan’s, the ‘UK’s and the US’s
    Thank you Liz.

  14. Ankit paul says:

    Thank you very much it is very usefull

  15. Anas A Siddiqui says:

    Do General Writing Tasks includes pie charts or bar graphs or tables?

  16. why there not find conclusion?

  17. Good day, Ms. Liz!

    I noticed that the sources of energy were not presented on the introduction, if I choose to present or omit it, will it affect the scoring?

  18. Harman virk says:

    Hi mam.. can we write introduction for pie chart like ” the slices of pie chart illustrates that….”

  19. siddhartha says:

    thank you liza

  20. Thankx liz mame well work i am agree100%

  21. Hi Liz,

    What do you mean in the last paragaph of the sentence “a fifth”?

    Thank you

  22. Gulalai Amin says:

    Hello Liz.
    Which tense should be used while describing pie charts that have no reference of time, for example, comparison of leisure activities of boys and girls?
    Thank you.

  23. Hi Liz, I wish to know whether it is necessary to use paraphrases throughout the report just to avoid using the exact words that is used in the topic even once? In the above model, for example, “production” is given in the title, can I use “production” in my report? Or should I avoid using “production” at all? Many thanks.

    • Be careful when you paraphrase. Not all words can or should be paraphrased. The skill of paraphrasing is knowing when to change a word and when to keep it the same. So don’t feel that all words need to be changed. A report is a report !! Also don’t forget that you don’t need a title for your IELTS writing.

  24. Thank Liz for your sharing!

  25. Another question ma’am. I hope there are no penalties for writing “percentage” in one part of the essay and “%”in another part? Are we to stick with one method or we can use both as we please? Thanks.

    • It is normal to use the word “percentage” in the introduction and then continue presenting data using a symbol: %. Completely fine.

  26. Thank you Liz for your lessons. I want to ask if we can add “Units are measured in percentage” for this pie chart.

  27. Jhoan Guerrero says:

    Hi Liz,

    I was practicing task 1. I came across with a pie chart where compare the usage of water for three different purposes in six different areas in the world. I got so confused as 6 pie graphs are given and I don’t know how to develop the body paragraphs. What would you do in those cases? I wish I could post the picture.

    • That example comes from IELTS Cambridge book 11, test 1. Please make sure you get the book as it is an authentic IELTS question. When you write a task 1, the overview presents a view of the main features. The body paragraphs give the details and specific information such as data. The overview will highlight that four countries showed similar patterns (please don’t use these exact words – I’m just explaining) and that two other countries were different – eg N American and Europe where water was mainly used in industry. Your body paragraphs will then give the details of four countries and the other body paragraph give the details of the other two countries. Always organise categories logically in task 1.

      Also remember that there is more than one way to tackle a writing task 1. Other people might organise it differently. However, this is the most immediately obvious and logical way.

  28. Muzammil says:

    Hi Liz,

    Are there any exclusive video lessons on Pi-charts & Diagrams for Writing task-1?? Is it common to get Pi-charts and Diagrams in Task-1??… Actually your lessons are based on bar graphs and Line Graphs mostly so kindly guide me regarding this question.

    Best regards

  29. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for the great work you’re doing! One remark: When you say: Energy produced (…) at a mere 1%, this is actually incorrect. What you’re meant to say is one percentage POINT. The actual percentage rise is roughly 3.7% (30.9-29.8/29.8*100%). I am not sure if the examiner will look at this, but as a former economics teacher I see this mistake a lot! 😉

    Keep up the great work!

    • I’m not sure what you are referring to. All IELTS pie charts give the percentages or the units sepcifically and students must use what is written on the paper. Any deviation from figures printed on their task sheet will result in lower marks. This is a simple English language test.

      • kimotrainingHQ says:

        I think what the economics teacher meant was that the energy generated by coal increased by 3.7% of the TOTAL amount of energy produced in 1995 by COAL ONLY.
        In the report shown above, I believe that the amount of energy increased can be said to be 1% of the total energy produced in 2005 no matter what the source is.
        However, according to what all IELTS instructors told me, this is an English exam not an Economics exam. This is why I could not agree more with you about this.

    • Dear Vincent,
      I think that you might make a mistake when saying that the percentage rise is 3.7%. Because the figures given were already in percentage form, not in the absolute values, so you can not calculate percentage changes like the way we calculate for absolute values.
      If you have any research analysing as the way you calculated, please refer to us by a reference link, I would love to see.
      Thank you.

  30. Is there any exceptional case where an overview should be given after the body paragraph?For instance ,when the question is to give a report to….in task 1

    • You can put it after the introduction or at the end of the report. It’s your choice. Sometimes it can be combined in the same paragraph as the introduction.

  31. yahya nazir says:

    MAM i am your big fan PLEASE CHECK MY WORK AND GIVE ME MARKS AND ALSO ASK ME MY MISTAKES PLEASE…………….. The in focus pie chart quite emphatically illustrates the consumption of five kinds of energy in France with respect to 10 years period. The overall summary of this chart demonstrates that the production of coal and gas stand fluctuate with mildly changes in 1995 and 2005. By scrutinizing the year 1995,it is well evident that coal and gas covered 29.80% and 29.63% area.While,29.27% proportion has been occupied by petro.Furthermore,nuclear and other energy production in France depicts meager level i.e (nuclear) 6.40% and (others) 6.90% respectively. As we analytically glance at the next year 2005,we observe that coal and gas exhibit tediously rise in 2005 as compared to 1995 and that is 30.93% and 30.31%. On the other hand, petro is progressively abate in 10 years period and stand at the ratio of 19.55%. Likewise, nuclear and other energy reveals sequentially climb to 10.10% and 9.10% respectivelly.

  32. dear madam,
    without writing overview in second paragraph,instead of it if we write conculsion part at last. did it wrong?

  33. sem iileka says:

    Hi Liz
    I just want to know in the IELTS Listening exam question do i have to wait for the speaker to finish talking before i transfer my answer to the answer sheett or i have to write while she/he is talking?

  34. Hi Liz,
    I think the word growth in “there was an approximately 5% growth” should be uncountable. What’s your opinion?

    Thanks.
    Zheyi

  35. Mam, can you please upload topic pie chart for academic BC

  36. Hello, thank you so much!
    Was wondering.. It is written “over the 10 year period”. Is it an expression or I can write the word “year” in plural?
    Thank you!

  37. Liz….is it okay to write…
    The percentage of coal produced in 1995 accounted for 29.80%.

    Is it acceptable in Task 1 or not?
    Thank you.

  38. Hi Liz !!

    This is me from Pakistan, Thanks a lot for your great effort ,its really helpful i am very grateful to you:) Wishing you all the best and have great day:)

  39. That is really helpful …. Thank you 🙂

  40. Hi Liz,
    Is it recommended to write percent instead of %?
    just in case for word counting?

  41. Hi dear Liz,

    Just want to ask regarding the words, “with regards to” is that gramatically correct?

    Thanks a lot for your great lessons!

  42. Hi Liz,

    Is it acceptable if I “ADD” the given values in the pie chart?
    Example: I wrote..
    In terms of non-sports as a whole, boys decreased almost three times to 12% (reading books 2% and listening to musics 10%) compared to girls with a value of 31% (reading books 21% and listening to musics 10%).

    Please help…

    Thanks a lot.

  43. Pradeepan Patra says:

    Can we write something like technological advancement has caused an increase in application of Nuclear energy as source by 2005?

    • Never add reasons which are not presented in the charts.

    • Dear Liz,
      Can I ask you how can I improve my writing score (Academic IELTS) in just one month? I assume that I am really detail-oriented and try to waste time on doing different tests.
      I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
      Best,
      Sep

      • Try one of my advanced lessons for writing task 2. You will soon see if you are on the right track or not: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

        • Thank you very much dear Liz. That was really helpful. Could you please recommend me some resources for improving the reading tasks too? I’ve almost done all tests of Cambridge Books (4-11) but I couldn’t learn how to manage the time yet. Actually, I need band score 7 for getting admission from a university. I’ve taken IELTS once and I got 6.00 (R: 6, S: 6.5, W: 6.5 and L: 6). Do you think that I can do all my best in just one month?
          Best Regards,
          Sep

          • Did you check the main reading page of my blog: http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-reading-lessons-information-and-tips/. Read all the tips pages, watch the free video and then start practicing. Your aim is to develop understanding of how IELTS paraphrase, how they set traps and the techniques for different types of questions. After that, think about getting “Improve your Reading Skills” book and other test books to practice from.

  44. Hello Liz,

    Thank you very much, your website is fantastic, starting from the structure, material and ending with your method of teaching.

    It helped me a lot and I hope, I will get the band that I am aiming to. 🙂

  45. Can I write elucidate for task 1 type question
    In intro
    Thank you

    • No, it isn’t recommended.

    • Cherry Anne Galutan says:

      Hello guys. could anybody check my work?

      The two given pie charts illustrates and gives information about the difference between the
      energy production during 1995 and 2005 in France. There were 5 different kinds of energy produced, namely gas, petroleum, nuclear, coal, and others. Overall, it is clear that the highest energy produced over a 10 year period was coal whereas the least energy produced was others. It is also evident that over a 10 year period there was minimally increased of production in coal, gas, nuclear and other energies while the remaining type of energy which was petroleum decreased its production.

      In detail, during 1995, French produced about a third (exactly 29.80%) of coal, precisely 29.63% of gas, about 6.40% of nuclear energy and less than 5% of other energy. However, after 10 years (2005), all the said energies increased its production, about more than a third for coal (30.93%), exactly 30.31% for gas, precisely 10.10% for nuclear and about 9.10% for other energy.

      On the other hand, the remaining energy which was petroleum decreased its production after 10 years, about merely 10% of the total percentage was removed, with an actual figure of 29.27% during 1995 and 19.55% during (2005)

  46. liz is best teacher for english. the way she teaches is awesome. material in website may help me to score good in ielts. thank you liz

  47. Hi mam Liz,

    Is it good to write this in my introduction? – “The figures were expressed in percentage.”

    Thank you so much mam. 😉

    • If you have already mentioned that the chart shows percentages, you won’t need to mention it again. If you haven’t, then, yes, present that information in a separate sentence.

  48. Hi Liz, it is really a worthy website.
    I am wondering if I can state the name of sources in the introduction.

    Thank you in advanced.

  49. Where is the conclusion??? Miss lizz
    I wrote- to sum up , during both the years coal and gas energy production was maximum as compared to other energy sources

  50. Hi I can write that or not in Iles exam
    In introduction
    The two pie charts compare of the comparison
    across different of energy production in franch in the years 1995 and 2005 .for five of sectors ,it is evident of this time frame there was significant change in their proportion of comparison of energy production transaction

  51. Hi Liz,

    I found your website incredibly informative. Thanks for your work.

    I am wondering whether or not petro in this case is also a kind of major source in energy consumption. Gas, coal and petro accounted for over 80% in those two years.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Sure. That is absolutely possible. Each person will interpret data slightly differently. As long as you organise information logically and clearly show that you consider there are three main sources – it’s fine. Some writers will only mention one main source, some two or some three. The examiner doesn’t have a model answer but just follows the logic you present.

  52. Can we write Introduction and Overview in same first paragraph?
    Is it good to write a single body paragraph or two or many?

  53. hello maam,

    is it ok to write the overall statement. at the end of the explanation of the graph.

  54. Rokita Gurung says:

    hi liz! All the way from Nepal. preparing for IELTS. Help me in writing task 2

  55. Raju Dhillon says:

    Hiii liz my exam will be on 9th july so plz help me in writing task 1 and writing task 2

  56. Thanks Liz , you are a gem as always !

    There are a few areas I am not clear of when reading the model answer :

    1. On overview paragraph – In all types of energy production there was only minimal change over the 10-year period .
    I noticed that someone mentioned about this before, and I am not sure I see an answer , with the 10% difference in petrol source over the 10 years period , is it not better to include this ? Such as – Besides petrol , all types of energy …
    The next question is mainly my own ignorance, why is it was and not were when discussing regardings in all types of energy ?

    2. On body paragraph 1 – Likewise, in 1995, gas generated 29.63% which rose marginally to 30.1% 10 years later.
    After 29.63% as above , is it normal not to include some descriptions such as 29.63% of energy production etc .

    I am aware that you are not back till after Autumn. Though my exam is tomorrow, however , please do only answer me at your convenience time.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Question 1: 10% is not a great change at all. If you look at the general layout of the pie charts, there is almost no change. There are only slight changes. Had one source of energy grown by 25% or 50%, then we could not have written that. Remember that this is an overview which looks at main trends rather than smaller detail.
      Question 2: The topic sentence of BP1 shows that this is about energy production. It is not necessary to repeat this in every sentence which follows. As long as the topic sentence is clear and contains all information, you don’t need so much subsequent repetition.

      Good luck tomorrow!

      • Thank you, Liz for replying so promptly and your ever so kind wishes.
        Wish you a very nice day ahead .

  57. Hi Liz,

    I just have one simple question. For pie chart, can we use adjectives like ‘highest/higher’ and ‘lowest/lower’ instead of ‘biggest/bigger’ and ‘smallest/smaller’ if we want to report the percentages? A friend of mine said we should only use those adjectives if we want to describe graphs.

    Hope to hear from you. Thanks!

  58. sibtain raza says:

    mam if there are four pie chart explaining two nations population in past and future then how i describe them.

  59. Yadwinder says:

    Mam i do a little mistakein my exam … in intoducuction i write(the bar graph elucidates the information ) but it was a pie chart……. so what band score would be deducted in my task 1???

    • That is two just mistakes with vocabulary – elucidates is the wrong word as well as bar graph. More mistakes means a lower score. However, I can’t predict your exam score.

  60. Thank you for such an interesting answer, little corrections like this made my day, because, I have been having issues with a similar problem. very much appreciated.

  61. Juby rajan says:

    Can u correct my writing tasks plzz

  62. Hi liz
    Would you please give me your email address? I would like to send you a report to put some comment on whenever you are free. My exam is on 20th February, so I request you to do me a favour if you can.

    Thanks a lot !

  63. Hi, I have one problem
    I want to know that if in the chat has information about population in 2050 year what I write will or may in line?

  64. Hi Liz
    I just want to say a big thanks for your web providing a very valuable lesson for people around the world.
    Greets from Indonesia
    Abid

  65. can boys and girls be phrased as males and females.
    substitiutes for culture and leisure.
    substitutes for expenditure.
    substitutes for household.

  66. Hello Liz!
    First of all, I want to thank you for your very useful tips.
    Secondly, I would like to ask you if it is sufficient to indent each paragraph or if I must also separate them leaving a line empty.
    Thank you so much for your help! I’m having the test in two weeks and I’m pretty nervous!

    Federica

  67. mary ann r. medrano says:

    In pie chart, can we also write units are meaured by percentage? Or is it only applicable in the line graph and bar chart? Because your model answer did not mention it. Thanks.

  68. Dear Ms liz

    I appreciatet the most of any you post about related ielt.

    I am not sure yet about writing acadamice task1,Pie chart.

    Can we describe any information in 1st pie chart., then we describe information in secont type. and please give me the sampling pie chart as mention above,.

    i need it urgent because i will exam soon.

    thank u inadvanced.

    Koh Phlek

  69. Hi Ms. Liz
    I wrote about the pie charts and I’ll deliver it to my IELTS teacher.please check it.Where I wrote wrongly?
    The pie charts illustrates five different sources of energy production(coal,gas,petrol,nuclear and others),compared in France between 1995 and 2005. Units are measured in percentages.

    Overall , it can be seen that the most significant sources of energy production were coal and gas,accounted for less than a third in both years,increased by 1%.

    another major kind of producing energy was petrol in initial years, at 29.27%.However,energy produced by petrol a minority less than a fifth in 2005.

    With regards to the remaining types of producing energy (nuclear and others) at 6.40% and 4.90% respectively. The figures were similar in 2005,produced just more than a fifth.

  70. Hoang Minh says:

    hi, teacher Liz… i don’t know the reason why the petro had a significant change ( 29.27% to 19.55%) but in your overview of report: all of type had a minimal change! please help me, teacher)

  71. Hello Liz,

    I tried to write this with my own version without seeing yours, Can I go with this kind of approach? As examiner, what is the approximate score for this following task?

    I have issues with grammar and I will fix those soon.

    ————————————————–
    The two pie charts describe about the energy production comparison in France between ranges of time 1995 to 2005. The samples of energy included on the research are Coal, Gas, Petro, Nuclear and other kind of resources.

    Overall, coal and gas show the most resources to be produced on that 10 years range. Meanwhile, other kind of resources and nuclear are on the last orders in both years. All of the energy production showing a expanding percentage except for the Petro.

    Between 1995 and 1995, the percentage of Petro is decreasing over almost 10%, but this experience is not happened on other 4 types of energy used in the research. For example, Gas and Coal increased insignificantly with the growth not more than 2%. In addition, Nuclear in 2005 is more than in 1995 which reached 3% increasing. The same expanding is also shown in other kind resources but in the different percentage which is 4.2%

    ——————————————

    Thank you so much for your update.

  72. syed intisar says:

    Hi ,i am having a doubt “overall .in both years the most significant source of energy were coal and gas…should i write “was”..plz rply the message

  73. thanks a lot .you are really nice teacher .I m impressed to watch your lectures.

  74. Liz, can I use “collectively” instead of overall?

  75. Hi Liz,

    Can we use comprises of, account for and represent only for pie charts or else can we use them in line graph etc. ?

    Thank you.

    • It’s mostly for pie charts. It can be used for tables or bar charts but not often for line graphs which reflect change over time.
      Liz

  76. Hi Liz,
    First, thank you very much for your extraordinary service.

    For the overall statement instead of your last sentence there (minimal changes) if we use such a sentence like ” Only amount of petro decreased as an energy source, while four other types increased to some extent for the period given ” does it also work ?

    thanks

    • Yes, the technique words but check your grammar.
      Liz

      • Dear Liz,

        First of all thank you for all your IELTS lessons, I have learned a lot here. I have a doubt, in task 1, do we need to write a conclusion like task 2? This is the only confusion I have. Thank you.

        • The examiner is looking for an overview in task 1 not a conclusion. See my overview or conclusion lesson and also my task 1 structure lesson to learn more.
          Liz

  77. Dear Liz,

    Thank you for the model answer for the pie chart. You have written as “very slight increase of about a mere 1%”. My question is do we still need to wright mere since we have used slight and about in the same sentence.? (all three are synonyms? may be duplicate?)

  78. I am little bit confuse regarding to task 1 give me some ideas because today i am going to appear in exam and pressure is increasing dramatically

    • Focus on getting a very clear overview written. See my model answers to check the information in the overview.
      Good luck
      Liz

  79. Thanx Liz for your kind advise

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