IELTS Bar Chart: Tips for a High Score

Learn how to describe an IELTS bar chart by following the tips and techniques in this video lessons. It is common to be given a bar chart in IELTS writing task 1 academic paper. You must learn:

  • how to write an introduction
  • how to identify key features
  • how to write an overview
  • if there is a conclusion or overview
  • how to organise the body paragraphs
  • how to write complex sentences
  • tips to avoid getting a low score
  • how to get a high score
  • bar chart model band 9

IELTS Bar Chart Tips Video Tutorial

IELTS Bar Chart Essential Tips

Below are useful tips for an IELTS bar chart.

1. Introduction Paragraph

Keep your introduction paragraph simple. Just paraphrase the information given by IELTS. It is usually just one sentence. It is possible to also comment on the units of measurement in the chart “Units are measured in …”.

2. The overview

Look at your bar chart and choose the key features. These might be highs, lows, main differences etc. Collect them together and present them in an overview. To learn more about the overview / conclusion debate, please see my IELTS Overview Video Lesson. You must remember that the examiner is looking for the overview and it is an essential part of your Task Achievement mark. That criterion is 25% of your marks.

3. Body Paragraphs

Make sure you have more than one body paragraph. The usual is two body paragraph. Decide how you will divide the information in the bar chart into difference body paragraphs. You must organise your paragraphs into a logical order.

4. Support Sentences with Data

Your body paragraphs must have numbers to support them. If you fail to have numbers with your sentences in the body paragraphs, you might get only band 5 in Task Achievement. To learn useful vocabulary for using data accurately, see my lesson: IELTS Vocabulary: Accurate Data.

5. Complex Sentences

You must write your task 1 using a range of complex sentences. You must learn these sentence structures. The best way is from model answers: IELTS Writing Task 1 Model Answers.

6. Linking devices

You should use a range of linking devices. For example, while / whereas / as opposed to / compared to / in comparison with. All these will help you get a higher score in Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks. Make sure you use them correctly.

7. Assessment Criteria

Learn more about what the examiner wants to see in your writing. You must understand the requirements for the band score you are aiming for. See this page to learn about IELTS Writing Task 1 Band Scores 5 to 8 Explained.

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Main IELTS Pages

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IELTS True False Not Given: Essential Tips

This lesson provides important tips and techniques for IELTS true, false, not given and yes, no , not given questions. Learning how to answer these questions, what techniques to use, important tips and common traps are essential to success in T F NG questions.

True False Not Given: IELTS Video Tutorial

Homework: True, False Not Given

Decide if the following question is true, false or not given.

  • Passage: By the second half of the 17th century, coffee had found its way to Europe.
  • Question: Coffee arrived in Europe after the 17th century.

Answer
Click below to reveal the answer to the homework question:

Answer

The answer is false. “second half of the 17th century” means from the middle of the 17th century to the end of the 17th century – so this is still in the 17th century. That means it has an opposite meaning to the statement which says coffee arrived after the 17th century.

 

Summary of TFNG & YNNG Tips

Below is a list of the main tips. However, you should watch the video to understand them clearly for maximum benefit.

  1. Spend time analysing the statement in the question before you try to find the answer
  2. Many words will be paraphrased so watch out for that (for example, work = employment / changing = altering)
  3. Don’t match just key words, you are aiming to match meaning. Some of the key words might be the same in the passage but it doesn’t mean the answer is true or yes.
  4. The meaning of false or no is that the statement is opposite to the information or claims in the passage.
  5. Not Given means that the whole meaning of the statement is not in the passage. The key words might be found but not the full meaning of the statement.
  6. If the question is true false or not given, you can’t write yes or no on your answer sheet. Make sure you write the correct word.
  7. You can write T instead of True on your answer sheet but make sure your handwriting is clear.
  8. TFNG is about information in the passage / YNNG is about the claims of the writer in the passage.
  9. The answers follow the order of information in the passage.
  10. Learn common traps

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IELTS Tips: Conclusion or Overview for Writing Task 1?

Watch this video to learn excellent tips about whether you need a conclusion or an overview for writing task 1 academic paper in IELTS. This is a common question asked by students and also a very common mistake to make in your test.

Knowing whether you need an overview or conclusion can make all the difference to your results. Transcript

Hello my name’s Liz. In this lesson I’m going to look at if you need a conclusion or an overview for IELTS writing task 1. This is a very important question and many students ask me about it. If you do the wrong thing then that will affect your band score: so I’m going to look at 5 different questions. Do I need a conclusion for task one? What is an overview? Is the overview important? Can I write an overview and a conclusion? and where can I put the overview? Let’s have a look at the first question.

Do I need a conclusion for task 1?

Well the answer is no, you don’t. In fact, it’s a bad idea to have a conclusion for task one. You have an overview for task 1 and you have a conclusion for task 2 for for your essay. Now a conclusion is a paragraph that repeats and restates the main points and of course in a short report you shouldn’t be repeating any information. So don’t have a conclusion. But you do need to have an overview. So that’s question two:

What is an overview?

Well overview is a paragraph and it contains all the key features of the chart or graph or whatever you have for your task 1. So all the key points are collected together and put in a overview paragraph.

Is the overview important?

It is so important it is critical for you IELTS writing task 1 this is for the criteria, task achievement. That’s 25 percent
of your marks and if you don’t have an overview, it will be almost impossible to get above band score five for that criteria. So very important indeed. And number 4:

Can I write an overview and a conclusion?

Please don’t. Again the overview contains all the key features and the conclusion is a repeat. We don’t want repetitive information. Also when you have an overview and a conclusion together, it means that you are dividing your key features into two different places and this will affect the criteria of coherence and cohesion, which is all about paragraphs. So it’s very important that all your key features are collected in one paragraph, in the overview, and they’re not again repeated anywhere else in that report. So definitely you cannot have both. And the last one :

Where can i put the overview?

The overview statement usually goes after the introduction but it is possible to put it at the end of your report after the body paragraphs. Which is the best place? For me, I prefer it after the introduction. I like to read all the main points before I read the details but again that’s up to you. Both places are logical. Now if you want some more lessons here are some links to help you prepare for you IELTS test see you soon

IELTS Writing Task 1 Structure and Paragraph Organisation

Conclusion or Overview: Video Tutorial

Note: This video replaces the reading video which will now be published next weekend.

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Vocabulary for Accurate Data in Writing Task 1

The video tutorial below explains why it is important to give accurate data when describing a chart in IELTS writing task 1 and provides a range of flexible vocabulary to help you achieve a better score. Transcript

Hello my name’s Liz and in this lesson I would like to look at giving accurate data for IELTS writing task 1. Now it’s very important that all the information you give is accurate the examiner will check and any mistakes will lower your band score. Now let’s have a look at an example of inaccurate information and then I will give you lots of vocabulary to help you give better accurate information.

This chart shows the percentage of smokers in England in 2010. We’ve got percentages here. It is divided into men and women and we’ve got three different age group we’ve got 20 -30 30 to 40 and forty-plus. Now here is a sentence: In the age group 20 to 30, 28% of men smoked compared to 30% of women. This is a typical sentence that I get from many students. What is the problem? Can you see any mistake? Well this is the problem here now we can see that women is correct 30 percent but men we can see it is under 30 but we cannot see that it is 28. We don’t know. The number is not given its not clear. So what we need to do is we need to use flexible language to give the accurate information let’s have a look.

Under

  • under
  • below
  • less than
  • just under
  • slightly under
  • nearly
  • almost
  • close to
  • well under
  •  considerably less than

About

  • about
  • approximately
  • around

Over

  • over
  • above
  • more than
  • just over
  • slightly over
  • marginally above
  • well over
  • considerably more than

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Grammar for IELTS Writing: Adding a Clause Video Tutorial

This video tutorial will teach you how to improve your grammar for IELTS writing task 2 by adding a clause to a sentence to form a complex sentence structure. To get a good score, you must be able to demonstrate a range of grammar including the ability to use clauses.

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Common Questions for IELTS Speaking Part 1

There are over 15 types of questions which frequently come in IELTS speaking part 1. Even though the topics change, the common questions are often repeat so you should develop techniques for each type of question. Watch this video tutorial to learn what types of questions the examiner usually asks in IELTS speaking part 1 and also learn useful tips to help you identify the aim of each question.  Transcript

Hello my name is Liz. In this lesson I want to look at a different types of questions that the examiner might ask you and IELTS speaking part 1. Now as you know you need to prepare lots of different topics so for example family hobbies going out birthdays but you also need to prepare the different types of questions. So even though the examiner will ask you about different topics the questions are often the same. Let’s have a look at some common questions for IELTS speaking part 1.

So let take a look at a common topic and that’s the topic of cooking. It’s a common topic to get in speaking part 1. Now you can see a list of  questions here so let’s take a look at these questions more closely. What you can see is that each question begins with a different question word and this is very important to understand about speaking part 1 because every topic that you get in speaking part 1 can have questions that start with these question words. So for example, Read more….  

IELTS Speaking Part 1: Common Questions

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IELTS Speaking Part 2: How to start your talk

Start your talk with confidence by paraphrasing your topic card in IELTS speaking part 2. This video lesson gives advice and tips about the best way to begin your part 2 talk with example paraphrasing techniques to demonstrate a good command of English to the examiner. Target band score 6 and above.

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Video Lesson: How to improve your IELTS speaking: click here
Topics for IELTS speaking part 2: click here

Transcript

hello in this lesson I’m going to show
you

how to start your talk for IELTS speaking
part 2

now there is no right way all wrong way

to start your talk but I want to show
you a good way

to start and the topic we will use for
this lesson

is described a book you

recently read so let’s look at how to
start

here are to different ways to start

you could say I’d like to talk about

or I’m going to tell you about

now this one is a little bit more

formal and this one is less formal

but they are both fine the

IELTS Speaking test is not academic

it’s not formal so it’s okay to use

both of them you can also see here

that I’ve written I’d

and I’m so we don’t say

I would like to tell you about or

I am going to tell you about we say

I’d I’m and

this is to help you get a better band
score for your pronunciation

when you use the contraction I would

I’d this is better for your
pronunciation

now after this what

do you need to put well a lot of students

copy the words on that card and it’s not
very good to do that

if you want to get a band score

6 7 and above you need to show the
examiner

that you can use your own language

that you have flexible language

to paraphrase what is written on your
card

so it now let’s look at how we could

paraphrase that so here is one way

to paraphrase the information on the
card

I’d like to talk about a novel

which I read

two weeks ago so you can see that

the word book we paraphrased for the
word

novel now you need to

learn all the different types books

that you can’t read so was it a novel

was it fiction non-fiction was it a
guidebook

was it a self-help book so that’s
one way to paraphrase

take this word and be more accurate

what kind of book was it you can also
see here

I have put clause into the sentence

and that will help you get a higher band
score for your grammar and

here we’ve got two weeks ago

so instead of repeating the word
recently

we can give the time when

you did it two weeks ago 1 week ago

a month ago you can do that so that’s

a very nice way to paraphrase

and start your talk but we can improve
it

let’s have a look at one more and here’s
how we can improve

that start so you can see here that one
thing you can do

it give more information more
description

and we can use an adjective so here

I’ve used the adjective fascinating

which means really interesting
fascinating

you could also put useful

exciting you can describe

the book more and you can also see that
I’ve changed

this the paraphrase here and instead of
giving the information

I have given a paraphrase which is “not

so long ago” and that in a direct
paraphrase for recently

it’s very nice to use that and it

also means that during your talk

you can give more information about exactly

when you read the book and that’s
a way to

develop and extend your talk so I hope
you understand now

one way a good way to start your talk

well that’s all for this to happen I’ll
see you again

in another IELTS lesson

 

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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.

Paragraphs

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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