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


  • about
  • approximately
  • around


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


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  1. Hello Ms Liz
    I have a question about writing Task 1
    You said that in bar chart, it is not correct write exact number when we are not sure the percentage, and it’s better to use under or over words before the number.
    But, I’ve heard that the examiner does not have question when they get a score. So, how the examiner understand these differences?
    For example, the 28% is true or over 30%?

    • I’m not sure what you mean: ” I’ve heard that the examiner does not have question when they get a score”. If you are talking about whether the examiner can see the task when they are scoring – the answer is YES, they can see it.

  2. Wonderful update.
    Thank you Ma.

  3. should i write plural in brackets in listening? eg book(s)

  4. What is the result of inappropriate or no use of articles(a/ an/the) ?

    Eg: While I was practising reading section 2 ( answer in no more than three words)
    Q. A final decision is made by ————–

    Is the answer correct if I write just “advisory panel” instead of “an advisory panel” (as mentioned in the answer key)
    Also, what if I use another article, in this case, let’s say “the advisory panel”?

    • It depends if it is to complete notes, such as a diagram, notes, table etc. Or you are completing sentences. Look at the question type.

  5. Prakash Patel says

    Hello Respected Madam,
    I have query related to listening section and and I have doubt in fill in the blank question. My question is if unit is there in question such as Kilometers, dollar, temperature and many more is already mention in question so is it essential to rewrite unit in answer shit.
    For example
    1 cost of accommodation $_________.
    And If answer is 300 so what should I write in as a answer only 300 or $300?

    • You write what is missing. Is the symbol “$” missing from the question? If it is missing, you write it on the answer sheet. If it is not missing, you don’t write it. Just be logical !!

  6. Hi Liz,
    Which one is correct: increased steadily or steadily increased? Could we use both? Do they have different meanings?
    Another question: lets take a complete sentence like this: The number of overseas visitors increased steadily to about 1000 in 2006. question is, if I want to write a new sentence after fullstop, can I say ‘This number/figure…. or these numbers or figures….’?

    Thank you Liz

  7. Devendra Mangrola says

    Hi liz,

    I am new about IELTS, can you provide guidance and how to score 8 band in exam?

  8. hi liz,
    is it good to use the terms “1 in 4″,”a quarter”,”about half of the population “in describing a barchart and piechart?and is it necessary to mention the accurate data in brackets when i have used the above terms?
    thanks in advance

  9. Halo liz, i saw your video about writing task 1 and it was about bar chart for (expenditure of France and the United Kingdom on Consumer Goods).
    My question is is it okay for use bracket in writing task ? (Both task 1 and 2) because i have followed a prep class in February 2016 and one of the teacher said to not use brackets.

    Looking forward for your answer 😊 thank you in advance

    • It is completely normal to use brackets to present data in writing task 1, which is a report. This is a usual and appropriate way to present data in a report. However, it is not recommended in task 2 which is an essay.

  10. Quart ul Ain says

    What is the cost of advanced lessons in pound sterling ?

  11. First of all thanx for everything u taught us and I just want to know, is that all your criteria of preparation is updated as per ielts marking attitude..

  12. U r awsome teacher

  13. Respected mam
    This is actually a very very helpful site. Thanx alot for providing a brilliant guidance to millions of people.

  14. Thank you

  15. darshan chudasama says

    do we have to compulsory leave a line after each paragraph in both task in the exam paper? because i think if we will leave i am afraid that we will not be able to complete 150 words.
    Pls can u tell what should i do..

  16. Hi Liz, just want ask what’s the difference between “it” and “with”, with regard to their uses in describing the data in task 1? Thank you

  17. hi everyone!!!! I’m new here))) can i ask one question from you Liz?

  18. Hi Liz

    Thanks for posting useful videos..I just need to ask one qs as u mentioned not to right data if we r not sure about exact number so do we need to write ‘under 30’ for all date within 20-30 range??

  19. Hi Liz,
    I still have a hard time in paraphrasing the word ‘number’ or even ‘percentage’ .
    Can i use proportion and amount as a substitute for number? Does it also apply to percentage?
    Thanks Liz.

    • Percentage is “proportion” and at times as “amount” or “rate” (but not all the time) and number can be paraphrased as “how many” in the introduction. There is very limited paraphrasing for these words. Your task is to paraphrase other words relating to the content of the graph or chart.

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