IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Bar Graph

9/1/2015 2:13:11 PM
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Like line graphs, bar graphs are often given in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. Bar graphs display data either horizontally or vertically and allow viewers to compare items shown. Most data relate to things like amounts, characteristics, times, frequency,etc. Bar graphs display information in a way that helps us to make generalisations and conclusions quickly and easily.

When interpreting a bar graph, you should look at the tallest bar and the shortest bar. You should also look at the title, inconsistencies, and ask why they are there.

If there are many bars, you can sometimes group them together for the description of two or three bars which have similar or the same values. lf there are very many bars and you cannot group them, just describe the ones that are the most significant.

Essential Expressions

Below are useful sentences for describing changes in bar graphs.

Case 01 A steady rise
  1. The number of people rises[increases. goes up] each year.
  2. Each year, the number of people is rising[increasing, going up].

Case 02 Comparing numbers of working hours​
  1. X worked more hours than Y.
  2. X worked the most[greatestl number of hours.
  3. Z worked the least[fewestl number of hours.

Case 03 Comparing percentages completed
  1. X has a higher percentage than Y.
  2. X has the highest percentage completed.
  3. Z has the lowest percentage completed.
  4. X completed the most.
  5. Z completed the least.

Case 04 Describing increases and decreases
  1. CD X increases continually.
  2. Y decreases continually.
  3. X increases while Y decreases.
  4. X and Y are the same in 2002.
  5. In 2003, X becomes greater than Y.
  6. Y becomes less than X in 2003.

Case 05 Comparing changes
  1. The price of X in 1990 is greater than in 1995.
  2. In 1995, the price of X is less than in 1990.
  3. The price of Y increases from 1990 to 1995.
  4. From 1990 to 1995. the price of x falls. but the price of Y
  5. The prices of X and Y go in opposite directions from 1990 to
    Price 1995.

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