If you think, “Ben, I know how to describe a pie chart’ consider this:
You may have to describe a big juicy pie chart, or even three, or possibly even with a bar chart…
…It doesn’t matter. Each scenario requires the ability to describe one, and if you want to score high in the academic IELTS test, you better know how.
Question is how?
Meet Tish from YES-IELTS.com, in this episode we go through the procedures to describe a pie chart.Tish explains what to expect, what to do, and the things you need to be aware of.
How to describe a pie chart.
-Use a two paragraph structure.
-Try to split the information into two groups.
-Use introductory and summary sentences.
Even if there are three graphs, aim for 2 groups of data because:
1. The question will have asked for a SUMMARY not a DESCRIPTION.
2. 150 words and 20 minutes are too short a time for details.
3. Dividing the information into 2 groups forms the basis for your paragraphs.
Introductory statement should include:
1. What type of graph it is and what it describes.
2. The time frame / data covered.
For the summary sentence:
1. Do not repeat the introduction: Show off your wonderful English!
2. Do report the major trend / a significant change.
Be aware of the tense used.
1. Use the present tense if there is no time frame shown.
2. Check the tense you use corresponds to the time frame.
Use a variety of grammar structures.
1. Include the passive.
TO BE + PAST PARTICIPLE;
The number of CDs which were sold increased dramatically.
2. Be aware of the official band descriptors.
Do not write every specific figure, try to identify trends.
1. Include the most relevant figures.
2. Look for the largest portion, the second largest and then the bottom section in the first pie chart.
3. Do the same for the second chart (assuming there are two pie charts).
Be flexible and varied with your vocabulary.
1. Use words like portion, sector, and third, quarter, two-thirds, etc.
2. Be aware of fractions, make sure you know that three-quarters is %75.
Notes for the summary.
1. Use generalizations: A few, the large majority, etc.
2. Do not use them with specific numbers.
The most common mistakes made when describing pie charts:
1. Referring to the graph as something other than a pie chart.
2. Including too many figures or not enough figures.
Tish has an IELTS exam correction service, and a large range of courses related to the IELTS exam, so have a look here.
- Click on the button Friends of YES! IELTS on the front page of www.yes-ielts.com
- Create a username and password for the YES! IELTS site
- Click on Friends of IELTS Podcast. The enrolment key to enter this area is Ben