In this IELTS Writing Task 1 tutorial you’ll learn different ways to describe a Pie Chart for IELTS.
We will talk about the best language to use and teach you how to structure your writing task to get the best results for your IELTS Exam.
How to Structure your Writing Task for Academic Task 1 – Pie Chart IELTS
To help with your IELTS Preparation we will give you a step by step guide on how to structure your Pie Charts description to receive great results on your Writing Task 1 Exam.
Step 1 – Prepare
- Look for the biggest and smallest sections of your Pie Charts – what do they represent? What is the percentage?
- Make a quick analysis – note down the times, dates and measurements.
- See the big picture, avoid getting lost in the details. After all this is a summarizing task.
- When you are confident you have selected the main features, carry on to Step 2.
Step 2 – Organise your findings into two groups
When organising the information into two separate groups focus on these topics for your pie charts:
- Major trends
- Major groups
- Group information
- Other similar ideas
Step 3 – Structure everything into this Four Paragraph model
Write one sentence explaining what the graphs shows. You can paraphrase the title.
Pie Chart title: Holiday destinations chosen by Welsh people 1955-2005.
Your first sentence: The pie chart shows the vacation preferences of Welsh people over a fifty year period starting in 1955 and finishing in 2005.
Talk about the information that you have separated in Step 2. Focus on the first group.
Talk about the information that you have separated in Step 2. Focus on the second group.
Two sentences summarising your description. (What are the major overall trends, changes, etc.)
1.Tips for Interpreting Pie Charts in IELTS
We will begin by giving you some general tips for interpreting a Pie Chart in your IELTS Academic Writing Task .
These tips are good to keep in mind from the moment you take the first look at the Pie Charts given to you, to the moment you finish your writing task 1:
- If you cannot compare the information of your Pie Charts, don’t panic. In such a case giving a summary of each picture is fine. Make comparisons where relevant. Take a look at our tutorial on how to compare pie charts here.
- Avoid giving personal opinions at all costs. (E.g. If the graph shows rising prices and you know it’s because of a war in Middle East, do not say anything. Your personal opinion must not be mentioned.)
- Always pay attention to the time frame of your Pie Charts and use the appropriate tense (past, present or future).
- Focus on getting all of the appropriate data from the Pie Charts/Graphs into your writing.
- These are quick tips, if you are still struggling you should consider enrolling in an online course to prepare for IELTS.
- For pie chart interpretation examples and model essays, click here.
2. Vocabulary for IELTS Pie Charts
Now that you have the understanding of how to structure your description of Pie Charts and Graphs for IELTS Writing Task 1, let’s talk about the language you should use.
Here are a few examples of good wording for the largest section of your Pie Charts:
It is clear that ____represents the largest portion of _____, whereas _____ is undoubtedly the smallest.
Sales of _____ stood at __% in 1925, which is the majority of_____.
(If the percentage is around 60%) – Nearly a third…
(If the percentage is around 52%) – Over a half of all respondents…
Here are a few examples of good wording for the smallest section of your Pie Chart:
A small fraction…
Exactly 30% of students…
(If the percentage is around 25%) Roughly a quarter of respondents
…whereas sales for _____ were just 10%.
In 1955 approximately three quarters were ____, whereas in 1960 this had fallen to just under a fifth.
3.Which tense should you use?
These are the two basic rules you should follow:
Check the graph title, and the pie chart subtitles, look for dates!
– if the year is before the present year (i.e. 2018), use the past tense
– if the year is after the present year (i.e 2019), use the future tense
– if there is no year, use the present simple tense
Check you don’t accidentally switch the tense half way through.
Sometimes you will get charts and graphs that will require you to use more than one tense, but do this deliberately and with caution.
For a more in depth tutorial about tenses check out this page: 126 IELTS Academic Task 1 – What tense?!
4.. Audio Tutorial : IELTS Writing : How to describe a Pie Chart
IELTS Academic Task 1 How to describe a Pie Chart
Useful Resources for Academic IELTS
A popular question for the Academic task 1 is about comparing pie charts, take a look at our tutorial on how to compare two pie charts here.
Graphic Detail – Great resource from the Economist.com -perfect for chart descriptions and graphic explanations of current events.
Sample Academic Task 1 Diagrams – from bar charts to pie charts, lots of sample diagrams.
Learn how to describe a bar chart for IELTS, full tutorial here.
High quality IELTS essay correction for feedback and improvement, here.