Writing Task 1 | Bar Charts Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

​It’s important that you use a range of phrases and structures to contrast (compare) data in order to receive a higher band for these types of Academic Writing Task 1.
​Today’s post will:
  • Help you to analyze bar charts.
  • Provide you with useful linking phrases for contrasting data.
  • Test your ability to contrast data.
  • Provide some useful vocabulary for talking about age groups.
  • Give you a graph to write about and the option to receive some feedback on your writing.

Let’s have a look at a typical bar chart task:
The graph below shows the number and age range of members of clubs at a university.
Picture


First we must understand the graph. It is very important that we do this before we begin writing. Test how well you understand the graph with the true or false interactive questions below.

ACtivity 1

ARE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE?

1. The numbers on the y-axis show percentages.
True
False
2. The x-axis (horizontal line) shows different societies.
True
False
3. The graph shows changes over time.
True
False
4. Two different age groups are shown.
True
False
5. There is no time reference for the graph.
True
False
6. There is no location given for the university.
True
False


​Activity 2

​Now you are going to use some linking words to contrast and compare the information in the graph. Chose the appropriate ending for each sentence.
COMPLETE THE SENTENCES

1. The arts and crafts society has the highest number of students in the 18-25 age bracket,
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
2. Only around 25 members of the younger age group are signed up to the hiking society
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
3. Certain clubs are obviously much more popular with one of the age groups,
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
4. Both the drama society and human rights society have slightly more members from the younger age group,
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
5. It is clear that those in the 18-25 age range are more involved in the university clubs
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
6. The drama and human rights groups attract a broader range of people
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
7. The other clubs are extremely popular with the younger age group,
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.
8. The arts and crafts society is the most popular group for the younger age bracket,
a) whereas the film society is equally popular with both.
b) in comparison with the hiking group.
c) but it is one of the least popular groups with the older age bracket.
d) compared with the older age group.
e) while the figure for 26-35 year-olds is about 50.
f) although they are fairly popular with both age groups.
g) while the human rights society is the most popular for older people.
h) whereas the opposite is true for the older age group.

Being able to use the language in the exercise above will really impress the IELTS examiner so make sure to review these answers in your own time, as well as checking out our notes below.

Our Grammar and Vocabulary Notes

​Notice that:
  • in comparison with
  • compared with

…are followed by noun phrases only (For example: In comparison with the hiking group)

Notice that:
  • whereas
  • but
  • while
  • although

…are followed by clauses (For example: …whereas the film society is equally popular with both.)

Notice that:
  • age group
  • age bracket

…are synonyms.

Notice that:
  • society
  • group
  • club

…are all synonyms.

Notice that:
  • if you are signed up to a group, then you are a member of the group.

Notice that:
  • a broader range
  • a wider range

…are synonyms.

Now let’s practice what we’ve learned with a writing task.

Writing Task

The graph presents information about the percentage of people employed in the United Kingdom, Italy and the G7 average.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

You must write at least 150 words.
Picture

​If you want some feedback, then copy and paste your essay into the comments section and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

For more on task 1, learn how to use vocabulary for data and figures here. 

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