IELTS Writing Task 1: How to describe BAR GRAPHS

In today’s we’re going to talk about the test known as the IELTS. So if you are going to be writing the IELTS essay , this article ┬áis for you. Now, in this video we’re talking specifically about if you’re writing the academic IELTS. If you’re, you know, just here for general interest, you can still learn quite a bit from this video because we will be talking about different vocabulary and grammar. So this video can also help you if you’re not taking the IELTS also.

Okay, so what are we going to be talking about specifically in this video? Well, if you’re taking the IELTS you probably know that there’s a writing part of the IELTS. The writing part has two sections, we call them Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2. In this video I’m going to cover a small bit of Writing Task 1. So, in Writing Task 1 you’re going to be given some sort of visual image. Okay? So you might see something like this, this, or this. It might be a chart, it might be a table, but you’re going to see some sort of visual and you need to describe what you’re seeing. So this video… I’ve covered different types of Writing Task 1 and I’ll talk about the links to some of these other videos at the end, but in this specific video we’re going to be talking about bar graphs. Okay?

So, first of all: What is a bar graph? Well, so I have here three different types of charts or graphs. We have this one, this one, and this one. This is called a pie chart. Okay? I’ve covered this in another video, so if you’re interested in learning how to write about pie charts, you can check out that video. But you’ll notice with a pie chart it looks kind of like a pizza or a pie. It’s in a circle and it’s… Has different colours representing different percents.

We have here, this is called a line graph. So you’ll notice that there’s a line and, you know, sometimes this represents time, sometimes it represents other things, but with a line graph you’ll notice, like, increases and decreases, but it’s one connected line. We’re not covering either of these in this video.

What we’re going to be covering is another thing you might see on the IELTS, which is you might be given a picture like this. This is called a bar graph or a bar chart. So we have here these rectangular-shaped things that are each a different colour. These are known as bars. Okay? So, I know a bar is a place you go to buy beer, but in this case a bar is not that, it’s actually this kind of rectangle on the chart. So, on the IELTS you may get a picture of something like this. You might actually get a picture of two things together, or you might get a picture of something a lot more complicated than this. In this case we’re going to talk about: What would you do and say, and what are some tips if you get a picture of a bar graph or a bar chart?

Okay, so what are you going to have to do? Specifically they’re going to ask you… After you get a picture like this, they’re going to ask you to describe what you see. Okay? So you’re describing the main information. You’re also going to have to maybe make comparisons, say how things are similar or how things are different, which is contrast. So, for example, if this is, you know, different activities, maybe you might say that the red is shopping and the blue is golfing. In this case, shopping is less popular than golfing. Okay? So pretty much you need to compare the different bars and say: What are the same about them? Which ones are similar and which ones are different?

You’re also going to have to report any main features or trends. Okay? So maybe you’ll see a pattern and you’re going to have to write about, you know, some of these main points you see when you look at the visualization. You do not write your opinion. Okay? So if this is a graph on education, maybe this is elementary school, secondary school, university, master’s, and like a doctorate or something – you do not write what you think about it. Okay? All you do is in this type of question you’re just writing what you see and what it means. You’re not writing your opinion on anything. So you should not write the words: “I think” or “In my opinion”, you’ll actually lose marks for this. So in task 1, no opinion; that’s for task 2.