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A model pie chart report step by step


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This lesson gives you a step-by-step approach to dealing with pie charts in task 1. I talk you through how to identify the main points, select the supporting details and then structure your report. I then show you two model answers: one with standard vocabulary and then a much more advanced version with more vocabulary and grammar you can borrow.

The task
The following pie charts show the results of a survey into the most popular leisure activities in the United States of America in 1999 and 2009.
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Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Step 1: seeing the big picture


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The first step is to identify the main points of the two charts. This is not just an important part of the task and your band score, it will also help you write your description. The main points are normally obvious. Sometimes they are so obvious that candidates ignore them. Look at these questions: 1. How many activities are there in each chart? Just count 2. Are the activities the same in each chart? Read the key 3. Are there any changes in popularity between the two years? Look at the colours You should get these answers: 1. There are 8 activities for each year 2. 7 of 8 activities are the same 3. There are a number of differences in popularity between the two years.

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All you need to do now is put that into English and you have the main points of the report. Adding in a short description of the task we have: These two pie charts show the changes in popularity of different leisure activities in the United States of America between 1999 and 2009. We can see that the most popular leisure activities were almost the same in both periods, but there were a number of differences in popularity between the various activities.

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Step 2: choose the details to include

There are 16 different figures you can include. This is too many. The task is to select and report the most important details. This will include naming all the activities, but not all the numbers. To do this, try looking for: 1. the biggest number 2. the smallest number These are generally important details to include. You should also consider what changes beween the two charts, not least because the task asks you to make comparisons. So, ask yourself: 1. 2. 3. 4. whats gone up whats gone down what hasnt changed whats new

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Putting this together, we need these details: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. walking is most popular in both periods yoga disappears and weightlifting is new swimming doubles aerobics, jogging and cycling all fall soccer and camping dont change much

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Step 3: organise your report


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This will vary from task to task, but typically you will be looking at two content paragraphs. As you write your paragraphs, you want to think of three key ideas:

highlight the main points they come first group similar ideas together find a logical structure to present the points

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In this case, I would go with this structure: Paragraph 1 walking is much the biggest slice of the pie in both years weightlifting is new and yoga has gone It is clear that walking was the most popular activity in both 1999 and 2009 with around 30% of Americans saying that they preferred it. Also, yoga was no longer among the preferred activities in 2009, but weightlifting was chosen by 10% of people. Paragraph 2 refer to the other activities in order of popularity in 2009 soccer and swimming first, jogging and aerobics last note the biggest changes cycling, jogging and aerobics all big fallers, swimming the big riser. The second most popular activity was soccer at just under 20% in both years, a figure that was matched by swimming in 2009, having almost doubled in popularity over the previous decade. Most of the other activities became less popular over the same period of time, with cycling, jogging and aerobics all falling by at least a half to under 10%. The one exception to this trend was camping which stayed almost unchanged at around 9%.

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Step 4: get the vocabulary right


This is the big one and will take time to learn. To help you on your way, I show you two model answers with extensive vocabulary notes. My suggestion is start with the first one. Dont be worries that it looks too simple. it isnt. It is in fact extremely good band score 9. The when you have that right, take a look at the second version which has some more advanced vocabulary.

A good version
This is the final report These two pie charts show the changes in popularity of different leisure activities in the United States of America between 1999 and 2009. We can see that the most popular leisure activities were almost the same in both periods, but there were a number of differences in popularity between the various activities. It is clear that walking was the most popular activity in both 1999 and 2009, with around 30% of Americans saying that they preferred it. Also, yoga was no longer among the preferred activities in 2009, but weightlifting was chosen by 10% of people. The second most popular activity was soccer at just under 20% in both years, a figure that was matched by swimming in 2009, having almost doubled in popularity over the previous decade. Most of the other activities became less popular over the same period of time, with cycling, jogging and aerobics all falling by at least a half to under 10%. The one exception to this trend was camping which stayed almost unchanged at around 9%. Read about the vocabulary

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My band score 10 answer


The above report is exceptionally good. It covers all the right details (Task response), has a good range of grammar with relative clauses (Range and accuracy of grammar), is very coherent (well organised and linked) and has some range of vocabulary, even if some words are repeated (Lexical resource). This answer can help you by extending the range of vocabulary you use for:

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general words dealing with numbers linking

These two charts illustrate how the preferred leisure activities of Americans changed between 1999 and 2009.Generally speaking, while the list of activities remained almost identical over the decade, there were a number of changes in their relative popularity. It is immediately evident that walking was by some distance the most popular pastime in both years,accounting for just under a third of the preferences expressed. Of equal note is that by 2009, yoga had disappeared from the list of preferred activities and had been replaced by weightlifting, which was chosen by one in ten Americans.

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Among the less popular activities, the most notable development was that the proportion of people who went swimming doubled, making it equal second in popularity with soccer at 18%. In stark contrast, around as half as many Americans went cycling in 2009 as compared to ten years earlier, with the result that it became less popular than camping, at 7% and 9% respectively. Likewise, the number of people who went jogging and did aerobics also dropped significantly, with less than 5% of respondents to the survey choosing them. Read about the vocabulary

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11 Responses to A model pie chart report step by step

1. Viola September 16, 2011 at 10:11 am # WOW!! Reply

2. Kay September 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm # GREAT! Reply

3.
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Nadia Utrera September 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm # SMART!!!!!!! Reply

4. Iranian Candidate October 18, 2011 at 6:07 am #


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Dear Mr. Cole I appreciate your concern about leaving valuable tips for taking this high-stake test. Also it is kind of you to put all these information online for free. I am going to take the test On Nov 26 so I was wondering if you could reply my comments and give feedback on my performance. Thanks you in advance.

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Regards Reply

Dominic Cole December 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm # I do try and answer all my comments. If I dont, it simply means that I am taking a break form the site.

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Reply

5. Reader November 12, 2011 at 4:04 am # its a really great and very helpful lesson.
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Excellent! Reply

6. Hyder Mohammed November 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm # Dominic your awesome


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Reply

7. Thelonious M November 28, 2011 at 7:40 am # Very helpful! Fantastic stuff. Thanks heaps. Reply

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8. mara January 4, 2012 at 10:57 am # hello sir, my exam is in 2 days and Id really be grateful if you check my writing for these two charts and tell if Ive gotten it right! here it is: These two charts show us the change of popularity in different leisure activities in the United States of America between 1999 and 2009. We can see that seven out of eight leisure activities are identical and show slight changes to a higher or lower percentage while others almost maintain their pace or disappear completely. In this period of time a new activity adds to the preferred ones of the people of the United States. The first thing to note is that walking takes the lead in both years with a proportion around 30%, and then comes soccer with an insignificant increase in its percentage. Both of jogging and swimming have almost doubled in this period of time whereas aerobics and bicycling fell in numbers. Camping has almost remained the same with the slight increase of 1%, while yoga

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which ranked 5% in 1999 has disappeared all together in 2009 to be replaced by a new activity called weightlifting with the percentage of 10% its 163 words, please tell me if its good enough! thanks in advance
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Reply

Dominic Cole January 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm # Hi there I simply dont have the time/resources to check work properly from the site. I have had a quick look though and the one thing that stands out is tenses. You use a range of present tenses (simple and present perfect), while you must use a past tense to describe data that is in the past (1999 2009). Best of luck. let me know how it goes. Reply

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9. mara January 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm # Hello again I just wanted to tell you that Ive gotten my IELTS score today, I got: Listening 8 , Writing 7, Reading 7 and Speaking 7.5

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an overall of 7.5 and I have you and this awesome blog to thank for this because I took no courses whatsoever and studied depending on your tips only! so, THANKS a billion Reply )

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