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Task 1 Review


1 Openings
Begin by rewriting the title that you are given, but using different language,
and make a general comment on the statistics.
Use synonyms:
• The bar chart shows the number of children leaving school at the
age of 16 between 1995 and 2000.
✔ The bar chart illustrates the number of children who left school
after they reached 16 years of age over a five year period, starting
in 1995.
Make a general comment: Overall, the numbers are significantly lower in the
later years of the study.
2 The main body
Start with the most interesting point from the statistics. This is often the
category that has shown the greatest increase or decrease over the period
of the study, although it may also be the category that is the largest or the
Describe a large change:
✔ The most interesting growth occurred in the cities of Jakarta and
✔ The greatest change can be seen in the figures for the United
Describe the largest / smallest category:
✔ Tokyo had by far the largest population in the year 1992.
✔ The highest levels of smoking can be seen in Europe.
✔ Levels of literacy were lowest in the African countries in the

✔ Last year, the number of burglaries increased by 15 percent.
✔ The percentage of households with a computer increased from
32.9% to 52%.
✔ The world's population is increasing at a rate of 91 million people
each year.
✔ Land prices have increased dramatically during the last thirty
years. (=by a surprisingly large amount)
✔ The ratio of women to men in management positions has been
increasing steadily. (=more women are becoming managers)
! Increase = to rise / to expand/ to soar / to escalate
! To double / to triple /to quadruple

Since 1990, U.S. imports of foreign goods have grown at a rate

of 7.7 percent per year.
During the last 15 years, earnings have tripled for men and
doubled for women.
After two years of no growth, the economy started to expand
again in 2003.
Interest rates soared to over 100 percent.
Energy costs have escalated.
! STUDY NOTE: Grammar
The -ing forms of many of these verbs can also be used as
adjectives, for example:
 the increasing demand for cheap goods
 rising unemployment
 the growing problem of industrial pollution
 soaring inflation
 escalating fuel costs
Continue to add comments on the information in order of importance. Try to
make connections between the different parts of the chart.
Contrast results:
✔ This trend is reversed in the under 16 category.
✔ While the number of male smokers has fallen, the number of
female smokers has remained stable.
✔ There was a clear distinction between the answers given by
men and women.
Find similarities:
✔ There was a similar trend in the United States.
✔ A similar pattern can be observed among the unemployed.
What you say when comparing things or people
compared to/with used when comparing things or people,
especially when comparing numbers or amounts:
This year's profits are much higher compared to last year's.
The average male now has a life expectancy of 77.6 years,
compared with 75 in 1960.
Total spending on health care represents about 4 percent of
GDP. Compared to most other advanced economies, that figure
is low.
Mortality rates are lower for women as compared with men.
by comparison/in comparison when compared with another
thing, person etc:
Young male drivers have far more accidents by comparison
with other groups.
Wages are low in comparison with the US.
The amount of money spent on advertising milk pales in
comparison to (=is much less than) the money spent on
advertising beer.
as against/as opposed to conjunction used when you are
comparing two figures or pieces of information, in order to show
how they are different:
The company achieved sales of $404 million, as against $310
million in the previous year.
One study predicted that 42% of female university graduates
would remain single the rest of their lives, as opposed to just
5% of male graduates.
unlike preposition used when saying that people or things are
Unlike his brother, he had no interest in music.
The drug has very few side effects, unlike other drugs that are
used to treat this illness.
in contrast/by contrast used when mentioning the difference
between two things, people, countries etc that you are comparing:
In contrast to the south of the island, the north is still
untouched by tourism.
The US and Australia, in contrast with most other leading
industrialized nations, chose not to sign the Kyoto Protocol on
climate change.
Studies show that each execution costs $3.5 million. By
contrast it costs about $600,000 to keep someone in prison for
in proportion to/in relation to used when considering the
relationship between the amount or size of something compared to
another thing:
People from Sweden pay the highest rates of tax in proportion
to their incomes.
His head is big in proportion to the rest of his body.
Britain's national debt was greater than that of the US in
relation to the size of its economy.
3 Ending your description
You should keep a general comment on the statistics for the last sentence. It
is important not to speculate about the information or make suggestions,
unless you are specifically asked to do so in the question.
Conclude your findings:
✔ Overall, there was a general rise in pollution in all three
✔ Finally, we can see that there were significant differences in
the results for the different socio-economic groups.
4 Describing percentages
Try to generalize about percentages, rather than repeat the exact figure that
you are given.
Use fractions:
✔ A third of the money was spent on entertainment.
✔ Three quarters of the respondents stated that they were
travelling for business purposes.
The general construction for fractions is: a + third + of + the +
plural verb.
✔ For example: A quarter of the people had never smoked in
their lives.

Half is an exception: a + half + of + the + singular verb, or half +

the + singular verb.
✔ For example: A half of the money was spent on food. =Half the
money was spent on food.
Use proportions:
✔ Two out of three people felt that the government should be
responsible, compared to only one in four who felt that it was
the responsibility of business and industry. (Instead of two
thirds or a quarter.)
If the first number is 1, use the preposition in. If the first number is higher
than 1, use the preposition out of. For example: One in three people
would like to see the government pay for higher education.
Three out of four people said that they had smoked at
some time in their lives.

Use general vocabulary to describe the size of something:

✔ The majority of the people felt that it would have a negative
✔ A small minority claimed that they had seen no improvements.
5 Comparing between categories
You will often have to compare the results of two different categories in the
statistical information.
Use a general comparative adjective + than:
✔ The figures for France were significantly lower than the other
three groups.
✔ Levels of pollution were slightly better the following year.
We often use comparative adjective + than when the difference is
small and must be expressed as a percentage:
✔ The amount was 50% lower than the previous year.
✔ The numbers were only 20% higher than the results before the
Use as + adjective + as:
✔ The figures were three times as high in France as in Germany.
✔ The newer model was four times as popular as the older
as + adjective + as particularly useful for large changes expressed
as multiples:
✔ The figures were twice as high as the previous year.
6 Describing trends
Many factual descriptions require you to compare information over a period
of time.
Describe increases:
✔ The number of people smoking more than ten cigarettes a day
rose significantly in the five year period.
Describe decreases:
✔ There was a significant drop in the number of deaths caused
by heart disease.
✔ The number of people using public transport fell significantly
between 1950 and 2005.
Describe future predictions:
✔ The statistics predict an increase in the levels of pollution in
these major cities in the next five years.
7 Identifying categories
Introduce the category with the word number, amount, level, proportion,
percentage, rate, quantity
Use the + amount + of + uncountable noun + singular verb:
✔ The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has increased.
Use the + number + of + plural noun + singular verb:
✔ The number of people unemployed rose sharply.
Use the + level + of + noun + singular verb:
✔ The level of fast food consumption has risen.
Use the quantity of + (un)countable noun

The level of production = The rate of production

The level of expenditure = The rate of expenditure
The level of unemployment = The rate of
Level being represented by a bar graph / Level + rise
Rate being represented by a line graph / Rate + increase
The line graph shows information on estimated sales of gold in Dubai
for 12 months in 2002 in millions of Dirham. It is (generally) true to
say that there was a fluctuation in the sales of gold during the year,
witnessing the highest peak in March and reaching the lowest point in July.
As can be seen from the graph , Dubai gold sales were consistently
above 200 milliom Dirhams monthly , shooting up to a peak of 350
million Dirhams in March . By contrast , there were steady decreases in
the sales of gold for the next four months , experiencing an annual low of
120 million Dirhams in July
Another striking feature is that there was a significant increase with
its sales almost doubling from 120 million dirhams in July to 210 million
dirhams in August . This was then followed by a sharp drop , being
similar to the July figure
As a final point , it is interesting to note that From September to
October, sales recovered slightly, from 120 to 180 million and then
remained steady in October and November, but later there was a
modest increase in December to 190 million dirhams. (199 words)