• Mai Duc Nguyen

Writing Task 1 Revision - Describing Pie Charts

Below you can find a number of useful tips for describing pie charts in IELTS Writing Task 1.

1. Make sure you use verbs in the right tense:

Whether you should use verbs in the past, present or future tense depends on the years given. For example, with the 3 pie charts above, you should use the past tense since all 3 years are in the past.

2. Diversify the way you express statistics:

For example, instead of writing 21%, you can express this figure as just more than a fifth. Similarly, 25% is equivalent to a quarter.

3. Build sentences correctly based on the given context:

My teaching experience shows that many IELTS candidates fail to integrate the given context into their essays. For example, writing "Facebook had 59% in 2011." or "The figure of Facebook in 2011 was 59%." is inadequate for a good mark.

The context of these pie charts is changes in market shares of the world's most popular social media networks. Therefore, a correct sentence can be "In 2012, approximately half (49%) of social media users chose Facebook.", or "In 2013, the market share of Google + was 14%.".

4. Make comparisons:

In addition to describing features of individual pie charts, you need to make comparisons between multiple charts. Making a comparison can fall under one of these 2 categories:

- Most/ Least Comparisons: In 3 three years given, the market shares of Facebook led the way and surpassed those of the other 4 social media channels.

- Higher/ Lower than Comparisons: In 2012, the market share of LinkedIn (12%) was higher than that of Google + (10%) but less considerable than that of Twitter (23%).

5. Describe trends where relevant:

When years are given, please don't forget to describe trends. For example: The market shares of Twitter witnessed an insignificant increase from 21% in 2011 to 25% in 2013.

Please click here to see sample IELTS Writing questions and answers.

What are the advantages of using pie charts to summarize and describe information, in comparison to other types of diagram such as line graphs and bar charts? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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