IELTS writing - Task 1 report- describing numbers
Part of the skill in task 1 writing is dealing with numbers. With a pie chart, line graph or table you need be able to summarise the key details: to do this you need the language of numbers, as you should not simply write out all the numbers - it is a summarising task. This can be surprisingly complex to do as the figures in most task 1 exercises are not “simple figures” but rather more complex
How to describe differences accurately
40 is double is 20, but what about 42 and 20? Or 30 and 88?
These are the sort of “complex figures” you may need to describe in the exam and the examiner is looking for an accurate description of just this type of numbers. What you need to do is compare the numbers. Here is some helpful language for you: it is important that you have some variations here
Basic meaning | Variation | Variation | Variation | Variation |
about | approximately | around | more or less | |
more than | over | just over | ||
less than | under | just under | almost | nearly |
exactly | precisely |
So 40 is exactly double 20
42 is approximately double 20
30 is just over a third of 88
More language of numbers
To do this well, you need some mathematical language too:
simple language | simple figures | complex language | complex figures |
double | 40:80 | approximately double the amount | 40:82 |
twice | 40:80 | twice as many people | 40:80 |
three times | 30:90 | over three times as many people | 30:100 |
four times | 50:200 | nearly four times as many people | 50:190 |
half | 60:30 | about half the amount of televisions | 60:28 |
a third | 120:40 | precisely a third of the televisions | 120:40 |
a quarter | 160:40 | almost a quarter of all televisions | 160:35 |
a fifth | 150:30 | just over one fifth of all televisions | 150:33 |
a fraction | 100:8 | a small fraction of students | 1000:25 |
percentage | % | a significant percentage of students | 65% |
proportion | similar to % | a large proportion of students | 80% |
.
A test
How well can you work with number language? Try this brief quiz to find out.
22 September 2009 at 10:04
Hi...
Do u have sentence structures to describe chart or graph by kind? I also would like to know how to write comparison of data in case there are more than 2 graphs or charts in the exam. Thks.