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Sample question ielts writing task 1

May 24, 2018

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Task 1 Pie Chart

Sample Answer

by Bianca and Laura (students of IELTS Dublin)


You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.The pie charts show the electricity generated in Germany and France from all sources and renewables in the year 2009.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

The graph compares the different percentages of the main sources of energy between Germany and France in 2009. Some of the main sources included conventional thermal, nuclear and renewables. The various sources of energy are divided into "all types" and "renewables:. Renewables are broken down into biomass, hydroelectric and wind.

The main source of electricity in Germany came from conventional thermal, while in France power originated from Nuclear sources. On the other hand, in terms of renewables, there were not substantial differences between the two countries, indeed in both countries the percentage of this type of electricity was less than a fifth. In addition the pie shows that the main source of renewables in Germany originated from biomass, whereas in France it came from hydroelectric. Lastly, in both the countries the percentage of the geothermal was non-existent.

To sum up, the methods of electricity generation was very different when we compare the sources in the two countries.

Writing by Laura and Bianca, who are students at Everest Language School.

This example would get between 6 and 7 in the IELTS:

Ielts task 1 bands

Some more useful language for IELTS task 1 Pie Charts:

Vary your language

As with any task 1, this is important.  You should not keep repeating the same structures.  The key language when you write about pie charts is proportions and percentages.

Common phrases to see are "the proportion of…" or "the percentage of…"

However, you can also use other words and fractions. These are some examples from the model answer:

A large number of people

over a quarter of people

a small minority

A significant number of people

less than a fifth

This table presents some examples of how you can change percentages to fractions or ratios:

Percentage Fraction Percentage Fraction 40% two-fifths 80% four-fifths 35% more than a third 75% three-quarters 30% less than a third 70% seven in ten 25% a quarter 65% two-thirds 20% a fifth 60% three-fifths 15% less than a fifth 55% more than half 10% one in ten 50% half 5% one in twenty 45% more than two fifths

If the percentages are not exact as above, then you can use qualifiers to make sure your description remains accurate. Here are some examples:

Percentage Qualifier 77% just over three quarters 77% approximately three quarters 49% just under a half 49% nearly a half 32% almost a third

This table presents some examples of how you can change percentages to other phrases:

75% - 85% a very large majority 65% - 75% a significant proportion 10% - 15% a minority 5% a very small number

The words above are interchangeable, though number is for countable nouns and amount is for uncountable nouns.



Practice makes perfect when it comes to IELTS Writing. Luckily, we have a huge selection of IELTS Writing practice questions for you on this site.

There are two tasks in the Writing section of IELTS: Task 1 requires you to write 150 words describing a diagram or set of data; Task 2 is a discursive essay of 250 words. You must complete both tasks in one hour and you will be give a score of 0-9 on these four attributes: Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Grammar, and Vocabulary. Read more about the IELTS Writing test here.

Each of these IELTS writing practice questions comes with a Band 8 or 9 model answer and my explanation of how it achieves that score. Time to get started!

Full list of IELTS Writing practice questions and sample answers


Below is a sample answer for December 2016 writing task 1. The task  consists of one vertical bar chart and two pie charts. The sample answer is estimated at about band score 8.  The sample answer contains some grammar errors – can you find them? Answers below.

You can download a PDF copy of it at the bottom of the page. You can also find links to the main pages of IELTS tips at the bottom of this page.

December 2016, IELTS Writing Task 1


December 2016, Sample Answer

Estimated at band score 8

The bar chart and pie charts illustrate the percentage of people in Glasgow having three levels of education (university, school and those with no qualifications) in 2010. Information is divided into five age groups in the bar chart and by gender in the pie charts.

Overall, the majority of people with university education were in younger age groups, while in the oldest age group most people did not have any qualifications. The proportions of men and women were similar and showed little different between the levels of education.

The percentage of people with university education was up to 76% in the younger three age groups compared to only 50% in those ages 50 to 75 and just 25% in those over 75. This trend was reversed in those with no qualifications (9% in younger people rising to 72% in the oldest age group). The figure for those with school education was relatively constant at around 20% but was as low as 3% in the over 75’s.

The proportion of men and women in each level of education was around one third with only a slightly difference of 3% in university graduates as well as those who didn’t have educational qualifications.

Words = 198

There are a few grammar mistakes in this writing. Can you find them? Answers provided below

Download PDF Copies & Answers

IELTS Writing Task 1: ielts-writing-task-1-december-2016

December 2016 Sample Answer: model-task-1-dec-2016

Answers to Grammar Mistakes – click below to open:


Paragraph 2: in younger age groups = in the younger age groups

Paragraph 2: little different = little difference

Paragraph 3: in those ages 50 to 75 = in those aged 50 to 75

Paragraph 4: a slightly difference = a slight difference

Paragraph 4: didn’t = did not

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