Bar Graph in IELTS Writing Task 1


6 mins read
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 26, 2024 14:39 IST

IELTS test takers aiming to get a perfect Band 9 response to the IELTS Bar Graphs Task 1 can refer to the article to build on providing accurate data analysis, precise vocabulary usage and effective organisational skills to master writing Bar Graphs Task 1.

Bar Graphs Task 1

What are Bar Graph in IELTS Writing Task 1?

Bar Graphs Task 1 is integral to the IELTS Writing Section Task 1. Bar charts or bar graphs are a common type of question in Writing Task 1 of the IELTS exam. They consist of rectangular bars, which can be orientated horizontally or vertically, with lengths proportionate to the data values they represent. Bar Graphs are typically used for comparing two or more values.

Bar charts can display data in either a linear or non-linear way. Candidates looking to attempt Bar Chart Task 1 of the IELTS writing section of the IELTS exam would be required to analyse the question, identify the main features, write an introduction, overview and detailed paragraphs on their observations of the Bar Graph Task 1 as part of their answer.

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Writing Task 1 Bar Graph – Sample Question with Answer

Sample Question: The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. (Write at least 150 words.)

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

bar graph task 1

Writing Task 1 Bar Graph - Sample Answer

The bar chart illustrates how many males and females have studied in full-time and part-time education in the following years: 1970 to 1971, 1980 to 1981 and 1990 to 1991.

It is clear that in all three time periods more people of both sexes were involved in part-time education than full-time. Overall the number of men in full-time education rose from approximatly 100 thousand to 200 thousand, whereas the number of men in part-time education was lower in the early nineties than twenty years earlier.

As far as women are concerned, the numbers increased in both sectors of education. The number of parttime female students increased dramatically from 700 thousand to 1.2 million in the twenty year period. The amount of women in full-time education went up more gradually from 100 thousand in 1971 to just over 200 thousand in 1991. This was similar the increase for full-time male students.

To sum up, the number of women in both sectors increased significantly while it seems that the rate of men entering part-time education decreased a little and was fluctuating.

source: Cambridge English

Writing task 1 bar graph – How to Answer

The key to responding successfully to Bar Graph visuals is to show that the IELTS test taker understands the big picture by identifying the main trends, major parts or stages and/or important differences that are evident in the graphic. So, rather than mechanically describing all the data, select and report on the most important and the most relevant aspects that appear.

IELTS test takers looking to score Band 7 and above in the IELTS writing section Task 1 should ideally follow a three-step approach.

Bar Graph Task 1: Introduction

Rather than simply repeating the prompt, IELTS test takers should craft a concise introduction that acts as a roadmap for their analysis. Candidates are advised to paraphrase the question in one sentence, mentioning the graph type, data source, and time period.

Bar Graph Task 1: Overview

In the overview section, candidates should summarize the key trends in one or two sentences. The overview section should also be used to Highlight significant increases, decreases, or fluctuations and provide a general understanding of the data.

Bar Graph Task 1: Body

In this section, candidates should dedicate a paragraph to each key feature. Candidates should ideally use specific figures, percentages, and data points from the graph to support their observations. Test takers should also look to explain trends, changes, and relationships between data points.

Candidates should note that each key feature must be supported by specific figures from the graph. Don't make claims without backing them up. Focus on the most important: Prioritize trends and features with the most significant impact, avoiding unnecessary details that clutter your response.

IELTS Writing Task 1 does not require a conclusion. Focus on the three steps above, and your response will be well-structured, informative, and packed with impactful data, leaving a lasting impression on the examiner.



Use clear and concise language.

Use informal language or contractions.

Maintain a formal and objective writing style.

Express personal opinions or beliefs.

Focus on the most important trends and features.

Include unnecessary details or irrelevant information.

Proofread your response for grammar and spelling errors

Write a conclusion – focus on the three steps above for a strong response.

Bar Graph Task 1 Bonus Tip

Practice writing within the time limit to improve your time management skills.

Seek feedback on your practice responses to identify areas for improvement.

Mastering the IELTS Task 1 Bar Graph requires practice and a strategic approach.

Bar Graph Task 1 Tips & Strategies

In this section, we are going to be talking about tips and practices that will help you to score Band 7 and above while dealing with Bar graphs. Here are some key tips to get you started:

  1. Before diving in, take a moment to fully grasp the instructions and what the examiner is looking for. Pay close attention to details like the time frame, data categories, and any specific comparisons or trends you need to analyze.
  2. Speak the Language of Bar Graphs: Brush up on your bar graph vocabulary! Familiarize yourself with terms that describe trends (increase, decrease, fluctuate), comparisons (higher, lower, similar), and proportions (the largest, the smallest, a significant portion). This will empower you to accurately describe and interpret the data presented in the graph.
  3. Analyze the Graph Inside Out: Give the bar graph your full attention! Identify the main categories or variables represented by the bars, along with the relevant axis labels. Don't miss any labels, titles, or legends that might offer additional clues. Look for any interesting patterns, changes, or outliers in the data.
  4. Start with a Clear Overview: Begin your response with a concise summary of the graph's key features. Highlight the highest and lowest values, any major trends, and any noteworthy comparisons or patterns you've observed. This overview sets the stage for your in-depth analysis.
  5. Structure Your Response Logically: Structure your writing in a clear and organized way. Start with an introduction that paraphrases the task statement and provides an overview. Then, craft your body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect of the graph (e.g., comparisons between categories or trends over time). Finally, wrap it up with a conclusion that summarizes your main findings.
  6. Use Data Like a Pro: As you describe the information from the graph, back up your statements with specific data points or figures. Refer to the bars, categories, or specific periods mentioned in the graph. This strengthens your analysis and demonstrates your ability to extract relevant information accurately.
  7. Write with Clarity and Precision: Make sure your sentences are grammatically correct and well-structured. Use comparative and descriptive language effectively to convey the information from the graph.
  8. Practice Under Pressure: Practice writing within the allotted time to improve your time management skills. Allocate enough time for analyzing the graph, planning your response, writing your paragraphs, and reviewing your work. Aim to complete the task within the recommended time frame to build confidence and boost your overall performance.
  9. Seek Guidance and Refine Your Skills: Share your writing with a teacher, tutor, or proficient English speaker for feedback on your strengths and areas for improvement. Practice writing multiple sample bar graph tasks to hone your skills in interpreting and describing different types of data.
  10. Proofread Like a Pro: Dedicate a few minutes at the end to proofread your response carefully. Check for any grammatical errors, typos, or inconsistencies. Make sure your writing flows smoothly and effectively communicates your ideas.

By following these tips and practising regularly, you'll be well on your way to mastering the IELTS bar graph task 1 and impressing the examiner with your data analysis skills.

About the Author
Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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