IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Percentages of Sodium, Saturated Fats, Sugars in Meals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Percentages of Sodium, Saturated Fats, Sugars in Meals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 14 showing pie charts of what makes up breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in the average meal in the USA.

The first thing to notice about this graph is that it does not show time.

That means that you won’t be writing about trends, increase, decrease, etc.

Instead, it is basically all comparision of different percentages/proportions. I think that makes these graphs easier to write about.

The trickiest part is the general overview and the structure of the paragraphs.

Read the essay and analysis below to see how I handled these two problems!

If you want to read some more sample answers from IELTS Cambridge 14, you can read a task 2 about unsatisfactory lives here.

Enjoy!

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Percentages of Sodium, Saturated Fats, Sugars in Meals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

The charts below show the average percentages in typical meals of three types of nutrients, all of which may be unhealthy if eaten too much.

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

IELTS Cambridge 14 Pie Charts

IELTS Cambridge 14 Pie Charts

The graph shows how much sodium, saturated fat and added sugars were consumed in the average meal in the United States. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the majority of sodium and fat were consumed at dinner, while most sugar was eaten in snacks. Lunch also tended to be salty and have a lot of fat while breakfast had the lowest percentages for all three nutrients.

Dinner and lunch had roughly similar, large proportions for both sodium (43% for dinner and 29% for lunch) and saturated fat (37% for dinner and 26% for lunch). The amount of sugar in an average meal for dinner and lunch was much lower at 23% and 19%, respectively.

Turning to breakfast and lunch, which also had comparable percentages, they were both made up of 14% sodium. For saturated fats, snacks contained 21% and breakfast was slightly lower at 16%. In terms of sugar, there was the greatest disparity with 42% of snacks being sugary and just 18% of breakfasts being made up of sugar.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. The graph shows how much sodium, saturated fat and added sugars were consumed in the average meal in the United States. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the majority of sodium and fat were consumed at dinner, while most sugar was eaten in snacks. 3. Lunch also tended to be salty and have a lot of fat while breakfast had the lowest percentages for all three nutrients.

1. The first sentence of the essay should just paraphrase the topic – don’t waste too much time on this sentence.

2-3. Next is the most most important sentence of your essay – your general overview. For this type of graph just make a comparision of ALL the different areas. Read more about overviews here.

1. Dinner and lunch had roughly similar, large proportions for both sodium (43% for dinner and 29% for lunch) and saturated fat (37% for dinner and 26% for lunch). 2. The amount of sugar in an average meal for dinner and lunch was much lower at 23% and 19%, respectively.

1. The first sentence contains the meals I will talk about. I chose to focus on lunch and dinner first and then in the next paragraph breakfast and snacks because they have more similar numbers. It would have been harder to write about the ingredients instead of the meals. But it is possible! Just make sure you have some kind of a logical structure for your paragraphs!

2. The second sentence finishes givin the data. Always include the data or you will get band 5 for task achievement!

1. Turning to breakfast and lunch, which also had comparable percentages, they were both made up of 14% sodium. 2. For saturated fats, snacks contained 21% and breakfast was slightly lower at 16%. 3. In terms of sugar, there was the greatest disparity with 42% of snacks being sugary and just 18% of breakfasts being made up of sugar.

1. The first sentence focuses on the other meals, gives my reason for focusing on them and describes the data. 

2. My next sentence continues to describe and compare the data for lunch and snacks.

3. My final sentence finishes the data. You don’t need a conclusion! You can include one if you feel that your overview needs a bit more detail though…

Sample Answer Vocabulary

Try to figure out what the words in bold mean from the sentences. Write down your guesses and then check your answers below.

The graph shows how much sodium, saturated fat and added sugars were consumed in the average meal in the United States. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the majority of sodium and fat were consumed at dinner, while most sugar was eaten in snacks. Lunch also tended to be salty and have a lot of fat while breakfast had the lowest percentages for all three nutrients.

Dinner and lunch had roughly similar, large proportions for both sodium (43% for dinner and 29% for lunch) and saturated fat (37% for dinner and 26% for lunch). The amount of sugar in an average meal for dinner and lunch was much lower at 23% and 19%, respectively.

Turning to breakfast and lunch, which also had comparable percentages, they were both made up of 14% sodium. For saturated fats, snacks contained 21% and breakfast was slightly lower at 16%. In terms of sugar, there was the greatest disparity with 42% of snacks being sugary and just 18% of breakfasts being made up of sugar.

Answers:

consumed: eaten

average meal: the amount that people normally eat

readily apparent: very clear

majority: most of

tended to be: usually did

nutrients: the compounds that make up foods

roughly similar: not that different

respectively: in turn/for each category

turning to: looking at the next area

comparable: similiar

made up of: composed/consisting of

slightly lower: a little bit less

greatest disparity: biggest difference

sugary: full of sugar/sweet

Pronunciation:

kənˈsjuːmd 
ˈævərɪʤ miːl 
ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈtɛndɪd tuː biː 
ˈnjuːtrɪənts
ˈrʌfli ˈsɪmɪlə 
rɪsˈpɛktɪvli
ˈtɜːnɪŋ tuː  
ˈkɒmpərəbl 
meɪd ʌp ɒv 
ˈslaɪtli ˈləʊə 
ˈgreɪtɪst dɪsˈpærɪti 
ˈʃʊgəri 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The graph shows how much sodium, saturated fat and added sugars were ___________ in the ___________ in the United States. Looking from an overall perspective, it is ___________ that the ___________ of sodium and fat were consumed at dinner, while most sugar was eaten in snacks. Lunch also ___________ salty and have a lot of fat while breakfast had the lowest percentages for all three ___________.

Dinner and lunch had ___________, large proportions for both sodium (43% for dinner and 29% for lunch) and saturated fat (37% for dinner and 26% for lunch). The amount of sugar in an average meal for dinner and lunch was much lower at 23% and 19%, ___________.

___________ breakfast and lunch, which also had ___________percentages, they were both ___________ 14% sodium. For saturated fats, snacks contained 21% and breakfast was ___________ at 16%. In terms of sugar, there was the ___________ with 42% of snacks being ___________and just 18% of breakfasts being made up of sugar.

Links from YouTube and Articles

School Lunches Around the World

Profiting from School Lunches

This is 200 Calories

USA vs South Korean Food

Comment below – What do people in your country usually eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks?

A lot of people will have…

The biggest lunch here is …

For ________, most people get something like…

It’s really common in _______ to…

 

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Acceptance / Unsatisfactory Lives (IELTS Cambridge 14)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Acceptance / Unsatisfactory Lives (IELTS Cambridge 14)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 14 and it is an interesting question.

It seems to me that it is really only possible to take one side with this one – that people should try to improve their situation.

But maybe you disagree!

Regardless, you have to write about both sides. Do one paragraph on one view and the other on the opposite view. Make sure that by the end (and in the introduction) you have chosen a side. Be crystal clear!

One tricky part of this question that you should notice is that the question itself includes two examples of unsatisfactory situations. You don’t have to focus on those examples in your answer though – I didn’t!

If you need some review on structures your can read about IELTS Task 2 Writing structure here.

Here are some other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

IELTS Cambridge 14 Sample Answer

IELTS Cambridge 14 Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Acceptance / Unsatisfactory (IELTS Cambridge 14) by Dave

Some people believe that it is best to accept a bad situation, such as an unsatisfactory job or shortage of money. Others argue that it is better to try and improve such situations.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many people find themselves in situations where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to move up in the world. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be pragmatic in some cases, it is still better to at least strive to improve your situation as it can usually be bettered to some degree.

On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to drastically change their situation and acceptance of this fact will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. The best example of this would be those people living in dire economic conditions. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of developed infrastructure and internal strife in recent years. For a person living in a small village, ravaged by war or famine, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation at the present moment and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a severe economic downturn.

On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through continued effort. Instances of people who worked hard and became successful abound in both developed and developing nations. Some relevant examples of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All those countries were devastated by war to greater and lesser degrees yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. In Japan, World War 2 left their population depleted of workers, a deep national debt due to reparations and infrastructure reduced to rubble. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through notable companies like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. The efficacy of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives is reflected in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all war-torn nations.

To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be advisable to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off to some degree in the vast majority of cases. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be rewarded, while a more defeatist attitude is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

 

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Many people find themselves in situations where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to move up in the world. 2. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be pragmatic in some cases, it is still better to at least strive to improve your situation as it can usually be bettered to some degree.

1. The first sentence states the topic – write this sentence very quickly because it’s not that important.

2. Next is my opinion, be sure that this is clear and include it in both your introduction and conclusion.

1. On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to drastically change their situation and acceptance of this fact will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. 2. The best example of this would be those people living in dire economic conditions. 3. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of developed infrastructure and internal strife in recent years. 4. For a person living in a small village, ravaged by war or famine, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. 5. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation at the present moment and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. 6. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a severe economic downturn.

1. My first sentence is the topic sentence and clearly states what the paragraph will be about – some people will feel more satisfied by accepting their situation.

2. The second sentence start my example by focusing on countries where the economy is bad.

3. My third sentence focus more specifically on the Congo as my main example.

4. The fourth sentence further develops this example of the Congo.

5. The fifth sentence pulls out some general conclusions related to this example.

6. My sixth sentence makes the example more general by relating it to similar countries.

1. On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through continued effort. 2. Instances of people who worked hard and became successful abound in both developed and developing nations. 3. Some relevant examples of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. 4. All those countries were devastated by war to greater and lesser degrees yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. 5. In Japan, World War 2 left their population depleted of workers, a deep national debt due to reparations and infrastructure reduced to rubble. 6. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through notable companies like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. 7. The efficacy of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives is reflected in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all war-torn nations.

1. My first sentence is the topic sentence that again says the main topic for the whole paragraph – people can change their lives through effort. It’s a simple main idea but make sure that you develop your simple, obvious main ideas with clear, extended examples!

2. My second sentence begins to introduce the example of countries impacted by wars.

3. The third sentence makes those examples more specific by focusing on some real countries.

4. My fourth sentence describes why those countries are good examples of countries making changes.

5. The fifth sentence focuses specifically on Japan.

6. The sixth sentence talks about the people and companies of Japan because this is more relevant to the question.

7. The sixth sentence continues to focus on how individuals making an effort can change their lives and how this will be reflected in the overall progress/condition of a nation.

1. To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be advisable to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off to some degree in the vast majority of cases. 2. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be rewarded, while a more defeatist attitude is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

1. The first sentence states my opinion for the second time and my main reason why.

2. My second sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners will require for band 7 and above.

 

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the words in bold mean? If you’re not sure, don’t use a dictionary – try to figure out the meaning from the whole sentence then check your answers below!

Many people find themselves in situations where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to move up in the world. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be pragmatic in some cases, it is still better to at least strive to improve your situation as it can usually be bettered to some degree.

On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to drastically change their situation and acceptance of this fact will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. The best example of this would be those people living in dire economic conditions. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of developed infrastructure and internal strife in recent years. For a person living in a small village, ravaged by war or famine, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation at the present moment and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a severe economic downturn.

On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through continued effort. Instances of people who worked hard and became successful abound in both developed and developing nations. Some relevant examples of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All those countries were devastated by war to greater and lesser degrees yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. In Japan, World War 2 left their population depleted of workers, a deep national debt due to reparations and infrastructure reduced to rubble. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through notable companies like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. The efficacy of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives is reflected in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all war-torn nations.

To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be advisable to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off to some degree in the vast majority of cases. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be rewarded, while a more defeatist attitude is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

 

Answers:

find themselves in situations: are in situations (that weren’t their fault)

move up in the world: improve your standing in life

pragmatic: dealing with the world realistically and sensibly

strive: try hard

bettered to some degree: get a little bit better

drastically change: change a lot

acceptance of this fact: believe something is true

dire economic conditions: severe economic problems

developed infrastructure: good roads, buildings, etc.

internal strife: deep problems in a country

ravaged by war or famine: destroyed by war and hunger

at the present moment: right now

severe economic downturn: the economy getting much worse

dispute: disagree with

continued effort: keep trying

instances abound: lots of examples

relevant examples: examples that are related to this issue

devastated: destroyed or greatly weakened

to greater and lesser degrees: to some extent

depleted of: empty of

deep national debt: a country owing a lot of money

reparations: paying money back for wrong-doing

reduced to rubble: made into ruins

notable companies: prominent companies

efficacy: the ability to make something happen/accomplish something

reflected: mirrored

war-torn nations: countries with wars hurting them

advisable: recommended

to some degree: to some extent

rewarded: get a reward/something back

defeatist attitude: thinking that everything will turn out badly/you will always lose

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many people _________________ where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to _____________. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be _____________ in some cases, it is still better to at least ____________ to improve your situation as it can usually be ____________.

On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to ____________ their situation and ____________ will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. The best example of this would be those people living in ____________. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of ____________ and ____________ in recent years. For a person living in a small village, ____________, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation ____________ and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a ____________.

On the other hand, few would ____________ the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through ________________________ of people who worked hard and became successful ____________ in both developed and developing nations. Some ____________ of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All those countries were ____________ by war ____________ yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. In Japan, World War 2 left their population ____________ workers, a ____________ due to ____________ and infrastructure ____________. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through ____________ like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. The ____________ of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives i____________ in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all____________.

To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be ____________ to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off ____________ in the vast majority of cases. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be ____________, while a more ____________ is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Germany after the War

Japan under American Occupation

DR Congo’s journey into chaos – BBC News

3 Habits That Will Change Your Life

Comment below – What kind of habits have you changed to make your life better?

In my morning, I’ll typically…

In terms of my study habits…

When I get into a relationship, I try to…

The biggest change I’ve made in my life in recent years is…

 

 

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – keep up to date with your English and your IELTS (and up to date with me)!

IELTS Writing Task 1: University Sports Centre Map (IELTS Cambridge 13)

IELTS Writing Task 1: University Sports Centre Map (IELTS Cambridge 13)

This is an IELTS Cambridge 13 Map Sample Answer based on a map of a sports centre now and future plans for its redevelopment.

When it comes to IELTS task 1 writing, I prefer to write about maps. I think it is easier to structure and describe all the information.

The trickiest part is the overview. I tell my students that they should focus on two things: what changed and a way to group/describe the changes. This is very similar to the overview for a process.

A lot of students make the mistake of just listing the changes or saying that there were major changes. Those don’t count as overviews and you will get band 5 for task achievement.

Make sure that you describe the changes but also define them in some way – for example, by saying that the building has become more modern.

Just be careful not to veer into opinion. Modern is fine. Convenient is not because that is opinion/specualtion about how people will view the changes.

As always, practice makes perfect!

Check out some task 2 sample answers here.

Here is another task 1 writing sample also from IELTS Cambridge 13.

Enjoy!

IELTS Writing Task 1: University Sports Centre Map (IELTS Cambridge 13) by Dave (former IELTS examiner)

The plans below show the layout of a university’s sports centre now, and how it will look after redevelopment.

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

IELTS Cambridge 13 Writing Task 1 Map Sports Centre

The diagrams detail the present construction of a sports centre and plans for its renovation. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that there are plans to remove the outdoor courts and expand the gym with additional facilities for swimming, changing, dancing, and activities largely unrelated to exercise like shopping and having coffee.

At the moment, the university’s main building is flanked by large outdoor courts. The plan is to remove the western courts in favour of a leisure pool larger in size than the current pool, which will itself remain unchanged during renovations. The entire main building will not undergo alterations including the changing rooms, reception and seating area. The only slight exception is that the gym on the northern end of the building will be lengthened eastwards and connect with two new adjoining dance studios.

The outdoor court on the eastern side will be replaced by a sports hall and to the southeast of the sports hall the university will add an additional changing room (which is mirrored by the same room in the southwestern corner of the plans) and an abutting cafe to the west. The large entrance area will not be impeded in any way but a new sports shop will open next to the westernmost changing room.

 

 

Analysis

1. The diagrams detail the present construction of a sports centre and plans for its renovation. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that there are plans to remove the outdoor courts and expand the gym with additional facilities for swimming, changing, dancing, and activities largely unrelated to exercise like shopping and having coffee.

1. My first sentence repeats the topic. This sentence won’t have a major impact on your vocabulary or task achievement score so write it as quickly as possible!

2. The second sentence is my general overview. Be sure that you at least touch on all areas (without simply listing them) by trying to group them together in some say (and define, not give an opinion on, the biggest changes). Try to limit your overview to one or two sentences, though you can add on a conclusion at the end with more information if you feel your overview didn’t include all the changes.

 

1. At the moment, the university’s main building is flanked by large outdoor courts. 2. The plan is to remove the western courts in favour of a leisure pool larger in size than the current pool, which will itself remain unchanged during renovations. 3. The entire main building will not undergo alterations including the changing rooms, reception and seating area. 4. The only slight exception is that the gym on the northern end of the building will be lengthened eastwards and connect with two new adjoining dance studios.

1. I begin with the map in the past and a general description of the largest area of the map. Try to give your writing a logical structure starting with the topic sentence.

2. The second sentence describes one of the biggest changes (the new pool) and includes a part of the map that has not changed. It is important to mention what changes as well as what doesn’t change.

3. My third sentence further details the areas that will not change.

4. My fourth sentence includes an exception and some of the other changes taking place near the main building.

 

1. The outdoor court on the eastern side will be replaced by a sports hall and to the southeast of the sports hall the university will add an additional changing room (which is mirrored by the same room in the southwestern corner of the plans) and an abutting cafe to the west. 2. The large entrance area will not be impeded in any way but a new sports shop will open next to the westernmost changing room.

1. In the first sentence I describe the changes to the courts and what will replace them.

2. The second sentence finishes describing all the changes not yet mentioned as well as the entrance area (which will not change).

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the gaps with the useful vocabulary for maps:

The diagrams detail the present _________________ of a sports centre and plans for its _____________. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that there are plans to ____________ the outdoor courts and ____________ the gym with ____________ facilities for swimming, changing, dancing, and activities ____________ unrelated to exercise like shopping and having coffee.

At the moment, the university’s main building is ____________ by large outdoor courts. The plan is to remove the western courts ____________ a leisure pool larger in size than the current pool, which will itself remain unchanged during renovations. The entire main building will not ____________ including the changing rooms, reception and seating area. The only ____________ is that the gym on the northern end of the building will be ____________ ____________ and ____________ with two new ____________ dance studios.

The outdoor court on the eastern side will be ____________ a sports hall and to the ____________ of the sports hall the university will add an additional changing room (which is ____________ the same room in the southwestern corner of the plans) and an ____________ cafe to the west. The large entrance area will not be ____________ in any way but a new sports shop will open next to the westernmost changing room.

 

Answers

The diagrams detail the present construction of a sports centre and plans for its renovation. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that there are plans to remove the outdoor courts and expand the gym with additional facilities for swimming, changing, dancing, and activities largely unrelated to exercise like shopping and having coffee.

At the moment, the university’s main building is flanked by large outdoor courts. The plan is to remove the western courts in favour of a leisure pool larger in size than the current pool, which will itself remain unchanged during renovations. The entire main building will not undergo alterations including the changing rooms, reception and seating area. The only slight exception is that the gym on the northern end of the building will be lengthened eastwards and connect with two new adjoining dance studios.

The outdoor court on the eastern side will be replaced by a sports hall and to the southeast of the sports hall the university will add an additional changing room (which is mirrored by the same room in the southwestern corner of the plans) and an abutting cafe to the west. The large entrance area will not be impeded in any way but a new sports shop will open next to the westernmost changing room.

 

 

Vocabulary Definitions

construction: the buildings

renovation: to remodel or change

remove: to get rid of

expand: to make larger

additional: another one

unrelated: not related, different

flanked: on either side of

in favour of: in order to have, replaced by

undergo alterations: have changes made

slight exception: small difference

lengthened eastwards: made longer going to the East

connect: join together

adjoining: connected

replaced: takes the place of

southeast: to the south and east

mirrored: reflected, in the same place but on the other side

abutting: next to

impeded: in the way of, blocking

 

Grammar Practice

I put some grammar mistakes related to prepositions in it – can you find and correct all the prepositions?

The diagrams detail the present construction of a sports centre and plans to its renovation. Looking at an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that there are plans for remove the outdoor courts and expand the gym towards additional facilities for swimming, changing, dancing, and activities largely unrelated with exercise like shopping and having coffee.

At the moment, the university’s main building is flanked in large outdoor courts. The plan is to remove the western courts in favour at a leisure pool larger in size that the current pool, which will itself remain unchanged during renovations. The entire main building will not undergo alterations including the changing rooms, reception and seating area. The only slight exception is that the gym upon the northern end of the building will be lengthened eastwards and connect for two new adjoining dance studios.

The outdoor court on the eastern side will on replaced by a sports hall and to the southeast of the sports hall the university will add an additional changing room (which is mirrored for the same room in the southwestern corner at the plans) and an abutting cafe at the west. The large entrance area will not be impeded in any way but a new sports shop will open next to the westernmost changing room.

 

 

Answers

The diagrams detail the present construction of a sports centre and plans for its renovation. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that there are plans to remove the outdoor courts and expand the gym with additional facilities for swimming, changing, dancing, and activities largely unrelated to exercise like shopping and having coffee.

At the moment, the university’s main building is flanked by large outdoor courts. The plan is to remove the western courts in favour of a leisure pool larger in size that the current pool, which will itself remain unchanged during renovations. The entire main building will not undergo alterations including the changing rooms, reception and seating area. The only slight exception is that the gym on the northern end of the building will be lengthened eastwards and connect with two new adjoining dance studios.

The outdoor court on the eastern side will be replaced by a sports hall and to the southeast of the sports hall the university will add an additional changing room (which is mirrored by the same room in the southwestern corner of the plans) and an abutting cafe to the west. The large entrance area will not be impeded in any way but a new sports shop will open next to the westernmost changing room.

 

Links

You can find some useful images for task 1 writing here on HowtodoIELTS’ Instagram.

Here are some links related to maps:

Why All World Maps are Wrong

Maps that Show Us Who We are (not just Where We are) | Danny Dorling

Comment any questions that you have about IELTS maps below!

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Bar Chart Production and Consumption of Electricity (IELTS Cambridge 13)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Bar Chart Production and Consumption of Electricity (IELTS Cambridge 13)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer based on a bar chart showing the consumption and production of Electricity from the Cambridge IELTS 13 book real past tests.

This isn’t really a tough graph but, to be honest, it’s annoying.

There is a ton of data and it is really repetitive to just list all of it. This graph makes you question why this task exists at all because the visual chart is so much easier to understand compared to what you have to write about it.

But complaining about your lot in life only distracts you from the task at hand!

You can read below to see how I dealt with this annoying graph.

You can find my task 2 sample answers here.

If you need more help with task 1, try some of my posts here.

Good luck (to me and you)!

 

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Bar Chart Production and Consumption of Electricity (IELTS Cambridge 13)

The bar chart below shows the top ten countries for the production and consumption of electricity in 2014.

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

IELTS Writing Task 1: Electricity Bar Chart (Cambridge 13)

IELTS Writing Task 1: Electricity Bar Chart (Cambridge 13) by Dave (former IELTS examiner)

The chart illustrates electricity consumption and production in the top ten highest countries in 2014. It is clear from the chart that all countries, with the exception of Germany, produce marginally more than they consume. The two top countries, the United States and particularly China, were strong outliers while the remaining countries had similar numbers and lagged far behind in both production and consumption.

China produced and consumed the most, at 5,398 billion and 5,322 kWh, respectively. The next nearest country in terms of both statistics was the US, where residents consumed 3,866 kilowats an hour and produced slightly more at 4,099.

Russian lead the rest of the nations with 1,057 (in production) and 1,038 kWh (consumption) followed by Japan (936.2 for production and 856.7 kWh for consumption). India and Canada ranked 5th and 6th with India producing 871 kWh and consuming 698.8 while Canada was slightly lower in both (618.9 and 499.9 kWh). In the 7th and 8th spots were France (producing 561.2 kWh and consuming 462.9) and Brazil recorded numbers at 530.7 and 455.8 for production and consumption, respectively. In the final two positions were Germany and the Republic of Korea with Germany having higher production that Korea (526.6 to 485.1 kWh) as well as consumption (582.5 kWh compared with 449.5).

 

Sample Answer Analysis

1. The chart illustrates electricity consumption and production in the top ten highest countries in 2014. 2. It is clear from the chart that all countries, with the exception of Germany, produce marginally more than they consume. 3. The two top countries, the United States and particularly China, were strong outliers while the remaining countries had similar numbers and lagged far behind in both production and consumption.

1. This first sentence simply paraphrases the topic – don’t waste a lot of time on this, it’s not really all that important.

2. This is the most important sentence in your whole IELTS test – the overview. Here I include the most general takeaway – which is that most countries produce more electricity than they consume.

3. My third sentence continues the overview by including the ranking for the countries – be sure to include this and aim for around 2 sentences for your overview to make sure you include enough detail

1. China produced and consumed the most, at 5,398 billion and 5,322 kWh, respectively. 2. The next nearest country in terms of both statistics was the US, where residents consumed 3,866 kilowats an hour and produced slightly more at 4,099.

1. The first sentence begins with China, the country at the top of the chart.

2. I then compare with the United States and conclude the paragraph. You should group together and compare the data logically and use paragraphs to build the structure of your essay.

1. Russian lead the rest of the nations with 1,057 (in production) and 1,038 kWh (consumption) followed by Japan (936.2 for production and 856.7 kWh for consumption). 2. India and Canada ranked 5th and 6th with India producing 871 kWh and consuming 698.8 while Canada was slightly lower in both (618.9 and 499.9 kWh). 3. In the 7th and 8th spots were France (producing 561.2 kWh and consuming 462.9) and Brazil recorded numbers at 530.7 and 455.8 for production and consumption, respectively. 4. In the final two positions were Germany and the Republic of Korea with Germany having higher production that Korea (526.6 to 485.1 kWh) as well as consumption (582.5 kWh compared with 449.5).

1. My second paragraph contains all the other information so it is much longer. I start with Russia and Japan.

2. Then move on to the next countries and compare them – India and Canada. All these countries have similar statistics so I just list them. If there were more distinct groups I would compare groups, rather than single countries.

3. Next are France and Brazil. Notice that I use different ways to include the data (sometimes parenthesis, sometimes just listing it). Don’t worry too much about varying it every time but you also shouldn’t use the exact same grammar and vocabulary for each sentence or it will be clear that you are reliant on a few simple structures and that will limit you to around band 6 for vocabulary and grammar.

4. My final sentence details the last two countries and compares them: Germany and Korea. You should always be comparing – every single sentence is some kind of comparision for IELTS Writing Task 1.

 

Vocabulary Practice

Can you think of a paraphrase or a synonym for each of the words in bold below?

The chart illustrates electricity consumption and production in the top ten highest countries in 2014. It is clear from the chart that all countries, with the exception of Germany, produce marginally more than they consume. The two top countries, the United States and particularly China, were strong outliers while the remaining countries had similar numbers and lagged far behind in both production and consumption.

China produced and consumed the most, at 5,398 billion and 5,322 kWh, respectively. The next nearest country in terms of both statistics was the US, where residents consumed 3,866 kilowats an hour and produced slightly more at 4,099.

Russian lead the rest of the nations with 1,057 (in production) and 1,038 kWh (consumption) followed by Japan (936.2 for production and 856.7 kWh for consumption). India and Canada ranked 5th and 6th with India producing 871 kWh and consuming 698.8 while Canada was slightly lower in both (618.9 and 499.9 kWh). In the 7th and 8th spots were France (producing 561.2 kWh and consuming 462.9) and Brazil recorded numbers at 530.7 and 455.8 for production and consumption, respectively. In the final two positions were Germany and the Republic of Korea with Germany having higher production that Korea (526.6 to 485.1 kWh) as well as consumption (582.5 kWh compared with 449.5).

Answers 

consumption: usage

top ten highest: among the ten largest producers and consumers

It is clear from the chart: it is readily apparent that

exception: except for, with only ____ bucking this trend, showing a different trend

marginally: slightly, barely

particularly: especially

outliers: standing out, well beyond, leading/far behind

lagged far behind: by far the lowest/least

respectively: in turn

statistics: numbers, figures, production, consumption

residents: people living there, population

the rest of: the remaining nations

followed by: next, after that, trailing, leading

slightly lower: just below/under

recorded: noted, shown in the graph

as well as: and, also, in addition to

 

Pronunciation: 

kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən   

tɒp tɛn ˈhaɪɪst 

ɪt ɪz klɪə frɒm ðə ʧɑːt 

ɪkˈsɛpʃən 

ˈmɑːʤɪnəli 

pəˈtɪkjʊləli 

ˈaʊtˌlaɪəz 

lægd fɑː bɪˈhaɪnd 

rɪsˈpɛktɪvli 

stəˈtɪstɪks 

ˈrɛzɪdənts 

ðə rɛst ɒv 

ˈfɒləʊd baɪ 

ˈslaɪtli ˈləʊə 

rɪˈkɔːdɪd 

æz wɛl æz

 

Grammar Practice

I put some simple grammar mistakes with articles and tense in it this time – can you find and correct the grammar mistakes? 

The chart illustrated (illustrates) electricity consumption and production in top ten highest countries in 2014. It is clear from a chart that all countries, with the exception of Germany, are producing marginally more than they consume. The two top countries, United States and particularly China, were strong outliers while the remaining countries had had similar numbers and lagged far behind in both production and consumption.

China produced and consumed the most, at 5,398 billion and 5,322 kWh, respectively. The next nearest country in terms of both statistics was the US, where residents have consumed 3,866 kilowats an hour and produced slightly more at the 4,099.

Russian lead the rest of nations with 1,057 (in production) and 1,038 kWh (consumption) followed by Japan (936.2 for production and 856.7 kWh for consumption). India and Canada rank 5th and 6th with India producing 871 kWh and consuming 698.8 while Canada was slightly lower in both (618.9 and 499.9 kWh). In a 7th and 8th spots were France (producing 561.2 kWh and consuming 462.9) and Brazil recorded numbers at 530.7 and 455.8 for production and consumption, respectively. In the final two positions was were Germany and Republic of Korea with Germany having higher production that Korea (526.6 to 485.1 kWh) as well as consumption (582.5 kWh compared with 449.5).

 

 

Answers

The chart illustrates electricity consumption and production in the top ten highest countries in 2014. It is clear from the chart that all countries, with the exception of Germany, produce marginally more than they consume. The two top countries, the United States and particularly China, were strong outliers while the remaining countries had similar numbers and lagged far behind in both production and consumption.

China produced and consumed the most, at 5,398 billion and 5,322 kWh, respectively. The next nearest country in terms of both statistics was the US, where residents consumed 3,866 kilowats an hour and produced slightly more at 4,099.

Russian lead the rest of the nations with 1,057 (in production) and 1,038 kWh (consumption) followed by Japan (936.2 for production and 856.7 kWh for consumption). India and Canada ranked 5th and 6th with India producing 871 kWh and consuming 698.8 while Canada was slightly lower in both (618.9 and 499.9 kWh). In the 7th and 8th spots were France (producing 561.2 kWh and consuming 462.9) and Brazil recorded numbers at 530.7 and 455.8 for production and consumption, respectively. In the final two positions were Germany and the Republic of Korea with Germany having higher production that Korea (526.6 to 485.1 kWh) as well as consumption (582.5 kWh compared with 449.5).

Links

Here is my live lesson on task 1 writing overviews from my YouTube channel.

Here is a very long BBC documentary about the Story of Electricity.

If you’re interested in Static Electricity for some reason then look no further.

Watch about Benjamin Franklin to learn his relationship to electricity and maybe use him as an important example on the test at some point.

You can find some useful images for task 1 writing here on HowtodoIELTS’ Instagram.

Comment Below:

Do you leave the lights on in your house when you go out?

How much is your monthly electricity bill?

Which devices in your house consume the most energy?

Where does energy come from primarily in your country? Solar panels? Coal? Nuclear? Oil?

 

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Model Answer: Talking about School

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Model Answer: Talking about School

There’s a really great chance that the topic of school or education will come up in the IELTS speaking test – here’s my model answer on it!

A couple of key tips for your speaking:

1. If you don’t understand the question, you can ask for clarification of specific words but you can’t ask ‘Can you explain that?’ The examiner will just repeat the question and then move on if you don’t understand.

2. There’s no task achievement for speaking so if you are not 100% sure about the question you can try answering it anyway as long as you get the topic.

3. Don’t talk forever or too little! Aim for about 10 – 30 seconds per answer and 2 – 4 sentences.

You can read some more tips here and about exactly what will happen on your test here.

I have also written some model answers for speaking about friends and free time and phones.

Finally, I did a full IELTS speaking test that you can watch here.

Enjoy!

 

 

IELTS Speaking Part 1 Model Answer: Talking about School by Dave!

Watch more like it on my YouTube Channel.

 

 

Practice Activities!

Listen and fill in the gaps:

What did you like the most about your school?

Well, if you _______________ – if you’re talking about my primary school – the _______________ I liked were my teachers. I don’t know if it was just because I was a kid at the time but they were really warm and friendly – and it was some of my teachers _______________ – that inspired me to have a life-long passion for reading. I remember in particular one teacher – I can’t remember her name – it was Mrs. Riley or something – and she would always encourage me to read books, _______________ me books, talk about books with me. And that really got me _______________ books at a time when I was really _______________ .

Answers:

What did you like the most about your school?

Well, if you put me on the spot – if you’re talking about my primary school – the number one thing I liked were my teachers. I don’t know if it was just because I was a kid at the time but they were really warm and friendly – and it was some of my teachers back then – that inspired me to have a life-long passion for reading. I remember in particular one teacher – I can’t remember her name – it was Mrs. Riley or something – and she would always encourage me to read books, loan me books, talk about books with me. And that really got me into books at a time when I was really impressionable.

Listen and correct the mistakes:

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

Not really, I’ve got one better friend back in the United States, but we don’t actually walk all that much anymore. He recently got married and we used to be best buddies, we would hang out as school, we’d go buy pizza together, we’d ride around together, we chatted about girls and about school and about our future – all this stuff – but since I’ve moved to Vietnam we’ve kind of known apart and we’re not really as closely as we used to been.

Answers:

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

Not really, I’ve got one best friend back in the States, but we don’t actually talk all that much anymore. He recently got married and we used to be best buds, we would hang out after school, we’d go get pizza together, we’d drive around together, we chatted about girls and about school and about out future – all that stuff – but since I’ve moved to Vietnam we’ve kind of grown apart and we’re not really as close as we used to be.

Listen and add in the grammar:

What were your best subjects in school?

I – (donot have) that many good subjects at all but I  – (is) really good in literature because I  – (read) a lot so it just  – (come) naturally to me. I  – (is) also good in history. I never  – (study) but I  – (listen) in class and I  – (have) like a, like a brilliant memory, almost like a photographic memory but not quite. And I  – (can) just  – (remember) dates and names and everything – simple! So I never  –  (have) to study but I always  – (get) top marks in history. And besides that I  – (is) good in gym because I  – (is) very athletic but even if  – (you are) not athletic  – (it is) easy to get good marks when  –  (you are) in gym. I  – (is not) good at math or the sciences or anything like that – things where you actually  – (have) to  – (put) in real work, I  – (is) bad at those things.

 

Answers:

What were your best subjects in school?

I didn’t have that many good subjects at all but I was really good in literature because I read a lot so it just came naturally to me. I was also good in history. I never studied but I listened in class and I had – like a – like a brilliant memory – almost like a photographic memory but not quite. And I could just remember dates and names and everything – simple! So I never had to study but I always got top marks in history. And besides that I was good in gym because I was very athletic but even if you’re not athletic it’s easy to get good marks when you’re in gym. I wasn’t good at math or the sciences or anything like that – things where you actually had to put in real work – I was bad at those things.

Choose the correct options:

What do most students in your country do after school?

It’s a big country/county so I can’t really answer for everyone but the school I used to go to – most kids would play sport/sports after school. So girls used to/usually played soccer and depending on the season/reason guys would play basketball or soccer or hockey. If you weren’t doing that, there was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School could/would go to play computer games or do art or something like that. Some kids would just head/lead home – that’s what I did most of the time. I wanted to get home, play computer games – be alone. So I’d just head home if I wasn’t hanging out with a friend or something like this/that. I think there might have also been some after-school classes but they’re actually not that commonplace/common in America. Most people when they finish school, they’re done with school and they’re moving on to do something fun/funny after school.

Answers:

What do most students in your country do after school?

It’s a big country so I can’t really answer for everyone but the school I used to go to – most kids would play sport after school. So girls usually played soccer and depending on the season guys would play basketball or soccer or hockey. If you weren’t doing that, there was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School would go to play computer games or do art or something like that. Some kids would just head home – that’s what I did most of the time. I wanted to get home, play computer games – be alone. So I’d just head home if I wasn’t hanging out with a friend or something like that. I think there might have also been some after-school classes but they’re actually not that common in America. Most people when they finish school, they’re done with school and they’re moving on to do something fun after school.

 

 

Key IELTS Speaking Vocabulary:

  • put me on the spot – make me say

  • at the time – back then

  • back then – then

  • inspired me – got me into

  • life-long passion – interest in

  • in particular – especially

  • loan me books – let me borrow

  • impressionable – easily influenced

  • stay in contact – keep in touch

  • the States – America, the USA

  • best buds – best friends

  • chatted about – talked about

  • grown apart – drifted apart

  • came naturally to me – was easy

  • photographic memory – n/a

  • not quite – almost

  • got top marks – straight As

  • put in real work – work hard

  • can’t really answer for everyone – can’t speak for everyone

  • depending on the season – if it was…

  • outcasts – loners, social outcasts

  • head home – go home

Grammar relative clauses with ‘where’:

‘There was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School would go to play computer games’

If you want to get a band 6 and above for grammar you should include at least one relative clause in your IELTS speaking.

Luckily, the rules for relative clauses are simple and you probably use some already.

There are two main kinds: defining and non-defining.

A defining one is super important for the meaning of the sentence: ‘The place where I met him was really crowded.’

A non-defining one just gives extra information (and uses commas) and is less important – just an extra detail: ‘The club, where my friend also works by the way, was where I met him.’

Some words that you can use for relative clauses include: where, who, what, that, and which

Write some examples of the places you remember well from your childhood:

‘There was a library, where people mainly went to use the internet, and I….’

 

 

Full Sample Answers

What did you like the most about your school?

Well, if you put me on the spot – if you’re talking about my primary school – the number one thing I liked were my teachers. I don’t know if it was just because I was a kid at the time but they were really warm and friendly – and it was some of my teachers back then – that inspired me to have a life-long passion for reading. I remember in particular one teacher – I can’t remember her name – it was Mrs. Riley or something – and she would always encourage me to read books, loan me books, talk about books with me. And that really got me into books at a time when I was really impressionable.

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

Not really, I’ve got one best friend back in the States, but we don’t actually talk all that much anymore. He recently got married and we used to be best buds, we would hang out after school, we’d go get pizza together, we’d drive around together, we chatted about girls and about school and about out future – all that stuff – but since I’ve moved to Vietnam we’ve kind of grown apart and we’re not really as close as we used to be.

What were your best subjects in school?

I didn’t have that many good subjects at all but I was really good in literature because I read a lot so it just came naturally to me. I was also good in history. I never studied but I listened in class and I had – like a – like a brilliant memory – almost like a photographic memory but not quite. And I could just remember dates and names and everything – simple! So I never had to study but I always got top marks in history. And besides that I was good in gym because I was very athletic but even if you’re not athletic it’s easy to get good marks when you’re in gym. I wasn’t good at math or the sciences or anything like that – things where you actually had to put in real work – I was bad at those things.

What do most students in your country do after school?

It’s a big country so I can’t really answer for everyone but the school I used to go to – most kids would play sport after school. So girls usually played soccer and depending on the season guys would play basketball or soccer or hockey. If you weren’t doing that, there was like an after-school recreational community ‘club’ where a lot of outcasts in High School would go to play computer games or do art or something like that. Some kids would just head home – that’s what I did most of the time. I wanted to get home, play computer games – be alone. So I’d just head home if I wasn’t hanging out with a friend or something like that. I think there might have also been some after-school classes but they’re actually not that common in America. Most people when they finish school, they’re done with school and they’re moving on to do something fun after school.

 

 

Comment below:

What did you like the most about your school?

Do you stay in contact with old school friends?

What were your best subjects in school?

What do most students in your country do after school?