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 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, which 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, which 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, which 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, which 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, which 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 Writing Task 1: Bar Chart Owned and Rented Households (IELTS Cambridge 13)

IELTS Writing Task 1: Bar Chart Owned and Rented Households (IELTS Cambridge 13)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample answer from the IELTS Cambridge books and it’s one of the easiest task 1s that I have ever seen on IELTS. But that’s a great opportunity for you to do an amazing job on it!

If you want to impress the examiner on Task 1 writing, you not only need to describe all the data well but you need to use really strong vocabulary and grammar in a clear structure.

This graph is simple but it is a real challenge to describe it well. Even if you know what you have to do, it is always a challenge to actually do it.

Read on for analysis of what I did with it as well as some vocabulary that you can easily apply to your writing, links and more!

Here are some of my other writing samples for Task 2 and Task 1.

Enjoy!

Dave

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 1: Bar Chart Owned and Rented Households (IELTS Cambridge 13) by Dave (former IELTS examiner)

The chart below shows the percentage of households in owned and rented accomodation in England and Wales between 1918 and 2011.

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

IELTS Cambrdige 13 Writing Task 1: Households England and Wales

IELTS Cambrdige 13 Writing Task 1: Households England and Wales

The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

 

 

 

Analysis

1. The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. 2. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. 3. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

1. The first sentence simply paraphrases (changes some of the words) from the task question. Don’t waste time on this sentence – write it as fast as your hand will move and the pencil will write without setting the paper on fire!

2. The second sentence is the most important sentence of the whole task, the whole writing test, all of IELTS and your entire life! My general overview covers the main trend (for both categories). You can read more about how to write an overview here.

3. The third sentence finishes my overview. Overviews should only be about 2, maximum 3 sentences, long. Do not mention any specific data or give any opinion/speculation.

 

1. In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at nearly 80%. 2. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. 3. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. 4. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

1. I start with the logical place – the first year. I compare the rentals and ownership in that year. Every single sentence you write should have some sort of comparision. No exceptions!

2. My second sentence summarises the trend that I will continue to detail.

3. My third sentence gives the specific data and years. Always, always include the year and the key data or you could end up with a 5 for task achievement!

4. My fourth sentence continues the comparision of specific data.

 

1. This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. 2. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. 3. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

1. My first sentence continues to describe them as ownership overtakes rentals in the middle of the period.

2. The second sentence compares ownership’s data with rentals.

3. My final sentence includes all the data from the graph.

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

I put some mistakes into the writing below – can you find and correct the vocabulary mistakes? Some are too informal, others are just incorrect vocabulary…

The described presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposites with a sharper increase in ownership and a reflecting decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of all the period, overall ownership had overcome renting by a big margin.

In 1918, household ownership witnessed at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at near 80%. From that point it was a steady jump in ownership and disaster in rentals. Rentals climbed 69% in 1939 and held straight until 1953 before dying to 59% in 1961. Ownership flew upwards to 31% in 1939, stayed put there in 1953 before equal with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals very down to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the ungrowing rate of rentals recovered to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a upwards that went against at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses going under to way over 60%.

 

Answers

The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

 

Vocabulary Definitions

presented: illustrated or shown

opposite trends: reverse movement

sharp increase: increased quickly

reciprocal decline: decreasing in the opposite direction

by the end of the period: at the end of the graph

overtaken: to beat or go in front of or outrank

wide margin: by a lot

stood: were at

nearly: almost

from that point there was: from then on

steady rise: increasing slowly but at the same rate

decline: decrease

reached: were at

held steady: stayed the same

falling: decreasing

rose: increased

remained there: stayed there

becoming even: were level with/equal with

declining sharply: decreasing quickly

falling rate: decreasing trend

slackened: slowed

small rebound: came back up

bucked the trend: reverse the movement/momentum

dipping: decreasing

just over: more than

 

 

Grammar Practice

I put some grammar mistakes in it this time – can you find and correct the grammar mistakes? Check your answers with the original answer above.

The presented diagram illustrating illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation by 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting had showed opposite trends with the sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership has overtaken renting with a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stand at around 23% compared to rentals, who were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reaching 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falls to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there by 1953 before becoming even with the rentals at 50% each at 1971.

This trend continuing for both percentages with rentals decline sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rise to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals was slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there is a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses has dipping to just over 60%.

 

Answers

The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals which were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

 

 

Links

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

To review about the topic here is a video about ‘Freedom from the Housing Trap.’

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

Finally, here is a song about a house:

 

 

Comment Below:

Do you own a house? Or do you rent?

 

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Table (Populations)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer: Table (Populations)

Tables. Everyone hates tables. They’re full of data.

And sometimes it feels like an impossible task to describe it all.

You feel just like Sisyphus, eternally rolling your boulder up an infinite mountain. Or like this dog.

IELTS tables are a real challenge!

Read here about how to simplify and analyse tables.

I’ll be totally honest with you: this table is an absolute nightmare! I was sitting with one of the head IELTS trainers when I was marking this one and we had a real tough time figuring out the overview.

In that situation, most (but not all) examiners will be more lenient when it comes to marking the overview. They will take it easy on you because it is a tough graph!

Study the sample answer below so that you won’t feel like that dog on test day!

 

The Question

The table below gives information about populations in Australia and Malaysia in 1980 and 2002. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Australia

Malaysia

1980

2002

1980

2002

Total population (millions)

14.7

19.6

13.7

24.3

Male population (%)

49.9

49.9

50.3

50.6

Female population (%)

50.1

50.1

49.7

49.4

Birth rate (%)

1.5

1.3

3.2

2.2

Average annual population growth (%)

1.2

1.3

2.4

2.1

Population aged over 65 (%)

9.6

12.4

3.7

4.3

Examiner Sample Answer (by Dave)

The table compares six demographic indicators of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002. Overall, while the population size in both countries increased considerably over the period, Malaysia’s grew at a much higher rate. Despite the overall rate of growth, the birth rate percentage was in decline by 2002. Both countries had comparable stable figures for the approximately equal male and female population proportions, however Australia had more older people and saw a larger percentile increase there as well.

The total population in both countries witnessed a substantial growth with the figure for Malaysia nearly doubling to 24.3 million while Australia increased from 14.7 to 19.6 million people. The percentage of men and women of Australia remained steady during the period at 49.9% for males and 51.1% for females. In contrast, the Malaysian male population increased its share by .3% to 50.% and there was a reciprocal decline of 0.3% for females.

Both nations experienced a downward trend in birth rates in 2002, with a decline of 1.0% in Malaysia. Overall, Malaysia had a much higher birthrate and annual population growth in 1980 (3.2% and 2.4%) and 2002 (2.2% and 2.1%). In Australia, the changes were less dramatic with the birth rate falling from 1.5% to 1.3% and average annual population growth slipping slightly from 1.3% to 1.2%. Seniors experienced a different trend. Between 1980 and 2002, Australia was home to an extra 2.8% (12.4% overall) of the elderly while the figure for Malaysia rose much less substantially by 0.6% (4.3% in total in 2002).

 

Sample Answer Analysis

1. The table compares six demographic indicators of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002. 2. Overall, while the population size in both countries increased considerably over the period, Malaysia’s grew at a much higher rate. 3. Despite the overall rate of growth, the birth rate percentage was in decline by 2002. 4. Both countries had comparable stable figures for the approximately equal male and female population proportions, however Australia had more older people and saw a larger percentile increase there as well.

1. My first sentence simply paraphrases the question. Don’t worry about this standard, token sentence – write it quickly.

2. My second sentence begins a torturous general overview. I start with the most important information – population growth for both countries.

3. My third sentence is still part of my never-ending general overview and notes an important decreasing trend related to birth rate %.

4. My merciful final sentence of the overview notes that both countries have similar proportions with the exception of the elderly, of which there are more in Australia.

1. The total population in both countries witnessed a substantial growth with the figure for Malaysia nearly doubling to 24.3 million while Australia increased from 14.7 to 19.6 million people. 2. The percentage of men and women of Australia remained steady during the period at 49.9% for males and 51.1% for females. 3. In contrast, the Malaysian male population increased its share by .3% to 50.% and there was a reciprocal decline of 0.3% for females.

1. My first sentence details the statistics for overall population growth in both countries.

2. My second sentence describes the ratio changes for men and women in Australia.

3. My third sentence does the same but for Malaysia, where there are fewer females.

1. Both nations experienced a downward trend in birth rates in 2002, with a decline of 1.0% in Malaysia. 2. Overall, Malaysia had a much higher birthrate and annual population growth in 1980 (3.2% and 2.4%) and 2002 (2.2% and 2.1%). 3. In Australia, the changes were less dramatic with the birth rate falling from 1.5% to 1.3% and average annual population growth slipping slightly from 1.3% to 1.2%. 4. Seniors experienced a different trend. 5. Between 1980 and 2002, Australia was home to an extra 2.8% (12.4% overall) of the elderly while the figure for Malaysia rose much less substantially by 0.6% (4.3% in total in 2002).

1. My first sentence describes the percentage changes for birth rates.

2. My second sentence compares Malaysia which had much higher overall growth rates.

3. My third sentence compares Australia, which had lower growth rates.

4. My fourth sentence introduces the category of seniors.

5. My fifth sentence compares the data for seniors in Malaysia and Australia.

 

Vocabulary Analysis and Practice

The table compares six demographic indicators of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002. Overall, while the population size in both countries increased considerably over the period, Malaysia’s grew at a much higher rate. Despite the overall rate of growth, the birth rate percentage was in decline by 2002. Both countries had comparable stable figures for the approximately equal male and female population proportions, however Australia had more older people and saw a larger percentile increase there as well.

The total population in both countries witnessed a substantial growth with the figure for Malaysia nearly doubling to 24.3 million while Australia increased from 14.7 to 19.6 million people. The percentage of men and women of Australia remained steady during the period at 49.9% for males and 51.1% for females. In contrast, the Malaysian male population increased its share by .3% to 50.% and there was a reciprocal decline of 0.3% for females.

Both nations experienced a downward trend in birth rates in 2002, with a decline of 1.0% in Malaysia. Overall, Malaysia had a much higher birthrate and annual population growth in 1980 (3.2% and 2.4%) and 2002 (2.2% and 2.1%). In Australia, the changes were less dramatic with the birth rate falling from 1.5% to 1.3% and average annual population growth slipping slightly from 1.3% to 1.2%. Seniors experienced a different trend. Between 1980 and 2002, Australia was home to an extra 2.8% (12.4% overall) of the elderly while the figure for Malaysia rose much less substantially by 0.6% (4.3% in total in 2002).

Practice – categorise the vocabulary from the sample answer below: 

Vocabulary for describing growth:

Vocabulary for describing decline:

Ways to say big/fast:

Ways to say small/slow:

Answers:

Vocabulary for describing growth: increased, grew at a much higher rate, substantial growth, rose much less substantially

Vocabulary for describing decline: was in decline, reciprocal decline, downward trend, slipping slightly

Ways to say big/fast: much higher rate, considerable, substantial

Ways to say small/slow: less dramatic, slightly, less substantially

 

Grammar Analysis and Practice: Present Simple

Wait, don’t skip this section right away! I know, I know – present simple. The simplest, most basic grammar.

If you are reading this, you already know about present simple.

But you wouldn’t believe how many students make simple mistakes in the first sentence of their writing and give the examiner a really bad first impression.

My tip is to make sure you get the subject/verb agreement here correct as a reminder to keep getting it correct as you continue writing.

The table compares six demographic indicators of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002.

Red: Subject – is it singular or plural (table is singular, tables is plural)

Table: Verb (if the subject is singular then there is an ‘s’ – compares. If it is plural, then there is no ‘s’ – compare.

Correct: The table compares six demographic indicators of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002.

Incorrect: The table compare six demographic indicators of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002.

Let’s do some simple practice:

Correct the mistakes:

1. The pie charts illustrates the band scores for IELTS candidates in Vietnam in 2005 and 2018.

2. The diagram describe the process by which an examiner marks IELTS.

3. IELTS examiners likes marking Task 1 because it is easy.

4. IELT Writing Task 1 stop many students from getting the scores that they deserve.

5. IELTS students almost never spends enough time to prepare.

Answers:

1. The pie charts illustrate the band scores for IELTS candidates in Vietnam in 2005 and 2018.

2. The diagram describes the process by which an examiner marks IELTS.

3. IELTS examiners like marking Task 1 because it is easy.

4. IELT Writing Task 1 stops many students from getting the scores that they deserve.

5. IELTS students almost never spend enough time to prepare.

I know it’s simple – just make sure you do it and then remember that your subjects and verbs should always agree (regardless if it is present simple or not).

 

My Handwritten Notes

IELTS Tables Vocabulary

 

 

Links

 

 

Student Band 5.5 Example (for Comparison)

The table compares six population information of Australia and Malaysia in the years 1980 and 2002. Overall, the population size in both countries increased considerably over the period. The two countries saw differences in the rates of birth, average annual growth and aging population.

After 22 years, the total population in both countries witnessed a substantially growth. The figure for Malaysia nearly doubling its previous data, reaching 24.3 million. While the percentage of men and women of Australia remained steadily during the period, there was a slight growth by 0.3% in Malaysian male population.

The two nations experienced a downward trend in birth rates in 2002. Their older population, by contrast, increased. Between 1980 and 2002, Australia had an extra 2.8% of the elderly while Malaysia rise by 0.6%. Average population growth rate grew by 0.1% in Australia yet fall by 1% for the other nation.

 

Practice: Complete the notes for your overview

1. Population ____________ in both countries

2. __________’s population increased quicker than __________

3. Male and female proportions were relatively _______.

4. ___________ had a higher birthrate, but with a ____________ trend.

5. ___________ had a larger older population.

6. __________’s older population increased more quickly.

 

Now use your notes to write an overview. Try to combine the information into a maximum of two or three sentences. Look back at my overview to check your answers. Write your overview in the comments below!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

‘What’s My Current English Level and IELTS Band Score?’

‘What’s My Current English Level and IELTS Band Score?’

To be honest, you can’t really know your IELTS band score without a qualified teacher.

Wait, don’t go! I’m not wasting your time!

You won’t be able to get a completely accurate score but it is possible to figure out within a band score what you should be getting for each part of IELTS.

I’m a former IELTS examiner so I know the band scores well.

Read below to learn how to test yourself, figure out your score, and afterwards be sure to also check out my sister post on How Long it Will Take to Get Your IELTS Score.

 

 

How to Figure Out Your IELTS Speaking Score

This will take some time and effort but if you follow my instructions you will have a good idea of your speaking score without having to overpay a teacher!

This is Nguyen, the first ever customer for our Band Scores and Writing Corrections Service and a current employee. She lived in Australia for years and her speaking (and overall) scores on two recent tests for speaking were 7.5 and 8.

She uses tons of natural language, accurate vocabulary and has a nice accent.

To figure out your speaking level you are going to compare yourself with her.

Here is the Part 2 Speaking question she will be talking about:

Describe a sci-fi film that you watched.

Practice and record yourself answering the question above for about 2 minutes. Keep the recording – you will need it.

Listen to her response (In this video she speaks for more than 2 minutes. That’s not what will happen on the real test – it is just for you to get as much practice as possible!)

If you can understand 80 – 100% that doesn’t mean you are a band 8 – it just means your listening skills are good. You can’t always use all the language that you understand.

Now it is time to compare your response and hers. Some of the hesitations, repetition, and grammatical mistakes in this answer could bring her fluency and grammar down and make this a 7.5. Her level in this video is 7.5/8.

I’m a former examiner so let me show you exactly what is going through the mind of the examiner when he is listening to you speak.

Examiners always have the band descriptors out and look at them before and after the test. In their small heads with their tiny brains, they are highlighting them to get an idea of your score.

Here are Nguyen’s scores (which are mainly from Band 8 with some parts from Band 7):

Her score might go up or down depending on the part and part 2 speaking is usually full of the most hesitations. If she uses more complex structures and hesitates a little less she should be able to get an 8.

Most examiners would give her a 7.5 based on this section of the test because of hesitations and the grammatical mistakes.

Here is some of the good vocabulary that she uses:

had a chance, basically, astronaut crew, revive, dead alien cell, in the end, just a few days, full-grown octopus shape, manages to break free, at this point, horror, gory, killing spree, prevent, reaching earth, threat, human race, locked himself in, eliminate, back into space, for some reason, take control of, twist.

Use your recording to make a list of the vocabulary that you used. You don’t know exactly how accurate or good the vocabulary that you used is – that’s OK. Look it up in the dictionary to check what you can.

Here are some of the different types of grammatical structures that she uses:

Past Simple: had a chance, killed

Present Simple: the movie is about, they succeed, he manages to, the movie turns out to be, etc.

Passive Voice: the astronauts are being killed, the astronauts are killed

Present continuous: are trying, driving them

‘Will’ for future: there will be

Here is the full transcript (the bolded words are corrections):

Recently I had a chance to watch a sci-fi movie called ‘Life.’ Basically the movie’s about an astronaut crew living in space and they were trying to – they are trying to revive a dead alien cell. And the succeed in the end and they name the cell Kevin. And Kevin grows so fast that its size increases incredibly after just a few days into a full grown octopus shaped creature. And Kevin tries to escape from the cage where he was kept inside for so long for the experiments. And in the end he manages to break free. And at this point, the movie turns out to be a horror film and a gory sort of movie because Kevin goes on a killing spree. And the astronauts are being killed slowly, one by one. And the astronauts’ mission now is to survive and prevent Kevin from reaching Earth because they believe that Kevin is a dangerous threat to the human race. After the chasing and the killing I think all the astronauts are killed and only one manages to survive. And I think in the end, he locks himself into a space capsule with Kevin and tries to eliminate Kevin by driving both of them back out into space instead of going back to Earth. But then somehow Kevin manages to take control of the spaceship and both of them land on Earth. And the movie ends there. So I think there will be a part 2 (sequel) for the movie. ‘Did you enjoy the movie?’ It was a good twist at the end and I’m kind of excited to see what will happen next.

Use your recording to make a list of the grammar that you used. When talking about a movie you can refer to it in the past or the present or use a combination. Nguyen smartly sticks to present simple to talk about the events of the film.

Check out one of these grammar sites to see how accurate your grammar is: http://howtodoielts.com/ielts-five-grammar-websites/

If there is a grammatical mistake in every sentence you will not be getting above a 5 or possibly 6 for your grammar score.

You should now have a general feeling how her response compares to yours. Are you at Nguyen’s level? Lower? Higher?

Now try searching for some band 6 and 7 speaking tests on YouTube and repeating the same method.

You can also try this same method with another of Nguyen’s tests here (subscribe to our YouTube channel here):

 

 

I recommend practicing that same technique with as many speaking tests on YouTube as you can find. Here is another example with Minh who also got a Band 8 for IELTS speaking:

 

After watching a few and recording your own responses you should know your score to within 1 full band.

If you are still not sure, you can comment below and I will message you and we can work out another way to know your speaking score.

 

 

How to Figure Out Your IELTS Listening and Reading Scores

This is the easiest one to do. Without too much trouble you can figure out what both your listening and reading scores are!

Buy the past Cambridge Practice Tests. You can get the latest one here: https://goo.gl/t3vDVJ or take a look and see if they are available at the local bookstore in your country.

These are all past tests. Don’t worry about which number book. Anything from 7 to the most current one is fine (ones before 7 are also OK, there are just some small ways in which the test has changed).

Do it under real test conditions. The listening test is 30 minutes and the reading test is 1 hour.

Check your answers in the back of the book and use this guide to roughly figure out your score (scores vary slightly based on the difficulty of the test that week):

IELTS Listening

IELTS Reading (Academic)

IELTS Reading (General Training)

Band score

Raw score out of 40

Band score

Raw score out of 40

Band score

Raw score out of 40

5

16

5

15

4

15

6

23

6

23

5

23

7

30

7

30

6

30

8

35

8

35

7

34

Don’t just do 1 test! It might not give you an accurate score (maybe you were lucky or unlucky with the topics).

Do at least 3 listening and reading tests. If the scores are similar that is your level – now you know before you go to the real exam.

If the scores are very different each time, keep doing them until the scores become more similar – it shouldn’t take too many practice tests for that to happen.

Here are the 6 Basic Tips You’ll Learn in Every IELTS Course and here is The Most Important Skill for the Reading Test.

 

 

How to Figure Out Your IELTS Writing Band Scores

For writing, there are a number of services online that you can use to get a very accurate Band Score estimate. Well actually, there’s only 1 that’s very accurate because it comes from former examiners.

You can trust and rely on the marks we give you. We highlight the band descriptors and give a report on each category to ensure complete accuracy and transparency.

For $9 (for that price in April only!) you can get your band scores for your Writing Task 1 or 2!

IELTS costs between $200 and $300! If you use our service, you can figure out your score and won’t waste as much money later.

If you also want to get complete writing corrections along with your band scores that is more expensive ($29) but could end up making a huge difference for you!

 

 

Using the CEFR to Guide you

There’s one other way that might help you know your English level and IELTS band score.

The CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is the most important, internationally recognized system for defining English ability.

Here is how it defines each level:

Beginner (A1): You can interact in the most basic ways if the other speaker talks slowly and is helpful. You can introduce yourself and others and can ask and answer questions bout where you live, people you know and things you have.

Elementary (A2): You can understand some sentences and frequently used expressions related to personal and family information, shopping, local geography and the environment. You can communicate in simple and routine tasks on familiar topics.

Intermediate (B1): You can deal with most situations while traveling abroad. You can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

Upper Intermediate (B2): You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers possible without difficulty for either part.

Advanced (C1): You can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. You can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes.

Master (C2): You can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently, and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations. You understood this paragraph easily.

Here is how those levels compare with IELTS according to their official website. Most examiners would say these scores are a little low. As an Intermediate you should be able to get up to around a 6, for example.

I hope that is helpful but I fear you might just be guessing. That’s why I strongly recommend that you take some time and try the tips I talked about earlier in the post so that you get a more accurate idea of your current level.

Now let’s move on to the big question – not where you are – where you are going

 

‘How Long Will it Take Me to Get to Band ____?’

It’s really hard to say. So hard that I wrote a whole other post about it: ‘How Long do I Need to Study to get my IELTS Score?’

Best of luck!

Oh and if you’re still reading don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube or even all 3 if you’re a fanatic!

 

Comment below: What’s your current level?

Here’s some help starting your comment:

I think my level is probably around…

On my last test I got …. but I think I have improved to a …

I’m not sure but it isn’t below …

I still don’t really know. The band score I need is …