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This is an example of a real question from the exam – keep reading our IELTS sample answer to find out exactly how to deal with bar charts showing time!

You can also check out this post on pie charts and changes over time for more tips. On our YouTube Channel you’ll find sample speaking answers.

The first important thing to notice about this chart isn’t that it is a bar chart. That isn’t very important.

Pay attention to the fact that it is showing change over time, from 2007 to 2009. That means that you have to include the general trend in your overview and include vocabulary like ‘sharp rise’ and ‘precipitous drop’ throughout.

Let’s take a look at the sample answer – then there is some online practice for you to do and an example of good note taking!

The chart below shows the number of films produced by five countries in three years. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

 

Sample Answer

The bar chart compares film production in five different countries in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Overall, country A produced the most films during the given three-year period followed by country B, while the film industry was not as strong in countries C, D, and E. The largest increase was in country B while country A experienced a small decrease and there were minimal rises in the other nations.

Leading the chart in 2007, country A produced approximately 87 movies and this figure remained unchanged the next year before decreasing to 80 in 2009. On the contrary, a reverse trend was witnessed in B’s film production. Only manufacturing 50 movies in 2007,  country B produced 3 more films the next year and about 17 films in 2009, which was the most significant rise among all the countries surveyed.

With substantially lower output, countries C, D, and E were responsible for fewer than 20 movies in each year. Specifically, about 8 films were manufactured in C in the first year, before this figure increased twofold in 2008 and finally reached 18 movies in 2009. Country E also experienced an upward trend, increasing from approximately 9 films to around 12 films by the end of the period. In contrast, country D decreased sharply from around 13 films in 2007 to 8 in 2008 (the lowest number among all countries that year) before recovering to 12 films produced in 2009.

 

 

Analysis

Introduction: The bar chart compares film production in five different countries in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Overall, country A produced the most films during the given three-year period followed by country B, while the film industry was not as strong in countries C, D, and E.  The largest increase was in country B while country A experienced a small decrease and there were minimal rises in the other nations.

  • The first sentence simple paraphrases the topic – don’t spend too much time worrying about this sentence. Write it quickly.

  • The second and third sentences are the most important sentence of the whole essay: the general overview. I describe which countries were the biggest/smallest overall and also whether or not each country had an increasing/decreasing trend for the whole period.

Body Paragraph 1: Leading the chart in 2007, country A produced approximately 87 movies and this figure remained unchanged the next year before decreasing to 80 in 2009. On the contrary, a reverse trend was witnessed in B’s film production. Only manufacturing 50 movies in 2007,  country B produced 3 more films the next year and about 17 films in 2009, which was the most significant rise among all the countries surveyed.

  • The first sentence describes the figures for the leading country.

  • The second sentence transitions to country B, which was in second place. It’s important to always compare. I compare country B to country C.

  • The third sentence gives the detailed data for country B.

Body Paragraph 2: With substantially lower output, countries C, D, and E were responsible for fewer than 20 movies in each year. Specifically, about 8 films were manufactured in C in the first year, before this figure increased twofold in 2008 and finally reached 18 movies in 2009. Country E also experienced an upward trend, increasing from approximately 9 films to around 12 films by the end of the period. In contrast, country D decreased sharply from around 13 films in 2007 to 8 in 2008 (the lowest number among all countries that year) before recovering to 12 films produced in 2009.

  • The first sentence is a topic sentence that focuses on the three countries with fewer films produced.

  • The second sentence describes the data across the whole period for country C.

  • The third sentence describes the data across the whole period for country E.

  • The fourth sentence describes the data across the whole period for country D.

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Quizlet is an amazing website for helping students to improve their vocabulary and grammar through practice activities (that we designed).

Don’t believe me?

Check it out! We’ve included a set of vocabulary from the sample answer above for you to study.

Quizlet Vocabulary Study

IELTS sample answer vocabulary practice!

 

Related Articles and Videos

Film Production Statistics

Largest Film Industries in the World

Top 10 Countries for Film Production Video

 

 

Example Notes

Here are some notes I made on the vocabulary from the IELTS sample answer (from our Instagram page)!

IELTS Task 1 Writing notes from our Instagram page!

IELTS Task 1 Writing notes from our Instagram page!

IELTS Task 1 Writing notes from our Instagram page!

 

FINALLY: Here is a BAND 6 STUDENT MODEL ANSWER

Can you find the mistakes in it?

Introduction: The bar chart compares film in five different countries in three years 2007, 2008 and 2009. It is obvious that whereas countries A and D observed a slight decline in film production, a considerable growth in the figure of country C and a marginal rise in B and E were recorded during the period shown.

Body Paragraph 1: A created approximately 87 movies and this figure remained unchanged the next year before decreasing to 80 in 2009. On the contrary, a reverse trend witnessed in B’s film production. Only manufacture 50 movies in 2007, B produced 3 more films in the next year and rose about 17 films in 2009.

Body Paragraph 2: With substantially lower production, countries C, D, and E made less than 20 movies. Specifically, about 8 films manufactured in C in the first year, then reaching 18 in 2009. Likewise, an increase of 4 films from 9 to 13 was in country E. By contrast, country D was with 9 movies 2008 because overall downward trend to 14 movies in 2009.

 

Answers:

Introduction: The bar chart compares films in five different countries in three years 2007, 2008 and 2009. It is obvious that whereas countries A and D observed a slight decline in film production, a considerable growth in the figure of country C and a marginal rise in B and E were recorded during the period shown. (The overview isn’t good enough to get above Band 6. It clearly gives the main trends but doesn’t include any information ranking which countries produced the most/least.)

Body Paragraph 1: A created produced approximately 87 movies and this figure remained unchanged the next year before decreasing to 80 in 2009. On the contrary, a reverse trend was witnessed in B’s film production. Only manufacturing 50 movies in 2007, B produced 3 more films in the next year and rose to about 17 films in 2009.

Body Paragraph 2: With substantially lower production, countries C, D, and E made less than 20 movies. Specifically, about 8 films were manufactured in C in the first year, then before reaching 18 in 2009. Likewise, an increase of 4 films from 9 to 13 was seen in country E. By contrast, country D was with produced only 9 movies 2008 because and experienced an overall downward trend to 14 movies in 2009.

 

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