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This sample answer is based on a real IELTS Writing Task 1 Bar Chart question on March 15th, 2018. I’m a former examiner so you can trust this answer. Keep reading for:

  • A quick analysis of the question.

  • Line by line analysis of the sample answer.

  • Vocabulary highlights and notes.

  • Interesting related links about sports!

As well as our Task 1 sample answers, check out our Task 2 sample essays here: IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answers.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel for some IELTS Speaking Sample Answers: HowtodoIELTS YouTube.

Here is the question:

Question Analysis 

Looking at the bar chart, you can see it is divided into 3 years and 6 sports and it shows change over time.

I recommend making some quick notes on the general trends as well as the overall leaders because these will help to organise your writing later:

 

Sample Answer

The bar chart details the percentage changes of people in the UK interested in 6 sports between 1995 and 2005. In general, all sports saw gradual increases in interest over the full period with the exception of tennis. Football was by far the most popular throughout the period while tennis, swimming, volleyball and rugby had similar numbers and golf generated the least interest.

Football, the sport most people were interested in, rose from just under 40% in 1995 to around 45% in 2000 before a slight dip in 2005. Golf, the least popular sport, grew at steady intervals from just over 15% in 1995 to almost 20% interested in it by 2005. 

The sports in the middle (tennis, swimming, volleyball, and rugby) had similar levels of interest at around 20 – 30% during the period. Rugby was the leader among this group with moderate gains starting at around 33% interested in 2005 and ending up with 35% by 2005. Volleyball and swimming showed nearly identical trends increasing steadily from just over 25% to slightly under 30%. The only sport to lose interest over the period was tennis which fell from over 30% in 1995 to under 30% in 2000 and nearly 25% by 2005.

Quick Analysis 

I divided my answer into 3 paragraphs. Paragraph 1 is introducing that chart and the general overview. The general overview is by far the most important sentence of the whole essay because if you don’t have it, or it is not clear, you will get a Band 5 for Task Achievement. 100% – right away. Read more about overviews here.

Paragraphing is really important in Task 1. You can use your paragraphs to group together similar areas (or areas that are different in order to compare them) and it will give your writing structure.

This was a simple task 1, actually. Most of the sports increased and in the same way – gradually. There are some exceptions and a sport that is clearly the most popular and the least popular.

If you took the test this week, you got lucky with this question!

Paragraph 1: Introduction and Overview

The bar chart details the percentage changes of people in the UK interested in 6 sports between 1995 and 2005. In general, all sports saw gradual increases in interest over the full period with the exception of tennis. Football was by far the most popular throughout the period while tennis, swimming, volleyball and rugby had similar numbers and golf generated the least interest.

  • The first sentence introduces the chart, by paraphrasing (not copying) the question.

  • The second sentence begins the overview of the bar chart by describing the general trend (upwards for all sports except tennis).

  • The third sentence completes the overview by ranking the interest in each sport from the one people were most interested in to least interested in.

Paragraph 2: Detailed Figures (Football and Golf)

Football, the sport most people were interested in, rose from just under 40% in 1995 to around 45% in 2000 before a slight dip in 2005. Golf, the least popular sport, grew at steady intervals from just over 15% in 1995 to almost 20% interested in it by 2005.

  • The first sentence describes the specific data for football, the sport most were interested in. I include all years and accurate data for those years. It’s important to say around/approximately because the exact numbers are not clear.

  • The second sentence describes golf, the least popular sport.

Paragraph 3: Detailed Figures (Other Sports)

The sports in the middle (tennis, swimming, volleyball, and rugby) had similar levels of interest at around 20 – 30% during the period. Rugby was the leader among this group with moderate gains starting at around 33% interested in 2005 and ending up with 35% by 2005. Volleyball and swimming showed nearly identical trends increasing steadily from just over 25% to slightly under 30%. The only sport to lose interest over the period was tennis which fell from over 30% in 1995 to under 30% in 2000 and nearly 25% by 2005.

  • The first sentence is a topic sentence that groups together the sports in the middle of the bar chart.

  • The second sentence describes the leader among this group, rugby, with specific data and years.

  • The third sentence describes volleyball and swimming with specific data and years.

  • The fourth sentence describes the final sport, tennis, which was the only one to decrease over the full period.

 

Useful Vocabulary

Here is some vocabulary that you can use on your own IELTS Writing Task 1. I recommend that you take some good notes or try using this vocabulary in a different sample answer so that you don’t forget it:

The bar chart details the percentage changes of people in the UK interested in 6 sports between 1995 and 2005. In general, all sports saw gradual increases in interest over the full period with the exception of tennis. Football was by far the most popular throughout the period while tennis, swimming, volleyball and rugby had similar numbers and golf generated the least interest.

Football, the sport most people were interested in, rose from just under 40% in 1995 to around 45% in 2000 before a slight dip in 2005. Golf, the least popular sport, grew at steady intervals from just over 15% in 1995 to almost 20% interested in it by 2005.

The sports in the middle (tennis, swimming, volleyball, and rugby) had similar levels of interest at around 20 – 30% during the period. Rugby was the leader among this group with moderate gains starting at around 33% interested in 2005 and ending up with 35% by 2005. Volleyball and swimming showed nearly identical trends increasing steadily from just over 25% to slightly under 30%. The only sport to lose interest over the period was tennis which fell from over 30% in 1995 to under 30% in 2000 and nearly 25% by 2005.

details (v) – describes/illustrates

gradual increases (n) – small, steady rises

over the full period (prepositional phrase) –  from the beginning of time on the graph to the end

with the exception of (prepositional phrase) – not including

by far (adverbial phrase) – by a lot or much more/less than

throughout the period (prepositional phrase) – from the beginning of time on the graph to the end

similar numbers (adj + n) – statistics that are almost the same

the least interest (adj + n) – the lowest level of interest

rose (v) – increased

just under (adverbial phrase) – a little but less than

around (adv) – approximately

slight dip (adj + n) – small decrease

grew at steady intervals (verb phrase) – increased steadily

almost (adv) – nearly/close to

similar levels of interest (noun phrase) – almost the same amount of interest

among this group (adverbial phrase) – included in this group

moderate gains (adj + n) – small increases

ending up with (verb phrase) – finishing with/having at the end

nearly identical trends (noun phrase) – almost the same pattern

just over (adverbial phrase) – a little bit more than

slightly under (adverbial phrase) – a little bit less than

nearly (adverb) – almost/close to

 

NOTES!

My gift for the lazy! If you got this far and didn’t take any notes of your own, consider this charity! You can find more notes like it on our Instagram page.

Sports Articles and Videos

Check out these links for fun and interesting videos and articles about bikes!

Blood Sports

Animals that Would Win at the Winter Olympics

 

Roger Federer as Religious Experience

 

Usain Bolt, Mutant

 

Best Longform Sports Journalism 2017

 

Funny Moments in Sports History 

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