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This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of distances travelled in the UK for 5 different kinds of transport from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay Task 1: Distances Travelled Bar Chart

The chart illustrates distances traveled per person per week (in kilometers) in terms of 5 types of transport in the UK between 1990 and 2000.

ielts essay distances travelled

The bar chart details the changes in travel habits by mode of transport in 1990 and 2000 in the UK. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the rise in total figures over the period was a result of increases from rail, bus and air as bicycle and motorbike usage fell. The most common forms of travel were by far bus and rail.

Looking first of all at the two leaders, busing accounted for precisely 40 kilometres in 1990, before a small increase to 42 by 2000. Rail was lower in both periods at 36 and 38 km, respectively.

The less used modes of transport were all below 5 km a week. Bicycles started at 2 and fell to 1 km while motorbikes halved from 4 to 2 km. Finally, air in 1990 was just above 1 but had quadrupled to 4 km per month per person by 2000.

Overall totals constituted 100 km in 1990 and a subsequent 110 by the end of the period surveyed.

Analysis

1. The bar chart details the changes in travel habits by mode of transport in 1990 and 2000 in the UK. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the rise in total figures over the period was a result of increases from rail, bus and air as bicycle and motorbike usage fell. 3. The most common forms of travel were by far bus and rail.

  1. Paraphrase what the graph shows.
  2. Write a clear overview summarising the major trends and differences.
  3. Add an extra sentence to be sure that you have covered everything.

1. Looking first of all at the two leaders, busing accounted for precisely 40 kilometres in 1990, before a small increase to 42 by 2000. 2. Rail was lower in both periods at 36 and 38 km, respectively.

  1. Begin writing about the differences.
  2. Compare as much as possible.

1. The less used modes of transport were all below 5 km a week. 2. Bicycles started at 2 and fell to 1 km while motorbikes halved from 4 to 2 km. 3. Finally, air in 1990 was just above 1 but had quadrupled to 4 km per month per person by 2000.

  1. Write about the rest of the information.
  2. Make sure you have detailed all the information.
  3. Don’t leave anything out!

1. Overall totals constituted 100 km in 1990 and a subsequent 110 by the end of the period surveyed.

  1. The total is also important to mention.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Take some notes on a piece of paper to aid your memory:

The bar chart details the changes in travel habits by mode of transport in 1990 and 2000 in the UK. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the rise in total figures over the period was a result of increases from rail, bus and air as bicycle and motorbike usage fell. The most common forms of travel were by far bus and rail.

Looking first of all at the two leaders, busing accounted for precisely 40 kilometres in 1990, before a small increase to 42 by 2000. Rail was lower in both periods at 36 and 38 km, respectively.

The less used modes of transport were all below 5 km a week. Bicycles started at 2 and fell to 1 km while motorbikes halved from 4 to 2 km. Finally, air in 1990 was just above 1 but had quadrupled to 4 km per month per person by 2000.

Overall totals constituted 100 km in 1990 and a subsequent 110 by the end of the period surveyed.

Answers

details describes

travel habits the way people get around

transport bikes, cars, etc.

Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that overall

rise increase

total figures overall numbers

a result of comes from

rail railroads/trains

air flights/airplanes

usage fell amount they were used declined

common forms well known ways

by far by a lot

looking first of all at considering to begin

accounted constituted

precisely exactly

before prior to

lower under

periods times

respectively in turn

less used modes of transport not as common ways of getting around

below under

started began

halved cut in half

per month per person each month for each person

overall totals final numbers

constituted made up

subsequent after that

by the end of the period surveyed at the end of the time recorded

Pronunciation

ˈdiːteɪlz 
ˈtrævl ˈhæbɪts 
ˈtrænspɔːt 
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt 
raɪz 
ˈtəʊtl ˈfɪgəz 
ə rɪˈzʌlt ɒv 
reɪl
 
ˈjuːzɪʤ fɛl
ˈkɒmən fɔːmz 
baɪ fɑː 
ˈlʊkɪŋ fɜːst ɒv ɔːl æt 
əˈkaʊntɪd 
prɪˈsaɪsli 
bɪˈfɔː 
ˈləʊə 
ˈpɪərɪədz 
rɪsˈpɛktɪvli
lɛs juːzd məʊdz ɒv ˈtrænspɔːt 
bɪˈləʊ 
ˈstɑːtɪd 
hɑːvd 
pɜː mʌnθ pɜː ˈpɜːsn 
ˈəʊvərɔːl ˈtəʊtlz 
ˈkɒnstɪtjuːtɪd 
ˈsʌbsɪkwənt 
baɪ ði ɛnd ɒv ðə ˈpɪərɪəd sɜːˈveɪd

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The bar chart d________s the changes in t______________s by mode of t__________t in 1990 and 2000 in the UK. L____________________________________________t the r___e in t______________s over the period was a____________f increases from r_____l, bus and a___r as bicycle and motorbike u__________l. The most c______________s of travel were b_____r bus and rail.

L____________________t the two leaders, busing a____________d for p__________y 40 kilometres in 1990, b________e a small increase to 42 by 2000. Rail was l_____r in both p______s at 36 and 38 km, r_____________y.

The l_________________________t were all b______w 5 km a week. Bicycles s___________d at 2 and fell to 1 km while motorbikes h________d from 4 to 2 km. Finally, air in 1990 was just above 1 but had quadrupled to 4 km p_______________________n by 2000.

O______________s c____________d 100 km in 1990 and a s____________t 110 b____________________________d.

Listening Practice

Listen to the related topic below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-52670597

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following related questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Public Transport (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Does your city use a lot of public transport?
  2. When was the last time you used public transport?
  3. Will you still use public transport in the future?
  4. What would you like to change about the public transport in your city?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related graph below related to film production in 5 countries and then check with my sample answer:


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