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This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of households with cars in a European country.

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IELTS Essay Task 1: Households with Cars

The bar chart compares the percentages for car ownership in a European country at 10 year intervals from 1971 to 2001. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that proportions for households with no car and 1 car showed inverse patterns, with the latter rising to become most common by the end of the period. More than 2 cars increased as well, also overtaking no cars.

The number of homes in this European country with no car stood at just under 50% in 1971, before a steady decline by more than 5% each decade to finish at under 30% in 2001. In contrast, those houses with 1 car rose at less steady intervals from 35% to over 40% in 1981, followed by a dip to under 40% in 1991, and finally a surge to 50%.

More than 2 cars began the time surveyed with the lowest ratio (25%) then grew, mirroring the trajectory of 1 car and finishing at 35%, nearly 10% higher than no car households.

Analysis

1. The bar chart compares the percentages for car ownership in a European country at 10 year intervals from 1971 to 2001. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that proportions for households with no car and 1 car showed inverse patterns, with the latter rising to become most common by the end of the period. 3. More than 2 cars increased as well, also overtaking no cars.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Begin your overview by describing the trends.
  3. Make sure all categories are covered. Learn more about overviews here.

1. The number of homes in this European country with no car stood at just under 50% in 1971, before a steady decline by more than 5% each decade to finish at under 30% in 2001. 2. In contrast, those houses with 1 car rose at less steady intervals from 35% to over 40% in 1981, followed by a dip to under 40% in 1991, and finally a surge to 50%.

  1. Start with one of the categories and include all the data.
  2. Always compare the categories.

1. More than 2 cars began the time surveyed with the lowest ratio (25%) then grew, mirroring the trajectory of 1 car and finishing at 35%, nearly 10% higher than no car households.

  1. Make sure that all areas and all data has been described fully and accurately.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

The bar chart compares the percentages for car ownership in a European country at 10 year intervals from 1971 to 2001. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that proportions for households with no car and 1 car showed inverse patterns, with the latter rising to become most common by the end of the period. More than 2 cars increased as well, also overtaking no cars.

The number of homes in this European country with no car stood at just under 50% in 1971, before a steady decline by more than 5% each decade to finish at under 30% in 2001. In contrast, those houses with 1 car rose at less steady intervals from 35% to over 40% in 1981, followed by a dip to under 40% in 1991, and finally a surge to 50%.

More than 2 cars began the time surveyed with the lowest ratio (25%) then grew, mirroring the trajectory of 1 car and finishing at 35%, nearly 10% higher than no car households.

Answers

compares shows the differences between

10 year intervals every 10 years

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

proportions ratios

showed inverse patterns had the opposite trend

latter mentioned second

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

overtaking becoming higher than

stood was at

just under a little below

before preceding

steady decline regular decrease

more than above

decade 10 years

finish end

in contrast however

less steady intervals fluctuated more

followed by then

dip decrease

surge big increase

surveyed recorded

lowest ratio smallest numbers

mirroring reflecting

trajectory pattern

finishing at ending at

higher than above

Pronunciation

kəmˈpeəz 
tɛn jɪər ˈɪntəvəlz 
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt 
prəˈpɔːʃənz 
ʃəʊd ɪnˈvɜːs ˈpætənz
ˈlætə 
baɪ ði ɛnd ɒv ðə ˈpɪərɪəd
ˌəʊvəˈteɪkɪŋ 
stʊd 
ʤʌst ˈʌndə 
bɪˈfɔː 
ˈstɛdi dɪˈklaɪn 
mɔː ðæn 
ˈdɛkeɪd 
ˈfɪnɪʃ 
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
lɛs ˈstɛdi ˈɪntəvəlz 
ˈfɒləʊd baɪ 
dɪp 
sɜːʤ 
sɜːˈveɪd 
ˈləʊɪst ˈreɪʃɪəʊ 
ˈmɪrərɪŋ 
ˈtræʤɪktəri 
ˈfɪnɪʃɪŋ æt 
ˈhaɪə ðæn 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The bar chart c______________s the percentages for car ownership in a European country at 1_______________s from 1971 to 2001. L___________________________________________t p____________s for households with no car and 1 car s___________________________s, with the l___________r rising to become most common b____________________________d. More than 2 cars increased as well, also o_______________g no cars.

The number of homes in this European country with no car s_______d at j____________r 50% in 1971, b________e a s______________e by m___________n 5% each d___________e to f___________h at under 30% in 2001. I____________t, those houses with 1 car rose at l_________________s from 35% to over 40% in 1981, f____________________y a d___p to under 40% in 1991, and finally a s__________e to 50%.

More than 2 cars began the time s________________d with the l___________________o (25%) then grew, m______________g the t________________y of 1 car and f___________________t 35%, nearly 10% h_______________________n no car households.

Listening Practice

Watch the video below about car ownership in the future:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic on The New York Times below:

Speaking Practice

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

Walking

  1. Do you go places on foot a lot?
  2. Did you walk more when you were younger?
  3. Why do some people prefer walking to driving a car?
  4. Do people in your country walk a lot?

Writing Practice

Write about the following related chart and then check with my sample answer:

IELTS Task 1 Essay: Bar Chart (Education)

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