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Table Chart IELTS Task 1 : Here is Your Guide to Prepare

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

table chart ielts task 1

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests a candidate on the basis of their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The writing section consists of Task 1 and Task 2. Task 1 requires the candidate to write 150 words on the visual information provided in the form of a table, graphs, chart, or table. An important IELTS writing task is the Table Chart. The IELTS task 1 table chart can have one or more tables with numeric data, which needs to be described while taking care of the word limit. The table usually has categories mentioned on the top row and the left-most column.

On the other hand, in IELTS writing task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view, argument, or problem, on the basis of which they need to write a 250-word essay. 

IELTS Task 1 Table Chart : Sample

IELTS Writing Task 1

The table demonstrates the number of native speakers of six languages along with the number of speakers knowing an additional language. The languages are organized in the descending order of the “Number of native speakers”. The six languages included in this table are Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, English, Arabic, and Portuguese.

We can see that the total number of Mandarin Chinese speakers is much higher than all the other languages, which is 1,090 million. The native speakers of Mandarin Chinese are 900 million and 190 million people speak the language as an additional language.

The total number of Hindi speakers is 490 million, while the total number of Spanish speakers is 429 million, which is more or less equal. However, the number of Hindi speakers (120 Million) as an additional language is much more than Spanish speakers (70 million) as an additional language.

Interestingly, the number of speakers who speak English as an additional language exceeded the number of native English speakers. The number of native English speakers is 339 million, while the number of speakers with English as an additional language is 603 million.

The number of native speakers of Portuguese and Arabic is almost the same, which is 203 million and 206 million, respectively. However, the number of speakers who know it as an additional language is noticeable. Speakers for Arabic as an additional language is 24 million, whereas, for Portuguese, it is 10 million.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Table Chart Sample Answers

The table illustrates a comparative study of the problem areas of students in two primary schools in 2005 and 2015. Some of the students faced problems in reading ability, handwriting, spelling, listening skills, verbal expression of ideas, concentration in lessons, and following instructions. 

Overall, the percentage of students in School A who faced different educational problems was more than the number in School B. About 42% of students of School A reported problems in following instructions, contrary to the 6% of students of School B. The percentage of students who could not concentrate in their lessons was 40% in School A, whereas it was 15% in School B. 

While the percentage of students with problem areas in following instructions in School A decreased drastically from 42% to 18%, it increased amongst the students of School B from 6% to 12%. This means the teachers in School A have done a commendable job in assisting the students in concentrating on lessons. This has been reflected in the decrease in the percentage of students facing problems in concentration in lessons to 18% from 40%. 

While the percentage of students in School A facing educational problems has declined in most aspects, it has shown a slight increase in difficulty to read from 22% to 23%.

Though the percentage of problem areas in School A was alarming in 2005, over a period of 10 years, this percentage has reduced. From the table, it is clear that the percentage of students facing problems in writing the correct spelling has reduced in School A from 30% to 25%. The problem has increased for students of School B from 5% to 10%. 

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IELTS Writing Task 1 Table Chart Structure

The IELTS Writing Task 1 table chart structure can be divided into three parts, which are as follows:

Introduction: Paraphrase the given statement and explain what the table is showing.

Overview: Summarize the main/interesting feature of the table, such as the high or low points.

Body: It should consist of two body paragraphs to discuss the graph/table/diagram in detail.

Conclusion: Summarize the key points, meaning, and the major areas of the visual information.

IELTS Table Chart Vocabulary

Students should know a variety of synonyms for a word to interpret the table provided in a table/chart/graph. For instance, instead of using ‘increase’, they can write upsurge, roar, rise, or spike. Since a student is marked on the basis of four assessment criteria in the IELTS Writing section - Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Grammatical Range and Accuracy. The lexical resource assesses the candidate based on their capability to use a wide range of vocabulary with natural and sophisticated control of lexical features. Using the correct vocabulary, comparing & contrasting data, and describing the main idea are some ways by which an aspirant can ensure a high band score in Writing Task 1. They are required to use a wide range of vocabulary and not to repeat words or phrases unless there is no alternative. 

The tense forms that can be used in different situations for IELTS Table Chart Vocabulary are as follows:

  • If the graph includes data about the years that have already passed, use the Past Tense 
  • If no mention of the time period is made, use the Present or Past Tense
  • If the graph is about past, present, and future projections, use Past, Present, and Future Tense, respectively

Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1 Table Chart

  • The categories of the data should be included in the overview.
  • Move-in ascending or descending order describing each category
  • Include the numerical when making comparisons
  • Group the key data and provide average value where applicable
  • The range should ideally be between 150 to 200 words.

Test takers can practice with the trainers and make sure to get feedback on their answers to improve. There is not only one right way to answer these questions, but you should try to align the answer with model answers instead.

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Download IELTS Sample Papers

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to write a table chart in IELTS?

To write a table chart in IELTS, students need to follow certain tips such as analyzing the question, picking out the main information, writing an introduction and overview, and highlighting the details in the paragraph. 

To write a high-scoring essay, learning how to proceed with the planning stage is essential. After analyzing the task 1 IELTS table chart, look out for main features like units of measurement, time period, notable similarities, or prevalence of a trend. In the introduction, simply paraphrase the question by using synonyms or changing the sentence structure. In the overview, brief the reader about any comparison that can be spotted. The third and fourth paragraphs, which are the body of Writing Task 1, should include a detailed interpretation of the information presented in the table.

How to analyze IELTS Table Chart for Task 1 Writing?

To write an effective response for Writing Task 1 of IELTS, properly analyzing the tables is a must. The analysis of the IELTS Task 1 Table Chart can be done by reflecting the relevant information, then summarizing it and identifying the main features, and drawing out comparisons.

How do you describe a table chart for an essay in task 1?

Most students make the mistake of dedicating the whole allocated time for IELTS Writing task 1. However, the first two minutes should be dedicated to analyzing the question in the IELTS table chart, followed by identifying the main features and drawing comparisons. Once the analysis and recognition of the main features of the table chart are done, start writing. Divide the essay into an introduction, overview, and two paragraphs to highlight the key features.

What set of vocabulary is used in Writing Task 1?

The vocabulary that is commonly used in IELTS generally includes academic words, topic vocabulary, idioms, collocations, and phrasal verbs. An academic word list contains common words found in academic texts. Topic vocabulary has words and phrases that generally come in the test and is useful if students know about them because the more complex words they know, the better it would be to understand the context. 

For instance, knowing the vocabulary that can be used in topics like diet, health, and fitness, information technology, advertising, environment, crime, science, education, etc., can prove very helpful. Idioms are a group of words whose meaning cannot be deduced from the individual words, for instance, ‘Over the moon’ or ‘once in a blue moon’ and others. Collocation is the set of words that can be placed together so as to connect them with other words.

What is vocabulary in IELTS Writing Section?

Vocabulary comprises 25% weightage in the marking system of the IELTS Writing Section. It comes under the ‘lexical resource’ parameter of assessment of IELTS writing. If a candidate is able to demonstrate a flexible use of a wide range of vocabulary, they will be able to score high on the criteria of the lexical resource. If students are able to use a wide range of vocabulary and are able to use it in the correct place flexibly, their vocabulary is considered to be strong.

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