Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

When you look at a graph or chart, do you understand the IELTS Task 1 numbers?

In order to write a coherent and cohesive Task 1 essay, you must first understand what kind of numbers are being presented.

The first step is read the question carefully.

Try to understand what information is being provided in the graph or diagrams.

Then, look carefully at the graph(s).

Think about what kind of information you are seeing. Also, remember to read everything around the diagram, as IELTS likes to put really important information in very small letters sometimes!



Now you can decide what kind of numbers these are.

There are only two options- Change Over Time or Static.

  • In a Change Over Time question, the numbers are usually given in a line chart. You will see time, usually years, at the bottom of the graph.

For this question type, you use interesting synonyms and paraphrases for the ideas of increase/decrease.


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This is also easy to organize. Simply put the numbers in your essay in the order you see them on the chart, from beginning to end.

  • The other kind of graph is called Static. This is often a table of numbers about only one point in time, usually one year.

The vocabulary you need for Static essays is interesting phrases for the ideas of highest/lowest/higher/lower.

Now it’s your turn to practice!

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