Today I’ve prepared for you a Band 9 answer to a common type of IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, two charts. You’ll learn how this answer meets different requirements and what you should do to get a higher score for your report. Let’s get started.
Here’s our task:
The bar chart below shows US seafood imports between 2002 and 2022 and the forecast for 2032. The pie chart shows the geographical structure of these imports in 2022.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words.
The bar chart shows seafood imports in three time periods in the past and a forecast.
The pie chart shows what proportion of seafood comes from each country.
Each report needs an introduction, one or two sentences where you convey the information that was given from the task.
The graphs provide information on the volume of seafood imports in the United States from 2002 to 2022, along with a prediction for 2032, and illustrate the distribution of seafood imports among countries in 2022.
Quite often we simply paraphrase the task.
In our task, we have two simple sentences. I’ve merged them into one longer sentence, which covers both charts. Here’s how I paraphrased the task:
I repeated the words seafood imports because that’s what this task is all about. I’m also going to use them a number of times throughout the answer. It’s okay to repeat keywords.
That was the description of the first chart. Now the second.
In my introduction, I paraphrased the task sentences but kept the meaning. If you want to learn more about paraphrasing introductions, read my blog Write Perfect IELTS Academic Task 1 Introductions: How to Paraphrase.
Each report should have an overview, one or two sentences where you summarise the most important things you’ve learned. What’s the big picture?
Without going into detail, I think it’s best to write your overview together with the introduction in a single paragraph.
It’s common to start with the word overall to clearly indicate to the examiner that this is your overview.
Let’s look at the first chart.
The US seafood import market grew substantially in the past two decades…
In the chart, you can see that imports increased significantly between 2002 and 2022. As we’re in 2023, we can say “in the past two decades”. I’m not giving numbers, just an overview of the trend. Next, I continue the same sentence with the overview of the pie chart:
…with the majority of the imports sourced from several countries.
I will name these countries in my body paragraphs. What I want to say here is that several countries import most or more than 50% of their seafood. And the last bit:
In the future, however, import levels are forecast to shrink.
This is a reference to the forecast on the first chart. Remember, exact figures should be given in the body paragraphs.
In my overview, I’m simply describing the trend by saying that the imports will go down. Instead of saying imports, I used import levels to add variety to the vocabulary.
Have a look at the overview as a whole. You see, I’ve summarised all the information on both charts. That’s important.
Most reports have two body paragraphs, sometimes three, but never one. To get Band 7, your report must be logically organised. This means that you need to find a logical way to divide information between your body paragraphs, and you need more than one paragraph to show this.
In this task it’s easy. I describe the first chart in body paragraph one and the second chart in body paragraph two.
I’m starting the body paragraph by making a big statement that described the strong upward trend we have between 2002 and 2022.
Between the years 2002 and 2022, seafood imports in the United States tripled…
Now I need to give some figures from the charts to support this description:
…from about $6 billion at the beginning of the period to over $20 billion in 2022.
This is the golden standard of writing body paragraphs in your Task 1. You describe a trend and then you select the figures that support this description. This shows that you’re summarising the information instead of simply reporting details. You will be penalised for giving too many details, or too many numbers. You must be strategic.
Despite the past growth, …
This phrase links my sentences and tells the examiner that something different is coming next. This is great for cohesion.
Despite the past growth, the graph forecasts a decline in seafood imports by approximately $2 billion in 2032 compared to the 2022 levels.
Let’s move on to body paragraph 2, describing the pie chart.
Regarding the geographical split of imports in 2022…
This phrase introduces what this paragraph is about and helps link paragraphs together, which is a must for a Band 7 score.
China, Thailand and Canada were the dominant countries, controlling two-thirds of the market.
We have a lot of countries on the chart. But when it comes to imports, the larger the country, the more important it is, thus I’m focusing on the top three countries. I’ve calculated that their share of imports is 67% or two-thirds.
Okay, we’ve described the key findings. Now we need to support the description with some figures from the chart:
China had the largest share of seafood imports to the United States (28%), followed by Thailand (23%) and Canada (16%).
When you want to name several countries and give figures for each, the simplest and quickest way is to put them in brackets next to each country.
We can group the other countries with smaller figures together.
In contrast, other countries—such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Ecuador—each contributed less than 10% of the seafood imports.
In contrast is the linker which shows that these countries are different to the big importers we talked about previously.
In this sentence, I do not provide specific numbers for each country. Instead, I indicate that all of them are small and contribute less than 10% individually.
In your report, concentrate on describing trends and key features, not little details. But it may not be easy to pick them straight away.
That’s why in my courses, there are report plans for each type of task to help you select the most important information for your report. The IELTS Academic Pack can help you prepare for IELTS Writing and Speaking step-by-step in less time and achieve a higher score.
In this report, we have 3 paragraphs and 180 words. You can download this model answer in PDF format below.