Academic Task 1. Part 3. Describing Data in 2 Charts.

Alfred's 5 STEP APPROACH for all data charts in Task 1 Writing.

  • Write high band scoring answers.
  • Write with confidence.
  • Write faster
  • Make fewer mistakes

Just follow the 5 step approach I use in my videos. This will help you write with more confidence because by practising this technique, you will learn exactly how to plan and how to write for each task.

Learn these steps to write higher band scoring answers.

My Recommended 5 Step Approach.

Step 1. Read the Question & Brainstorm Different Vocabulary.

Make sure you fully understand what the question is asking you to write about and brainstorm some different words to use a wider range of vocabulary in your answer. This will help you get a higher band score. This should only take 1 to 2 minutes in the test, so practice doing this quickly.

Step 2. Write the introduction & overview paragraphs. 

In step 2, you should identify key information, then write the introduction and overview paragraphs. This should take 5 to 6 minutes in the test.

  • For the introduction, identify 1) what the chart is comparing, 2) where, and 3) when (the time period). Also remember to mention the unit of measurement  (e.g. % percentages).
  • For the overview, you need to identify the general trend. What can you see overall in the data? There is no need to state specific dates and statistics - just write about 3 sentences explaining what is happening generally in the chart - as an overall picture of the data.

As soon as you have identified what, where and when the chart is about (and the unit of measurement), you can write the introduction. Also, write the overview paragraph expressing the general trends you can see in the chart data.


Important Tip. Because this question has 2 charts, you need to include information for both charts in the introduction and the overview.

Step 3. Identify main features.

Before you write your body paragraphs, identify main features. In other words, choose what you think are the main points in the chart that you will write about in the body paragraphs.

  • Select 2 or 3 ideas for each body paragraph. If you don't choose main features before you write the body paragraphs, you will probably mess up your answer. Planning is essential. For this question, there are 2 charts, so ONLY select 3 (4 maximum) main features from each chart. In body paragraph 1, write about chart 1; in body paragraph 2, write about chart 2.
  • This should only take about 2 minutes in the actual test and will enable you to write a more organised answer, which will help you to get a higher band score.

Step 4. Write 2 body paragraphs.

When you write the body paragraphs, try to stick to the main features you selected in step 3. Also, make sure that you ONLY compare data from the chart. Don't give your opinion. Don't infer anything into the data that you cannot see in the chart data. Don't predict future trends because the question does NOT ask you to do this., and don't write about small details that are not important. Most importantly, make sure you MAKE COMPARISONS. If you don't, you will get a lower band score. Finally, when comparing data, use fractions, adverbs, comparatives and approximate expressions.

  • change percentages to fractions (e.g. 50% = a half; 33% = a third; 25% = a quarter)
  • use adverbs & comparatives (e.g. 23% - just over / more than a fifth)
  • use approximate expressions (nearly, approximately, about, roughly, almost).

Step 5. Read your answer and correct any obvious mistakes.

  • Try to leave at least 2 minutes at the end of task 1 to quickly read and check for mistakes. By eliminating silly spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes, you could increase your band score. I find it is easier to check sentences and paragraphs as soon as I have written them as this helps me to think about how to write the next logical sentence - giving the writing a better 'flow'.