Saturday, 12 May 2012

Useful language for IELTS Writing Task 1 - describing trends

Many students - and even some IELTS teachers :-D - find Writing Task 1 of the Academic Module very difficult.  I did too, until I discovered the brilliant IELTS-Simon's advice about how to approach it.  His method is very simple and extremely effective - you can find the relevant part of his website here.  Most other books and websites make the whole matter far too complicated.  

They also give the impression that the only way to get a high score in this part of the test is to use incredibly complicated language, and this is simply not true.  You need to have a relatively small amount of vocabulary at your fingertips - that is, ready to use without having to think too hard about it.  You need to use it in the appropriate places, and you need to use it accurately.  

Perhaps the most useful area of vocabulary to learn for IELTS Writing Task 1 is how to describe trends.  You often have to describe a line graph with several lines moving up and down over a period of time, and there are two easy ways of doing this - the 123 method, and the ABCD method.

Here's the 123 method:


1


2

3

The price 
The population
The number of ....


decreased
fell
dropped
went down


gradually
slowly
rapidly
quickly
slightly
somewhat
significantly
substantially
dramatically


increased
rose
went up

remained
stayed


the same


















To avoid repeating the same type of sentence over and over again, you can also add in some sentences using the ABCD method:


A

B

C

D


There was a


gradual
slow
rapid
slight
significant

substantial
dramatic

decrease
fall
decline
drop
increase
rise




in price
in the population
in the number of ...

You don't even need to memorise all of this vocabulary if time is short and you are struggling - the most important thing is to learn a few of these, but learn them thoroughly.  Learn a way of saying that the numbers go up, that the numbers go down and that the numbers stay pretty much the same, plus a couple of adverbs (123 method) and adjectives (ABCD method).  

Learning a few phrases really well, so that you can use them confidently and accurately, will help you focus on the really important part of Task 1 - understanding what the data means, then identifying the most important trends in your general overview paragraph, and describing the trends in more detail in the rest of the report.  

6 comments:

  1. About IELTS
    IELTS stands for ‘International English Language Testing System'. It is an international standardized test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examination, the British Council and IDP Education Australia, and was established in 1989.
    The tests are administered at centers throughout the world. Internationally, universities, professional bodies, government agencies and immigration authorities of countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia recognize it.

    The International English Language testing System is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication and instruction. It covers four basic language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

    IELTS is a compulsory exam for admission into universities and training programs in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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  2. Nice post about IELTS Writing and Speaking Questions it is very important information for students

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  3. Thanks for sharing this nice post.The best way to improve IELTS Graph essay section is to learn through IELTS sample Graph.

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  4. Can I use American English in IELTS? For example: I use the word "Organization" instead of "Organisation". Or sometime I use but sometime don't in the writing section?

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  5. Although grammar is not tested directly on the IELTS, it is tested indirectly in the speaking and writing sections of the exam. You can gain or lose points based on your command of English grammar.

    Improve Grammar and Vocabulary for IELTS

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  6. A high score represents a high level of proficiency; a low score shows a lower level.IELTS is an exam designed for people of any level to take. It gives a result which does not show a pass/fail according to a certain standard, but rather shows your current level in different areas

    english prepositions

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