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How to Write An IELTS Task 1 Table Band 9 Report

How to write an IELTS Task-1 Table Report - IELTS Luminary

In IELTS Writing Task 1, you might be given one or two tables containing data. Your task will be to compare the information provided between different time periods or entities. This is a common type of question in this task.

It's important to focus on only one or two significant features in each table, rather than trying to include everything you see. This advice applies to all types of Writing Task 1 questions.

To tackle a Table Chart question, follow these seven major steps:

  1. Analyse the question

  2. Identify the major features

  3. Remember the 4 paragraph structure

  4. Paraphrase the question sentence

  5. Write an Overview paragraph

  6. Write the Body paragraph 1

  7. Write the Body paragraph 2

This will guide you through the process and help you produce a well-structured response.​

However, if you want to ensure the band score you need in the IELTS exam, you can use our IELTS Writing Feedback service. A former IELTS examiner will give you detailed feedback on how to reach your target score.

We also offer you eBooks loaded with in-depth discussion that are guaranteed to help you achieve a high band score. These eBooks have been written by a team of former IELTS examiners and contain top-quality content, including powerful tips and strategies that reveal band 9 secrets.

 

In these eBooks, our team of examiners has shared their step by step detailed illustration how to write high band IELTS essays, covering all possible question types in the Writing part.

Example

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows expenditures of four car companies on advertising in the UK in 2002.

Write at least 150 words.

How to Achieve a High Band Score in IELTS Academic Task 1 Report - eBook by IELTS Luminary
How to Write a High Band Scoring Task 2 Essay - eBook by IELTS Luminary (IELTS Essay eBook)
IELTS Writing Task 1 Table Chart

Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

1. How to Analyse A Task 1 Table Question

To answer an IELTS question effectively, we must identify three key elements in the question sentence: topic words, micro keywords, and action words.

Topic words refer to the general area of the question topic, such as the advertising expenditure of car companies.

Micro keywords help us to prepare a specific answer by providing details such as the companies involved (Renault, Rover, Vauxhall, Cetirizine) and the media used (Press, Cinema, Outdoor, Radio, and TV).

Action words are the words that tell us what to do, such as "compare." Even if these words are not directly stated, we must understand what the examiner expects us to do. For example, if there are multiple diagrams or issues to discuss, we should focus on comparing the major features.

If you want further detailed discussion on question analysis, if you want experienced examiners' special tips and strategies on how to analyse a question most effectively, you can check the dedicated chapter in the eBook.

Once we have analysed the question, we can identify the major features in the diagrams and proceed with answering the question effectively.

2. How to Identify the Main features in A Task 1 Table

Finding the major features in an IELTS Task 1 table question is an essential skill to master. The following steps can guide you through the process:

Understand the Data: Before anything else, you need to thoroughly understand the data presented in the table. Take your time to read the title, the column and row headers, and the units of measurement. This will give you a general idea about the content of the table.

Identify Trends: Look at the data and identify any noticeable trends. These could be increases or decreases over time, patterns of growth or decline, or consistent patterns.

Note Extremes: Find the highest and lowest figures, or any data that stands out because it's significantly different from the rest. This includes sudden increases or decreases, or numbers that are particularly high or low compared to others.

Make Comparisons: Look for comparisons that can be made. These could be between different categories in the table, or between different periods of time. For instance, one category might consistently perform better or worse than others, or there might be noticeable changes from one year to the next.

Look for Similarities and Differences: If there are multiple categories or periods of time, look for any similarities or differences between them. This could be in terms of trends, patterns, or individual data points.

Summarize: Finally, try to summarize the main features of the data. This is what you'll need to present in your IELTS Task 1 report.

Remember, finding the major features isn't about presenting every single piece of data in the table. Instead, you're looking for the key points that give a broad overview of the data as a whole. Practice this skill regularly, and you'll find that it becomes much easier to quickly and accurately identify the major features in any IELTS Task 1 table question.

 

Let's apply the above-mentioned strategy and find the key features in our sample table question:

  • Renault (among the car companies) was the leading spender: 132 million dollars in total

  • TV (among the media) attracted the highest advertising expense: 239 million dollars

  • Study area: UK in 2002. Units are measured in millions of dollars.

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3. IELTS Task 1 Table Report Writing Structure

We can complete the essay using only 10 sentences! Yes, it is that much simple! Take a look how we place the 10 sentences in our 4 paragraph essay structure. The eBook gives you step by step detailed demonstration on how to write each paragraph perfectly.

 

1. Paraphrasing the Question Sentence

Paraphrase the question statement using just one or two sentences. 

 

2. Overview Paragraph

Sentence 1: summary statement 1(preview of the essay without presenting data)

Sentence 2: summary statement 2 (more preview without presenting data)

 

3. Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1: first major point

Sentence 2: second major point

Sentence 3: extension sentence 1 (compare/combine the major points stated above)

Sentence 4: extension sentence 2 (extension of the previous sentence, or adding an exceptional feature).

4. Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1: exceptional feature 

Sentence 2: extension of the exceptional feature

Sentence 3: final sentence (wrapping-up the whole essay, completely based on the discussion above, nothing new)

Let's develop the answer step by step applying the above-stated 4 paragraph essay structure.

Before jumping on to give you a step by step detailed discussion, let's ask you a question:

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4. Paraphrasing the Question Sentence

This is the first paragraph of our IELTS Task 1 essay. This paragraph is all about paraphrasing the question statement. That means you will restate the question sentence in your language without changing the meaning of the original sentence. If you want to write this paragraph perfectly, you need to have a good grip on paraphrasing techniques. You can check the eBook for powerful tips and strategies on how to paraphrase effectively.

 

This paragraph conveys an impression to the examiner how well you have understood the question.

Let's look at the actual question statement that we are using on this page:

"The table below shows expenditures of four car companies on advertising in the UK in 2002."

We can paraphrase the statement above as:

"The data table displays the advertising expenditure of the four car companies in millions of dollars, in the United Kingdom during 2002."

That concludes the first paragraph, which only consumed 23 words out of the 150-word limit. Moving forward to the next section, the Overview Paragraph.

5. Overview Paragraph

Overview is the second paragraph of our IELTS Writing Task 1 essay. This is the most important paragraph as well. Because without an overview paragraph in Task 1, you cannot expect more than band 5 in IELTS Writing section. Therefore, you need to take a very special care for this paragraph.

An Overview simply means a summary of the main features that you are going to discuss in the body paragraphs. Don't use any data in this paragraph, just state the most significant changes of the data that you can see in the Table. Remember, you are writing this paragraph only for conveying a general idea about your essay to the readers, not any details. For more in-depth discussion on how to write a smart overview paragraph, you can check the eBook written by a team of vastly experienced former IELTS examiners.

 

Overview Paragraph Structure

Remember our Overview paragraph structure:

Sentence 1: summary statement 1(preview of the essay without presenting data)

Sentence 2: summary statement 2 (more preview without presenting data)

Let's form the paragraph:

Sentence 1(Summary Statement 1)

"Overall, Renault was the top spender on advertisement, with TV attracting the highest expenditure."

Sentence 2(Summary Statement 2)

"The companies' expenses varied for Press, Cinema, and Outdoor advertising, but they allocated identical budgets towards radio promotion."

Complete Overview Paragraph

"Overall, Renault was the top spender on advertisement, with TV attracting the highest expenditure. The companies' expenses varied for Press, Cinema, and Outdoor advertising, but they allocated identical budgets towards radio promotion."

It's pretty straightforward. In the previous section, we used 23 words to rephrase the question sentence, and now we have added another 32 words to complete the Overview paragraph. This indicates that we have finished two of the four paragraphs required for the IELTS Task 1 essay, and we're already halfway there. Let's proceed to the next sections, Body Paragraph 1 and Body Paragraph 2.

6. Body Paragraph 1

In the overview paragraph, we have given just a general statement of significant features, we haven't discussed any detail. Now it's time to explain them in the two body paragraphs.

Body Paragraph 1 Structure

Remember our Body Paragraph 1 structure:

Sentence 1: first major point

Sentence 2: second major point

Sentence 3: extension sentence 1 (compare/combine the major points stated above)

Sentence 4: extension sentence 2 (extension of the previous sentence, or adding an exceptional feature).

Let's form the paragraph following the above-stated structure:

Sentence 1(First Major Point)

"Renault took the top spot for promotional expenses, investing a total of 132 million dollars, while the other three companies each spent 100 million dollars."

Sentence 2(Second Major Point)

"TV received the highest advertising expenditure, with a total of 239 million dollars from all four companies."

Sentence 3(Extension Sentence 1)

"The advertising type hierarchy consisted of TV, followed by Press, with Renault leading the advertising companies, and Vauxhall coming in second place."

Sentence 4(Extension Sentence 2)

"In terms of radio promotion, each of the four companies invested an equal sum of 15 million dollars."

Complete Body Paragraph 1

"Renault took the top spot for promotional expenses, investing a total of 132 million dollars, while the other three companies each spent 100 million dollars. TV received the highest advertising expenditure, with a total of 239 million dollars from all four companies. The advertising type hierarchy consisted of TV, followed by Press, with Renault leading the advertising companies, and Vauxhall coming in second place. In terms of radio promotion, each of the four companies invested an equal sum of 15 million dollars."

We've completed 75% of the IELTS Task 1 essay by adding 82 words to write the first body paragraph. It's a simple process of describing the obvious features shown in the pictures. In total, we've used 137 words so far for three paragraphs, and we only have one more paragraph left to write. It's okay to add a few more words, preferably 170-220, but never write less than the minimum required 150 words.

 

Awesome! Now, it's time to move to the final paragraph, Body Paragraph 2.

7. Body Paragraph 2

Body paragraph 2 is the final paragraph of our IELTS Task 1 essay. This is the easiest paragraph in the whole essay. Because here we're just stating other features briefly in the first sentence, adding another overall comparison statement in the second sentence, and then writing a final sentence summarizing the whole essay. Let's apply our structure for the second body paragraph:

Body Paragraph 2 Structure

Sentence 1: exceptional feature 

Sentence 2: extension of the exceptional feature

Sentence 3: final sentence (wrapping-up the whole essay, completely based on the discussion above, nothing new)

Let's form the paragraph following the above-stated structure:

Sentence 1(Exceptional Feature)

"On the other hand, Cetirizine spent the most, 70 million dollars, on TV advertisements, with Vauxhall following behind."

Sentence 2(Extension of the Exceptional Feature) 

"Outdoor and cinema promotions received the least amount of expenditure."

Sentence 3(Final Sentence)

"Finally, TV obtained the largest percentage of advertising expenses among all four companies, and Renault was the top spender for advertisement purposes."

Complete Body Paragraph 2

"On the other hand, Cetirizine spent the most, 70 million dollars, on TV advertisements, with Vauxhall following behind. Outdoor and cinema promotions received the least amount of expenditure. Finally, TV obtained the largest percentage of advertising expenses among all four companies, and Renault was the top spender for advertisement purposes."

We have included 47 extra words to the earlier 137, and wrapped up our 4-paragraph essay. This means we accomplished an IELTS Task 1 essay with 184 words, surpassing the required minimum of 150 words.

Well, mastering the art of crafting a compelling IELTS Task 1 Table Band 9 Report doesn't happen overnight. It takes persistence, dedication, and a good understanding of the format, content, and structure. However, with the right strategies such as focusing on language accuracy, task achievement, and coherence and cohesion, you can significantly increase your IELTS Writing Band score. Remember to make clear comparisons, interpret the data accurately, and provide a suitable overview.

The path to perfecting your IELTS Task 1 report writing is no doubt challenging, but it becomes significantly easier when armed with effective strategies and practice. So, don't be disheartened if your first attempts don't fetch you a Band 9. Keep practicing, keep improving, and use the tips in this blog post to guide your journey.

 

Acing your IELTS Task 1 Table Band 9 report is within your reach, so take the necessary steps today. From understanding the structure to meticulously proofreading your work, every step counts towards your success. Keep perfecting your writing skills and watch your IELTS scores soar!

Don't forget to check the following resources:

Check the detailed discussion on all the question types

Pie Chart               Bar Chart

Line Graph             Map

Table Chart            Process Diagram

Multiple Graphs

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