Part 6: IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 For Diagram/Graph Vocabulary

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Vocabulary to show the sequence:

You must write a summary of at least 150 words in response to a specific graph (bar, line, or pie graph), table, chart, or procedure in Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic test (how something works, how something is done). This job assesses your ability to choose and report the most important aspects, describe and compare data, recognize importance and trends in factual data, and describe a process.

» Subsequently, Respectively, Consecutively, Sequentially.

» Previous, Next, First, Second, Third, Finally, Former, Latter.

Tips:

“The market shares of HTC, Huawei, Samsung, Apple and Nokia in 2010 were 12%, 7%, 20%, 16% and 4% globally.”

The above sentence makes it ambiguous to understand which mobile brand had what percentage of market share. If there are more than 2 values/ figures, you should always use ‘consecutively/ sequentially/ respectively‘. Using either of these words would eliminate any doubt about the above sentence as it will clearly state that the percentages of market shares mentioned here would match the mobile brands sequentially (i.e. first one for the first brand, the second one for the second brand and so on.)

“The market shares of HTC, Huawei, Samsung, Apple and Nokia in 2010 were 12%, 7%, 20%, 16% and 4% respectively in the global market.”

Note: You do not need to use ‘consecutively/ sequentially/ respectively’ if there are only two values to write.

Vocabulary to show transitions:

Vocabulary to describe different types of data/trends in a paragraph while showing a smooth and accurate transition is quite important. Following word(s)/ phrase(s) would help you do so in an excellent way…

» Then

» Afterwards

» Following that

» Followed by

» Next

» Subsequently

» Former

» Latter

» After

» Previous

» Prior to

» Simultaneously

» During

» While

» Finally.

Few More Vocabularies:

Few more useful vocabulary to use in your report writing:

» Stood at

» A marked increase

» Steep

» Gradual

» Hike

» Drastic

» Declivity

» Acclivity

» Prevalent » Plummet

Useful phrases for describing graphs:

» To level off

» To reach a plateau

» To hit the highest point

» To stay constant

» To flatten out

» To show some fluctuation

» To hit the lowest point

» Compared to

» Compared with

» Relative to

Useful Vocabulary for Graphs and Diagrams

To get a high score in Task 1 writing of the academic IELTS you need to give accurate and strong description and analyses for the provided graph(s) or diagram. In this minimum 150 word essay it is easy to keep repeating words and numbers. However, this is not good to achieve a high score. In order to get a great band level on this section of the IELTS, you must use a variety of vocabulary that not only describes but also emphasizes the changes, similarities and differences in the data.

Verbs

These verbs are alternatives to the basic rise and fall vocabulary. One benefit of using them is that sometimes they help you avoid repeating too many numbers. If you have a strong verb, you don’t always have to give the exact figure.

Up Verbs

Verbs Example
soar the use of water soared in March
leap the prices leapt to 90% in one year
Climb populations climbed to over one million by 1980
Rocket use of cars rocketed in the first decade
Surge a surge of migration is seen in November

 

Notes:

  • “Soar “and “rocket” are both very strong words that describe large rises. “Rocket” is more sudden. You probably do not need to qualify these verbs with adverbs.
  • “Leap” shows a large and sudden rise. Again, you probably do not need to qualify it with an adverb.
  • “Climb” is a relatively neutral verb that can be used with the adverbs below.

Down verbs

Verbs Example
Sink The cost of housing sunk after 2008
Slip back Use of electricity slipped back to 50 in May
Dip Divorce rate dipped in the 60s
Drop A drop in crime can be seen last year
Plummet Tourists to the city plummets after September

Notes:

  • “Plummet” is the strongest word here. It means to fall very quickly and a long way.
  • “Drop” and “drop” are normally used for fairly small decreases
  • “Slip back” is used for falls that come after rises
  • “Drop” and “Dip” are also frequently used as nouns: “a slight dip” “a sudden drop”

Adjectives and adverbs

This is a selection of some of the most common adjectives and adverbs used for trend language. Please be careful. This is an area where it is possible to make low-level mistakes.

Make sure that you use adjectives with nouns and adverbs with verbs:

  • a significant rise – correct (adjective/noun)
  • rose significantly – correct (adverb/verb)
  • a significantly rise – wrong

Please also note the spelling of the adverbs. There is a particular problem with the word “dramatically:

  • dramatically – correct
  • dramaticly – wrong
  • dramaticaly – wrong

Adjectives of Degree

Adjective Example Adverb Example
Significant A significant change Significantly Changed

significantly

Dramatic A dramatic shift Dramatically Sifts dramatically
Sudden A sudden rise Suddenly Has risen suddenly
Substantial A substantial gain Substantially Gained substantially
Sharp A sharp decrease Sharply Had decreased

sharply

  Notes:

  • “sudden” and “sharp” can be used for relatively minor changes that happen quickly
  • “spectacular” and “dramatic” are very strong words only used for big changes

Steady Adjectives

Adjective Example Adverb Example
Consistent A consistent flow Consistently Flowed consistently
Steady A steady movement Steadily Moved steadily
Constant Constant shift Constantly Sifted constantly

  Small adjectives

Adjective Example Adverb Example
Slight A slight rise Slightly Rose slightly
Gradual A gradual fall Gradually Has fallen gradually
Marginal A marginal change Marginally Had changed

marginally

Modest A modest increase Modestly Increases modestly

  Notes:

  • “marginal” is a particularly useful word for describing very small changes

Other useful adjectives

These adjectives can be used to describes more general trends

Adjective Example
Upward By looking at the five data points, there appears to be a clear upward pattern in prices
Downward Over the past quarter century there is a downward trend in use of pesticides
Overall The overall shift in the market seems to favour the use of nuclear power

Notes:

  • “overall” can be used to describe changes in trend over the whole period: very useful in introductions and conclusions
  • “upward” and “downward” are adjectives: the adverbs are “upwards” and “downwards”

Credit: Stalin’s GRE, Internet

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