IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Bar Chart With Model Answer

Pen pointing at multicolored IELTS writing bar charts - image by Magoosh

Wondering what to expect when it comes to bar charts on IELTS Academic Writing Task 1? Let’s examine a practice bar chart question with a model band 9 essay.

To see why this essay is band 9, see our Band 9 essay with scorer commentary, and check out the official IELTS rubric for Task 1 (PDF).

This particular prompt is a bar chart. Your approach to this chart should be the same as your approach to any other Task 1 infographic. Take a look at the information and think carefully. What is the best way to summarize the way the information is structured and the main points? From there, how can you best compare the most relevant pieces of information? Finally, how should you structure that summary and comparison?

For more advice on how to approach this, see our article on IELTS Academic Task 1 paragraph structure, as well as our main page for IELTS sample questions and practice resources.

Try to do this prompt yourself. Then check out our band 9 model essay below the prompt and compare it to your own work to see how you did.

Model IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Prompt: Bar Chart

The chart below gives information about the ratio of income to spending (in dollars) by Americans by age range in 2013.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Model Essay

This graph compares how much Americans spent to how much income they made in 2013, by age group.

The data shows an overall rise and fall in both income and spending between young, middle-aged, and older Americans. Income rises and falls more sharply than spending.

Those under 25 and over 75 actually spent slightly more than they earned. In contrast, between the ages of 25 and 64, Americans earned 10,000 to 20,000 dollars more than they spent. This difference shrinks in the 65-74 age group, where spending was just a few thousand dollars less.

In terms of actual numbers, those under 25 or over 75 earned and spent around 30,000 and 35,000 dollars, respectively. 25-34 year-olds and 65-74 year-olds both earned in the 50,000s and spent in the 40,000s. In the middle, between ages 35 and 64, income was 70,000-80,000 dollars, and spending ranged from roughly 55 to 60 thousand.

More Practice IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Sample Questions and Model Essays

From there, you can study the “big picture” with Magoosh’s comprehensive guide to the entire IELTS Writing section.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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