1. An overview of IELTS Writing Task 1 Table


Despite the familiarity in terms of question type, IELTS Writing Task 1 Table may turn out to be a hindrance to IELTS learners with countless numbers and figures appearing at the same time but lacking images or illustrations. 


IELTS Table Chart can be also divided into two features namely dynamic (figures change overtime) and static (figures don’t change overtime) charts, which is the same with IELTS Line chart, Bar chart and Pie chart. The most obvious difference between IELTS table and the other three question types in IELTS Writing Task 1 is the way to perform numbers and figures. Whereas IELTS table chart only shows figures only, IELTS bar chart, line chart, and pie chart exhibits figures in the form of bars, lines and pies. 


On this IELTS Table Chart task, as usual, you will need to report significant figures in a time limit of approximately 20 minutes with at least 150 words. Furthermore, various vocabulary and grammar structures should be appropriately utilised in IELTS Writing Task 1 Table


Here are some samples of IELTS Writing Task 1 Table:


ielts table sample 1
ielts table sample 1


ielts table sample 2
ielts table sample 2


ielts table sample 3
ielts table sample 3


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2. Structure of IELTS Writing Task 1 Table


Having a similar structure with other types of questions in IELTS Writing Task 1, IELTS Table chart can be organized in three parts:


2.1. Introduction


In this part, you need to give an introduction of the table in only one or two sentences by paraphrasing the question and showing:


  • Kind of graph (table)


  • Main topic (e.g. consumer spending on different items)


  • Place (e.g. Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey)


  • Time (e.g. between 2002)


  • Unit of measurement (%)


e.g. The table illustrates the proportion of national expenditure in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Turkey on three types of consumer items in 2002.


2.2. Overview


In one to three sentences, an IELTS Table chart overview should include only the general trend or outstanding features such as:

  • The highest figure
  • The lowest figure
  • The similar figures
  • The unchanged figures



It’s highly recommended to scan the figures column by column, then row by row to detect the highlighted data. 


e.g. Overall, the category of consumer goods that all countries spent most on was food, drinks and tobacco, which was three times higher than on the other types of goods. The lowest spending could be seen in the category of leisure and education in all five countries. The outlay of Turkey was generally higher than the other four countries.


2.3. Body


In the Body part, specific details will be reported in two separate paragraphs. You can group the data of the Pie Charts base on such ways:


  • Categories (e.g. paragraph 1: Food/Drinks/Tobacco; paragraph 2: Clothing/Footwear & Leisure/Education)


  • Countries (e.g. paragraph 1: Ireland, Turkey with higher figures; paragraph 2: Italy, Spain, Sweden with lower figures)


In terms of choosing figures within a table, you should base on these criteria: 


+ Dynamic chart


  • Choose data in the first and last year to see big changes among categories


  • Choose data in the mid-period to see differences between the highest and lowest figures, or equal figures. 


+ Static chart


  • Choose data by column (the highest, lowest, equal figures)


  • Choode data by row (the highest, lowest, equal figures)


*** Just follow one direction only to describe the table more effortlessly


Each paragraph in the Body part of IELTS Pie chart should only consist of three or four sentences with detailed key features.


>>> Practice now: IELTS Writing Practice Test


3. Steps to get a high band score in the IELTS Writing Task 1 Table 


3.1. Step 1: Analyse the IELTS Table Chart question


IELTS Writing Task 1 Table Chart includes:


  • Description of the table
    (e.g. The table below gives information about consumer spending on different items in five different countries in 2002.)


  • Instructions:
    Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
    & Write at least 150 words.


  • Table:  

The key to boost your score is underlining or highlighting important parts of the questions.


3.2. Step 2: Identify key features


These questions below may help you figure out main characteristics of the table:


  • What is the time period?


  • What is the unit of measurement?


  • What does the title of the table (if any) represent?


  • What is the general trend?


  • What are the biggest, smallest figures/categories?


  • Are there any obvious similarities?


  • Are there any special categories?


3.3. Step 3: Start to write the IELTS Writing Task 1 Pie Chart 


With four paragraphs, follow the three-part structure to write an IELTS Table Chart essay: 

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction


  • Paragraph 2: Overview


  • Paragraph 3: 1st key features


  • Paragraph 4: 2nd key features


3.4. Step 4: Check your IELTS Writing Task 1 Table essay


Apart from the figures analysed, you need to consider grammar structures, spellings and word choices in your IELTS Table chart essay so that you can get a high band score for your performance. 


4. Tips for IELTS Writing Task 1 Table


  • Read carefully and meet the requirements of the IELTS Table chart question 


  • Do not describe all the data given but look for significant figures 


  • Always paraphrasing the given questions 


  • Keep track of your word count (at least 150 words) and time limit (around 20 minutes)


  • Do not give personal comments or opinions


  • Use proper vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 1 Table and various grammar structures. You can refer to vocabulary needed for IELTS Writing Task 1 here: IELTS Academic Writing Task 1


No matter how tricky and difficult an IELTS Table Chart Task 1 can be, you can dominate this question type in IELTS Writing Task 1 by preparing and having a deep insight into the overview, structure, steps and tips to write an IELTS table chart essay. Besides, learning from various model sample answers can be a good choice and IELTS TEST PRO will be an ideal mobile app and website for IELTS test takers and English learners. Visit our website and download the app now!