A double or triple pie chart has become a common question in the recent IELTS exam; and so this Academic IELTS Task 1 post focuses on such kind of topic. We shall look at an example from Cambridge IELTS Series book 8 Test 2 where a triple pie chart on school spending is given. This post will help the IELTS candidates to plan on this kind of questions and write a strong answer by maintaining all the regulations of writing task 1.
So, let’s take a look at the picture first.
Here is the question with title.
The three pie charts below show the changes in annual spending by a particular UK school in 1981, 1991 and 2001.
Plan for the writing:
Looking closely at the charts, we can see some interesting points which we can turn into a great plan.
- All the three pie charts show the same sort of information. It is about the total spending by a UK school.
- There is a timeline of 20 years, divided into three sections: 1981, 1991 and 2001.
- Both ‘language of trends’ and ‘language of comparisons’ can be used.
- The description or details section has to be in simple past tense because all the pictures show times like 1981, 1991 and 2001.
- This will be 3-paragraph report.
- First paragraph: Introduce the topic by paraphrasing the title. (20-30 words)
- Second paragraph: Overall trend/ Summary of the pictures. (30-40 words)
- Third paragraph: detailed description of the charts with most eye-catching trends and skipping some of the information. (100-110 words)
- Necessary comparisons should be made with the highest and lowest figures of each pie chart.
Now, we look at a model answer prepared by an IELTS expert:
The three pie charts compare the out-goings of a school in the UK in three different years over a 20-year timeline.
It is clearly visible that teachers’ salaries dominated the school’s spending in all three years (1981, 1991 and 2001) whereas a contrasting scenario was observed in terms of insurance with the lowest expenditure each year.
In 1981, teachers’ salaries constituted the highest percentage of the school cost which was 40%. This figure jumped to 50% in 1991, but went down again by 5% in 2001. The share of outlays on other workers’ wages slightly declined over the 20-year period, from 28% of the allotment in 1981 to only 15% in the year 2001. Spending on insurance was only 2% of the total in 1981, but it developed by 6% in 2001. Furthermore, the percentages for resources and furniture/equipment oscillated. The share of resources was the maximum in 1991 at 20% whereas the percentage of expenditure on furniture and equipment reached the top in 2001, at 23%.
(167 words, band score 8.0)
Word count is perfect and the key features are all covered. The response also contains a solid overview. Information and ideas are arranged coherently and perfectly flowed towards the end of the response. Cohesive devices are used effectively and there is a clear progression overall. The range of vocabulary is both adequate and appropriate and spelling is accurate with the use of less common vocabulary to justify a higher band. There is a mix of simple and complex sentence structures, used fairly accurately.