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IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: writing a mixed/combined/multiple graph; Cambridge 8 Test 1; pie chart and table on land degradation; with plan and model answer

Writing a good answer to a combined / multiple/ mixed graph is always confusing for many IELTS candidates. In this Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 post we are looking at this problem in detail and finding solutions so that we can answer this kind of graph easily. The example picture is taken from Cambridge IELTS series 8 Test 1. You will also find a writing plan and a model answer in this post.

Let’s look at a combined / multiple/ mixed graph first.

The pie chart below shows the main reasons why agricultural land becomes less productive. The table shows how these causes affected three regions of the world during the 1990s.

If we have to answer this question, we need to understand the picture clearly and then make a solid plan quickly.


Here are a few problems that candidates face regularly when answering this type of question.

Solving the problems:

Here are a few suggestions to solve the above-mentioned problems.

Here is a plan that I’ve made for your better understanding of the model answer that I’ve prepared.

Now let’s have a look at the model answer.

Model answer:

The pie chart is a depiction of the prime reasons of low productive agricultural lands whereas the table illustrates the effects of these reasons in three regions of the earth during the 1990s.

As for the pie chart, excessive animal grazing and cutting down of trees cause 35% and 30% of the worldwide land dilapidation respectively. Over-cultivation accounts for 3% more than a quarter of the land degradation while other causes comprises of 7% collectively.

The table presents information on how these reasons differently affected three regions in the 1990s. Europe had the highest percentage of land clearance that was 23%. In the same period the lowest percentage of land degradation was in North America and it reached only 5%. The major cause of the problem was deforestation in Europe (9.8%) while in North America and Oceania the reasons were over-cultivation (3.3%) and over-grazing (11.3%) respectively. Moreover, deforestation in Europe was higher than in North America and Oceania combined. Though in Europe and North America over-cultivation was quite huge, no land was degraded for over-cultivation in Oceania.

Overall, it is clear that farmland degradation in Europe was a bigger problem than other regions and the main reasons were deforestation and over-cultivation.

(201 words)

Click here for answer to a combined/mixed chart (triple pie chart on UK school spending)

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