Writing a good answer to a combined/multiple/mixed graph is always confusing/frustrating for many IELTS candidates. In this 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 15 AC Test 4. 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 chart below shows what Anthropology graduates from one university did after finishing their undergraduate degree course. The table shows the salaries of the anthropologists in work after five years.
If we have to answer this question, we need to comprehend/recognize the picture clearly and then make a solid plan quickly.
Here are few problems that candidates face regularly when answering this type of question:
- The number of paragraphs to write: Candidates often get confused about the number of paragraphs to write for this question. Should it be 3/4/5 or more?
- Limiting the words: In this type of question candidates often forget that they are writing too many words. Be cautious! You may write more than 150 words, but should not make your examiner irritated or bored!
- Making relevant comparisons: Candidates often get confused in deciding whether to compare the two or three given pictures.
- Providing all or some information in the body paragraph: Providing information can become tricky sometimes! Candidates also face this problem on a regular basis.
Solving the problems:
Here are few suggestions to solve the above-mentioned problems:
- Paragraphing: Look at the question carefully. If it has two pictures, see if there is any headline for each picture. This may give you a hint about the discussed subject. In most cases, the pictures can never be compared when they are different. In this case, you have a pie chart and a table, and the information they are providing is also quite dissimilar. So, you need to write a 4-paragraph answer (including a conclusion) or a 3-paragraph answer (excluding a conclusion).
- Word Limit: You should build up a habit of guessing the number of words that you have written every now and then. Thus, you can control your writing. You can also make a plan of how many words you want to write for each paragraph. This will limit your writing accurately.
- Making comparisons: If the pictures are similar, say, two or three pie charts, you need to check them carefully. If they present the same information at different times or periods, you must compare them in the same paragraph. However, for pictures like this one, a pie chart, and a table, where each picture present information which does not match with the other, you need not compare.
- Providing data/information: In most combined or mixed graphs, you need not provide all the data or information in your description because you need to write more than 150 words. So, you must make a good plan on the question beforehand to include only the necessary data or information.
Now let’s have a look at the model answer:
The depicted chart illustrates the proportion of what Anthropology graduates from a particular university did once their graduation has been completed whereas the table presents the income they generate after five years’ work based on three types of employment. Overall, for the chart, most of the graduates worked full-time once finishing university whereas the table shows that the percentage of people is the maximum in $100K+ range and a vast majority of them work in the government sector.
As can be seen in the pie chart, amongst the six destinations provided, just above half of the graduates achieved full-time works while part-timers occupied second place with 15%. Moreover, 12% of the graduate degree holders remained unemployed. Two other categories, full-time postgrad study, and unknown, have a similar percentage (8%) while only 5% of these particular degree holders worked part-time while studying postgraduate.
As far as salaries are concerned, 40% of the freelance consultants receive a monthly payment of more than $75,000 and $100K+ equally. Furthermore, exactly 50% of the Anthropologists working in the government sector are paid with a maximum rate of over $100,000. On the other hand, 35% of private service holders receive around $50,000-$74,999 of salary while 5% of both freelancers and government job holders earn the lowest amount of salary at $25,000-$49,999 range.