IELTS WRITING – Task One (3)

A chart like this one is easy to understand, but tricky to write about. There are lots of things you could say. In fact there is far too much information. You will need to choose the main ideas.

So what are the main ideas? Look at the chart and think about what you can learn quickly.

These are the things I saw:
1. The US won in all categories.
2. The top 4 countries had much higher numbers of medals than the remaining 6 countries.
3. Two countries were out of order if you looked at the total number of medals they won.

What did you see? Once you’ve worked out what the chart is about and what the main ideas are, you are ready to start writing. So check ‘what you need to do’ below … and … start writing!

TIP: Many students forget about the subject and start writing sentences that are quite silly if you think about them.
America was biggest. The smallest country was Australia.
Oops! ‘Countries’ are not the subject. The subject is ‘the number of medals won at the Olympics’. Make sure that your subject is always clear!



Introduction with overview

Imagine that the person you are writing for cannot see the graph. Tell them what it’s about.

Tell the reader …

  • The type of graph (bar, pie, line)
  • Title and dates – (don’t use exactly the same sentence structure as question or legend)
  • The scale


  • An overview

Report the main information

  • Use accurate numbers (eg. 11 gold medals)
  • Use words like – while, whereas, in contrast to, etc. – in complex sentences to compare different aspects of the information


  • Write at least 150 words.
  • Use one paragraph for the introduction
  • Use one to 3 paragraphs for the rest of the information.


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