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How to Describe a Table in IELTS Writing Task 1?


In IELTS writing task 1 of academic module, you find different types of diagrammatic questions. Table is one of such questions that can be asked in IELTS writing task 1. Table questions appear in different ways in the exam. There can be a single table or two tables. It can also be the case that you have a table with a combination of other diagram such as bar chart, line graph or pie chart. Whatever the question is, you can follow the below easy steps in order to describe a table effectively.

Step 1: Read the Question and Select Information

The first step to follow in any type of question in IELTS writing task 1 is to read the question carefully and understand it well. In the question statement, you will find the basic information of what the table is about and then you can check the table heading which would also give you more clarity of the question. Afterwards, you can check the main headings of columns and rows with a slight glare at the figures. Do not analyse the figures deeply at this stage.

Step 2: Write Introduction

Now that you have read your IELTS writing task 1 table question well, you can start write introduction. Also, make sure you are writing introduction in only 3-4 lines of your sheets. It should not be like a body paragraph and should cover up the main things of the table question. You can firstly paraphrase the question statement by rearranging words and/or using synonyms and enhance it further by mentioning the year or time period. For example,

Question statement:

The tables show the employment rate of men and women as per their ages in 1990.

Table heading:

Rate of employment of males and females, 1990


The given two tables describe the percentage of employment rate among males and females, according to their age groups, in the year 1990.

Step 3: Analyse the Table Question Well

Like the other IELTS writing task 1 questions, mentioning the key features is important in table question too. To analyse a table, you should read it carefully. You may first try to analyse the trend of the figures given in the table according to columns and then analyse it row wise. You can notice if the figures are increasing, decreasing, constant or undergoing fluctuation and mention the same. Also, you can mention the highest figure and lowest figure in a particular row/column.

Step 4: Write Your Body Paragraphs

You can now begin writing your body paragraphs after analysing the table for 5 minutes. Structure your body paragraphs well in order to align your writing well in terms of coherence while do use sentence connectors such as other than this, furthermore, whereas etc. to add value in terms of cohesion. You should write not more than 2 body paragraphs in IELTS writing task 1 question. You can compare the figures to find out if there are any differences or similarities.

Step 5: Write Conclusion

At the end or after introduction, you must write conclusion or summary that has great value towards your IELTS writing task 1 assessment. To find conclusive feature in a table, you may mention the overall increasing or decreasing trend of a particular column/row. It can also be highest or lowest figures that you can mention but make sure you have not written them in the body paragraphs earlier otherwise it may become repetitive.

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