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June 09, 2011


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The graph contrasts the different amount of money in sterling which is spent on different products by consumers of various European countries.

It is clear that Great Britian has the highest spending on all goods,France comes next where there is the highest expenses on two items.Italy spends more money than Germany on the 6 products.The Germans are spending the biggest amount of money on Tennis racquets,which reflects being big fans for the game.

Most of the money(170,000) spent by the British Citizens is on the Photographic films and Toys .on the other hand the Germans spend the least(£150,000) on such items.

The Italian nation consumption to Toys is the same as that of the French .The Germans are the least consumers of the six goods.They prefer spending money on the Personal stereos ,Tennis racquets and Perfumes more than the other products.

Overall,more money is spent on Photographic films,Toys and CDs which ranges from nearly £162,000. to £170,000.

Should I write the products in capitals as shown on the figure?

Is it a must to mention the amount of money or just more than,less than.
Thank you soooo much

Hi Simon can we write in task 1 as moka has written about tennis racquets that germany is spending more money b/c which reflects being big fans for the game.

Hi Moka,

You don't need to mention the amount in every sentence, but you should mention SOME of the amounts.


Hi Rani,

No, you should only describe what you can see. Reasons and opinions will be considered irrelevant, so don't include them.

Thank you very much.

Thanks Simon,what about the Capitals?it always confuses me.Also do you think I should have added more information?I tried to follow your advices .

Hi Simon,
In writing test, if i do not have enough time to finish the body paragraph, I leave 3 or 4 blanks to write the conclusion first. Do the blank rows affect my band score or not? Thanks a lot, sir!

The bar chart provided to us reveals the data of money expenditure by the Britains,French,Italians and Germans on 6 different selling goods.
it is clear that UK and France are the biggest customers of almost all the products in Europe than Italy and Germany.
In UK the demand for photographic films,toys,cds,perfumes,tennis racquets and personal stereos is bigger.people spend around £170,000 in purchase of photographic films.The French market is the second biggest market in the purchase of photographic films,toys and cds.However the sale figure for perfumes,tennis racquets and personal stereos are the lowest around £140,000.
Of the two smaller markets in Europe,Italy have greatest money expenditure on toys industry nearly £158,000 than any other product.The purchasing power is lowest among Germans spending around £145,000 in all the 6 products.

Hi simon!i have bought your ebook and now i m trying to use that book.i want to ask one thing
thing that for task 1 where should i look for and one more point is that in my last ielts test there were two pie diagrams.can you please
tell me in your lesson how to deal with them.
many regards

hello simon,
If i start this it is like that
The given chart illustrates the amount of money in pounds sterling on 6 big consumer goods with respect to 4 European countries. The consumer good includes personal stereos, tennis racquet, perfumes,CDs , toys and photographic film. It is clear that British people are ranked highest in spending on all 6 items whereas figure for German expenditure are almost remain constant.
This is the first paragraph,is there any improvement i can make? so please let me know.

The bar chart shows that money spending on consumer goods in 4 countries such as Germany, Italy, France and Britain. It is clear that Britain has the highest money spending on all consumer goods. Germany, on the other hand , has a lowest spending all on products. More money is spent on the entertainment products ,which are CDs, toys and photographic film, range from £160,00-£175,000. While the expenditures on the other 3 products range from £145,00-£160,000.
France has second highest for 3 products; CDs, toys and photographic film, whereas it has lowest spending on the other 3 products; personal stereos, tennis racquets and perfumes. According to Italy, it was found that Italians spent more money on toys than on any other products.
To sum up, we can see that Britain has a highest spending expenditures on all products. On the other hand, Germany has a lowest spending expenditure for consumer goods.

Hi Moka,

Names of countries need capitals, but for items like 'toys', 'photographic film' you shouldn't use capitals.

In terms of details, you just have to do as much as you can in 20 minutes.


Hi Tom,

I think it's more important to continue with the main body than to do the conclusion. The conclusion just repeats your main idea, so it's not a big problem if you don't have time to do it. Main body paragraphs are the key to a high score.


Hi Jiya,

The ebook is only for task 2. For task 1, you can find all of my materials here on this website. Go through all of the task 1 lessons - I'm sure you'll find all the advice you need.

Pie charts are no different to table or bar charts - they show numbers (usually percentages) and your job is to compare the numbers.


Hi Shahla,

I wouldn't use "ranked highest" because that makes it seem like a competition. Just use something more normal, like "British people spent the most money..."


Hi Chatirot,

You've got the right idea, but you only need one summary (you repeated the part about Britain = highest and Germany = lowest).

Dear Simon,
I've been following this website for about three weeks now.You are doing a great job, I learnt alot from your blog.I went through the test one in IELTS book 5.It had a graph indicationg percentages of elderly people.Im confused with the tense we have to use.Its has years from 1940 to 2040.can you help me with this.


Thanks simon,could you please advise me whether we could use present or past tense in the above graph or not.Also are the details included in my writing enough?
Thanks a lot

The bar chart shows the consumer spending on various categories of goods in four main countries.
It is clearly can be seen Britain has spent more money on all types of goods mentioned above whereas spending for CDs,Toys and Photpgraphic Films were high.It accounts for more than 160 thousand pounds sterling.The British people are seems to be the top consumers related to the given goods which has spent the biggest share of their income compared to the other 3 countries.The total spending on above categories was least and almost same for German people approximately 150 thousand pounds sterling.

France is the second biggest consumer on Toys and entertaining products such as CDs and Photographic films while it has lowest figures for other three types of goods nearly 150 thousand pounds sterling.Toys were the most important category for Italians and French people which has spent largest proportion of their budget just below 160 thousand pound sterling.Compared to the other 3 regions German citizens had far lower levels of spending on items given while it margins 150 thousand pounds sterling.

To sum up,there are noticeable differences in consumer patterns among four countries in terms of personal Stereos,Tennis racquets ,Perfumes ,CDs,Toys and Photographic Films

hi simon is this acceptable according to your writing rules?

Hi, Simon.
Could you introduce to us some alternatives for describing the highest point and the lowest point?
For example, the figure for...was the highest/lowest, at 10%.
Thank you.

Hi Simon,
Thanks again sir! Before your advice, I was afraid that essay structure is the most important. If I miss the conclusion, my band score will be deducted strictly.

Hi T,

For that test, try to use both past and future tenses, depending on the year you are talking about.


Hi Moka,

Either past or present would be fine. The details you included are fine too. Maybe if you had time, you could add one or two more details.


Hi Deepika,

The structure is fine, but try to find someone who can check your grammar mistakes. You need to work on accuracy.


Hi Adverb,

Don't worry about changing the words "highest" and "lowest" - there aren't really any good synonyms for these words (in the context you asked about). Native speakers don't usually try to change them.


Hi Tom,

There is nothing in the examiner's notes about losing points because of missing the conclusion.

Is it Ok to add a number using brackets in Task 1?
Thank you.

presents information about the money spent on a wide range of goods in four European countries. It is clear that the most substantial amount of money spent in all categories is by Britain.

The most striking is the amount of money spent by British and French people on films with almost 170.000. and 1`65.000 pounds respectively .The three categories of goods films , toys and cds follow the same pattern in terms of the amount of money spent in purchasing them. The range of money spent account for 145- 170 thousand.

The amount of money spent by Italian is ranging from 150.000 to 155.000 pounds but the highest amount spent is on tennis racquets . tennis racquets is also considered primarily by Germanium with 150,000 pounds spent

The four countries spent almost the same amount of money on personal stereos with an average 150.000 pounds. Whereas the data on perfumes are not quit similar for Britain and France, 160.000 and 150.000 respectively.

Thanks a lot Simon.

Hi Adverb,

Yes, it's ok if you just do it once or twice.

Hi Simon!
Could you please help me to describe writing task 1 test2 ielts 4 or task 1 test1 in ielts1 book.i really find it difficult how to start and compare a pie chart and line graph/bar diagram.you already have described task 1 from ielts 4 in your lesson but its only its half part.
Thank you

The graph compares the amount of expenses on a number of selected items in selected Western European nations.

It is apparent that British remained by far the highest spenders on each given commodity. Their spending in the area of photography and filming stood at 180 thousands pounds which is remarkably higher than the amount they allocated for other goods. With paying the least on tennis and racquets (just over 140.000 pounds), France as a second big purchaser overtook others in buying photographic films, toys and CDs.

As for as Italians are concerned, with taking the third places in the table, the pattern of their expenses was almost similar to that of Britain. The difference between the highly and hardly purchased commodities in Italy was about 3000 pounds, with the lowest expenditure on personal stereo and highest on toys (150000 and 158000 pounds respectively).

To conclude, Germans spent on each item almost evenly, at about 150 thousands pounds.

selected western = a number of wester

This figure clearly contrasts the difference of folks costing their money on 6 kinds of commodities in four European countries-Germany, Italy, France and Britain.

The commodities consist of Personal stereos, Tennis racquets, Perfumes, CDs, Toys and Photographic film. It is clear that British consume the largest number of products in each kind of commodities, while Germans are the most frugal except on Tennis racquets. It is easy to find that people in Britain are most interested in Photographic film, with the spending of about 175 thousand pounds. In contrast, only around 152,000 pounds are used to buy Personal stereos and Tennis racquets, respectively. In Germany it seems that individuals do not have an obvious incline to any kind of products, with the expenditure fluctuating round 150,000. Italy has a similar situation to German, yet one difference between them is the cost is slightly higher in Italy than in Germany. Things are different in France. Spending on Photographic film, Toys and CDs is generally much more than on Personal stereos, Tennis racquets and Perfumes.

Notable among these is that British are more generous in leisure expenditure than folks in the other three countries.

Hi Jiya,

You don't need to compare the graph and chart. They show different information, so you should describe each one separately - paragraph 3 for the graph and paragraph 4 for the chart.

Look at these 2 lessons:




I'll post my full essay for the above chart on Thursday.

Thank you very much simon for your help i was really confused with such type of graphs,
once again thanks

Thank u very much for this wonderful website,
Brave Simon :)

No problem!

Hi simon;
I have an IELTS exam on 28th of July and I only studied youe writing materal also your subjects are really helping me and my question is how can I have a band 6 or 6.5 in writing? Wish me luck every one,I need 6.5 over all band score.

thank you very much

Hi Noora,

To get band 6 or 6.5 your essay needs to be well-organised with some good ideas that answer all parts of the question.

Good luck tomorrow!

The graph tells about the several types of products used by four different countries in thousand pounds sterling.

Firstly, the UK has the highest spending amount in all six categories among other nations. However, Photographic films is the most popular in Britain with a total of nearly 180000. While Germany is the least in overall expenditure, almost similar in all six products, between 140000 to 150000

The second highest country in three products
is the France: photographic, toys and cds but lowest for the rest. Whereas Italians spent more on toys than on any other items. Both France and Italy are only the same in number in toys at nearly 160000.

Overall, Germany is the lowest spending in all products, while Britain is undeniably the largest consumer of goods than three wealth nations.

What can you say Simon? impressive?

The graph tells about the several types of products used by four different countries in thousand pounds sterling.

Firstly, the UK has the highest spending amount in all six categories among other nations. However, Photographic films is the most popular in Britain with a total of nearly 180000. While Germany is the least in overall expenditure, almost similar in all six products, between 140000 to 150000

The second highest country in three products
is the France: photographic, toys and cds but lowest for the rest. Whereas Italians spent more on toys than on any other items, at about 159000. Both France and Italy are only the same in number in terms of toys at nearly 160000.

Overall, Germany is the lowest spending in all products, while Britain is undeniably the largest consumer of goods than three wealthy nations. In the second and third rank are France and Italy.

What can you say Simon? impressive?

Hi Rommel and Gwapo,

Your essays are fine. As you know, I don't give feedback or scores, but here's one tip: don't write "The graph tells about".

Have a look at my full essay for this question:


Dear Simon ,
Why did you use the past tense?

Hi Moka,

I think I assumed that people had spent the money on the 6 items already (in the past).

Hi Simon,

Here is my paragraph for describing Italy and France:
Spending on personal stereos, tennis racquets and perfumes in Italy is slightly more than France, by nearly 1,000 pounds, 5,000 pounds and 3,000 pounds. By contrast, Italy waste not only 3,000 pounds less on CDs but also 5,000 pounds less on photographic film than Germany. However both countries spend the same amount of money for toys, approximately 160,000 pounds.

Firstly, could you have a look at my idea in paragraph?
Secondly,in paragraph, i don't refer to the exact number on the graph for personal stereos or CDs, i just only refer to the gap between those things on 2 countries (by nearly 1,000 pounds of 3,000 pounds more than).
Does it affect my score? Because i read some models, it refers to both exact number and the gap for one data.

Thank you very much for your nice work.
Best regards,

Hi UT,

Describing the gap instead of the exact number is fine.

I'm afraid I don't do grammar corrections here in the comments area (too many students would ask for this if I did), but I don't mind answering useful questions like the one about 'gaps' or 'exact numbers'.

Hi Simon,

Thank you very much for your comment because it makes me feel comfortable now.
Again, could i use "waste" for "spend" in this writing lesson?

Hi UT,

No, "waste money" means "spend money badly", so it's a negative phrase to use.

Hi Simon
Could you please give me some information about three bar charts in Task one.For eample about its structure and an example .

Hello, Simon!
I'd like to inquire weather the structure of the essay could go another way? Could you please look at this:
The bar graph indicates the amount spent on consumer goods in three European countries. There are two patterns to be estimated from the data.

The first group of consumer goods is comprised of personal stereos, tennis racquets and perfumes. The amount spent on these items is about 145,000-160,000 pounds. The largest amounts are spent in Britain (155,000-160,000 pounds), followed by Italy (151,000-153,000 pounds), Germany (150,000-151,000 pounds) and France (145,000-150,000 pounds).

The second group includes CDs, toys and photographic films. The amount spent on these ones varies considerably from 150,000 to 170,000 pounds. CDs spending are generally lower in all countries though the amounts differ. The largest one is spent in Britain (over 160,000 pounds) followed by France, Italy and Germany with 5,000 pounds difference on average. This discrepancy is proportionally greater for toys (6,000 pounds) and photographic films (7,000 pounds) though the spendings on toys are the same in Italy and France.

It’s noteworthy that the largest amounts spent are in Britain, they differ most significantly while spendings in Germany are relatively equal.
What do you think about this structure? Thank you for your time!

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