When do you need to make predictions in IELTS Task 1?
IELTS Task 1 ‘dynamic’ (moving) graphs are about 80% in the past tense. So most of the time my advice is just: use the Simple Past.
But sometimes you get a graph or even a map which asks you to analyse FUTURE trends or changes, like the one you can see here.
The language of change that you’ve learnt is still essential. So if you know how to use verbs and adverbs related to changes (increase slowly, fall gradually etc) you will still be able to use them, but this time you will have to use the Future Tense.
Look at the Task below.
Using ‘will’ to predict future trends.
e.g ‘Costs will increase slowly’.
This is the easiest way to make predcitions.
For some variety you could use modals – ‘Costs might/may increase slowly’.
Using ‘will’ for future predictions will ensure a minimum score of 5 but it will limit you to 5 because it will become repetitive (as you will see in this sentence!).
So you need to use more complex structures. Here are some.
1. Start with a Passive phrase: It + is + predicted + that (costs will increase)
It is predicted that costs will increase.
It is expected that costs will increase.
It is likely that costs will increase.
That will push you up to a 6.
If you want to go higher, use a more complex phrase, though there are risks involved!
2. Start with the main noun + be + likely + to increase:
- likely to increase
- predicted to increase
- expected to increase
- set to increase.
Notice that you have to change ‘is/are’ depending on whether the noun is singular or plural.
The cost of living IS likely to increase.
3. Use ‘There will be + noun + adjective’ (e.g. a slow increase)
It is good to use noun + adjective combinations to add variety. In the past tense it works like this:
Costs increased slowly = There was a slow increase in costs.
Sales fell dramatically = There was a dramatic fall in sales.
So we need to use ‘There is’ in the Future Tense.
How do we do this? It’s not too tricky. The easiest way is to follow the same pattern as before, using a Passive phrase:
It is likely that there will be a slow increase in cost(s).
Or you can take it up a level by using this kind of expression (more risky but it will get you a 7 if you use this much variety):
There is likely to be a slow increase in costs. (ouch that’s a tricky one but you can do it!).
Just learn the whole expression ‘There is likely to be a (adjective) (noun) in (stuff)‘.
Ready to have a go?
Look at the chart that I posted and try writing it before you look at the model below.