In IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you need to ANALYSE information rather than DESCRIBE information.
Why is this important?
Because the examiner can already see the information and does not need you to describe what is already obvious.
Most of the graphs and charts ask you to ‘Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.’
In this YouTube lesson we looked at how to describe complex Pie Charts and how to make advanced comparisons (watch later because it’s quite long).
Look at this simple example below using a real life example.
Yesterday I drank 4 cups of tea and my son drank 2.
How can you describe that information?
Band 5 might describe the information like this (accurate but no analysis):
‘Fiona drank 4 cups of tea and Sam drank 2 cups of tea’.
Band 5.5 might make a comparison (better):
‘Fiona drank more tea than Sam’.
Band 6 might make a more detailed and specific analysis (even better):
‘Fiona drank considerably more tea than Sam.’
But Band 7 will analyse the figures to highlight important features (the best):
‘Fiona drank twice as much tea as Sam’.
‘Fiona drank twice as many cups of tea as Sam’.
The grammar of ‘twice as much/many as’
Look at the Band 7 example above.
First decision: when do we use much/many?
Much = uncountable nouns (tea, coffee, pollution, rubbish)
Many = countable nouns (cups, teaspoons, cars, emissions)
This is the main grammar decision you have to make.
Then you need to put that information in a sentence.
You can use ‘twice as’ in 3 main ways:
e.g. ‘pollution’ (uncountable)
1) verbs + nouns
- London produces twice as much pollution as Berlin. (Active Tense)
- Twice as much pollution is produced in London as in Berlin. (Passive Tense)
2) ‘there is’ + noun
- There is twice as much pollution in London as there is in Berlin.
3) With adjectives
- London is twice as polluted as Berlin.
e.g. ’emissions/cars/people’ (countable)
1) verbs + nouns
- London produces twice as many emissions as Berlin. (Active)
- Twice as many emissions are produced in London as in Berlin. (Passive)
2) ‘there are’ + noun
- There are twice as many cars in London as there is in Berlin.
3) With adjectives
- London is twice as polluted/crowded as Berlin.
Your real life examples
It’s always good to make real-life examples so that you can remember them more easily. Here are some we made in the YouTube live:
Can I say ‘thrice as much/many?’
- It’s possible, but it’s better to use ‘3 times as much/many’.
Can I say ‘The population increased twice as much during the period’?
- It’s possible, but it’s better to say ‘The population doubled’.
- You can say ‘The population increased threefold/fourfold’.
What if the population decreased by 50%?
- You can say ‘The population halved’.
Check out my links to more free resources that can help you study at home.
Get more Academic Writing Task 1 Tips here.
How to describe changes to a plan.
How to describe a prediction table.
How to use the Past Perfect in Task 1 dynamic charts.
How to describe a Process in Academic IELTS Writing Task 1.
How to describe ANOTHER Cycle in Academic IELTS Writing Task 1.
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