In the IELTS Writing Task 1, you will be tested on your ability to interpret and describe the information presented in a graph, diagram, chart or table. You are most often required to describe the trends in a graph. It sounds easy but it is not indeed. Most of the students don’t know where to start when they see the complicated graphs that give a lot of information. Here, Wall Street English will provide 5 crucial skills for you to learn how to describe the trends and patterns in graphs.


1. Superlative

Superlative means finding the most significant trend. It is the easiest and most direct way to interpret information.


The product with the greatest growth was computers, going against the overall trend.

A comparison of all types of interests in the six cities shows that the proportion of spending on clothing was the most popular opinion, larger than the expenditure on the remaining two activities combined.


2. Exceptions

The second method is easy too, it is to find the different ones.


According to the graph, the interest rate in the US increased almost every year, other than during 2002-2003 and 2008-2009.

The figures increased steadily each year, with an exception between 2004 and 2005, which was the only year that experienced a decline.


3. Relationship between figures

Through this way, we will compare the trend between two items and find out their relationships.


Twice as much energy was used in winter compared to the summertime.

In 2000, the figure for France tied with that for Germany.


4. Rise and fall

Another way is to describe the rise and fall, up and down, whether it’s a toss or rebound.


The figure doubled between 1980 and 2000, before declining again thereafter.

Starting at 14% in 1980, it fell to 9% in 2012 before it rebounded to 50% 10 years later, in 2022.


5. Peak and bottom

Apart from describing the rise and fall, we can also find the peak and the bottom of the figures.


The peak figure reached 100 million in sales in 2000.

The number reached the highest point at 87% in 2012 and then fell to the bottom at 19% within a decade.


These are some of the ways we could interpret and describe the information in a concise and effective way.