IELTS Writing: Task 1 Pie Chart Question


Task 1 Pie Chart

Sample Answer

by Bianca and Laura (students of IELTS Dublin)


You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.The pie charts show the electricity generated in Germany and France from all sources and renewables in the year 2009.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.



The graph compares the different percentages of the main sources of energy between Germany and France in 2009. Some of the main sources included conventional thermal, nuclear and renewables. The various sources of energy are divided into “all types” and “renewables:. Renewables are broken down into biomass, hydroelectric and wind.

The main source of electricity in Germany came from conventional thermal, while in France power originated from Nuclear sources. On the other hand, in terms of renewables, there were not substantial differences between the two countries, indeed in both countries the percentage of this type of electricity was less than a fifth. In addition the pie shows that the main source of renewables in Germany originated from biomass, whereas in France it came from hydroelectric. Lastly, in both the countries the percentage of the geothermal was non-existent.

 To sum up, the methods of electricity generation was very different when we compare the sources in the two countries.

Writing by Laura and Bianca, who are students at Everest Language School.

This example would get between 6 and 7 in the IELTS:

Ielts task 1 bands


Some more useful language for IELTS task 1 Pie Charts:

Vary your language

As with any task 1, this is important.  You should not keep repeating the same structures.  The key language when you write about pie charts is proportions and percentages.

Common phrases to see are “the proportion of…” or “the percentage of…”

However, you can also use other words and fractions. These are some examples from the model answer:

A large number of people

over a quarter of people

a small minority

A significant number of people

less than a fifth

This table presents some examples of how you can change percentages to fractions or ratios:

Percentage Fraction
Percentage Fraction 40% two-fifths
80% four-fifths 35% more than a third
75% three-quarters 30% less than a third
70% seven in ten 25% a quarter
65% two-thirds 20% a fifth
60% three-fifths 15% less than a fifth
55% more than half 10% one in ten
50% half 5% one in twenty
45% more than two fifths

If the percentages are not exact as above, then you can use qualifiers to make sure your description remains accurate. Here are some examples:

Percentage Qualifier
77% just over three quarters
77% approximately three quarters
49% just under a half
49% nearly a half
32% almost a third

This table presents some examples of how you can change percentages to other phrases:

75% – 85% a very large majority
65% – 75% a significant proportion
10% – 15% a minority
5% a very small number

The words above are interchangeable, though number is for countable nouns and amount is for uncountable nouns.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”24631″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]

3 thoughts on “IELTS Writing: Task 1 Pie Chart Question”

  1. Tomás Ó Toghdha

    Something very helpful here is to stress the importance of adding data in brackets when supporting points in Test Paper One; e.g. “The main source of electricity in Germany came from conventional thermal (59%)”. By adding a statistic in brackets improves the band score in the Task Achievement category: if data is not used to support descripitions, then the maximum band score for this category is 5.

  2. Hi Tomás. Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I agree, there should definitely be more explicit reference to the precise data. I wouldn’t agree that it is necessary to mention specific data to get over a 5. According to the band descriptors, you need to “present the key features” to get into the higher bands. What do you think? – Rob

  3. Tomás Ó Toghdha

    In my experience as an IELTS examiner, the absence of statistics or any other details to support the description would only grant the task achievement a band five. These are the rules an examiner has to adhere to, regardless of how well the text is composed.
    Hope that helps!

Comments are closed.

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