Friday, March 28, 2014

IELTS Vocabulary Training: Useful Words When Interpreting Data from Diagrams and Graphs

Imagine that you are given a line graph that you need to describe or even write an essay about it. Do you think it is an easy task?

Writing essays based on your own viewpoints are already challenging. The time spent for brainstorming for the question would consume time. What more if you are asked to interpret a certain graph? In the writing section in the Academic Module of the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination, test takers are given quite a challenge in coming up with a sensible essay on data or graph interpretation.

In the first writing task of the IELTS Academic writing, candidates are evaluated on how well a candidate can describe the information in the graph objectively, interpret the date solely based on what he or she sees, and the usage of suitable language to describe the graph. Since it is difficult to describe graphs and data, it is best for candidates to know certain vocabulary words and expressions to effectively explain what the task asks. Here is a list of words and expressions commonly used in data and graph interpretation.

Nouns that can be used to show an increase on something:

· A rise, An increase, Growth, An upward trend, A boom


  • In the year 2012, a rise in sales has been observed.
  • The growth in numbers in the population indicates that the water in the area is potable.

Nouns that can be used to show a decrease on something:

· A decrease, A decline, A fall, A drop, A slump, A reduction


  • The decrease in the number of deaths shows that the antidote worked for a couple of years.
  • A huge drop in sales resulted for the product to be pulled out from different stores nationwide.

Here are some words to be used in data/graph interpretation:

· Remained stable (at)

The figures remained stable for two years making the experiment a huge failure.

· No change

No change was recorded after four years the product was released in the market.

· Rapid/Rapidly

There was a rapid change in numbers as the demand decreased over the years.

The numbers went down rapidly with the current exchange rate.

· Slight

There has been a slight increase in the value of Korean Won recently.

Data or graph interpretation is not a piece of cake; hence, candidates who are to take the Academic Module need practice in this area. Be sure to use the right vocabulary word to clearly show the different trends in your writing. With the right expression, getting the target band score for the IELTS writing is a breeze.


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