Dec 2016 IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer

Below is a sample answer for December 2016 writing task 1. The task  consists of one vertical bar chart and two pie charts. The sample answer is estimated at about band score 8.  The sample answer contains some grammar errors – can you find them? Answers below.

You can download a PDF copy of it at the bottom of the page. You can also find links to the main pages of IELTS tips at the bottom of this page.

December 2016, IELTS Writing Task 1


December 2016, Sample Answer

Estimated at band score 8

The bar chart and pie charts illustrate the percentage of people in Glasgow having three levels of education (university, school and those with no qualifications) in 2010. Information is divided into five age groups in the bar chart and by gender in the pie charts.

Overall, the majority of people with university education were in younger age groups, while in the oldest age group most people did not have any qualifications. The proportions of men and women were similar and showed little different between the levels of education.

The percentage of people with university education was up to 76% in the younger three age groups compared to only 50% in those ages 50 to 75 and just 25% in those over 75. This trend was reversed in those with no qualifications (9% in younger people rising to 72% in the oldest age group). The figure for those with school education was relatively constant at around 20% but was as low as 3% in the over 75’s.

The proportion of men and women in each level of education was around one third with only a slightly difference of 3% in university graduates as well as those who didn’t have educational qualifications.

Words = 198

There are a few grammar mistakes in this writing. Can you find them? Answers provided below

Download PDF Copies & Answers

IELTS Writing Task 1: ielts-writing-task-1-december-2016

December 2016 Sample Answer: model-task-1-dec-2016

Answers to Grammar Mistakes – click below to open:


Paragraph 2: in younger age groups = in the younger age groups

Paragraph 2: little different = little difference

Paragraph 3: in those ages 50 to 75 = in those aged 50 to 75

Paragraph 4: a slightly difference = a slight difference

Paragraph 4: didn’t = did not


Main IELTS Pages

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  1. 150 is the minimum and you can go up to 180-190 max.

  2. Miriam Jacob says

    Hi Liz,
    Please I would really appreciate it if you correct me on this academic writing task one practice. I got it from your IELTS Sample Charts for writing task 1 Practice.
    This is the question
    The chart below shows the global sales of different kinds of digital games from 2000 to 2006.
    This question is the third chart on the practice sample to be precise.

    Here is my answer
    The bar chart illustrates the global trades of various kinds of digital games (mobile phone games, online games, console games handheld games) from 2000 to 2006. The sales were recorded in dollars.
    Overall, the game with the highest sale for each year is the handheld games while the game with the lowest trade varies between online games which had low income between 2001 and 2003 and console games which had low trades between 2005 and 2006. The first and second year had two and three games sales respectively.
    The trades for the handheld games rose steadily from about 11 billion dollars in 2000 to about 18 billion dollars in 2006 unlike the console games which declined steadily from about 6 billion dollars in 2000 to about 3 billion dollars in 2006.
    Although the online games started sales in 2001 for 1 billion dollar, it increased significantly to about 9 billion dollars in 2006 while the mobile phone games which started trades in 2002 for about 2 billion dollars rose considerably to about 7 billion dollars in 2006.

    176 words

    Thank you

  3. Hi there, I would like to hear comments about my output, please. thank you

    The diagram presents the 2010 information on the percentage of people in Glasgow, Scotland based on 3 education levels, such as University degree, School certificate, and those without qualifications. Moreover, it illustrates the percentages of the population for such educational levels as expressed across 5 age ranges in the mekko chart and across both genders in the pie charts.
    Overall, the mekko chart shows that people holding a university degree comprise the largest proportion according to age range, except for the one falling under the category of 75 years old and above. Conversely, the pie charts report that people with no qualifications have the largest percentage for both genders.
    Pertaining to the distribution of educational levels across age ranges, there is a greater proportion (71-76%) among individuals holding a university degree as opposed to among those holding no qualification (9%) from the age of 16 until the age of 50. This score among university degree holders dramatically decreases to half of the population among those between the ages of 50-75 until to only a quarter of the population among older people at age 75 and beyond, while such trend is oppositely portrayed among people with no qualifications as they advance in age.
    On the other hand, about the percentage distribution across both genders, there is not much significant difference between the three educational levels. While people with no qualifications comprise the largest percentage of 35% and 38% among both the males and females respectively, school certificate holders come next at 33% among both genders and university degree holders place third only at 29% and 32% among female and male university degree holders respectively.

  4. Thank you soo much liz for giving video lessons on YouTube and for giving soo many practice papers of different sections along with some solved ones to give us the idea . During this lockdown I was worried about how will I prepare for ielts with going to institute’s but now I fell relaxed . Your lessons are quite helpful . Thanks for your support and service . May you live long life full of happiness and joy . God bless you liz

    • I’m glad you found my site and can benefit from my free lessons 🙂 Good luck with your preparation 🙂

  5. Dear Liz,
    I would like to ask you if the writing part is corrected by an examiner or by a machine, a sort of text checker.
    Thank you very much,

    • Only a human being can assess ideas, signposting, coherence etc. The writing test is not just language based. Please go to the band score page on this site and learn more about how writing is marked.

  6. Kulwinder kaur says

    Thanks for providing useful material.
    God bless you.

  7. Hi Liz,
    First of all, Thank you for everything! God bless!
    I’d like to ask you about one thing, here it is:
    Is it appropriate to use symbol ‘ – (minus) ‘ in writing task one as a explanation. For example: The sales of computer increased gradually from 4 to 5 thousands – a rise of 25%.

    Thank you!

    • No, don’t use it. You should be showcasing your grammar: “The sales of computer increased gradually from 4,000 to 5,000, which was a rise of 25%.” This is your chance to use a clause.


    Stay blessed.

  9. Hey Liz ,

    Thank you so much for providing us with materials.

  10. Hi Liz. My name’s Namrata. Today I completed my speaking assessment. Accordingly, I feel I was not able to do good I was stressed up. And I answered the questions properly but not able to use high words in sentence. I was grammatically good and fair.

  11. I wittness that your word counting is more than as campared to requirement

    • The instructions tell you to write “at least 150 words”. The words “at least” means that 150 words is the minimum – you must write OVER 150 words.

  12. I think that the one is 198 words whereas the word is given only range of 150 words

  13. Chinenye Ajaezu says

    Dear Liz,

    Thank you so much for your good works. I learnt about you from a sister whom through your site’s aid made her IELTS and has gained admission in the UK.
    Kindly check through my solution attempt to the question above and give me corrections.

    The charts illustrate the proportion of people in Glasgow which is a city in Scotland having three academic qualifications (university degree, school certificate and no qualification) in 2010. Furthermore, the classification of people with these qualifications were graded by age and gender.

    Overall, the most popular academic level was the university degree for all ages while the school certificate had the least population. Also, the younger generation were more into the university education as opposed to the older generation who preferred the no qualification. On the other hand, male and female shared a similar fate as regards the educational qualifications as is evident in the little disparity in percentage between the two genders..

    The university education was dominated by the age bracket 16-50 while age 75+ made the least proportion of this degree holders and vice versa. Age 16-24 constituted a high percentage (71%) of university degree holders which rose to the peak of 76% for 24-35 and slightly dropped to 71% for age 35-50 but reduced further to 50% and 25% for ages 50-75 and 75+. Moreover, the no qualification was on the reverse as it’s population peak of 72% was constituted by age 75+, it came down to 30% for age 50-75 and drastically reduced to 9% (constant) for the remaining 3 younger age brackets (16-24, 24-35 and 35-50). The school certificate which was the least popular had the highest population of 20% in the following age brackets (16-24, 35-50 and 50-75), while age 24-35 made 15% and 75+ was only 3%.

    In addition, a rather similar population range for both men and women was reflected in the pie chart which is evident in the very close percentage margin for the academic levels under review. For the school certificate, both gender had the same proportion of 33% while the other two educational qualifications had just 3% margin as disparity for each.

    • Sorry I don’t comment on writing. However, I will say – you are aiming for between 170 and 190 words. Part of the marking criterion of Task Achievement is your ability to select information. This means a lower band score is characterised by someone who gives too much detail. You’ve written over 300 words!!

  14. The bar graph and pie chart illustrates the degree of educational attainment by gender in Glasgow, Scotland in 2019.

    In general, it is evident that people without qualifications was inversely proportional to those that have earned a degree in college and school certificates. In addition to that, apparently males have a higher percentage of earning their university degrees as compared to women.

    The bargraph displays that a majority of people have earned their university degrees in glasgow apart from those aged 75 and above, the level started from 71, had a slight increase to 76 before it constantly declined and ultimately ended up with only 25. People with school certificates began with 20, fell by 5, and remained constant from ages 35 to 75 then plummeted with only 3. People without qualifications seem to increase with age from a constant 9 to a peak of 72 in ages 75 and above.

    Moreover, the piechart shows that men have a Higher percentage of gaining university degrees than women with 32% and 29% respectively. A big chunk of both genders earned their school certificates with 33%. Women in all ages is seen to have a higher percentage of those without qualifications than men with 38% and 35% respectively.  (207)

  15. K.Thanushan says

    Hi madam,
    I wrote the report as it is required, How much band score it is deserved for?

    This bar charts and pie charts illustrates percentage of people in Glagow who have tree different type of education qualification (University degree, School certificate and No qualification) according to the age and gender respectively.

    Overall, the youngest age group( age of 16- 24 and 24-35) have higher percentage of University degree, while oldest people who are in majority of no qualification, and men and women showed analogous proportion in all format of qualification,but there is a little different in percentage.

    Further, more than 70% of people in the age group of 16- 24, 24- 35 and 35- 50 are having University degree, in the mean while 50% is indicated by the age group of 50-75 .However people who are aged more than 75 years old showed 25% University degree.Then this trend is reversed for no qualification in which 9% and 72% for age group of 16-24 and more 75 respectively.School certificate remains pretty much constant as 20% except older people who has 3% .
    Moreover, men and women imply relatively same proportion in every in every qualification but there was 3% different in University degree and no qualification between men and women while school was stable in both.

  16. i write my answer on a word doc and i cant re-type it again how can i send it to you??????????????????/

  17. Harsh Patel says

    well, there is a mistake in third para, it should be- ‘aged 50-75’, and second mistake in last para- slightly to ‘slight’

  18. Vibhor Gogia says

    Hi Liz

    Thanks for this beneficiary tool.
    I heard that the words which are used once are not counted again?

    Looking for a revert

  19. Hi Liz,
    How the words are count? (I mean I, a, it, is, this, of… and numbers are counted like words?)
    Thanks for your lessons!

  20. Can we use this abbreviation “i.e.,” to explain?

  21. Sheeja P John says

    Thank you, Liz.
    just now I found your website. I feel, I have a guide now.
    God Bless You for doing this amazing work

  22. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the wonderful tips,
    just a quick question, I am a little bit confused here! In the above sample the writer has given an overall view in paragraph 2 and then the details in following paragraphs. is this a correct practice? I thought we put the summary in the last paragraph. I would appreciate if you clarify that.

  23. Hi Liz, can I get a link of IELTS exam pass papers in 2018 plz…

  24. Dear Liz,
    It is written in the brackets of paragraph 3 “(9% in younger people rising to 75% in the oldest age group)”. Shouldn’t it be 72% as it is shown in the bar chart or Do I get something wrong?

    Thanks a lot for your help,

  25. Hi Liz,
    can I confirm that using brackets like yours will not be penalized/ignored?
    Thanks in advance!

  26. I saw your last sentence using (didn’t have). I thought (did not have) was the only sentence would be accepted by examiner compared to didn’t have.

    • Please read the page above carefully. The page is about spotting mistakes and the answers are given below the model answer.

  27. Thanks Liz for your good work.
    In the writing the tasks on the writing sheets, do we have to leave a line line between paragraphs

  28. Hello Liz,
    Thanks for such a wonderful and helpful website. I want to know that is this necessary that we have to include all the percentages or numbers mentioned in the graph for a various property during our writing. like do we have to provide numbers/percentages of all the properties mention in the graph. or just we have to mention the percentages/number of the extreme values.


    • You can’t ignore a category. But whether you will present all data relating to that category is something you decide when you look at the chart or table. You must decide if you will present it all or if you will group information together.

  29. Dear Liz, could you please advise whether it is critical to use the printed letters instead of capital when writing an essey?

  30. Good evening teacher
    I have a question is the pie chart and the bar graph the same ? I need to know

    Salem Alkaabi

  31. Muhammad kashif says

    Why can’t we use contractions in writing task ?

  32. For eg if 2 different graphs are given with one pie chart describing the trends in 2000 and another table describing trends in 2005 then can we compare this pie chart and table and write a body paragraph???

  33. Aditya Darak says

    Hello liz,
    I think that in first line itself there is a mistake, it should have been ‘illustrates’ instead of ‘illustrate’, right?
    And one more thing, while writing in paragraphs, each para should start on next line with some space left blank at starting of the the para right?

  34. Hussain Khan says

    I really appreciate your effort.
    Thank you very much.

  35. faculty faculty says

    thanks Liz.

  36. Harkirat says

    I want to know that is your practice test are according to every country order or its related to uk conditions because my ilets tution teacher is suggesting me to write conclusion in task1????

    • The examiner is looking for an overview in task 1 and a conclusion in task 2. This is clearly defined in the band score descriptors published by IELTS which is the same for every country and has never changed.

  37. Hi Liz,
    I have been told by my tutor that the overall is written at the end, as the last paragraph, but i see here that you always write it after the introduction.
    Could you tell me which way is right?

    Thanks very much.

    • In IELTS, you are marked on a logical order of information. In writing task 1, you can present your key features after the introduction or at the end of the report. It is more logical to present key features before smaller details. However, both locations are accepted by IELTS.

  38. Hello Liz. Firstly, thank you so much for all the content that you share. It is all so useful.
    Secondly :-), I would like to know if I can write first the writing task 2 and second the writing task 1. Thank you so much.

    • You can use the one hour as you wish. It is your time to manage. If you want to do task 2 first, you can. I personally don’t recommend it because students tend to use too much time on task 2 and then don’t have enough time on task 1. But this is your test and you decide what works for you 🙂

    • Ismael Jr. Thuco says

      I find task 2 easier than task 1, and it is worth a higher score I think. So I’m doing task 2 first.

  39. nouns should be written in capital or what in ielts listening

  40. Hi, Liz 🙂 I think there is a mistake in the 2nd paragraph “the majority of people with university education were”. I suggest it is “was” because the subject is just a proportion or percentage “majority”, Right?

  41. Aliya Arif says

    Dear Liz,
    Many thanks for your informative and inspirational insights into the IELTS. While going through your comments on the grammatical error on a paragraph; I realized that we’ve been using short forms of negation since ages. Such as didn’t instead of did not, shouldn’t instead of should not etc etc. So, will it lead to marks deduction in IELTS? Thank you for your answer so that I may not do this mistake.

    • I think you are referring to using contractions, for example it is = it’s. You can use contractions in speaking – it’s a good idea because they are a pronunciation features and will help your score. However, you should NOT use them in IELTS writing.

      • Keerthi Shetty says

        Thank you so much. I did not know that. From your classes on speaking session i gained a knowledge regarding use of didn’t isn’t i’d to improve the band score…. But here its other way round. Thanku so much liz

        • Me, too! I only know it recently and had used contractions in my writing for many years when none of my teachers at school mentioned this kind of mistakes. They are even in model answers on our high school papers. OMG…

  42. Thank you so much, Liz, you are indeed a great help to all of us trying to pass the IELTS. I am very much convinced that with a lot of practice, getting techniques from the experts like you and with God’s favor, according to His will, we will pass. We may not pay you dear, but the Lord who sees your kindness will reward you thousand folds.

  43. Hi Liz.

    I want to ask about the words in this task 1.
    Aren’t 198 words too many for task 1?

    • Most task 1 will be between 170 and 190 words. There is no upper limit but you don’t want to add too much detail. And certainly lower level students should not aim for a longer report.

  44. First of all, I would say many thanks for your useful guidance.
    Could you please tell me, what kind of tense is better to use for writing task 1?!
    Can we use perfect tense for this part?!

    • You use appropriate tenses. Past tense for charts in the past, present tense when no dates are given. You use passive voice or perfect tenses only when they are right and appropriate to use.

  45. When I watch your video or navigate through your website, I become very hopeful. The moment I watch a video from British council I become anxious and feels a sense of doom.

  46. Tünde Lagler says

    Dear Liz,
    I would give some feedback on my answer version that I know what it is because of a wish a good score.

    The two graphs tell us about education levels by varieties of age and gender in Glasgow, in Scotland, in 2010. The pie chart shows the separation of the gender. The list of figures presents the age difference. We can see that the range of gender is very balanced though the figures of age is contrary to.

    About one third of people finished University and belongs to the ca. 73% of working-aged part and to the half of the 50 to 75 years old ones, do not speak of the one fourth of the group of more than 75. The second third of the people has got scholar certificate and they belong to the 20% of all ages, except the 3% of the more than 75. The third 30% has no qualification and is 16 to 75 years old.

    We can say that the younger people recognise the importance of the learning and the woman can be able to keep pace with the men in the world of education.

    • Avoid using “we”. Don’t use “the graph tells us” use “the graph illustrates”. Also make sure you start your overview with “Overall” – it helps the examiner locate your overview statement.

      • Tünde Lagler says

        Thank you, Liz for your sent feedback. I shall use ‘I should say that the younger…’ instead of we, and at the begining the ‘overall’ to help the examiner put my survey statement and won’t write ‘tell’ rather illustrate or show. Thank you again.

        Could you say circa how many scores I should receive for my original answer and the corrected one?

        • Don’t write “I should say that” – you don’t add opinions. Task 1 is not an essay. It is a report where you present the data provided. “Overall, younger people …”

    • The charts illustrate the proportion of people in Glasgow with different levels of education. This proportion is divided on the basis of age and gender.

      The percentage of people with university degree was up to 73% among the younger age group. This was 50% with 50-75 age group and 25% with people above the age of 75. The percentage of school education was between 15-20 with the youngest age group and those ages 50-75. This figure was as low as 3% with those ages above 75. In the category of people with no qualifications, this trend was reversed, in which younger age groups recorded 9%, those with 50-75 had 30% and 72% for the oldest.

      The proportion of education levels of men and women in all the three categories was more or less similar. The rate of school education was 33% among both the genders. 32% of men and 29% women were graduates with a university degree. As far as the unqualified are concerned, women outnumbered men with 38 – 35%.

      Overall, people with a university degree were the highest among youngsters, while majority of the elderly were unqualified. When it comes to gender,both the group had almost more or less equal level of education.

  47. Anshul Garg says

    Hi Ma’am,

    It’s is going to be helpful for those who are going to sit in IELTS now and then.

  48. Dr Nasarulla Babajan says

    Thanks so much Liz.I am able to clear IELTS with desired results in my 1st attempt itself.I didnt expect doing so.I followed your tips and advises .Didnt experiment too much.Particularly in writing task.I was very poor but just followed your guidance.I also had purchased access to your essay videos.
    My results
    Listening 8.5 Speaking 8.5
    Reading 7.5 Writing 7.5
    Overall 8
    Thank you very much

  49. Hi Liz,
    There are teachers giving various advices on writing tasks, some tells we need to write a summery after task one, some tells “No i am updated…, dont write a summery, what should i do? As IELTS check english , will it change the band score weather i write the summery or not?

  50. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your guide and information. It helped me a lot on my IELTS exam however I didn’t do well on reading. Can I still take another exam? And how will my 1st take affect my 2nd take where I only need to pass is the Reading.

    Thank you and keep inspiring us..


    • When you take the test again, you will get all new results. This means that you might get lower or higher in any part of the test. Some students get 6.5 in writing in one test but only 6 in the second test. After the second test, you will have two test results. You can chose which set of results to use for your future.

  51. Pradeep Reddy says

    Hi madam, I started watching your video lesson and trying to reduce of making mistakes. Those videos are really helpful. Am very thankful for your tips and advises… I have a question im my mind i.e about general test writing task 1 question types. can u give details please.

  52. Is there any one willing(for free) to evaluate my essay ? I am not confident on my writing skill, and i have only 1 month for the preparation of my ielts exam. I must have an ielts score of 6.5+ to be admitted in the university which i plan to apply. any suggestion and tips ? thanks

  53. Gustavo Erivan says

    Last line of 2nd paragraph: different -> difference

  54. Mandeep kaur says

    Hii mam,
    My comments are not showing at your site
    What can i do else to contact you??

  55. john chisenga says

    Thank you very much liz for your well crafted lessons.You are my heroine.Since i started following lessons,my level of confidence has risen dramatically.God bless yu.

  56. Thanks Liz, it was so nice of you teaching in best method with more kindness,

  57. In paragraph A, should it be …”but was as low as 3% among the over 75s” ? I mean should we add the word “among”?

  58. this task came in 3rd December exam in UK

  59. Hi mam
    I am constant listener of your video classes, it is really worthy. My speaking test was on 4th & cue card was : a gift you presented to someone.
    my LRW is on 10th, please keep me on prayers.
    Thank you.

  60. The proportion of men and women in each level of education was. = The proportions of men and women in each level of education were – it must be like this I think.

  61. As an ielts learner I have choosen you.Happy now for not wasting my time.How nice to see new writing tasks and the mistakes in order to practise visually…Thanks Liz.You are really one of the best teachers I have ever seen…

  62. in paragraph 4= didn’t=did not

    • Very well spotted !! 🙂

      • Thank you Liz and many thanks for your big job which you do! All available materials which I read on this website are really helpful. Moreover, I think that you use a unique method which inspires and motivates many people)

  63. Moraima Cano Valdez says

    Thank you very much. I did the task and it was very similar to me. Thank you for your feedback.
    I will take my next test next month

  64. Hi Liz , my test was on 3 dec . Melbourne . Task 1 bar chart top ten sports in1986and 2005 . 2 task advantages of travel .. Speaking on photograph . And funny moment on laugh . Reading history of writting on clay or stone 2 ,3 paragraph not remamber thank u

  65. Japan is Rajakaruna says

    Wonderful, how did you get that paper. I sat on 3 Dec. I had the same one for part 1???

  66. Thank you, Liz!
    I’m very grateful that I found your web, because your work is excellent.

  67. Amit Chaudhary says

    Thank you so much mam!
    It’s very impressive answer.

  68. Mohammad Imran says

    Thanks mem

  69. Thanks a lot

  70. Reda Mohamed says

    Thanks alot

  71. Thank you very much for your immeasurable service this website
    Im going to sit on saturday again

  72. Hello mam . Thxs a lot to provide such a knowledge which conductive for us

  73. Thanks a lot

  74. in 2010. Information is divided into five age groups
    Is= was

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