IELTS Writing Task 1: Pie Chart Model Score 9

How to compare two pie charts in IELTS writing task 1. This sample answer illustrates the method of organising the report as well as useful language and sentence structures to get a band score 9.

IELTS Pie Charts

The pie charts below show the comparison of different kinds of energy production of France in two years.

ielts pie chart comparison

Source: Above pie charts not created by IELTS Liz.

Pie Chart Sample Answer

The two pie charts illustrate the proportion of five types of energy production in France in 1995 and 2005. 

Overall, in both years, the most significant sources of energy  were gas and coal, which together accounted for over half the production of energy, while nuclear and other kinds of energy sources generated the least amount of energy in France. In all types of energy production there was only minimal change over the 10 year period.

Energy produced by coal comprised of 29.80% in the first year and this showed only a very slight increase of about a mere 1 % to 30.9% in 2005. Likewise, in 1995, gas generated 29.63% which rose marginally to 30.1% 10 years later.

With regards to the remaining methods of producing energy, there was an approximate 5% growth in production from both nuclear power and other sources to 10.10% and 9.10% respectively. Petrol, on the other hand, was the only source of energy which decreased in production from 29.27% in 1995 to around a fifth (19.55%) in 2005.

Pie Chart Tips

  • Always highlight the largest and smallest proportions
  • If there are two pie charts in different time periods, then you must highlight the key changes / trends
  • Use pie chart language – accounts for / comprises of / represents
  • The phrase “Units are measured in …” should be used when the units have not been stated in the previous sentence.


IELTS Writing Task 1: Tips, Model Answers and Video Lessons


  1. Hello Liz,
    Is it possible for me to interpret this chart or any one on your website and I get feedback?
    Because I am self studying and you’re my only guide.

  2. Is it right to use a phrase like ‘over the 10 years period’ which gives the idea that it has changed gradually? Also, can we use words such as ‘trend’ when we only have data for only 2 years? Is there a possibity that we lose marks for accuracy of data?

    • “over the ten year period” does not give the impression of change at all. I don’t understand your comment. It simply means “over 10 years” – it is a time phrase and nothing else.
      A trend is something that happens over a period of time.
      Accurate data is part of Task Achievement which is 25% of your marks.
      Please go the Writing Task 1 section of this website because the band score information and more tips are available there. Use the HOME page to access it or the RED MENU BAR at the top of the website.

  3. Nishant khadka says

    The chart give information about various production of enegry in france during 1995 to 2005

    It is noticeable that the production of gas coal and nuclear ,other source increase in futher
    year.But manfuture of petrol is decline over half decads

    Looking at the information in more detail the production of coal was highest in early year at 29.80% after 10 year it was rised merely by 1.31% and reached to 30.03% in 2005.however gas was the second source of energy at 25.63% in 1995 and in later year it was grew only by 1% and it was accounted at 30.3% in 2005

    with regard to other production of energy , increased pattern can seemed in both nuclear and other source by nearly 5% as it was accounted at 9.10% and 10.10% in 2005.By contrast ,the production of petrol in france was declined significantly by 10% from its 29.27% of the year 1995 by 2005 while it was only the source of energy to cut of its production.

  4. Achebe Ifechukwu Valentine says

    Hi liz
    please how do i logically structure my paragraphs if there are three bar charts, with three different data collated.

  5. Greetings mam
    Can we write idioms like birds of a feather,bone of contention etc in writing task 2 ??
    Please mam help me

    • Some phrases are suitable for both formal and informal writing. Others are very clearly informal because they are so descriptive, such as “cool as a cucumber” – very informal. If you are not sure an idiom is suitable, don’t use it. You can still get a high score by using other idiomatic language such as suitable phrasal verbs.

  6. are we supposed to write the OVERALL statement immediately after the introduction or we can write at the end as a conclusion

  7. Hi,mam
    Overview is important in task 1.

  8. Thank u so much Liz, your approach to questions teach me a lot

  9. Thanks a lot. I love the way you answer your question

  10. Hello Liz,
    I love your work. Thanks

  11. The two pie charts represents different types of energy produced between 1995 and 2005 in France.
    Overall, coal, gas and petrol were equal in number in 1995 however after a decade production of petrol declined. Furthermore, nuclear and other energy also increased in production.
    In the year of 1995 coal accounts for 29.80% which produced more where as Gas and Petrol comprises of 29.63% and 29.27% respectively. And also, Nuclear production is 6.40% and other energy were 4.90%.
    After a decade, energy production rocketed except Petrol which reduced to 19.55%. Coal is 30.93% while gas is 30.31% which grows approximately 1% in both sources. However, Nuclear accounts for 10.10% and other energy production is 9.10% which is far more higher produced in a decade.

  12. Sadiq Baloch says

    Liz.. The best Teacher

  13. Hello mam
    Can i rephrase the introduction of task 1 in passive form. For example …. The consumption of fules and the production of energy is represented in line graph during 2010.
    Is it right method or not

    • It is not a normal way to write an introduction. The introduction is about the line graph – and that means the subject of the sentence should be the line graph. You only use passive voice for particular reasons – not because you think it might help your score. Using it at the wrong time will actually damage your score.

  14. K srikanth says

    Best tutorial i have ever seen and come to knew, i
    became a profound in ielts. However, i was more keen towards your ielts videos which help me a lot in writing task thank you madam for giving such a strategies which boost our confidence in real exam

  15. Caroline says

    Thanks a lot Liz. Your teaching is helpful

  16. Best teacher

  17. Thank you Liz for all your teachings. You happen to be one, if not the only, ielts teacher who is selfless and dedicated to her work. I finally made the scores I need after paying apt attention to your tutorials, mostly video subscriptions. Keep up the good work. YOU’RE THE BEST

  18. Hi Liz,
    I hope you are well. I was just wondering if the term family is an acceptable alternative to the term parents in the context of paraphrasing. 🙂
    Thanks in advanc

    • A family can include children which the word parents does not. A parent is a parent. It is not paraphrased. There are many other words in an essay that can be paraphrased – select your paraphrases carefully.

  19. Rukhsana says

    letter only come in ielts general?

  20. Fathelrahman says

    Thank you so much mam
    Your the best one to teach IELTS
    Your lessons is very helpful to get high band in IELTS writing task 1 and 2.
    God bless you 😍

  21. Kalpana Magar says

    Hey Liz, is it necessary to write overall in task 1?

  22. hlo mam😊
    you are amazing👌🏻
    the way you teach is awesome🙏🏻

  23. Hi Liz- can we get bar, pie or line charts in general training exam? Should i prepare for them ?

    • GT writing task 1 is a letter only. If you go to the main writing task 1 page on this site, it is all explained.

      • jijesh francis says

        which one is tough according to you ..GT or Academic ?

        • On the whole, the Academic IELTS test is more difficult – but I’m sure there might be people who do not agree – it’s a personal opinion.

  24. Hello Liz,

    Thank you for your great support to students who preparing for the IELTS.

    Can we use this sentence in the overview paragraph instead of writing just “overall”:”Overall, what stands out from the pie charts is…”?

    • It’s up to you but those words don’t add more to your score. They are not wrong or right – they are just not particularly needed. If, however, you are worried about how writing enough words, they can be useful.

      • Amanpreet Singh says

        Hello Liz,
        Could I write 25 % as exactly a quarter instead of 25 %.

        • We use that language for pie charts which show the amount based on a whole. Be careful using too much pie chart language for a bar chart.

          • Hi Liz.
            First of all thanks for this website. Every single word is a great help.
            Do you mean we cannot use quarter, fifth etc in bar chart? Can you please explain more.

            • “a quarter” means a quarter of a whole. Pie Charts show a whole, bar charts do not. It isn’t impossible to use for a bar chart, but it isn’t usual. A quarter is pie chart language.

              • Thanks for your reply.
                I get your point now. I guess I can use it when it describes accurately the bar chart, for example: the expenditure for item A is around a quarter of that of item B.
                I have my exam in 2 days. After getting 6.5 in writing in 4 exams 😢 I hope this time I can get more than 7. Wish me luck.
                Thanks again.

              • Thank you for this point. Now I understand.

  25. Kamran Ali says

    Hi, Mam
    Can we use conclusion at the end of body paragraphs rather than a overview in second paragraph?
    Which will give high Band score?

    • It will not give a higher score. You can put the overview after the introduction or at the end – it makes no difference to your score. Remember this is not an essay – it is a report.

  26. Hi Liz
    First off all, there is no word for your wonderful work really appreciate thanks.
    One think to correct in the paragraph overall at the end of sentence is it 10 year period or 10 years period?

  27. akmal khan says

    (The phrase “Units are measured in ……” should be used when the units have not been stated in the previous sentence)
    What do you mean of this tip?

    • “The graph shows the proportion of …”. This already shows that the units are percentage – you don’t need to to repeat it by writing “Units are measured in percent”.

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