In academic task 1 it is important to learn how to read a chart and a graph. This is because the instructions always tell you to summarise and select and report on the main features of the graphic. Many candidates make the mistake here of including as much detail as possible in their report. This brief tutorial gives you a sample task 1 report and some tips on how to select the main features of a bar chart.
The task in academic part 1 almost always contains these words:
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
This means that you cannot/should not try to report all the detail in the visual. If you do, it will be hard to write well in 150 words and more importantly you may be penalised on task response.
Here are some general tips to help you select the main features on bar charts in brief.
- look at the top
- look at the bottom
- can you see an average?
- are there any exceptions?
Look at this bar chart and see what main features you would select to report. There are at least 21 different features on the chart and you cannot report them all! Then watch the video below to see if you agree with me. My sample answer is further down the page.
Some video advice
If you prefer try this quiz
<a href=”http://www.mystudiyo.com/act101820/mini/go/how_to_read_a_bar_chart” mce_href=”http://www.mystudiyo.com/act101820/mini/go/how_to_read_a_bar_chart”>how_to_read_a_bar_chart</a>
A sample answer
Read through this sample answer to see how you can use the main features to help organise your writing. You should note that the report is organised into 2 main body paragraphs which relate to the 2 main points:
- difference due to geography
- difference due to gender
This is only possible because I spent time selecting the main features. The message is that if you spend time and plan properly in this way, your writing will improve.