Top Tips for IELTS

A video lesson on pie charts

This post contains a long training video on how to analyse a pie chart for IELTS writing part 1. In it, I look at and suggest how to approach a part 1 question. In brief, my tips are:

  1. See the big picture: do not get lost in the detail – it is a summarising task
  2. Learn to identify the correct details to support the main points
  3. Think about the correct language to use by reading the question carefully – often this language is explaining and comparing language
  4. Decide how to organise the information

For an explanation of how to use these tips in practice, here is my video lesson:

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26 Responses to A video lesson on pie charts

  1. Darin January 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Thank you so much for the video lesson.
    I found it provocative and more efficient to study the techniques.

    However,because you have so many posts, which I need to read them all, it would be better if your individual videos can show the time. Then I can arrange your articles in order to fit my schedule.

    • Dominic Cole January 14, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

      Thanks for the positive comment.

      As it happens what I am spending most of my time on now is ordering the content to make it easier to find. I’ve discovered it is possible to have too much content.

      I’ve been thinking about making a video channel page for a little bit now. I’ll look into it this weekend and see what I can do. I hadn’t thought about the times of the videos – interesting.

  2. Maha June 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm #


    • Dominic Cole August 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      Careful. I am at that dangerously divorced stage.

      • des October 25, 2011 at 1:56 am #

        made me laugh haha,I’ve been reading your blog since I started reviewing and they’re very helpful,.

    • omnia August 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Calm down girl , its a Educational web … u have to be more responsible about what u can to say here

  3. Vesna August 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Thank you so much for all those inf.

    All the best,

    16 times the IELTS test taker -band 7

    • Dominic Cole August 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      You’ve take IELTS 16 times? Wow, that must be close to a record.

  4. Babita August 28, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Hi ,
    Thanks for wonderful video with clear explanation of every step.
    At the end of the video you talk about the organization of task 1 .
    My question is how many paragraphs should be there is Task 1 and could you provide these kind of videos for other graphs, tables and cycle, . i mean how to select the information for writing for other
    graphs n tables. i would really appreciate it if you could add these kind of videos more.
    Thank you



    • Dominic Cole August 29, 2011 at 3:15 am #

      It’s very hard to specify how many paragraphs there should be in a task 1 writing. It is not really like an essay where you can say you need 4 or 5 paragraphs. I would suggest though that you are normally looking at around 3 paragraphs. One will normally be a summary type paragraph that is either at the beginning or the end and then a couple of content paragraphs for the main points.

  5. rathin September 21, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    should we write conclusion in task 1 as we write in task 2 ???????

    • Dominic Cole September 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      I need to write a lesson this and review my materials on the site to make matters clear. In short the answer is no – you don’t need a conclusion as you write for an essay. You should try and write a summary type para – which may be one or two sentences long which pick out the main points of the diagram.

  6. setareh October 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    It was great and excellent.

  7. Olsen November 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Thank you!!
    You are the best.

  8. Hasib November 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    2 words : THANK YOU
    I have never come across these types of efficient tips for writing task 1.
    keep up your good job mr. Domonic

  9. Katerina January 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Dear Dominic your website is fab although I would love to know how to motivate myself enough to study!!!need to do IELTS to move to Australia but find it very difficult to sit down on daily bases and study!!!my score is 7 so I guess it takes me a long time to get there…:-(

  10. Aydar February 17, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Dear Dominic! I’m so grateful for. Your website helped in great extent in my IELTS exam. Thanks!
    God bless you!

  11. omnia August 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    well , its nice video and thank u A lot .. but i didn’t understand why u repeat part of it :/
    i don’t know i just get confusing …

    Anyway , what was the third step ??? i heard this video twice but i can’t ” recognized ” it ..

    thanx aloot

  12. Es September 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Thank you very much Dominic..
    Your teaching video in an inspiration to me for my next IELTS exams.. keep up your good works and continuing to impact your knowledge on to us…
    BRAVO !!!!

  13. Es September 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Thank you very much Dominic..
    Your teaching video in an inspiration to me for my next IELTS exams.. keep up your good works and continue to impact your knowledge on to us…
    BRAVO !!!!

  14. Nicky September 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Hatts off you Mr.Dominic for this informative site

  15. Fatemah March 13, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    It is really very informative lesson, you explain it very well.

    mmm…. I tried to write the essay after I watch the video but it was hard for me to write 150 words. to be specific. I did not reach this number even after I added some sentences. I felt the info. was very clear and enough. Also, I feel I have the wrong conclusion paragraph. What to say here.

    Could you please write a model answer.

    Thank you

    • Dominic Cole March 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      I need to update my task 1 materials and I will be adding sample answers on a regular basis. You could try this one.

  16. Buubee February 21, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    I really love the way you offer information. It seems quite easy but it is really important and necessary. Thank you so much.

    Bangkok, Thailand.

  17. Evie February 24, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    thank you, it helps me a lot.
    i am going to practice my writing according to your instruction.

  18. moura March 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Hi, Mr. Dominic

    mmm.. after watch video, I wrote this:

    The pie chart above shows reasons that make british couples decide to get married.
    Romance is the most common reasons, it is 38 per cent, then family and children, it is almost 38 per cent. By contrast, household support is only 5 per cent, that is mean household support is not strong reason to get married.while, financial security is effect on british couples decision by 12 per cent and companionship reason is just over 12 per cent.
    In general, from pie chart is very clear the emotional reasons have strong effect on british couples decision more than logical reasons.

    it is true ?:(
    it is only 100 word

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