Top Tips for IELTS

Some more advanced trend vocabulary

This is some useful trend vocabulary for charts and graphs for people looking to get band 7.0 or over.

Test yourself first

Upwards trends

Downward trends

adjectives and adverbs


Verbs

These verbs are alternatives to the basic rise and fall vocabulary. One benefit of using them is that sometimes they help you avoid repeating too many numbers. If you have a strong verb, you don’t always have to give the exact figure.

Up verbs


Notes:

  • “Soar “and “rocket” are both very strong words that describe large rises. “Rocket” is more sudden. You probably do not need to qualify these verbs with adverbs.
  • “Leap” shows a large and sudden rise. Again, you probably do not need to qualify it with an adverb.
  • “Climb” is a relatively neutral verb that can be used with the adverbs below.

Down verbs

Notes:

  • “Plummet” is the strongest word here. It means to fall very quickly and a long way.
  • “Drop”  and “drop” are normally used for fairly small decreases
  • “Slip back” is used for falls that come after rises
  • “Drop” and “Dip” are also frequently used as nouns: eg “a slight dip” “a sudden drop”

Adjectives and adverbs

This is a selection of some of the most common adjectives and adverbs used for trend language. Please be careful. This is an area where it is possible to make low-level mistakes. Make sure that you use adjectives with nouns and adverbs with verbs:

  • a significant rise – correct (adjective/noun)
  • rose significantly – correct (adverb/verb)
  • a significantly rise – wrong wrong wrong

Please also note the spelling of the adverbs. There is a particular problem with the word “dramatically:

  • dramatically – correct
  • dramaticly – wrong
  • dramaticaly – wrong

Adjectives of degree


notes

  • “sudden” and “sharp” can be used of relatively minor changes that happen quickly
  • “spectacular” and “dramatic” are very strong words only to used to big, big, big changes

Steady adjectives

Small adjectives

notes

  • “marginal” is a particularly useful word for describing very small changes

Other useful adjectives

These adjectives can be used to describes more general trends

notes

  • “overall” can be used to describe changes in trend over the whole period: very useful in introductions and conclusions
  • “upward” and “downward” are adjectives: the adverbs are “upwards” and “downwards”
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55 Responses to Some more advanced trend vocabulary

  1. joy September 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    “it rocketed to a high of 75%” means that it reached to more than 75%?
    thanks for your unique website

    • Dominic Cole September 13, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      No, not really. It just means it rose very quickly like a rocket. Its the speed of change that matters – the final number is still 75%.

  2. joy September 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    thanks for your help and care!
    you’re the best!!

  3. Afsane September 14, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Would it be correct to say ” the sales hit a trough” instead of saying sales plummeted or sank? guess I’ve read it somewhere, not sure whether it can be used in formal writing or not.

    • Dominic Cole September 14, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      The trough is the low point on a line diagram. It is though quite an unusual word – much less common then peak for example. “Hit a trough” is a possible phrase but is more journalistic than academic. A more neutral alternative would be “low” or “low point”.

  4. Joy October 26, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    Wow, great lesson, that is what i am looking for. Thanks much.

  5. Olsen November 4, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    You are amazing! So helpful.
    Thank you so much!

  6. Jullie November 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Thank you so much . I understand their meanings more than before.

  7. simar January 6, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    dear , which tense i have to use in writing task 1

    • Dominic Cole January 6, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      It depends on the task and the question. Read the chart/graph carefully. If it is about the past, use past tenses etc, if there is no time frame at all then you use present tenses.

      • Tikki June 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

        No, doubt efforts is worthless… good job may
        ALLAH bless you

  8. saadah April 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    In the downward trend task given, can I describe like this?

    The sales rose to 135 in September only to slip back to 130 again in October, a downward trend that continued in November.

  9. saadah April 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Example; Number of people employed in Oct is 150 while in Nov 140.

    Do these sentence mean the same?

    It went down by 10 people in Nov ;
    There was a drop of 10 people in Nov

  10. Evelyn April 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Hi,
    would you please tell me in task 1 that words such as nadir ,apex,vertex are proper to use? Thank you!

    • Dominic Cole July 12, 2012 at 7:31 am #

      Not really appropriate – they are very low frequency words – meaning that we don’t use them often. The best thing to do is to use the standard vocabulary rather than trying to show off by using unusual vocabulary that you may well get wrong.

  11. Kessia April 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Very useful! This blog is perfect! =D

  12. sanjaya June 5, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    when describing graph the tense that most suitable is “simple present” or have to change according to the graph?
    Please help me on this.
    Thank you

    • Dominic Cole July 6, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      It depends almost entirely on the details of the graph/chart you are given. One of the first things you should do is to look to see if the data relates to past, present or future time.

  13. ravi July 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    can someone give me the best website or idea of learning vocabulary?

    • Dominic Cole July 25, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

      Next week is my week for updating my directory of useful websites. Is there any vocab you are looking for in particular?

  14. Iam Car July 26, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Wow! I’ll be taking the exam this Saturday (July 28th). Great help! Thanks!

    • Neha Soni July 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

      The content of this page has indeed been quite helpful to me! Thank you so much! I shall be answering the test on 28th July. I’m hoping for the best! :)

  15. Suhel September 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Hey Dominic Cole,

    I am going to write IELTS in October, I have some ideas and list Vocab that you can include on this page. If you need Volunteer then please let me know so I can put effort and can source all IELTS related help on 1 website rather going around and finding other places.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Suhel

  16. Refik October 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Thanks for the site; I am a teacher and you made my job a lot easier.

  17. Anonymous October 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Am new in this site, its very helpful to me.Thanks so much!

  18. Shaky October 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Thnks a lot sir !!

  19. tar October 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Dear Dominic,

    You are a great help! I would love to tell you my great appreciation for your blog!
    You have no idea how much desperate IELTS test candidates from every corner of the world you are helping!

    Honestly, your support is splendid.I am sitting for the exam at the end of this month. I am visiting your posts day and night.

    Thank you again and I wish you good luck in your life!

  20. forouzan October 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    thank you thank you thank you.

  21. Gayathri December 10, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Thank you very much Sir for this very interesting class ,it is easy to understand ,thank you for helping us

  22. Lucas Queiroga January 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I truly expect you to make a lot of money with this website, it has been helping me a lot!

    Anyway, thank you very much

    Regards

  23. Abid January 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    Can I use nadir for lowest point.

    • Dominic Cole February 12, 2013 at 2:10 am #

      Not advised – I’d stick to the more common words. You should also note that “nadir” has a negative meaning and the lowest point in a graph is not necessarily negative.

  24. rakz February 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    why are the boxes empty when i view them with mac or ipad?how do i make em appear.

  25. Tariq February 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Dear Dominic
    Your blogs are really fantastic especially todays,thank you so much.

  26. Collins March 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Hi Dominic
    Can you give me some tips to generate ideas well.
    Thanks a lot

    • Dominic Cole March 7, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      Are you talking about ideas in part 1 or part 2? In part 1, you don’t really need any ideas – all the information is there in front of you in the visual. In part 2, it is harder I know. I do have a lesson on this, but I shall try and post a new one for you soon (in the next week or so). It’s an area where many candidates get confused.

      • vijay March 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

        its really helpful..will u please post some rough map for task 1 with these key words…..thank u DC…:)

  27. this site is also helpful to me.i get my proper information in this site.this site is awesome.

  28. Aman August 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    im preparing for august 17th IELTS test ….Ur lessons or suggestions seems
    quite helpful for me n am shore i will get good score by….so lets see the final results..thanks for all

  29. blue angel August 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    thankyou so much!!!!
    very helpful
    Thankyou thankyou thankyou

    GOD BLESS YOU

  30. blue angel August 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    thankyou so much!!!!
    very helpful
    Thankyou thankyou thankyou domini cole

  31. sagar chopra September 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    it is very helpful for a learner of ielts

  32. Isabel Marant Sneakers October 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

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  33. rammy bains October 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    thnk youuuuuuu 4 the help

  34. haru December 30, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    i have a final exam tomorrow. you have made my day. this one was very helpful! thanks for sharing :)

  35. Drumil Patel March 7, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    In which tense we should write task-1 ?
    Can we write in present tense if the past years are given in charts ?
    Like 1990-2000

    • Dominic Cole March 7, 2014 at 7:47 am #

      An important question. The answer is that you MUST use the past tense if the data shown is in the past.

  36. Kemaru April 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Should it be ” It’s evident that the overall trend was consistently upward” instead of “…..upwards”?? because “upward” in this question acts as an adjective not an adverb, consistently is an adverb already.

    Thanks

  37. Prajay Patel November 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Hello, Sir

    This tips is really helpful for me. Sir my exam is after 6days. is there any best way for preparation so that i can get good band?
    Just for a note my listening and speaking is good, but i am not strong is reading and writing.

    • Dominic Cole November 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Sorry this is too general a question to answer properly. All I would say is that you should go to the exam with a plan i.e. know what you are going to do in each paper. It always helps to have a plan!

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