This exercise introduces some common vocabulary and grammar needed for describing graph trends.
The language that can be used for describing graphs in IELTS is extensive.
This lesson introduces some of the most common language used.
It also shows you how it can be used grammatically in sentences.
Have a look at the table below.
Then, to help you with describing graph trends, decide which word should go in the gap in the example answer.
Expenditure on Education in Hong Kong 1995 to 1998
|Breakdown of spending||1995-6||1996-7||1997-8|
|Total expenditure ($ million)||33,611||39,165||45,315|
|As % of government budget||17.6%||18%||18.2%|
% spent on
Describing Graph Trends - Gap Fill
Public expenditure on education in Hong Kong (1) _____________ continuously from 1995 to 1998. In academic year 1995-6 it (2)_________________ HK$33,611 million, (3)______________ to $39,165 million in 1996-7 and $45,315 million in 1997-8. As a percentage of the government’s budget spending on education also (4)______ each year, from 17.6% to 18% and then to 18.2%.
However, the percentage of expenditure spent on primary, secondary and tertiary education did not show the same consistent (5)_______. In 1995-6 expenditure on primary education was 22.2% of the education budget, 33.7% (6)_________ on secondary, and 35.9% on tertiary.
In 1996, (7) ____________ of 0.8% in spending on tertiary education was financed by a (8)_________ in spending of 0.7% in primary and 0.5% in secondary schooling.
In 1997-8 tertiary spending as a percent of the education budget (9)_________ to its 1995-6 level. The percentage spent on primary education (10)__________ to 21.6% and that on secondary to 33.5%, both figures being less than 1995-6 levels.
This lesson will hopefully have helped you with the basics of describing graph trends and some of the different structures you can use.
Remember though this example has only used a few of the words possible for describing change.
It's important to vary your language so look around the IELTS buddy site, for example on the model graphs, to see what other language you can use.
Home › IELTS Lessons › Describing Graph Trends
Describing a Graph Over Time
Describing an IELTS Pie Chart
Describing an IELTS Process
Describing two graphs together
Common Language of Change
Gap Fill - Bar Chart
Gap Fill - Line Graph
Common Language to Compare and Contrast
A Common Mistake
Organizing your answer
Gap Fill - Table
Describing the future
Gap Fill - Pie Chart
Opening and Closing a Letter