IELTS Computer Delivered Tests + Band Score

Describing a Graph in the Future

Sometimes you may have to write about a graph in the future.

When you are presented with a line graph to analyze (or a bar graph if it is over time) you should always look carefully to check what time frame is being referred to.

If you get the time frame wrong, this could have a very negative impact on your score as a lot of the information will then be presented incorrectly.

Take a look at the line graph below.

  1. What is the timeframe?
  2. What tenses will you use?

Past and projected finances for a
local authority in New Zealand

IELTS Line Graph - finances for a local authority in New ZealandNote: This graph was in the exam in 2015 so anything after that date is future tense

Tenses for the Future

As you will see, it runs from 2012 until 2022.

In some graphs you may be given a time frame that includes the past and the future (or possibly only the future). In this case you need to be very careful that you are using the past tense when appropriate and the future tense when appropriate.

These are some common phrases you can use to discuss a graph in the future:

  • will + infinitive
  • is/are expected to + infinitive
  • is/are predicted to + infinitive

Now take a look at the line graph and the model answer.

In order to see clearly how the past and future time frames have been used, the past is in red, and the future is in green.

Graph in the Future - Model answer

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The line graph shows the past and projected finances for a local authority in New Zealand.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Note: This graph was written in 2015 so anything after that date is future tense 

The line graph illustrates the financial position of a New Zealand local authority from 2012 to 2022. It is measured in millions of New Zealand dollars. Overall, it can be seen that while rates revenue and user charges are predicted to increase over the period, borrowings and grants and subsidies will remain much lower.

Rates revenues and user charges will follow a very similar pattern over the time frame. Rates revenue stood at just under 1.5 billion in 2012, which was the highest of the four criteria. Though they remained stable until 2013, they are expected to climb to approximately 2.4 billion dollars in 2022. Like rates revenues, use charges are predicted to continuously increase.  They began the period at 1 billion and will stand at twice this level by 2022.

Borrowings, on the other hand, are expected to show considerable fluctuation. Although having initially increased, they will drop to a low of 600 million in 2016, before reaching a peak of just under 1.5 billion in 2020. Borrowings will finish the period at around the same level that they began. Grant and subsidies were the lowest of the four, at under 500 million in 2012. Despite moving up to exceed borrowing briefly in 2016, this low level will continue until 2022.

(209 words)

< Prepositions in Graphs
Grouping Information >

More Task 1 Academic Lessons:

Join IELTS buddy for Free IELTS Tips!


Any comments or questions about this page or about IELTS? Post them here. Your email will not be published or shared.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Band 7+ eBooks

"I think these eBooks are FANTASTIC!!! I know that's not academic language, but it's the truth!"

Linda, from Italy, Scored Band 7.5

ielts buddy ebooks