#EngTips: Phrases to Describe Graphs in IELTS Test

Good evening, fellas! We meet again, after all. How are you today? Did something great happen to you today? Some of you might currently be in the exam week. So, may the odds be ever in your favor. Good luck for the exam yaaa.

Our topic today is about exam too. This session is very useful for those who are preparing for a study abroad. If you are planning to study in the US, UK, or Australia, you are required to obtain a certificate of English proficiency level. You need to sit for a test to obtain the certificate *iyalaaah. The test is either IELTS or iBT TOEFL.

Today, we are gonna discuss some useful phrases to describe charts or graphs in IELTS. Hooo, who’s up for this discussion? In IELTS, you are expected to write a compare-and-contrast description of a graph using succinct and effective sentences.

By the way, this is what is called as a bar graph.


And this one, is a chart, a pie chart.


The things to compare could be two different items or one item that experience changes during a period of time. On the sheet, you could have two graphs or even just one. If there are two or more different items in the chart/graph(s), you can begin your writing by…

“The graph compares….”

e.g “The graph compares the trend of using landlines and mobile phones in Indonesia from 1999 to 2014.”

Should you have one item to be compared over a period of time, you can use…

“The graph illustrates…” or “The graph shows…”

e.g “The graph illustrates the changes in the use of landlines over this span of two decades, from 19XX to 19YY.”

If the graph shows a positive trend, some phrases that you can use are..

1) “the graph shows an exponential growth of xxxx…”

2) “xxx saw an upward/rising trend…”

3) “xxx increased dramatically…”

4) “xxx jolted significantly…”

e.g 1) “The number of internet users shows an exponential growth in 3 consecutive years.”

e.g 2) “Internet users saw an upward trend in 2009 to 2013.”

Should the graph shows a falling trend of the item, some phrases you can use are..

a) “xxx fell dramatically to approximately…”

b) “xxx showed a downward trend…”

c) “xxx showed corresponding drops in yyy…”

d) “xxx showed decreases in quantity to yyy….”

e.g a) “Mobile phone users fell dramatically to approximately 30% in 2009 from 70% in 2013.”

e.g b) “Mobile phone users showed a downward trend with some corresponding drops in 2009 and 2013.”

That’s all. Thank you so much for reading. I hope it helps. I wish you good luck should you are reading this in the mids of your preparation for an IELTS test. See you. :)


Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on October 22, 2015

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