#EngTips: Numbers and Percentages in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, fellas. How is it going? Today we will talk about IELTS Writing Task 1. As we know, we must usually write an article based on data given in the test. Due to the fact that the data are expressed in numbers or percentages, it is essential that we know other ways of expressing them.

1) Fractions

Sometimes, data in IELTS Writing Task 1 are expressed in percentages. To avoid repetition, percentages can be replaced by fractions.

75%= three quarters

67%= two thirds

50%= a half

33%= a third

25%= a quarter

20%= a fifth

e.g.

75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only 20% was allocated on education.

75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only a fifth was allocated on education.

If the percentage is, for example 51% or 23%, we can use approximations (approximately, around, almost, about, nearly, just above/over, just below/under, a little/slightly more than or a little/slightly less than)

e.g.

The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to 31% in 2004.

The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to just below a third in 2004.

2) Comparisons using half, twice, three times etc. with as many/much…as

e.g.

In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won 32 gold medals, while Japan won 16 gold medals

In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won twice as many gold medals as Japan. 

3) double, treble, quadruple etc.

e.g.

The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it rose to 60 in 1998.

The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it trebled four years later.

4) twofold, threefold etc.

e.g.

In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it increased to 45%

In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it saw a threefold increase

Sources:

Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates

Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with Answers

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: Graph Review (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Thursday, June 14, 2018

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