# A model pie chart report – step by step

This lesson gives you a step-by-step approach to dealing with pie charts in task 1. I talk you through how to identify the main points, select the supporting details and then structure your report. I then show you two model answers: one with standard vocabulary and then a much more advanced version with more vocabulary and grammar you can borrow.

The following pie charts show the results of a survey into the most popular leisure activities in the United States of America in 1999 and 2009.

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

Step 1: seeing the big picture
The first step is to identify the main points of the two charts. This is not just an important part of the task and your band score, it will also help you write your description. The main points are normally obvious. Sometimes they are so obvious that candidates ignore them. Look at these questions:

1. 2. 3.

How many activities are there in each chart? – Just count Are the activities the same in each chart? – Read the key Are there any changes in popularity between the two years? – Look at the colours

Most of the other activities became less popular over the same period of time. provided you also use some variations. Again. having almost doubled in popularity over the previous decade. You will need to talk about things that do not follow the normal pattern. The second most popular activity was soccer at just under 20% in both years. Avoid using phrases like “lots of ” in IELTS “various“: a useful and more advanced variant for “different” “exception to a trend“: Learn this phrase. butweightlifting was chosen by 10% of people. It is clear that walking was the most popular activity in both 1999 and 2009. Also. That is not a problem. I suggest you take a look at my lesson on dealing with numbers. “over the previous decade“. ”in both years“. Other variations include “to express a preference” and “favourite”. you want to make sure you have some variation here. General vocabulary “a number of“: a simple but exceptionally useful phrase. . “1999/2009“: another word you are going to repeat relates to time. Dealing with numbers Numbers are very important in this task. Standard phrases “These two pie charts show“: the normal phrase to describe what the chart/graph is about “We can see that“: a phrase to state a main point “It is clear that“: another phrase to identify a main point Varying vocabulary “popular/popularity/preferred“: you are going to repeat the word “popular”. with around 30% of Americans saying that they preferred it. Note these: ”between 1999 and 2009“. a figure that was matched by swimming in 2009. using it as an adjective and a verb. but there were a number of differences in popularity between the various activities. with cycling. We can see that the most popular leisure activities were almost the same in both periods. The one exception to this trend was camping which stayed almost unchanged at around 9%. ”over the same period of time“. ”in both periods“. One way to do this is to change the form of the word from “popular” to “popularity”. yoga was no longer among the preferred activities in 2009.Language notes These two pie charts show the changes in popularity of different leisure activities in the United States of America between 1999 and 2009. The other word I use in this report is “preferred”: you should note I vary this too. jogging and aerobics all falling by at least a half to under 10%.