Vocabulary & Tips To Describe Trends In IELTS Writing Task -1

IELTS Writing test is one of the tests of the English language which is judged on the basis of four parameters that is, task achievement, cohesion and coherence, lexical resources and Grammatical Range and Accuracy. IELTS writing task 1 (academic) is about report writing where an illustration will be given and a student is expected to write 150 words.

In Task 1 of the writing test, trends are needed to be described, compare and contrast is to be done, a process is needed to be written and a report is to be generated on statistical information. However, in this article, tips and vocabulary to describe trends will be discussed in detail along with some useful examples.

A Trend

A trend is basically a general direction in which some variable is developing or changing over a time period. It is usually illustrated in the form of line and bar graphs, a pie chart or a table A trend can be anything. Whether it can go up or down or maybe there would be no change. So students need to be very careful in describing a type of variation.

Tips to remember

  • Do not describe each and every minor variation unless it is something major that happened over time.
  • A trend needs to be normally written in past tense unless the time period is in the present or future.
  • Do not give your own opinion in between like, maybe the sales boosted due to change in weather etc.
  • Keep your focus on variation and Accuracy. Remember that examiner is not there to check your Grammatical skills only if you fail to make them understand the exact trend of a variable.

The Pattern of Writing a Task 1 (Report)

  • Introduce the topic which is itself written in the question. Just put synonyms and rephrase the sentence given.
  • Write 1 or maximum 2 body paragraphs. All the facts and figures are to be written in it only.
  • The conclusion means writing an overall or key point of the illustration. Do not write any of the figures in the conclusion again. However, the year can be mentioned.

Vocabulary for describing trends

Nouns and Verbs

1. For describing upward trend

i. Go on, rise, rocket, jump, climb, increase, incline

ii. (The prices of oil inclined over the time period).

2. For describing downward trend

i. Decline, decrease, drop, plummet, plunge, go down, fall

ii. (The prices of oil plunged over the time period).

3. For describing a stable trend

i. Maintain, remain, steady, stable, unchanged, constant, reached a plateau, leveled off

ii. (The prices of oil remained constant over time).

4. For describing any major or minor trend

i. Reached peak

ii. Highest or lowest

iii. Least

iv. Maximum,

v. Minimum, minimal

vi. (The prices of oil reached at its peak in 2005).

Adverbs and adjectives

1. To describe major increase/decrease

i. Sharply, rapidly, quickly, steeply

ii. (The enrollments fell sharply in given time period).

2. To describe a minor increase/decrease

i. Slowly, gradually, slightly, moderately, steadily

ii. (The enrollments inclined slowly in year 2005 and 2015).

3. To describe a key trend

i. Considerable, significant, substantial

ii. (A considerable downfall can be seen in the revenues in the time period of a decade).

For Describing the Overall Trend

  • Overall, a zig-zag trend can be seen
  • Overall, a fluctuating trend can be seen.
  • Overall, sharp variation can be seen.
  • Overall, an inclining / declining trend can be seen.
  • Overall can also be written by writing any major or key point. For example- The most considerable figure was in year… OR The noticeable change can be seen from… to…

Using Prepositions Combining Numbers






  • There was a steep incline of 20% from the year 1995 to 2005.


  • The sales inclined by 20% from 1995 to 2005.







· The sales went up to 15000 from 2010 to 2020.


  • The sales reached at its highest peak in 2000.
  • The enrollments reached to 5000 in the given time period.
  • A constant figure of 50000 can be seen over the time period.

For Describing Percentages

There is a range of different vocabulary for describing percentages or fractions in order to differentiate the regular monotonous figures and to show the change effectively in a report.

  • 10% a-tenth
  • 20% a-fifth
  • 25% a-fourth or a quarter
  • 30% nearly a-third
  • 33% one-third
  • 40% two-fifths
  • 49% nearly half
  • 50% a-half
  • 60% three-fifths
  • 67% two-thirds
  • 75% three-fourths
  • 100% a-full or complete

One can also describe the adverbs in between

For example-

  • 75% a majority
  • 1% to 5% An insignificant minority
  • 90% almost all

A Sample Question and Answer

The bar chart below shows the average duration of housework women did (unemployed, part-time employed and full-time) when compared to men who had full-time work in the UK between 1985 and 2005.

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

The bar chart details hours of housework completed in the UK from 1985 to 2005 by fully employed males and females with various states of employment. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that time spent on housework rose for all groups with the exception of unemployed women, which was stable overall. However, the latter category undertook by far the most housework, while men with full-time jobs did comparatively little.

Unemployed women led throughout the period in terms of hours, at a peak of 7 hours in 1985 and 2005 and a slight dip to 6.5 hours in between. In contrast, men with full-time work were unchanged at just 1 hour in 1985 and 1995, though there was a slight rise to 1.5 hours in 2005.

Women with part-time employment were slightly lower than their unemployed counterparts throughout the period, beginning at 5.3 hours in 1985, before declining to 5 hours over the next 5 years, and then finishing the period with a surge to 6 hours. The figures for women with full-time employment resembled those of men, though they were marginally higher at 2, 1.5, and 2.8 hours in 1985, 1995, and 2005, respectively.

Writing task 1 is a task that should not take more than 20 minutes in total. It is all about writing and presenting the facts given in an effective vocabulary. Interpretations should be varied and accurate and no personal assumptions are required. Use the above-given vocabulary for describing trends and practice for more graphs and charts/tables.

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