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  • Hi there.

  • My name is Emma and in today's video we're going to talk about the test known as the IELTS.

  • So if you are going to be writing the IELTS, this video is for you.

  • Now, in this video we're talking specifically about if you're writing the academic IELTS.

  • If you're, you know, just here for general interest, you can still learn quite a bit

  • from this video because we will be talking about different vocabulary and grammar.

  • So this video can also help you if you're not taking the IELTS also.

  • Okay, so what are we going to be talking about specifically in this video?

  • Well, if you're taking the IELTS you probably know that there's a writing part of the IELTS.

  • The writing part has two sections, we call them Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2.

  • In this video I'm going to cover a small bit of Writing Task 1.

  • So, in Writing Task 1, you're going to be given some sort of visual image.

  • Okay?

  • So you might see something like this, this, or this.

  • It might be a chart, it might be a table, but you're going to see some sort of visual

  • and you need to describe what you're seeing.

  • So this video...

  • I've covered different types of Writing Task 1 and I'll talk about the links to some of

  • these other videos at the end, but in this specific video we're going to be talking about

  • bar graphs.

  • Okay?

  • So, first of all: What is a bar graph?

  • Well, so I have here three different types of charts or graphs.

  • We have this one, this one, and this one.

  • This is called a pie chart. Okay?

  • I've covered this in another video, so if you're interested in learning how to write

  • about pie charts, you can check out that video.

  • But you'll notice with a pie chart it looks kind of like a pizza or a pie.

  • It's in a circle and it's...

  • Has different colours representing different percents.

  • We have here, this is called a line graph.

  • So you'll notice that there's a line and, you know, sometimes this represents time,

  • sometimes it represents other things, but with a line graph you'll notice, like, increases

  • and decreases, but it's one connected line.

  • We're not covering either of these in this video.

  • What we're going to be covering is another thing you might see on the IELTS, which is

  • you might be given a picture like this.

  • This is called a bar graph or a bar chart.

  • So we have here these rectangular-shaped things that are each a different colour.

  • These are known as bars. Okay?

  • So, I know a bar is a place you go to buy beer, but in this case a bar is not that,

  • it's actually this kind of rectangle on the chart.

  • So, on the IELTS you may get a picture of something like this.

  • You might actually get a picture of two things together, or you might get a picture of something

  • a lot more complicated than this.

  • In this case we're going to talk about: What would you do and say, and what are some tips

  • if you get a picture of a bar graph or a bar chart?

  • Okay, so what are you going to have to do?

  • Specifically they're going to ask you...

  • After you get a picture like this, they're going to ask you to describe what you see.

  • Okay? So you're describing the main information.

  • You're also going to have to maybe make comparisons, say how things are similar or how things are

  • different, which is contrast.

  • So, for example, if this is, you know, different activities, maybe you might say that the red

  • is shopping and the blue is golfing.

  • In this case, shopping is less popular than golfing. Okay?

  • So pretty much you need to compare the different bars and say: What are the same about them?

  • Which ones are similar and which ones are different?

  • You're also going to have to report any main features or trends.

  • Okay?

  • So maybe you'll see a pattern and you're going to have to write about, you know, some of

  • these main points you see when you look at the visualization.

  • You do not write your opinion.

  • Okay? So if this is a graph on education, maybe this is elementary school, secondary school,

  • university, master's, and like a doctorate or something - you do not write what you think

  • about it. Okay?

  • All you do is in this type of question, you're just writing what you see and what it means.

  • You're not writing your opinion on anything.

  • So you should not write the words: "I think" or "In my opinion", you'll actually lose marks

  • for this.

  • So in task 1, no opinion; that's for task 2.

  • Okay, so for something like this, and we will look at an example question, you have about

  • 20 minutes.

  • You know, you're responsible for your timing, but something like this should take you about

  • 20 minutes and you need to write at least 150 words.

  • If you write less, you lose marks.

  • So it's very important to write at least 150 words.

  • There is such a thing as too many words, so you don't have to write 800, that would be

  • very bad.

  • You know, writing 500 would be very bad.

  • You're aiming for around 150 words.

  • You know, maybe 170 is fine, but you don't want to write way too much either.

  • Okay, so now we're going to look at an example of a question for this and some more tips

  • on how to...

  • How to write when you look at a bar graph.

  • Okay, so I have here an example of an IELTS question.

  • So, here's the chart and here is the question itself.

  • It says: "The chart shows information about changes in the average housing prices

  • in three different cities between 1990 and 2000.

  • Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features

  • and making comparisons where relevant."

  • So, for a question like this you will again have about 20 minutes, and you'll also have...

  • You have to write about 150 words.

  • So, what do a lot of students do when they see this?

  • They go: "Oh my gosh. I... I don't know what to do. I panic."

  • Right? A lot of students get really stressed out, but this is something you can do.

  • So, the number one thing you need to do is take a breath, first thing, and then think

  • about: What are you seeing?

  • Don't just start writing.

  • Think about: What can you actually see?

  • What is happening here?

  • Okay?

  • So, for example, here we have on this side...

  • This is called the Y axis.

  • We have the percentage of change in housing prices.

  • Okay, so I see here the word "percent" and I see the numbers 10, 5, -5, and -10.

  • So this is showing percent.

  • Okay?

  • And what kind of percent is it showing?

  • Housing prices, so the cost of buying a house.

  • How has it changed over time?

  • And then I can also look here and here.

  • Okay, so we're looking at the year 1990 and we're comparing it to 2000.

  • Usually the graph would also have a title.

  • I didn't have enough space to write the title, but in terms of the visual you might see something

  • like this.

  • There are different types of bar graphs.

  • So sometimes you'll just have, you know, maybe one part of it, sometimes you'll have multiple

  • bar graphs you need to interpret, sometimes you'll have a pie graph and a bar graph, so

  • key here is take your time to really think about what you're seeing.

  • So in this case we have three different colours: blue, green, and red; and we have three different

  • cities: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

  • So, I made up this, by the way.

  • This is not actually reflective of housing prices in these cities.

  • I have no idea what housing prices are right now, so you know, don't take this as fact

  • because it's made up numbers.

  • So when you look at this, what can we see right away?

  • Well, we can find Toronto.

  • This is Toronto in 1990 and this is Toronto in 2000.

  • Okay?

  • If I look here this is about 5% and here it's 10%.

  • I can also look at Montreal.

  • Montreal here is in the negatives.

  • It's -5%, compared to here in 2000 which is 5%, so it's a positive number.

  • And then we can look at red which represents Vancouver, this is the same as Toronto, it's

  • 5%, and this is, again, the same as Toronto, 5%.

  • So, you can start by asking yourself some questions.

  • Okay?

  • What are you looking at?

  • You can look at the bars and think about: Which is the tallest bar?

  • So in this case the tallest bar in 1990 are both Toronto and Vancouver.

  • In 2000, the tallest bars are also Toronto and Vancouver.

  • You can look at the shortest bar.

  • Well, in this case, in terms of negative, we see Montreal.

  • Okay?

  • In this case, again, it's Montreal.

  • So looking at which is the tallest and which is the shortest are some questions you want

  • to ask yourself right off the bat.

  • You also want to look at change over time.

  • Okay?

  • You know: How is this graph changing?

  • Is something increasing?

  • Is something decreasing?

  • In this case we see Toronto increased, Montreal increased, and Vancouver increased.

  • Everything has increased over time.

  • You also want to compare: How are these bars the same and how are they different?

  • So I'll look: Okay, you know, in this case Toronto and Vancouver are the same,

  • Montreal is different.

  • Toronto and Vancouver have both increased, Montreal has decreased.

  • In this case all three have increased, but Toronto and Vancouver are greater.

  • You know, they show greater increase than Montreal.

  • So noticing these types of patterns and just really analyzing: "What are you seeing?" will

  • really help you in terms of your answer.

  • So key point here: Don't just write.

  • Take a minute to actually understand what you are looking at.

  • Okay, now let's look at some other tips on how to do...

  • How to analyze a bar graph.

  • Okay, so you've now understood what you're looking at.

  • You've read the question carefully and you've also looked at the visual, in this case, a