UK Phone calls - The chart below shows the total number of minutes (in billions) of telephone calls in the UK, divided into three categories, from 1995-2002

IELTS Writing Task 1: ‘phone calls’ bar chart

Several people have asked me for help with the following question, from Cambridge IELTS book 9:

The chart below shows the total number of minutes (in billions) of telephone calls in the UK, divided into three categories, from 1995-2002.

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3 Bar by Andy Nova

Here’s my suggested outline for a 4-paragraph report:

  1. Introduction: rewrite the question statement in your own words.
  2. Overview: point out which category was highest in each year, which was lowest, and which saw the biggest changes.
  3. Details: compare the 3 categories in 1995, then say what happened up until 1999.
  4. Details: notice what happened to local calls from 1999 onwards, and contrast this with the other 2 categories. Finish with a comparison of the figures in 2002.

IELTS Writing Task 1: ‘phone calls’ introduction and overview

Here’s the first half of my report about the chart in last week’s lesson. I’ll finish paragraphs 3 and 4 next Thursday.

The bar chart compares the amount of time spent by people in the UK on three different types of phone call between 1995 and 2002.

It is clear that calls made via local, fixed lines were the most popular type, in terms of overall usage, throughout the period shown. The lowest figures on the chart are for mobile calls, but this category also saw the most dramatic increase in user minutes.

Note:
Can you see the paraphrasing that I used in the introduction, and the main points that I chose for the overview? Did I use any good words or phrases?

The bar chart displays the amount of time spent by people living in the UK on three different kinds of phone call during the 7- year period between 1995 and 2002.

It can be observed that the local fixed line was the most popular type throughout the year shown. Also, national and international fixed line and mobiles (all calls) remain the second and the third trend respectively. However, the number of time spent on those two categories both increase, with the significant rise in mobile calls.

In 1975, Britains used local fixed lines in over 70 billion minutes, more than double the amount of time spent on international fixed lines while just nearly 4 billion minutes were made via mobile calls. All types of phone call saw a gradual increase in time usage over the following 4 years.

In 1999, minutes spent on local fixed lines reached a peak at 90 billion, but it consistently declined over a period of 4 years from 1999 to 2002. In contrast, the figure for international lines made a steady growth, at 60 billion minutes in 2000. Likewise, the duration of mobile calls climbed dramatically to a new high, about 45 billion minutes usage.

The bar graph demonstrates the change in minutes of 3 types of telephone calls in UK during the period from 1995 to 2002. It is clear that, there was an upward trend in national and international calls as well as mobiles calls while local calls were high in the middle of the period.
At about 37 billion minutes in 1995, national and international calls gradually increased 3 billion minutes per year on average for the rest of the period. Time for mobiles calls in 1995 was about 3 billion minutes, this figure also rose little by little and reached about 10 billion minutes in 1998. Then, it grew faster throughout the time and in 2002 the peak rate was more than 13 times the one in 1995. In contrast, local calls quickly went up of 20 billion minutes from the beginning and reached 90 billion minutes in 1998 and 1999. After that, it had a symmetric decrease rate and fall to above 70 billion minutes in final.

The chart compares the amount of time UK people spend on telephone calls, which was divided into different categories over a period of 7 years.

It is clear that the calls via the local-fixed line which was the most popular call type from 1995 to 2002. The lowest figure in the chart was mobiles(all calls).

In 1995, 70 billion minutes for local, fixed-line and it also reached at the highest call minutes while the time spent for Mobile call type which was only around 2 billion minutes and owned around 39 million minutes for national-international calls. Over the following four years, the call time of all categories steadily increased.

In 1990, the amount of time spent on landline phones reached a peak of 90 billion minutes. Subsequently, it steadily decreased while both national or international and mobile call types continued to gradually go up. The trend of three call type categories continued to be maintained in the two next years with 60 billion minutes for national/international and rose to around 45 billion minutes for mobile call type in 2002.

The bar chart compares the total amount of time spent on telephone calls in the UK, which is categorized in 3 different groups from 1995 to 2000.

Overall, it is obvious that calls made by local-fixed line were the most used while the use of mobiles was the lowest. However, mobile calls witnessed a remarkable increase throughout the whole period.

In 1995, local calls accounted for the biggest proportion, which was over 70%, whereas the figures for National and International calls and mobile calls were approximately 40% and 5% respectively.

In 1999, the amount of time spent on local calls reached a peak at 90%, however, this figure declined to only 70% over the period of 4 years. In contrast, there was an upward trend in the use of both National and International-fixed line and mobiles, which increased consistently to 60% and 45% respectively.

This bar chart describes the time by people spent on telephone calls following by three call types in UK
It is obvious that calls made via local-fixed line takes advantages of overall usage. The lowest figures belong to mobile calls, however, it then boomed enormously in amount of user minutes within 7 year period.
In 1995, local-fixed line was favourite type of call with more than 70 billion minutes, the minutes which people spent time for national and international-fixed line accounted for a half of above amount only. In contrast with them, the number of minutes for mobile calls was below 10 billion minutes. It is clear that the figures for all three categories of calls grew gradually in 1999.
By 1999, the minute of usage in local calls got a plateau at 90 billion minutes while two remaining types climbed steadily. In 2002, there was a rapid reduction in the number of local calls usage to 70 billion minutes, in the meanwhile, mobile calls showed the dramatic upward trend to nearly 50 billion minutes.

The bar chart illustrastes how many minutes of telephone conversations were made in the UK during the years 1995 – 2002.

It is clear that the local –fixed line calls were the most popular type. By contrast, the figure given for mobiles was lowest.

In 1995, over 70 billion minutes were used by people to communicate with others through local –fixed line. The amount of time spent on local –fixed line had a peaked at 90 billion in 1999 before decreased significantly to nearly 72 billion in the year 2002.

People in the UK used mobiles for a total of nearly 5 billion minutes. After 7 years ago, the figures for that increased to ninefold, with approximately 45 billion. The number of minutes of national / international landline calls rose slightly, from about 38 billion to roughly 50 billion from 1995 to 1999 then continued its upward trend to almost 60 billion in 2002.

The bar chart compares the amount of time 3 different call types are used for phone calls between 1996 and 2002.

It is noticeable that local calls remained the most popular preference, while mobiles were recorded by far the lowest figure. However, this category experienced the most significant changes, compared with the other two.

In 1995, a total of over 70 billion minutes were spent on local calls, almost doubled than that was spent on national and international line. Mobiles reached its lowest at only about 3 billion minutes spent. After 4 years, in 1999, local line surged to a high of 90 billion minutes. National and international, and mobiles also saw a significant increase, to roughly 50 and 15 billion minutes, respectively.

However, from 1999 onwards, the overall trend seemed to reverse. The number of minutes on local calls dropped noticeably to below 75 billion, almost the same as it was 7 years ago. On the contrary, the two other categories both soared in 2002, at 65 billion and 50 billion minutes, respectively.

IELTS Writing Task 1: bar chart sample answer

Here’s my full answer for the ‘phone calls’ bar chart in this lesson:

The bar chart compares the amount of time spent by people in the UK on three different types of phone call between 1995 and 2002.

It is clear that calls made via local, fixed lines were the most popular type, in terms of overall usage, throughout the period shown. The lowest figures on the chart are for mobile calls, but this category also saw the most dramatic increase in user minutes.

In 1995, people in the UK used fixed lines for a total of just over 70 billion minutes for local calls, and about half of that amount of time for national or international calls. By contrast, mobile phones were only used for around 4 billion minutes. Over the following four years, the figures for all three types of phone call increased steadily.

By 1999, the amount of time spent on local calls using landlines had reached a peak at 90 billion minutes. Subsequently, the figure for this category fell, but the rise in the other two types of phone call continued. In 2002, the number of minutes of national / international landline calls passed 60 billion, while the figure for mobiles rose to around 45 billion minutes.

(197 words, band 9)

IELTS Writing Task 1: important little words

The following phrases are taken from the sample answer that I wrote last week. Can you fill the gaps without checking my answer?

Use these words: at, in, on, to, for, by

  1. the amount of time spent _____ people in the UK _____ three different types of phone call
  2. calls made via local, fixed lines were the most popular type, _____ terms of overall usage
  3. the figures _____ all three types of phone call increased
  4. the amount of time spent _____ local calls using landlines had reached a peak _____ 90 billion minutes
  5. the rise _____ the other two types of phone call continued
  6. the figure _____ mobiles rose _____ around 45 billion minutes
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The bar chart displays the amount of time of people in the UK used three different types of phone call: local, fixed line; national or international, fixed line and mobiles from 1995 to 2002.

Compared three categories phone calls, local, fixed lines were clearly into a noticeable position during the period shown. Mobile calls took account of the lowest figures; however, this sort witnessed the most tremendous growth.

In 1995,a little bit over 70 billion minutes was spent on local, fixed lines, and about half of that figure on national or international calls. On the contrary, mobile phones were used for only almost 4 billion minutes. Throughout the 4-year-following period, the amount of time for all three kinds of phone call rose steadily.

By 1999, the number of minutes of local landlines had reached a peak at 90 billion but reduced during the after period, while the others types of phone call continued increasing. In 2002, the amount of time of national or international landline calls pass 60 billion minutes, whereas the rise to nearly 45 billion minutes was for mobiles.

IELTS Writing Task 1: mistakes in the introduction

Can you find and correct the mistakes in each of the introductions below? Why do you think people make mistakes in their introductions?

  1. The bar chart illustrates that the trend of call types in the united kingdom for 8 years from 1995 to 2002.
  2. The bar chart compares the figures in terms of minutes spent on telephone calls, splitted into three types.
  3. The bar chart gives information about telephone calls. It is in three types Local, National & International and Mobile call minutes from year 1995 to 2002 in UK.
  4. The graph compares the total using time of 3 call types in the UK over a 7-year period from 1995.
  5. The bar chart presents the amount of phone calls in billion of minutes make in the UK over a period of seven years into the categories of local, national/international and mobile phone calls.

To avoid mistakes, keep your introduction simple, like mine:

The bar chart compares the amount of time spent by people in the UK on three different types of phone call between 1995 and 2002.

  1. The bar chart illustrates trends in different types of phone call in the United Kingdom over 8 years from 1995 to 2002.

  2. The bar chart compares figures for UK phone calls in terms of minutes spent on three types of call (between1995 and 2002).

  3. The bar chart gives information about three types of telephone call, namely local, national/international and mobile calls, in the UK between 1995 and 2002.

  4. The chart compares the total number of minutes of three types of phone call made in the UK over a 7-year period from 1995.

  5. The bar chart shows the amount of time spent on three types of phone call, in billions of minutes, in the UK over a period of seven years.

IELTS Writing Task 1: collocations

Collocations are groups of words that often go together. For example, I’m sure you’ve use the collocation “increase significantly”.

Here are some collocations from my most recent sample answer.

Typical writing task 1 collocations:

  • amount of time
  • the time spent on
  • in terms of
  • throughout the period
  • the period shown
  • a dramatic increase in
  • increased steadily
  • reached a peak
  • the figure for
  • the rise in

Collocations related to the ‘phone calls’ topic:

  • local calls
  • national calls
  • international calls
  • fixed line / landline calls
  • mobile calls
  • overall usage
  • user minutes

Tip: try using the online Oxford Collocations Dictionary.

CORRECT ANSWERS FROM SIMON:

  1. by, on2. in3. for4. on, at5. in6. for, to