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IELTS Writing (Academic) Task 1 Sample 1


Video Games

This chart gives information about the number of people who play video games on a computer or device. Summarise the information by reporting the main features and making relevant comparisons. (Around 150 words)

Videon Games graph.PNG

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Sample Answer

This chart gives information about the number of adults who say they often or sometimes play video games on a computer, TV, game console, or portable device.

Young men between the ages of 18 and 29 dominate the figures for those who most play games. 40% of women admit playing games often or sometimes, while for men, the figure rises to include almost half of the male population.

A similar gap in usage can be seen between ethnic groups with game-playing proving more popular with Hispanic players (at 48%) than with white populations (41%).

The biggest disparity in numbers is apparent in different age groups. Just over 10% of 65-year-olds and above say they play games often; while 60% of those in the 18 to 29 age group enjoy video games often or sometimes. This illustrates a huge disparity between different generations.

Education also seems to be a factor in video game use, with just 36% of those educated to a degree level playing games, compared to 50% of those with just some college education.

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Analysis

COHERENCE AND COHESION

  • The answer opens with a concise description of the chart. No specific details are required in the introductory paragraph, and it is good to summarise the data this way.

  • The second paragraph calls out the distinction between men and women before moving on to ethnicity and then age group, showing that the candidate has approached their breakdown of the data methodologically (a ‘step-by-step’ approach).

  • This candidate’s answer closes - in paragraph five - with reference to the education of those surveyed, a final observation to close.

GRAMMAR

  • Note that the tense used throughout is Present Simple. This is the most common tense used for such things as news reports, informal storytelling, and observational humour. Using the Present Simple (or Simple Present) makes things imminent and relevant to the present moment, creating a sense of connection.

  • Note the use of the semicolon. Many people do not know how to use this properly, but it is applied well here to separate two large chunks of information while maintaining the flow of the sentence to which they belong.

LEXICAL RESOURCE

This candidate has employed a relatively sophisticated vocabulary (although see notes on ‘admit’ and ‘dominate’). You should take every opportunity to use synonyms considered less commonplace (within reason), as this suits the tone of academic work.

  • admit - used incorrectly (paragraph two), suggesting that the women are confessing or ‘owning up’ to something they should be ashamed of. We would suggest a more neutral term implying direct communication (e.g. 40% of women said that they played games…)

  • dominate - applied well, in theory (a strong word choice). However, the conclusion that “men between the ages of 18 and 29 dominate the figures for those who most play games” is not only slightly hyperbolic, but may not actually be true, based on the chart. This is because the 18-29 age group accounts for both men and women.

  • disparity in numbers - used nicely in paragraph three, as well as telling the examiner that it is ‘apparent’.

  • similar gap in usage - is delivered in suitably academic language (and passive voice); whereas a more formal ‘we can see…' would not look so sophisticated.

  • illustrates - used instead of ‘shows’; a much stronger alternative/synonym.


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