How To Do Pie Chart Questions in IELTS Reading for 8+ Band


How To Do Pie Chart Questions in IELTS Reading for 8+ Band

IELTS Reading Artwork

How To Do Pie Chart Questions in IELTS Reading for 8+ Band

In the IELTS Writing Task 1, you will be asked to write a brief illustrative report based on the visual representation of data or information.

The visual data or information can be represented as pie charts.

Pie charts are described as circular charts which are usually split into ‘pie slices.

Pie slices mostly display percentages.

The size of the data can be represented by the relative proportion of every slice and these slices combine to make a circle.

In this blog post, you will find everything you need to answer the pie chart questions effectively to score 8+ Band in IELTS Writing task 1.

Section 1

    • Pie Chart Tips

Section 2

    • Structure for Answering Pie Chart Questions

Section 3

    • Example


Section 1: Pie Chart Tips

  • Start with highlighting the information which is standing out in a pie chart such as the smallest and largest values.
  • If you are given two pie charts with two different time periods, then you have to highlight the vital changes/trends.
  • Always write in the pie chart language i-e accounts for/comprises of/ represents.


Section 2: Structure

It is advised to always follow a 5-paragraph structure.

A paragraph can be as short as two lines.

There will always be one introduction paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and one closing paragraph.

And write your essay in simple English because incorrect use of the difficult words will only get you negative marks.

Instead, keep your focus on smart hacks and techniques.


Paragraph 1: Introduction of the Chart Statement

The first paragraph will be all about how to introduce the chart statement.

You simply have to paraphrase the statement by making use of synonyms or by changing the flow of the sentence.

The first paragraph usually comprises of a single sentence.

You can also state the units of measurement written in the chart.


Paragraph 2: The Overview

The second paragraph will cover the overview of the main features.

You are advised to write two to three sentences in the Overview paragraph.

It is the most crucial part of your writing task as the examiner is especially looking for features you have figured out from the diagrams.

The use of any kind of data or numbers in the overview paragraph is forbidden.

You have to complete writing your overview in the first 3-5 minutes.

Identify two or three important features and find 2-3 key comparisons and/or trends from the chart.

You ought to assemble them and present them in an overview.


Paragraph 3: Analyzing Data in Detail

In 3rd paragraph, you will be more specific about important features.

You have to provide details by describing the main features and comparisons.

You must support your paragraph through data and numbers.

From the overview, choose two primary features and write a descriptive 2-4-line paragraph by applying data from the chart.


Paragraph 4: Analyzing Data in Detail

In 4th paragraph, you will be doing the same thing as you did in Paragraph 3.

Take the remaining features and write a detailed paragraph of 2-4 lines.

Support your paragraphs by using numbers and data from the Chart.


Paragraph 5: Summary

The summary is not much of the significance. It’s not compulsory and only comprises of one sentence where you summarize the whole essay. It’s just like the paraphrasing of the question.

*You must check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors after finishing your essay. Also, confirm that the data you mentioned is correct.


Section 3: Example

The charts below give information on the ages of the populations of Yemen and Italy in 2000 and projections for 2050.



You need to ask yourself some questions before writing your essay in the IELTS writing task 1. Below is a list of questions you should address beforehand:

  • What type of chart is it? One basic question is what kind of chart is being presented. Because the use of language will depend upon the kind of chart. In the pie chart different terminology is used as compared to other charts. With pie charts, we will be writing the easy in the language of proportions.
  • What does the title say about the chart? The title of the chart provides us with all the fundamental information we will be required to answer the question. Read the title twice at least for a thorough understanding of the question.
  • What information is contained on both axes? As it is the pie chart so there are no axes in this question.
  • What are the units of measurements? The units of measurements in the Pie charts are mainly ages and percentages. We will use particular terminology for percentages.
  • What groups are compared? In the pie chart example above two countries Yemen and Italy are being compared and three age groups.
  • What is the time period? Knowing the time period is very significant because we use grammatical tense in the essay according to the mentioned time. In the example above we will use past and future tenses because two discrete periods are indicated i-e 2000 and 2050.
  • What is the most obvious thing that the data shows you? In the example shown above two things are evident:
  • A) A large proportion of the population in Italy belonged to the older age group population in 2000 while Yemen had a large proportion younger population in the same year.
  • B) The populations of both Italy and Yemen are projected to be much older in the year 2050.
  •  What is the most significant piece of information displayed? The most striking information is that only a small proportion of individuals in Yemen are over the age of 60.
  • Can any comparisons be made? There is a comparison between the populations of Italy and Yemen.
  • Is it a static chart or dynamic chart? In the example above four static Pie charts are being displayed.  But when you assemble them, they will be converted into a dynamic pie chart as the data illustrates two periods of time. So, use the writing language accordingly.



The pie charts compare the proportions of Italian and Yemeni citizens in three age groups in 2000 and projections for 2050.

It is clear that Yemen had the younger population in the year 2000, and the same is predicted for the year 2050.

The populations of both countries are predicted to get older over the 50 years.

In 2000 just over half the Yemeni population were under age 14, compared to just over 14% of Italians in the same age group.

Only a very small percentage of people in Yemen were over 60 at 3.6%, in contrast to nearly a quarter of the Italian population.

The largest group for Italy was the 15-59-year-olds with just over 60% while Yemen had 46.3% of its population in this category.

Yemen’s average age is set to increase with the proportion of over 60s increasing by just over 2% and the middle group rising by 11%, leaving the youngest group with a decrease of nearly 13%.

It is envisaged that by 2050 the number of people in Italy over 60 will jump to 42.3%, the percentage of those in the youngest bracket will drop to 11.5% and the share in the middle category will decrease to 46.2%.


In this blog post, I have mentioned a few strategies for answering the pie chart questions to get 8+ Band IELTS Writing Task 1.

In my full course, Ultimate Guide to Hacking IELTS, I go deep into the strategies, hacks, and techniques to help you learn all 4 sections of IELTS in a smart way to get 8+ Band.

You can access the course here: