Vocabulary For Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 (part 2)

You do not need to write down every bit of information presented in the graph. Rather, you are expected to write the most significant features of the graph and the highest and lowest point are two significant information you should not miss in your writing. Following is a list of useful vocabulary to learn by heart and to use them in your graph response.

Highest and lowest points

Vocabulary to represent highest and lowest point in graphs:




Highest Point

peak / culminated / climax / reach  a peak / hit a peak / touch the highest point / reach the vertex

a peak / hit a vertex / get a vertex / get the highest point

Lowest Point

touch the lowest point / get the lowest point /

the lowest point / the lowest mark / bottommost point / rock bottom point/ bottommost mark


  1. The price of the oil reached a peak amounting $20 in February and again touched the lowest point amounting only $10 in July.
  2. Student enrollment in foreign Universities and Colleges increased dramatically hitting a peak of over 20 thousand in 2004.
  3. The highest number of books was sold in July while it was lowest in December.
  4. The oil price reached a pick in 2003 while it was lowest in 2006.
  5. The sell volume of the DVD hit a pick with 2 million copies sold in a month but after just three months it reached the bottom with only 20 thousand sold in a month. 

Vocabulary to represent comparison in graphs:


Word(s) should be used


about / almost / nearly / roughly / approximately / around / just about / very nearly /

Just over

just above / just over / just bigger / just beyond / just across

Just short

just below / just beneath / just sort / just under / just a little

Much more

well above / well above / well beyond / well across / well over

Much less

well below / well under / well short / well beneath


  1. The number of high-level women executives is well beneath than the number of male executives in this organization where approximately 2000 people works in executive levels.
  2. About 1000 people died in the highway car accident in 2003 which is well above than the statistics of all other years.
  3. The number of domestic-violence cases was just below 500 in March which is just a little over than the previous months.
  4. The average rainfall in London in 2014 was just above than the average of other two cities.
  5. The salaries of male executives in thee out of four companies were well above than the salaries of female executives in 1998.

Compare and contrast

One syllable
Adjectives with one syllable form their comparatives and superlatives form. In your academic writing task 1, you will often use such comparison and contrast related words.
cheap » cheaper » cheapest   ||   large » larger » largest    ||    bright » brighter » brightest  etc.
good » better » best   ||   bad » worse » worst   etc.
1. The fast food items in uptown restaurants were comparatively cheaper than that of city restaurants.
2. The largest proportion of water was used in agriculture sector in most of the Asian countries while the European countries used largest percentage of water for industrial purposes. 
3. The price of the book in store A is cheaper than the price of store B.
4. The temperature decreased further and that made the weather condition worse.
5. The temperature was better in the mid-April but in mid-July it became worse.
Two syllables
Some adjectives with two syllables form their comparatives and superlatives:
pretty » prettier » prettiest    ||    happy » happier » happiest  etc.
1. The customer were happier than now, according to the survey, as the price was cheaper in 1992.
2. The overall production level of this company made the authority happier as it was doubled in the last quarter of the year. 

But many form their comparatives and superlatives using 'more':
striking » more striking » most striking    ||    common » more common » most common || clever » more clever/cleverer » most clever/cleverest etc.
Three or more syllables
All adjectives with three or more syllables form their comparatives and superlatives using 'more' & 'most':
attractive » more attractive » most attractive   ||   profitable » more profitable » most profitable   ||  expensive » more expensive » most expensive.
1. The price of the custom made cars were more expensive in 2014 than it is now.
2. The factory offered more attractive overtime rates and that motivated more employees to work for extra time. 

Using Appropriate Prepositions:
You must use the correct preposition in the IELTS writing task 1 to get a high score. Be accurate about the uses of to, by, of, off, in, on, for etc.

» Papers are sold by the ream.
» Oranges are purchased and sold by the dozen.
» Students enrollment in the University has increased by 2% this year.
» Eggs are counted in dozens.
» Rice is measured in kg.
» He is junior to me by 4 years.
» The employees are paid per week in this factory.
» All these products are made of glasses.

Rules of Time Preposition use:


»» Use preposition 'in' when you talk about years, months, decades, centuries, seasons.

Years= in 1998, in 2015 etc.
Months= in January, in December etc.
Decades= in the nineties, in the seventies etc.
Centuries= in the 19th century, in the 14th century, in the 1980s etc. 
Seasons= in summer, in winter, in autumn etc.

»» Use preposition 'in' to talk about past or future.

Past time= in 1980, in the past, in 1235, in the ice age, in the seventies, in the last century etc.
Future time = in 2030, in the future, in the next century etc.

»» Use preposition 'in' when you talk about a long period.

in the ice age, in the industrial age, in iron age etc.


»» Use preposition 'on' when you talk about days (days of the weeks or special days).

Days of the week= on Sunday, on Friday, on Tuesday. 
Special days= on New Year's Day, on your birthday, on Independence day, on holiday, on wedding day etc. 

»» Use preposition 'on' when you talk about dates.

on July 4th, on 21st January, 2015, on 5th May etc.

»» Use preposition 'on'  when you talk about times ( like morning / afternoon / evening / night) of a day. 

on Friday morning, on Saturday afternoon, on Sunday evening, on Monday evening etc.

However, notice the below list that shows further use of preposition 'in' and 'on' for periods of the days versus periods. This is often confusing and mistakenly used by IELTS candidates. Look at those, notice the use and memorise it. 

in on
in the morning on Sunday morning
in the afternoon on Monday afternoon
in the evening on Tuesday evening


»» Use preposition 'at' when you need to express an exact time.

At eight o'clock, at 10: 45 am, at two p.m, at nine o'clock.

»» Use preposition 'at' when you talk about meal times

At breakfast time, at lunchtime, at dinnertime etc.

»» Use preposition 'at' when you talk about weekend, holiday periods, or night time.

At the weekend, at Christmas, at Easter, at night etc.


Words to make a comparison / contrast:

A bit / slightly / a little / only just / approximately / about / almost / precisely / quite / nearly / considerably / a huge / a great deal / quite a lot / completely / exactly...

» This year population growth of the country is slightly larger than the previous year.
» This year population grown is almost twice than 2007.
» Sale of the company has increased quite a lot this year.

Vocabulary to write the Conclusion part:

To draw the conclusion:  In conclusion / To conclude / On the whole.
To Summarize:  In short / In brief / To sum up / In summary.

1. In conclusion, third world countries have improved their production sectors like: garments, over the last 10 years whereas the first world countries have improved their technology and research sectors during the same period.

2. In brief, the overall sale of the company has improved in the last 5 years except 2005 when the sale reduced significantly due to retrenchment.

3. In summary, the process of building an IC is a complex one and involves more than eight steps to complete including the testing phase.

4. On the whole, the women employment progressed remarkably in the last decade and in some employment sectors women are well ahead of men.

5. To conclude, weather forecasting is a complex process and a great deal of technology is used to prepare and broadcast the reliable weather forecasting.

Tip: 'In a nutshell' is not a formal expression and this is why, you should not use it in your IELTS Writing.

In a nutshell- informal expression

Few more informal expressions with their formal versions are given below. Since IELTS is a formal test, your writing should be formal as well. Using informal words or expressions should be avoided. Some of the informal words are so frequently used that it would be tough for you to eliminate them from your writing. However, we would suggest you to make a habit of using formal words and expressions instead- for your performance and band score's sake.

Informal Formal
Go up Increase
Go down Decrease
Look at Examine
Find about Discover
Point out Indicate
Need to Required
Get Obtain
Think about Consider
Seem Appear
Show demonstrate/
Start Commence
Keep Retain
But However
So Therefore/
Also In addition/
In the meantime In the interim
In the end Finally
Anyway Notwithstanding
Lots of/ a lot of Much, many
Kids Children
Cheap Inexpensive
Right Correct
I think In my opinion


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0 # Wertu 2016-12-16 18:31
I am Qidirvomman Sikiwgani Omerim and my number is +998944462663.
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-2 # Rebaz 2016-08-19 17:49
Great job. Could you please provide some notes on preposition usages in task 1?
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-1 # IELTS Mentor 2016-08-20 05:28
Thank you Rebaz for your comment. We will keep your suggestion in our to do list.
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-2 # Fijkry Pheak 2016-02-23 16:52
It is really helpful for us, but the only one thing is that, It should have been included answer or question sheet. it would be more helpful :)
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-2 # Mohan 2016-02-14 05:46
Writing Vocabulary
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0 # bozkurt-mhp 2016-01-27 20:28
It is very dedicating work and also very helpful for me.Thank you very much.
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0 # Chelsea Wolfe 2015-10-31 23:54
"The year population grown" is wrong. It supposed to be "The year population growth".
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+4 # Arslan Ali 2015-03-12 22:19
its very helpful stuff, Thanks
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+3 # Robert 2014-05-12 10:40
Really excellent post. The list of vocabulary presented here seems very helpful. Now I have the idea of the type of vocabulary I should be using for the IELTS essay.
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