Teens on Campus English Lessons

How to ace IELTS Writing Task 1: Master the language of change!

Hello IELTS warriors! 

Today, let’s continue our journey to conquer one of the most feared IELTS obstacles: Writing Task 1! 

Of course, as your faithful guide, we are here to give you more tips and tricks to get a high score in IELTS Writing Task 1. 

This time we will talk about… yep! You guessed it! The language of change! 

What is the language of change?

If you recall one of our articles where we explain the different types of visual information that you are likely to encounter when doing IELTS Writing Task 1, you’ll notice that a lot of those visual information depict data compared by years. 

Do you still remember what this type of visual information is called? That’s right! It’s called overtime data. 

To jog your memory, here is an example of overtime data. 

example of overtime data : Traffic Growth in the Netherlands since 1950

Remember now? Good! 

So, what do you think is the appropriate language to report the chart above?

That’s right! Language of change it is! 

Language of change, as the name implies, is used to describe changes occurring in the data. 

The most common words are increase, decrease, stable, and fluctuate. 

You probably have used those words without knowing that it is called the language of change. 

But wait! There is more! 

There are many more words that also belong to the language of change. 

Some examples are peak, plateau, and plunge. 

Do you know what those words mean?

Peak should be used when describing the highest point of a data. It has the same meaning as reaching an all time high. From the graph above, you can say “The use of cars as a mode of transportation in the Netherlands peaked in the year 2000.” 

Plateau is a situation when little to no change occurs after a period of activity or progress. So, using the graph above as an example, you can say “The use of train, bicycle, and other public transportation in the Netherland reached a plateau in the 1970s onwards, after seeing a little increase during the 1950s-1970s period.”

Plunge refers to a swift and drastic fall in value or amount. To use plunge to describe a data, you can say, “After a long period of fluctuation, Japan’s birth rate plunged in 1965 and 1966 before going back up in 1967.” 

Did you know that these words may not always act as a verb in a sentence? 

It may act as a noun, adjective, or even adverb. 

Let’s take a look at these examples so you have a clearer idea! 

  1. There was a sharp rise (noun) in the daily consumption of coffee between 2020 to 2022. 
  2. The daily consumption of coffee rose (verb) significantly during the period of 2020 to 2022. 
  3. 2022 saw a dramatic increase (adjective) in the daily consumption of coffee. 

As you can see, there is a wide range of words that you can use to describe graphs and data. The more varied your word choices, the higher score you will get in Lexical Resource criteria. 

So, research different words to describe changes to secure a high score for your IELTS Writing Task 1! 

Now, let’s practice! 

Paraphrase the sentences below by using different vocabulary, sentence structure, and language of change! 

  1. The number of visitors decreased significantly throughout the years. 
  2. The sugar consumption doubled from its initial figure, 40% in 1994. 
  3. 2021 witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of the internet due to the pandemic. 
  4. The sale of masks in 2021 and 2020 rose to 70% and 80% respectively.
  5. There was a slight fall in the proportion of Asian students who joined the International program in 2020’s college admission. 


As we have explained above, you need to be knowledgeable in language of change to maximize your IELTS Writing Task 1 score, especially in the Lexical Resource criteria. 

It might seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry, we are here to help! Book a free consultation with us to see how we can help you! :) 


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Anthony McCormick

IELC Managing Director