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Thursday, November 25, 2010


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Hi Simon,
I want to comment on your questions.
1-a pie chart always shows percentages
2-yes ,they are used for comparing.
3-sometimes they show changing over
over a time .
4-I use either a past simple or
present simple tense .It depends on
the year given.
Thank you

Hi, the best IELTS tutor!

1. percentage
2. of course
3. no
4. most of time, past simple

Thanks a lot!


1. Yes, pie charts always show you percentages because the whole "pie" is always 100%.

2. Yes, you can compare the percentages/numbers within a pie chart, or you might have to compare between 2 or more pie charts. "Comparing" will be the main focus of a pie chart task.

3. You can only write about increases and decreases if there are 2 or more pie charts and they show percentages for different years (changes over time).

4. Yes, past simple when past years are shown, or present simple if no years are shown.

I'll look at a pie chart question next week.

Thanks Marya and Beknazar!

Hi Simon,

For the sake of IELTS Academic Writing Scoring,
is it better to use the reduced relative clause or unreduced relative clause ?

Are these essays really band 8 or maybe band 9 or band 6!


Hi Hore Boy,

This is such a small point that it won't make a difference. I think I tend to use the relative pronoun more often than not in writing.

I'm afraid I don't have time to check the essays on the site you gave me.


Hi Simon,

I have just practised with the Writing Task1 in Cambridge 5, test 2 and I found it's very difficult to select the key points because there was so much information and the data for Germany, Italy and France was almost the same.

I feel very frustrated about this kind of chart and I am going to take the exam one week later.

Could you please help me on this.

Thanks in advances.

Hi Simon,

Sorry about my mistake, it's the Writing Task 1 in Cambridge 3, test 2

Hi Martin,

Yes, it's a difficult one. I think you just have to choose one or two things to say about each country. I usually look for highest and lowest figures first.

Have a look at the lesson below, which is about a similar chart:


hi Simon,
you are saying pie charts always show percentages, but in the example that you described here (Cambridge IELTS book 7, page 101) pie charts show units of electricity production.
so i think its not correct to say pie chart always show percentages.

Hi Nima,

Yes, I realise that, but even those pie charts still show percentages. Remember, the whole pie is always 100%, so even if units are shown, you can still see approximate percentages like 50%, 25% etc.

Have a look at my full essay for this question by clicking the link below. In it, I mention both units and percentages.


Pie charts always show percentages!

thanks so much Simon :)

No problem Nima

Thenx for all ^^

you are one of the my best friend that i've ever had during my life,u really help me.i'm thankful for everything that you have done for students

Best regards


Thanks Mehran. That's really nice of you!

Hi Simon:

Thanks for your dedicated efforts! I had a small question when I was studying your video lessons: if the pie charts show two different countries and two different years, why can't we describe them separately, as in one detail paragraph for country comparison and the other for describing changes over the years? Must we compare countries and years together? Thanks!

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