Are your IELTS Task 1 scores fluctuating in your practice samples? In other words, are they sometimes high and sometimes low? If they are low, it might be because you are using some of the necessary words incorrectly. In this lesson, we will look at nine essential words for this section of the test and how to use them correctly so as to reach your peak band score. Do you know the difference between “percent” and percentage, “former” and “latter”, “20-year-old man” and a “man who is 20 years old”? You will understand all this and more after watching this lesson.


Hi. Welcome back to I’m Adam, and today’s lesson is for those of you who will be taking the IELTS test. Now, as usual, when I do an IELTS class, I will speak a little bit faster, a little bit closer to natural speed for those of you who need the extra listening practice. But this is for everybody; there’s always something to learn, it’s all English.

So today we’re going to specifically look at IELTS Task 1, and I’m going to give you a few vocabulary that are essential to success in IELTS Task 1. You won’t necessarily use all of them every time, but you need to know these nine words that I’m going to show you-or 10 words, depends how you look at it-you need to know these words so you’re ready for pretty much any kind of infographic that comes your way.

Now, most of the time and most of your practice, I’m sure, is graphs. Okay? So we’re going to start with looking at graphs, and we’re going to look at these two words: “fluctuate”, a verb, okay? And: “fluctuation”, a noun. Now, from my experience, checking students’ or test takers’ essays, this word is quite often misused. Okay? I think sometimes people are not exactly sure what this word means. So, to show you, I’m going to show you a graph, here. This is a fluctuation. Let’s say we’re looking at a span of 2000 to 2014, so we’re looking 15 years of sales, let’s say. Sales and whatever the number is in hundred of millions. Okay? “Fluctuate” means to go up and down quite rapidly. Okay? It doesn’t have to be rapid; it could be steady, but there’s an up, there’s a down, there’s an up, there’s a down.

If you’re going something like this, this you don’t call a fluctuation. Even though it’s not a straight line, it’s still not a fluctuation, because overall, the sales are still going upwards, they’re still increasing. Fluctuation, there must be some downward movement as well. It goes up and there’s down from… Let’s say from the starting point. So here we go up, down, up, down, up, down. Here, it’s mostly up. You very rarely go down below where you started. So overall, you have an upward motion. This is to fluctuate. So, you can use it as a verb: Over the span of the recording, of the record, of the 15 years, sales fluctuated from let’s say 100 million to as little… And ended up here, let’s say, it’s a little bit lower to 110. So, overall, there was a slight increase, but sales fluctuated throughout the period. Okay?

You can use “fluctuation”. If you want to talk about the graph as a whole, you can say: “The graph shows fluctuations in the sales numbers.” Okay? The graph shows fluctuations. Sales fluctuated. So you can talk about the… Whatever is on the x-axis itself, or you can talk about the graph as a whole. Use “fluctuate” for whatever item is here; use “fluctuation” for the graph as a whole.


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36 Replies to “IELTS VOCABULARY – Task 1”

  1. Dear Adam, kindly clear my point .in respectively you gave an example qnd wrote years old .on the other hand you forbid to use years old in ages example as per you its wrong .kindly clear my point.

  2. Sir sometimes ielts writing 1 test has mixture of bargraph ,line grabh as well as tabular chart .so pllzzz make video on the comparison of both pllzzz sir

  3. Does he assess writing samples? guys do u have any group or a teatcher that would mark my writing 🙏💙فيه احد عربي

  4. This bar chart demonstrates the information about the number of queries collected by the city through three modes over a six month period in 2011.

    overall,it can be seen through the graph is that the maximum number of enquiries accepted by the city is though person and minimum amount of questions received through letter or emails.

    As it can be seen from the graph is that the amount of enquiries obtain in jan by person is near about 400,than it increases to just doubled in march.After that the asking of questions keep growing till june with the number of approx 1900.The fraction of doubts gained through letter which is just same as the number of questions received in march through person,then it decreases slowly till march the quantity of questions goes to approx 750 and then it decreases gradually till may with the equal enquiries received in jan through individuals,and then the plateau occurs till june.whereas ,the fluctations occured in receiving doubts by telephone,from jan to feb the integer of questions decreased from 900 to 800,then it increases gradually till march,and then constant value remains till april and then it grows rapidly with a queries fractin of 1600 by one town.

    I wrote this task 1 please tell me is it okay or any errors?

  5. You are a great teacher. Now i have enough confidence to Appearing IELTS exam because of you.Thank you so much and all blessings from INDIA.

  6. Hi Adam, I've doubt for writing . I've been reading the newspaper so can i use technical language in essay?? Please answer me…

  7. I have a question: if the graph has an x axis that is time, when you talk about the information based on the past, are we supposed to comment it in past or present? Is there any better option? Example: "Sales peaks in 2000" or "Sales peaked in 2000"

  8. Finally I found someone who actually concentrates on teaching and helping us out instead of promoting their online courses! Thank you very much sir, your videos are greatly appreciated.

  9. Are we allowed to write numbers as 30-year period instead of thirty-year period in the exam?
    I’d be happy about an answer 🙂

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