Describing trends in Task 1 Academic reports

Describing trends in Task 1 Academic reports. In Task 1 of the IELTS test, you may be required to write about a graph or a chart, identifying trends. A trend is the general direction of movement in a graph.

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Here are some simple examples:


Describing trends in Task 1 Academic reports This is an upward trend
Describing trends in Task 1 Academic reports  This is a stable trend
Describing trends in Task 1  This is a downward trend

For an upward trend, you can use the following vocabulary: to increase, an increase, a rise, to climb, to recover, to improve. For a downward trend you can use these words: to decrease, a fall, to plunge, to decline, to deteriorate, a drop. You may also need to describe a situation that is neither upward nor downward. In this situation you could use the following: to level off, to remain steady, a plateau, a stable trend.

It is important to note whether the vocabulary you are using is a trend verb or a trend noun as this will help you build accurate sentences. For example, to increase can become an increase. Here’s a handy table of trend nouns and trend verbs:


Trend verbs

to increase
to rise
to climb
to recover
to improve
to decrease
to fall
to plunge
to decline
to deteriorate
to drop
to level off
to remain steady
to plateau
to stabilise

Trend nouns

an increase
a rise
Not used as a trend noun
a recovery
an improvement
a decrease
a fall
a plunge
a decline
a deterioration
a drop
a levelling off
Not used as a trend noun
a plateau
Not used as a trend noun

When describing trends in Task 1 Academic reports, you need to do more than just describe the direction of the trend – you will also need to describe the speed and amount of change in the trend. In each of these illustrations, you can see that there was a downward trend:

However, the speed and amount of this decrease is different for each one. These are the adjectives which help show speed and amount of change:

In the first illustration, you can describe the trend as a moderate or steady decrease.

For the second illustration downward trend, the decrease was slight, gradual or marginal.

For the final illustration, you can describe the trend as a rapid, sharp, significant, dramatic or abrupt decrease.

Depending on how you construct your sentence, you can also use the following adverbs:

  • moderately, steadily
  • slightly, gradually, marginally
  • rapidly, sharply, significantly, dramatically, abruptly

Describing trends in Task 1 Academic reports

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