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A tutorial/quiz on how to read a bar chart for academic IELTS writing task 1 from hDominic Cole's IELTS Blog

• 1.

### Which country has the highest life expectancy

• A.

Iran

• B.

United States

• C.

• D.

• E.

India

Explanation
One place to start is with the highest figure: this gives you the range.

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• 2.

### Which country has the lowest life expectancy?

• A.

United States

• B.

• C.

• D.

Iran

• E.

Turkey

Explanation
The lowest figure is also relevant as it gives you the other half of the range.

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• 3.

### Which gender has the longer life expectancy?

• A.

Men

• B.

Women

• C.

There's no clear pattern

B. Women
Explanation
Look at the bar chart: what patterns do you see? Which colour line is typically the longest?

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• 4.

### Are there any countries which do not obey the general rule?

• A.

Yes

• B.

No

A. Yes
Explanation
Bangladesh is exceptional. It is the only country where there seems little/no difference between how long men and women live.

Always look to see if there are any exceptions.

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• 5.

### Is total life expectancy the same in all these countries?

• A.

Yes

• B.

No

B. No
Explanation
Of course not. This is an obvious point, but you need to state the obvious. Sometimes it is easy to miss the main points because they are so obvious. The task, however, is to select the main points.

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• 6.

### What is the average life expectancy approximately?

• A.

50

• B.

60

• C.

70

• D.

73

• E.

80

D. 73
Explanation
While life expectancy is different in all the countries, it is also possible to say that it is broadly similar too. Looking at the chart it should be clear that the average life expectancy is slightly over 70 and that most of the countries fall within that range.

This is another obvious point that needs to be stated.

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