The Three Pie Charts Below Show the Changes in Annual Spending by a Particular UK School in 1981

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

December 27, 2021

The three pie charts below show the changes in annual spending by a particular UK school in 1981, 1991 and 2001.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 8 Test 2 Writing Task 1.

the three pie charts below show the changes in annual spending by a particular UK school in 1981

Sample Essay

The pie charts display yearly expenditure by a certain school in the UK  in 1981, 1991 and 2001.

Overall, while teachers’ salaries remained the school’s greatest cost, furniture and equipment overtook other workers’ salaries as the second-largest expenditure by 2001.

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Teachers’ salaries were what cost the school the most in all three years, accounting for 40%, 50%, and 45% of total spending respectively. The school spent the second largest proportion of its expenditure on other workers’ salaries in both 1981 and 1991, at 28% and 22% respectively. However, this proportion decreased to only 15% in 2001. Although spending on furniture and equipment dropped from 15% to 5% between 1981 and 1991, it went up sharply in 2001 and replaced other workers’ salaries as the second greatest expenditure that year, at 23%.

15% of the school’s expenditure was on resources in 1981. After a small growth in 1991, the figure decreased to only 9% in 2001. Despite increases, insurance received the smallest share of expenditure in all three years, at 2%, 3%, and 8% respectively. (174 Words)

Percent vs Percentage Points

How to Write the Overview

I think when it comes to pie charts, bigger slices are always more noticeable than upward and downward trends. That’s why I picked the two biggest categories in each of the three years as the main features of the charts.

How to Paraphrase the Chart Description

The Original: The three pie charts below show the changes in annual spending by a particular UK school in 1981, 1991 and 2001.

“Changes in” is wrong. The charts, when read together, show changes, but the changes shown are between 1981 and 1991, between 1991 and 2001, and between 1981 and 2001. There is no change in 1981.  It would be far better to remove the word “changes” and just say that the charts show yearly expenditure in these three years.

17 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Hi dear. Is it ok to report 9 figure in one paragraph? I heard if we report more than three or four number in one single paragraph, our score will decrease!

  2. The three pie charts give information about a particular school regarding annual spending in three decades. Is it good?

  3. The three pie charts illustrates the differences in yearly expenditure by one United Kingdom school in 1981, 1991, and 2001.

    Overall, the greatest amount of money was allocated to teachers salaries in all three years. In comparison, the least sum of money was spent on insurance in 1981, 1991 and 2001. The annual spending on resources and furniture varied in all three years.

    To begin with, teachers salaries accounted for a significant highest yearly spending in 1981, 1991 and 2001 at 40%, 50%, and 45%, respectively. Concerning resources (books), 15% was spent in 1981, a fifth of the total expenses was allocated to it in 1991 and a mere 9% in 2001. The proportion of money spent on insurance never exceeded 10% in 1981, 1991 and 2001.

    Regarding furniture and equipments and salaries of other workers, 15% of the total yearly spending in 1981 was allocated to the former, at less than 10 percentage points, just 5% was spent in 1991. 23% of the total spending was budgeted to furniture and equipments in 2001. 28%, 22% and 15% was spent on salaries of other workers in 1981, 1991 and 2001, respectively.

  4. Dear Lilie, Hi, I have a problem with “replace” in the text. We knew that: “replace A with B” means that A is removed and B continue to exist instead of it. But, I did not find the meaning of “replace” as moving to a different place in the Longman dictionary. I think “relocate” may imply what we want. So, I would appreciate it if you made it clear.

    1. Hi, Juls. There are 20 years during the period between 1981 and 2001. Why do you think there are 30 years?

  5. Hi Lilie. I think describing these pie charts as we describe line charts is wrong. Writing that some percentages increased or decreased is irrelevant, I guess. Because this is not a progress, isn’t it? There might be some abnormal fluctuations between these years. For example money spent on furniture could be 20% in 1998, 50% in 1999, and 2% in 2000 and so on. These spendings are annual, and if we consider the period from 1998 to 2000 in this case, and if we see that in 1998 it was 20% but comprised 2% in 2000, it doesn’t mean that it fell. I think you got the idea. What do you think about it?

    1. You don’t need to think about what happened in between because when you describe an increase, you will add years. For example, 40% of school expenditure was on teachers’ salaries in 1981 and this number increased to 50% in 1991. This means that, compared to 1981, the number increased to 50% in 1991.

  6. The three pie charts illustrate how the five types of yearly expenditures were changed in one of the UK schools in three years (1981, 1991, and 2001).

    Overall, in all three years, teachers’ salaries made up the largest part of the spending, while insurance remained inferior to the other four types.

    In terms of the total school spending in 1981, teachers’ and other workers’ salaries were the biggest expenses, accounting for 40% and 28% respectively. Both on furniture and equipment and resources, which were 15% in 1981, was spent the same amount of funds. The percentage of insurance spending was a tiny 2%.

    In 1991, teachers’ and other employees’ salaries comprised the highest percentage as well (50% and 22% respectively), whilst insurance remained the lowest at 3%.

    With regard to annual spending in 2001, the rate of furniture and equipment, which was above one-fifth, outraced the rate of the salaries of the other workers, which was 15%. Money spent on resources and insurance was the less, both of them were just under one-tenth, whereas teachers’ salaries remained superior at 45%

  7. Just started my ielts class,please point out and rectify my mistakes,,always grateful for constructive feedback.
    The given pie chart depicts information of uk school on annual investment in various sectors with in 30years of timeframe.
    Overall,school spend huge budget on teacher’s salaries,followed by wages of other worker’s and least amount on insurance over the time period.

    In 1981 among 5 sector,school allocated highest amount of money in teacher’s salaries and in others worker’s salaries which is 40% and 28% respectively. After decades teacher’s salary rose slightly by 5% reaching exactly half of total sum that is 50% whereas salaries of other worker’s decreased gradually by 6%.However in 2001,in both sector amount of investment dropped by 4% and 7% subsequently.

    In 1981, equal amount of money was invested in furniture and equipment and resources like books that is 15% on each.
    After 10years,expenditure on resources increased by 5% accounting for 20% but investment declined sharply by 10% in furniture and equipment. Furthermore expenses on resources dropped abruptly by 11% whereas expenditure surged sharply by 17%. In addition a small portion of money was allocated for insurance since the beginning,which was 11% in total over the timeframe.

  8. Total – 194 words
    The three pie charts illustrate how the annual expenditure by a school in the UK varied over the years 1981, 1991 and 2001. (23 words)
    Overall, teachers’ salaries constituted the highest proportion in total outlay by the school for the time period given while insurance held the lowest proportion over the 30 years. (28)
    In 1981, almost 60% of the total expense by school was incurred on remuneration to either teachers or other workers. Fixed expenditure on furniture and equipment and books was roughly around 15% each. Money spent on insurance was the least which accounted for 2% of the total spending. (48)
    Expenditure on remuneration slightly grew by over 10% in 1991 as well as by over 5% for books. Furniture and equipment spending drastically dropped by 10% in ten years to mere 5% in 1991. Spending on insurance remained fairly constant in 1991. (42)
    The school seems to be cutting down on the expenditure where the proportion was relatively higher in 2001. It dropped to 45% for teachers’ salaries, 9% for resources and 15% for other workers’ salaries. A huge 5% jump in spending is observed for insurance and roughly 18% additional budget was allocated for furniture. (53)

  9. “Overall, while teachers’ salaries remained the school’s greatest cost, furniture and equipment overtook other workers’ salaries as the second-largest expenditure by 2002.”
    It is 2001, isn’t it?

  10. The pie charts provide information about changes in costs of a school in the United Kingdom over the period of 20 years.

    From an overall perspective, it is noticeable that the expenditure on teachers’ salaries contributed to a tremendous proportion while that on insurance was the smallest part of total spending throughout the years.

    First of all, teachers’ salaries as the most significant segment dramatically rose from 40% to 50% in 1991, but then it inched downwards by 5% in 2001. The school spent lesser proportion of the expenditure on furnishture and equipment from 1981 to 1991 as the figure declined by 10%. However, it had a drastic growth in 2001, made up 23% in 2001. Although costs on insurance was the least important part of the spending, its figure ascended by 6%.

    Other workers’ salaries, which comprised more than a quarter of the total school spending in 1981, gradually fell to 22% and 15% in 1991 and 2001. For resources like books and stationaries, the figure at 15% was climbing upwards in 1991 and experienced a immense reduction in 2001, accounted for 20% and 9% respectively.

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