The Table Below Gives Information About Changes in Modes of Travel

Lilie King

Lilie King

Scored a 7 on the Writing Test Twice

The table below gives information about changes in modes of travel in England between 1985 and 2000.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 6 Test 2 Writing Task 1.

the table below gives information about changes in modes of travel

Sample Essay

The table displays data on changes in ways of travelling in England between 1985 and 2000.

Overall, the average distance travelled per person by all modes of transport increased, with cars being the primary means of transport in both years.

People in England travelled an average of 4,740 miles in 1985 including all modes of transport, and this number went up significantly to 6,475 miles in 2000. However, travel by local bus, which had the third biggest figure in 1985, decreased dramatically to 274 miles in 2000. The average distances people walked and cycled also fell,  to 237 and 41 miles respectively.

Car travel was far more common than other ways of travelling in both years, at an average of 3,199 miles per person in 1985 and 4,806 miles in 2000. With an increase to 366 miles, the average distance travelled per person by train became the third longest in 2000. Although travel by long-distance bus and by taxi also grew, these two modes were still among the least used in 2000, at only 124 and 42 miles respectively.

How to Vary Your Language

modes of travel:

ways of travelling
means of transport

average distance travelled by car/local bus:

car travel
local-bus travel/travel by local bus

*Note that it is ‘travel by local bus’, not ‘travelling by local bus’. Here, ‘travel’ means the number of miles travelled by people taking a local bus. Numbers can increase, so you can say travel by local bus/train increased.

average distance travelled by foot/bicycle:

average distance people walked/cycled

How to Select Data

This chart has a lot of data. You will lose marks if you report all of them because the question only asks you to write about the main features. That is to say, you only need to report the important data.

‘Cars’ and ‘all modes’ are definitely important categories, so their data in both years should be included.

“Other” is not important. Otherwise, they would have told you what exactly those other modes of travel are. So, you don’t need to write about ‘other’ at all.

For the rest of the categories, you can only report their data in 2000.

Common Mistake

On average each person travelled 3,199 miles by car in 1985.

The sentence above is wrong. The problem is the use of “each person”. It’s a mistake to change the use of “per person” (in the title of the table) to something involving “each person” because it gives the impression of there being an “average person” who did all those things, which is not the case.

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