The Table Below Gives Information About Changes in Modes of Travel

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

Improved by Gregory

Born and raised in Canada

March 14, 2021

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

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

Average distance in miles travelled per person per year, by mode of travel

average distance in miles travelled per person

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Sample Essay

The data presented in the table illustrates changes in means of transport in England from 1985 to 2000.

Overall, the average distance travelled per person increased during this period, and cars were used far more frequently than other forms of transport in both years.

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Learn How To Write a 7+ Report By

  • Selecting Data Smartly
  • Reporting Features Accurately

In 1985, people in England travelled an average of 4,740 miles including all modes of transport and, by 2000, this number had increased significantly to 6,475 miles. Car travel was by far the most common means of transport in both years, with an average of 3,199 miles per person in 1985 and 4,806 miles in 2000. 

Train travel increased to 366 miles per person in 2000, which was the third longest distance that year. Meanwhile, travel by long-distance bus and taxi also grew, although they remained among the least used forms of transport in 2000, with only 124 miles and 42 miles respectively.

However, travel by local bus showed a substantial decrease, with an average distance of only 274 miles in 2000, compared to 429 miles in 1985. The average distances people walked and cycled also fell, to 237 miles and 41 miles respectively. (192 words)

How to Vary Your Language

Modes of travel
  • Forms of travel/transport
  • Means of travel/transport
Average distance travelled by car
  • Car travel
  • Travel by car
Average distance travelled by foot
  • Average distance people walked
Average distance travelled by bicycle
  • Average distance people 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

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

The sentence above is incorrect. 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.

15 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Lilie mam, I think there is mistake in third paragraph. I could be wrong. Can you make me clear?
    Meanwhile, travel by long-distance bus and taxi also grew, although they remained among the least used forms of transport in 2000,with only……..(I think that there should be year 1985).

    1. “They REMAINED among the least used forms of transport in 2000” means that they were the least used forms in both 1985 and 2002. The key word here is REMAINED. Hope this helps.

  2. This graph shows the changes in mode of travel in England between 1985 and 2000.
    In 1985 people prefer to ride bicycle or to go by foot as compare to 2000 but the change is not very high people still use these two modes in 2000.
    The highlighted change is in mode of car and long distance bus, the change in long distance bus is more two time while the usage of car is also prominent in 2000 than 1985. People covered 1603 more miles then 1985.
    People also start using more taxi for the local ride than local buses, the distance in local reduce almost half of the distance in 2000. Train is another mode of transport which people prefer to use in 2000 than 1985.
    The usage of other transport modes is not much highlighted. 1735 miles more distance covered by people of England in 2000.

  3. just a little confused, overview show average by all modes increased, but there are three transports numbers that fell, it contradicts with your body paragraph, am i right? thanks

    1. The overview speaks about the last line of the table first, which gives info about the overall yearly mileage traveled per person. (which increased from 4700 to 6400)
      And then, She speaks about which specific mean of travel changed the most, which is in this case Cars.

  4. hello lilie ,
    i hope you’re doing well! i want to confirm something that in every graph you are using “ON” in introduction so is it ok to use this preposition? i’m little bit confuse , in my opinion i guess its better to use “of” rather than “ON”
    like; The table presents data on the underground etc…
    OR; The table presents data of the underground etc….
    I hope you understand what i’m try to say. i’ll wait for your response. by the way thank you soo much for your videos it helped me alot. Stay blessed

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