The Table Below Gives Information About Changes in Modes of Travel

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

March 14, 2021

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

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

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.(183 Words)

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

  • 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.

11 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. 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. Hi, thanks for your comment but I don’t understand your reasoning. Perhaps, you can add up the numbers in the table and see if there is any contradiction.

  2. 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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