The Charts Below Show What UK Graduate and Postgraduate

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

April 11, 2021

The charts below show what UK graduate and postgraduate students who did not go into full-time work did after leaving college in 2008.

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

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 3 Writing Task 1.

Destination of UK graduates (excluding full-time work) 2008

Destination of UK graduates

Destination of UK postgraduates (excluding full-time work) 2008

Destination of UK postgraduates

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Sample Essay

The bar charts display what UK graduate and postgraduate students went on to do after leaving university in 2008. Those who started working full-time were excluded.

Overall, the most common destination for graduate students was further study and the least common was voluntary work. The same was true of postgraduate students. 

At nearly 30,000, graduates who continued on to further studies greatly outnumbered their counterparts who ended up in other situations. In comparison, only 3,500 graduates did voluntary work, making it the least common post-graduation destination. Those who worked part-time and those who were unemployed were very similar in number, at 17,735 and 16,235 respectively.

Those who did further study, at 2,725, and those who did voluntary work, at 345, were also the biggest and smallest groups respectively for postgraduates. However, far more postgraduates did part-time work, at 2,535, than went into unemployment, at 1,625.

152 words

Words You Shouldn’t Use

Don’t use words like “choose”, “opt”, “path” and “route” to describe the charts. Take for example voluntary work. It’s something that happened; it’s not a path, a route, or any other kind of intentional choice. The examples below are all incorrect.
  • 3,500 graduate students chose to do voluntary work.
  • 3,500 graduate students opted for voluntary work.
  • Voluntary work was the least common path for graduate students to take.
  • Voluntary work was the least common post-graduation step, with only 3,500 graduates going that route.

How to Vary Your Language

Go into full-time work
  • Start working full-time
  • Go on to work full-time
Part-time work
  • Use “work” as a verb

Example     17,735 graduates went on to work part-time.

  • Use “work” as a noun

Example     17,735 graduates did part-time work.

Further study
  • Use “study” as a noun

Example     29,665 graduates continued on to further studies.

  • Use “study” as a verb

Example     29,665 graduates went on to study further.

  • Use the noun “unemployment”

Example     16,235 graduates went into unemployment.

  • Use the adjective “unemployed”

Example     Far more postgraduates did part-time work than became unemployed.

How to Describe the Biggest Categories

Most common destination

Example     Further study was the most common destination for graduate students.


Example     Graduates who continued on to further studies greatly outnumbered their counterparts who ended up in other situations.

Largest segment

Example     Those who studied further represented the largest segment of graduate students.

Biggest group

Example     For graduate students, those who did further study were the biggest group.

22 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Please can you write the overview this way..
    The number of graduate students who did not go into full time job was significantly greater than that of undergraduate students. In addition, most graduate and postgraduate students furthered their studies, while the reverse was true for those who did voluntary work.

    1. You don’t need to use ‘respectively’ if you use the second version.
      1. Far more postgraduates did part-time work than went into unemployment, at 2,535 and 1,625 respectively.
      2. Far more postgraduates did part-time work, at 2,535, than went into unemployment, at 1,625.

  2. The bar graph illustrates graduates and post graduate students of Britain who didn’t gone to full-time work and what they did after quiting college at 2008.
    In general, the maximum graduate and postgraduate gone for getting further education as well as part-time work while only a minor amount of students went for voluntary work in 2008 at UK.
    Looking at the graph in more detail,it is evident that almost 29,665 people gone for further study,while 17,735 people wanted to do part-time jobs,this 2 are the most demanding sector for graduates.However, more than 16 thousands graduate students stayed unemployed,whereas only a slight number of 3500 people gone for voluntary chores.By comparison, 10 times more graduate pupils remained without jobs than the postgraduates. Turning to the remaining data sets,it can be seen that the number of postgraduates who wanted to study more is 2725,as for part time workers the number was 2535.By contrast, voluntary works quantity was only 345 for post graduates,where graduate students number were 10 times greater than that.Another convenient detail,to note that is the post graduates number was relatively low in terms of all four aspects of situation.

  3. The charts give information about the activity of UK graduate and postgraduate students who did not go into full-time work after leaving college in 2008.

    Overall, most of the graduate and postgraduate students chose further study, while voluntary work was the least popular option among both groups of students.

    Among graduates, further study was the most common career path; this accounted for nearly 30,000 students. At the same time, voluntary work was the least popular destination, with only 3,500 students. Almost a similar number of graduates went for part-time work and remained unemployed, at 17,735 and 16,235.

    For postgraduates, voluntary work comprised the least number of students, at 355. At the same time, further study was the most prevalent choice among postgraduates, with 2,735 students opting for it. However, far more students opted for part-time work at 2535 than went into unemployment at 1625. Interestingly, the number of postgraduates who went into a part-time job was roughly as high as the number of students furthering study.

  4. The bar graphs compare Targets of graduates and postgraduates who finished their studies in uk in 2008. Those who engaged four different types of employments excluding full time job.
    Overall, it can be clearly seen that majority of graduates and postgraduates involved with further study. The least amount of graduates and postgraduates participated in voluntary work.
    In terms of selections from graduates of further study came top of the list with average of around 30000. secondly, those who were choose part time work exactly 17735 students. 16235 graduates students were unemployed. the least number of graduates were involved with voluntary work about 3500.
    At the same time, postgraduates were involved with Further studies and part time work about 2725 and 2535 respectively. Just 1625 postgraduates were unemployed. voluntary work were choosed by 345 of postgraduates
    Can you evaluate this?

  5. Mam, in your 1st body paragraph, you wrote ‘making it the least common post-graduation destination.” I think it would be graduation only. Am I right?

    1. “Destination” is the correct word to use here because the title of the chart uses it. Please read the title of the chart.

  6. hey I don’t understand why we should not use path , route and decision …. . It is clear those who did voluntary works or part-time jobs or pursued a higher education did these by decision and the situation was not forced.

    1. Thanks for your comments. For example, those who worked full-time might actually want to do further study but couldn’t afford it. They had no choice but to enter the workforce. Hope this helps.

  7. Hey Lilie,
    The explanations are a nice supplement to the essay . One question though, could we say ‘Graduates who did not work full-time primarily opted to pursue higher studies’ ? I do not clearly understand why ‘opted’ should not be used here.

  8. The bar charts detail the number of graduate and postgraduate students (in thousands) who opted for part-time work, voluntary work, higher education or remained unemployed post-college in Britain in the year 2008. The data excludes those who went for full-time work. Overall, the total number of graduates was significantly higher than that of post-graduates. Among both the groups, the maximum number of students went for further study while the voluntary work was the least chosen path. With regard to graduate students, 29, 665 opted for further education while 17, 735 pupils worked part-time. In comparison, although the number of postgraduates was essentially low, most of them still opted for higher studies (2, 725). However, part-time work remained only a bit behind with 2, 535 pupils going for it. As for voluntary work and unemployment, only 3, 500 of the total graduates volunteered for certain work while only a tenth of this figure chose this path after post-graduation. Similarly, The number of unemployed post-graduates was ten times more than that of graduates (16, 235 and 1, 625 respectively).

  9. The chart compare four destinations, excluding full-time work, in terms of choices of UK graduate and postgraduate students who left college in the year 2008.
    It is clear that the majority of graduate and post graduate students went on further study. Voluntary work, in contrast, was the least opted for destination.
    The total number of graduate students was much higher than post graduate ones. But further study was the most popular choice among both types of students. To be precise, nearly 30000 graduate students chose to study further, and the equivalent figure for postgraduate students accounted for 2725. On the contrary, minority did voluntary work, 35000 graduate students and mere 345 postgraduate ones.
    Part time work had the second highest number of graduate and postgraduate students, with 17735 and 2535 people respectively. 1625 postgraduate students remained unemployed with the same number for graduate students showed almost 10 times multiplied amount, namely 16235 people.

  10. The bar charts illustrate what graduate and postgraduate students did(part-time work, voluntary work, Further study and unemployment) after leaving college in 2008 who did not undergo full-time work in the UK.

    Overall, the number of graduate students was higher than postgraduate students who excluding full-time work. Moreover, both graduate and postgraduate students who did further study were higher than others destination, whereas went to voluntary work was fewer.

    With regards to graduates, 29,665 students did further study which was higher than the rest of the other three destinations. On the other hand, the fewest number ( 3.500)of total students kept them as volunteers. The number of students who were involved in part-time work and became unemployed was averagely same, 17,735 and 16,235 respectively.

    In terms of postgraduates, the number of students for part-time work and further study was approximately the same ( 2,535 and 2,725 respectively) which was almost 9th time higher than voluntary work( 345). Moreover, the number of unemployed postgraduate students was 1,625.

  11. The chart Below demonstrate the data regarding the engagement of students after completing the graduation and post graduation in different categories of work in the year of 2008.
    To begin with, it is very noticeable that the students those took part in receiving higher-education is the biggest and part time worker represent thr smallest number respectively 29,665 and 3500. Similarity is evident regarding number of students as part time worker and those who remained without having any job amount to respectively 17,735 and 16,235.
    Simultaneously, close proximity is found as the students who opt to receive higher education Between students of graduation and post graduation. Unpaid worker are number of minimal number which is 345.

    1. Sorry for the late reply. You really need to write an overview to summarize the 2 or 3 most important features of the charts. See the second paragraph of the sample essay.

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