The Table Below Gives Information About the Underground Railway Systems in Six Cities

Lilie King

Lilie King

Scored a 7 on the Writing Test Twice

The table below gives information about the underground railway systems in six cities.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 5 Test 4 Writing Task 1.

the table below gives information about the underground railway systems in six cities

Sample Essay

The table displays data on the underground railway networks in six cities.

Overall, the three oldest systems, in London, Paris and Tokyo, have longer routes and carry many more passengers every year than the three in Washington DC, Kyoto and Los Angeles.

Opening in 1863 and covering 394 kilometers, London’s is the oldest and longest of the systems in the six cities. The system in Paris opened in 1900 and Tokyo’s opened in 1927. Even though these two systems are less than 200 kilometers long, they have the largest annual passenger numbers, at 1927 million for Tokyo and 1191 million for Paris.

Kyoto and Los Angeles were the last two of these cities to have their own railway networks. These two networks also have the shortest routes, at 11 and 28 kilometers respectively, and are used by the smallest numbers of passengers per year, at 45 and 50 million respectively.  Compared with the two networks mentioned above, that in Washington DC is relatively long, at 126 kilometers, and has relatively large yearly passenger count, at 144 million.

177 Words

How to Write the Overview

Version 2 is better than Version 1 because it covers all six cities, whereas Version 1 only mentions 2 of them.

Version 1:
Overall, while London’s is the oldest and the longest of the systems in the six cities, Tokyo’s has the largest annual passenger numbers. 👎👎👎

Version 2:
Overall, the three oldest systems, in London, Paris and Tokyo, have longer routes and carry many more passengers every year than the three in Washington DC, Kyoto and Los Angeles. 👍👍👍

How to Group Data

This chart has a lot of data. If you describe the six cities one by one, you may end up writing too many words. Note how I grouped Paris and Tokyo together in the third paragraph, and Kyoto and Los Angeles together in the fourth paragraph.

How to Vary Your Language

Date opened
  • London was the first of these cities to have its own railway network.
  • Of the systems in the six cities, London’s is the oldest.
Kilometers of route
  • London’s system has the longest routes.
  • London’s system covers 394 kilometers of route.
  • London’s system is 394 kilometers long.
Passengers per year
  • Tokyo’s system has the largest annual passenger numbers.
  • Tokyo’s carries more passengers per year than the systems in the other five cities.
  • Tokyo’s system is used by the largest number of passengers every year.
  • Tokyo’s system has the highest yearly passenger count.
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