Why on earth do I have to make predictions in IELTS Task 1?
IELTS Task 1 ‘dynamic’ (moving) graphs are about 80% in the past tense. So most of the time I have to remind people to…
Use the Simple Past! That’s all you need!
But sometimes you get a graph or even a map which asks you to analyse FUTURE trends or changes, like the one you can see here. Or sometimes there is a mix of Past and Present.
Luckily, the language of change that you’ve learnt is still essential. So if you know how to use verbs and adverbs related to changes (increase slowly, fall gradually etc) you will still be able to use them, but this time you will have to use the Future Tense.
What’s the easiest way of using the Future Tense to describe future trends?
The easiest way is just to use ‘WILL’.
So you will make sentences like ‘Costs will increase slowly’.
For some variety you could use modals – ‘Costs might/may increase slowly’ or even ‘going to‘ if you’re feeling adventurous:
‘Evidence suggests that costs are going to increase slowly’.
Are there any ways to add variety?
Using ‘will’ accurately will ensure a minimum score of 5 but it will limit you to 5 because it will become repetitive (as you will see in this sentence!).
So you need to use more complex structures. Here are some.
Start with a Passive phrase: It + is + predicted + that (costs will increase)
It is predicted that costs will increase.
It is expected that costs will increase.
It is likely that costs will increase.
That will push you up to a 6.
If you want to go higher, use a more complex phrase, though there are risks involved!
Start with the main noun + be + likely + to increase:
- likely to increase
- predicted to increase
- expected to increase
- set to increase.
Notice that you have to change ‘is/are’ depending on whether the noun is singular or plural.
The cost of living IS likely to increase.
All of these use verbs + adverbs (to increase slowly). What about nouns + adjectives (e.g. a slow increase)?
It is good to use noun + adjective combinations to add variety. In the past tense it works like this:
Costs increased slowly = There was a slow increase in costs.
Sales fell dramatically = There was a dramatic fall in sales.
So we need to use ‘There is’ in the Future Tense.
How do we do this? It’s not too tricky. The easiest way is to follow the same pattern as before, using a Passive phrase:
It is likely that there will be a slow increase in cost(s).
Or you can take it up a level by using this kind of expression (more risky but it will get you a 7 if you use this much variety):
There is likely to be a slow increase in costs. (ouch that’s a tricky one but you can do it!).
Just learn the whole expression ‘There is likely to be a (adjective) (noun) in (stuff)‘.
Ready to have a go?
Look at the chart that I posted and try writing it before you look at the model below!
If you need any further help with Task 1, I have make an online Task 1 Essentials Course that takes you through everything you need to get an excellent Task 1 score.
I posted this in my Facebook group this week and people posted their examples for me to comment on and correct. Make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity by joining the group here.