Writing Task 1 – Car Sales – Band 9


You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The charts below show the percentages of types of vehicles sold in the United States in the selected year. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. 

You should write at least 150 words. ***The most common mistake that students make when writing about pie charts is they write about “LINE GRAPHS” instead of “PIE CHARTS” – these are not same!!! 🡪 Pie charts show proportion in a given period BUT line graphs show correlations over time, continuously. Pie charts do not show “start to finish” but line graphs do.

The pie charts show that the popularity of cars has been decreasing from 1980 to 1990 from 95 to 75%.

NOTE! You have to be very careful to usually avoid using the prepositions “from” and “to” when describing pie charts, as these are usually truer when dealing with line graphs. 

OVERVIEW (1. Paraphrase the question with details, 2. Indicate the main feature)

These four pie charts depict the popularity of three vehicle types, cars, trucks, SUVs, purchased in America in four years with ten-year intervals, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.  At first glance, it is clear that consumer trends were significantly different comparing the first three time periods; however, 2000 and 2010 indicate very similar preferences by vehicle customers.


In 1980, cars dominated sales with 95% of the market, the remaining 5% being comprised of trucks. However, in 1990, the popularity of trucks had tripled, as well, a new type of vehicle, SUVs, had emerged on the market with 6% share of the whole. After a decade, the popularity of trucks remained relatively the same; conversely, the preference for SUVs was five times greater, which cut into the demand for cars, lowering this proportion of the total to just over half. The difference in consumer demand for these vehicle types in 2000 and 2010 was negligible, there was 2% less demand for both SUVs and trucks, and in regard to this, 4% more interest in cars.

(Band 8 and 9 essays do include a summary – gives the reader a good overall piece of information that can be learned (but not assumed) from interpreting the data.) 

In summary, although cars are the most popular choice for American consumers in any of the four given years, it is also clear that preferences change over time, and a significant portion of the market has an affinity for buying SUVs in more modern decades.

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