The essay below shows an example of a table essay question where the data (percentages) for the same categories (schools) are shown across different time periods.

This is an example of a trend diagram. For most test-takers, diagrams including time changes are most easily described by focusing on the changes rather than the relative sizes of the categories.

Remember, you should always include a variety of sentence types and vary the way numbers are reported. The model essay below contains many examples for you to consider in your own writing.


You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the percentage of high school graduates going on to finish post-graduate studies from 1990 to 2004.

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

Write at least 150 words.

Model essay

The table provides information about the percentage of high school graduates from seven high schools in England who completed post-graduate degrees between 1999 and 2004. 

In general, figures for four out of seven high schools rose during the period studied, while in the three remaining schools there was an overall decrease. 

Of the four schools with increasing numbers, Cardinal Newman showed the largest percentage increase from sightly more than thirty-eight percent to just over forty-six. Kensington Aldridge Academy reported an increase of exactly three percentage points, double the rise at Highbury Fields which grew steadily throughout the period despite a slight dip in 2004. Figures for Woodside High also grew marginally.

Turning to schools with a decreasing number of graduates completing post graduate studies, figures at Chorlton High fell dramatically from around forty-one percent to less than thirty. Despite reporting the highest numbers overall, Saint Cuthbert’s also experienced a drop during the six years studied even though the percentage grew steadily in the first four years. The final school, Canterbury High, experienced a steady fall from about sixteen-percent in 1999 to just over thirteen percent in 2003, before recovering to just under fifteen percent in 2004.

201 words

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