The essay below shows an example of a table essay question where the data (percentages) for the same categories (schools) are compared against six categories (subjects) and the total.

This is an example of a comparison diagram. In diagrams like these, test-takers should look to find the largest and smallest values, and compare categories that have similar and contrasting values.

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 most popular university subject choices for graduates from several high schools in the US.

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 details about the percentage of high school graduates from five American high schools who chose to study the six most popular university subjects. 

Overall, in three out of five schools, more than half of all graduates chose a top-six subject, with the largest proportion coming from New York Tech. Of the six subjects, finance was by far the most popular subject choice. 

Starting with the total proportions, four-fifths of all New York Tech graduates chose one of the subjects reported in the table, which was twenty percentage points higher than the second largest value recorded at Samuel H Jenson High. The third and forth biggest figures from Washington and Cardinal High were fifty-five and forty-two percent respectively. At the remaining school, Eagle Ridge High, the total was significantly lower at slightly more than half the average.  

Turning to the individual subjects, the most popular choice was finance with just under sixteen percent of graduates from the five schools choosing this subject, a figure more than five percent higher than the second most popular. Students who chose to study maths, psychology, medicine and politics ranged from around eight to ten percent. The final subject, Engineering, accounted for two percent on average, down as low as one percent in two out of five schools.  

208 words

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