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  • Nick Kemp

Task 1 Report: Bus Punctuality


Question: The charts above show the performance of a bus company in terms of punctuality, both actual and target (what actually happened compared to what the company was trying to achieve), and the number of complaints and passengers. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.


Band 8+ Sample Answer:


(Intro & Overview) The first bar chart provides data regarding target for and actual percentage of buses that arrived on time, based on one company from 1999 to 2003. In contrast the second chart illustrates the total number of complaints received by the company in the same period (per thousand passenger journeys). From the first chart we can see that actual punctuality initially dropped slightly but recovered by the end of the period, whereas punctuality targets remained relatively stable but were slightly lowered over the period. In contrast, the number of complaints witnessed a steady rise overall, often with trends inverse to the percentage of buses running on time.


(Detail 1) Turning to the detail of the first chart, we can see that the actual figure for punctuality was 85% in 1999. This dropped slightly to around 82.5% one year later, and subsequently rose steadily to end the period in 2003 with 84% of buses arriving on time. This was against the backdrop of targets which stayed within a relatively narrow range but were nonetheless lowered gradually, falling from 86% in 1999 to 84.5% in 2003.


(Detail 2) We can see from the second chart that the number of complaints nearly doubled in the same period, going from 65% in 1999 to 120 in 2000. The figures show that complaints steadily climbed throughout the period except for 2001. Interestingly, the number of complaints followed an opposite trend to punctuality from 1999 to 2001, but after that despite a continual improvement in punctuality, the number of complaints also rose. (253 words)


Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

Image: Cambridge