• Nick Kemp

Task 1 Report: Government Research Spending

Question: The graph above gives information about U.S. government spending on research between 1980 and 2008. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro & Overview) The line graph compares the spending on five research fields by the US government from 1980 to 2008. Health was the largest area of spending by far and grew significantly during the period while the others had comparatively small increases, except for ‘other’ fields which overall was unchanged.

(Detail 1) In terms of health research, approximately $8 billion was spent in 1980, which then dipped to around $6 billion, before reaching a peak of about $21 billion in 2004. This was followed by a slight drop of $1.5 billion in the following 4 years. By contrast, with only 2.5 million dollars from 1980 to 1994, General Science received the least amount of spending in the US throughout the period. After that it observed a steady growth, doubling in 2000, before adding a further $1 billion dollars by 2008.

(Detail 2) Space, Energy and other fields fluctuated during the given period, but not significantly. For example, the amount of funding allocated for studies related to Energy hovered around $5 billion from 1980 to 1991, and then rose steadily to around $8 billion in 1997. After that it fell to around $6 billion in 2001, which was followed by a final increase of spending, reaching $7.5 billion in 2008. Witnessing a similar pattern, $9 billion was invested in Space research in the last year, which was $2 million higher than other fields. (229 words).

Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

Image: Cambridge