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IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 – Common mistakes

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 – Common mistakes

Being able to use appropriate vocabularies, presenting the main trend, comparing & contrasting data and presenting the logical flow of the graph ensure a high band score in your Academic IELTS writing task 1.

Amount vs number

Amount is used with mass nouns. In other words, amount should be used with nouns that cannot be counted individually, also called non-count nouns.

When amount is used as a verb, it means to become or to equal.


  1. 2016 has seen an increase in the amount of web traffic devoted to travel research.
  2. Our expenditures for the fiscal third quarter amount to $34,000.

Like amount, as a noun number refers to the quantity of something. Unlike amount, however, number is used with count nouns.

Number can also be a verb, where it means to count or to add up to.


  1. The government in recent months also has enforced curfews to reduce electricity use—a practice that has trimmed operating hours at malls and therefore cut back the number of screenings a cinema can squeeze in during a day.
  2. To number the stars is not a trivial undertaking.

Percent vs percentage

 Percentage is not used with a number, just with an ordinary adjective.


  1. Test results showed higher percentages in most subjects, sometimes up to 20 percent higher.
  2. Rates went down by a large percentage.

Percent is generally used with a number.


  1. More than 95% of the participants who responded to the survey reported positive results.
  2. Forty percent of the chocolate was missing.

 Adverbs describing a change



Linking sentences


Exercise to check yourself

  1. In Britain people spent the smallest number/amount of money on personal stereos.
  2. Going out to restaurants decreased dramatically to ten percentage/percent.
  3. The graph shows that the percentage/percent of 15 to 30-year-olds who are theatre-goers is higher than other groups.


1. amount
2. percent
3. percentage


Read more about IELTS Writing Scores

Do not forget to check Overall IELTS scoring here

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