Practice Test 4

The pie charts below give information about the household expenditure of an average US family in different years.

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

Sample Answer

The pie charts compare the expenses of an average American household in 1970 and 2004. The most significant change that can be seen was in the proportion that went towards paying the mortgage, and the other increase was in the outlay for childcare.

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In 1970, about a quarter of the household income was spent on mortgage payments, whereas by 2004, this doubled to account for half of all expenditure. The 1970 family spent only one percent of income on childcare, while the 2004 family allocated ten times more of the budget.

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Expenditure on entertainment remained the same at 13%, but the percentage spent on food halved from 25% to 12%, and 8% less of the total income was taken up by transport costs in 2004 (only 5%). Clothing costs consumed more of the budget in 1970, at 22%, but this fell to only 10% in 2004.


  • The pie charts compare
  • The most significant change that can be seen
  • Went towards
  • About a quarter of
  • Doubled to
  • Halved from
  • Consumed more of the budget

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