Use this course with a Ringle tutor to prepare to summarize charts and graphs in business scenarios or in English proficiency tests like the IELTS or SPA exams.
In this lesson, you’ll be presented with pie charts, which are a type of visualization of data. Below, two sample charts will come alongside sample answers and discussion questions. Before starting, review the answer guidance for your reference.
*Disclaimer: Please note that the following graphs contain randomly generated data and are for educational purposes only.
(1) When summarizing a pie chart, begin by stating the most obvious but important part: what the pie chart describes.
(2) Go on to break down the figures in the chart, and note any interesting trends you might observe. For example, if you notice one part of the chart stands a huge proportion while the others are significantly smaller, by comparison, note this. Likewise, if you feel that each “piece” of the pie is similarly sized, note this as well. Make sure to address each “piece” of the pie at least once.
(3) Finally, take a moment to summarize your observations on a larger level. Are there any conclusions that the pie chart enables you to draw? If so, note them. If not, explain why you may not be able to draw conclusions.
[Chart 1] Gross electricity generation from renewable sources, EU 2016
[Chart 1] Sample Answer
This pie chart shows the shares of gross electricity generation from renewable sources in the EU in 2016.
Hydro is the largest source of electricity from renewable sources, at 36.9%, followed closely by  wind, which makes up  31.8%. The category, “Other,” which represents a combination of sources, takes up 19.7% of the total. The smallest contributor to electricity is solar by far, making up only 11.6%.
The graph shows that the combination of hydro and wind make up a vast majority of  electricity generated from renewable resources, and that a combined segment, “other,” still makes up a greater proportion of electricity than solar. It is important to note, however, that since we don’t know the make-up of “other,” it’s hard to draw firm conclusions about the true weight of solar.
[Chart 2] Gross electricity generation from renewable sources, EU 2022
[Chart 2] Sample Answer
This pie chart illustrates  the shares of gross electricity generation from renewable sources in the EU in 2022.
Biomass alone is the largest source of electricity from renewable sources. Wind and hydro both still account for a significant chunk of electricity generation, weighing in at 25.6% and 18.9%, respectively. The remaining significant portion of electricity comes from solar, which takes up 11.7%. “Other” and geothermal represent the smallest segments by far, coming in at a mere 2.0% for “other” and 1.7% for geothermal.
Although biomass alone accounts for the largest proportion of electricity generation, wind and hydro combined actually outweigh biomass. It appears that the vast majority of electricity generation comes from three sources: biomass, wind, and hydro, with the remaining sources being comparatively less significant.
Now, it’s your turn to answer the following discussion questions based on the charts below.
Pie charts for Discussion Questions
[Chart 3] Percentage of total sales in January 2016
[Chart 4] Percentage of total sales in January 2022