Strategies for the BULATS Business English Presentation with Graphics Task

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

While taking the BULATS test may seem like a big undertaking, it can become much easier it you look at each task separately. This lesson teaches students about the BULATS presentation with graphics task.

Presentation with Graphics

Are you preparing to take the online speaking test of the Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) exam? The presentation with graphics task is one of five parts of this test and it may seem more challenging than the others. As you prepare, start by making yourself familiar with the basic task.

You will be shown some type of visual information such as a:

  • Pie chart
  • Bar graph
  • Line graph
  • Map

You will have 1 minute to look at the visual and then you will have 1 minute to talk about it. The key to achieving a good score is your ability to identify and discuss the most relevant aspects of the visual. It's also very important to use your time well. Speaking for only 30 seconds of the available 60 seconds is not sufficient. If possible, try to use the entire time for your response to ensure that you address all important aspects of the visual information.

Following is an example of the type of information you may encounter on this part of the exam.

  • These charts show the number of different types of cars sold by ABC Car Company from 2000 to 2015. Discuss the changes that took place during this time.
    • The visual may show three pie charts from different dates such as 2000, 2007 and 2015.
    • Each pie chart may be divided into three sections such as SUVs, trucks and cars.

Your task will be to discuss the biggest changes in the pie charts. For example you may say something like:

  • In 2000 20% of ABC Car Company's sales came from SUVs. However, by 2007 this amount had increased to 40% while the number of cars sold decreased between 2000 and 2007 by 10%. Overall, sales of SUVs experience the biggest change over the 15-year period. Overall, truck sales remained steady over the entire period with on a slight change between 2000 and 2015.

When you respond, be sure to speak clearly and at normal speed. Speaking too quickly or too slowly can sometimes make your response sound forced, unnatural or difficult for the listener to understand.

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