Category Archives: IELTS Writing Academic (all)

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 030

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IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 30

 

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table shows the amount of coal used by different sectors in the UK.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.
IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 30

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

Write at least 150 words.


The table given has data concerning the use of coal in Britain from 1975 to 2000, divided into 5 different categories.

The most striking feature is that despite a general rate of decline over the thirty years given, power stations use substantially more coal than all of the other sectors combined. However, this figure fell by almost half from 1980, with nearly 90 million tonnes, down to less than 50 million tonnes by 2000.

A declining rate can also be seen for the use of coal for both domestic and industrial purposes, with the largest drop being from 1975 to 1980. The widest variation between these two sectors was in 1990, when industry accounted for 4.5 million tonnes whereas domestic use stood at only 2.7 million tonnes.

The services sector consumed approximately 1 per cent of the total use in all years except 1975, when the figure was over 3 per cent.

Overall, the use of coal fell by over half in the period given, with power stations being the highest consumer throughout.

(173 words)

 

The 3 parts of a Task 2 IELTS writing question

The 3 parts of a Task 2 IELTS writing question

Task II writing questions can often be divided into different parts.

Commonly, these are:

1. a situation which is generally accepted as being true
2. an opinion, speculation or suggestion about the situation
3. words telling you what you should do.

The 3 parts of a Task 2 IELTS writing questionPoint 1 introduces the general topic.
Point 2 focuses on the specific topic you should write about.
Point 3 refers to the task words – the words which tell you how you should respond to the topic.

Here’s an example:

Advances in technology and automation have reduced the need for manual labour.
Therefore working hours should be reduced.
To what extent do you agree?

Here are three more IELTS writing questions. Can you divide them into the 3 parts?

High-salary jobs often include free health insurance as part of an employment contract. However, such private medical insurance is unfair, as it offers preferential treatment to the wealthy. Do you agree?

Show answer 1 The general topic: High-salary jobs often include free health insurance as part of an employment contract.
2 The specific topic you should write about: private medical insurance is unfair as it offers preferential treatment to the wealthy
3 The task words: Do you agree?

 

The number of elderly people in the world is increasing. This will lead to a number of social and medical problems. To what extent do you agree?

Show answer 1 The general topic:  The number of elderly people in the world is increasing
2 The specific topic you should write about: This will lead to a number of social and medical problems
3 The task words:To what extent do you agree?

 

Computer games have become the primary source of entertainment for most young children. As a result, children are not forming traditional social skills. What do you think could be done to reverse this trend?

Show answer 1 The general topic:  Computer games and  children.
2 The specific topic you should write about:  children are not forming traditional social skills
3 The task words: What do you think could be done to reverse this trend?

So what is the difference between Do you agree or disagree? and To what extent do you agree?

Do you agree or disagree? This means you are free to completely agree or disagree if you choose to do so.

To what extent do you agree? This suggests that no sensible argument can be based on completely disagreeing with the proposition.


 

Not all Task II essays have three clear parts. Nonetheless, you still need to identify the topic and task words. When particularly difficult or technical vocabulary is used in the question, it will sometimes be explained.

What is the topic in each of the Task II titles below? What are the task words?

  1. Some people need medical treatment due to an addiction such as to smoking or drugs. Should they be treated regardless of the cause?
  2. Euthanasia* is a moral right. What is your opinion?
  3. The government fails to provide sufficient medical care for the elderly. Do you agree or disagree?
  4. We are becoming obsessed with diet and health. Suggest possible reasons why.
*the act of killing someone painlessly (especially someone suffering from an incurable illness)
Show the topic and task words 1. TOPIC: medical treatment because of addiction. TASK: Should they be treated?

2. TOPIC: euthanasia is a right. TASK: What’s your opinion?

3. TOPIC: Government medical care for the elderly. TASK: Is is sufficient?

4. TOPIC: Obsessed with diet and health. TASK: Give reasons why

 


Now you have identified both the topic words and the task words, it often helps to rewrite the question in a more logical order. For example:

A wide variety of vegetarian food is now available. However, although an increasing number of people are adopting a vegetarian diet, it is not healthy. Do you agree?

Could be re-written as: Is a vegetarian diet healthy?

The sentences above could be re-written as:

  1. Should people who smoke or take drugs have medical care?
  2. Should people morally be allowed to commit euthanasia?
  3. Is government care for the elderly sufficient?
  4. Why are people obsessed with diet and health?

 

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 036

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 36

All of the model answers on this site are guaranteed band 9

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In many countries, government sponsorship of the arts costs millions in taxpayers’ money. There are many more important things to spend money on.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 36There are some who claim that it is important to maintain the arts and an equal number of people who are opposed to continued government funding. This essay will argue in favour of the latter point for a number of reasons.

The strongest point is that money spent on the arts could have been used for considerably more vital purposes. While the arts are important to a country’s identity, it must also be given that a nation’s health and wellbeing should be paramount. To illustrate, the idea that elderly people are forced to wait for essential operations whilst the money required to increase available medical provision is spent on opera and ballet is plainly immoral.

In addition to health concerns, there are also more deserving social causes for the money that should be considered before the arts. Homelessness, unemployment, education levels and the crime rate are just some of the issues which deserve to be addressed before money is spent on what is essentially little more than entertainment.

A third factor is that some people have no interest in preserving or funding the arts, feeling that they have little practical value. If the arts are so much in need of sponsorship, then perhaps this is a reflection of their lack of popularity, in which case they should not be supported. The money could go to more popular events instead.

For each of these reasons, it can be concluded that there is little reason to continue funding the arts. Yet perhaps a compromise could be reached by which those keen to maintain the arts could raise a percentage of their own funds and the government could reduce its level of sponsorship

(276 words)

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Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS – lesson 2

Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS – lesson 2

We have already posted a number of pages about improving your writing in the IELTS test (see Writing more academically, Avoiding pronouns and Using the correct register).

In these lessons, we will be looking at specific paragraphs and how they can be improved.

The paragraph is from an answer about whether formal tests are a good measure of English language ability:

Student answer:

Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS - lesson 2The International English Language Testing System IELTS is a really good measure of ability in English. They developed the first test in the early 1960s. You can do two types of test; Academic, if you want to study in English, and General Training for people who want to live in a country that speaks English as its first language. The examiners assess four different things and it is not marked by a computer, so it’s better.

Show feedback

On the negative side:

The main problem here is that the paragraph reads like an instructional leaflet, not a formal Task 2 response. The only reference back to the question is in the first sentence, and that is copied directly from the title. The paragraph does not have a suitable register. Phrases like ‘really good’ and ‘different things’ should definitely be avoided in Task 2. Although the grammar is accurate, it is basic, with simple, active phrases being used (‘They developed the first test’) where a passive sentence would have been better (‘The first test was developed’). The writer has used personal pronouns (‘You’) which would have been better presented as third person structures (‘test takers’ or ‘candidates’). The candidate has also used contractions (it’s) which should be avoided in formal writing.

On the positive side:

The paragraph has a mix of simple and complex sentences and there is some good punctuation. There are no grammatical errors and the meaning of each sentence is clear.

Show corrected paragraph

So how could this have been improved?

One common testing method that is used is the International English Language Testing System IELTS, which many believe is a reliable standard to benchmark language skills.  Developed in the 1960s and with two options available, the test could be said to be effective because it has both history and a range of options. Abilities are assessed based on four criteria and are evaluated by examiners, not automated systems, which arguably makes it more effective than other testing systems.

Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS – lesson 1

Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS – lesson 1

We have already posted a number of pages about improving your writing in the IELTS test (see Writing more academically, Avoiding pronouns and Using the correct register).

In these lessons, we will be looking at specific paragraphs and how they can be improved.

The paragraph is from an answer about reducing air travel:

Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTSStudent answer:

Another negative factor that can be produced by this flying automotive is noise pollution. As this invention functions with the whole process of burning petrol and collaborating mechanical parts, it produces sound waves that are harmful to the surroundings. The land is affected by noise pollution, perhaps extinction will occur which later on have a harmful effect to the ecological system.

Show feedback

On the negative side:

Some of the attempts to find parallel expressions are not clear – changing air travel to ‘flying automotive’ is a good try, but not accurate. The second sentence of the paragraph focuses on the specifics of how noise pollution occurs, which is more than is needed in Task 2 – simply stating that noise pollution is a problem is enough, there’s no need to focus on exactly how that noise is produced. In addition, the support that follows isn’t clear – how is the land is affected the noise pollution?There should have been more focus on those living on the land, not the land itself. There is also some repetition of vocabulary (noise pollution has been used twice). The grammar in the final sentence also needs work, with ‘have’ being used instead of has’, the preposition ‘to’ used instead of ‘on’. There is also a run-on sentence where two sentences have been put together using just a comma.

On the positive side:

The linking words used are good – we can assume that the previous paragraph also referred to reasons to reduce air travel because this paragraph begins with ‘Another negative factor’. In the second sentence, the writer has used a good cause and effect construction with ‘as’. There is also some good use of vocabulary – ‘negative factor’, ‘produces sound waves’, ‘perhaps extinction will occur’, ‘ecological system’.

Show corrected paragraph

So how could this have been improved?

Another negative factor that can be attributed to flying is noise pollution, which can be harmful to animals and even people who are affected. There is even the potential that these unwanted sounds could cause significant changes in the ecological system, where perhaps extinction will occur among more fragile species.

 

 

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 029

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 29

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the production and consumption of natural gas in different countries in 2001.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.
IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 29Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.


The table provides data about the use and production of natural gas in nine different countries in 2001.

The most striking trend can be seen in the USA, where figures are over five times higher than those of any other country. With the exception of the former Soviet Union, other countries’ production figures were higher than their consumption figures, although there is no data provided for either Japan or South Korea.

New Zealand had the lowest consumption and the closest correlation to its production, with 0.2 million tonnes excess. Australia produced nearly one- third more natural gas than it consumed. The United Kingdom produced over 10 million tonnes more than it used, twice the excess produced by the United Arab Emirates. China consumed only 0.7 million tonnes less than its production. In contrast, the former Soviet Union accounted for far less production than it did consumption, using nearly 18 times the amount it produced.

Although the majority of countries produced more gas than they used in the same year, the rate the of both production and consumption was markedly different between them.

(180 words)

IELTS Task 1 graphs

IELTS Task 1 graphs

Before you can begin Task I, you have to look carefully at what is being represented. Remember that not every graph is talking about percentages!

It is very common for points to be lost for simply not understanding the information given in the graph, table or chart, so make sure you are sure what it being measured.

Look at the sentences  below and the graph that follows. Only one sentence is correct. Which one? What is wrong with the other sentences?

  1. In China, slightly more than 61% of men live longer than women
  2. According to the graph, all women live longer than men.
  3. There are more men in Thailand than in Myanmar.
  4. The graph shows that in these six countries, women generally live longer than men.

ielts-task-1-graphs

Click here to see the correct answer.

The only accurate sentence is Number 4 – women generally live longer than men.

In sentence 1, the average life expectancy of men is 61 years of age – there are no percentages in the graph

In sentence 2, the statement says that ALL women live longer than men, but this is not necessarily true – it is only the average life expectancy, not every woman.

Sentence 3 refers to more men in Thailand compared to Myanmar , but no information is given in the graph about the number of people in any of the countries.

Step 1: Look at the graph and make sure you understand what is being presented

Look at the graph below and answer the three questions below

a Is the graph about people or houses? Click here to see the correct answer.

The graph refers to people
b What do the numbers along the horizontal axis represent? Click here to see the correct answer.
Years over a 20 year period
c What do the numbers along the vertical axis represent? Click here to see the correct answer.
Number of people (homeowners) in 1000s

In the next post, we will be looking at describing trends and the range of vocabulary you need to use to get a good result.

 

Linking words for IELTS – exercise 2

 Linking words for IELTS – exercise 2

We recommend reading the ‘Linking words‘ page before attempting this exercise.

Using linking words effectively and accurately is essential if you are looking for a good result in your IELTS test (they are part of the result you receive for cohesion and coherence).

Complete the text using one of the three options in the dropdown box.

Linking words for IELTS - exercise 2Over recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in international migration, often (a)political and economic pressures at home. As with many social issues, this has had both positive and negative effects, as can be seen in an analysis of both Sydney and Auckland. In Sydney, there are many areas which have been shaped by the cultures of other nationalities and ethnic groups making Australia their new home. There is an area steeped in the culture and tradition of the Chinese ((b)the name Chinatown), an area which has become so famous it even has its own website! With one quarter of the population being foreign immigrants, Auckland has (c)become very cosmopolitan, with representatives of over 35 nations living and working in or around New Zealand’s largest city. For both cities, this migration has had many advantageous effects. (d), dazzling arrays of different cuisines are available, from Indian curries to Turkish kebabs. (e)to food, such a multicultural mix exposes us to much more of a variety of different traditions, outlooks and languages. (f), we gain a much wider understanding of international cultures.

(g), with so many different perspectives in relatively close confinement, there are
bound to be problems. Cultural communities develop, sometimes isolating themselves and
importing their own sense of tradition and belief at the expense of the traditions of their new
country. (h), racial suspicions can grow, often developing into tense situations.
To conclude, (i)the inevitable pressures inherent in such a variety of cultures,
both Sydney and Auckland (j)remain good examples of cross-cultural toleration and
understanding.

Show the correct answers

A. As a result
B. Hence
C. Therefore
D. For instance
E. In addition
F. Consequently
G. However
H. Moreover
I. Despite
J. Nevertheless

Have you tried Exercise 1?

Linking words for IELTS – exercise 1

Linking words for IELTS – exercise 1

We recommend reading the ‘Linking words‘ page before attempting this exercise.

Using linking words effectively and accurately is essential if you are looking for a good result in your IELTS test (they are part of the result you receive for cohesion and coherence).

Complete each sentence using one of the three options in the dropdown box.

Linking words for IELTS - exercise 11. Cigarettes are expensive., they are detrimental to your health.
Show answer The correct answer is MOREOVER because you are adding an additional reason why smoking is negative.

2. Governments spend a considerable amount of money on defence,neglecting areas such as healthcare.
Show answer The correct answer is WHILE because the two events are happening at the same time – they are concurrent.

3.politicians should be accountable for their actions, corruption can still be common.
Show answer The correct answer is ALTHOUGH because sometimes politicians are not made accountable for their actions.

4. An increasing number of businesses are going bankrupt,the rising level of unemployment.
Show answer The correct answer is HENCE because rising unemployment is the result of business going bankrupt.

5. Whales are an endangered species. Some groups believe we should still hunt them.
Show answer The correct answer is NEVERTHELESS. You cannot end a sentence on ‘despite’ and ‘as a result is not logical – if whales are endangered, they should not be hunted.

6. AIDS education was slow to begin with in some countries., epidemics are common in undeveloped countries.
Show answer The correct answer is CONSEQUENTLY because epidemics are the result of slow education about AIDS.

7. Gun-related homicides are widespread in the US., gun control seems as far off as ever.
Show answer The correct answer is EVEN SO. ‘So’ is wrong because that would suggest that homicides are the reason why gun control is far off (not logical) and ‘Even though’ is incorrect as this would have to begin the sentence (‘Even though gun-related homicides are widespread in the US, gun control seems as far off as ever.’).

8.tougher sentences, crime is still increasing.
Show answer The correct answer is IN SPITE OF – another of the other two options can be used to start the construction, and ‘as a result’ is not logical – crime should decrease because of tougher sentences.

9. France is predominantly Catholic,Britain is mainly Protestant.
Show answer The correct answer is WHEREAS. ‘In contrast’ cannot be used to combine ideas in one sentence (it needs to start a second sentence), and ‘thus’ would suggest that one country is Protestant because the other is Catholic, which is not logical.

10. The distance between Spain and Africa is less than ten kilometres;Spain has a problem controlling the influx of illegal immigrants.
Show answer The correct answer is CONSEQUENTLY because illegal immigration is the result of being so close.

11. Some people work hard all their livesnever own their own houses.
Show answer The correct answer is YET because the sentence is highlighting that this is not what is expected or would be logical. People who work hard all their lives should own their own home.

12. Reports suggest academic performance in the west is in decline., results in Asia have been improving.
Show answer The correct answer is ON THE OTHER HAND because the sentences are comparing a rise in one place and a fall in another.

Finished this exercise? Try Linking words – Exercise 2!

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 035

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 35

All of the model answers on this site are guaranteed band 9

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The difference between popular culture and more traditional culture is vast.

Discuss.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 35The modern and the traditional are often seen, if not as exact opposites, then at least as areas of contrast, and many people hold this to be true of culture. Although there are clear points to support this opinion, there are also a significant number of points that argue against it, as will now be discussed.

The culture of today revolves heavily around changes in technology. Mobile phones, for instance, have become an almost essential part of younger people’s lives, and in this regard it can be said to be an example of the difference. Yet under the surface, it can be seen that this modern trend is actually little more than another method of communication, albeit less personal than speaking face-to-face. In a similar way,  home computers and the Internet, a clear part of modern culture, can be considered to be simply an extension of reading. Using a monitor and mouse rather than a book does not make the two incompatible.

There are some who claim technology is making people less sociable, that culturally communities are isolating themselves with modern appliances. Yet it must be understood that the world can now be seen as a global village, a world wide web which allows people to interact globally.

In conclusion, it is not that the cultures of the past and today are so different, it is simply the methods used to express those cultures which have changed. A culture should flexible, adapting itself to each new generation; if not, then its worth is limited only to historians.

(258 words)