How can I use sample answers?
Sample answers are great because they provide a good model for you to compare your writing with. However, simply reading lots of them is not going to make you a better writer.
Think about it this way, how many millions of people watch world class footballers like Messi and Ronaldo every week? Does it improve their football skills? Maybe if they go and practice what they learned, but not a bit if they do nothing.
In order to really improve you have to actively use the answers below, not passively read them and then expect to magically improve. Follow the plan of action below.
Plan of Action
- Read the questions, but DO NOT read the answers. Even taking a brief look at the question will influence your answer.
- Attempt the answer under exam conditions.
- Compare what you have with the sample answer.
- Think about the ideas, the structure, the organisation, vocabulary and grammar. It is important that you really think deeply about how the author used each of the elements above.
- Don’t worry if your answer is very different. There are many different ways to answer a Task 2 question.
- Go back and improve your original answer with some of the elements of the sample answer.
100 Sample Questions
If you don’t want sample answers and just want to look at lots of practice questions, here is a list of over 100 of them.
100 Sample Questions
You can find some more sample questions on the official IELTS website and British Council site.
Answers with Examiner’s Reports
To give you an insight into how the examiner marks your test, here are some answers with examiner’s comments at the end.
Student’s Band 9 Answer
Childcare Discussion Essay and Examiner’s Report
Student’s Band 6 Answer and Examiner’s Report
Agree or Disagree Questions
In these questions, you are given a statement and asked if you agree or disagree with it. They are also sometimes called ‘Opinion’ questions.
Student’s Essay on Voluntary Service
An Essay Most Students Got Wrong
Languages Agree or Disagree Essay
Agree or Disagree Sample Essays
Compulsory Voluntary Work in High School
To what extent do you agree or disagree?- Technology
Agree or Disagree- Arts at Primary School Level
Agree or Disagree- Online Lectures
Positive or Negative Development- Shopping
Environmental Essay with Short Introduction and Conclusion
Railway vs Road Essay
In these questions, you are given two opposing points of view and asked to discuss both of them and give your opinion.
Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities.
Discussion and Opinion (University Education)
Discussion Essay- Student Rewards
Childcare Discussion Essay Good and Bad Example
Discuss Both Views- Mixed Schools
Advantage and Disadvantage Questions
In these questions, you are normally given one issue and asked to discuss the positive and negative sides of that issue.
Advantages and Disadvantages Essay- Multinational Companies
Problem/Causes and Solutions
Sometimes you are asked about the problems that a certain issue causes and sometimes you are asked about the causes of a certain problem. An important distinction as you will see below.
Causes and Solutions- Health and Fitness
Good and Bad Example- Old and Young People in the Job Market
A Problem Solution Essay
An increasingly common question gives one issue and then asks two separate questions about it.
Double Questions Sample Answer- Technology
More to come….
I try to publish at least one new sample essay a week, so please check back for more. You can keep up to date by joining our mailing list below or join our Facebook page.
You should now go to our Writing Task 2 page for lots of resources to help you get ready for your exam.
If you comment below, I will get right back to you.
See how sample essays can help you
Read this original essay written by me. Then look at the answer submitted as a comment. It’s a great example of how the system can work.
See how the learner essay
follows the basic 5 paragraph pattern of the model essay
uses the same sentence structures
borrows words and phrases
Read my model IELTS essay
It is certainly true that the more people nowadays do not have a close relationship with their neighbours and that this has weakened communities in our cities. This is probably due to a combination of our more mobile society and the nature of new building developments and is a problem that will require better planning policies.
One main cause of this change is the trend for people to move home to find work. This mobility means that there is less chance for people to put down roots in a community and establish relationships with their neighbours. If, for example, a person moves city once every five years then it is most unlikely that they will form lasting relationships where they live.
Another important factor is that when people move into a new area they often live in apartment blocks and not houses. This matters because these blocks do not have common social areas where people can meet each other in the same way as is possible in more traditional housing estates. It is possible for people who live in these new high rise buildings never to see each other, still less get to know each other well enough to form a bond.
Any solution to this problem will probably involve local government adopting planning policies that are focused on the community. While it is unlikely that anything can be done about social mobility, it is possible for local authorities to encourage a greater sense of community by ensuring new building developments have social spaces where people can meet each other regularly. These could include green spaces where children can play together, local markets and community halls.
My conclusion is that there may be nothing to be done about social mobility but it is possible for local government to foster a greater sense of community by ensuring new developments are more community friendly.
Now see learner version – it borrows and adapts
It is certainly true that the more people nowadays do not have a close relationship with their neighbours and that this has weakened communities in our cities. This is probably due to the change in work patterns and entertaniment culture and is a problem that will require better planning policies.
One main cause of this change is city dwellers’ daily working patterns. This means that the more citizens in the metropolitan areas are inclined to work longer and often commute for over one or two hours. This matters because the more city people spend most time at the workplace, the less they absolutely interact with their neighbours.
Another important factor is that there is a change in how city people spend their leisure time. As the advance in technology seems to be apparent, watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Internet have replaced our traditional entertainment culture, such as going camping and playing conventional games with their neighbours. It ispossible for young people who are addicted to new industrial entertainment devices never to talk to their next doors.
Any solution to this problem will probably generate the effort of local governments to adopt new policies that are focused on the communities.It is possible for governments to encourage cooperations to create new regulation which do not allow employees to work longer, and for local authorities to establish a lot of clubs where residents can socialize each other. These could, for instance, be social sports match, local markets and community halls.
My conclusion is that due to the change of working patterns and individuals’ leisure habit, a sense of bonding with neighbours have weakened. However, it is feasible for firms and local officials to foster a greater sense of community by ensuring new development are more community friendly.
How to use the sample essays for vocabulary
One way to use these samples is to find vocabulary you can use for yourself. This vocabulary can be divided into:
- topic vocabulary – specific vocabulary relating to the topic of the question
- structural/organising vocabulary (eg “One point to note is..”)
- academic vocabulary
Here is my link to useful vocabulary to structure an essay. You can practise the academic vocabulary on my Academic Word Listpage where you will find an interactive quiz on each essay.
How to use the sample essays for essay structure
Another way to use these essays is to see how an IELTS essay is structured:
- note how the introduction addresses the question and leads into the main body of the essay
- identify the main point of each topic paragraph
- note how the topic paragraphs link to each other (do they present similar or contrasting attitudes?)
- note the functions of the conclusion: to summarise and/or present the answer to the question
How to use the sample essays for paragraph structure
Note how each paragraph focuses on one main idea and how that idea is expanded by the use of examples and reasons. You will find more about this under coherence.