Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today find out how to answer the rare problem and solution essay question.

We have talked a lot about Writing Task 2 argument essays and we have given you a lot of vocabulary ideas for IELTS but we rarely talk about the problem solution essay.

90% of the time you should write an argument essay by putting one side in paragraph 2 and in paragraph 3 you put your opinion but sometimes you get the problem solution essay question.

We do cover this topic in more of a step by step fashion in our course even though this type of question is rare but today we’ll give you a few examples of how to brainstorm problems and solutions.


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What does this question look like?

You’ll see 1- 2 sentences explaining a problem or issue.

It’s usually a societal or educational problem.

Next you’ll see 1-2 questions and those questions tell you what to answer in the essay.

You might get a question about causes and a question about solutions. You need to just answer the questions directly in each paragraph.


 *Pro tip- as soon as you brainstorm the cause, brainstorm the solution right away


Sample questions and answers:

Q: Children today are not as respectful in school as they were in the past. What are the causes of this and some possible solutions?

Here are some ideas to answer this question:

  • Cause: Kids aren’t learning respect at home because their parents are not exercising their authority enough these days.
  • Solution: Make parents more aware of what makes kids respectful

*If you can’t come up with a solution remember that education and government money can always be great solutions and will help your score.

  • Cause: There are too many rules for teachers. Teachers don’t have enough authority when it comes to disciplining kids in school. There are too many rules.
  • Solution: Train teachers on how to discipline kids in a way that teaches respect but is safe and not harmful to the child.


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