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

Today you’ll hear band score 8 writing questions, from students who are definitely high-level.

In our 3 Keys Facebook group, we’ve had some very advanced questions about IELTS Task 2 essays lately.

With problem solution essays, what do I do if I don’t perceive it as a problem? For example:

“In many countries, very few young people read newspapers or follow the news on TV. What are the causes of this? What are the solutions that you can suggest?”

I personally don’t think it’s a problem, because there are more various resources that you can get information from compared to the past. Also, in many countries, newspapers and TV broadcasts are affected by the political power which sometimes makes news untrue, so-called fake news.

Thus, in my personal opinion, getting information from different resources like a podcast and social media is also helpful compared to passively absorbing news on TV.

The main point is, how can you come up with solutions and suggestions if you don’t perceive it as a problem?

Even if you don’t think it’s a problem, you have to answer the question.

You can’t refuse to tackle the question as presented, even if it’s not your opinion. You cannot get more than a 5 for Task Response if you do this.


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The thing is, this student has enough great ideas to answer the question as presented.

Focus on your score. IELTS is not the time or the place to say the question is wrong in some way.

In Speaking, however, you could definitely say why you disagree with the premise of the question, in an honest, direct way.

In Writing, though, you have to keep your eye on the score. For instance, if you can think of stronger examples for the other side (the opposite of your real opinion), just switch your opinion!

We had one more Task 2 question in the group:

I have seen certain developments in Writing Task 2, as it seems it leaves us with no choice but to write an opinion essay.

Such as:

“Many people prefer to spend money and not to save it. What are the reasons? Is this a positive or negative development?”

Please shed light on how to incorporate both negative and positive sides and the reasons.

This is a mixed question type, not an opinion essay.

If there are two questions, that controls your paragraphs.

So, in this case, the “reasons” would be in paragraph 2, and the opinion in paragraph 3.

In order to fit in both positive and negative, begin the paragraph with a concession:

Although some might view this as a positive sign, as consumer spending fuels the economy, I feel it is an extremely detrimental trend.

Then, the rest of the paragraph with be about why it’s negative.

What IELTS Task 2 questions do you have?

Share your worries in the comments section below!


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