Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today we answer three questions from 3 Keys IELTS students.

These are all about how and when to express your opinion in Writing Task 2.

It is vital that your opinion is made clear throughout your essay.

We’ll answer these questions and tell you the facts you need!

These are based on the IELTS scoring system.

Question #1: Can I use the personal pronoun “I”?

Esther from Spain wrote in this great question.

My IELTS teacher said that we cannot use the pronoun ‘I’ for Writing Task 2 at all, is it true?

What do you think?

He says that we should instead use structures such as: ‘It is my belief’ or ‘It is my regard’.

First of all, we don’t say, “It is my regard.”

Regard is not a parallel for the word opinion or belief.

This is incorrect usage of the word “regard,” so definitely don’t use that phrase!

Can you use the pronoun “I” in Task 2 essays?

Yes, you can!

Students often inform us that teachers tell them this.

It’s accurate advice for a lot of academic writing, but not for IELTS!

On the IELTS exam, the task instructions themselves tell you to support your ideas with personal details and examples.

You can’t do that without writing in the first person and using the pronoun “I.”

Where should you include your opinion in IELTS Task 2 essays?

The task instructions explicitly ask you for your opinion.

The rubric used by every IELTS Examiner requires that you show your personal position throughout your essay.

There are options for how you can do this.

  • I believe…
  • It is my belief…

These have the same meaning, and neither is better for your score.

In fact, not using “I” and avoiding the first person can lower your score!

You could easily waste time rewriting sentences or focusing on avoiding first person.

You don’t have time for this!

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Question #2: Should I only use the pronoun “I” when sharing my opinion?

One of Aubrey’s personal coach Writing students had been given incorrect advice from a teacher.

This teacher told him that you should only use “I” when sharing your opinion in the introduction and conclusion.

First, this is incorrect.

You can share personal details and examples in body paragraphs, and you can use “I” for these.

It’s also incorrect that you should only share your opinion in the introduction and conclusion.

You have to make your opinion clear throughout your essay!

If not, you cannot get higher than a 7.

Question #3: When do I need to share my opinion?

Another student asked us a question regarding which essays require an opinion to be shared.

If the question is asking what do you think, does it mean an opinion?

Lastly, what is the consequence if I did not present an opinion if the question is asking for that, and what if I present an opinion if the question is not asking for that.

The short answer is that you must share your personal opinion in EVERY Task 2 IELTS essay.

Students are often thrown off by Problem/Solution essays which don’t ask for your opinion.

It is still in the Task 2 instructions, and is still mandatory!


Watch the following video on this topic!


One of the major Writing mistakes students make is they don’t show a position on the topic.

Even for Problem/Solution essays, you must show a clear opinion throughout the essay.

We have done all the work for you in 3 Keys IELTS!

We can give you all the insider tips and tricks!

Today’s answers regarding sharing your opinion can give you a leg up on this!

For all the strategies you need for IELTS Writing, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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