IELTS Vocabulary List: Camping

Many people enjoy camping, and camping is a topic which can appear in IELTS speaking part 1. You should learn some useful words to be able to talk about this topic.

Camping Vocabulary

Basic camping equipment

 

camping vocab

 

More Camping Vocabulary

  • bug spray = insect repellent
  • compass = equipment for navigation
  • backpack = a bag which you carry on your back
  • air mattress = a bed mattress that is filled with air
  • hat = for protection against weather, particular the sun or rain
  • raincoat = a jacket which is waterproof
  • wildlife = wild animals
  • campground = the place for camping
  • path = a track or way to walk (people follow paths in the forest)
  • firewood = wood used for campfires
  • cramped  = not enough space, too small
  • being close to nature = spending time near wildlife and in natural areas
  • camping gear = a collection of camping equipment

IELTS Vocabulary List: Body Language

Why is body language important to understand? 🙂

  •  Body language is used to assess people’s characters. It is one of the first ways we assess a stranger’s character (First Impression!)
  • Body language is used to communicate directly with someone when language is not possible.
  • Body language is commonly used and assessed at work and interviews.
  • Body language is an essential part of friendships and relationships.
  • Body language can lead to great misunderstanding between different cultures.

 

List of Body Language

Below is a list of body language that is common in the Western society with their common meaning.

Facial Expressions

  • Avoiding eye contact = shy, worried, lying
  • Crinkling nose = disgust
  • Deadpan face (without any expression) = emotionless or hiding feelings
  • Direct eye contact = confidence
  • Eyes staring into the distance = dreamy, not concentrating
  • Pressing lips together (tight lipped) = annoyed, angry
  • Raised eye brows = doubtful, disbelieving
  • Smiling = friendly

Physical Actions

  • Arms behind back, shoulders back = confidence
  • Arms crossed = defensive or insecure but sometimes it means being angry
  • Bowing (bending at the waist) = greeting someone new (in some countries)
  • Biting nails = nervous
  • Blushing (going red in the cheeks) or stammering (speaking with hesitations and repeated letters) = embarrassment
  • Eye rubbing = tired or disbelieving
  • Hands covering gaping mouth = scared
  • Putting arms up with palms facing forward = submission
  • Scratching one’s head = confused
  • Shaking the head = negative, no
  • Shrugging shoulders (moving shoulders up and down) = don’t know, doubt, confused
  • Stroking one’s chin = thinking deeply
  • Nodding head =  agreement, yes
  • Firm handshake = strong and decisive / limp handshake = weak

Misunderstandings that may be caused by Body Language among different cultures

Nodding head = In some countries, it means “yes” but in other countries it means “no”. Likewise, a shaking head means “no” in some countries but “yes” in others.

Silence = In the West, this can be negative and be a problem between people. However, in other countries, such as China or Japan, it can be a sign of agreement or femininity.

Personal space = In countries, such as England, people should stand a respectful distance from each other but in other countries, such as Spain, people touch each other when talking. In Japan, the person space is often bigger between people than in England. Respectful space between people changes depending on countries.

Eye Contact = In the West, this is a sign of confidence and is important when listening actively to someone. On the other hand, there are countries where this might be a sign of aggression and confrontation.

Practice Using Body Language Vocabulary

Fill the gaps of these sentences with the suitable words:

1. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then suddenly she asked a question that I couldn’t understand so I just ………….. my shoulders and walked away.

2. My boss always tells tall stories. Yesterday he came to work with another unbelievable story but the only response I could give was to ……….. my eyebrows.

3. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being late. Once I was in a really long meeting at work and by the time we finished I was late to meet my friend. During the meeting, I could feel myself getting impatient and my foot started ……………. on the floor.

4. I can’t stand watching films at the cinema because you can’t relax like you can in private, particularly when watching an action movie full of surprises and shocks. When there is a really sudden unexpected scene, my eyes ………. and my mouth ……… open which I find really embarrassing in public.

5. I remember once I was late for an appointment. When I arrived, which was over 1 hour late, I ………….  deep red and stammered an apology.

Answers

  1. shrugged (the answer isn’t “shrugged off” because that means to get rid of – usually a feeling – and does relate to shoulders)
  2. raise
  3. tapping (the answer isn’t stamping because stamping is when you are very angry not impatient)
  4. widen    gapes  (don’t forget the “s”)
  5. blushed

 

Using Body Language vocabulary in IELTS Writing or Speaking

Q) In what way is body language a form of communication?

A) Well, people use body language to send a message or to indicate something so it is definitely a way to communicate. For example, when people raise their eyebrows, it often means they are incredulous or disbelieving and when they tap their foot on the floor, you know they are impatient. So, using facial expressions and physical actions can communicate things to other people.

Q) Do you think it is possible to misunderstand someone’s body language?

A) Yes, definitely. When someone avoids your eye, it is possible to think that they are avoiding your question and don’t want to talk to you. But really, it might be that they are just shy. So, it’s quite easy to grasp the wrong meaning in people’s actions.

Q) Describe a time you were late for an appointment.

A) I recall, about one year ago, I was organising to meet someone in the town center at 9pm. Unfortunately, I was delayed because of traffic and didn’t arrive until about 9.30pm. My friend was really angry at me. She had her arms crossed and was tapping her foot impatiently on the ground. I was so embarrassed and blushed a lot. I expressed my sincere apology but felt really uncomfortable because she was staring at me with angry eyes. Anyway, we sorted out our differences and have been really good friends ever since. (this is an example of part of a talk for speaking part 2 – add details and descriptions)

Common Topics for IELTS Writing Task 2

We have compiled a comprehensive list of common IELTS Writing Task 2 topics for your to review & study. The list comprises of the latest & frequently tested topics, and will continue to expand!

Have fun looking & practicing through them, and do let us know if you have any questions 🙂

If you would like your practice paper to be reviewed & marked by one of our experienced IELTS teachers, please click here.

For a PDF version, IELTS Writing Task 2 Common Topics

Art Essay Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere.

To what extent do you agree with this view?

Art is considered an essential part of all cultures throughout the world. However, these days fewer and fewer people appreciate art and turn their focus to science, technology and business.

Why do you think that is?

What could be done to encourage more people to take interest in the arts?

Some people think that art is an essential subject for children at school while others think it is a waste of time.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Artists need a certain amount of freedom to develop their creativity. Some people think that artists should have total freedom to express any thoughts and ideas.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Most artists earn low salaries and should therefore receive funding from the government in order for them to continue with their work.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Business & Money Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Due to the development and rapid expansion of supermarkets in some countries, many small, local business are unable to compete. Some people think that the closure of local business will bring about the death of local communities.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

Large businesses have big budgets for marketing and promotion and as a result, people gravitate towards buying their products.

What problems does this cause?

What could be done to encourage people to buy local products?

 

An increasing number of people are buying what they need online.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for both individuals and companies to shopping online?

 

Marketing and promotion is the key to a successful business.

To what extent do you agree?

 

The performance of staff can have a significant impact on the success of a company.

What can companies do to increase staff productivity?

 

Some companies have uniforms for their staff which must be worn at all times.

What are the advantages for a company of having a uniform?

Are there any benefits of having a uniform for the staff?

 

Some people think that the best way to run a business is within the family.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a family run business?

 

Some people think that when recruiting, companies should aim to take on people who are innovative and able to work independently while others considered  they should recruit people who are able to work in a team and follow instructions.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

 

Some people think that the only way to have success in business is to have a unique product.

What factors, do you think, influence the success of a company?

 

Small businesses should avoid recruiting young women who do not have their own family in order to avoid paying maternity leave later on.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

Sales companies should recruit people who are hungry for money as they will make the most dedicated workers.

Do you think money is the driving force behind hard work?

What factors should be taken into consideration when recruiting staff for sales positions?

 

The reason that most individuals are in debit is due to the overuse as well as irresponsible use of credit cards. Banks should not issue credit cards unless they are completely sure of an individual’s ability to pay back their debits.

To what extent do you agree with this?

 

Some people believe that the higher a product is priced, the more likely it is that people will want to buy it.

To what extent does price influence potential buyers?

What other factors influence people to buy a product?

 

Some people think that the only way to judge someone’s success in business is by the amount of money they make.

Is money a true indicator of the success of a business?

In what other ways could success in a business be measured?

 

It is common practice for some students to take a gap year between high school and university in order to do charitable work abroad in underdeveloped countries.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for young people of doing volunteer work?

 

Rich countries are getting richer while poor countries are getting poorer.

What is the cause of this?

What could be done to solve this problem?

 

Some people think that it is better for a country’s economy for people to spend money while others believe that it would be better for people to save money.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Communication & Personality Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

With an increasing population communicating via the internet and text messaging, face to face communication will become a thing of the past.

To what extent do you agree?

 

More and more businesses as well as individuals are choosing to communicate either professionally or socially using technology rather than being face to face.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using technology for communicating.

 

Many young children have unsupervised access to the internet and are using the internet to socialise with others. This has can lead to a number of dangerous situations which can be threatening for children.

What problems do children face when going online without parental supervision?

How can these problems be solved?

 

Some people think that being able to communicate with others online is breaking down geographical barriers and enabling people, who would normally never have the chance to meet, to communicate.

What are the advantages of international communication online?

Are there any disadvantages to this?

 

With the development of online communication, people will never be alone and will always be able to make new friends.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Communication through text messaging and other instant forms of online communication are short and basic. Some people think this will be the death of grammar and spelling.

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Having different languages makes it difficult for people of different nationalities to communicate with each other. It would be better if there was only one language in the world.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of everyone in the world speaking the same language?

 

Some people think that a person can never understand the culture of a country unless they speak the language.

Do you agree with this opinion?

 

Some people are multilingual, possibly because they come from a multicultural family or because they are gifted in languages, while others speak only one language.

Do you think that people who speak more than one language are better at communication?

 

Some people think that you can never become fluent in a language unless you have spent time living or working in that country.

Do you agree?

 

There are a number of different forms of communication and one such form is body language.

In what way is body language a form of communication?

What others ways do people communicate with each other?

 

Some people think that intelligence is innate while others think that we can improve our intelligence through learning.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Our personalities are predetermined as a result of our genes before we are born and there is nothing that can be done to alter our character traits.

To what extent do you agree?

 

The majority of people work hard in order to achieve success while for others it comes naturally.

Do you think some people are destined to be successful?

How can success be measured?

 

Many management interviews are based around assessing not only a person’s level of experience and knowledge but also their personality.

Is leadership an innate skill?

What other characteristics do companies look for in a manager?

 

Some people think that women are generally more peaceful than men as their characters are naturally more nurturing than aggressive.

To what extent do you agree with this?

 

A child’s character is greatly influenced by the way in which adults around them behave.

Do you agree with this?

What other factors influence a child’s character?

 

Crime and Punishment Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

It is often thought that the increase in juvenile crime can be attributed to violence in the media.

What do you think it is the reason for a growth in the rate of juvenile crime?

What solutions can you offer to deal with this situation?

 

In some societies, the number of crimes committed by teenagers is growing. Some people think that regardless of age, teenagers who commit major crimes should receive adult punishment.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Some countries are struggling with an increase in the rate of crime. Many people think that having more police on the streets is the only way to reduce crime.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Some people think that women should be able to do whatever job they are qualified for, including police work, while others think that is it wrong to allow women to become police officers.

What is your opinion?

 

Many crimes are often related to the consumption of alcohol. Some people think that the best way to reduce the crime rate is to ban alcohol.

Do you think this is an effective measure against crime?

What other solutions can you suggest?

 

Many people believe that having a fixed punishment for all crimes is more efficient.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a fixed punishment?

 

Some people think that the government should be responsible for crime prevention while others believe that it is the responsibility of the individual to protect themselves.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

The death penalty is the best way to control and reduce serious crime.

To what extent do you agree?

 

While it is sometimes thought that prison is the best place for criminals, others believe that there are better ways to deal with them.

What is your opinion?

 

Crime rate, in most countries, is often higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

Why do you think that is?

What can be done to reduce the crime rate?

 

Some people think that poverty is the reason behind most crimes.

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Internet crime is increasing rapidly as more and more people around the world are accessing the internet.

What are the worst internet crimes?

How can they be prevented?

 

Education and Learning Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Discipline is an ever increasing problem in modern schools. Some people think that discipline should be the responsibility of teachers, while others think that this is the role of parents.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Some children receive almost no encouragement from their parents regarding their performance at school, while other children receive too much pressure from their over enthusiastic parents which can have a negative impact on the child.

Why do you think some parents put too much pressure on their children to perform well at school?

What do you think the role of a parent should be in their child’s education?

 

The role of education is to prepare children for the modern world. Schools should cut art and music out of the curriculum so that children can focus on useful subjects such as information technology.

To what extent do you agree?

 

 Some people think that teachers should be able to ask disruptive children to leave the class.

Do you think it is the best way to deal with a disruptive child in the classroom?

What other solutions are there?

 

Education should be accessible to people of all economic backgrounds. All levels of education, from primary school to tertiary education, should be free.

To what extent do you agree with this opinion?

 

The current trend in education is to move away from traditional exams and instead have continuous assessment over the school year.

What do you think of this trend?

 

Some people think that educated people are more valuable than people who have learned skills through experience.

Do you think that educated people are the most valuable for society?

What kinds of skills can people learn through experience that can benefit society?

 

Being able to speak a foreign language is an advantage these days. Some people think that children should start learning a foreign language at primary school, while others think children should begin in secondary school.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

The gap between education in richer countries and education in poorer countries is a growing concern.

What solutions can you suggest to deal with this situation?

 

Some schools are very strict about their school uniforms and the appearance of their pupils, while other schools have a very relaxed dress code.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of children of having a school uniform?

 

In some high schools, part of the curriculum requires students to participate in community work such as helping the elderly or disabled.

In what way do children benefit from this?

Do you think it should be part of the curriculum?

 

The best way to help underachieving pupils is to have compulsory after school activities which they must attend. This way they will become more involved in school and their grades will improve.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Some people think that parents have the greatest influence on their child’s academic development, while others think that a child’s teacher has more influence.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

 In some countries, girls and boys are educated in different schools rather than in the same school.

What are the advantages and disadvantage of this?

 

On nearly all science courses at university, there are significantly more male students than female students.

What is the reason for this?

What could be done to balance out the numbers?

 

Some people think that it is beneficial for old people to learn something new while others believe that once a person is past 65 years of age it is too late to learn.

What is your opinion?

 

It is thought by some that a school teacher’s role is to motivate and inspire students. However, other people believe that a teacher’s primary role is to pass on knowledge.

What do you think is the role of a teacher?

 

Fewer schools are requiring children to learn and improve their hand writing skills.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of this trend?

 

Environment Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

While some people consider global warming to be the most pressing environmental problem which we have at the moment, others believe that deforestation has a more devastating impact on our world.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

The government should reduce the amount of money spent on local environmental problems and instead increase funding into urgent and more threatening issues such as global warming.

To what extent do you agree?

 

With increasing populations and ever growing urban centers, many countries are losing their natural beauty spots.

What benefits are there to protecting places of natural beauty?

How can this be solved?

 

Although many people value their public parks, this space could be better used for other purposes such as residential areas for the ever growing population or to develop business and boost economies.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?

 

With deforestation, urban development and illegal hunting, many animal species are becoming endangered as they lose their habitat and some are even threatened to the point of extinction.

Do you think it is important to protect animals?

What measures can be taken to deal with this problem?

 

Global warming is one of the biggest threats to our environment.

What causes global warming?

What solutions are there to this problem?

 

Both governments and individuals are spending vast amounts of money protecting animals and their habitat. This money could be better spent dealing with fundamental issues in society such as poverty and health care.

To what extent do you agree?

 

As a result of growth in some urban centers, the environment in those cities is deteriorating.

How could this issue be tackled by both the government and individuals?

 

Some people think that current environmental issues are global problems and should therefore be dealt with by the government while others believe that these problems can only be tackled by individuals.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Global environmental issues are the responsibility of rich nations not of poorer nations.

Do you agree with this opinion?

 

Many people believe that global environmental problems should be dealt with internationally rather than domestically.

What is your opinion?

 

 Many animals are being hunted to the brink of extinction in order to fulfill the demand and greed of mankind for decorative purposes as well as for other reasons such as traditional medicine.

How can this issue be tackled?

 

Restricting air travel is the only way to prevent air pollution.

Do you agree?

 

Family and Children Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

In many modern societies, grandchildren rarely spend any quality time with their grandparents.

What do you think are the consequences of this?

 

Some people think that the role of parents is to discipline their children and teach them about right and wrong. Other people consider that the main responsibility of parents is to nurture their children and provide them with a safe environment to grow up in.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Most modern families have both parents working and as a result children spend less and less time with their parents.

What is the reason for this?

What problems can this cause?

 

The nuclear family is well adapted to move geographically due to its size.

Do you think children benefit in any way from moving?

Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

 

In many countries it is common for families to own and run their own business. Some people think this is the best way to run a business while others consider this a potential source of problems.

What is your opinion?

 

In the past, the older generation were a source of knowledge and experience. Nowadays, the older generation have little understanding or experience of the modern world.

Has this had any negative impact on the way the elderly are treated by society and the family?

What could be done to solve this situation?

 

In many western countries there is an increasing number of couples choosing to have no children.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to couples having no children?

 

These days people are living into their 90’s and beyond. As a result, there is increasing concern about care for the elderly.

Do you think it is the responsibility of the family to care for their elderly members or should the government be held responsible?

 

Food & Diet Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

With a growing world population one of the most pressing issues is that of feeding such a large number of people. Some people think that GM foods offer a viable solution to this problem.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

With a growing population, many people believe that we should focus on producing more GM foods.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?

 

An increasing number of children are overweight which could result many problems when they grow older both in terms of their health and health care costs.

Why do you think so many children are overweight?

What could be done to solve this problem?

 

With a fast pace of modern life more and more people are turning towards fast food for their main meals.

Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

 

With an increasing number of people eating fast food, which if eating too regularly can cause health issues, some people think that the only solution is to ban it completely.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Everyone should adopt a vegetarian diet because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Many processed foods and ready-made meals contain preservatives and chemicals.

What are the advantages to this?

Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

 

Over the last few decades, the media has promoted the image of young thin women as being ideal.

What problems has this caused?

What solutions can you suggest to this issue?

 

Government and Politics Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Should governments make decisions about people’s lifestyle, or should people make their own decisions?

 

A government has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure their safety. Therefore, some people think that the government should increase spending on defense but spend less on social benefits. To what extent do you agree?

 

Some people think that the government is responsible for the rise in obesity in children, while others think it is the fault of the parents. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Some people think that the government should give money to creative people, such as artists and musicians. To what extent do you agree?

 

The government should lower the budget on the arts in order to allocate more money to education. To what extent do you agree?

 

Some people think that only the government can make significant changes in society, while others think that individuals can have a lot of influence. What is your opinion?

 

Health and Lifestyle Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

The prevention of health problems and illness is more important than treatment and medicine. Government funding should reflect this.

To what extent do you agree?

 

The number of people who are at risk of serious health problems due to being overweight is increasing.

What is the reason for the growth in overweight people in society?

How can this problem be solved?

 

The amount of time spend on sport and exercise should be increased in schools in order to tackle the problem of overweight children?

Do you think this the best way to deal with the problem?

What other solutions can you suggest?

 

More and more people are suffering from health problems caused by a modern life style which cannot be treated with modern medicines. Some people think that a return to traditional medicine should be encouraged.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Health care should not be provided for free regardless of a person’s income. The heath of a person is in their own hands and they should, therefore, be held accountable for that.

Do you agree with this opinion?

 

The best way to improve health is to exercise daily.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Some people think that public health is a the responsibility of the government while others think that people should be responsible for their own health.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Doctors should be responsible for educating their patients about how to improve their health.

Do you agree with this?

 

Walking is known to be beneficial for health and yet fewer and fewer people are walking these days.

What are the reasons for this?

What can be done to tackle this problem?

 

Media and Advertising Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Violence in the media promote violence in society.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Most people think that the truth should be objective rather than subjective when it comes to the news.

Do you think all news is true?

What is the function of a newspaper?

 

More and more newspapers and news channels are using photographs to support their news articles and stories. Some people think that photographs are not a reliable source of news while others consider photographs to be irrefutable.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

The majority of news being reported is bad news such as wars, famines, accidents and crime.

Why do you think that is?

Do you think the news should be a balance of both good and bad news?

 

In the last few decades there have been more and more cases of famous people being hounded by the press. Some people think that famous people in the media have no right privacy.

To what extent do you agree?

 

People in the lime light have a responsibility to set an example for others by their good behaviour.

Do you agree?

 

With the development of the media online, there is no future for the radio.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Watching TV is a waste of time for children.

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Companies spend millions each year on advertising online, in magazines and on billboards. These adverts can encourage people to buy goods that they do not really need.

What are the positive and negative affects of consumerism?

 

One of the prime times for advertising on TV is when children get back from school. Some people think that advertisements aimed at children should not be allowed.

What is your opinion?

 

Many people buy products that they do not really need and replace old products with new ones unnecessarily.

Why do people buy things they do not really need?

Do you think this is a good thing?

 

Many people think that fast food companies should not be allowed to advertise while others believe that all companies should have the right to advertise.

What is your opinion?

 

Reading books and library Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Children who start reading earlier in life, perform better later on in their school studies.

How important are early reading skills in a child’s academic performance?

What other preschool factors influence a child’s later academic achievements?

 

Some people think that children who spend a lot of time reading children’s story books are wasting their time which could be better used doing other more useful activities.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Some people think that e-books are the death of paper books while others think that paper books will never disappear.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Libraries should focus on improving their technological resources rather than in building a larger collection of paper books.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Public libraries will soon now longer be housed in a building as all facilities and books will be available online for all to access.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public libraries only existing online.

 

Society and Social Issues Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

In many countries women no longer feel the need to get married. Some people believe that this is because women are able to earn their own income and therefore do not require the financial security that marriage can bring.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Most societies has its homeless people. Some people think that the best way to help them is to give them money.

To what extent do you agree?

 

In many countries, people are moving away from rural areas and towards urban areas.

Why do you think that is?

What problems can this cause?

 

With the development of modern society is the loss of traditional ways of life.

Is it important to keep our traditional ways of life?

How can this be achieved?

 

Every culture, throughout time, has recorded its history in one way or another.

In what ways can history be passed on to the next generation?

Why is history important to society?

 

All societies have their own music and art.

In what way are music and art important for society and for the individual?

 

The population of most cities is growing as people move to cities to find work and new opportunities.

What problems does overpopulation in cities cause?

How can these problems be solved?

 

In many cities there is a lack of space to develop and as a result, in order to modernise, old buildings are demolished and replaced with new buildings.

What are the disadvantages of knocking down old buildings?

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

 

Some people think that a life is good for people while others believe that constant change can be too demanding on people.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

It is sometimes thought that people who travel outside of their own country are more tolerant and understanding of others.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Space Exploration Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Some people think that money spent on space exploration is a waste and could be better used to fund other urgent problems in society.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Discuss different views to exploring other planets when there is so much that needs doing on Earth.

 

Some people think that space exploration is a waste of resources while others think that it is essential for mankind to continue to explore the universe in which we live.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Sports and Exercises Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Some people think that sport teaches children how to compete while others believe that children learn how to work in a team with others rather than against them.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

 

Ensuring that children have regular physical exercise should be the responsibility of parents and therefore schools should not waste valuable school time having sports lessons as part of the curriculum.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Many countries apply to be the host of an international sporting competition, such as the Olympics, but only one is ever chosen.

What are the benefits for a country of hosting an international sports competition?

Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

 

Some people think that companies should provide employees with exercise time during the day.

What is your opinion about this?

 

With an increasing overweight population some people think universities should make sport a compulsory module on all degree courses.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Professional sports people are often idolised by young children. Some people think that they, therefore, have a responsibility to be good role models at all times.

Do you agree?

Some people think that sports involving violence, such as boxing and martial arts, should be banned from TV as well as from international sporting competitions.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Technology And Its Impact Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Modern technology is now very common in most work places.

How do you think this has changed the way we work?

Do you think there are disadvantages to relying too much on technology?

 

New household appliances have resulted in more free time for women and has enabled them to both work and run a home with dependent children.

What are the advantages for a family when the mother works?

Do you think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages?

 

With the development of technology children are now living in a world that is completely different to what it was 50 years ago.

What problems does this cause for society and the family?

 

An increasing number of people are now using the internet to meet new people and socialise. Some people think this has brought people closer together while others think people are becoming more isolated.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

More and more children as accessing the internet unsupervised and at a younger age. This can sometimes put children at risk.

What problems do you think parents face when dealing with their children using the internet?

How can this problem be solved?

 

It is common nowadays for each member of the family to have their own piece of modern technology. Some people think this will lead to a break down in family relationships and communication.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Tourism and Tourist / Travelling Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS essay questions about tourism and travel.

Tourism is an ever growing industry.

What benefits do you think tourism brings to individuals and society?

 

As a result of tourism and the increasing number of people travelling, there is an growing demand for more flights.

What problems does this have on the environment?

What measures could be taken to solve the problems?

 

Some people believe that to protect local culture, tourism should be banned in some areas whereas others think that change is inevitable and banning tourism will have no benefits.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

As a result of tourism, many historical buildings and sites are being damaged beyond repair.

What could be done to prevent this?

 

Some people think that when a person travels into a different culture they should adapt to the local practices and customs.

To what extent do you agree?

 

The development of tourism contributed to English becoming the most prominent language in the world. Some people think this will lead to English becoming the only language to be spoken globally.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to having one language in the world?

 

Transport Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

With an increase in the number of privately owned vehicles, roads are becoming more congested.

What measures could both government and individuals take to deal with this situation?

 

The impact that the growing demand for more flights has had on the environment is a major concern for many countries.  Some people believe that one way to limit the number of people travelling by air is to increase  tax on flights.

To what extent do you think this could solve the problem?

 

Some people think that it should be compulsory for people to retake their driving test every 5 years.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?

 

One way to solve the problem of congestion on the roads is to increase the tax on private vehicles.

How could this alleviate congestion?

What other measures can you suggest to deal with congestion in cities?

 

Some people think that in order to deal with the problem of congestion in cities, privately owned vehicles should be banned in city centers while others consider this to be an unrealistic solution.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

A poor infrastructure hinders under-developed countries from progress and modernising. Some people think that this should be the first problem tackled by foreign aid.

To what extent do you agree with this opinion?

 

One way to solve the problem of congestion in cities is to build sky trains which run overhead rather than on or under the ground.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using this solution to solve congestion?

 

Work, Jobs and Employment Topic Questions for IELTS Writing Task 2

Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

First impressions are important. Some people think that doing well in interviews is the key to securing the position.

To what extent do you agree?

 

Finding job satisfaction  is considered to be a luxury in many developing countries.

Why do you think that is?

Do you think job satisfaction is important?

 

Many people think that job satisfaction is important in work.

Do you think young people these days should be sure of getting job satisfaction before taking a job or should they put salary first?

 

Famous actors and some professional sports people can command a very high salary. Some people think that this is fair because salaries should be based on people’s gifts and talents. Others, however, believe that a person’s salary should be based on their contribution to society.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

 

Many children are encouraged by their parents to get a part time job in their free time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to children of doing so?

 

In many developing countries, there is an increasing movement of workers from rural areas into the cities.

Why do you think this happens?

What problems can this cause?

 

In some developing countries, it is difficult to get good teachers to work in rural areas which can have a negative impact on the education of children in those rural communities.

Why do you think good teachers do not want to work in rural areas in developing countries?

What could be done to solve this problem?

 

Having a good university degree guarantees people a good job.

To what extent do you agree?

 

The number of people working online from home has grown in some countries.

What advantages and disadvantages can come of this trend?

 

Some people with a good education and experience in their field decide to move abroad to work.

Why do you think that is?

What problems does this cause?

 

Paying all workers the same salary in a company promotes harmony and respect amongst colleagues.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

Getting promotion is one of the biggest drives for people to apply themselves and work hard in the modern work place.

Why do you think people are so driven to get promotion?

What other factors influence people to work hard?

 

Bringing in foreign workers to fill positions that domestic workers are unwilling to do can cause problems in the local community and should therefore be stopped.

Do what extent do you agree with this?

 

Some people think that employers should ensure a supportive and pleasant work environment where each employee is respected and valued equally while others think employers should focus instead on providing better facilities and equipment.

What is your opinion?

 

Some people think that people should choose their job based on income in order to provide security for their family.

Do you think money is an important factor when choosing a job?

What other factors should be considered?

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Question: What makes a good painting?

Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty frequently tested question… So we are sharing some Ideas, vocabularies & a model answer you can study, if you ever encounter this question.

Ideas and Vocabulary

  • the composition of all the parts
  • the painter has a good eye (to know when something is good)
  • perspective and symmetry (sizing and balance of all parts)
  • using a particular style or an unusual technique (skill)
  • the subject (person / landscape / animal etc)
  • the balance of colours and contrasts
  • to bring about an emotional response – it touches people
  • to evoke a memory or idea
  • impact – something you can’t take your eye off
  • historical background or relevance

Model Answer

From my perspective, I suppose a good painting is one you can’t take your eye’s off, and from my perspective, it’s either due to the colours and images or because of the emotional reaction I might have to the painting. This is largely due to the fact that I tend to like things I personally appreciate or enjoy. But of course, I also know that for other people, they think a good painting is usually because of the skill involved in painting it or because of the unique creativity of the artist. So all in all, I guess that a good painting means something different to everybody.

IELTS Speaking: Students’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are answers to some of the most frequent questions students ask us in relation to IELTS speaking. They will provide you useful tips and information about IELTS speaking. Happy studying 🙂

  1. How many parts are there to the IELTS speaking test?
    There are 3 parts. There is an interview, a talk and a discussion with the examiner.
  2. How long does the speaking test take?
    It takes a total of 11 to 14 minutes. Part 1 is 4-5 mins, part 2 is 3-4 mins and part 3 is 4-5 mins.
  3. Is the speaking test face to face with an examiner or by computer?
    Your speaking test will be face to face with an IELTS examiner. There is no option to do your IELTS test by computer.
  4. How will the speaking test be marked?
    You will be marked on fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Each one accounts for 25% of your marks.
  5. What kinds of topics will be asked in the speaking test?
    There are many different topics for each part of the speaking test. 
  6. How many questions will I be asked?
    You will be asked 12 questions in part 1 (these are based on 3 different topics) and in part 3, you will be asked 5 or more questions – it depends on the length of your answers. Try to aim for long, detailed answers in part 3.
  7. Why do I need to expand my answers in my speaking test?
    To get band score 6 and above for the criterion of fluency, you must show the examiner that you are willing to speak at length. This means you are happy to give longer answers.
  8. Do I need to talk for 2 minutes in part 2?
    In part 2, you must talk for between 1 and 2 minutes. I recommended you aim for between 1.5 to 2 mins which will show a good level of fluency and the ability to speak at length. However, if you are not a confident speaker, don’t try to push it too far and just aim for slightly over 1 minute.
  9. What happens if I continue talking past 2 mins in speaking part 2?
    The examiner will control the time very strictly in your test. The examiner will stop you when you reach 2 minutes and then he/she will move on to part 3.
  10. Can I choose my topic to talk about in part 2?
    No, the examiner will give you a topic card which contains a list of prompts.
  11. Can I ask the examiner to change the topic is part 2 if I can’t talk about it?
    No, you can’t change the topic. You must try to talk on the topic you are given.
  12. Do I need to follow the prompts on the cue card in speaking part 2?
    No, you don’t have to, it’s not compulsory. However, I recommend that you do follow the prompts because they offer a good structure for your talk. This is part of the criterion of fluency.
  13. What’s the difference between part 1 and part 3 in the IELTS speaking test?
    Part 1 is like an interview. The examiner will ask you short answer questions on common topics relating to your life or your country. In part 3, it is more similar to a discussion. The examiner will ask you about world issues or broader, more complex questions. In part 3, your answers should be longer and more detailed.
  14. Should I give examples in my answers?
    Yes, it is very useful to do that, particularly in part 3 when you need to give longer, more detailed answers.
  15. What can I do if I don’t understand the question?
    In speaking part 1, you can ask the examiner to repeat the question but the examiner can’t explain it or help you. In part 2, the examiner will give you a topic and you can’t change it. In part 3, you can ask the examiner to explain the question, just say ” I’m sorry could you explain that, please?
  16. Will I get a lower score if I ask the examiner to repeat the question?
    No, it will not affect your score. However, only do this two or three times and no more.
  17. What can I do if I don’t have any ideas for the answer in part 3?
    It sometimes happens that you are asked a question for which you have no ideas. Here’s a typical example “How do you think space exploration benefits mankind?” If you get a question but you have no ideas for the answer, you can say “To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it before. I guess there are benefits to space exploration but I can’t say what they are.” This answer is still good. You are still using a range of good language.
  18. Does it matter if I have an accent when I talk?
    No, as long as the examiner can understand clearly. If your accent prevents the examiner from understanding you, it will lower your score drastically.
  19. Why did the examiner interrupt my answer?
     It is possible for the examiner to interrupt your answer and not let you finish. There are three main reasons why this might happen. Firstly, there is a time limit and the examiner must move on to the next question. Secondly, the examiner is satisfied with the language in your answer and wants to move quickly to a new question which tests another part of your English. Thirdly, your answer has gone off topic and the examiner wants to start a new question. So, if the examiner interrupts your answer, don’t worry about it. Just focus on the next question and answer confidently.
  20. Can I ask the examiner for his or her opinion?
    No, this is a language test, the examiner wants to hear your English and your opinions.
  21. Where can I get a practice speaking test from?
    Check out this page if you would like to practice speaking with an experienced IELTS teacher.
  22. Should I correct my mistakes when I’m speaking in the test?
    It is ok to correct some mistakes but make sure it doesn’t affect your fluency. Every time you stop speaking to correct a mistake, it will affect your fluency score.
  23. How should I greet the examiner?
    When you walk into the speaking exam room, the examiner will greeting and do an ID check. Follow this link to learn all about the questions for the ID check and how to greet the examiner.
  24. What should I wear for my speaking test?
    You can wear whatever you want. This is not a formal interview, it is only a speaking test. Wear clothes that you are most comfortable in.
  25. What happens if my answer includes the answer to the next question on the examiner’s list?
    The examiner has quite a long list of possible questions and they choose which questions to ask and which not to ask. So if you answer includes the answer to the next question on the examiner’s list, he or she will skip that question and move on to the question after that. So never worry about adding extra information to your answer – it won’t affect the next question.
  26. Can I use body language in my speaking test?
    The examiner is only interested in hearing your English language. It is your choice if you want to use body language or not. Most people find it natural to use body language while talking so feel free to use it. It is important that you are relaxed and talk naturally during your test.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Should I write my opinion?

Should I give my opinion in an IELTS writing task 2 essay? This is a common question that many students ask us. To know whether you should put your opinion in your essay or not, you should read the instructions given by IELTS very carefully for each task. This is because some of the questions will clearly ask you to provide your view, while others will obviously tell you not to. You need to read them and follow them. Below are some tips to help you understand:

  • read the instructions, follow them and answer the question
  • don’t put your opinion unless you are asked to give it
  • if the question asks what you think, you MUST give your opinion to get a good score

Here are examples of instructions that require you to give your opinion:

  • “….do you agree?” – it means you should give your opinion
  • “…do you think…?” –  it means you should give your opinion
  • “… your opinion…? –  it means you should give your opinion
  • “…what is your view?” – it means you should give your opinion
  • “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” – this is asking for your opinion (your answer) not the opinions of other people

 

Below are some IELTS essay questions. Decide if you think you should give your opinion or not. Then check the answer.

Some people think that rich countries should support poor countries in terms of aid for health care and education. To what extend do you agree?

Answer

Yes, this task requires your opinion.

 

While some people think that the problem with education in poor countries is the teaching methodology used, others believe it is the lack of resources that is the real issue. Discuss both sides.

Answer

No, this task does not ask for your opinion. You are only required to discuss the two sides impartially.

 

With the development of modern transportation comes environmental problems. What possible solutions are there to these problems?

Answer

No, this task does not ask for your opinion. You are only required to offer possible solutions.

 

Some people believe that schools should not assess a student’s ability through exams but instead assess them by their course work and project work over the whole academic year. Do you agree?

Answer

Yes, this task requires you to give your opinion.

 

Having a year off before starting universities is becoming increasingly common. Do you think this is a positive or negative trend?

Answer

Yes, this task requires your opinion.

 

Many children no longer read books and instead spend their time using modern technology. While some people think this is a positive trend, others think it is a problem. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Answer

Yes, this task requires your opinion. You will need to discuss both sides impartially and also give your opinion.

 

Due to the low cost of flights, many people are choosing to holiday abroad rather than have holidays in their own country. What are the advantages and disadvantages to this?

Answer

No, this task does not ask for your opinion. You only need to state the advantages and the disadvantages.

 

IELTS Writing: Start Using Linking Words & Phrases NOW (connectors)

The linking words we have provided below are essential in IELTS task 2 writings for you to achieve higher bands. The examiner expects to see a range of linking words in your essay to award you a high band for the criterion of Coherence and Cohesion, which is 25% of your marks. You will be checked on your range, accuracy and your flexibility of linking words in IELTS writing task 2. These linking words are suitable for all types of essay writing as well as GT IELTS writing task 2

Listing

This is often used to either put your paragraphs in order or used inside the paragraph to list your supporting points.

  • firstly
  • secondly
  • thirdly
  • fourthly
  • lastly /last but not least / finally

Adding Information

You will need to support your main points in your IELTS essay. These linkers inform the read that extra information is about to be presented.

  • in addition
  • additionally
  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • also
  • not only … but also
  • as well as
  • and

Giving Examples

It is often useful to give examples to support your ideas in IELTS writing task 2. Make sure you use this range of linking words to do so.

  • for example
  • one clear example is
  • for instance
  • such as
  • namely
  • to illustrate
  • in other words

Results and Consequences

These linking devices can be used for solution essays or any essay when you need to explain the consequences of something.

  • as a result
  • consequently
  • therefore
  • thus
  • hence
  • so
  • for this reason

Highlighting and Stressing

It is important to be clear about what you mean in your essay. These linking words help you stress particular points.

  • particularly
  • in particular
  • specifically
  • especially
  • obviously
  • of course
  • clearly

Concessions and Contrasts

You often need to give opposite ideas, particularly for discussion essays so the linking words below will help you show the reader when you want to introduce an opposite point. Also you might want to give exceptions to a rule for a concession.

  • admittedly
  • however
  • nevertheless
  • even though
  • although
  • but
  • despite
  • in spite of
  • still
  • on the other hand
  • by contrast
  • in comparison
  • alternatively
  • another option could be

Reasons and Causes

These connecting words will help you explain reasons and causes for something which is very common in IELTS writing task 2, especially for cause / solution essays.

  • because
  • owing to
  • due to
  • since
  • as

Giving your Opinion

  • in my opinion
  • I think
  • I believe
  • I admit
  • in my view
  • I concur / agree
  • I disagree / I cannot accept

Concluding Linkers

  • in conclusion
  • to conclude
  • to sum up

Now have a Practice with Linking Words:

Now try improve your use of linking words by fill in the gaps below with linking words from the above list.

  • There are a number of drawbacks to people using Facebook as a way of communicating (1)………………… it is (2)…………….. one of the most common social networking platforms for both individuals and businesses.
  • (3)……………………….. the lack of exercise taken by average people, obesity and other weight related problems are on the rise.
  • Unemployment and poverty, (4) ………….. in urban areas, is often deemed to be the cause of rising crime rate.
  • (5) ……….. the rise in urban crime, more and more people continue to move to cities looking for a better life.
  • More children are becoming obese and (6)…………….. schools should be encouraged to provide more sports lessons and outdoor activities.

Answers

  1. even though
  2. admittedly
  3. Due to / Owing to ( you can’t have “because of” because it is at the beginning of a sentence)
  4. particularly / especially / specifically
  5. despite
  6. therefore / so / for this reason