IELTS Vocabulary: Schools and Education Institutions

Educational Institutions

  • kindergarten = pre-school education
  • primary school
  • secondary school
  • college = further education
  • higher education = university education = tertiary education
  • post-graduate school = university for students studying beyond degree level

School Subjects

  • maths
  • language
  • literature
  • science
    • physics
    • biology
    • chemistry
    • natural science
  • geography
  • religious studies
  • history
  • information technology (IT)
  • physical education (PE)
  • cookery = domestic / food science
  • handicrafts
  • art
  • music


Vocabulary Exercises: School Subjects

  1. One of the reasons that I didn’t like ……………… was because of the lab work which sometimes involved dissection.
  2. I’ve always enjoyed learning about how chemicals react with one another so I decided to choose …………. as one of my main subjects.
  3. When I was a child, we practiced ………………… three times a week which was fine in summer but was freezing during the winter when you have to football or hockey outside.
  4. My teacher encouraged us to take part in ……………………… in order to develop skills beyond what is taught in scheduled lessons.
  5. I used to find complicated calculations difficult as well as algebra but when we got a new ………… teacher, it all become much easier to understand.
  6. One of my favourite subjects was …………………… because you had a chance to get out of the classroom and learn more about the environment.
  7. Teachers were really strict on ……………… in exams. The exam invigilators won’t even let you have your bag in the exam room.
  8. Poetry should be taught more in ………………. lessons in order to help students develop a deeper understanding of their language and culture.
  9. I always loved studying maps. We spent a lot of time in our ……………. lessons tracing the borders of countries and learn the capital cities of different countries.
  10. My worst subject at school was …………… because I was completely tone deaf.


  1. biology
  2. chemistry
  3. physical education
  4. extra curricular activities
  5. math’s
  6. natural science
  7. cheating
  8. literature
  9. geography
  10. music


Useful Language & Collocations

  • lab work = laboratory experiments
  • dissection = cutting up animals for scientific research
  • scheduled lessons = lessons which are planned and written into a school curriculum
  • algebra = formulas and equations in mathematics
  • to give out or assign homework / to do or complete homework
  • to complete high school / to graduate high school
  • to do, to participate or to take part in school activities or sport
  • tracing = copying, outlining in pencil
  • tone deaf = without an ear for music = unable to appreciate or hear different music and notes

Types of Schools – Same-Sex & Co-Ed Schools

Watch this video to learn the advantages or single-sex schools and the plus points of mixed schools. This video contains ideas and vocabulary to help you express your ideas clearly.


University Vocabulary

University Courses

  • BA / BSc = Bachelor of Arts Degree / Bachelor of Science Degree
  • MA / MSc = Masters of Arts / Masters of Science
  • PhD = Doctorate

Other Courses

  • Certificate = a lower level qualification often offered at colleges rather than universites. This is also the word used the for documentation received for completing any type of course or degree (she received her certificate for her BA degree).
  • Diploma
  • Online Course
  • Distance Learning Course
  • Vocational course = a course which teaches you skills for a specific job, for example engineering.
  • Non-vocational course = a course which is not related to a job but to a general subject instead, such as Biology.

Useful Verbs & Nouns for University

  • to graduate from a university = complete a degree course / to finish university
  • to enroll on a degree course = put your name down for a degree course
  • to major in physics = to choose physics as your main subject at university
  • to attend a lecture = to go to listen to a speaker at university often with a large audience in a lecture theatre
  • to attend a tutorial = to go to a meeting with a professor usually in small group held in his/her office
  • deliver a lecture = to give a talk or presentation
  • to lecture in media studies = to talk about media studies or to teach media studies at university
  • the faculty of business = a department specialising in business at university
  • to read history = to study history
  • to do or complete coursework = doing project work or assignments as part of your course
  • undergraduate (n) = someone currently doing their first degree
  • graduate (n)  = someone who has completed a degree course
  • note-taking = being able to take notes in a lecture while the lecturer is talking
  • keeping up with the work load = being able to maintain the level of studying required
  • fall behind with studies = fail to keep pace with the school / university work

University Work

  • presentations
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • thesis
  • dissertation
  • hypothesis
  • assignment
  • project work
  • research

Vocabulary Exercises: Universities

Complete the following sentences are university education using no more than one word.

  1. People who have ……….. from university stand a better chance of finding a good job.
  2. I hope to enroll ………. a degree in law next year in the UK.
  3. There is a lot of competition to get a ……………….. but without it I won’t be able to afford the universities fees.
  4. One of the keys to successful  ……………. is knowing where to look for information and how to judge which information is most current and relevant. Knowing the best sources of materials is essential.


  1. graduated
  2. on / in
  3. scholarship
  4. research


Other Useful Vocabulary for Education

  • literate = to be able to read and write
  • illiterate = unable to read and write
  • the literacy rate = the percentage of people in a country or region able to read and write
  • comprehensive education = a well-rounded, broad education covering a variety of subjects
  • scholarship = an award of either free or supported education for high achievers
  • student loan = money taken by a student to pay for their education which they must pay back after graduating
  • pay off a student loan = to repay money borrowed for university education
  • intensive course = a course which runs over a short period of time but contains a lot of information and training
  • play truant / truancy = not attending school / being absent from school without permission
  • gap year = to take a year out between high school and university

Vocabulary Exercises: Useful Education Vocabulary

Complete the sentences using no more than two words.

  1. The rate of …………… is higher in developed countries than in under developed countries.
  2. Schools should offer a ………………… which includes subjects relating to all minority groups.
  3. The rise in university fees has led to a large proportion of students taking out ………………… which can often be difficult to pay back.
  4. Students who take a …………… often find it difficult to get back into their studies again.
  5. Rather than the government offering free university education for all people, they should, instead, ensure that a certain number of gifted individuals receive a ……………….


  1. literacy
  2. comprehensive education
  3. student loans
  4. gap year
  5. scholarship

IELTS Vocabulary: Clothes and Fashion

Clothes & Fashion is another common topic in IELTS speaking & writing. Have a go organising the following vocabulary into three different categories: Casual / Formal / Suitable for both Formal or Casual.

You will see that the vocabulary below includes both clothing and accessories (bags etc).

  • tie
  • suit
  • shorts
  • t-shirt
  • trousers
  • suitcase
  • dress
  • flipflops
  • shoes
  • jacket
  • waistcoat
  • backpack
  • briefcase
  • pajamas
  • coat


Casual Clothes

  • shorts
  • t-shirt
  • flipflops
  • backpack
  • pajamas

Formal Clothes

  • tie
  • suit
  • waistcoat
  • briefcase

Either Casual or Formal

  • trousers
  • dress
  • shoes
  • jacket
  • coat
  • suitcase

IELTS Vocabulary: Crime and Punishment

We have divided the below crimes into categories which are considered serious and those that are not.

Major Crimes

The list of crimes below are all nouns.

  • abduction = taking someone against their will (kidnapping)
  • arson = setting fire to a property
  • assault = a physical attack
  • burglary = illegal entry to a building with an intent to commit a crime
  • child abuse = maltreatment of a child
  • drug trafficking = importing illegal drugs
  • false imprisonment = imprisoning a person against their will
  • fraud = deception for personal or financial gain
  • hacking = unauthorised access to data in a computer system
  • hijacking = illegally getting control of an aircraft or vehicle
  • human trafficking =
  • murder (homicide USA)
    • premeditated murder = murder that is intentional (planned before hand)
    • unpremeditated murder – murder that is not intentional (not planned)
    • manslaughter – unintentional murder (synonym for unpremeditated murder)
    • attempted murder = planning to kill another person
    • patricide = killing one’s own father
    • genocide = systematic killing of a race or religious group
    • euthanasia = killing someone for their benefit
  • organised crime = crime by an organised gang or organisation
  • smuggling = illegal import or export
  • terrorism = unlawful violence or threat with political aims
  • white collar crime = financially motivated non-violent crime by a worker


Minor Crimes / Offences

  • pick pocketing = taking from another person’s pockets
  • shoplifting = taking products from a shop without paying for them
  • traffic offences =breaking the rules of the road and driving
    • drunk driving = drinking whilst under the influence of alcohol
    • jay walking = crossing the road at an designated spot
    • running a red light = going through traffic lights when they are red
    • speeding = driving over the speed limit
  • vandalism = deliberate destruction or damage to a building


Vocabulary to categoriese Criminals

This list shows the person relating to the crime (the perpetrator of the crime).

  • crime = criminal
  • murder = murderer
  • theft = thief
  • trafficking = trafficker
  • hijacking = hijacker
  • terrorism = terrorist
  • smuggling = smuggler
  • shoplifting = shoplifter
  • vandalism = vandal
  • teenage criminal/ juvenile delinquent


Types of Punishment Vocabulary

  • the death penalty (capital punishment) = punishment of death
  • a prison sentence (imprisonment) = imprisonment
    • life in prison
    • 10 years
    • 6 months
  • a suspended sentence = delaying of a sentence
  • forfeiture = property is taken away (confiscated)
  • hospital order = to confine someone to hospital under arrest
  • a fine = to pay money as a punishment for an offence
  • house arrest = imprisoned in one’s own house rather than in prison
  • to suspend a license = with holding a person’s right to use their driving license for a period of time
  • to revoke a license = to take away someone’s driving license
  • non-custodial sentence = a sentence which is not done in prison
    • community service = punishment by doing community work

Other Types of Punishment

This refers to punishment commonly used by schools and parents.

  • detention = to stay in school after hours for punishment
  • to give lines = punishment where a child must write the same sentence again and again
  • isolation = to be kept apart from others as a punishment
  • grounding = to be unable to go outside home as a punishment
  • scolding = an angry reprimand
  • corporal punishment = physical punishment from a teacher or headteacher at school


Court Language

  • judge = the person who controls the court proceedings
  • jury = a group of independent people who decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty
  • justice = fairness or court law
  • trial = legal proceedings to judge whether someone is guilty of a crime
  • court = the place where the trial is held
  • defendant = the accused person: the individual or group being accused in court of a crime
  • prosecutor = the lawyer against the accused person
  • defense = the lawyer protecting the accused person
  • witness = a person who sees an event happen
  • evidence = facts or information supporting the truth
  • proof = evidence supporting a claim
  • hearsay = rumour / unsubstantiated information
  • guilty = not innocent as judged by a court of law
  • innocent = found not guilty of a crime
  • to be found guilty = the court decided that the person did commit the crime
  • conviction / verdict = formal sentence of a court
  • circumstances of the crime = a condition or situation relating to a crime
  • extenuating circumstances = a condition that makes the crime or mistake less serious and more understandable
  • take into consideration = should be thought about carefully
  • circumstantial evidence = something that connects a person indirectly to the crime (for example, a finger print at a crime scene but no actual hard evidence or witness)
  • maximum / minimum sentence = highest penalty / lowest penalty
  • a harsh punishment = hard, strict penalty
  • penalty / punishment are synonyms but penalty is often used for both minor offences and major crimes.


Other Useful Crime & Punishment Vocabulary

  • crime is prevalent = there is a lot of crime
  • armed police = police who carry guns
  • to deter (n = deterrent) = to put someone off from doing something
  • discrimination = unjust treatment
  • to be soft on crime = not to have harsh or strict punishments
  • repeat offender = a person who has committed a crime or offence more than once
  • serial criminals = criminals who repeatedly commit the same crime
  • diminished responsibility = when someone is not in a state to be considered responsible for their own actions
  • rehabilitation = to restore someone through education or therapy
  • reintegrate back into society = help someone return into society
  • peer pressure = pressure from friends or colleagues
  • role models = people whose behaviour should be copied and respected
  • mimicking violent behaviour = to copy aggressive actions


Now have a Practice with Crime Vocabulary

Complete the sentences using one or more words either from the above lists or from other vocabulary relating to this topic. The sentence must be grammatically correct once you have added the right word(s).

  1. The ………………. is the strongest deterrent against crime.
  2. The number of ……………….. is on the rise due to the impact of peer pressure at school and violent movies shown on TV. Teenagers are prone to ……………. aggressive behaviour.
  3. All people accused of a crime should be given a fair ……………. in a ………… of law.
  4. People who are convicted a murder from only ………………………. evidence should not receive the death penalty.
  5. The motives of a crime should always be taking into consideration. For example. there is a significant difference in the character of a person who commits ……………… murder and one who commits accidental murder.
  6. A ………….. sentence is more humane than capital punishment.
  7. Punishment should be the last resort. Instead criminals should be  …………………….
  8. People who commit ……….. crimes, such as traffic offences, should have their ……………….. revoked.
  9. Famous people, such as movie stars, should set a good ………… and ensure that they are good …………….. for young people to follow.
  10. …………… and the right to a fair ……………. should be the right of all citizens.
  11. Parents who inflict ……………… punishment on their children are showing children that …………….. is an acceptable way to deal with problems.
  12. Prison does not rehabilitate criminals, it only …………. them from society.   …………….. service and rehabilitation is a better way to avoid criminals becoming ………………….


  1. death penalty (the answer can’t be “capital punishment” because it doesn’t use the article “the”)
  2. juvenile delinquents / mimic
  3. trial / court
  4. circumstantial
  5. premeditated
  6. life
  7. rehabilitated
  8. minor / licenses
  9. example / role models
  10. Justice / trial
  11. corporal / violence
  12. removes / Community / repeat offenders

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.


  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 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?


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.


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?


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?


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?


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.


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?


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


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.


  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

IELTS Writing Task 2: How many paragraphs should I write for an IELTS essay?

Here is a very common question. As a matter of fact, it is so common, we can comfortably tell you that almost 90% of our students have asked us this: How many paragraphs should I write during my IELTS Written Exam?

How many paragraphs?

The recommended number of paragraphs for an IELTS essay is 4 or 5. You must have an introduction and you must have a conclusion. You can have either two or three body paragraphs. From our perspective, having two body paragraphs is sufficient, unless you are really specific about a particular point during each paragraph.

Do I need to divide my essay body into paragraphs?

Yes, definitely. You are being assessed on your ability to separate ideas into different body paragraphs. to get band score 7 in coherence and cohesion (25% of your marks), you must have a central idea in each body paragraph without repetition.

Can I have 4 or 5 body paragraphs?

This certainly is not advisable. To achieve a high band in IELTS writing task 2, you must develop and extend your main points. This means that each body paragraph must contain enough supporting points. So, having 4 or 5 body paragraphs will limit your ability to develop your ideas (are you sure you are able to write that many concrete points anyway?).

Is it better to have 2 or 3 body paragraphs?

Both are fine. Either 2 or 3 body paragraphs is enough to develop ideas and show your ability to organise paragraphs. Your choice should depend on the essay question and on your main points. Take a look at my model essays (link below) to see how I use my paragraphs.

Happy writing 🙂

IELTS Writing Task 2: Top 20 Topics

Below is a list of the 20 most common IELTS essay topics that appear in writing task 2 with subtopics.  Although the essay questions change, the subject of the essays often remains the same. Each topic is divided into subtopics which you should prepare.

You should practice developing ideas for all common essay topics used by IELTS so that you can write your essay within the given time limit.

For a comprehensive list of IELTS Writing Task 2 topics, please click here

Common IELTS Task 2 Exam Topics with Subtopics

  • Art
    • censorship of art and artists
    • creativity
    • art at school
    • the benefits of art for individuals and society
    • funding
  • Business & Money
    • small vs large business
    • international business
    • family run business
    • management and leadership
    • success in business
    • business and technology
    • skills vs knowledge for business
    • materialism and consumerism
  • Communication & Personality
    • technology and communication
    • family and communication
    • face to face vs long distance communication
    • types of communication
    • the develop of character and personality
    • innate or developed personalities
    • female / male characters
  • Crime & Punishment
    • prisons vs rehabilitation
    • capital punishment vs other types of punishment
    • criminals – what makes a criminal
    • major vs minor crime
    • crime and technology
    • teenagers and crime
    • role of policemen
    • men and women in lay enforcement
  • Economics 
    • cash vs credit cards
    • saving vs spending
    • globalisation and economy
    • world economic issues
    • economic progress and success
  • Education
    • children and education
    • relevant subjects
    • education and technology
    • role of teachers
    • discipline and rules in school
    • single-sex schools
    • uniforms
    • funding
    • educational aid to poorer countries
  • Environment
    • animals
    • protection of endangered species
    • zoos
    • environmental problems
    • saving the environment & solving problems
    • government vs individual roles
  • Family & Children
    • family roles
    • family size
    • the generation gap
    • discipline
    • role models
    • family and education
  • Food
    • health diets
    • education of diet
    • traditional vs modern diets
    • fast food
    • children and diet
  • Health
    • prevention vs cure
    • funding
    • health and education
    • poor countries and rich countries
    • health aid
    • dealing with global epidemics
    • hospitals and treatment
    • obesity
    • exercise and health
  • Language
    • having only one language in the world
    • methods of language learning
    • travel and language
    • the disappearance of languages
    • language and culture
  • Media & Advertising
    • censorship, control and freedom of speech
    • advertising methods
    • children and advertising
    • media and technology
    • news & reporting
  • Other Common Essay Topics
    • Space Exploration
    • Water and Oceans
    • Change or Moving vs Stability and Constancy
  • Reading
    • paper books vs ebooks
    • children and reading
    • books in education
    • libraries
    • reading and leisure
  • Technology
    • controlling the internet
    • socialising online
    • children and technology (safety)
    • the change in society
    • letter vs email
    • storing data
    • safety of personal information
    • hacking
  • Transport
    • development of infrastructre
    • comparing forms of transport
    • problems with modern forms of transport
    • environmental issues
  • Travel
    • culture and travel
    • understanding people and travel
    • living in a global world
  • Society
    • overpopulation
    • poverty
    • homeless people
    • crime on the streets
    • modern life styles
    • budget spending
    • public services
  • Sport
    • professionals vs amatuers
    • salary
    • equipment
    • sport and learning
    • sport as a school subject
    •  men vs women in sport
    • types of sport
  • Work
    • shift work
    • women in work
    • types of jobs (blue collar / white collar)
    • children and expliotation
    • part time work
    • work and technology
    • employment
    • salary
    • equality