IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Gym/Exercise (General Training)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Gym/Exercise (General Training)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample answer about going to the gym/exercise/the best way to stay fit from the general training test.

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more!

Learn more about my online courses here.

General training and academic IELTS are almost identical for writing task 2. The types of questions are the same. The structure is the same. All the tips are the same.

The only difference is in the topics. Academic IELTS has more formal, academic topics and general training has more conversational, everyday life topics.

But the topics aren’t vastly different and most students would score the same with a general training or academic IELTS essay.

IELTS General Training – Gym/Exercise

This question is straightforward and simple but there are a couple of areas to be careful about.

Many feel that going to the gym is the best way to stay fit. Others think there are more effective methods.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real past IELTS tests (General Training)

The only areas that students might mess up on this are:

Firstly, you must discuss both views. One paragraph about why going to the gym is a good way to stay fit. Another paragraph about a better way to stay fit. Simple – both views!

Secondly, you must give and overall opinion. You can’t sit in the middle and say that both methods are effective.

Choose one method that is overall most effective.

Finally, many students will try to list a number of different ways to stay fit. Don’t do this because it is harder to fully develop your main ideas.

Stick to 1 or maximum 2 main ideas per paragraph.

Read on to see how I handled it!

You can also read some of my other sample answers here.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Gym/Exercise (General Training)

Many feel that going to the gym is the best way to stay fit. Others think there are more effective methods.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real past IELTS tests (General Training)

A lot of people feel the best way to stay in shape is to regularly go to the gym while others think there are more effective methods. Although I would readily admit that the health benefits of gyms are self-evident, the best way to stay fit over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

Those who swear by gyms often point out the bulk of research on the benefits of working out. People going to the gym can broadly be divided into those doing cardivascular exercise and weight-lifting (or partaking in both). Cardio workouts have been proven in various studies to increase circulation, strengthen the heart muscles and reduce risks of heart disease later in life. Weight-lifting is also a scientifically supported method of combating bone density deterioration, especially important for women, and improving muscular health. No reasonable person would doubt both the vast anecdotal and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

Despite the aforementioned advantages, it is far more motivating to take part in an organised activity. Signing up for a gym membership is a notoriously fickle commitment. Most people go for a few months and give up, never to return again. Contrast that with participation in sports and other activities. Someone who picks up tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a large portion of their life, possibly deep into old age. Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become lifelong habits and therefore have a greater overall impact on fitness levels.

To conclude, going to the gym has indisputable benefits but it is not motivating enough to become habitual for most gym-goers. Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to experiment with a wide range of activities in the hopes that they can develop a lifelong passion for one of them.

Word Count: 307

Analysis

1. A lot of people feel the best way to stay in shape is to regularly go to the gym while others think there are more effective methods. 2. Although I would readily admit that the health benefits of gyms are self-evident, the best way to stay fit over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

  1. This is the first sentence of the essay and should simply and quickly paraphrase the overall topic.
  2. The second sentence of your introduction should include your overall opinion. You don’t have to include your main ideas (I do), but it can help your cohesion & coherence score a bit.

1. Those who swear by gyms often point out the bulk of research on the benefits of working out. 2. People going to the gym can broadly be divided into those doing cardiovascular exercise and weight-lifting (or partaking in both). 3. Cardio workouts have been proven in various studies to increase circulation, strengthen the heart muscles and reduce risks of heart disease later in life. 4. Weight-lifting is also a scientifically supported method of combating bone density deterioration, especially important for women, and improving muscular health. 5. No reasonable person would doubt both the vast anecdotal and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that contains the topic (going to the gym) and my main idea (clear health benefits). Stick to one main idea so that you can support it fully.
  2. The next sentence explains my main idea by detailing the two main groups of people who exercise at gyms.
  3. My third sentence further develops this idea with specific detail. You paragraphs are all about developing your main idea.
  4. The fourth sentence also develops my main idea by focusing on weight-lifting.
  5. The last sentence summarises my paragraph and it is not as important as the other sentences.

1. Despite the aforementioned advantages, it is far more motivating to take part in an organised activity. 2. Signing up for a gym membership is a notoriously fickle commitment. 3. Most people go for a few months and give up, never to return again. 4. Contrast that with participation in sports and other activities. 5. Someone who picks up tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a large portion of their life, possibly deep into old age. 6. Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become lifelong habits and therefore have a greater overall impact on fitness levels.

  1. The first sentence here is also a topic sentence – again, focus on one simple main idea!
  2. My second sentence begins a counter-example.
  3. The third sentence finishes developing my counter-example and sets up the next example.
  4. My fourth sentence transitions to my main idea again.
  5. The fifth sentence develops my main idea with a specific example.
  6. My last sentence also develops my main idea. Develop as much as possible!

1. To conclude, going to the gym has indisputable benefits but it is not motivating enough to become habitual for most gym-goers. 2. Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to experiment with a wide range of activities in the hopes that they can develop a lifelong passion for one of them.

  1. The first part of my conclusion summarises my overall opinion and the main reason for it.
  2. My last sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners will require for band 7+ for task achievement.

Vocabulary

Read the vocabulary and bold and try to think of a synonym/definition for each term.

A lot of people feel the best way to stay in shape is to regularly go to the gym while others think there are more effective methods. Although I would readily admit that the health benefits of gyms are self-evident, the best way to stay fit over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

Those who swear by gyms often point out the bulk of research on the benefits of working out. People going to the gym can broadly be divided into those doing cardiovascular exercise and weight-lifting (or partaking in both). Cardio workouts have been proven in various studies to increase circulation, strengthen the heart muscles and reduce risks of heart disease later in life. Weight-lifting is also a scientifically supported method of combating bone density deterioration, especially important for women, and improving muscular health. No reasonable person would doubt both the vast anecdotal and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

Despite the aforementioned advantages, it is far more motivating to take part in an organised activity. Signing up for a gym membership is a notoriously fickle commitment. Most people go for a few months and give up, never to return again. Contrast that with participation in sports and other activities. Someone who picks up tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a large portion of their life, possibly deep into old age. Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become lifelong habits and therefore have a greater overall impact on fitness levels.

To conclude, going to the gym has indisputable benefits but it is not motivating enough to become habitual for most gym-goers. Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to experiment with a wide range of activities in the hopes that they can develop a lifelong passion for one of them.

Answers

stay in shape: keep fit

regularly: usually

effective methods: good way to

readily admit: freely concede

self-evident: obvious

stay fit: be in good shape

swear by: are devoted to/believe in

point out: argue

bulk of research: most of the research

broadly: generally

divided into: split into

cardiovascular: related to the heart

weight-lifting: using weights to build muscle

partaking: take part in

cardio: short for cardivascular exercise

increase circulation: more efficiently pump blood through your body

strengthen: make stronger

reduce risks: less potential danger

heart disease: heart related illnesses

scientifically supported method: proven to be effective by science

bone density deterioration: losing bone mass

reasonable person: normal person

doubt: question

vast anecdotal: lots of personal accounts

aforementioned: mentioned before

signing up: joining

notoriously fickle commitment: famously lacking staying power

give up: quit

contrast that with: compare that with

picks up: starts to do

large portion: lots of

deep into old age: when you’re very old

lifelong habits: routines you do your whole life

greater overall impact: more effect

indisputable: unquestionable

gym-goers: people who go to the gym

experiment: try

in the hopes: wanting/hoping to

lifelong passion: interested in your whole life

Pronunciation

steɪ ɪn ʃeɪp 
ˈrɛgjʊləli 
ɪˈfɛktɪv ˈmɛθədz
ˈrɛdɪli ədˈmɪt 
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdənt
steɪ fɪt 
sweə baɪ 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
bʌlk ɒv rɪˈsɜːʧ 
ˈbrɔːdli
dɪˈvaɪdɪd ˈɪntuː 
ˌkɑːdɪəʊˈvæskjʊlə 
weɪt-ˈlɪftɪŋ 
pɑːˈteɪkɪŋ 
ˈkɑːdɪəʊ 
ˈɪnkriːs ˌsɜːkjʊˈleɪʃən 
ˈstrɛŋθən 
rɪˈdjuːs rɪsks 
hɑːt dɪˈziːz 
ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk(ə)li səˈpɔːtɪd ˈmɛθəd 
bəʊn ˈdɛnsɪti dɪˌtɪərɪəˈreɪʃən
ˈriːznəbl ˈpɜːsn 
daʊt 
vɑːst ˌænɪkˈdəʊt(ə)l 
əˌfɔːˈmɛnʃənd 
ˈsaɪnɪŋ ʌp 
nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli ˈfɪkl kəˈmɪtmənt
gɪv ʌp
ˈkɒntrɑːst ðæt wɪð 
pɪks ʌp 
lɑːʤ ˈpɔːʃən 
diːp ˈɪntuː əʊld eɪʤ
ˈlaɪflɒŋ ˈhæbɪts 
ˈgreɪtər ˈəʊvərɔːlˈɪmpækt 
ˌɪndɪsˈpjuːtəbl 
ʤɪm-ˈgəʊəz
ɪksˈpɛrɪmənt 
ɪn ðə həʊps 
ˈlaɪflɒŋ ˈpæʃən

Listen and repeat:

Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

A lot of people feel the best way to ______________ is to ______________ go to the gym while others think there are more ______________ . Although I would ______________ that the health benefits of gyms are ______________ , the best way to ______________ over the long-term is a to join a sport or similar activity.

Those who ______________ gyms often ______________ the ______________ on the benefits of working out. People going to the gym can ______________ be ______________ those doing ______________ exercise and ______________ (or ______________ in both). ______________ workouts have been proven in various studies to ______________ , ______________ the heart muscles and ______________ of ______________ later in life. Weight-lifting is also a ______________ of combating ______________ , especially important for women, and improving muscular health. No ______________ would ______________ both the ______________ and scientific support for regular trips to the gym.

Despite the ______________ advantages, it is far more motivating to ______________ an organised activity. ______________ for a gym membership is a ______________. Most people go for a few months and ______________ , never to return again. ______________ participation in sports and other activities. Someone who ______________ tennis or football is much more likely to play regularly for a ______________ of their life, possibly ______________ . Even activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are more likely to become ______________ and therefore have a ______________ on fitness levels.

To conclude, going to the gym has ______________ benefits but it is not motivating enough to become ______________ for most ______________ . Instead, parents and teachers should encourage children to ______________ with a wide range of activities ______________ that they can develop a ______________ for one of them.

Listen and check your answers:

Related Video

When you watch this video you can try to review any similar vocabulary from my answer above or use these ideas to practice listening with or without subtitles.

Related Article

Try some of these ideas to improve your reading skills with the link below:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-exercise

Comment your own writing below for some feedback from me! (Or comment any questions that you have…)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Problems with Purchasing Cars (Real Test)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Problems with Purchasing Cars (Real Test)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer about purchasing cars in developing countries from the real IELTS and it’s a very good question to practice on!

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more!

Learn more about my online courses here.

The question is about the effects of purchasing cars and it is a two part IELTS question.

I really like this topic because I live in the city and see the effects of cars firsthand everyday!

I deal with a common question in this IELTS essay as well: Should you use statistics in your writing? What if they are not real?

Read below for some ideas, analysis and vocabulary practice!

If you need some review on structures your can read about IELTS Task 2 Writing structure here.

Here are some other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

You can read my task 1 sample answers here.

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Problems with Purchasing Cars (Real Test)

More and more people in developing countries are purchasing cars for the first time. What problems does this cause? What do you think are the possible solutions?

It is a pressing problem that increased automobile purchases in developing countries is leading to a host of problems that governments will have to deal with in the future. I believe that the biggest problems centre around traffic and governments can impose higher taxes and support public transport to minimise the impact.

The rise of the automobile as a popular means of travel in developing countries inevitably leads to worsening road conditions. This is because developing nations often have narrower roads and fewer lanes. Once the growing middle class in previously impoverished countries begins to replace buses, motorbikes, and bicycles with cars, there is often a concurrent rise in the number of gridlocked roads. For example, research from The Economist linked a 40% rise in traffic jams to a 15% rise in automobile purchases in 2017 in Vietnam.

To fully address this problem, there are two potential fixes that governments can apply. Firstly, governments should enact higher taxes on all automobile purchases to deter buyers. This has had a massive impact in cities like Singapore where purchasing a car is prohibitively expensive for most residents. Another solution would be to invest further in public awareness campaigns of alternative modes of travel. A standout example of this would be in Vietnam, where these campaigns coupled with reduced fares to make busing more affordable, have cut down drastically on the number of vehicles on the road.

In conclusion, traffic problems caused by cars are a serious issue that governments must work hard to combat. If efforts are made to reduce automobiles on roads in favor of more efficient transport they will see their initial investment returned many times over in improved, sustained economic growth.

Word count: 282

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. It is a pressing problem that increased automobile purchases in developing countries is leading to a host of problems that governments will have to deal with in the future. 2. I believe that the biggest problems centre around traffic and governments can impose higher taxes and support public transport to minimise the impact.

  1. My first sentence just restates the topic for the essay. Write this sentence quickly because the next sentence is much more important!
  2. Next is the overall opinion. This is a two part question, so try to give an opinion for each part if you can (you don’t have to include your main ideas even though I do).

1. The rise of the automobile as a popular means of travel in developing countries inevitably leads to worsening road conditions. 2. This is because developing nations often have narrower roads and fewer lanes. 3. Once the growing middle class in previously impoverished countries begins to replace buses, motorbikes, and bicycles with cars, there is often a concurrent rise in the number of gridlocked roads. 4. For example, research from The Economist linked a 40% rise in traffic jams to a 15% rise in automobile purchases in 2017 in Vietnam.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that has the topic for that paragraph – worsening road conditions. Read more about topic sentences here.
  2. The second sentence explains why this is common in developing countries. Be strict with yourself – focus on developing nations and don’t get off-topic!
  3. My third sentence focuses specfically on what changes occur. Be as specific as possible to boost your task achievement, vocabulary, and cohesion/coherence scores at the same time!
  4. The fourth sentence gives a statistic to support my opinion. In my opinion, using a statistic is fine but you should be careful about using them in both paragraphs. My statistic is not real but examiners will not bother to look it up – don’t use another statistic for your second paragraph though!

1. To fully address this problem, there are two potential fixes that governments can apply. 2. Firstly, governments should enact higher taxes on all automobile purchases to deter buyers. 3. This has had a massive impact in cities like Singapore where purchasing a car is prohibitively expensive for most residents. 4. Another solution would be to invest further in public awareness campaigns of alternative modes of travel. 5. A standout example of this would be in Vietnam, where these campaigns coupled with reduced fares to make busing more affordable, have cut down drastically on the number of vehicles on the road.

  1. My first sentence is another topic sentence – this time focused on the second question: the solutions. Try to paraphrase words like solutions (fixes, changes, improvements, make better, reduce traffic, etc.). Flexible paraphrasing will boost your IELTS vocabulary score a lot!
  2. The second sentence gives my first solution.
  3. The third sentence gives a very specific and detailed example of how this has been effective in the past.
  4. My fourth sentence gives another solution. It is best to focus on just one solution but the question ask for solutionS so to be safe I wrote about two solutions.
  5. The fifth sentence develops my second solution with another specific and detailed example. Specific and detailed – that’s how you get a good score for task achievement!

1. In conclusion, traffic problems caused by cars are a serious issue that governments must work hard to combat. 2. If efforts are made to reduce automobiles on roads in favor of more efficient transport they will see their initial investment returned many times over in improved, sustained economic growth.

  1. My first sentence restates my overall opinion and the main topic.
  2. The second sentence gives an extra detail that lots of examiners will require for band 7+. You can read more about conclusions here.

Word count: 282

Aim for around 250-300 words. 250 is probably too short to fully develop your answer and over 300 is a waste of time – quality over quantity!

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the words in bold mean? If you’re not sure, don’t use a dictionary – try to figure out the meaning from the whole sentence then check your answers below!

It is a pressing problem that increased automobile purchases in developing countries is leading to a host of problems that governments will have to deal with in the future. I believe that the biggest problems centre around traffic and governments can impose higher taxes and support public transport to minimise the impact.

The rise of the automobile as a popular means of travel in developing countries inevitably leads to worsening road conditions. This is because developing nations often have narrower roads and fewer lanes. Once the growing middle class in previously impoverished countries begins to replace buses, motorbikes, and bicycles with cars, there is often a concurrent rise in the number of gridlocked roads. For example, research from The Economist linked a 40% rise in traffic jams to a 15% rise in automobile purchases in 2017 in Vietnam.

To fully address this problem, there are two potential fixes that governments can apply. Firstly, governments should enact higher taxes on all automobile purchases to deter buyers. This has had a massive impact in cities like Singapore where purchasing a car is prohibitively expensive for most residents. Another solution would be to invest further in public awareness campaigns of alternative modes of travel. A standout example of this would be in Vietnam, where these campaigns coupled with reduced fares to make busing more affordable, have cut down drastically on the number of vehicles on the road.

In conclusion, traffic problems caused by cars are a serious issue that governments must work hard to combat. If efforts are made to reduce automobiles on roads in favor of more efficient transport they will see their initial investment returned many times over in improved, sustained economic growth.

Answers:

pressing problem important problem

developing countries 3rd world countries

host of problems lots of different problems

deal with try to resolve

impose enact

minimise the impact lessen the effect

rise increase

inevitably leads to will defintely cause

worsening road conditions more and more traffic

narrower roads roads without much space

fewer lanes narrow roads

growing middle class more people with disposable income

previously impoverished poor in the past

concurrent related or caused by

gridlocked full of traffic

The Economist a magazine about economics

linked caused by or related to

To fully address this problem to fix this issue

potential fixes possible solutions

deterdisincentivise

prohibitively expensive too expensive to buy

invest further put more money into

public awareness campaigns information for the public with an important message

alternative modes of travel different ways of travelling

standout example good example

coupled with combined with

reduced fares less expensive tickets

affordable cheap

cut down drastically reduce a lot

serious issue important topic

combat fight

initial investment returned many times over get your money back and more

sustained long-term

Pronunciation

ˈprɛsɪŋ ˈprɒbləm

dɪˈvɛləpɪŋ ˈkʌntriz

həʊst ɒv ˈprɒbləmz

diːl wɪð

ɪmˈpəʊz

ˈmɪnɪmaɪz ði ‘impækt

raɪz 

ɪnˈɛvɪtəbli liːdz tuː

ˈwɜːsnɪŋ rəʊd kənˈdɪʃənz

ˈnærəʊə rəʊdz

ˈfjuːə leɪnz

ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˈmɪdl klɑːs

ˈpriːviəsli ɪmˈpɒvərɪʃt

kənˈkʌrənt

‘gridlɒkt 

ði i(ː)ˈkɒnəmɪst

lɪŋkt 

tuː ˈfʊli əˈdrɛs ðɪs ˈprɒbləm

pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈfɪksɪz

dɪˈtɜː

prəˈhɪbɪtɪvli ɪksˈpɛnsɪv

ɪnˈvɛst ˈfɜːðə

ˈpʌblɪk əˈweənəs kæmˈpeɪnz

ɔːlˈtɜːnətɪv məʊdz ɒv ˈtrævl

ˈstændaʊt ɪgˈzɑːmpl

ˈkʌpld wɪð

rɪˈdjuːst feəz

əˈfɔːdəbl

kʌt daʊn ˈdræstɪk(ə)li 

ˈsɪərɪəs ˈɪʃuː

ˈkɒmbæt

ɪˈnɪʃəl ɪnˈvɛstmənt rɪˈtɜːnd ˈmɛni taɪmz ˈəʊvə

səsˈteɪnd

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It is a _______________ that increased automobile purchases in _______________ is leading to a _______________ that governments will have to _______________ in the future. I believe that the biggest problems centre around traffic and governments can _______________higher taxes and support public transport to _______________.

The _______________ of the automobile as a popular means of travel in developing countries _______________ _______________. This is because developing nations often have _______________ and _______________. Once the _______________ in _______________ countries begins to replace buses, motorbikes, and bicycles with cars, there is often a _______________ rise in the number of _______________ roads. For example, research from _______________ _______________a 40% rise in traffic jams to a 15% rise in automobile purchases in 2017 in Vietnam.

_______________, there are two _______________ that governments can apply. Firstly, governments should enact higher taxes on all automobile purchases to _______________ buyers. This has had a massive impact in cities like Singapore where purchasing a car is _______________ for most residents. Another solution would be to _______________ in _______________ of _______________. A _______________ of this would be in Vietnam, where these campaigns _______________ _______________ to make busing more _______________, have _______________ on the number of vehicles on the road.

In conclusion, traffic problems caused by cars are a _______________ that governments must work hard to _______________. If efforts are made to reduce automobiles on roads in favor of more efficient transport they will see their _______________ in improved, _______________ economic growth.

Listen and check your answers here:

Topic Practice from YouTube:

Watch the video above and use some ideas from here to practice your listening skills.

Reading Practice:

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/09/29/roads-are-becoming-more-deadly-in-developing-countries

Read the article above related to traffic accidents in developing countries and use some of the activities that I write about here to practice.

Comment your own writing or any questions that you have about IELTS below for feedback!

 

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – keep up to date with your English and your IELTS (and up to date with me)!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Choice for Children (IELTS Cambridge 12)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Choice for Children (IELTS Cambridge 12)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer based on a question from the IELTS Cambridge 12 book of previous practice tests.

That means this a real question from IELTS and I am a real former examiner – what more could you want?

Well you might want some more sample answers that I wrote.

Here is another question from IELTS Cambridge 12 as well.

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more!

Learn more about my online courses here.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 12: Children & Choice (by Dave)

Some people believe that allowing children to make their own choices on everyday matters (such as food, clothes and entertainment) is likely to result in a society of individuals who only think about their own wishes. Other people believe that it is important for children to make decisions about matters that affect them.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Cambridge IELTS 12

One common area of debate among parents is the extent to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the potential impact this will have on their sense of responsibility. Although decision-making skills will help in some ways, I believe parents should dictate choices for children in order to make them more aware of others.

On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a keen sense of responsibilty. This can be best seen in the contrasting example of helicopter parents and more liberal parents. Helicopter parents smother their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. Over time, these kids will likely become dependent on their parents. If your parents always pick out your clothes then you never have to check weather forecasts, make choices about what colours match or concern yourself with trends in fashion. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. Contrast this with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these factors carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and taking care of their wardrobe.

On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the majority of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. For example, some parents have made the logical and ethical choice to be vegetarians and they force their children to do the same. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. Moreover, it is a learning opportunity for parents to teach their offspring about ethics. Parents can make the argument that industrial farming is inhumane and animals should be treated with more respect. This may have a carry-over effect resulting in their children growing up to be more thoughtful towards others.

In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more empathetic. They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise conscientous future citizens.

Word count: 347 (aim for under 350 words – around 300 is better!)

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. One common area of debate among parents is the extent to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the potential impact this will have on their sense of responsibility. 2. Although decision-making skills will help in some ways, I believe parents should dictate choices for children in order to make them more aware of others.

1. My first sentence simply rephrases the question and topic. Write this sentence quickly as it is not that important.

2. The second sentence is my opinion. You do not need to include your main ideas but you do need to make your opinion 100% clear!

1. On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a keen sense of responsibilty. 2. This can be best seen in the contrasting example of helicopter parents and more liberal parents. Helicopter parents smother their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. 3. Over time, these kids will likely become dependent on their parents. 4. If your parents always pick out your clothes then you never have to check weather forecasts, make choices about what colours match or concern yourself with trends in fashion. 5. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. 6. Contrast this with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these factors carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and taking care of their wardrobe.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that explains the main idea for the paragraph (instills responsibility).

2. The second sentence begins with an example that I will develop in more detail for the rest of the paragraph. This is the best way to get a high score for task achievement on IELTS!

3. My third sentence expands on the example.

4. The fourth sentence continues the examples.

5. My fifth sentence also further develops the example. Be as specific as possible.

6. The sixth sentence concludes my example and the paragraph.

1. On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the majority of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. 2. For example, some parents have made the logical and ethical choice to be vegetarians and they force their children to do the same. 3. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. 4. Moreover, it is a learning opportunity for parents to teach their offspring about ethics. 5. Parents can make the argument that industrial farming is inhumane and animals should be treated with more respect. 6. This may have a carry-over effect resulting in their children growing up to be more thoughtful towards others.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence saying that parents making choices will make their kids more responsible for others.

2. The second sentence again begins my example right away – don’t waste time getting to your example.

3. My third sentence explains why this has a positive effect on others.

4. My fourth sentence also continues the same example.

5. The fifth sentence gives more detail for this example.

6. The last sentence makes the example slightly more general and concludes the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more empathetic. 2. They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise conscientous future citizens.

1. My first sentence repeats my opinion. Do this or get IELTS band 5 for task achievement!

2. The second sentence adds an extra detail because some IELTS examiners require this for band 7+.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the phrases highlighted below mean in your own words? Is there a direct translation in your language?

One common area of debate among parents is the extent to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the potential impact this will have on their sense of responsibility. Although decision-making skills will help in some ways, I believe parents should dictate choices for children in order to make them more aware of others.

On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a keen sense of responsibilty. This can be best seen in the contrasting example of helicopter parents and more liberal parents. Helicopter parents smother their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. Over time, these kids will likely become dependent on their parents. If your parents always pick out your clothes then you never have to check weather forecasts, make choices about what colours match or concern yourself with trends in fashion. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. Contrast this with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these factors carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and taking care of their wardrobe.

On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the majority of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. For example, some parents have made the logical and ethical choice to be vegetarians and they force their children to do the same. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. Moreover, it is a learning opportunity for parents to teach their offspring about ethics. Parents can make the argument that industrial farming is inhumane and animals should be treated with more respect. This may have a carry-over effect resulting in their children growing up to be more thoughtful towards others.

In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more empathetic. They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise conscientous future citizens.

Answers

debate argument

extent the level at which/the degree to which/how much

potential impact possible effect

sense of responsibility feeling that you are obligated

decision-making skills skills to make good choices

dictate decide/mandate

aware know about

keen sense good sense

contrasting example counterexample

helicopter parents controlling parents

liberal free and open

smother pay too much attention too

dependent need/rely on

pick out choose/decide on

weather forecasts the weather for the day/next day

colours match colours that go well together

concern yourself worry/think about

contrast this compare with with

factors elements

taking care of looking after

majority most of

logical rational

ethical moral

vegetarians not eating meat

learning opportunity good chance to learn something

offspring children

ethics morality

make the argument argue

industrial farming farming on a mass scale

inhumane cruel

treated how they are handled

respect with dignity and care

carry-over effect another result

thoughtful conscientous

empathetic understanding the feelings of others

conscientous thoughtful

Pronunciation

dɪˈbeɪt 
ɪksˈtɛnt 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈɪmpækt 
sɛns ɒv rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti
dɪˈsɪʒən-ˈmeɪkɪŋ skɪlz 
ˈdɪkteɪt 
əˈweə 
kiːn sɛns 
kənˈtrɑːstɪŋ ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ˈhɛlɪkɒptə ˈpeərənts 
ˈlɪbərəl 
ˈsmʌðə 
dɪˈpɛndənt 
pɪk aʊt 
ˈwɛðə ˈfɔːkɑːsts
ˈkʌləz mæʧ 
kənˈsɜːn jɔːˈsɛlf 
ˈkɒntrɑːst ðɪs 
ˈfæktəz 
ˈteɪkɪŋ keər ɒv 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈlɒʤɪkəl 
ˈɛθɪkəl 
ˌvɛʤɪˈteərɪənz 
ˈlɜːnɪŋ ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
ˈɒfsprɪŋ 
ˈɛθɪks
meɪk ði ˈɑːgjʊmənt 
ɪnˈdʌstrɪəl ˈfɑːmɪŋ 
ˌɪnhju(ː)ˈmeɪn 
ˈtriːtɪd 
rɪsˈpɛkt
ˈkærɪˌəʊvər ɪˈfɛkt 
θɔːtfʊl 
ˈɛmpə θɛtɪk
ˈkɒnsi:entʃəs

Vocabulary Practice

One common area of ____________ among parents is the ____________ to which children should be trusted to make their own decisions and the ____________ this will have on their ____________ . Although ____________ will help in some ways, I believe parents should ____________ choices for children in order to make them more ____________ of others.

On the one hand, children who have been allowed to make their own choices will eventually develop a ____________ of responsibilty. This can be best seen in the ____________ of ____________ and more ____________ parents. Helicopter parents ____________ their children with attention and make the majority of their decisions for them. Over time, these kids will likely become ____________ on their parents. If your parents always ____________ your clothes then you never have to check ____________, make choices about what ____________ or ____________ with trends in fashion. Later in life, these kids will not have developed any of these skills because of their parents. ____________ with children who pick out their own clothes; they will have to consider these ____________ carefully and it will make them more responsible when it comes to shopping and ____________ their wardrobe.

On the other hand, I still believe that parents should make the ____________ of choices so that children will be more responsible towards others. For example, some parents have made the ____________ and ____________ choice to be ____________ and they force their children to do the same. This can have a positive effect not only on their individual health but also on the environment. Moreover, it is a ____________ for parents to teach their ____________ about ____________ . Parents can ____________ that ____________ is ____________ and animals should be ____________ with more ____________. This may have a ____________ resulting in their children growing up to be more ____________ towards others.

In conclusion, parents should make most decisions for children to guide them to be more ____________ . They should work with teachers in their efforts to raise ____________ future citizens.

Links

Here are some activities you can use to improve your listening while watching the video: Improve your Listening.

Read the article below to review some of the ideas and vocbulary from my sample answer. Here are the keys to improving your reading!

http://theconversation.com/too-much-love-helicopter-parents-could-be-raising-anxious-narcissistic-children-116182

Comment any questions or your own sample writing below for feedback!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Studying Abroad (Real IELTS Test)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Studying Abroad (Real IELTS Test)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer about students living abroad written by me, Dave, a former IELTS examiner.

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more!

Learn more about my online courses here.

I did this question with one of my classes and I found that it was a great teaching tool for two reasons.

Firstly, because students very slightly misunderstood the question. That slight misunderstanding led to lots of them getting band 5 for task achievement.

Here is the question:

Compared to the past, more people are now studying abroad because it is more convenient and cheaper than before. Do you think this is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country? Will this trend change much in the future?

Real Past IELTS Cambridge Tests

There is one tricky part. The topic is simple enough – more and more people study abroad now (you can ignore the convenience and cheaper part; it’s not important for the questions that you have to answer).

The tricky part is in the first question – will it be beneficial to the foreign student’s home country?

A lot of my students focused on individual benefits: a better career, more money, etc.

That is irrelevant to the question and will get you a band 4 or 5 for task achievement.

Instead, you must focus on the benefits for the home country: more specialised knowledge, more creative ideas, economic development, etc.

The second part of the question is simpler – just state whether or not you will think it will continue and why. For this part you could talk about individual benefits like making more money as the reason why the trend will continue.

Secondly, this question lends itself to a really detailed, specific answer and that is the most important skill to pracitce for your IELTS writing task 2.

I’m sure that you can think of lots of famous examples from your country of entrepreneurs, scientists, or politicians who studied abroad at some point.

Read below for my essay, analysis and more!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer by Dave: Studying Abroad

Compared to the past, more people are now studying abroad because it is more convenient and cheaper than before. Do you think this is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country? Will this trend change much in the future?

Nowadays, there are more and more students choosing to study overseas due to a variety of benefits for their own future life and career. From my perspective, I believe that this trend can also be beneficial to the foreign student’s home country and will continue developing in the next few years because of these benefits.

I think it is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country because after they finish studying, they may choose to come back and contribute to their homeland. For example, Vietnamese Professor, Ngo Bao Chau was announced by the 2010 International Congress of Mathematics as one of four mathematicians to win the Fields Medal, which is the world’s most prestigious mathematics award. After returning to Vietnam, he started to help and encourage aspiring Vietnamese from universities to study mathematics further. He not only contributed directly to the burgeoning field of Vietnamese mathematics but also continues to serve as aspirational example to students of the rewards of studying abroad and then returning home.

In the future, I believe that this trend will continue as both foreign and domestic countries will support students through scholarships. For example, in Vietnam it is common for students to apply for scholarships to study in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia, France, and so on. These countries have the means and are willing to support students from foreign countries because it enhances the diversity of their campuses. Additionally, the government in Vietnam encourages studying abroad through scholarships for underprivileged students. They do this because students who study abroad typically return to Vietnam and help push forward economic development, as in the case of Ngo Bao Chau.

In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages for the foreign student’s home country because of their potential academic and economic contributions after coming back home. Developing nations in particular should invest heavily in programs to send students abroad, besides funding their own educational infrastructure, if they want to have the kind of secure foundation that will allow the country to flourish for many years.

Word count: 340 (a bit high – aim for 300!)

Analysis

1. Nowadays, there are more and more students choosing to study overseas due to a variety of benefits for their own future life and career. 2. From my perspective, I believe that this trend can also be beneficial to the foreign student’s home country and will continue developing in the next few years because of these benefits.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that lays out the topic for the whole essay. Don’t waste much time writing this sentence, just quickly paraphrase the general topic for the essay.
  2. The second sentence gives my opinions about the two questions asked. This is important for your task achievement and cohesion/coherence scores. You don’t have to include your main ideas in your introduction.

1. I think it is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country because after they finish studying, they may choose to come back and contribute to their homeland. 2. For example, Vietnamese Professor, Ngo Bao Chau was announced by the 2010 International Congress of Mathematics as one of four mathematicians to win the Fields Medal, which is the world’s most prestigious mathematics award. 3. After returning to Vietnam, he started to help and encourage aspiring Vietnamese from universities to study mathematics further. 4. He not only contributed directly to the burgeoning field of Vietnamese mathematics but also continues to serve as aspirational example to students of the rewards of studying abroad and then returning home.

  1. The first sentence is my topic sentence for this paragraph which contains two parts: the topic (benefits to the home country) and my main idea (come back and contribute. Keep this sentence short, simple and clear!
  2. My second sentence begins my example. Don’t waste any time getting to your example. The faster you start writing about it, the more you will be able to develop it fully.
  3. The third sentence continues my example. Don’t run away from your examples – keep developing them fully because it will help your task achievement, cohesion and coherence and force you to use more good vocabulary.
  4. My final sentence concludes the paragraph and adds further detail to my example. The more you develop your example, the higher your task achievement score will be!

1. In the future, I believe that this trend will continue as both foreign and domestic countries will support students through scholarships. 2. For example, in Vietnam it is common for students to apply for scholarships to study in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia, France, and so on. 3. These countries have the means and are willing to support students from foreign countries because it enhances the diversity of their campuses. 4. Additionally, the government in Vietnam encourages studying abroad through scholarships for underprivileged students. 5. They do this because students who study abroad typically return to Vietnam and help push forward economic development, as in the case of Ngo Bao Chau.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that contains both the topic and the main idea for the whole paragraph. Focus on one main idea so that you can develop it 100%!
  2. The second sentence begins my example right away – just like in the last paragraph.
  3. My next sentence develops my example.
  4. The fourth sentence further develops the example – keep developing!
  5. The fifth sentence further supports my main reason by detailing the reason why countries invest in scholarships.

1. In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages for the foreign student’s home country because of their potential academic and economic contributions after coming back home. 2. Developing nations in particular should invest heavily in programs to send students abroad, besides funding their own educational infrastructure, if they want to have the kind of secure foundation that will allow the country to flourish for many years.

  1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that lays out the topic for the whole essay. Don’t waste much time writing this sentence, just quickly paraphrase the general topic for the essay.
  2. The second sentence gives my opinions about the two questions asked. This is important for your task achievement and cohesion/coherence scores. You don’t have to include your main ideas in your introduction.

Vocabulary Practice

Try to write a definition or a synonym for the vocabulary in bold below.

Nowadays, there are more and more students choosing to study overseas due to a variety of benefits for their own future life and career. From my perspective, I believe that this trend can also be beneficial to the foreign student’s home country and will continue developing in the next few years because of these benefits.

I think it is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country because after they finish studying, they may choose to come back and contribute to their homeland. For example, Vietnamese Professor, Ngo Bao Chau was announced by the 2010 International Congress of Mathematics as one of four mathematicians to win the Fields Medal, which is the world’s most prestigious mathematics award. After returning to Vietnam, he started to help and encourage aspiring Vietnamese from universities to study mathematics further. He not only contributed directly to the burgeoning field of Vietnamese mathematics but also continues to serve as aspirational example to students of the rewards of studying abroad and then returning home.

In the future, I believe that this trend will continue as both foreign and domestic countries will support students through scholarships. For example, in Vietnam it is common for students to apply for scholarships to study in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia, France, and so on. These countries have the means and are willing to support students from foreign countries because it enhances the diversity of their campuses. Additionally, the government in Vietnam encourages studying abroad through scholarships for underprivileged students. They do this because students who study abroad typically return to Vietnam and help push forward economic development, as in the case of Ngo Bao Chau.

In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages for the foreign student’s home country because of their potential academic and economic contributions after coming back home. Developing nations in particular should invest heavily in programs to send students abroad, besides funding their own educational infrastructure, if they want to have the kind of secure foundation that will allow the country to flourish for many years.

Answers

variety lots of different kinds

From my perspective I think

trend general direction

beneficial good for

benefits the verb form meaning something is good for

contribute add to

homeland where you’re from

announced make public

mathematicians academics who study math

prestigious renowned/sought-after

encourage support

burgeoning emerging

aspirational something to look up to (adjective)

rewards benefits

scholarships money to study abroad

apply for scholarships ask for scholarship money

the means the ability to be able to

enhances makes stronger

diversity different races, genders, orientations, etc.

underprivileged students poor students

push forward economic development boost the economy

contributions efforts/help

invest heavily put money into

educational infrastructure schools in a country

secure foundation strong infrastructure that will last

flourish do very well

Pronunciation

vəˈraɪəti 
frɒm maɪ pəˈspɛktɪv
trɛnd 
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl
ˈbɛnɪfɪts
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t 
ˈhəʊmlænd
əˈnaʊnst 
ˌmæθɪməˈtɪʃənz 
prɛˈstɪʤəs 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪd 
ˈbɜːʤənɪŋ
ˌæspəˈreɪʃ(ə)n(ə)l 
rɪˈwɔːdz
ˈskɒləʃɪps
əˈplaɪ fɔː ˈskɒləʃɪps 
ðə miːnz 
ɪnˈhɑːnsɪz 
daɪˈvɜːsɪti 
ˌʌndəˈprɪvɪlɪʤd ˈstjuːdənts
pʊʃ ˈfɔːwəd ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk dɪˈvɛləpmənt
ˌkɒntrɪˈbjuːʃənz 
ɪnˈvɛst ˈhɛvɪli 
ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˈɪnfrəˌstrʌkʧə
sɪˈkjʊə faʊnˈdeɪʃən
ˈflʌrɪʃ

More Vocabulary Practice

Nowadays, there are more and more students choosing to study overseas due to a ____________of benefits for their own future life and career. ____________, I believe that this ____________ can also be ____________ to the foreign student’s home country and will continue developing in the next few years because of these ____________ .

I think it is beneficial to the foreign student’s home country because after they finish studying, they may choose to come back and ____________ to their ____________ . For example, Vietnamese Professor, Ngo Bao Chau was ____________ by the 2010 International Congress of Mathematics as one of four ____________ to win the Fields Medal, which is the world’s most ____________ mathematics award. After returning to Vietnam, he started to help and ____________ aspiring Vietnamese from universities to study mathematics further. He not only ____________ directly to the ____________ field of Vietnamese mathematics but also continues to serve as ____________ example to students of the ____________ of studying abroad and then returning home.

In the future, I believe that this trend will continue as both foreign and domestic countries will support students through ____________ . For example, in Vietnam it is common for students to ____________ to study in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia, France, and so on. These countries have ____________ and are willing to support students from foreign countries because it the ____________ of their campuses. Additionally, the government in Vietnam encourages studying abroad through scholarships for ____________ . They do this because students who study abroad typically return to Vietnam and help ____________ , as in the case of Ngo Bao Chau.

In conclusion, I feel that there are clear advantages for the foreign student’s home country because of their potential academic and economic ____________ after coming back home. Developing nations in particular should in programs to send students abroad, besides funding their own ____________ , if they want to have the kind of ____________ that will allow the country to ____________ for many years.

Links

This is a video related to studying abroad. You can use some of the ideas here about listening to practice while you watch.

Here is a related article and some ideas for how to read the news and improve your IELTS reading score.

Was my study abroad experience authentic? From The New York Times

Comment your own writing or any other questions that you have below!

The Complete Guide to IELTS Cambridge 13

The Complete Guide to IELTS Cambridge 13

IELTS Cambridge 13 is published by Cambridge and is the best source for real past tests.

If you don’t have it, please order the book online here.

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more!

Learn more about my online courses here.

Don’t download it illegally online not just because that is illegal but also because someone spent time making it.

Here are all the sample answers for the writings – both task 1 and task 2:

IELTS Cambridge 13 Writing Task 2

IELTS Cambridge 13 Writing Task 1

Here are some more task 1 and task 2 sample answers from other past tests.

Tips for Using IELTS Cambridge 13

I’ve got some important tips for how to use these Cambridge books. Many students don’t know the best ways to practice with the Cambridge books.

A lot of students waste a lot of time doing too many practice tests. They believe that this is a good way to prepare for the test and improve their English.

(Actually most of them are preparing for the test but shouldn’t be studying IELTS at all.)

Practice tests are an awful way to improve your English and only an average way to prepare for the test.

They are not good for improving your English because they are just focused on testing your skills. Of course your English may improve over time but that is not their aim.

Contrast these books with books for learning English that focus on grammar and vocabulary and guide you through with exercises. The process of improving your English is completely different from testing your English – so don’t waste time and money confusing the two!

The biggest mistake that that most students make is they only do these practice tests and don’t find better ways to improve their English.

What are better ways? These ways involve finding something interesting (a movie, music, book, etc.) and keeping your motiviation high with quality content.

You might also decide to take a course in English or hire a tutor. This will improve your English – practice tests will not!

But there are some ways in which these books are good for preparation. First, you can become more familiar with the format of the test and the different questions types.

That makes them decent preparation for the test question types.

Secondly, they are also good tests. Duh.

That means that you can measure your progress with them. If you are planning on taking IELTS in the next month or two you should probably do a weekly test to measure your progress.

If you have several months to a year (or more) then you should do a practice test once a month to measure your progress.

This is the proper way to use practice tests – don’t rely on them to improve your English.

Many students lazily believe that doing test after test will improve their score – they are searching for an overly simple solution when the real solution is staring them right in the face: improve your English and your IELTS score will follow you like your shadow!

Simple Steps for Using IELTS Cambridge 13 to Test your English

1. Start with the listening test. Do the listening test fully but don’t check your answers! Read the tapescript carefully after you finish and underline the distractors and paraphrases. This way you learn about how IELTS listening works.

2. Do the reading test. When you check your answers, figure out the reason why you got each one wrong. Because of a paraphrase? Because of vocabulary? Grammar? This way you can improve your weaknesses.

3. Do the writing tests. Time yourself and be strict. Read my samples answers for task 1 and task 2 writing.

4. Practice doing the speaking test yourself or with a partner. If you have a friend who can help, try to do a mock speaking test that feels like the real test. Read here about what will really happen in your IELTS speaking test.

Simple Steps for Using IELTS Cambridge 13 to Improve your English

1. Start with a listening test but don’t do the full test. Just listen to part 1. Listen to it at least 3 times. Repeat this for every part of the test. Read here about how this will improve your listening. Again, check your answers with the tapescript and try to figure out why you got each answer wrong. Usually it will be because of vocabulary – so learn more vocab!

2. Do the reading test. Don’t worry so much about the timing. Review the basic reading steps here and afterwards check why you got each answer wrong.

3. Do both writing tests but don’t worry about the timing. After you finish you can compare with my sample answers and do the practice activities for task 1 and task 2. The next day, do the same sample answer again but try to improve your ideas, vocabulary, and grammar. Keep doing this until you are happy with your writing.

4. Do the practice speaking test by yourself or with a friend/teacher. Don’t move on to a new test. Keep learning new vocabulary related to the same topics and od the test over and over again. If you get bored, try varying or writing slightly new questions related to the questions. Don’t try to give exactly the same answer each time. Vary it a little bit so that your speaking doesn’t become too robotic.

If you have any questions about the book, you can comment them below and I will reply as soon as possible!

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