IELTS Writing Task 1: Bar Chart Owned and Rented Households (IELTS Cambridge 13)

IELTS Writing Task 1: Bar Chart Owned and Rented Households (IELTS Cambridge 13)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample answer from the IELTS Cambridge books and it’s one of the easiest task 1s that I have ever seen on IELTS. But that’s a great opportunity for you to do an amazing job on it!

If you want to impress the examiner on Task 1 writing, you not only need to describe all the data well but you need to use really strong vocabulary and grammar in a clear structure.

This graph is simple but it is a real challenge to describe it well. Even if you know what you have to do, it is always a challenge to actually do it.

Read on for analysis of what I did with it as well as some vocabulary that you can easily apply to your writing, links and more!

Here are some of my other writing samples for Task 2 and Task 1.

Enjoy!

Dave

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 1: Bar Chart Owned and Rented Households (IELTS Cambridge 13) by Dave (former IELTS examiner)

The chart below shows the percentage of households in owned and rented accomodation in England and Wales between 1918 and 2011.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS Cambrdige 13 Writing Task 1: Households England and Wales

IELTS Cambrdige 13 Writing Task 1: Households England and Wales

The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

 

 

 

Analysis

1. The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. 2. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. 3. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

1. The first sentence simply paraphrases (changes some of the words) from the task question. Don’t waste time on this sentence – write it as fast as your hand will move and the pencil will write without setting the paper on fire!

2. The second sentence is the most important sentence of the whole task, the whole writing test, all of IELTS and your entire life! My general overview covers the main trend (for both categories). You can read more about how to write an overview here.

3. The third sentence finishes my overview. Overviews should only be about 2, maximum 3 sentences, long. Do not mention any specific data or give any opinion/speculation.

 

1. In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at nearly 80%. 2. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. 3. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. 4. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

1. I start with the logical place – the first year. I compare the rentals and ownership in that year. Every single sentence you write should have some sort of comparision. No exceptions!

2. My second sentence summarises the trend that I will continue to detail.

3. My third sentence gives the specific data and years. Always, always include the year and the key data or you could end up with a 5 for task achievement!

4. My fourth sentence continues the comparision of specific data.

 

1. This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. 2. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. 3. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

1. My first sentence continues to describe them as ownership overtakes rentals in the middle of the period.

2. The second sentence compares ownership’s data with rentals.

3. My final sentence includes all the data from the graph.

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

I put some mistakes into the writing below – can you find and correct the vocabulary mistakes? Some are too informal, others are just incorrect vocabulary…

The described presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposites with a sharper increase in ownership and a reflecting decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of all the period, overall ownership had overcome renting by a big margin.

In 1918, household ownership witnessed at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at near 80%. From that point it was a steady jump in ownership and disaster in rentals. Rentals climbed 69% in 1939 and held straight until 1953 before dying to 59% in 1961. Ownership flew upwards to 31% in 1939, stayed put there in 1953 before equal with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals very down to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the ungrowing rate of rentals recovered to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a upwards that went against at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses going under to way over 60%.

 

Answers

The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals, which were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

 

Vocabulary Definitions

presented: illustrated or shown

opposite trends: reverse movement

sharp increase: increased quickly

reciprocal decline: decreasing in the opposite direction

by the end of the period: at the end of the graph

overtaken: to beat or go in front of or outrank

wide margin: by a lot

stood: were at

nearly: almost

from that point there was: from then on

steady rise: increasing slowly but at the same rate

decline: decrease

reached: were at

held steady: stayed the same

falling: decreasing

rose: increased

remained there: stayed there

becoming even: were level with/equal with

declining sharply: decreasing quickly

falling rate: decreasing trend

slackened: slowed

small rebound: came back up

bucked the trend: reverse the movement/momentum

dipping: decreasing

just over: more than

 

 

Grammar Practice

I put some grammar mistakes in it this time – can you find and correct the grammar mistakes? Check your answers with the original answer above.

The presented diagram illustrating illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation by 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting had showed opposite trends with the sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership has overtaken renting with a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stand at around 23% compared to rentals, who were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reaching 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falls to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there by 1953 before becoming even with the rentals at 50% each at 1971.

This trend continuing for both percentages with rentals decline sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rise to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals was slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there is a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses has dipping to just over 60%.

 

Answers

The presented diagram illustrates percentages of owned and rented English and Welsh accomodation from 1918 to 2011. Overall, owning and renting showed opposite trends with a sharp increase in ownership and a reciprocal decline in the percentage of renters. By the end of the period, overall ownership had overtaken renting by a wide margin.

In 1918, household ownership stood at around 23% compared to rentals which were at nearly 80%. From that point there was a steady rise in ownership and decline in rentals. Rentals reached 69% in 1939 and held steady until 1953 before falling to 59% in 1961. Ownership rose to 31% in 1939, remained there in 1953 before becoming even with rentals at 50% each in 1971.

This trend continued for both percentages with rentals declining sharply to 40% and 31% in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Likewise, ownership rose to 60% and 69% in the same years. In 2001, the falling rate of rentals slackened to 31% (69% for ownership) and there was a small rebound that bucked the trend at the end of period with rented houses rising to nearly 40% and owned houses dipping to just over 60%.

 

 

Links

Here is my live lesson on task 1 writing overviews from my YouTube channel.

To review about the topic here is a video about ‘Freedom from the Housing Trap.’

You can find some useful images for task 1 writing here on HowtodoIELTS’ Instagram.

Finally, here is a song about a house:

 

 

Comment Below:

Do you own a house? Or do you rent?

 

IELTS Speaking: How to Talk About Your Friends (Part 1)

IELTS Speaking: How to Talk About Your Friends (Part 1)

Talking about your friends is a common topic in part 1 of the IELTS speaking test.

If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have any friends. Don’t worry!

Read below for sample questions and answers, vocabulary analysis and practice, sample notes and links!

Be sure to check out my post on what to do in your free time as well!

You can read (and watch) a sample answer talking about school here.

And follow me on Facebook and Instagram if you truly love me….

Sample IELTS Questions: Friends

Before you read the sample answers below, practice answering yourself! If you comment your answers below I will give your feedback.

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends?

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

Dave, Former IELTS Examiner, Sample Answer

Here is the audio from my answer. Listen and write down the keywords that I use. Listen again and again and write down as many words as you can.

Audio:

Now try giving my answer again using this vocabulary. Practice it throughout the day and when you go to bed at night – this type of practice is how you learn!

Sample IELTS Answers: Friends

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends? Read and see if you can remember the vocabulary collocations that I use in my answer. Scroll below for the answers:

To be honest I don’t really have ______________ friends. I have 2 best friends that I usually ______________. One of them, Marcy, is really ______________. So whenever we hang out we go to a ______________ or ______________ usually. My other friend is just a normal guy so we’re more likely to ______________ or ______________ or something. I only really find myself in a large group of friends for work events or if I ______________ with old friends from high school or something.

 

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

I try not to but ______________ I get a Facebook message from an old classmate I’d rather forget about. ______________ a kid I used to ______________ in elementary school sent me a message asking if I wanted to get a cup of coffee so we met up and didn’t have that much to talk about. ______________ actually. If that happens again, I ______________ replying or anything. ______________ where I’m really trying to limit my interactions with people and increase the amount of ______________ I spend with my phone, computer, etc.

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

I told you a bit before but usually we will get a bit to eat or go to the cinema to watch ______________. Sometimes go out for drinks. I know a lot of people like to go shopping with their friends but I can’t stand doing that. I feel bad if my friends are ______________ while I spend way too much time obsessing over what to buy and I don’t enjoy watching them do the same. For me, shopping is a private, boring experience, why ______________ that?

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

Not really. That’s because I’m from Vietnam and most people live with their parents or have roommates so it is a lot more convenient to meet somewhere else, usually a coffee shop or, ______________, a Taiwanese tea shop because those are ______________ at the moment. I guess people spend so much time indoors on their computer nowadays it feels good to ______________. And you have to ______________ if a friend is coming over to visit and no one really wants that ______________. Cleaning gets in the way of my ‘______________‘ time.

 

Vocabulary Notes

‘Loaded’ is the word that I focused on:

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary

You can find more vocabulary notes on my Instagram.

 

IELTS Vocabulary Answers

Here are the answers! All this vocabulary is for getting Band 7+ in IELTS speaking. To practice, go back to the top and try to remember my answers with the vocabulary below:

 

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends?

To be honest I don’t really have all that many friends. I have 2 best friends that I usually hang out with. One of them, Marcy, is really loaded. So whenever we hang out we go to a decent restaurant or out for drinksmake a night of it usually. My other friend is just a normal guy so we’re more likely to get coffee or catch a movie or something. I only really find myself in a large group of friends for work events or if I catch up with old friends from high school or something.

 

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

I try not to but every once in a while I get a Facebook message from an old classmate I’d rather forget about. The other week a kid I used to bully in elementary school sent me a message asking if I wanted to get a cup of coffee so we met up and didn’t have that much to talk about. Kind of weird actually. If that happens again, I won’t bother replying or anything. I’m at a point in my life where I’m really trying to limit my interactions with people and increase the amount of quality time I spend with my phone, computer, etc.

 

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

I told you a bit before but usually we will get a bit to eat or go to the cinema to watch whatever is out. Sometimes go out for drinks. I know a lot of people like to go shopping with their friends but I can’t stand doing that. I feel bad if my friends are hanging around while I spend way too much time obsessing over what to buy and I don’t enjoy watching them do the same. For me, shopping is a private, boring experience, why bring someone else into that?

 

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

Not really. That’s because I’m from Vietnam and most people live with their parents or have roommates so it is a lot more convenient to meet somewhere else, usually a coffee shop or, lately, a Taiwanese tea shop because those are all the rage at the moment. I guess people spend so much time indoors on their computer nowadays it feels good to get out the house. And you have to clean up if a friend is coming over to visit and no one really wants that hassle. Cleaning gets in the way of my ‘self-care‘ time.

 

Links!

Here is a complete IELTS test that I did so that you can see what it is like for the examiner to take the test:

 

Comment Below!

Do you prefer spending time with one best friend or lots of good friends?

How often do you stay in touch with childhood friends?

What do you typically do when you hang out with your friends?

In your country, is it common to visit friends at their house?

 

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Talking about Cell Phones/Smartphones/Mobile Phones

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Talking about Cell Phones/Smartphones/Mobile Phones

Phones (cell phones, smarphones, and mobile phones – they’re all the same thing!) are a really common topic on the IELTS Speaking test.

They could come up as personal questions in part 1 (‘How often do you use your phone?’) or in part 2 as personal or general questions (‘What apps are popular in your country?’) or in part 3 as general questions (‘Do people use their phones too much in your country?’).

In order to help you prepare for a smartphones topic, I have answered some questions, analysed vocabulary and grammar, made some notes and provided links to help you think of more ideas for this topic in case it comes up on the real IELTS!

If you want to read more speaking topics you can check out this one on free time or this one on friends, this one on school, or this one on holidays.

The Examiner (Dave) Answers a Question

The question that I’m answering from my YouTube channel is: How many times a day do you look at your phone?

It’s a simple part 1 question, so I give a simple answer:

Here is the transcript:

Personally, it’s the first thing I check in the morning. I can’t live without it. I use it for everything – calling, texting, email, tinder – basically everything!

This isn’t a long or detailed answer. It could be better if I talked more specfically about what I do with my phone. Check the answers below for more detailed ‘show-off’ answers.

But there is still some good vocabulary.

You can use ‘personally’ as a way of starting questions where you answer about your personal habits.

‘The first thing’ is a good way to start lists or talk about your daily routine.

‘I can’t live without it’ is a common expression that indicates to the examiner natural, band 7+ fluency and vocabulary.

 

Sample Answers

My answer was simple and natural but not enough to impress the examiner.

Even if it is slightly unnatural, you should go out of your way to use complex grammar and vocabulary if possible.

Here are some better examples of ‘show-off’ answers:

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone?

I’m trying to cut back massively on my phone (over)usage. But I can’t get away from it because it seems to have wrapped itself up in my life. I get notifications from friends all the time that kind of pull me back into it. If I had to make a guess, I probably look at it close to 50 times a day. That’s a conservative estimate though.

What do you usually use your mobile phone for?

I have to admit that phones have so many different uses. I message with friends, I have a Facebook chat group that I run for a weekly football match, I check my email all the time on it, I take tons of photos of things around me and selfies sometimes too, for my work I need to make voice recordings so I have an app for that too, if I need a taxi I use a ride-sharing app called Grab, I’m a big fan of Instagram and follow a lot of artists and comedians on there, I manage my finances through a banking app and I’m sure there are a bunch of things I’m missing out on too!

Have your mobile phone habits changed a lot over the years?

For sure. Mobile phones first came out when I was in university, some kids had them towards the end of high school. My first phone was just a cheap flipphone that could (slowly) send messages, make calls and play the earliest little games like ‘snake.’ Pretty soon after that I got a real smartphone for email and all that other stuff. I think I still wasn’t addicted to my phone then though. It wasn’t until the last 5 or 6 years when I got a new iPhone and started using more apps and as businesses and friends have taken on board an overriding digital lifestyle. Now it is like an extra arm or hand to me!

 

Do people in your country use mobile phones a lot?

I’m from the United States but I’ve been living in Vietnam for practically a decade. I imagine people in all countries, including the U.S. can’t put their phones down but I can only speak firsthand about Vietnam where cell phone use is an epidemic. Walk into any coffee shop and you’ll likely see individuals, friends and groups making more of an effort to check Facebook than talk to each other. It’s not uncommon to see people on their phones when they’re driving a motorbike. A lot of my friends here will sit down on Facebook after work or dinner and just scroll mindlessly for at least an hour. It taps into some desire to put our brains to sleep that phone makers and apps like Instagram have exploited, in my opinion.

Vocabulary Definitions

cut back: reduce or use less of

get away from: escape, leave

wrapped itself up in: deeply involved with

notifications: a signal that you have a message or update

pull me back into: bring back

make a guess: guess

conservative estimate: a guess that is not risky, likely to be true

I have to admit: use this to concede that the opposite argument has some truth to it

Facebook chat group: group for talking to each other on Facebook

run: am in charge of

tons: lots of

voice recordings: audio recordings

ride-sharing app: apps like Grab or Uber for booking rides

big fan of: really like/into something

manage my finances: in charge of your money

bunch of things: lots of stuff

missing out on: not getting to do

for sure: definitely

first came out: original appeared

towards the end of: at the end of

flipphone: old cell phones that flip open

pretty soon after that: right after

addicted: can’t stop using it

overriding digital lifestyle: using phones and internet a lot

practically: almost all

imagine: believe/think

speak firsthand: talking about something that you actually experienced

epidemic: all over the place/common/ubiquitous

making more of an effort: trying harder

It’s not uncommon: it is common

scroll mindlessly: look through your Facebook/Instagram/news feed on your phone

taps into: gets power form

exploited: take advantage of

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks from my sample answer:

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone?

I’m trying to _____________ massively on my phone (over)usage. But I can’t _____________ it because it seems to have _____________ my life. I get _____________from friends all the time that kind of _____________ it. If I had to _____________, I probably look at it close to 50 times a day. That’s a _____________ though.

What do you usually use your mobile phone for?

_____________ that phones have so many different uses. I message with friends, I have a _____________ that I _____________ for a weekly football match, I check my email all the time on it, I take ____________ of photos of things around me and selfies sometimes too, for my work I need to make _____________ so I have an app for that too, if I need a taxi I use a _____________ called Grab, I’m a _____________ Instagram and follow a lot of artists and comedians on there, I _____________ through a banking app and I’m sure there are a _____________ I’m _____________!

Have your mobile phone habits changed a lot over the years?

_____________. Mobile phones _____________ when I was in university, some kids had them _____________ high school. My first phone was just a cheap _____________ that could (slowly) send messages, make calls and play the earliest little games like ‘snake.’ _____________ I got a real smartphone for email and all that other stuff. I think I still wasn’t _____________ to my phone then though. It wasn’t until the last 5 or 6 years when I got a new iPhone and started using more apps and as businesses and friends have taken on board an _____________. Now it is like an extra arm or hand to me!

Do people in your country use mobile phones a lot?

I’m from the United States but I’ve been living in Vietnam for _____________ a decade. I _____________ people in all countries, including the U.S. can’t put their phones down but I can only _____________ about Vietnam where cell phone use is an _____________. Walk into any coffee shop and you’ll likely see individuals, friends and groups _____________ to check Facebook than talk to each other. _____________ to see people on their phones when they’re driving a motorbike. A lot of my friends here will sit down on Facebook after work or dinner and just _____________ for at least an hour. It _____________ some desire to put our brains to sleep that phone makers and apps like Instagram have _____________, in my opinion.

 

Grammar Analysis: Present Perfect Continuous

‘I’ve been living in Vietnam for practically a decade.’

Present perfect continuous is a great opportunity to use some ‘complex’ grammar that is actually very simple in terms of both its meaning and how you use it – easy points on IELTS!

The meaning of present perfect continuous is an action that started in the past and is still continuuing now in the present: ‘I have been living in Vietnam for 10 years (I still live here),’ ‘I’ve been waiting for more than an hour (I’m still waiting),’ ‘I’ve been having terrible nightmares the last two weeks (I’m still having nightmares even though when I say that sentence I am not literally having a nightmare).’

The way to speak/write with it is also very simple: Subject (I) + have/has been + Verb -ing (living) + prepositional/noun/verb phrase (in Vietnam for 10 years).

Simple meaning! Simple to use!

Just make sure that in your speaking you use the contraction ‘I’ve’ or ‘She’s/He’s’ and in your writing the full words ‘I have been’ or ‘She/He has been.’

Use it for a quick and easy boost for your IELTS grammar score!

 

Grammar Practice

Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verbs:

Example: Dave _________ ____________ ___________________ (listen) to the same song on repeat for hours.

Answer: Dave has been listening to the same song on repeat for hours.

1. IELTS _________ _________________ _______________ (become) more difficult each passing year.

2. I _______ ____________ ________________ (sit) in this chair for too long.

3. You _____________ _____________ ______________ (read) this post for at least 5 minutes.

Fill in the blanks with more interesting verbs:

Example: IELTS has been making more and more money each passing year.

1. IELTS _________ _________________ _______________ each passing year.

2. I _______ ____________ ________________ for too long.

3. You _____________ _____________ ______________ for at least 5 minutes.

Write sentences about things in your life that you have been doing recently:

Example: I have been watching a lot of boring TV shows on Netflix lately.

 

Grammar Games

This is a simple game that you can use to practice by yourself, in writing or speaking.

When you’ve got a free moment (getting to work/school, in the elevator, at lunch, etc.) write down or say to yourself some sentences.

1. Start with your work (I’ve been working here 5 years. I’ve been sitting in this chair for about 2 hours.)

 

2. Then move on to where you live (I’ve been living here for…)

 

3. Then you relationships with friends/lovers.

 

4. Then write/talk about your hobbies.

 

5. Then about the books/TV shows/music you’ve been listening to/watching.

 

6. Then anything else going on in your life that you haven’t talked about yet.

 

7. Repeat once or twice a day and try to add more detail each time.

Here is another fun game for practicing present perfect continuous that you can do with friends, either in person or by messaging:

Hold up 5 fingers and say sentences about yourself. The other people have to guess whether or not they are true.

If they are right, you must put down a finger. When you don’t have any fingers left, you lose.

For example, ‘I’ve been thinking about getting a new job.’

Of course you have to be honest to play this game!

If they are not sure if you are honest they can ask follow-up questions to try to catch you.

 

 

Links

Watch here about How your Phone is Changing You and here about What a Smartphone is Made of.

 

 

Comment below:

How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone?

What do you usually use your mobile phone for?

Have your mobile phone habits changed a lot over the years?

Do people in your country use mobile phones a lot?

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Scientific Research (IELTS Cambridge 12)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Scientific Research (IELTS Cambridge 12)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 12 and it is one of the trickier IELTS questions in my opinion.

Understand the question is simple enough – it is basically asking whether or not research in various fields should be shared or not.

But there are so many tricky parts to that! Are we talking about government secrets? Should you just focus on scientific research? What if you don’t talk about academic and business research.

To be completely honest, I do not think it is a very good IELTS question even though it is from the real test. I think some students might only write about scientific research and some picky examiners will mark them down.

I would not mark down a candidate who mainly focused on scientific research.

If you have read my other sample answers, then you know that my main tip is to write very clear, specific and detailed examples. This question is begging for a more general, safe argument that touches on different types of research.

You should still find a way to write a specific example though. Read below to see how I dealt with this problem so that you can do a good job if you get a question like this on the real IELTS test.

Here is another sample answer from IELTS Cambridge 12 on the topic of young people and populations.

 

Sharing is caring!

Sharing is caring!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Scientific Research (IELTS Cambridge 12) by Dave

Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business, and the academic world. Others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

The question of how much information relevant to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the pace of technological innovation quickens and the internet allows for instant collaboration. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous asset and should only be shared freely in particular circumstances.

Advocates of freely sharing information rightly argue that collaboration leads to faster results. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or product development, as well as academics, who need fresh perspectives to push their work to higher plateaus. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better target ads for users. It allows the consumer to see more relevant products and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

While there are decided advantages like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should safeguard. In a perfect world, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a naive proposition. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for patents on any new technology. He reasoned that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. If his company discloses its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can take advantage of the shared technology and potentially disrupt his business. This is just one example of how sharing can prove damaging in a capitalist society.

In conclusion, though sharing might be a valid standpoint in a perfect world, it is not feasible under current global conditions. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. This will have a larger overall impact.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. The question of how much information relevant to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the pace of technological innovation quickens and the internet allows for instant collaboration. 2. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous asset and should only be shared freely in particular circumstances.

1. The first sentence says the topic of the essay – don’t waste time on this sentence!

2. My second sentence is my opinion. Say your opinion (clearly!) in the introduction for full marks! 

 

1. Advocates of freely sharing information rightly argue that collaboration leads to better results. 2. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or product development, as well as academics, who need fresh perspectives to push their work to higher plateaus. 3. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. 4. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. 5. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. 6. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better target ads for users. 7. It allows the consumer to see more relevant products and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence and clearly gives the main idea for the paragraph. ONLY focus on this main idea! For me is ‘better results.’

2. My second sentence lists the various areas where there are better results. I include this to make sure that I cover all the areas mentioned in the topic, even though I will focus on business for the example.

3. My third sentence begins my specific, detailed example.

4. The fourth sentence continues with the example of Google ads.

5. The fifth sentence continues the example.

6. The sixth sentence extends the result of this example.

7. The seventh sentence concludes my example with more specific details.

 

1. While there are decided advantages like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should safeguard. 2. In a perfect world, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a naive proposition. 3. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for patents on any new technology. 4. He reasoned that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. 5. If his company discloses its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can take advantage of the shared technology and potentially disrupt his business. 6. This is just one example of how sharing can prove damaging in a capitalist society.

1. The first sentence is the topic sentence for my second body paragraph that focus on my overall opinion – that information is too valuable to share freely.

2. My second sentence explains further why I think sharing information is unrealistic in a general sense.

3. The third sentence begins my specific example of something that Elon Musk said.

4. My fourth sentence expands on this example by explaining his reasoning – always a good way to continue an example.

5. The fifth also develops the example further by supporting his reasoning.

6. The sixth sentence summarises the paragraph and makes my point more general.

 

1. In conclusion, though sharing might be a valid standpoint in a perfect world, it is not feasible under current global conditions. 2. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. 3. This will have a larger overall impact.

1. The first sentence explains my opinion and the justification for it.

2. My second sentence has some extra detail that many examiners require for band 7 and up for task achievement.

3. This final sentence draws a firm conclusion to the essay – it is not totally necessary but helpful if you have time to write it!

Sample Answer Vocabulary

The question of how much information relevant to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the pace of technological innovation quickens and the internet allows for instant collaboration. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous asset and should only be shared freely in particular circumstances.

Advocates of freely sharing information rightly argue that collaboration leads to faster results. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or product development, as well as academics, who need fresh perspectives to push their work to higher plateaus. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better target ads for users. It allows the consumer to see more relevant products and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

While there are decided advantages like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should safeguard. In a perfect world, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a naive proposition. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for patents on any new technology. He reasoned that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. If his company discloses its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can take advantage of the shared technology and potentially disrupt his business. This is just one example of how sharing can prove damaging in a capitalist society.

In conclusion, though sharing might be a valid standpoint in a perfect world, it is not feasible under current global conditions. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. This will have a larger overall impact.

Answers:

relevant: important and related to what is being discussed

technological innovation quickens: faster inventions and developments in science

instant collaboration: can work together quickly and easily

asset: something useful or valuable

particular circumstances: an individual context, specific situation

advocates: proponents or supporters

rightly argue: correctly believe/think

product development: making your products better

fresh perspectives: new ideas/views

push their work to higher plateaus: get better

target ads: place ads with the right people

more relevant products: products that are important and related to you

decided advantages: clear advantages

safeguard: keep safe

in a perfect world: in an ideal world, the best case/scenario

naive proposition: innocent idea, lacking understanding of the real world

patents: government license saying that you invented something and own it

reasoned: to think about the reasons/justifications for something

discloses: reveals

take advantage: exploit, use for yourself

disrupt: interrupt or cause a problem

prove damaging: have a negative impact

capitalist society: economy based on capital, companies, etc. opposite of socialism/communism

valid standpoint: understandable/defensible view

not feasible: impossible, very unlikely

global conditions: the way the world is now

larger overall impact: bigger effect overall

 

Vocabulary Practice

The question of how much information ______________ to various areas of scientific and academic research should be shared is becoming more and more important as the__________________________ and the internet allows for

______________________. In my opinion, information is a valuable, potentially dangerous ________________ and should only be shared freely in _______________.

___________________ of freely sharing information ___________________ that collaboration leads to faster results. This applies to scientists, who can help each by offering their individual research results, businesses, which can work together as long as they are not competitors on advertising or ____________________, as well as academics, who need ____________________ to ____________________. Take for example the potential for sharing information in the business world. Google has built their successful advertising business by working together with various companies and sharing information. Google collects a variety of statistics related to users including their location and interests. This information is shared with advertisers who can then better ____________________ for users. It allows the consumer to see ____________________ and services and the companies advertising to target their audience more efficiently.

While there are ____________________ like the one mentioned above, information is still a valuable asset that individuals and companies should ________________________________________, we might expect people to openly share everything they know but the social and economic constructions of our actual world make this a ____________________. One interesting example of this is from a recent news article about Elon Musk where he explained why his rocket company SpaceX does not apply for ____________ on any new technology. He ____________________ that his main competitors are governments, not private companies. If his company ____________________ its innovations then domestic and foreign governments can ____________________ of the shared technology and potentially ____________________ his business. This is just one example of how sharing can ____________________ in a ____________________.

In conclusion, though sharing might be a ____________________ in a perfect world, it is ____________________ under current ____________________. Instead of looking to increase sharing, governments should do more to support innovative companies and researchers. This will have a____________________.

 

Links from YouTube

Here are some links to videos to get more ideas and review some of the vocabulary used in my sample answer.

If you need ideas about reading the news and improving your English you can read about it here.

How Collaboration Leads to Great Ideas

Collaboration: The Key to Scientific Success

How Open Science Protects Us 

Elon Musk on Sharing Patents

 

 

 

Comment below – Should companies/academics/researchers share information more or less freely?

I’m gonna have to say that…

I’ll only say that…

This may not be exactly true, but in most cases…

In my country, …

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!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Transportation

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Transportation

This is an actual question from a past test and I’m a former examiner who wrote this IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer.

Transportation is such a common topic – you are likely to hear about it in the listening or read about it in the reading test.

It may also come up on the speaking! Make sure you take a close look at the sample answer as well as all the vocabulary exercises below as they may be able to help all parts of your IELTS score!

Click here for my other sample answers.

If you need some help thinking of ideas you can try my tips on brainstorming here.

IELTS transportation

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 13: Transportation (by Dave)

Some people think that governments should invest mainly in making public transportation faster while other think there are more important priorities (cost, the environment). Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

While many are of the opinion that the most important factor in public transport is speed, others value areas such as cost and the environment. In my opinion, although there are a number of key considerations, speed is by far the most important.

Two of the most commonly addressed areas of public transport are cost and the environment. In Vietnam, the quality of the public transport buses is very low and they produce a lot of air pollution. However, they are very cheap and this allows the residents who need them the most, typically students and low-wage earners, to afford them. In an ideal world the government would have cheap buses that produce little exhaust, but cost and environmental concerns will always be in conflict. In developing countries, it makes sense to emphasise the expense of tickets while developed countries have the wealth and responsibility to try to better balance these competing policy influences.

Although these are worthwhile considerations, speed of transport should be the main rationale as it has a trickle down effect on the economy and quality of life of a country. For example, Japan has a famously fast and efficient system of railways both inside cities and connecting provinces within the country. If someone has a family, faster transport allows them to spend more time with their family both before and after work. This can enhance the quality of life of working class people. It also means that they will get to work faster, get more work done during the day and have more time to recuperate for the next day. Over years and decades this has hastened Japan’s development into one of the world’s leading economies.

In my opinion, cost and the environment are crucial for ordinary people and the future of our planet but speed has a greater effect on people in both the short and long-term. Governments that focus on faster public transport will reap the rewards for decades and be able to reinvest that money in areas like the environment, education, and healthcare. 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. While many are of the opinion that the most important factor in public transport is speed, others value areas such as cost and the environment. 2. In my opinion, although there are a number of key considerations, speed is by far the most important.

1. My first sentence restates what the IELTS essay topic is – keep it simple and fast!

2. The second sentence gives a clear opinion – don’t sit in the middle – be 100% clear in your opinion from the very beginning.

 

1. Two of the most commonly addressed areas of public transport are cost and the environment. 2. In Vietnam, the quality of the public transport buses is very low and they produce a lot of air pollution. 3. However, they are very cheap and this allows the residents who need them the most, typically students and low-wage earners, to afford them. 4. In an ideal world the government would have cheap buses that produce little exhaust, but cost and environmental concerns will always be in conflict. 5. In developing countries, it makes sense to emphasise the expense of tickets while developed countries have the wealth and responsibility to try to better balance these competing policy influences.

1. My first sentence is my topic sentence with the main idea for the paragraph: the relative importance of the environment and cost.

2. My second sentence begins a specific detailed example about the cost of transport in Vietnam.

3. The third sentence further develops this example by explaining the effect on students.

4. The fourth sentence explains why the environment and cost will always be in conflict.

5. My fifth sentence concludes the paragraph by distinguishing between rich and poor countries.

 

1. Although these are worthwhile considerations, speed of transport should be the main rationale as it has a trickle down effect on the economy and quality of life of a country. 2. For example, Japan has a famously fast and efficient system of railways both inside cities and connecting provinces within the country. 3. If someone has a family, faster transport allows them to spend more time with their family both before and after work. 4. This can enhance the quality of life of working class people. 5. It also means that they will get to work faster, get more work done during the day and have more time to recuperate for the next day. 6. Over years and decades this has hastened Japan’s development into one of the world’s leading economies.

1. My first sentence is another topic sentence that has the main idea for this paragraph: the speed of transport is important.

2. The second sentence immediately begins the example for this – start your examples as quickly as possible. Don’t waste any time!

3. The third sentence continues the example by detailing the impact of this.

4. My fourth sentence further explores the impact of faster transportation.

5. The fifth also continues to explore the impact. Be as specific as possible!

6. My sixth sentence concludes the paragraph by mentioning the impact on the whole country of Japan.

 

1. In my opinion, cost and the environment are crucial for ordinary people and the future of our planet but speed has a greater effect on people in both the short and long-term. 2. Governments that focus on faster public transport will reap the rewards for decades and be able to reinvest that money in areas like the environment, education, and healthcare.

1. My first sentence restates the opinion that I already said in the introduction and the main reason why.

2. The second sentence gives an extra detail that a lot of examiners will require for band 7+ for task achievement.

 

Sample Answer Vocabulary

While many are of the opinion that the most important factor in public transport is speed, others value areas such as cost and the environment. In my opinion, although there are a number of key considerations, speed is by far the most important.

Two of the most commonly addressed areas of public transport are cost and the environment. In Vietnam, the quality of the public transport buses is very low and they produce a lot of air pollution. However, they are very cheap and this allows the residents who need them the most, typically students and low-wage earners, to afford them. In an ideal world the government would have cheap buses that produce little exhaust, but cost and environmental concerns will always be in conflict. In developing countries, it makes sense to emphasise the expense of tickets while developed countries have the wealth and responsibility to try to better balance these competing policy influences.

Although these are worthwhile considerations, speed of transport should be the main rationale as it has a trickle down effect on the economy and quality of life of a country. For example, Japan has a famously fast and efficient system of railways both inside cities and connecting provinces within the country. If someone has a family, faster transport allows them to spend more time with their family both before and after work. This can enhance the quality of life of working class people. It also means that they will get to work faster, get more work done during the day and have more time to recuperate for the next day. Over years and decades this has hastened Japan’s development into one of the world’s leading economies.

In my opinion, cost and the environment are crucial for ordinary people and the future of our planet but speed has a greater effect on people in both the short and long-term. Governments that focus on faster public transport will reap the rewards for decades and be able to reinvest that money in areas like the environment, education, and healthcare.

Answers:

important factor: a key element

key considerations: important to think about

by far: clearly, far and away

commonly addressed: often considered or dealt with

residents who need them the most: people who require something

low-wage earners: people who do not make much money

in an ideal world: in a perfect world, ideally

exhaust: fumes coming out of cars

environmental concerns: possible problems related to the environment

better balance: make something more equal

policy influences: to control or alter laws

worthwhile considerations: good reasons to think about

rationale: reason for doing something

trickle down effect: impact will reach many people

enhance the quality of life: make life better

recuperate: get better

hastened: make faster

crucial: important, key

greater effect: bigger impact

reap the rewards: get rewards, receive what you deserve )if it’s good)

reinvest: put money back into something

Vocabulary Practice

While many are of the opinion that the most ____________________ in public transport is speed, others value areas such as cost and the environment. In my opinion, although there are a number of ____________________, speed is ____________________ the most important.

Two of the most ____________________ areas of public transport are cost and the environment. In Vietnam, the quality of the public transport buses is very low and they produce a lot of air pollution. However, they are very cheap and this allows the ____________________, typically students and ____________________, to afford them. ____________________ the government would have cheap buses that produce little ____________________, but cost and ____________________ will always be in conflict. In developing countries, it makes sense to emphasise the expense of tickets while developed countries have the wealth and responsibility to try to ____________________ these competing ____________________.

Although these are ____________________, speed of transport should be the main ____________________ as it has a ____________________ on the economy and quality of life of a country. For example, Japan has a famously fast and efficient system of railways both inside cities and connecting provinces within the country. If someone has a family, faster transport allows them to spend more time with their family both before and after work. This can ____________________ of working class people. It also means that they will get to work faster, get more work done during the day and have more time to ____________________ for the next day. Over years and decades this has ____________________ Japan’s development into one of the world’s leading economies.

In my opinion, cost and the environment are ____________________ for ordinary people and the future of our planet but speed has a ____________________ on people in both the short and long-term. Governments that focus on faster public transport will ____________________ for decades and be able to ____________________ that money in areas like the environment, education, and healthcare.

Links from YouTube

Check out some links to videos that can help you to review the vocabulary above and learn new words and ideas that can help you on the test:

How the World’s First Metro was Built

An Animated History of Transportation

The Future of Transportation

 You can also check out my YouTube channel for IELTS related videos.

Comment below – What do you think is the most important factor for public transport? Cost, environment, speed or something else?

I’d venture to say that…

I’m not alone in thinking that…

Some people might disagree with me, but I’d still say…

All wheeled transport should be banned – what’s wrong with walking around?

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – make your whole life about me!