Recent IELTS Writing Topics 2019

Recent IELTS Writing Topics 2019

*This post is updated weekly to reflect new questions from the test!

I have painstakenly collected from various official and unofficial sources, the recent questions from IELTS writing 2019.

If you want some feedback from a former IELTS examiner you can post your writing below and if you recently took the test please help me out by posting the writing task 1 or writing task 2 questions in the comments below – thank you!

If you want to read my sample answers you can find them all here:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answers

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answers

IELTS Speaking Model Answers and Tips

Enjoy and best of luck on your test!

For further support on IELTS, my exclusive online courses, where 100% of the materials are made by me, can be found here: Dave’s Online Courses!

October 2019

Many people believe that lecture halls have been replaced by online learning.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many people think that museums will be replaced by technology as most information can be found free online. Others believe that musueums are still important.

Will museums no longer be needed in the future?

Is this a positive development?

September 2019

Some people believe that universities shold only accept students with the highest marks while others believe that some students with low marks should have an opportunity.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some people think women should play an equal role in the police and military while others think women are less suitable for these roles.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Rapid population growth in cities has brought with it many problems.

What are these problems?

How can the quality of life of city residents be maintained?

Many scientists believe that seeking out life by sending messages into space is a good idea while others feel that it is dangerous.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

August 2019

Some people think that it is better to include more public parks and sports facilities in new towns rather than shopping malls.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Studies have shown that most criminals have low levels of educations. Because of this many believe that the best way to reduce crime is to educate prisoners so they can get a job after being released.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Governements should spend less money on restoring old buildings and more money for new housing and roads development. 

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

In certain countries, unemployment is so high that some have suggested children should stop their education after primary school to learn skills necessary to join the workforce.

Do you agree or disagree?

In many parts of the world, people look up their family history. Some people think that researching previous generations is a good idea but others think that it is better to be focused on the present and future generations.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Experts claim that if older people do more exercise they will be healthier and happier. However, many elderly people suffer from a lack of fitness.

What are the causes of this and what are some possible solutions?

These days many people throw away damaged items rather than repairing them.

Why has this change occurred?

What are the effects of this change in attitude?

Some people think that living in a country is essential to learn that country’s language and culture. 

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

July 2019

Much of the food people eat gets transported from farms thousands of miles away. Some believe it would be better for the environment and economy if people only ate food from local farmers.

Would the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

The qualities and skills that people require to be successful in today’s world cannot be learned at university or at other academic institutions.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

These days, more and more business meetings and business training are taking place online.

Do the advantages of this change outweigh the disadvantages?

Some believe that because everyone needs a place to live, governments should provide houses for those who are too poor to afford their own.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people think that sports are needed for society while others think they are just a simple form of recreation.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Many believe that young people should spend more of their free time with their family instead of other entertainment. 

Do you agree or disagree?

The media tends to focus on problems rather than positive developments. Some people think that this is harmful to individuals and society.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many employers are looking for people with good social skills as well as good qualifications.

Are social skills as important as qualifications?

How could this be a problem?

June 2019

Many developing countries are expanding their tourist industries.

Why is this?

Is this a positive development?

These days many parents pressure their children to be successful.

What are the reasons for this?

Is this a positive or negative development?

Some educators think international exchange programs would benefit teenagers in High School.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Earlier developments in technology brought more benefits to changethe lives of ordinary people than recent ones do now.

Do you agree or disagree?

More and more people today are buying and driving cars which has a positive impact for the economy but can hurt the environment.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Machines and robots are increasingly replacing workers in a number of industries.

Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

People from poor rural areas often have difficulty getting into good universities. Therefore, universities should make it easier for these people to be accepted.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many famous sports players advertise sports products.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Many are of the opinion that schools should stop using books in favour of videos, films, and computers.

To what extent do you agree?

In many countries, visitors to art galleries has been declining steadily.

What are the reasons for this?

What could be done to improve this development?

Universities should develop methods to support students who come from rural and disadvantageous backgrounds.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people think that libraries are a waste of money and resourcse and computers can largely replace them.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

For people in many countries consumer goods have become an essential part of their lives.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

In many countries men and women both work full-time jobs and it is logical that they should share household tasks equally.

Do you agree or disagree?

May 2019

As internation travel is becoming cheaper, more and more countries are allowing in more tourists.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

In many countries, people believe secondary schools should aim to provide a general education of a range of subjects. In other countries, students focus on subjects that will be useful for future careers.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Many believe that there should be few restrictions on the office buildings and homes that people can build in cities while others think the designs should be limited.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some people think that it is important to let children act independently and make their own decisions from an early age.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?

The amount of advertising that is around us all the time now has a negative impact on people’s quality of life.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

People are now living in a “throwaway society” where things are used for a short period of time and then thrown away.

What are the causes of this and what problems does it cause?

Shopping is now one of the most popular forms of leisure activities in many countries for young adults.

Why is this?

Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

These days many kids spend a lot of their time playing computer games instead of doing sports.

What is the cause of this?

Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Many people think that television is the best place to get your news while others believe there are better platforms.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Some think that one of the best ways to solve environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel for cars and other vehicles.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people think that the best way of combatting environmental problems is increasing the cost of fuel for cars and similar vehicles.

Do you agree or disagree?

Many think that studying in a group is better than self-study. Others think that it is better to study by yourself.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Many shops today stay open later than in the past and this has an effect on shoppers and the community.

Is this a positive or negative development?

April 2019

Some people think that inviduals should be responsible for planning for their retirement while others feel that it is the responsibility of governments to help them.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many museums and historical sites are not visited by local people.

What are the causes of this and what can be done about it?

Many say manufactures and supermarkets are responsible for reducing the amount of packaging of products they sell and others say it is the consumers responsibility to stop buying products with too much packaging.

Discuss both views.

In many countries, people can buy a wider range of household goods, such as  microwaves, ovens and rice cookers than ever before.

Is this a positive or negative change?

Many people claim that parents should place restrictions on the hours children spend watching TV and playing videogames and encourage them to spend more time reading books .

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many people feel that all teenagers should have to do unpaid work during their free time to help the local community and for the benefit of society as a whole.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many countries are struggling with increases in crime rates and some think that having more police on the streets is the best way to reduce these increasing levels of crime.

Do you agree or disagree?

Some people think parents should supervise their children’s activities , while others believe children should be free to do what they want in their free time.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Today, many people do not realise the importance of the natural world.

Why is this?

How can people be encouraged to learn more about how important the natural world is?

Some people believe that in order to reduce the amount of time people spend commuting ,  parks and gardens close to city centres should be replaced by apartment buildings. Others disagree with this idea.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some people believe that it is the responsibilty of individuals to take care of the environment while others think this is the responsibility of the government.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Government funding should be used to support sports and the arts in school rather than professional sports and arts for the general public.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

More and more people are becoming seriously overweight. Some people have suggested that governments should increase the cost of unhealthy foods.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

March 2019

In the future there will be more older people than younger people in most countries.

Is this a positive or negative development?

Some people believe that family has the greatest influence on childrens’ development while others think that other areas such as television and friends have greater influence.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Scientists have been warning for many years about environmental protection and how important it is to limit our personal energy consumption.

What are the causes of overconsumption of electricity?

How can people be encouraged to use less energy?

Many countries spend a lot of money on improved transport for urban areas while neglecting rural transport.

What are the problems associated with this?

What are some possible solutions?

Some people believe that teenagers should focus on all school subjects while others think that they should concentrate on the subjects where they do the best or find the most interesting.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

The workplace is changing rapidly and many people can no longer rely on having one job their entire life.

Describe the possible causes of this and suggest how this problem can be dealt with.

Some believe that older people make better leaders than young people in companies and organisations.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people believe that the increasing number of vehicles is one of the biggest problem facing cities, while others believe that cities have bigger challenges.

Discuss both views and state your opinion.

Some people think that men are naturally more competitive than women.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

These days, mobile phones and the internet are very important to the ways in which people relate to one another socially.

Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Scientists believe that in order to protect the environment, people must use less energy in their daily lives. However, most people have not changed the way they live.

Why do you think many people have not taken individual action?

What could be done to encourage them to take action?

Films and computer games which contain violence are very popular. Some people believe they have a negative effect on society and so should be banned. Other people, however, say they are just harmless and help people to relax.

Discuss both these points of view and give your own opinion.

Some people think that higher institutions should concentration more on academic subjects such as history and the physical sciences, while others think that they should concentrate more on practical subjects such as car mechanics and cookery, and so on.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion

February 2019

Around the world, the rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer.

What is the cause of this?

What solutions are there to tackle it?

Economic growth is the best way of ending global poverty but it can also have a negative effect on the environment.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Many people want to look younger than their real age.

What are the causes of this?

Is this a positive or negative development?

Some think that testing new medicines on animals is necessary while others believe it is not right. 

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Some peole prefer to buy international products rather than local ones. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Films and games can be viewed and played at any time on mobile devices. 

Do the advantages of such a development outweigh the disadvantages?

Some people think that the quality of a product drives its sales and advertising is an unnecessary form of entertainment.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many young people are leaving the countryside to live in cities leaving behind an elderly population.

What are the problems associated with this?

What can be done about it?

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

To what extent do you agree with this view?

Advances in computer technology allow young adults to work from home and children to study at home.

Do you think this is a positive or negative change?

People today get less sleep than in the past.

What is the cause of this? 

What are the possible effects of this development?

Some people think that a good diet and exercise are not necessary to live a long and healthy life.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people think that high-end technology can prevent and cut down the crime rate. 

Do you agree or disagree?

Some people think that family is the most powerful influence on a child’s development while others feel that other factors such as television and friends play a greater role today.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

The main reason that people work hard is to make money.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Over consumption of sugar is unhealthy. Some people think that governments should take the responsibility to control sugar intake while other thing it is the responsibility of individuals. 

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

January 2019

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

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?

People live longer today than in the past so they should stay in the workforce longer. 

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Money ought to be spent on new public buildings such as museums or town halls rather than renovating existing ones.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

All people in a company should be treated equally and provided with the same amount of vacation in a year.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many people say that a person’s success is a result of the way they have been brought up by their parents.

Do you agree or disagree?

Some parents claim that advertisements are misleading for children while others allege that they provide useful information.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Public celeberations (such as national days, festivals etc) are held in most countries. These are often quite expensive and some people say that governments should spend money on more useful things.

Do you agree or disagree?

Some people say that young people should be encouraged to leave home when they become adults while others claim it would be better to remain with their family.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some people think that a high salary is the most important facrtor when choosing a company to work for, while others think that a good working atmosphere is more important.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Parents should take courses in parenting in order to improve the lives of their children.

To what extent do you agree?

More and more people prefer to buy readymade food from restaurants or convenience stores instead of cooking for themselves.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Some people think that the best way to get the news is through newspapers while others think it is through online media.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Employers should focus on personal qualities instead of qualifications and experience when choosing someone for a job. 

To what extent do you agree?

Comment below any questions that you had on the test or any writing that you want some feedback on!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Family and the Home

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Family and the Home

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam concerned with the topic of family and moving out of the home.

Questions about family are fairly common on IELTS and could come up in listening, reading, writing, or (most likely) speaking.

Read my sample answer below and practice some of the vocabulary related to family!

Here is some review on IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

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

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer (Family and the Home)

Many parents encourage young people to leave home when they become older, while others think they should stay at home with the family. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

It has become increasingly prevalent for young adults to leave home before getting married. In my opinion, this is a positive trend taken as a whole because it fosters independence but it can have rare debilitating financial drawbacks.

The main drawback to moving out early is losing a parental safety net that safeguards financial stability. In large cities such as New York, real estate prices are so high that without  a high-paying job you will struggle to contend with rent, food, transportation costs, and allowances for leisure activities. It is even possible that these hardships could prove overwhelming and pride may prevent your from going back to your parents. These individuals might end up taking a job with a low salary or that is not their passion.

The aforementioned drawbacks are the exceptions; the majority of people who move out are successful because they become self-reliant. A standout example of this is the typical American university student. Most students leave their parental home at 18 and never look back. These students take their first baby steps towards looking after themselves by doing their own laundry, managing their finances to an extent, and taking on campus employment. Once they graduate from university they will likely take over their entire financial outlay. This means they must find a good job and spend more responsibly. These qualities, of frugality and responsibility, will serve them well in their lives and increase their odds of future success.

In conclusion, the majority benefit from the added responsibility that leaving home brings. To encourage more people to move out parents should provide a degree of financial support when necessary but focus moreso on fostering their children’s independence.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis (Family and the Home)

1. It has become increasingly prevalent for young adults to leave home before getting married. 2. In my opinion, this is a positive trend taken as a whole because it fosters independence but it can have rare debilitating financial drawbacks.

1. My first sentence simple  restates the main topic for the whole essay. If you misunderstand the question and write about the wrong topic you will end up with a band 3, 4, or 5 maximum for task achievement! Spend some time carefully reading the question but then write this sentence fast because you are simply paraphrasing.

2. The next sentence is my opinion. Make your opinion 100% clear or you could get a task achievement band 5! (And repeat it again in the conclusion later.)

1. The main drawback to moving out early is losing a parental safety net that safeguards financial stability. 2. In large cities such as New York, real estate prices are so high that without  a high-paying job you will struggle to contend with rent, food, transportation costs, and allowances for leisure activities. 3. It is even possible that these hardships could prove overwhelming and pride may prevent your from going back to your parents. 4. These individuals might end up taking a job with a low salary or that is not their passion.

1. The first sentence is the topic sentence for the paragraph that contains my main idea (financial stability). My whole paragraph will focus on this one idea!

2. My second sentence explains some of the costs that can come up in life.

3. The third sentence describes the possible results of financial hardships.

4. My final sentence describes the results. Don’t make statements that are too strong – for example, don’t say ‘People will then turn to crime’ because this is both factually incorrect and much too strong of a statement for a short essay!

1. The aforementioned drawbacks are the exceptions; the majority of people who move out are successful because they become self-reliant. 2. A standout example of this is the typical American university student. 3. Most students leave their parental home at 18 and never look back. 4. These students take their first baby steps towards looking after themselves by doing their own laundry, managing their finances to an extent, and taking on campus employment. 5. Once they graduate from university they will likely take over their entire financial outlay. 6. This means they must find a good job and spend more responsibly. 7. These qualities, of frugality and responsibility, will serve them well in their lives and increase their odds of future success.

1. The first sentence is another topic sentence with my new main idea: moving out makes young adults more self-reliant.

2. My second sentence starts my example.

3. The third sentence continues to develop this example.

4. My fourth sentence also further develops the example by describing the tasks they must do independently.

5. The fifth sentence also continues this example by introducing finances.

6. My sixth sentence focuses on what they must do to meet their financial obligations.

7. The final sentence concludes how these qualities will help them in a more general sense.

1. In conclusion, the majority benefit from the added responsibility that leaving home brings. 2. To encourage more people to move out parents should provide a degree of financial support when necessary but focus moreso on fostering their children’s independence.

1. My first sentence repeats my overall opinion. Be crystal clear – don’t sit in the middle!

2. The final sentence adds an extra detail to the paragraph that many examiners will require for at least band 7 for task achievement.

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 has become increasingly prevalent for young adults to leave home before getting married. In my opinion, this is a positive trend taken as a whole because it fosters independence but it can have rare debilitating financial drawbacks.

The main drawback to moving out early is losing a parental safety net that safeguards financial stability. In large cities such as New York, real estate prices are so high that without  a high-paying job you will struggle to contend with rent, food, transportation costs, and allowances for leisure activities. It is even possible that these hardships could prove overwhelming and pride may prevent your from going back to your parents. These individuals might end up taking a job with a low salary or that is not their passion.

The aforementioned drawbacks are the exceptions; the majority of people who move out are successful because they become self-reliant. A standout example of this is the typical American university student. Most students leave their parental home at 18 and never look back. These students take their first baby steps towards looking after themselves by doing their own laundry, managing their finances to an extent, and taking on campus employment. Once they graduate from university they will likely take over their entire financial outlay. This means they must find a good job and spend more responsibly. These qualities, of frugality and responsibility, will serve them well in their lives and increase their odds of future success.

In conclusion, the majority benefit from the added responsibility that leaving home brings. To encourage more people to move out parents should provide a degree of financial support when necessary but focus moreso on fostering their children’s independence.

Answers:

increasingly prevalent: more and more common

young adults: young people

taken as a whole: considered overall

fosters independence: encourages them to be self-reliant

rare debilitating financial drawbacks: uncommon very bad consequences for their money

safety net: something to protect you in bad times

safeguards: protects from

financial stability: regular income

high-paying job: making a lot of money in your work

struggle: have difficulty with

contend: deal with

allowances: exceptions/money set aside

hardships: difficult times

prove overwhelming: be too much to get past

pride: feelings of self-worth

end up: finally be

passion: love for something

aforementioned drawback: previously stated negative

self-reliant: don’t need help from others

A standout example of this is the typical: A good example of this is the average

parental home: their parent’s home

never look back: do no return

first baby steps: early, basic stages

to an extent: not fully/somewhat

taking on: assuming responsibility for

take over: be in charge of

financial outlay: the amount of money you have to spend

spend more responsibly: spend your money more wisely

frugality: not spending a lot of money

serve them well: work well for them

increase their odds of: make it more likely that

provide a degree of financial support: help out with money somewhat

focus moreso: instead concentrate on

fostering their children’s independence: encouraging their children to be more responsible

 

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈprɛvələnt 

jʌŋ ˈædʌlts 

ˈteɪkən æz ə həʊl 

ˈfɒstəz ˌɪndɪˈpɛndəns 

reə dɪˈbɪlɪteɪtɪŋ faɪˈnænʃəl ˈdrɔːbæks 

ˈseɪfti nɛt 

ˈseɪfgɑːdz 

faɪˈnænʃəl stəˈbɪlɪti:  

haɪˈpeɪɪŋ ʤɒb 

ˈstrʌgl 

kənˈtɛnd 

əˈlaʊənsɪz 

ˈhɑːdʃɪps 

pruːv ˌəʊvəˈwɛlmɪŋ 

praɪd 

ɛnd ʌp 

ˈpæʃən 

əˌfɔːˈmɛnʃənd ˈdrɔːbæk 

sɛlfrɪˈlaɪənt 

ə ˈstændaʊt ɪgˈzɑːmpl ɒv ðɪs ɪz ðə ˈtɪpɪk(ə)l 

pəˈrɛntl həʊm 

ˈnɛvə lʊk bæk 

fɜːst ˈbeɪbi stɛps 

tuː ən ɪksˈtɛnt 

ˈteɪkɪŋ ɒn 

teɪk ˈəʊvə 

faɪˈnænʃəl ˈaʊtleɪ 

spɛnd mɔː rɪsˈpɒnsəbli 

fru(ː)ˈgælɪti 

sɜːv ðɛm wɛl 

ˈɪnkriːs ðeəɒdz ɒv 

prəˈvaɪd ə dɪˈgriː ɒv faɪˈnænʃəl səˈpɔːt 

ˈfəʊkəs mɔːsəʊ 

ˈfɒstərɪŋ ðeə ˈʧɪldrənz ˌɪndɪˈpɛndəns

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It has become _________________ for _________________ to leave home before getting married. In my opinion, this is a positive trend _________________ because it _________________ but it can have _________________.

The main drawback to moving out early is losing a parental _________________ that _________________. In large cities such as New York, real estate prices are so high that without  a _________________ you will _________________ to _________________ with rent, food, transportation costs, and _________________ for leisure activities. It is even possible that these _________________ could _________________ and _________________ may prevent your from going back to your parents. These individuals might _________________ taking a job with a low salary or that is not their _________________.

The _________________ are the exceptions; the majority of people who move out are successful because they become _________________. _________________ American university student. Most students leave their _________________ at 18 and _________________. These students take their _________________ towards looking after themselves by doing their own laundry, managing their finances _________________, and _________________ campus employment. Once they graduate from university they will likely _________________ their entire _________________. This means they must find a good job and _________________. These qualities, of _________________ and responsibility, will _________________ in their lives and _________________ future success.

In conclusion, the majority benefit from the added responsibility that leaving home brings. To encourage more people to move out parents should _________________ when necessary but _________________ on _________________.

Family Links from YouTube and Articles

The Left-Behind Children

Mom vs Dad: What did you Inherit

Mr. Trump, Meet my Family

Comment below  – write your own essay and I will give you some 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!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Crime and the Police (Real IELTS Exam)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Crime and the Police (Real IELTS Exam)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam about the topic of crime, which comes up frequently on the test.

These questions are really common in the writing test and can come up on IELTS speaking as well.

Read my sample answer below and practice some of the vocabulary related to crime!

Here is some review on IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

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

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer (Crime and the Police)

Some countries are struggling with increases in crime rates. Some believe that having more police on the streets is best way to reduce and combat crime. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many countries today are grappling with the best ways to curb rising crime rates and some have suggested that increased police presence on the streets is the optimal solution. Although I think this would have a positive effect for obvious reasons, the best solution is more nuanced and requires a deeper understanding of the sources underlying crime.

There is little doubt that employing greater numbers of police officers will have an adverse affect on criminality. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. At that time, New York was a haven for criminals and many areas of the city were deemed too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. One of the many measures that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. This led to a reciprocal decline in crime and made the tourist-heavy neighbourhoods almost entirely safe and the rougher districts at least passably crime-free.

The above-mentioned measures were only effective because administrators also tackled the root causes of crime. It is generally agreed upon that the principle causes of crime are related to education indirectly and poverty more directly. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates, such as Japan, you will see correspondingly low rates of crime. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s most renowned educational systems. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately employable skills and most are employed throughout their lifetimes. Since they have money to afford a good standard of living there is little incentive for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the long-term is to invest more in education and the economy to stimulate job growth and address the catalysts spurring on crime. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first take steps to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the stable jobs that discourage criminality in all its forms.

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis (Crime and the Police)

1. Many countries today are grappling with the best ways to curb rising crime rates and some have suggested that increased police presence on the streets is the optimal solution. 2. Although I think this would have a positive effect for obvious reasons, the best solution is more nuanced and requires a deeper understanding of the sources underlying crime.

1. My first sentence quickly restates the topic for the essay – spend a lot of time understanding the question correctly but don’t waste time writing this sentence – it isn’t that important!

2. Next is my opinion. State your opinion 100% clearly or you could get a task achievement band 5!

1. There is little doubt that employing greater numbers of police officers will have an adverse affect on criminality. 2. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. 3. At that time, New York was a haven for criminals and many areas of the city were deemed too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. 4. One of the many measures that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. 5. This led to a reciprocal decline in crime and made the tourist-heavy neighbourhoods almost entirely safe and the rougher districts at least passably crime-free.

1. The first sentence is my topic sentence with the topic (police on the street) and my main idea (negative effect on crime).

2. My second sentence already begins my example. Don’t waste time – run right to your example as fast as you can!

3. The third sentence further develops the same example – don’t run away from the example – stick with it!

4. My fourth sentence continues to develop the same example.

5. Even my fifth sentence develops this same example! You can also include a conclusion sentence for the paragraph if you have time.

1. The above-mentioned measures were only effective because administrators also tackled the root causes of crime. 2. It is generally agreed upon that the principle causes of crime are related to education indirectly and poverty more directly. 3. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates, such as Japan, you will see correspondingly low rates of crime. 4. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s most renowned educational systems. 5. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately employable skills and most are employed throughout their lifetimes. 6. Since they have money to afford a good standard of living there is little incentive for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

1. The first sentence is again the topic sentence for the paragraph with my main idea – tackling the root causes of crime.

2. My second sentence explains my main idea before I get to my example.

3. The third sentence begins my example by mentioning Japan and why its crime is so low.

4. My fourth sentence continues to develop the answer about Japan.

5. The fifth sentence still continues describing the example of Japan.

6. My sixth sentence concludes the example and paragraph.

1. In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the long-term is to invest more in education and the economy to stimulate job growth and address the catalysts spurring on crime. 2. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first take steps to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the stable jobs that discourage criminality in all its forms.

1. My first sentence says my opinions for the second time. Be clear! Don’t sit in the middle with your opinion, you must choose a side!

2. The second sentence adds an extra detail to the paragraph that many examiners will require for at least band 7 for task achievement.

 

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!

Many countries today are grappling with the best ways to curb rising crime rates and some have suggested that increased police presence on the streets is the optimal solution. Although I think this would have a positive effect for obvious reasons, the best solution is more nuanced and requires a deeper understanding of the sources underlying crime.

There is little doubt that employing greater numbers of police officers will have an adverse effect on criminality. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. At that time, New York was a haven for criminals and many areas of the city were deemed too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. One of the many measures that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. This led to a reciprocal decline in crime and made the tourist-heavy neighbourhoods almost entirely safe and the rougher districts at least passably crime-free.

The above-mentioned measures were only effective because administrators also tackled the root causes of crime. It is generally agreed upon that the principle causes of crime are related to education indirectly and poverty more directly. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates, such as Japan, you will see correspondingly low rates of crime. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s most renowned educational systems. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately employable skills and most are employed throughout their lifetimes. Since they have money to afford a good standard of living there is little incentive for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the long-term is to invest more in education and the economy to stimulate job growth and address the catalysts spurring on crime. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first take steps to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the stable jobs that discourage criminality in all its forms.

 

 

Answers:

grappling with: strugglling with/fighting

curb: slow down

crime rates: the level of crime

increased police presence: more police on the streets

optimal solution: best way of dealing with

obvious reasons: clear, definite justifications

nuanced: complex

requires a deeper understanding: needs more study/analysis

underlying: root causes/foundation

There is little doubt that: no question that

adverse effect: negative impact

criminality: crime

under: while someone serves in office (under Obama, Trump, Napoleon, etc.)

haven: safe place for

deemed: considered/thought to be

measures: methods

reciprocal decline: related decrease

tourist-heavy neighbourhoods: areas where tourists frequent

rougher districts at least passably crime-free: dangerous areas at least mostly free of crime

above-mentioned: said before

administrators: people working in offices/government

tackled: combatted

root causes: sources

principle causes: main reasons

indirectly: not directly

poverty: being poor

directly: from a clearly identified source

unemployment rates: the number of people without jobs

correspondingly: related

most renowned educational systems: good schools

employable skills: skills that help you to get a job

lifetimes: as long as you live

good standard of living: good quality of life

little incentive: no reason for

long-term: over a long period of time

stimulate job growth: increase the number of jobs for people

catalysts spurring on: causes leading to

take steps: take action towards

stable jobs: good jobs that don’t go away easily

discourage criminality in all its forms: decrease all crimes

 

Pronunciation

ˈgræplɪŋ wɪð 

kɜːb 

kraɪm reɪts 

ɪnˈkriːst pəˈliːs ˈprɛzns 

ˈɒptɪməl səˈluːʃən 

ˈɒbvɪəs ˈriːznz 

nju(ː)ˈɑːnst 

rɪˈkwaɪəz ə ˈdiːpəˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ 

ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ 

ðeəɪz ˈlɪtl daʊt ðæt 

ˈædvɜːs ɪˈfɛkt 

ˌkrɪmɪˈnælɪti 

ˈʌndə 

ˈheɪvn 

diːmd 

ˈmɛʒəz 

rɪˈsɪprəkəl dɪˈklaɪn 

ˈtʊərɪstˈhɛvi ˈneɪbəhʊdz 

ˈrʌfə ˈdɪstrɪkts æt liːst ˈpɑːsəbli kraɪmfriː 

əˈbʌvˈmɛnʃ(ə)nd 

ədˈmɪnɪstreɪtəz 

ˈtækld 

ruːt ˈkɔːzɪz 

ˈprɪnsəpl ˈkɔːzɪz 

ˌɪndɪˈrɛktli 

ˈpɒvəti 

dɪˈrɛktli 

ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt reɪts 

ˌkɒrɪsˈpɒndɪŋli 

məʊst rɪˈnaʊnd ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˈsɪstɪmz 

ɪmˈplɔɪəbl skɪlz 

ˈlaɪftaɪmz 

gʊd ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 

ˈlɪtl ɪnˈsɛntɪv 

ˈlɒŋtɜːm 

ˈstɪmjʊleɪt ʤɒb grəʊθ 

ˈkætəlɪsts ˈspɜːrɪŋ ɒn 

teɪk stɛps 

ˈsteɪbl ʤɒbz 

dɪsˈkʌrɪʤ ˌkrɪmɪˈnælɪti ɪn ɔːl ɪts fɔːmz

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many countries today are _____________ the best ways to _____________ rising _____________ and some have suggested that _____________ on the streets is the _____________. Although I think this would have a positive effect for  _____________, the best solution is more _____________ and _____________ of the sources _____________ crime.

_____________ employing greater numbers of police officers will have an _____________ on  _____________. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City  _____________ Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. At that time, New York was a _____________ for criminals and many areas of the city were _____________ too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. One of the many _____________ that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. This led to a _____________ in crime and made the _____________ almost entirely safe and the _____________.

The _____________ measures were only effective because _____________ also _____________ the _____________ of crime. It is generally agreed upon that the _____________ of crime are related to education _____________ and _____________ more  _____________. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and _____________, such as Japan, you will see _____________ low rates of crime. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s _____________. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately _____________ and most are employed throughout their  _____________. Since they have money to afford a _____________ there is _____________ for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the _____________ is to invest more in education and the economy to _____________ and address the _____________ crime. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first _____________ to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the _____________ that _____________.

 

Crime Links from YouTube and Articles

Why Japan’s Crime Rate Is So Low

CRIME:The Animated Series – Marcus Mcghee – MOCAtv (Explicit Language)

Why should you read “Crime and Punishment”? – Alex Gendler

 

Comment below – Have you ever committed a crime?

Lots of times! I remember once I …

Just the once … 

Yeah, a few times…

What?! I’d never…

 

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: Health Problems Individuals/Governments (Real IELTS Exam)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Health Problems Individuals/Governments (Real IELTS Exam)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam about the topic of health, governments and individuals.

It is really common to get questions that show the conflict between individuals and the government/society/companies.

Keep reading to see how I deal with it and practice some useful grammar and vocabulary.

Here is some review on IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

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

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Health Problems Individuals/Governments (Real IELTS Exam)

Many people believe that every individual is responsible for his/her own healthy lifestyle. Others believe that governments should take care of it. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

There has been much recent policy advocacy related to what the proper role of governments in healthcare should be. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with the seriousness it merits, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ultimately rest with individuals as they are more likely to stick with habits that they themselves have cultivated.

Those who favour strong governmental intervention often point out the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through early intervention at public schools. In the United States, the vast majority of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been implementing new policies aimed at curbing addiction to unhealthy foods. This means that they have reduced the total intake of saturated fats in school lunches and drastically cut down on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ubiquitous vending machines placed around most schools. In the short term this has led to improved health for students but its true effect will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to eschew fast food for the healthier alternatives now opening up to meet the growing demands of an increasingly health-conscious nation.

While there are clear benefits to governmental action, individuals are better at regulating their own behaviour in the long-term. People have always found ways to get around rules in order to satisfy their most basic desires, including those related to food. No matter what steps governments take, people will always crave unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are hardwired to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. For example, even a country like France, which has imposed strict rules over the food that children are served, is still facing an obesity crises. Therefore the only way for people to consistently combat poor health is to develop the discipline on their own. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having worked out the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule imposed by their schools at the behest of the government.

In conclusion, governments have a large role to play in public health but only individuals can take control of their own lives and make decisions that will truly benefit them in the future. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. Standing back and allowing people to become more self-reliant will not only have more long-lasting effects but will also empower individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. There has been much recent policy advocacy related to what the proper role of governments in healthcare should be. 2. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with the seriousness it merits, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ultimately rest with individuals as they are more likely to stick with habits that they themselves have cultivated.

1. My first sentence quickly states the topic for the essay – spend a lot of time understanding the question correctly but don’t waste time writing this sentence – it isn’t that important!

2. Next is my opinion. State your opinion 100% clearly or you risk getting band 5 for task achievement!

1. Those who favour strong governmental intervention often point out the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through early intervention at public schools. 2. In the United States, the vast majority of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been implementing new policies aimed at curbing addiction to unhealthy foods. 3. This means that they have reduced the total intake of saturated fats in school lunches and drastically cut down on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ubiquitous vending machines placed around most schools. 4. In the short term this has led to improved health for students but its true effect will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to eschew fast food for the healthier alternatives now opening up to meet the growing demands of an increasingly health-conscious nation.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence with my main idea for the whole paragraph (governments had a large impact in schools). Write a short, simple topic sentence to make your writing clear to the examiner!

2. My second sentence starts my example. Don’t waste any time – get right to your example and start to develop it for a really high task achievement score.

3. The third sentence continues to develop my example by talking about the specific effects of healthy foods at school.

4. My fourth sentence concludes the examples by further talking about the impact later in life for students who develop healthy eating habits from a young age due to government intervention.

1. While there are clear benefits to governmental action, individuals are better at regulating their own behaviour in the long-term. 2. People have always found ways to get around rules in order to satisfy their most basic desires, including those related to food. 3. No matter what steps governments take, people will always crave unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are hardwired to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. 4. For example, even a country like France, which has imposed strict rules over the food that children are served, is still facing an obesity crises. 5. Therefore the only way for people to consistently combat poor health is to develop the discipline on their own. 6. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having worked out the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule imposed by their schools at the behest of the government.

1. My first sentence is the topic sentence for this paragraph – again, keep it short, simple and clear as this will help both your cohesion/coherence and task achievement scores!

2. The second sentence begins to develop my main idea by explaining why unhealthy eating is so common.

3. The third sentence develops my idea by giving a counter-example: even with government intervention people still eat unhealthily.

4. My fourth sentence gives a more specific example to support my argument.

5. The fifth sentence suggests that people need to develop their own habits.

6. The sixth sentence argues that people who develop their own habits are more likely to stick to them because they understand the reasoning behind them well.

1. In conclusion, governments have a large role to play in public health but only individuals can take control of their own lives and make decisions that will truly benefit them in the future. 2. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. 3. Standing back and allowing people to become more self-reliant will not only have more long-lasting effects but will also empower individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

1. The first sentence repeats my opinion. Be sure to have a clear opinion (choose a side) and say it in both your introduction and conclusion for full task achievement and cohesion/coherence marks.

2. My second sentence adds further support for my opinion.

3. The third sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners require for band 7+ and above for task achievement. You only need 2 sentences in your conclusion – maximum 3! 

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!

There has been much recent policy advocacy related to what the proper role of governments in healthcare should be. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with the seriousness it merits, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ultimately rest with individuals as they are more likely to stick with habits that they themselves have cultivated.

Those who favour strong governmental intervention often point out the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through early intervention at public schools. In the United States, the vast majority of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been implementing new policies aimed at curbing addiction to unhealthy foods. This means that they have reduced the total intake of saturated fats in school lunches and drastically cut down on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ubiquitous vending machines placed around most schools. In the short term this has led to improved health for students but its true effect will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to eschew fast food for the healthier alternatives now opening up to meet the growing demands of an increasingly health-conscious nation.

While there are clear benefits to governmental action, individuals are better at regulating their own behaviour in the long-term. People have always found ways to get around rules in order to satisfy their most basic desires, including those related to food. No matter what steps governments take, people will always crave unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are hardwired to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. For example, even a country like France, which has imposed strict rules over the food that children are served, is still facing an obesity crises. Therefore the only way for people to consistently combat poor health is to develop the discipline on their own. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having worked out the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule imposed by their schools at the behest of the government.

In conclusion, governments have a large role to play in public health but only individuals can take control of their own lives and make decisions that will truly benefit them in the future. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. Standing back and allowing people to become more self-reliant will not only have more long-lasting effects but will also empower individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

Answers:

policy advocacy: supporting a policy

proper role: what you should be responsible for

the seriousness it merits: how important it really is

ultimately rest: finally must be responsible for

stick with: continue/maintain/keep up

cultivated: grown/made themselves

strong governmental intervention: the government making strong laws/policies

point out: argue/think

early intervention: taking action at an early stage

public schools: state funded schools

vast majority: most

implementing new policies: introducing new laws/rules

curbing: slowing down

total intake: the amount consumed

drastically cut down: decreased a lot

ubiquitous: common/everywhere

short term: not too far in the future

true effect: actual impact

eschew: avoid

healthier alternatives: more healthy options

meet the growing demands: supply the desires of consumers

increasingly health-conscious nation: a country more and more concerned with health

clear benefits: definite advantages

regulating: controlling

long-term: in the distant future

get around rules: avoid mandates

most basic desires: what people desire as humans

no matter what steps governments take: regardless of what governments try to do

crave: desire

hardwired: biologically fixed

imposed strict rules: enact harsh laws

served: given

facing an obesity crises: lots of fat people

consistently combat poor health: often unhealthy

discipline: punish

worked out: figure out

imposed: force

at the behest of the government: at the government’s request

large role: big part in

take control: be in charge

truly benefit: actual positive impact on

standing back: doing nothing

self-reliant: depending on only yourself

long-lasting effects: impact in the future

empower: give power

 

Pronunciation

ˈpɒlɪsi ˈædvəkəsi 

ˈprɒpə rəʊl 

ðə ˈsɪərɪəsnɪs ɪt ˈmɛrɪts 

ˈʌltɪmɪtli rɛst 

stɪk wɪð 

ˈkʌltɪveɪtɪd 

strɒŋ ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌɪntə(ː)ˈvɛnʃən 

pɔɪnt aʊt 

ˈɜːli ˌɪntə(ː)ˈvɛnʃən 

ˈpʌblɪk skuːlz 

vɑːst məˈʤɒrɪti 

ˈɪmplɪmɛntɪŋ njuː ˈpɒlɪsiz 

ˈkɜːbɪŋ 

ˈtəʊtl ˈɪnteɪk 

ˈdræstɪk(ə)li kʌt daʊn 

ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪtəs 

ʃɔːt tɜːm 

truː ɪˈfɛkt 

ɪsˈʧuː 

ˈhɛlθɪəɔːlˈtɜːnətɪvz 

miːt ðə ˈgrəʊɪŋ dɪˈmɑːndz 

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli hɛlθˈkɒnʃəs ˈneɪʃən 

klɪə ˈbɛnɪfɪts 

ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪŋ 

ˈlɒŋtɜːm 

gɛt əˈraʊnd ruːlz 

məʊst ˈbeɪsɪk dɪˈzaɪəz 

nəʊ ˈmætə wɒt stɛps ˈgʌvnmənts teɪk 

kreɪv 

hɑːdˈwaɪəd 

ɪmˈpəʊzd strɪkt ruːlz 

sɜːvd 

ˈfeɪsɪŋ ən əʊˈbiːsɪti ˈkraɪsiːz 

kənˈsɪstəntli ˈkɒmbæt pʊə hɛlθ 

ˈdɪsɪplɪn 

wɜːkt aʊt 

ɪmˈpəʊzd 

æt ðə bɪˈhɛst ɒv ðə ˈgʌvnmənt 

lɑːʤ rəʊl 

teɪk kənˈtrəʊl 

ˈtruːli ˈbɛnɪfɪt 

ˈstændɪŋ bæk 

sɛlfrɪˈlaɪənt 

lɒŋˈlɑːstɪŋ ɪˈfɛkts 

ɪmˈpaʊə 
 

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

There has been much recent ___________________ related to what the ___________________ of governments in healthcare should be. Although I believe governments have begun to treat this issue with ___________________, the responsibility for taking care of one’s health should ___________________ with individuals as they are more likely to ___________________ habits that they themselves have ___________________.

Those who favour ___________________ often ___________________ the role of the state in forming healthy eating habits through ___________________ at ___________________. In the United States, the ___________________ of students attend state schools and in recent years the government has been ___________________ aimed at ___________________ addiction to unhealthy foods. This means that they have reduced the ___________________ of saturated fats in school lunches and ___________________ on sugar not only in prepared lunches but also in the ___________________ vending machines placed around most schools. In the ___________________ this has led to improved health for students but its ___________________ will be over the next several decades when these children grow up and are more likely to ___________________ fast food for the ___________________ now opening up to ___________________ of an ___________________.

While there are ___________________ to governmental action, individuals are better at ___________________ their own behaviour in the ___________________. People have always found ways to ___________________ in order to satisfy their ___________________, including those related to food. ___________________, people will always ___________________ unhealthy, delicious foods as our brains are ___________________ to feel pleasure from saturated fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. For example, even a country like France, which has ___________________ over the food that children are ___________________, is still ___________________. Therefore the only way for people to ___________________ is to develop the discipline on their own. Individuals who make the choice to eat healthier are more likely to stick with this habit having ___________________ the reasons for themselves, rather than simply following a rule ___________________ by their schools ___________________.

In conclusion, governments have a ___________________ to play in public health but only individuals can ___________________ of their own lives and make decisions that will ___________________ them in the future. In this case, the best solution is simply no solution. ___________________ and allowing people to become more ___________________ will not only have more ___________________ but will also ___________________ individuals in various other areas of their life to be more responsible.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Which Diets Actually Work?

How the Food you Eat Affects your Brain

Myths You Learned in Health Class

Comment below – What are your most unhealthy habits?

I can’t resist …

My weak spot is …

I’m an absolute addict when it comes to …

I’ve got a real sweet tooth and I’m especially keen on …

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)!

Your Complete Guide to IELTS Cambridge 14 – Sample Answers and More!

Your Complete Guide to IELTS Cambridge 14 – Sample Answers and More!

The newest IELTS Cambridge 14 book of real past tests recently just came out and I’m sure you’re hungry for some sample answers and analysis!

You can order the book online here.

Please don’t download it illegally online – that is no different from walking into a store, taking the book, and walking out without paying. Well, the only difference is that no one sees you doing it, which makes it worse to steal online…

Anyway, here are the sample answers for all of the writings – both task 1 and task 2:

 

IELTS Cambridge 14 Writing Task 2

 

IELTS Cambridge 14 Writing Task 1

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

 

 

Tips for Using IELTS Cambridge 14

I’ve got some important tips for how to use these Cambridge books. Too 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 14 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 14 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!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Music Bringing People Together (IELTS Cambridge 14)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Music Bringing People Together (IELTS Cambridge 14)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from Cambridge 14 (a book of real past tests) about the topic of music and how that can bring together people of different generations.

Some questions are really boring and a tough slog to write about but not this one! I think this topic is actually interesting and lends itself to some fun examples.

Keep reading to see exactly how I (a former IELTS examiner) handled it as well as vocabulary activities, pronunciation and more!

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!

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Music Bringing People Together (IELTS Cambridge 14)

Some people say that music is a good way of bringing people of different cultures and ages together.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.

The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.

In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. 2. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.

1. The first sentence says the topic for the essay. Keep it simple for this one – it’s not a very important sentence.

2. Then write your opinion – make it 100% clearn – don’t sit in the middle unless if you want to risk band 5 for task achievement! (Note: I kind of sat in the middle but I did it very carefully – read on to see how…)

 

1. The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. 2. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. 3. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. 4. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. 5. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. 6. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. 7. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. 8. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence for the paragraph with my relevant main idea: music doesn’t really bring people together.

2. The second sentence explains my main idea and references a common example.

3. My third sentence begins a more specific example of artists today.

4. The fourth sentence continues to the example by contrasting them to past artists.

5. The fifth sentence focuses on Kanye to show the differences between generations.

6. My sixth sentence focuses on Rihanna and Taylor Swift. In hindsight this essay might be getting too long…

7. The seventh sentence contrasts it with the specific examples of older musicians.

8. Finally I conclude by relating it to my main idea. This paragraph is a bit too long – try to stick to about 5 sentences.

1. Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. 2. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. 3. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. 4. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. 5. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. 6. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. 7. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.

1. My first sentence is another topic sentence that states a main idea for the other viewpoint: people can relate to different cultures through music.

2. The second sentence clarifies my main idea. You don’t always need to do this – sometimes you can just start on your example (and not end up with a seven sentence paragraph). 

3. The third sentence begins another specific, detailed example (about Bob Marley this time).

4. My fourth sentence describes how he has managed to bridge cultural divides.

5. The fifth sentence further develops the example.

6. The sixth sentence describes specifically how he could connect with someone from another culture.

7. My sixth sentence concludes the paragraph by summarising the impact across cultures of his music.

1. In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. 2. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

1. The first sentence restates my opinion. Even though I agree with half and disagree with the other half this is not sitting in the middle. I have clear opinions about how music impacts generations and cultures. Sitting in the middle would just be saying that it is good for some reasons and not good for other ones without a clear chosen side – that would be band 5!

2. My second sentence adds an extra detail that a lot of examiners require for band 7 and above.

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!

Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.

The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.

In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

Answers:

key distinguisher: main way to separate/define

bridge cultural gaps: bring together different countries/cultures

overstate: make something sound more important than it really is

leveling the differences: getting rid of what is different – making more similar

universal sentiments: ideas that people all over the world feel/believe in

unifier: brings together

generational disparity: differences between generations/ages

formative years: impressionable ages

disdain: look down on

currently relevant: important now

stereotype: a common belief often incorrect about a group of people

differ greatly: not at all the same

brash: overconfident

controversial opinions: views that many people would disagree with

constantly shifts: always changes

redefines genre: innovates the type of music/film

sugary pop songs: pop music that sounds good to the ear

ubiquitous: common

intricate melodies: complicated musical rhythm

insightful writing: meaningful lyrics

raw sincerity: very honest

old school rap: hip-hop from the 90s

augmented: made better/stronger

mediated: filtered through

alleviate generational barriers: improve differences between age groups

universal, human perspectives: beliefs common to all humanity

empathy: the ability to understand other people’s feelings

against the backdrop: in the context of

political and economic upheaval: lots of changes related to the government and economy

resilience: able to bounce back, strong

pulses: moves through

infectious music: music that you can’t get out of your head

translated across cultural divides: can be understood by different cultures

firsthand experience: what you see yourself (not reported by someone else)

disparate cultures: different cultures

emotional and intellectual bonding: connecting in terms of feeling and thinking

universality: applies to the whole world

common ground: related/relevant to everyone

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Music has always been a __________________ of culture but many believe that it can also __________________ and differences in age. Though I think some people __________________ the impact of music __________________ between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing __________________.

The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good __________________ in terms of __________________ is that people tend to enjoy the music from their __________________ and __________________ whatever is __________________. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate __________________ of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists __________________ from past musicians. Kanye is a __________________ rapper with __________________ whose music __________________ and __________________. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write __________________ that become __________________ in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be __________________ and __________________ of The Beatles or the __________________ of __________________. The differences between the generations are reflected and __________________ rather than __________________ due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

Although music does little to __________________, it does help cultures relate through __________________. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, __________________, and positivity __________________ of a nation experiencing __________________. His __________________ against this __________________ through his __________________ and has __________________. An Asian person, who might not have any __________________ with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of __________________ through an __________________ on common issues.

In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its __________________ to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find __________________ to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Bob Marley Documentary

Kanye, Rihanna and Paul McCartney!

The Secrets of Mozart’s Magic Flute

No Woman, No Cry

Comment below – What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I’m really keen on…

My favourite at the moment is…

I’ve been getting into…

The new album from ____ is …

 

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)!