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)!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Self-Employment (IELTS Cambridge 14)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Self-Employment (IELTS Cambridge 14)

This is an IELTS Cambridge 14 Sample Answer for task 2 writing from a real past past on the topic of work and self-employment.

Regardless of the country where you are currently living, this is probably a really pertinent question. It seems that everyone wants their own business – me included!

Read on to see how I dealt with it as well as for some vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar activities 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!

Keep up the good work!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Self-Employment (IELTS Cambridge 14)

Nowadays many people choose to be self-employed, rather than to work for a company or organisation. Why might this be the case? What could be the disadvantages of being self-employed?

An increasing number of people today are opting to start their own companies instead of working for a company mainly because of the increased support for young entrepreneurs. In my opinion, the main disadvantages of not having an employer are lack of expertise and its overall effect on businesses.

The number of self-employed is related to young entrepreneurs and has its origin in widespread angel investment across a variety of industries. One well-known example of this can be seen on the popular show ‘Shark Tank,’ where a panel of investors and executives hear product pitches and compete to purchase stakes in budding entrepreneurs’ businesses. This show has launched a number of successful products by securing initial funding, which has led to a trickle down effect from this show: not only has it turned specific dreams into realities but it also encourages viewers in general to be more ambitious and has therefore been one of the main catalysts for the frenzy of self-run businesses popping up in recent years.

Though there are undoubtedly positives to all these start-up companies, I think that the overall impact is negative because it results in many poorly run businesses. For example, in recent years a number of ride-sharing apps including Uber, Grab, Lyft, Be, Go-Viet and countless others have sprung up. The established companies provide a functioning app with high-quality service to meet the growing demands of this industry. However, the majority of small start-ups find themselves in over their heads with apps that barely function and driver shortages that specialise in inconveniencing customers. It would be better for the people starting these derivative businesses to either work in companies, gain valuable experience, look for gaps in the market, and then develop develop worthy competitors or simply be content to have a good job in a good company that they do not own.

In conclusion, I feel that the rising number of new companies has led to a cult of overconfidence. If more people were satisfied working for others rather than pursuing unrealisable ambitions, this would likely lead to better consumer products across the board as well as increased national economic prosperity.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. An increasing number of people today are opting to start their own companies instead of working for a company mainly because of the increased support for young entrepreneurs. 2. In my opinion, the main disadvantages of not having an employer are lack of expertise and its overall effect on businesses.

1. The first sentence paraphrases the essay topic. This sentence is relatively unimportant so write it as fast your pen/pencil can fly!

2. My second sentence states my opinion – always have a CLEAR opinion or you risk getting band 5 for task achievement…

1. The number of self-employed is related to young entrepreneurs and has its origin in widespread angel investment across a variety of industries. 2. One well-known example of this can be seen on the popular show ‘Shark Tank,’ where a panel of investors and executives hear product pitches and compete to purchase stakes in budding entrepreneurs’ businesses. 3. This show has launched a number of successful products by securing initial funding, which has led to a trickle down effect from this show: not only has it turned specific dreams into realities but it also encourages viewers in general to be more ambitious and has therefore been one of the main catalysts for the frenzy of self-run businesses popping up in recent years.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that gives the main idea for the paragraph: investment has led to more entrepreneurs. 

2. My second sentence begins my example. Don’t waste any time getting to your example as it is all that really matters for your task achievement score!

3. The third sentence further develops and connects the example to my main idea. Usually I write longer paragraphs (and shorter sentences) but there are always exceptions! Aim for about 4 – 5 sentences per paragraph for your writing.

1. Though there are undoubtedly positives to all these start-up companies, I think that the overall impact is negative because it results in many poorly run businesses. 2. For example, in recent years a number of ride-sharing apps including Uber, Grab, Lyft, Be, Go-Viet and countless others have sprung up. 3. The established companies provide a functioning app with high-quality service to meet the growing demands of this industry. 4. However, the majority of small start-ups find themselves in over their heads with apps that barely function and driver shortages that specialise in inconveniencing customers. 5. It would be better for the people starting these derivative businesses to either work in companies, gain valuable experience, look for gaps in the market, and then develop develop worthy competitors or simply be content to have a good job in a good company that they do not own.

1. The first sentence is another topic sentence with the idea for the paragraph: this development is bad because it results in bad businesses.

2. My second sentence again begins my example right away.

3. The third sentence continues to develop the example. Don’t run away from your examples – take some time to date them!

4. My fourth sentence also continues the same example. Notice all the great vocabulary that comes out of a specific, detailed example!

5. My fifth sentence focuses on the effect of the example and relates it back to my main idea.

1. In conclusion, I feel that the rising number of new companies has led to a cult of overconfidence. 2. If more people were satisfied working for others rather than pursuing unrealisable ambitions, this would likely lead to better consumer products across the board as well as increased national economic prosperity.

1. My first sentence states my opinion for the second time and my main reason why: overconfidence.

2. I finish the essay with a suggestion for how to encourage this in the future. Be sure to have some extra detail/suggestion at the end of your writing beyond just a summary of your opinion!

Sample Answer Vocabulary

Try to figure out what the words in bold below mean. Don’t use a dictionary at first! See if you can write your own definition based on the sentence and then check in a dictionary. Guess if you have to but don’t cheat even if you want to!

An increasing number of people today are opting to start their own companies instead of working for a company mainly because of the increased support for young entrepreneurs. In my opinion, the main disadvantages of not having an employer are lack of expertise and its overall effect on businesses.

The number of self-employed is related to young entrepreneurs and has its origin in widespread angel investment across a variety of industries. One well-known example of this can be seen on the popular show ‘Shark Tank,’ where a panel of investors and executives hear product pitches and compete to purchase stakes in budding entrepreneurs’ businesses. This show has launched a number of successful products by securing initial funding, which has led to a trickle down effect from this show: not only has it turned specific dreams into realities but it also encourages viewers in general to be more ambitious and has therefore been one of the main catalysts for the frenzy of self-run businesses popping up in recent years.

Though there are undoubtedly positives to all these start-up companies, I think that the overall impact is negative because it results in many poorly run businesses. For example, in recent years a number of ride-sharing apps including Uber, Grab, Lyft, Be, Go-Viet and countless others have sprung up. The established companies provide a functioning app with high-quality service to meet the growing demands of this industry. However, the majority of small start-ups find themselves in over their heads with apps that barely function and driver shortages that specialise in inconveniencing customers. It would be better for the people starting these derivative businesses to either work in companies, gain valuable experience, look for gaps in the market, and then develop develop worthy competitors or simply be content to have a good job in a good company that they do not own.

In conclusion, I feel that the rising number of new companies has led to a cult of overconfidence. If more people were satisfied working for others rather than pursuing unrealisable ambitions, this would likely lead to better consumer products across the board as well as increased national economic prosperity.

Answers:

opting: choosing

entrepreneurs: people who start their own business

lack of expertise: not experts/skilled in an area

overall effect: the main impact of something

origin: cause/where it comes from

widespread: common

angel investment: early investment in a start-up company

panel of investors: group of people giving money to a product or service

product pitches: making a case/proposing a service or product

purchase stakes: buy a piece of a company

budding businesses: early/beginning/just forming businesses

launched products: started/premiered

securing initial funding: getting early money for something

trickle down effect: domino effect/effects other areas indirectly

dreams into realities: makes hopes/dreams comes true

main catalysts: primary causes

frenzy: lots of activity

popping up: appearing

Though there are undoubtedly positives: despite the fact there are advantages

start-up companies: companies that are just beginning

poorly run: not well managed

ride-sharing apps: applications on your phone to call a ride like Uber

established companies: well-known companies with good reputations

meet the growing demands: be able to provide a service for people who want it

in over their heads: beyond what they are capable of

barely function: hardly works at all

driver shortages: not enough drivers

specialise: focus on/become an expert in one area of

derivative: unoriginal

gain valuable experience: learn a lot

gaps in the market: areas where no company is meeting current demand/need

cult of overconfidence: lots of people being arrogant

unrealisable: impossible to make into a reality

across the board: everywhere/in all areas or industries

prosperity: wealth

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

An increasing number of people today are _______________ to start their own companies instead of working for a company mainly because of the increased support for young _______________. In my opinion, the main disadvantages of not having an employer are _______________ and its _______________ on businesses.

The number of self-employed is related to young entrepreneurs and has its _______________ in _______________ across a variety of industries. One well-known example of this can be seen on the popular show ‘Shark Tank,’ where a _______________ and executives hear _______________ and compete to _______________ in _______________ entrepreneurs’ _______________. This show has _______________  a number of successful _______________ by _______________, which has led to a _______________ from this show: not only has it turned specific _______________ but it also encourages viewers in general to be more ambitious and has therefore been one of the _______________ for the _______________of self-run businesses _______________ in recent years.

_______________ to all these _______________, I think that the overall impact is negative because it results in many _______________ businesses. For example, in recent years a number of _______________ including Uber, Grab, Lyft, Be, Go-Viet and countless others have sprung up. The _______________ provide a functioning app with high-quality service to _______________ of this industry. However, the majority of small start-ups find themselves _______________ with apps that _______________ and _______________ that _______________in inconveniencing customers. It would be better for the people starting these _______________businesses to either work in companies, _______________, look for _______________, and then develop develop worthy competitors or simply be content to have a good job in a good company that they do not own.

In conclusion, I feel that the rising number of new companies has led to a _______________. If more people were satisfied working for others rather than pursuing _______________ ambitions, this would likely lead to better consumer products _______________ as well as increased national economic _______________.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Worst Shark Tank Pitches

Brightwheel Pitch

Best Pitch Ever!

50 Entrepreneurs Share Priceless Advice 

Comment below – Do you want to open your own business someday?

I’m not into that sort of thing…

I’d make a great…

I’d give it a shot if …

No chance because …

 

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

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Environmental Problems Plants and Animals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Environmental Problems Plants and Animals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 14 about environmental problems effecting plants and animals and it is an interesting question. You can read about another question from Cambridge 14 on the topic of changing your life here.

Here is the question:

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

I think this question is really tricky. The topic itself is simple: environmental problems.

Some IELTS questions have tough topics – like space tourism – but this one is easy enough for most people to write about.

The tricky part is related to the question itself. It is not asking you to just write about environmental problems.

You must have a clear reason why losing animals and plants is the most important problem.

And then a different reason, not related to plants or animals, that a different problem is more important!

It’s tough! So read below on how I handled this tentacled question…

Once you’re done with that, check out the other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

You might feel like this panda trying to answer this tricky IELTS question…

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Environmental Problems Plants and Animals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many are of the opinion that the risks for endangered plants and wildlife are the most severe consequences of our worsening environment while others would argue that other problems are more pressing. While I consider the impact of recurring natural disasters to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most serious threat to the environment.

The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been strongly linked to climate change. Many scientists have made the case that incremental rises in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and potency of hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards. There are countless instances of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a particularly striking example. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which set these developing nations back economically for years. People lost their lives, homes, and livelihood in many cases.

The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. One of the most well-known examples of this is the often cited case of polar bears. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the polar ice caps has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often forecast that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct in the wild. Their extinction will likely have a domino effect on the fragile ecosystems of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more lasting impression we can leave than to deplete the world entirely of a species.

In my opinion, the loss of ecological diversity trumps any other environmental concerns. In order to remedy this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in conservation efforts for endangered animals but also work towards long term reforms related to fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the other apparent catalysts for climate change.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Many are of the opinion that the risks for endangered plants and wildlife are the most severe consequences of our worsening environment while others would argue that other problems are more pressing. 2. While I consider the impact of recurring natural disasters to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most serious threat to the environment.

1. The first sentence states the topic – write this sentence very quickly because it’s not that important.

2. Next is my opinion, be sure that this is clear and include it in both your introduction and conclusion.

1. The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been strongly linked to climate change. 2. Many scientists have made the case that incremental rises in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and potency of hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards. 3. There are countless instances of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a particularly striking example. 4. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which set these developing nations back economically for years. 5. People lost their lives, homes, and livelihood in many cases.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence with the main idea for the whole paragraph – natural disasters are important and linked to climate change.

2. My second sentence provides specific evidence of this and support from researchers. Try not to use research that it is too specific (like a 1992 study by the University of Michigan showed…) because it is obviously made up. That technically shouldn’t hurt your score but some examiners may take exception.

3. The third sentence focuses on a specific example of a tsunami in Southeast Asia.

4. The fourth sentence develops the example by talking about the implications of the tsunami. This question is all about how important the environmental problem is so be sure to focus on the effects to show the importance!

5. The fifth sentence continues with the effects of the disasters.

1. The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. 2. One of the most well-known examples of this is the often cited case of polar bears. 3. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the polar ice caps has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. 4. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often forecast that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct in the wild. 5. Their extinction will likely have a domino effect on the fragile ecosystems of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. 6. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. 7. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more lasting impression we can leave than to deplete the world entirely of a species.

1. The first sentence is another topic sentence stating why I think the less of plants and animals is more important – because animals may go extinct.

2. My second sentence starts my example. Try to get to your examples as fast as possible – they are like life-preservers tossed to the struggling IELTS student in the water!

3. The third sentence focuses more closely on the example.

4. My fourth sentence focuses more closely on the example

5. The fifth sentence continues the example by describing the effect on the entire arctic ecosystem.

6. The sixth sentence makes the example more general by extending it to other animal species around the world.

7. The final sentence gives more support for my opinion that animal extinction is the most important problem.

1. In my opinion, the loss of ecological diversity trumps any other environmental concerns. 2. In order to remedy this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in conservation efforts for endangered animals but also work towards long term reforms related to fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the other apparent catalysts for climate change.

1. My first sentence restates my overall opinion and the main reason for it.

2. The last sentence gives some suggestions about what people can do to combat this problem. Be sure to have an extra detail in your final sentence because many examiners require it for band 7+ for task achievement.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

Try to figure out what the vocabulary in bold means from the context of the whole sentence. Don’t worry if you are not 100% sure – over time you will become more sure of the meaning (don’t use a dictionary in your native language because you will most likely learn the wrong word).

Many are of the opinion that the risks for endangered plants and wildlife are the most severe consequences of our worsening environment while others would argue that other problems are more pressing. While I consider the impact of recurring natural disasters to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most serious threat to the environment.

The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been strongly linked to climate change. Many scientists have made the case that incremental rises in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and potency of hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards. There are countless instances of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a particularly striking example. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which set these developing nations back economically for years. People lost their lives, homes, and livelihood in many cases.

The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. One of the most well-known examples of this is the often cited case of polar bears. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the polar ice caps has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often forecast that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct in the wild. Their extinction will likely have a domino effect on the fragile ecosystems of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more lasting impression we can leave than to deplete the world entirely of a species.

In my opinion, the loss of ecological diversity trumps any other environmental concerns. In order to remedy this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in conservation efforts for endangered animals but also work towards long term reforms related to fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the other apparent catalysts for climate change.

Answers:

of the opinion: in my opinion/I think

endangered: not many left, close to extinction

severe consequences: very bad results

worsening environment: environment getting worse

pressing: important

recurring natural disasters: natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. happening again and again

serious threat: could really hurt something/someone

strongly linked: strong evidence to suggest a relationship

climate change: global warming

incremental rises: small increases

potency: strength of

hurricanes: lots of wind and rain in a powerful storm

tsunamis: big waves after an earthquake

blizzards: snowy storms

countless instances: many examples of

particularly striking example: very strong/good example

set back: hinder/hold back/hurt

livelihood: jobs/making money

well-known examples: famous examples

often cited case: frequently mentioned

polar ice caps: icebergs at the top of the Earth

forecast: predicted

in the wild: not in captivity, living naturally outside

domino effect: cause more related problems

fragile ecosystems: easily hurt food chains/relationships in nature

lasting impression: long-term impact

deplete: decrease/lesson/make less of

ecological diversity: lots of different plants/animals

trumps: is more important than/outweighs

remedy: fix/heal

conservation efforts: attempts to save

long term reforms: lasting changes

fossil fuels: oil, gas, etc. taken from the Earth

carbon emissions: the amount of gas/pollusion put into the air

catalysts: causes

Pronunciation

ɒv ði əˈpɪnjən 
ɪnˈdeɪnʤəd 
sɪˈvɪə ˈkɒnsɪkwənsɪz 
ˈwɜːsnɪŋ ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt 
ˈprɛsɪŋ 
rɪˈkɜːrɪŋ ˈnæʧrəl dɪˈzɑːstəz 
ˈsɪərɪəs θrɛt 
ˈstrɒŋli lɪŋkt 
ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ 
ˌɪnkrɪˈmɛnt(ə)l ˈraɪzɪz 
ˈpəʊtənsi 
ˈhʌrɪkənz 
tsuːˈnɑːmiz 
ˈblɪzədz 
ˈkaʊntlɪs ˈɪnstənsɪz 
pəˈtɪkjʊləli ˈstraɪkɪŋ ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
sɛt 
bæk 
ˈlaɪvlɪhʊd 
wɛlnəʊn ɪgˈzɑːmplz 
ˈɒf(ə)n ˈsaɪtɪd keɪs 
ˈpəʊləaɪs ˈkæps 
ˈfɔːkɑːst 
ɪn ðə waɪld 
ˈdɒmɪnəʊ ɪˈfɛkt 
ˈfræʤaɪl ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəmz 
ˈlɑːstɪŋ ɪmˈprɛʃən 
dɪˈpliːt 
ˌɛkəˈlɒʤɪkəl daɪˈvɜːsɪti trʌmps 
ˈrɛmɪdi 
ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən ˈɛfəts 
lɒŋ tɜːm ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz 
ˈkɑːbən ɪˈmɪʃənz 
ˈkætəlɪsts 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many are ______________ that the risks for ______________ plants and wildlife are the most ______________ of our ______________ while others would argue that other problems are more ______________. While I consider the impact of ______________ to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most ______________ to the environment.

The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been ______________ to ______________. Many scientists have made the case that ______________ in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and ______________ of ____________________________, and______________. There are ______________ of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a ______________. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which ______________ these developing nations ______________ economically for years. People lost their lives, homes, and ______________ in many cases.

The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. One of the most ______________ of this is the ______________ of polar bears. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the ______________ has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often ______________ that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct______________. Their extinction will likely have a ______________ on the ______________ of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more ______________ we can leave than to ______________ the world entirely of a species.

In my opinion, the loss of ______________ any other environmental concerns. In order to ______________ this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in ______________ for endangered animals but also work towards ______________ related to ____________________________ and the other apparent ______________ for climate change.

Links Narrated by David Attenborough

Tasmania

The Deep Ocean

Empire of the Ants

Iguanas vs Snakes 

Comment below – Which animals will you miss the most if they go extinct?

I’d have to say…

I guess I’d be the most gutted about…

I’d hate to see…

I wouldn’t be all that bothered about…

 

You can continue your IELTS and English studies in my private Facebook group, on my YouTube channel and my Instagram – don’t miss out!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Acceptance / Unsatisfactory Lives (IELTS Cambridge 14)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Acceptance / Unsatisfactory Lives (IELTS Cambridge 14)

This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 14 and it is an interesting question.

It seems to me that it is really only possible to take one side with this one – that people should try to improve their situation.

But maybe you disagree!

Regardless, you have to write about both sides. Do one paragraph on one view and the other on the opposite view. Make sure that by the end (and in the introduction) you have chosen a side. Be crystal clear!

One tricky part of this question that you should notice is that the question itself includes two examples of unsatisfactory situations. You don’t have to focus on those examples in your answer though – I didn’t!

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 Cambridge 14 Sample Answer

IELTS Cambridge 14 Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Acceptance / Unsatisfactory (IELTS Cambridge 14) by Dave

Some people believe that it is best to accept a bad situation, such as an unsatisfactory job or shortage of money. Others argue that it is better to try and improve such situations.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many people find themselves in situations where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to move up in the world. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be pragmatic in some cases, it is still better to at least strive to improve your situation as it can usually be bettered to some degree.

On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to drastically change their situation and acceptance of this fact will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. The best example of this would be those people living in dire economic conditions. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of developed infrastructure and internal strife in recent years. For a person living in a small village, ravaged by war or famine, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation at the present moment and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a severe economic downturn.

On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through continued effort. Instances of people who worked hard and became successful abound in both developed and developing nations. Some relevant examples of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All those countries were devastated by war to greater and lesser degrees yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. In Japan, World War 2 left their population depleted of workers, a deep national debt due to reparations and infrastructure reduced to rubble. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through notable companies like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. The efficacy of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives is reflected in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all war-torn nations.

To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be advisable to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off to some degree in the vast majority of cases. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be rewarded, while a more defeatist attitude is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

 

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Many people find themselves in situations where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to move up in the world. 2. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be pragmatic in some cases, it is still better to at least strive to improve your situation as it can usually be bettered to some degree.

1. The first sentence states the topic – write this sentence very quickly because it’s not that important.

2. Next is my opinion, be sure that this is clear and include it in both your introduction and conclusion.

1. On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to drastically change their situation and acceptance of this fact will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. 2. The best example of this would be those people living in dire economic conditions. 3. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of developed infrastructure and internal strife in recent years. 4. For a person living in a small village, ravaged by war or famine, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. 5. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation at the present moment and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. 6. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a severe economic downturn.

1. My first sentence is the topic sentence and clearly states what the paragraph will be about – some people will feel more satisfied by accepting their situation.

2. The second sentence start my example by focusing on countries where the economy is bad.

3. My third sentence focus more specifically on the Congo as my main example.

4. The fourth sentence further develops this example of the Congo.

5. The fifth sentence pulls out some general conclusions related to this example.

6. My sixth sentence makes the example more general by relating it to similar countries.

1. On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through continued effort. 2. Instances of people who worked hard and became successful abound in both developed and developing nations. 3. Some relevant examples of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. 4. All those countries were devastated by war to greater and lesser degrees yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. 5. In Japan, World War 2 left their population depleted of workers, a deep national debt due to reparations and infrastructure reduced to rubble. 6. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through notable companies like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. 7. The efficacy of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives is reflected in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all war-torn nations.

1. My first sentence is the topic sentence that again says the main topic for the whole paragraph – people can change their lives through effort. It’s a simple main idea but make sure that you develop your simple, obvious main ideas with clear, extended examples!

2. My second sentence begins to introduce the example of countries impacted by wars.

3. The third sentence makes those examples more specific by focusing on some real countries.

4. My fourth sentence describes why those countries are good examples of countries making changes.

5. The fifth sentence focuses specifically on Japan.

6. The sixth sentence talks about the people and companies of Japan because this is more relevant to the question.

7. The sixth sentence continues to focus on how individuals making an effort can change their lives and how this will be reflected in the overall progress/condition of a nation.

1. To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be advisable to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off to some degree in the vast majority of cases. 2. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be rewarded, while a more defeatist attitude is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

1. The first sentence states my opinion for the second time and my main reason why.

2. My second sentence adds an extra detail that many examiners will 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!

Many people find themselves in situations where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to move up in the world. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be pragmatic in some cases, it is still better to at least strive to improve your situation as it can usually be bettered to some degree.

On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to drastically change their situation and acceptance of this fact will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. The best example of this would be those people living in dire economic conditions. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of developed infrastructure and internal strife in recent years. For a person living in a small village, ravaged by war or famine, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation at the present moment and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a severe economic downturn.

On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through continued effort. Instances of people who worked hard and became successful abound in both developed and developing nations. Some relevant examples of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All those countries were devastated by war to greater and lesser degrees yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. In Japan, World War 2 left their population depleted of workers, a deep national debt due to reparations and infrastructure reduced to rubble. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through notable companies like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. The efficacy of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives is reflected in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all war-torn nations.

To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be advisable to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off to some degree in the vast majority of cases. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be rewarded, while a more defeatist attitude is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

 

Answers:

find themselves in situations: are in situations (that weren’t their fault)

move up in the world: improve your standing in life

pragmatic: dealing with the world realistically and sensibly

strive: try hard

bettered to some degree: get a little bit better

drastically change: change a lot

acceptance of this fact: believe something is true

dire economic conditions: severe economic problems

developed infrastructure: good roads, buildings, etc.

internal strife: deep problems in a country

ravaged by war or famine: destroyed by war and hunger

at the present moment: right now

severe economic downturn: the economy getting much worse

dispute: disagree with

continued effort: keep trying

instances abound: lots of examples

relevant examples: examples that are related to this issue

devastated: destroyed or greatly weakened

to greater and lesser degrees: to some extent

depleted of: empty of

deep national debt: a country owing a lot of money

reparations: paying money back for wrong-doing

reduced to rubble: made into ruins

notable companies: prominent companies

efficacy: the ability to make something happen/accomplish something

reflected: mirrored

war-torn nations: countries with wars hurting them

advisable: recommended

to some degree: to some extent

rewarded: get a reward/something back

defeatist attitude: thinking that everything will turn out badly/you will always lose

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many people _________________ where they must either accept what life has given them or find a way to _____________. In my opinion, although accepting your situation in life may be _____________ in some cases, it is still better to at least ____________ to improve your situation as it can usually be ____________.

On the one hand, the vast majority of people are unable to ____________ their situation and ____________ will make them feel more satisfied with their lives. The best example of this would be those people living in ____________. Recent research puts the Democratic Republic of Congo as one of the poorest nations on Earth, both due to a lack of ____________ and ____________ in recent years. For a person living in a small village, ____________, it would be cruel to suggest that they should find a way to improve their lives when it might simply be impossible. Instead, such people may feel they are better off accepting that they cannot make any changes to their situation ____________ and just focus on their own survival and that of their family. These situations are rare but do exist around the world in various countries, particularly if they are at war or experiencing a ____________.

On the other hand, few would ____________ the fact that in even the most difficult situations people can make their lives better through ________________________ of people who worked hard and became successful ____________ in both developed and developing nations. Some ____________ of this are the postwar situations of countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. All those countries were ____________ by war ____________ yet they are all currently economic powerhouses. In Japan, World War 2 left their population ____________ workers, a ____________ due to ____________ and infrastructure ____________. By not accepting their situation they were able to become leaders in technology through ____________ like Sony, Nokia and Toyota. The ____________ of the individuals who had to work hard to improve their lives i____________ in the overall progress of the country and should serve as an example to all____________.

To conclude, there are very few situations where it would be ____________ to simply accept an unhappy situation because hard work over a long period will pay off ____________ in the vast majority of cases. By having a more positive attitude it is also more likely that your efforts to make a better life will be ____________, while a more ____________ is likely to reduce your chances to make changes in life.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Germany after the War

Japan under American Occupation

DR Congo’s journey into chaos – BBC News

3 Habits That Will Change Your Life

Comment below – What kind of habits have you changed to make your life better?

In my morning, I’ll typically…

In terms of my study habits…

When I get into a relationship, I try to…

The biggest change I’ve made in my life in recent years 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)!