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This is an IELTS Sample Answer for Task 2 Writing from the test on January 20th, 2018 in the Asia region (different regions have different tests to prevent cheating).

It was a little bit tricky because of one strange part of the question but overall not the most difficult Task 2 Writing I’ve seen.

Read this sample answer and analysis and complete the vocabulary exercises below it in quizlet.

Check out the links to articles and videos to become more familiar with the topic. It’s really important to have some experience with a wide range of topics for all parts of the test.

If you want to read another sample answer you can check out this one on climate change.

For sample speaking questions and tips from the test check out our YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

Task 2 IELTS Sample Question

Recent research has shown that business meetings and training are increasingly taking place online.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Sample Answer

Many businesses today choose to hold meetings and do training online, rather than in person. While this has certain drawbacks related to interpersonal relationships, I still feel this is a positive trend because of its positive impact on employees with families. In this essay, I will discuss both sides in detail.

Conducting the majority of business meetings online has a potentially negative effect on the social dynamics of a company. The preference for online communication sacrifices essential elements of human interaction in the name of a more efficient, utilitarian process. When people sit in a room together, for training or a meeting, they are more likely to form strong interpersonal bonds. They will be able to see each other’s body language better and there is a good chance they may socialise in person afterwards. For example, employees might go for drinks or even just have a private chat about the meeting or training while still at work. This is much less likely to happen when people are working from home or a remote location and using online tools like Skype to communicate.

Companies that choose to do more training and have more meetings online are making life more convenient for their employees with families. At some point in their lives, most people must face the challenge of working and having a family. If both the mother and father work, then one of them might have to give up their job to stay home or they will have to hire an expensive caretaker to look after their child during the day. If more meetings and training took place online, this could free up time for people in certain jobs, such as IT workers, to work entirely from home and look after their children during the day. They will still have to make time for the training and meetings but at least they won’t waste valuable time commuting to the office.

The move towards increased online training and meetings may sacrifice some of the social aspects of work but this is more than made up for by the convenience it allows working families. In many families today, both the mother and father have to work to make ends meet and we should support any efforts to relieve their financial and physical burdens.

You can download it here.

 

Analysis

Introduction: Many businesses today choose to hold meetings and do training online, rather than in person. While this has certain drawbacks related to interpersonal relationships, I still feel this is a positive trend because of its positive impact on employees with families. In this essay, I will discuss both sides in detail.

  • The trickiest part of this question is the mention of ‘business meetings and training.’ You have to make your answer general enough to include both of those slightly different situations but also specific enough to have well-supported and relevant main ideas. I have done this by mentioning training and meetings a few times throughout the answer.

  • The first sentence simply restates the topic. Don’t waste much time on this sentence – write it simply and quickly.

  • The second sentence clearly states my opinion, which is necessary to get at least a Band 6 for Task Achievement.

  • The third sentence simply states that I will talk about both sides. This sentence is not very important – write it quickly so you can focus on the main body paragraphs.

Body Paragraph 1: Conducting the majority of business meetings online has a potentially negative effect on the social dynamics of a company. The preference for online communication sacrifices essential elements of human interaction in the name of a more efficient, utilitarian process. When people sit in a room together, for training or a meeting, they are more likely to form strong interpersonal bonds. They will be able to see each other’s body language better and there is a good chance they may socialise in person afterwards. For example, employees might go for drinks or even just have a private chat about the meeting or training while still at work. This is much less likely to happen when people are working from home or a remote location and using online tools like Skype to communicate.

  • The first sentence is a topic sentence that includes my main idea for the whole paragraph (online meetings and training has negative effect on how well people get along). It is key to include both training and meetings, but not talk specifically about one or the other, just to be safe.

  • The second sentence extends my main idea by pointing out that even though companies may become more efficient, they will be less ‘human.’

  • The third sentence further supports my main idea by claiming that people meeting physically form stronger bonds.

  • The fourth sentence supports this idea by saying that body language and socialising are important parts of interpersonal relationships.

  • The fifth sentence gives the example of colleagues going out for a drink or chatting after a meeting.

  • The sixth and final sentence claims that online communication will (likely) prevent this from happening.

Body Paragraph 2: Companies that choose to do more training and have more meetings online are making life more convenient for their employees with families. At some point in their lives, most people must face the challenge of working and having a family. If both the mother and father work, then one of them might have to give up their job to stay home or they will have to hire an expensive caretaker to look after their child during the day. If more meetings and training took place online, this could free up time for people in certain jobs, such as IT workers, to work entirely from home and look after their children during the day. They will still have to make time for the training and meetings but at least they won’t waste valuable time commuting to the office.

  • The first sentence is a topic sentence that includes my main idea for the whole paragraph (online training and meetings are more convenient for employees with families).

  • The second sentence further supports my main idea by pointing out that most people have to juggle family and work life.

  • The third sentence further supports my main idea by giving the example of working parents who might have to give up their job or hire a caretaker.

  • The fourth sentence develops this example by saying that online meetings might free up certain occupations to work entirely from home.

  • The fifth and final sentence extends this by including the detail that even though they will still have to do the online meetings and training they will save time on commuting.

Conclusion: The move towards increased online training and meetings may sacrifice some of the social aspects of work but this is more than made up for by the convenience it allows working families. In many families today, both the mother and father have to work to make ends meet and we should support any efforts to relieve their financial and physical burdens.

  • The first sentence restates the main ideas from the sample answer as well as my overall opinion. Make sure you have an overall opinion.

  • The second sentence adds an extra detail (stating how important it is to support working parents) that is needed to get above a Band 7 for Task Achievement according to some, but not all, examiners.

 

Vocabulary Practice

Quizlet is one of the best websites on the internet that you are not using (unless if you are using it – then good!)

Don’t believe me? Click on the link below and use it to easily learn some high-level vocabulary from the sample answer above:

Quizlet Vocabulary Study

Practice the vocabulary from this IELTS Sample Answer here!

 

 

Business / Working from Home Articles

The Perks of Working from Home

How Working from Home Ruins Everything

The Best Work at Home Jobs

Productivity Hacks for Working at Home

How to Run a Great Virtual Meeting

Acadmic Article on Online Meetings 

 

Business / Working from Home Videos

Father Interrupted Working at Home

Working at Home vs An Office

Comparison Working from Home / An Office

News Report: Want to Work from Home?

8 Funniest Office Commercials

No More Meetings!

Short Pixar Film: Inner Workings

Seinfeld Meeting

 

Example Notes

Here are some notes I made on the vocabulary from the IELTS sample answer (from our Instagram page)!

Our IELTS Sample Answer notes!

 

Now it’s Your Turn! Comment below on our IELTS Sample Answer:

Is it a good idea for businesses to do training online? To hold meetings online? How much time do you waste in meetings every week?


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