IELTS Writing Task 2: Addressing the Task

You will get a lower score in IELTS writing task 2 if you don’t fully address the task in the essay question. This means you need to check your essay plan before you start writing your essay.

Your plan must address all issues in the question.

I hope you find this lesson useful ūüôā

IELTS Essay Question

  • The main topic is: how children spend their leisure time
  • The IELTS essay question below has two issues that need addressing: homework and sport

Essay Question:

Some people think that children should spend their free time doing homework, while others believe it would be better for children to participate in sports activities instead. What is your opinion?

One Sided Opinion

If you agree with one side, for example that sport is more important, then you must still address both issues.

Plan 1:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time because it promotes health.

BP2 – I also think sport is good because students can avoid stress and enjoy their free time.

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! If you agree with one side ( that sport is important), you can’t ignore the issue of homework. Your opinion must address both sport and homework – in the body paragraphs as well as the introduction. This essay would get a low score for Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Plan 2:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time.

BP2 – other people think that homework is more important

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! This is an opinion essay, it is not a discussion. This means the instructions are asking for YOUR opinion, not other people’s opinions. Writing a full body paragraph about other people’s opinions is irrelevant to the instructions and will lower your score.

Plan 3:

BP 1 РI believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time as it promotes health and reduces stress.

BP 2 – I think children should not do homework in their free time because they already spend six hours a day studying and should not do more educational work.

Comments: This is correct. Your opinion has been given on both issues. But personally, I wouldn’t take this approach to this essay question. See below:

Partial Agreement (Balanced View)

For this essay question, I would recommend a balanced view (a partial agreement). This does not mean you agree with both sides equally. It means you present a specific view which is quantified.

Plan

Thesis Statement =  In my opinion, while some homework is useful, the amount should be limited and children should spend more time playing sport instead.

BP 1 = children should spend only a small amount of their free time doing homework and the length of time should limited to avoid pressure and stress.

  • homework is an essential part of educational development
  • homework should be limited to avoid stress which has an adverse effect on school performance
  • parents and schools should help children limit this time

BP 2 = the main focus of children’s leisure time should be on sport because ….

  • children need to enjoy life outside their educational studies for their own welbeing
  • children can benefit through improved health
  • having an interest outside school helps reduce stress and encourages them to meet new people

Comments: There is a clear opinion which has been fully explained and addresses all issue.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Models

You can find writing task 2 tips and model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page. All my writing task 2 lessons are for GT and Academic students.

 

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Is this essay plan good?

Lets take a look at a plan for an IELTS opinion essay.

Below you will find an essay question, an essay plan and also questions for you.

IELTS Essay Question

Some people think that children should spend their free time doing homework, while others believe it would be better for children to participate in sports activities instead. What is your opinion?

 

IELTS Essay Plan

Below are notes for an essay plan. The notes show what the content of each paragraph will be.

Introduction:

People have different views as to whether children should spend their free time doing homework or playing sport. In my opinion, children should be encouraged to take part in sport and exercise.

BP 1:

Sport is good for children because it benefits their health. Add supporting details.

BP 2:

Children can also benefit in other ways from playing sport by learning to unwind and meeting new people. Add supporting details on each point.

Conclusion:

Restate opinion.

Question for You

Think about the essay question and the essay plan, then answer the questions below.

  1. Is this a good plan?
  2. How do you think it can be improved?

Answers

Post your answers in the comments box below.

I will post my comments on Wednesday. That gives you all two days to post your comments ūüôā

Liz

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Speaking Answers for Topic of Change

Speaking Part 3 Questions for the Topic of Change:

This topic is currently being used: Oct – Dec 2017.

  1. Why do old people not accept change?
  2. Why do some people keep changing their jobs?
  3. What changes have occurred in your country in the last few decades?

Sample Answers

Why do old people not accept change?

  1. Answer 1: I guess one of the main reasons they don’t accept change is because they have spent the last few decades living a life of routine. For that reason, they find it difficult to alter that routine in order to accept changes. For example, old people who have been used to going to into the bank to do transactions find it difficult to change this habit and bank online. I think new technology must be really challenging for them.
  2. Answer 2: I think some old people are afraid of change. I mean, they find it difficult to understand and learn new ways of doing things and this makes them feel afraid. They don’t want to expose their age or their weaknesses so they try to resist change.

Why do some people keep changing their jobs?

  1. Answer 1: Well, I think some people change their jobs frequently for no other reason than they can’t find a permanent position. But other people choose to change jobs. I mean, they want to try difficult jobs in order to learn new skills, have new experiences and enjoy the opportunities that life has to offer.
  2. Answers 2: It’s not easy to say why people change their jobs but I suppose that career growth is one of the reasons. There are so many people trying for the same jobs or trying to get promotion that people need to show a range of skills and the ability to adapt. So, by changing jobs frequently, they can develop their CV and hopefully have a better chance of a better job.
  3. Answer 3: I don’t think people have much choice these days. It’s really hard to find a long term job that offers good job security. So, people have no choice but to move from one job to another. But it’s also a good way to develop new skills in different fields and hopefully land a better position.

What changes have occurred in your country in the last few decades?

  1. Answer 1: There have been so many changes it’s hard to choose which one to talk about. I think there have been big changes in education, mainly university education. When I was younger, all students had access to free university education but now they have to pay which means they leave university with greater debt but with less job opportunities at the end of it.
  2. Answer 2 posted from a student: In Nigeria here, some changes has taken place over the past few decades. We the Nigerians have witnessed how a small religious sect metamorphosed into a full blown globally recognized terrorist group. Indeed, our once peaceful country changed into a war zone where the lives and properties of her citizens aren’t secured. We also witnessed a great change in the political arena where for the first time ever, an incumbent president contested and lost the presidential elections to the opposition party.

More IELTS Speaking Model Answers

You can find more model answers and speaking tips on my main speaking page: IELTS Speaking Main Page

 

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Answers to Museum Listening

Below are the answers to the listening practice about the Natural History Museum.

Make sure you have finished the listening practice before you see the answers. You can find the listening practice on this page: Museum Listening

Most students got about 4 answers correct. That’s great. For students who got all 5 correct – very well done ūüôā

Transcript and Answers

Click below to view the transcript and answers:

Transcript

The¬†Natural History Museum¬†in London is a¬†museum¬†of natural history that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of¬†natural history.¬†The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections:¬†botany,¬†entomology,¬†mineralogy,¬†paleontology¬†and¬†zoology. The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of¬†dinosaur¬†skeletons and ornate architecture‚ÄĒsometimes dubbed a¬†cathedral of nature‚ÄĒboth exemplified by the large¬†Diplodocus¬†cast that dominated the vaulted central hall before it was replaced in 2017 with the skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling. The skeleton is some 25 m long and weighing 10 tons.

Notice: This information was from wiki. You can read more about the Natural History Museum on this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_History_Museum,_London

Answers
  1. 80 million
  2. zoology (the spelling must be correct)
  3. vaulted central hall / central hall / hall
  4. blue whale
  5. 10 tons

 

See all my IELTS listening exercises and tips: Liz’s Listening Main Page

 

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IELTS Speaking Part 3: Change Topic

A recent topic in IELTS speaking is the topic of change. This topic can come in speaking part 2, speaking part 3 and also writing task 2.

Speaking Part 3: Topic of Change

Below are some sample questions for this topic in speaking part 3.

Speaking Part 3 Questions:

  1. Why do old people not accept change?
  2. Why do some people keep changing their jobs?
  3. What changes have occurred in your country in the last few decades?

Share your Answers

Post your answer below for the questions above.

  • Remember to think about the language you are using.
  • Remember that speaking is an informal test.

I will post my model answers tomorrow.

Liz

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Listening Practice Museum

Listening Practice

This listening practice is on the topic of museums. It’s a common topic in IELTS listening and reading.

Read the questions below first and then listen to the recording. Post your answers in the comments box below.

Natural History Museum

Listening Recording

Read the questions below first and then listen to the recording.

Questions 1-5

Complete the sentences below with no more than three words and/or a number.

      1. The Natural History Museum houses about ……………….. items.
      2. The items are taken from five collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and ………….
      3. The cast of a large Diplodocus was the main focus in the …………………..
      4. The Diplodocus was replaced by the skeleton of a ……………….. in 2017.
      5. The skeleton is 25m long and weighs ……………

Answers

The answers to this listening practice are now available. Click below:

View transcript and answers: Museum Listening Answers

 

You can find more listening tips and exercises for IELTs on this page: Liz’s Main Listening Page

If you want to read more about the Natural History Museum in London, visit the wiki page. This where I found the information to create this lesson.

 

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Answer to Reading Paraphrasing Lesson

Answers to Paraphrasing Practice

Please complete the lesson before you look at the answers. You can find the lesson on this page: Paraphrasing Lesson

Passage: Ancient Egyptian Powder

Summary of Passage

The pigment (1)………. Egyptian blue, which was formulated (2) ……….. 5,250 years ago, can now be used to (3)……… finger prints on complicated surfaces. ¬†This pigment was used in the painting of statues and tomb wall reliefs in Ancient Egypt. However, it has now been (4)……….. that, when it is it exposed to a (5)……….. light, it emits near-infrared radiation.

  1. known as
    1. you can’t choose the answer “names” because it is grammatically wrong.
  2. about
    1. You can’t have the answer “over” because we don’t know if it is over or under. Therefore, you need to use the word “about”. Another option for paraphrasing would be “approximately”.
  3. identify
  4. revealed / found
    1. Both options are fine.
  5. particular
    1. You must have the correct spelling. If your spelling is wrong, your answer is marked wrong.

I hope you found this lesson useful.

I’ll post more paraphrasing lessons later.

All the best

Liz

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Reading Skills for IELTS: Paraphrasing

In IELTS reading, you will need to pay attention to synonyms and paraphrasing. This is a vocabulary exercise to help you matching synonyms and become aware of the problems using them. This is not an IELTS test, it is a reading lessons to develop skills of paraphrasing for IELTS.

Paraphrasing Practice

Passage: Ancient Egyptian Powder

Crime scene investigators are about to get an assist from the land of the pharaohs. New research has shown that a pigment called Egyptian blue, formulated some 5,250 years ago, can be used as dusting powder to detect fingerprints on complicated surfaces. The earliest known synthetic pigment, Egyptian blue is found in some of the paint that still colours ancient statues, coffins, and tomb walls. Modern scientists were intrigued by this long-lasting tint and figured out its chemical components decades ago. More recently they discovered that it emits near-infrared radiation when exposed to a certain kind of light.

Notice: This passage is from a National Geographic magazine. You can read the full article on this page: NatGeo Ancient Egyptian Powder

Filling the Gaps with Synonyms

Below is a summary of the passage above. Fill in the gaps using the word list given below. Make sure the summary is grammatically correct when you insert the word.

The pigment (1)………. Egyptian blue, which was formulated (2) ……….. 5,250 years ago, can now be used to (3)……… finger prints on complicated surfaces. ¬†This pigment was used in the painting of statues and tomb wall reliefs in Ancient Egypt. However, it has now been (4)……….. that, when it is it exposed to a (5)……….. light, it emits near-infrared radiation.

Word List:

Choose words to fill in the gaps above. The meaning should be the same as the original paragraph.

make     /        identify     /      observe      /   revealed    /     about     /     names      /      found       /      using        /    creates         /     known as          /      particular      /      over

Answers

Click link below to reveal answers:

Answer to Reading Paraphrasing Lesson

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