IELTS Essay Questions Jan & Feb 2019

Below is a list of IELTS essay questions reported 2019 (Jan & Feb). These essay questions are not prediction. They are essay questions that IELTS candidates reported in their tests. Topics are often repeated with essay questions reworded and with a different focus.

You should use these essay questions to prepare ideas for topics. Your aim is NOT to memorise an essay. You cannot use memorised sentences or paragraphs in your essay.

IELTS Essay Questions Jan & Feb 2019

  1. People sleep less than before in many countries. Why do people sleep less? What effect does it have on an individually and  on society?
  2. Some people think that government is wasting money on the arts, and that this money could be spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree with this view?
  3. Many people try to look younger than their age. What are the reasons people do this. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing?
  4. Some countries spend a lot of money to make bicycle usage easier. Why is this? Is this the best solution to traffic congestion?
  5. Plastic shopping bags contribute to the pollution of land and sea. Some people think they should be banned. Do you agree or disagree?
  6. Some people think that watching sport is a waste of leisure time. Do you agree or disagree?
  7. If a product is sold and people buy it, then advertising is not necessary and can be considered a kind of entertainment. Do you agree or disagree with this?
  8. Economic growth is the only way to end world poverty. However, some people says it leads to environment damage and should be stopped. To what extent do you agree?
  9. Eating too much sugar is harmful for our health. Some people think that it is government responsibility to limit people’s sugar consumption, while others think that it is an individual’s responsibility to limit the amount of sugar they eat. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  10. Nowadays, many people spend less and less time at home.
    What are the causes of this? What are the effects of this on individuals and on society.
  11. Some people believe that children should be given lessons on how to manage money in the school. Do you agree or disagree?
  12. Some people think that a good diet and exercise are not necessary for a health and long life. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  13. Some people say that schools do not do enough to teach young people about health. Do you agree or disagree?

  14. Some people believe that in order for a hobby to be enjoyable, it needs to be difficult in some way. Do you agree or disagree?
  15. Some people say that holding sport competitions can cause problems for the host country. Others disagree. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  16. Some people think that public libraries are no longer important, while others disagree. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  17. The government should make people take responsibility for their actions to the environment. To what extent do you agree?
  18. Some people think watching movies is a waste of time. Do you agree or disagree?
  19. Recently, it is common for people not to know their neighbours. What is the cause of this problem?  What can be done to solve this problem?
  20. Some people believe that the museums and historic sites should be open for free for children under 18. Do you agree or disagree?
  21. Some parents think that advertisements are misleading for children, while advertisers claim that they provide knowledge. Give your opinion.
  22. Films and games can be accessed at any time from mobile devices, like smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. Do the advantages of such developments outweigh the disadvantages?
  23. The gap between rich and poor is increasing. What problems does it cause? What solutions can you suggest?
  24. Some people prefer to buy local products, while others prefer international products. What is your opinion of this?
  25. Many people are choosing to find information online rather than in books. Is this development positive or negative?
  26. Some people say that children given pocket money every week will have fewer money problems when they become adults. Do you agree or disagree?
  27. Some people say that family is the most powerful influence in a child’s development. Other’s say that other factors such as ( television friends music etc. ) play a greater role today. Discuss both views and give your opinion
  28. Most people prefer ready to eat ready meals rather than homemade food these days. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
  29. For many people, the reason they work hard is to earn money. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  30. Many people believe that advertising can have negative effects on customers. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  31. Some young people are leaving the countryside to live in cities and towns, leaving only old people in countryside? What problems does this cause? What can be done to solve this problem?
  32. Some people think high-end technology can prevent and cut down the rate of committing crime. Do you agree or disagree?
  33. People should be responsible for the pollution problems caused by transportation, while others think the government should be held accountable. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  34. People doing different jobs enjoy different amount of holiday time. Should people have the same amount of holiday time? Give your opinion.
  35. Some people say students of different age groups in school should be put in same class.What is your opinion?
  36. Some people feel that teacher training courses can make anyone a teacher, while others feel an excellent teacher cannot be made by pursuing a course. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  37. Money should be spent on creating new public buildings, such as museums and town halls, rather than renovating existing ones. To what extend do you agree or disagree?
  38. Some people think the money spent in developing technology for space exploration is not justified. There are more beneficial ways to spend this money. To what extend do yo agree or disagree?
  39. Some people think that the best way to learn is from a newspaper. Others think that the best way to learn is through media.
    Discuss each views and your opinion.
  40. Some people said that with the help of parenting and child development courses parents can improve the life of children.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  41. Today people are living longer so they should have to work longer. Do you agree or disagree?
  42. Many people think that we have to focus on the extinction of certain animal species, while others think that we should pay attention to the problem of human beings. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  43. Some people think that a high salary is important 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.
  44. Lots of people are throwing away food. What are the reasons for this and how can food wastage be reduced?
  45. Sometimes people think that young people should be encouraged to leave their family at certain age, while others think that it’s better for them to remain with their families. What is your view?
  46. Employers should focus on personal qualities over qualifications and experience when choosing someone for a job. To what extent do you agree with this?
  47. An increasing number of people are buying what they need online. What are the advantages and disadvantages.

Topics Review

Below you will find the list of topics relating to the questions above. You can see that some topics appear more than once in the IELTS writing task 2 test. This means topics can be repeated, but the essay question is phrased differently. 

  1. People x 3
  2. Art
  3. Transport
  4. Buildings 
  5. Environment x 3
  6. Sport x 2
  7. Advertising x 2
  8. World Issues & Society x 3
  9. Food x 3
  10. Society x 3
  11. Health x 2
  12. Money & Business x 3
  13. Leisure Time x 2
  14. Reading & Books
  15. Media x 3
  16. Tourism 
  17. Technology x 2
  18. Work x 5
  19. Crime
  20. Education x 2
  21. Space 
  22. Family x 2
  23. Animals

If you want to learn exactly how to write an IELTS essay, please get my Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons. They are aimed at achieving an higher band score and explaining what the IELTS requirements are. 

Click here:

All the best



Computer Delivered IELTS: Pros & Cons

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Computer Based IELTS test (CBT). Comments below come from various IELTS candidates. Many of the comments are from Kumar = “thanks, Kumar!” Note, this test is sometimes called the CDT = computer delivered test.

  • Easy to write/type your answers
  • Screens provided are a good size which is useful for reading
  • Less crowded
  • Quick results (one candidate got his results in 5 days)
  • Slot availability
Cons – 
  • You need to be very good at typing. If you are not a good typist, you should consider the paper based test instead.
  • Screens will get locked exactly at the mentioned time so we will not be able to make any last minute changes.
  •  The timer will not display seconds in the last one minute. so you don’t know when the screen will get locked.

General Advice:

  • Make sure you practise CBT sample tests before you try the real one. You can find one on the IDP website. Below is feedback on each module.
  • If your typing isn’t good, take the PBT (paper based test).
Listening Pros and Cons:
  1. Con: Even though you are given a pen and paper, you need to type your answer directly into the computer. This means you need to be able to listen and type at the same time.
  2. Con: You will not have 10 mins to transfer your answers from paper to answer sheet which is why your answers must be typed directly into the answer boxes on the screen.. In the paper based test, you have 10 mins to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. In the CBT, it is presumed that you have already typed your answers directly into the computer so you are only given 2 mins – just to check spelling.
  3. Con: If you don’t know how to move from one section to the next, you might waste valuable time figuring it out.
  4. Pro: The tab key works to move from one part to another.
  5. Note: One candidate had an example conversation played at the start of the listening test, another did not. So be aware of this.
  6. Advice: Please get familiar with the Page look and feel on CBT exam for each question type. You can get a sample for each question type in IDP website.
Reading Pros and Cons:
  1.  Pro: The best thing with CBT is that you can have passage on left-hand side and questions on the right-hand side. It is really easy and convenient to read and answers the questions.
  2. Pro: You can increase the font size.
  3. Pro: You can highlight the text as needed. Right click and select highlight. In the PBT, it is not easy to highlight because you can’t use a highlighter pen in the test.
  4. Another advantage for the reading exam: you can copy/paste from the text using CTRL+C and CTRL+V which reduces the chances of typos.  CAN ANYONE CONFIRM THIS TIP FOR ME?
  5. Advice: Get used to scrolling up and down long articles to get used to reading passages and navigating passages on a screen.
Writing Pros and Cons:
  1. Pro: You do not need to count your words. The computer will show the word count.
  2. Pro: It is easier to edit your writing. You can cut, copy and paste.
  3. Con: The major disadvantage with CBT is we unintentionally make typo errors. Though we know how to spell a word we make mistakes when we type. It is not always possible to identify all the spelling mistakes when proof reading.
  • Con: There will be a lot of people typing for one hour all at the same time. This means it can be very noisy which some people find distracting.
  • Con: Your typing speed needs to be adequate.
  • Note: You will be given a pen and paper. You can use it to plan your essay.

Speaking Test: This hasn’t changed. It is still a face to face conversation with the examiner.

I would like more feedback on the IELTS CBT.

If you took the CBT, can you post more pros and cons so I can add them to the list above? I would like to make this page as useful as possible. Can you think of more advantages to the CBT writing?



Answers to Paragraphing Options for Writing T1

I’ve posted the answers on the original page, click here:

All the best


Paragraphs Review for IELTS Writing Task 1?

Lets check your understanding of IELTS writing task 1 paragraphing. This is for academic writing task 1.

Below are a number of options for how to structure your writing task 1. Are all these options good for IELTS writing task 1?

Option A

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction & overview
  • Paragraph 2 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 3 = body 2 detail

Option B

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction
  • Paragraph 2 = overview
  • Paragraph 3 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 4 = body 2 detail

Option C

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction
  • Paragraph 2 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 3 = body 2 detail
  • Paragraph 4 = overview

Option D

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction
  • Paragraph 2 = overview
  • Paragraph 3 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 4 = conclusion

Questions for You

  1. Which paragraphing options are suitable for writing task 1? 
  2. Is there an option above which will get you a higher score?
  3. Which structure is not acceptable?

Paragraph Options Explained: Answers

Options A, B, & C are all possible to be used in Writing Task 1 and get a high score. Option D will not give you a good score. Read the details below to learn more:

Option A

When the introduction is very short, such as with diagrams, I sometimes put my overview statement with the introduction. I feel it gives a better balanced of paragraphs. Although the introduction and overview are in the same paragraph, they MUST be separate statements. The introduction presents the information (paraphrases the description) and the overview contains all key features.

Option B

This is my personal favourite. Writing task 1 is not an essay. It is a report. The overview contains all the key features and I prefer to present that before giving all the smaller details. I like the reader to understand the gist of the chart, before seeing small examples of data. 

Furthermore, the overview is THE MOST IMPORTANT PARAGRAPH IN WRITING TASK 1. For this reason also, I like to put it early on in the writing. The overview needs to be both clear and contain information well selected.

Option C

It is also 100% fine to put the overview at the end of the report. However, if you choose this option, make sure you manage your time well – your overview is the most important part and needs to be thought about carefully and written very very well.

Option D

There are two very serious problems with this structure.

  1. The body must be divided into a minimum of two paragraphs. You are being marked on how you take the detail and divide it into logical sections. Most writing task 2 will have two paragraphs for the body, but occasionally you might have three. 
  2. You cannot have both an overview which contains the key features and a conclusion that summarises the key features. This would mean in a short report, you would have repeated the key features twice. This will lower your score. There is no reason to repeat anything at all. Once you state the key features in the overview, your body paragraphs (plural) will present all main details. You never repeat it all again. This means you do not need a conclusion. 

I hope you have found this useful 🙂 My main writing task 1 page has lots of model answers which show both option A and B. CLICK BELOW:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Tips, Model Answers & More

If you want letter writing tips for GT writing task 1, see this page:

All the best




IELTS Remarking Success Story

Can your IELTS score change after remarking? This is one persons story about remarking and the amazing results that followed. Below is Najada’s story.

My IELTS Remarking Story

Hello everyone.

I took my IELTS Academic module on the 8th of December 2018 in Melbourne Australia. I have been living and working in Melbourne for nearly 2 and a half years, which means English has become part of my life everyday communication.

I needed to sit my IELTS in order to apply for a registration to work as a Physiotherapist in Australia. The minimum score required is 7 in each module and overall band score 7. ​I was very lucky to come across IELTS Liz website. I solely studied from Liz’s website. I did most of the lessons, read all the tips, followed all updates and of course purchased the Advanced Writing lessons. ​I strongly recommend to all students to purchase the advanced lessons as they are ABSOLUTELY fantastic. Liz’s explanation and advice are very comprehensive and clear.​I could not afford having a tutor to study so Liz’s website and affordable advanced writing lessons saved my life!!!​​

I received my IELTS score as the following:

  • Listening: 7.5
  • ​Reading: 8.0​S
  • Speaking: 8.5​
  • Writing: 6.0

​​I was absolutely disappointed with my writing score as I was pretty sure I did better than 6. In Task 1 I had two line graphs and Task 2 a problem solution essay. I did follow Liz’s advice on how to organise paragraphs and ideas, did my planning before starting writing!!!! VERY IMPORTANT​ I used a variety of complex sentences (Liz’s lessons for complex sentences are fantastic). I was as careful as possible. I felt that something was wrong with the score, so I started checking online about the remark option.​ The majority of the websites mention that there is a possibility to get a change in the score, with a 0.5 increase being the most common and in rare cases a 1.0.​ What they also mention is that if there is a major difference between each component (like my case) they will ask for a second examiner to mark it just to be sure. ​So I thought they might have done that with mine too.

But still my gut feeling said to me that something is wrong. I did better than 6.0. ​So I decided to apply for a remark. The remark fee is quite expensive, 176 AUD to be precise, so if there is not a change you lose your money, but if there is a change you get a full refund.​ I decided to take the risk because as I said before I did study very hard for my writing, which was my weakest part.​​

After 4 weeks I received an email saying that there has been a change to my writing score. And that change was……. 7.5. I COULD NOT believe it. That’s a 1.5 increase. So my final score is overall band score 8 with:

  • Listening: 7.5
  • ​Reading: 8.0​
  • Speaking: 8.5​
  • Writing: 7.5

Even the staff at the English Centre  where I took my IELTS were absolutely surprised by this remark change. ​If you have a doubt about your results, while you are confident that you have done better than this, go for the remark. You might receive your desired score.​​

I would also like to say that please do read well all Liz’s pages as they contain crucial information about the test. I literally followed her advice for each part of the test.​

What I would like to add about speaking is…. SPEAK ENGLISH AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. I was very lucky to practice my English everyday. Living and working in Australia have allowed me ​to interact with people. I was asking colleagues and friends to correct any errors I made with my speaking and, believe me, that helped me a lot.​ You can only improve if you are aware of your weak points and you are determined to study hard. Nothing comes easy without hard work.​​Unfortunately for permanent residency I need a minimum of 8 in each component, so I have to sit the IELTS again but i can finally practice my profession. I am continuing to practise my listening, speaking, writing and reading and also my spelling as I am pretty sure some of my listening errors were spelling mistakes.​

Thank you Liz for your absolutely amazing hard work and your kindness, Najada.

Comment: Very well done! It’s a great score. I would like to thank you for sharing your story because it really shows people the importance of sticking with your convictions. If you feel your score should be higher, try a remark. However, I hope everyone realises that Najada was aware of the band score requirements. she did understand IELTS techniques and did have a strong level of English (as could be seen by her speaking score of 8.5). For this reason, her gut instinct was right.

I wish you lots of luck in the future, Najada !! 🙂

And good luck to you all taking your IELTS test!

All the best, Liz

Model Essay for TV & Weight Problems with Tips

This page contains a model essay and a long list of useful tips to help you develop your IELTS writing task 2 skills.

Essay Question

Some people think that watching TV causes weight problems in children. Do you agree with this view? What solutions can you suggest to tackle children’s weight problems?

Model Essay

It is thought by some people that weight problems in children are caused by watching TV. While I agree that excessive hours in front of the TV can contribute to this problem, diet also plays a role. Furthermore, weight problems can only be dealt with by tackling the issues behind them.

Firstly, I think that although watching TV in itself does not actually cause children to gain weight, spending too much time each day sitting in front of the TV without doing exercise can result in weight problems. In other words, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are directly linked to problems with obesity. Secondly, however, weight problems are also compounded by poor diet consisting of a lack of healthy meals and too much processed foods containing high levels of fats and sugars. This comes from both children and parents making poor dietary choices which lack fresh wholefoods. Both lack of exercise and poor diet directly contribute to weight problems in children.

There are two obvious solutions to dealing with childhood obesity. One answer is to reduce the amount of inactivity in a child’s life by cutting out hours spent either watching TV or on electronic devices, and use that time to participate in physical activities. By doing this, children will burn off excess calories which will drastically reduce their weight. Altering a child’s diet is another measure that can be taken to tackle this issue. Parents should be more proactive in producing healthier meals and reducing the amount of junk food available in the house. It might also be sensible to encourage children to take part in the cooking process which ought to ensure they grow up being able to produce their own balanced meals.

In conclusion, by introducing children to sports and other physical activities as well as providing them with a better diet, these measures can counteract the causes of childhood obesity.

Useful Tips

I have written these tips to help you with your essay. 

The tips have two aims:

  • To help you understand my model essay above.
  • To help you understand some of the problems with your own essay. I have read the essays you posted and I have put advice which will relate to many of you below.

Tips for IELTS Essays

  1. There are two tasks in this essay question.
    1. You must give your opinion as to whether watching TV causes weight problems. 
    2. You must present solutions to the problem of childhood obesity.
    3. Both of these tasks carry equal weight.
  2. Your introduction should not be long. Your conclusion should not be long. The high scores for writing task 2 are in the body paragraphs. See my essay above to assess the length and balance of the essay.
  3. Because you have two tasks, you will use one body paragraph for your opinion and one body paragraph for the solutions. This is logical organisation and logical paragraphing.
  4. Your opinion about TV causing weight problems should be given in the introduction and explained in body paragraph 1.
    1. A complete agreement with the statement would mean you agree that watching TV causes weight problems for children.
    2. A partial agreement would be that it does to some extent but there are other possible reasons or reason.
    3. It is always wise to address the fact that watching TV is not a problem in itself – it is the amount of time doing so that is the problem. This is an important aspect of the essay question that needs to be addressed if you are aiming for a high score. High band scores will require you to intelligently assess the issue or issues in the question.
    4. Your opinion which is about causes is body paragraph 1. You do not have a separate body paragraph with your opinion.
  5. Expressing your Opinion
    1. The words “This essay will …” or “This essay agrees …” does NOT express your own personal opinion. If you have done that, you will have failed to follow the instructions which require a direct personal opinion from you. This will lower your score.
    2. To express your own personal opinion, you MUST use “I” or “My”.
  6. If you have two causes and two solutions of childhood weight problems, you should make sure both causes and both solutions are easy to identify in the body paragraph. This means using linking words or signposts. Check my essay above and see how I do this. If you didn’t do this, you should consider more about your use of linking. This will be assessed by the IELTS examiner.
  7. The solutions to the problem given will appear in the second body paragraph. 
  8. You cannot have more than 3 body paragraphs in an IELTS essay. Each body paragraph should be of equal length (roughly). This is because each main point must be equally developed for a high score.
  9.  Vocabulary
    1. You need to avoid inappropriate and informal language, such as the word “kids” which is informal. That word can be used in IELTS speaking, not in IELTS writing.
    2.  The words “children” and “child” will be repeated. It is 100% fine to repeat some words in the English language. Paraphrasing is not about changing all words, all the time. It is about choosing which words to change and which words NOT to change.
    3. Don’t use expression such as “I want to say that..”. This is too informal for an IELTS essay.
  10. Choose the information you present in your essay carefully.
    1. If you want to write about meal times. Do not give a list of times (for example breakfast 7-9am). Instead, write that meal times should be at a scheduled time each day to provide routine. Think about what your point really is.
    2. Don’t write a list of junk food. If you use the word junk food, you do not need to give examples of it. The examiner knows the meaning of junk food. Examples are used to illustrate a point to make it clearer. The words “junk food” do not need explaining.
    3. Don’t give examples of video games or online gaming. The examiner does not need that information to understand your point.
    4. You do not have to start your examples with “A recent survey..”. The examiner does not care where your ideas or information come from.
  11.  Conclusion
    1. If you miss the conclusion, you will automatically get a reduced score for Task Response which is 25% of your marks.
    2. Always start your conclusion with a useful linking device. It helps the examiner locate your vital conclusion.
  12. Make sure you essay is below 300 words and between 260 and 290 words. My model above is 302 which is slightly over, but as I am a native speaker and highly experienced with IELTS I will not penalise myself for this 🙂

I hope you found this exercise useful. I hope the tips will help you develop your writing skills for IELTS.

Thank you for posting your essays. Some of the sentences and paragraphs you have written may be used in the new Grammar E-book I am compiling. Without your name or details mentioned of course.

All the best


Practice Essay for Sample Materials

I am currently working on an e-book for IELTS writing task 2 grammar. I need sample writing from people preparing for IELTS for my book.

I would like you to write a model essay for the question below. Sentences from your essay might be used in my e-book. Obviously, your name will not be used, just some sentences. If you post your essay, you are giving me your consent to use sentences in your essay in my e-book.

Essay Question

Some people think that watching TV causes weight problems in children. Do you agree with this view? What solutions can you suggest to tackle children’s weight problems?

Model Essay

I have written a full model essay for this question and also a long list of tips which relate directly to many of the essays posted below.

To view the model essay and tips, click below:

Model Essay & Tips


All the best



The points below will help you when you type your essay into the comments box.

  1. Please note this is a multi-task essay. The first question asks for your opinion on the issue. The second asks for your solutions. Both questions carry equal weight.
  2. You should aim for between 270 and 290 words. It is not recommended to go over 300.
  3. You should use a range of linking devices.
  4. Do not use learned phrases. Each sentence should be uniquely created by yourself.
  5. Always divide the body into paragraphs. Choose a logical organisation of ideas.
  6. Don’t aim to impress. Always aim for accuracy.

Reading Answers Death of High Street

Below are answers for yesterday’s reading passage: Death of the High Street Lesson

If you haven’t done the lesson, please complete it before looking at the answers. Click here: Reading Lesson Death of the High Street.


  1. A = 3
  2. B = 5
  3. C = 1
  4. D = 2
  5. E = 4
  6. triggered = spurred
  7. combine = couple that
  8. expendable = disposable
  9. soar = shoot up
  10. discouraging = deterring
  11. imminent = looming
  12. boost = injection

I hope you found this lesson useful 🙂

All the best