An IELTS Essay Question Today

Hi guys,

Below is an IELTS writing task 2 essay question which was in the test today, Sept 9th. There were also other questions used today in writing task 2. See further below for other essay questions today in IELTS WT2.

IELTS Essay Question Today

Mobile phones enable us to take work or personal calls anywhere, anytime. Do you think it has a positive or negative impact on individuals and society?

Pros & Cons of Using Mobile Phones

The ideas below are to give you an overview of this topic. You DO NOT use them all. You decide your opinion and then decide which ideas to use. The list below is not an essay – it is just a list of ideas for your benefit.


  • Being accessible for company work 24/7 is great for business.
    • Customers always have a number to call for problems or enquiries.
    • Bosses can keep better contact with their employees.
    • It enables some people to work from home and be more flexible.
  • People can use their phones in emergencies.
    • People will feel safer knowing they can contact people wherever they are.
    • People can easily and quickly report accidents and get help.
    • Parents can keep contact with their children and offer them more support regardless of where they are.
  • Communication
    • Family members can easily contact each other over long distances.
    • Communication is instant.
  • Cohesion in the world
    • People can feel connected to the wider world.
    • Disabled people are no longer isolated.
    • People in remote ideas can have immediate contact with other people.


  • Danger
    • Some people use their mobile phones while driving.
    • Using mobile phones around certain medical equipment is not safe.
    • Constant use of mobile phones is supposed to be bad for people’s health.
  • Stress
    • Being accessible for work through a mobile phone 24/7 means lack of rest time and constant stress.
    • Demanding bosses may put too much pressure on staff.
    • There is no cut off between work and free time.
    • Children may feel bothered by their parents continual surveillance.
    • Children cannot escape from peer pressure.
  • More demand
    • If people know you are easily accessible by phone, they will expect to always be able to reach you.
    • Constant calling can exhaust people.
  • Lack of Neighbourhood
    • Some people continue distance relationships by phone rather than know their neighbours.
    • Local community has less importance due to long distance communication.


Other IELTS Essay Questions Sept 9th

Below are more IELTS writing task 2 questions which students have reported in their test today, Sept 9th, 2017.

Some people think that job satisfaction is more important than job security while others think that they cannot always expect job satisfaction, a permanent job is more important. Discuss both views and give your opinion?


Some people enjoy participating in extremely dangerous sports. Why do people do these types of sports? What can be done to reduce the danger?


Some people feel children should be blamed for their crimes, while others feel the parents should be blamed. In your own opinion,who should be blamed?


It is important for cities and towns to build parks and squares. Do you agree or disagree?


The majority of people regard the increase in business and cultural contacts between countries as a positive development. Others, however, think it leads to the loss of national identities. Discuss both the view points and state your opinion. 


Some people think that doing research on one’s family history is quite beneficial. Others think we should focus more on the new & future generation. Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Some people think that children nowadays have too much freedom. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Some people think that students should regularly do some volunteer (free) work to help the community. What is your opinion?


Some people think that children of all different ages should be taught in the same class in school.
What is your opinion?


Some people believe that schools are responsible for teaching good behaviour and what is right and wrong. Others believe parents responsible. Do you agree or disagree? (GT)


Some people believe that students should be made to do voluntary unpaid work to help their community. State your view. (GT)


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IELTS Opinion Essay: Choosing one side or partially agreeing?

In an IELTS opinion essay, you can either agree, disagree or take a balanced approach which means to partially agree. However, you need to learn more so that you fulfil the requirements of the higher band scores.

See the answers to the 4 questions below. Also see useful links for writing task 2 below. All tips are for GT and Academic students.

1. Is it better to choose one side?

It won’t alter your score if you choose to support one side or partially agree. As long as you give a clear opinion, the examiner will be happy.

If you don’t understand a partial agreement essay, then choose one side. It’s easier to choose one side for most students and you can still get band score 9 by choosing one side.

Sometimes it might be hard to find enough ideas to support one side. In this case, go for a partial agreement. BUT if you need training to learn how to do this correctly.

2. Will you get a higher score if you partially agree?

No. It’s doesn’t matter what your opinion is – one side or partial. The only thing the examiner wants is a relevant opinion which is fully explained.

3. Can you write a discussion essay instead?

NO. Let me repeat that – NO !!! An opinion essay is only about your opinion. It is not about what other people think. You can’t change the type of essay you have been given. Look at the instructions below:

  • Discussion both sides and give your opinion
    • You must explain both sides of what other people think and also give your opinion
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?
    • You must present your opinion and nothing else. Your opinion must cover all aspects of the essay question.


4. Can you use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay?

Yes. Of course. You MUST use “i” or “my” – it’s the only way to give your own personal opinion. Look at the language below:

  • it is believed / it is considered / it seems – This language does not express your own individual opinion. It is perfect for discussion essays but it can’t be used for your own views.
  • I think / I agree / I disagree / In my opinion – This is how you clearly express your view. The examiner wants to see this language when you give your opinion.

Useful Links for IELTS Writing Task 2

Click below to open useful links for IELTS writing task 2:

When to give your opinion

How to write an introduction

Using “I” or “my”: Free Video

Using quotes and idioms

All Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays

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IELTS Essay Writing: Choosing your opinion

An IELTS opinion essay requires you to give your opinion. Is it better to choose one side or have a balanced view? Many students are not sure which opinion will give them a higher score.

The instructions can vary for an opinion essay (agree/disagree essay):

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • What is your view?
  • To what extent do you agree?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • Do you agree?

All these instructions are for the same essay. You can answer them in the same way. IELTS sometimes likes to paraphrase instructions but the aim of the essay is the same. There is no difference between them.

IELTS Opinion Essay Question

This question was given in the IELTS test 2 weeks ago.

It is more important for children to learn about local history than world history.

Do you agree or disagree?

Questions for You:

  1. Do you think it is better to choose one side?
  2. Will you get a higher score if you partially agree?
  3. Can you write a discussion essay instead giving both sided without an opinion?
  4. Can you use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay?


You can see the answers and tips for choosing sides in an opinion essay on this page: IELTS Opinion Essay: Choosing Sides

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IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics Sept to Dec 2017

Below are  new topics that were given for IELTS speaking part 2 this month, September 2017. I will post more topics when students have informed me.

To prepare fully, you need to prepare the topics below, topics used in Aug and also common topics. You can find Aug topics on this page: Aug topics and common topics on this page: Main Speaking Page

The topics below are not easy so it is vital that you choose something simple to talk about. That way, you can expand your ideas more easily to showcase your English.

IELTS Cue Card Topics Sept – Dec 2017

Topics have been reported by students and are not predictions.

  1. A School Rule
  2. A Plant
  3. A person who helped you in your studies or work
  4. Disagreement with a decision that someone made
  5. Your favourite item of clothing
  6. Good news about a person you know well
  7. When someone said positive comments to you
  8. A book
  9. A healthy life style
  10. An occasion you helped someone
  11. Something you planned to do but haven’t done yet
  12. An important letter you received
  13. An important invention
  14. A gift that made you happy
  15. An achievement
  16. A time you were happy to have a mobile phone
  17. Your ideal home
  18. A garden you visited as a child
  19. A happily married couple
  20. An English lesson
  21. Something you got for free
  22. A piece of art
  23. Your favourite sport
  24. An invention
  25. A special cake
  26. A conversation with someone you don’t know
  27. A website
  28. A product of your country
  29. A time you teamed up with an old person
  30. A big company/organisation near you
  31. A car journey
  32. A city or town you visited
  33. A group of people who made you smile
  34. A place to listen to music
  35. A happy memory from childhood
  36. A business person you admire
  37. A holiday
  38. A time you moved home or school
  39. A person you admire who is not from your country
  40. Your favourite TV program
  41. An interesting place in your country that tourists don’t know about
  42. A person who knows everything


Tips for Speaking Part 2 Topics 2017

Below are some ideas for you to use for the current topics. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments box below.

Examples of School Rules:

  • no eating in class
  • do not disturb the teacher when he or she is talking
  • hand your homework in on time
  • turning off your mobile phone in class

Tips for Plant topic

  • choose a plant that is common or symbolic
  • you don’t need to know the name of the plant in English
  • you can choose to talk about any plant, tree, flower, fruit, vegetable – your choice doesn’t affect your score
  • you can describe it: leaves, colour, height, flower, stem, trunk, branches

A person who helped you in your work or studies

  • maybe a teacher or a colleague (you can you choose anyone you like)
  • remember to describe the person (appearance and character)
  • always say when you first met the person
  • mention if you will see this person again in the future

An item of clothing

  • choose something easy to talk about
  • mention – colour, material, length, style
  • talking about when you got it, when you usually wear it, when you plan to wear it next

A book

  • describe the story simply – don’t make it complicated or confusing
  • mention only main characters and describe them
  • mention plot, setting (where it was and which time period)
  • mention if it has been converted into a film
  • talk about when you bought it, how often you have read it, what type of people would like it

An achievement

  • try to branch away from your work or studies
    • it’s time to show the examiner you can talk about something else
  • examples: cooking, making something, a speech, a hobby, a time you helped someone, something you learned, travel, language etc

A product of your country

  • you can choose anything made or grown in your country
    • clothes, equipment, food, transportation, tea, coffee, wine, musical instruments, etc
    • your choice of product is not marked – only your language is marked
  • describe the product – appearance, how it’s made, where it’s made, who makes it, price etc
  • talk about the first time you use it, if you will use it again and what type of people would use it

Useful IELTS Speaking Link

See my Tips, Model Answers for IELTS Speaking

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How I Increased my IELTS Score in 4 Months

An IELTS student increased her scores in each part of the IELTS test in 4 months. Her name is Priscilla. Below you can learn some of her tips for increasing your IELTS score.

Priscilla’s Results

April: L8, R7.5, W6.5, S7 (OBS 7.5)

August: L9, R8.5, W7, S7.5 (OBS 8)

Her certificate April:

Her certificate: August

Priscilla’s Experience in 2 IELTS Tests

April 20th IELTS preparation and examination evaluation
I was too excite and too confident mainly because I felt that since I spoke English from cradle, the exam should not be a big deal thus I practiced less.During the exam, I lacked understanding of the writing task 2 question. Generally I lacked structure, I just started writing and wrote too many words and even collected an extra sheet. In reading, because i lacked method, i took a lot of time for passages 1 and 2 which resulted to less time for 3. In listening, I got worried when I missed some points and i kept thinking about it. In speaking, I was nervous and i tried to impress the examiner. I was not generally natural, I used learned phrases too.
August 3rd IELTS preparation and examination evaluation  
I was calmer and took corrections. I learnt planning for writing task 2 and i wrote average words in the two tasks using only the sheets provided, no extras. I had extra time to go over my work. For reading, I found a method that worked for me and I held on to it. I solved the first two passages faster and had more time for the third passage still checked my answers. In listening, I anticipated answers, did not dwell on missed points and followed the conversation by tracing the questions with my pencil. While speaking, I spoke more naturally (no forming of intonation). I avoided impressing the examiner, i did not look for big words to use  and I answered the questions mostly sincerely as if my information would be verified; this prevented me from overthinking.

Priscilla’s Tips to Increase your Score

These are some tips that i think helped me. First, observe how calm Liz is when she teaches. Adopt that nature at least for the exam!

  • Don’t be too excited
  • Don’t try to impress the examiner
  • Read and Follow instructions
  • Understand Questions

In Listening: (9.0)
*Listen carefully and move on when u miss an answer.
*Sometime predict answers (this helped me a lot)
*Use your pencil to follow the conversions (it kept me on track)

Reading: (8.5)
My method:

  1. read questions fully
  2. read passage fully but fast
  3. then answer questions
  4. I finished passages 1 & 2 in 30 mins then 3 in 25 mins. Used 5 mins to go over questions and answers

Writing (7.0)
I practised sensibly. I learnt planning for my writing. This works like magic. I finished task 2 within 30 mins
Went over the two tasks and made error corrections.

Speaking: (7.5) I never believed I’d get this mark!
I was less excited, I spoke naturally. I wasn’t thinking of any big words to use.
I don’t know if this will work for another but I answered the questions truthfully as if I was in a non-English exam interview. I added details to short answers too. is perfect for learning. Don’t be in a hurry. Just give yourself practice time. I now tell my friends, study everything on LIZ first, then do practice tests a lot.

Message to Priscilla: Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It truly shows students that it is possible to increase their scores with the right techniques and practice. Well done to you for your great achievement !! Liz

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Not all IELTS Examiners Smile in the Speaking Test

I think it is a good time to talk about your IELTS Speaking Examiners. In the IELTS speaking test, you will be face to face with an IELTS speaking examiner who will ask you questions. There are three parts:

  1. short answer questions – about 12 questions in under 5 mins
  2. a talk – 1 mins to prepare and 1-2 mins to talk
  3. a discussion – about 4 to 8 questions in under 5 mins

The IELTS speaking test is informal. This means you need to be open, chatty and friendly throughout your test. This way you can showcase your English to the examiner. For speaking tips and model answers, see my Main IELTS Speaking Page

IELTS Examiners

IELTS examiners are supposed to be friendly, smiley and encouraging. They can’t be chatty with you but they should be encouraging in their body language, facial expressions and general manner. This is what they are taught to do.

BUT not all examiners are friendly. This means it can feel difficult to be chatty and friendly with an examiner if they don’t smile, yawn, avoid looking at you and show disinterest in what you say. Unfortunately, not all examiners are good with body language.

Your Preparation

You need to be prepared to face any type of examiner – encouraging or not encouraging You need to be mentally ready to be chatty and open even if the person you are talking to appears bored.

Your speaking test is 11 to 14 minutes in length. This is not a lot of time. But in that time, you can change your future. So, don’t let a bored examiner control your fate. Take your future into your own hands and be ready for anything.

Students’ Experience

Most IELTS students have a good experience in their IELTS speaking test and some even enjoy it. Most students found the examiner encouraging and friendly. This is the ideal situation. But examiners are humans and a few of them are not prefect – you must be prepared for that.

Your Experience

Please share your experience of the speaking test by posting below. Remember this is not a time to complain. It is a time to share experiences – good and bad. Please remember that the aim of this website is to prepare students for IELTS and also BUILD CONFIDENCE !!!

My Message to IELTS

It is time to get a camera in the IELTS speaking test room. Having an audio recording is not enough and certainly behind the times. Having a camera in the room means IELTS can monitor their examiners more closely to ensure that IELTS candidates who have paid money for this test are in fact being tested at the standard that IELTS have set. It should not be acceptable that IELTS have some examiners who put students off talking by appearing bored and annoyed. This entirely defeats the purpose of having a face to face speaking test rather than one done with a computer. IELTS want their speaking test to be as life like as possible – but at what time would you have a personal chat with someone for 14 minutes who wishes you weren’t in the room and shows it!

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Where can you plan your essay for IELTS writing?

Hi guys,

A lot of students have asked me if they can get extra paper to write a plan for their IELTS writing task 1 and writing task 2. They want to know what paper they can use for planning.

Planning is an essential part of your writing. 50% of your marks is based on choosing information, deciding how to present it and planning organisation. This means all ideas need to be planned in full before you start writing. See this page about Tips for IELTS Essay Planning.  You can find the marking criteria for writing task 2 on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Score

Where can you plan your essay?

The answer is that you use your question paper to write your plan.

At the end of your test, you will hand in your question paper. BUT the examiner will not see it and it will not be marked. So, you need to use the question paper to plan your writing for task 1 and task 2.

Please share any of your tips or experience for essay planning in the comments box below:

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How to Use Ideas for IELTS Speaking Part 2: Tips

It is important that you understand what ideas you can use for your IELTS speaking Part 2. You need to know what topics are appropriate and how a topic can be expanded.

On this page you will see:

  • a list of ideas
  • a model answer
  • examiner comments
  • a list of vocabulary
  • useful link
  • a picture

Possible Ideas

Lets look at this topics: An Activity near the Sea. Below is a list of possible topics:

Let me give you a current speaking part 2 topic: An Activity Near the Sea You have Done

Which of the following ideas can you use for this topic?

  1. Fishing
  2. Water-skiing
  3. Swimming
  4. Sunbathing
  5. Shopping
  6. Photography
  7. A lazy day near the sea
  8. A future holiday near the sea

Decide which of the above ideas is possible for the this topic.


You can use all of the above ideas for your Speaking Part 2 talk about an activity near the sea.

The examiner is not marking your ideas. It does not affect your score to go off topic. You are not marked on using relevant ideas.

Your speaking score is based 100% on your English language – nothing more. You are not even marked on understanding. You are only marked on fluency, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

How to Use Ideas for Speaking Part 2

See this model answer below to learn how to use all the above ideas:

Model Answer

I will tell you about a place I have been to near the sea and all the activities there were on offer there. Personally, I go to the sea to enjoy the sea air and see family. But there are also plenty of other things to do.

The town I go to is called Hoi An, which is both by the sea and also situated on a river. Most people take part in fishing and swimming, although the current in the sea can sometimes be a bit strong. It’s not the best place for water-skiing due to the waves, so most people just take a dip in the sea and sunbathe. Along the coast line are loads of shops selling a variety of souvenirs. I often enjoy browsing when I have the time.

The town itself is incredibly pretty. It is a UNESCO heritage site and boasts amazingly photographic scenes, particularly as daylight fades in the evening and the town has a golden glow under the street lamps. It attracts a lot of photographers from around the world and, the last time I was there, I couldn’t stop taking snap shots as I pottered around the town.

I think Hoi An is the perfect place for a lazy day near the sea. It’s not just because there are activities to do but because there is just a pleasant feel of arriving in another world that takes your breath away. I plan to have a lot more holidays there in the future. In fact, I’ve already booked my next trip.


You can see that this model answer does not focus on one activity near the sea. Instead, this model answer offers lots of activities as it describes a holiday.

This model answer would get band score 9. It is fine to adapt the topic and bring in lots of ideas to develop your story. The talk is informal (all IELTS speaking is informal) and you can see this in the style. It is chatty, friendly and full of interesting ideas – with great vocabulary.

Speaking part 2 has no questions, just prompts. It is your task to go beyond the prompts and add lots more information that isn’t asked for in order to develop your talk and showcase your English. Going off topic by adding more detail does not affect your score. Your ideas are not marked in IELTS speaking.


  • the sea air
  • the current can be strong
  • take a dip in the sea
  • variety of souvenirs
  • enjoy browsing
  • photographic scenes
  • as daylight fades
  • golden glow
  • taking snap shots
  • potter around
  • take your breath away

You can see that the vocabulary is mostly informal or descriptive. This is prefect for IELTS speaking part 2 when you are describing a place or a memory.

See my IELTS Speaking Tips

Click here to see all my IELTS Speaking Topics, Tips and Model Answers

Hoi An, Central Vietnam

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