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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  1. Hi Liz!
    How can I improve doing T/F/NG reading questions?

  2. Hi Liz,
    I just recently took my IELTS exam last Saturday.I may say thay I am blessed with my writing task 1 and 2 topics.
    In writing task 1, I need to write a letter from a complaints that turns a commendation for the staff.
    Writing task 2, is need to give my opinion from the suggestion that suggestion that all ages of students to join in same class.
    I hope this will help.
    Now, I’l pray that all my exam ,reading and listening will have a good results.
    God is good I know! 🙂
    from Mhae

  3. Andreea Culbece says:

    That test I had it on the 26th! I said that I believe that children should learn both of them. I don’t know why they gave me only 6…I’m struggling with the writing and I don’t know where I’m doing so many mistakes…I sit this exam for 4th times and I am quite desperate because I don’t know what I should change…I watched your videos, I worked a few books…and nothing….only 6. Thank you!

    • Lijo thomas says:

      If u agree you cannot explain about world history.
      Throughout your essay should be about local history and supporting sentences. Watch her advanced ielts videos. She is explaining more in detail.

      • Your opinion must answer the all issues. If you agree, then your opinion is that local history should be taught and world history should not be taught. That is your full opinion.

  4. If you agree – then you need to explain why you think money shouldn’t be spent protecting wildlife and also what other problems should be solved with the money.

  5. Hello Liz, How can I buy all three advanced writing videos together? As each purchase cost can extra fee for international transaction, buying together would be beneficial, if that is possible.

  6. Dear LIZ
    I get more motivated when I read your texts. Although my handwriting is not much more qualified, but I’m preparing for IELTS test.Actually, I live in Finland as an asylum seeker, considerd to my teacher’s opinion I am not ready to take ILETS test yet. Would you please share me some links for improving my writing and listening?
    Thank you so much

  7. Hi Liz,
    Can i use words such as ‘what is more ‘OR ‘ to be more clear’ to explain my points between paragraphs?
    Thanks in advance

  8. Hi mam, 7 years back I took ielts exam & I got 6.5 overall . Later I stopped thinking of exam as it finds difficult for me to reach the required score.But after watching all your lessons I am planning to take exam again .Really impressed by all ur videos . Thanks you so much .

  9. Roshna Raut says:

    My exam is tomorrow
    I have one question please help me

    In any questions like agree or disagree, advantages or disadvantages, to what extent do you agree or disagree???
    In such OR questions…can we partially agree or disagree?? Can we fully go for disagree or agree??


    Can we write for example in body paragraph(if we agree) writing 4 positive points and in next paragraph 3 points showing its negative side
    and in conclusion going with agree one

    please reply

  10. Hi my best ielts teacher,kindly tell me if it is correct to write your opinion as ,”This essay agrees with the statement or should i always write, “In my opinion.Thanks in advance

    • If you want to give YOUR opinion, you need to use “I”. The words “this essay …” does not express your opinion.

  11. Hi Liz,

    In the partially agree,is it possible to write 2 body paragraphs on agree and 3rd one on disagree. I am little confuse about it.

    Thanks in advance

  12. Hi Liz,

    For the Partial Agreement/Disagreement Essay (Balanced View) is it possible to still write 4 Paragraphs with such essay or it must be 5 paragraphs?

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