Model Answers for IELTS Essays January 2018

Below are two essay questions with model answers that were reported in IELTS writing task 2 in January.

Model IELTS Essays Jan 2018

Essay Question 1: Some people consider price as most important thing to think about when buying product (such as cell phone) or service (e.g. medical treatment). Do you agree or disagree?

It is thought by some people that the price of a product or service is essential to consider before deciding to purchase something. While I agree that people need to consider carefully before spending large amounts of money in order to avoid debt, the necessity of the purchase must play a role in the decision to buy.

It is essential that people take time to reflect on how much money they should spend on an item or service, and whether or not they can actually afford it within their available budget. Over the last few decades, the rise in personal debt has escalated as people are tempted to buy goods and services due to pressure from advertising and the increasingly easy access of credit cards. For this reason, any purchase that is costly and is bought using credit ought to be well thought through, particularly when the item is a luxury item that is not actually essential.

On the other hand, there are circumstances when the cost of a service or item becomes an irrelevant consideration. A typical example of this would be when someone’s life depends on a product or service, such as a new treatment for a disease not offered through normal channels. In such a case, a person’s budget becomes redundant and the expense should not deter someone from proceeding with the purchase. However, these situations are rare and in most circumstances price ought to be considered so that excessive spending is planned and budgeted to avoid serious debt problems.

In conclusion, people should deliberate carefully before spending large sums of money on goods and services, except in cases of dire necessity.

  • Words 275
  • You do not need to write the word count at the end of your essay.  I am stating it here for your benefit.

Essay Question 2: In many cities, many people are living in large apartment blocks. Does this accommodation have more advantages or disadvantages.

An increasing number of people are choosing to live in high rise apartment blocks. In my opinion, although these blocks of flats are often cheaper, they offer cramped living space and can present serious fire risks.

One obvious advantage to living in a multi-story apartment block is that it offers people affordable accommodation in urban areas. With the growth of urban populations, land is becoming increasingly expensive and, as a result, many people are no longer able to afford to their own house. Large apartment blocks require a small area of land but can provide a lot of flats which enable people on low incomes to continue living near city centers and near their jobs.

However, high rise apartment blocks usually offer small apartments with no outdoor areas. For families, this can be a problem as each individual member of the family has little personal space which can result a build up of tension as relationships can become strained. Another problem is that such restricted living quarters offer no space for exercise which is a vital requirement for healthy living.

Finally, one of the worst problems of living in a high rise block of flats is the fire risk that it presents. If a fire should break out in one of the flats, the number of floors in the building means that people can become easily trapped on the top floors, unable to escape the fire. This was unfortunately illustrated by the Grenfell Tower block fire that claimed  71 lives in London in 2017. The speed with which the fire spread through the 24 floors, made it impossible for everyone to escape.

In conclusion, large blocks of flats may be offer a cheaper living option, but they also offer people lower quality accommodation with serious fire risks.

Words 297



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  1. Sumaya Sh says:

    Essay Question 2
    She wrote 5 paragraphs is that possible?

    many thanks in advance🙂

  2. Dear Liz, This may be off topic but is it compulsory to add a heading to your formal letter in writing task 1

  3. Hi Liz,
    I have a confusion regarding the large apartment blocks meaning…does it only mean high rise building with less space? Or can they also be referred to as spacious multi storyed flats?? Like a large accommodation per floor??
    Also can n e one suggest the answers for 6 the Jan GT lisening part?? Especially 27-30

  4. Hello Liz..
    In speaking part 2 if i have to talk about an art i like then will it be okay to talk about 3 different art i like from past, present and the art i could like in future or do i have to talk about only an art as the question is ‘an art you like’. I am very much confused. My test will be within 2 weeks so could you please help me?

  5. What types of methods company try to increase their sale.
    In 13 January 2018 task 2 essay.

  6. Thank you so much for all your lessons and practice tests. I have learned a lot and hope to do well in my forthcoming academic test on Saturday and speaking on the next day.

  7. Hi Liz,

    The question is regarding ‘Advantages and Disadvantages’ category. From your blog, I learned this type of question doesn’t require to provide our opinion in Introduction paragraph but I noticed ‘In my opinion’ sentence in model answer essay 2 provided by you. Can you please provide a clear answer of whether we need to write our opinion or it doesn’t require to this kind of essays?


    • Did you see it in a “adv AND disadv” essay? I think not. You saw it in an “outweigh” essay or a “are advs more than disadvs” essay which are different and require an opinion. There are two kinds of adv/disadv essay. See this page:

      • Thank you Liz,

        The page I referred is ‘when should i provide my opinion’. Under this there are some guess essay questions, and I found for the essay ‘What are the adv and disadv to this?’ and the answer is ‘Not to provide my opinion’ and my understanding was the essay 2 is a similar kind of question and thought ‘my opinion’ is not required. Though there is still some confusion. Can you guide me on this. I have my IELTS exam on 20th of this month and working hardly on the preparation. TIA!

        • I do not understand you question. Can you write it again more clearly?

          • Hi Liz,

            I got a clear understanding after looking at the formats.
            ‘adv and disadv’ – no opinion requires
            ‘are adv more than disadv’ – requires an opinion.
            Thank you for the clarification and your blog is very helpful for the preparation.

            Thank you!

  8. Dear Liz,
    First of all, I need to thank you for keeping such an organised and useful website. I have been preparing to take the IELTS exam and your website is the best.
    I have a question related to the use of inversions in Task 2.
    When I took the CPE exam, I was told to use at least one inversion and I would like to know if it’s ok to use it on IELTS too.
    On my essays, I normally write something like this “Not only are people more worried about saving money, but they are also more aware of the need of consuming less.”. Does it sound too formal?

    Thank you very much.

    • Why are you asking if it is too formal? The IELTS writing test is formal.

      • Thanks for your answer, Liz.
        I asked you if it’s too formal because I don’t normally see inversions in any model answers (here or in IELTS textbooks), even though they are very natural for me to use.

  9. Hello Liz and thanks for your continue guidance
    Doubt about essay No. 2:
    Wondering if it is correct to just mention in the introduction the minor advantage of large flat blocks (cheaper) and, then, write 2 to 3 body paragraphs supporting disadvantages.


    • I don’t understand your question. It’s fine to present a specific view / a partial agreement. You are not marked on the opinion you choose. You are marked on how you present and support it. You don’t get a higher score because you choose one side.

      • Thanks Liz,

        Sorry for not being that clear in my concern.
        Please let me give you a better explanation.
        In the essay example No.2 you chose that there are more disadvantages of living in large buildings, but anyway you used 1st BP to explain the minor advange you mentioned in the introduction (cheaper dwellings). My question is whether it is recommended to spend one paragraph in the advantage (i.e. unchosen option) even though you expressed your choice for disadvantages.

        • When it asks “more than” or “outweigh” you need to show that one is more than the other. Both are tackled. If it asks you “positive or negative”, you can choose just one.

          • Hey Liz thanks for your help.
            I essays that ask for the problems and solutions, can you mention an advantage. For example.
            question: There are many problems faced by people living in the city
            What are these problems and do you think the government can help.
            Answer:.first Bp…Despite the benefits of living in the city, such as affordability and easy access to amenities, they do not surpass the problems. One of the problems encountered is congestion….

            Can you start the first Bp as above.

  10. Thank you liz for such a great job
    But i would like to ask about a phrase in your first essay.
    Is it correct to say ” in such a case” or ” in such case”?
    Thanks for your reply

  11. Liz , u r a great help..thanks for being so helpful.
    You quoted example of GRENFEL TOWER ,it makes me curious to know that is it really necessary that examples should be based on facts and true events or examples can be created and crafted?

    • I often don’t use examples at all because I can’t actually think of relevant examples. So, it’s fine not to use examples. It is also fine that you do not use statistics. You will see that most of my model essays do not actually present data – you don’t get more points because of facts or data. There is no reason to invent data because there is no reason to use data at all.

  12. Hello Liz, thank you so much for your time. My question is, is the essay question asking us to agree/disagree if price of product is more important that service rendered? I’m alityle confused with your approach as regards the balanced view essay

    • It does not ask if prices is more important than service. It asks: Do you think people should consider price before they buy an item or buy a service. Make sure you don’t misread the question.

  13. Hi Liz,
    Please discuss the essay,
    An unusual meal

  14. Olapade Olayemi says:

    Liz you are simply the best.
    I am a little bit confused about the first essay. Since you discussed about the two sides of the question, please how will the examiner know your opinion.
    Please assist me since I will be relying on your model.

    • This is called a partial agreement or balanced view. You should not use this approach unless you have been trained.

  15. The second essay was the one i got in the test 8 months back. I got confused regarding its presentation- body paragraphs. I was not able to completely remind the essay question and was not able to put a query after I joined your website. Thanks you Liz for providing a model for this essay

  16. Dear Liz
    noticeable and smart model answers that put us in the examatmosphere and reduce our tension and enhance our spirits for entering the exam.
    with regards Qasim

  17. Emad Helal says:

    Thank you for your great help.
    For essay question 2:
    Please, Is this type of essays (adv/disadv) considered from non-opinion type ?
    why you say in my opinion expression, i’m very confused about this point….


  18. hey Liz , thank you for your help.
    I have a question though? Is it a requirement to write …..this essay will discuss..instead of saying in my opinion…for example

    Many city dwellers are nowadays living in apartment blocks. This is convenient mostly for low income earners. However, such accommodation is unfavorable for families and children. This essay will discuss the benefits of living in city apartments, but why it is more unfavorable. (here the ..”.but why it is more unfavorable”…gives my opinion of disadvantages being more than advantages )

    • It is definitely not required to write “this essay will …”. I never use it. If your opinion is required, give it directly. “this essay will…” does not present your opinion and furthermore only restates the instructions which the examiner knows.

      • Okay. Thank you…
        So, I don’t have to write this essay will discuss…in any of the essays regardless of the task?…in addition, can I write my opinion in the conclusion instead of in the introduction?

      • Hi Liz
        There are IELTS expert using “this essay will…..” to give his opinion.I can share with you the reference link over your email because i cannot paste in the comment box

        It creates confusion when 2 IELTS experts contradicts each other!

        • That is correct. It is confusing. Different teachers will tell you different things because each teacher has their own techniques and methods. If the instructions ask for YOUR opinion, writing “this essay will …” does not show your opinion. This means it can’t be used as a thesis statement presenting an opinion. As for using it as a third statement in the introduction – it is not actually required by IELTS to write “this essay will…”. Using “this essay will …” is a suggestion that some IELTS teachers give. You need to distinguish between an IELTS band score requirement and a suggestion. It is a sentence that will not lower your score and will increase your score because it isn’t a requirement.

  19. Thank you soo much for your support and knowledge share. These things are really helpful.

  20. Hi mam,
    If i am not wrong ur answer to agree disagree type has been written as balanced approach.
    Is it fine I equally explain both side or i need to write taking one side more?

    • A balanced view for an opinion essay must show a specific view point with a quantified opinion. At no time can you sit on the fence.

  21. Thank you so much for all support. I followed all your tips for task 2 .Iam so pleased to say that I got 7 bands in all modules

  22. Hi Liz
    Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us. It is greatly appreciated. In regards to the first essay, in conclusion, you have said- People should deliberate carefully before spending… I am a bit confused with the word deliberate, does not it mean something carefully weighed or considered for example a deliberate action.

    • Deliberate is both a verb and an adjective. Your sentence uses it as an adjective and in my sentence is a verb “to deliberate” = to consider / to weigh up.

  23. kirandeep kaur rangi says:

    thanks alot mam…..for guidance

  24. Prakash Perumal says:

    That “Apartment Essay” was the real IELTS question of 6th January 2018 form IDP. My friend appeared on that question.

  25. Hi Liz
    In second question ,does high rise apartments have more advantages or more disadvantages?Can I write about advantages only?
    Or can I say that disadvantages exceed advantages because it can cause certain problems?

  26. Venugopal T says:

    Hi Liz,

    In answer number 2, I see a word “Urban Populations”, isn’t it Urban population? Just like hair , not hairs?

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    • It is possible to refer to the urban populations (populations of various cities around the world). Some uncountable nouns can be used in plural forms: foods, cheeses etc. It is not something I recommend using unless you have been taught.

  27. Vimal Kamothi says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for sharing the above model answers. Could you please check the below agree and disagree opinions in the thesis statement ? Is there any change/correction require?
    It has been 40 years since man first landed on the moon. Some people think that space research is a waste of money.

    Agreement thesis:
    While some people consider that putting a man on the moon was a huge achievement that still inspires and interests people today, others believe that sending a man to moon has not changed most people’s lives. In my opinion, I agree that governments have wasted a lot of money that could have been spent on public services.

    Disagreement thesis:
    It is considered that sending a man to the moon has not changed most people’s lives, others believe that putting a man on the moon was a huge achievement that still inspires and interests people today. In my opinion, I disagree that space research is a waste of money, as it showed us that we can achieve anything we put our minds to.


    • Be careful changing the essay question. This is not about landing on the moon being interesting or inspiring – it is about landing on the moon due to space research and development. If you think space research is useful, your main points will be about the development of advanced technology and acquiring knowledge.

      • Vimal Kamothi says:

        Hi Liz,

        Thanks, got your point and corrected. Let me know if this would be fine.

        Agreement thesis:
        While some people consider that exploring space for the development of advanced technology and gaining knowledge is a huge achievement, others believe that it is waste of money as it does not improve most people’s lives. In my opinion, I agree that governments have wasted a lot of money that could have been spent on public services.

        Disagreement thesis:
        It is considered that space exploration has not enhanced most people’s lives, others believe that it is needed for advanced developments. In my opinion, I disagree that the space research is a waste of money, as it provides and develops advanced technology and knowledge with respect to other planets.

        • Again, the essay question doesn’t actually refer to technology or knowledge. You are confusing your background and your thesis. The background is a paraphrase of the essay question – do not alter the meaning and do not add extra information. Just paraphrase it. Then use your ideas to help you present your thesis.

          • wow! you are kind and awesome for taking time to respond with patience.

          • Vimal Kamothi says:

            Hi Liz,
            May be I am thinking too much on this and making mistakes. Thanks for your suggestions. I have corrected the background statement. Can you please check if this is appropriate ?

            Background statement and agreement thesis:
            Some people consider that money spent on exploring space is a waste. In my opinion, I agree that governments have wasted a lot of money on space exploration, such as sending man to the moon, that could have been spent on public services.

            Background statement and disagreement thesis:
            Some people consider that money spent of exploring space is a waste. In my opinion, I disagree that space exploration is a waste of money, as it develops advanced technology and help in gaining knowledge on other planets.


  28. Hello …
    Thanks a lot for your effort Liz
    I have an enquiry … can i write a question sentence in the introduction to hook the reader attention to the topic . ex..

    It is thought by some people that the price of goods and services has a role in their decision for purchasing. Does the price reflect the necessity of buying something or service?. I do believe that people need to censor the cost before they buy anything.

    Is this acceptable or not preferable ??
    my exam will be in a week

  29. Do we have to agree and disagree at the same time? In the two answers above, you talk about advantages and disadvantages altogether. I thought we need to choose one of the two

    • I presented a specific view point which is quantified. Some teachers call this a partial agreement and others a balanced view.

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