Recent Essay Question March 2015

This essay question was reported this month in IELTS writing task 2. Although I’m currently on holiday, I wanted to share some ideas with you for this essay question.

Some people say that cars are best to use in cities while others think that bicycles are better. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Here are some ideas for this essay question.

Cars

  • Cars are able to transport a number of people rather than only one as well as bulky items.
  • Travelling by car is more time effective.
  • Car travel is comfortable which enables the driver to arrive fresh at their destination.
  • Travelling by car in a city is often safer because the frame of the vehicle and safety mechanisms can protect the driver.
  • In cold climates, where temperatures drop to near or below freezing in winter, cars are a better option.
  • Cars are able to cover great distances which bring more people into city centers and boost the local economy.
  • Cars are the most sensible option for people with weak health, the elderly or those that need to conserve their energy for their work.

Bicycles 

  • This form of transportation is more environmentally friendly as there are no exhaust fumes to pollute the atmosphere and no fuel is required which would deplete world resources.
  • Using bicycles is a healthier way to travel and helps busy people incorporate exercise into their daily lives.
  • Cycling is a cheap and sustainable form of transportation.
  • Travelling by bicycles rarely results in traffic congestion regardless of the amount of traffic on the roads
  • Car parks take up much needed space in cities which is avoided by using bicycles.
  • Bicycles are simple to maintain and cheap to repair.

If you can think of more ideas to share, please post them in the comments box below.

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Sample Answers for Travel and Transport in Speaking Part 1

Below are sample answers for the the topics of travel and transport for part 1 of the IELTS speaking test.

Travel

Q. Do you often travel abroad?

A. Not much, to be honest. I don’t get many days off in a year but when I do have time off, I mainly spend that time with my family in my hometown.

Q. When is the best season to travel in your country?

A. I guess it would be spring. That’s when the weather starts warming up and all the flowers start blossoming. It’s a really beautiful season and most places are at their best at that time. Unfortunately, it’s a busy time for tourists as well but that still doesn’t diminish the beauty of the countryside.

Q. Where would you recommend a foreign to visit in your country?

A. Without doubt, London. Not only is it our capital, but it also has some of the most iconic buildings in our country. I don’t think any visit to England is complete without seeing the Tower of London, London Bridge or Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. They really are very impressive pieces of architectural work and can’t be missed.

Transport

Q. How did you get here today?

A. I came by bike because the roads are pretty congested at this time and a bike is quicker. It only took me about 15 minutes to get here.

Q. Do you often use public transport?

A. Yes, I do. I use the bus almost everyday. It’s the cheapest way to get around even though it’s really overcrowded and not particularly punctual.

Q. How could the transportation system be improved in your country?

A. Well, I think the first step to improvement would be to widen the roads and build to overpasses and underpasses to help traffic flow more freely which would reduce the congestion in the city center. Also, it would help if the bus service was improved to make it run more frequently which would help with the overcrowding in rush hour. I think those are the two main changes that need to happen.

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Travel & Transport

It is common to get the topic of travel or transport in IELTS speaking part 1. These topics can actually be divided into subtopics which are all be asked in part 1, see the list below:

  • Holidays
    • Weekend Breaks
    • Hotels
    • Traveling Abroad & Culture
    • Public Holidays (Celebrations and Festivals)
    • Days off work
    • Trips
    • Journeys
  • Tourist Attractions
    • Historical Attractions
    • Museums and Galleries
    • Statues and Monuments
  • Private & Public Transport
    • Bicycles
    • Cars
    • Driving
    • Buses
    • Trains
    • Planes
    • Walking
  • Getting Around
  • Roads
  • Traffic

As you can see above, there are a number of subtopics for the topics of travel and transport. Make sure you prepare a range of ideas and vocabulary for all topics and subtopics.

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IELTS Speaking Part 2 Model Answer: Holidays

This is a band score 9 sample answer for a speaking part 2 talk in IELTS. This model demonstrates who you can expand each prompt with more information and description. This IELTS speaking part 2 model answer is estimated at band score 9.

Describe a holiday you recently had.

You should say:

  • where you went
  • how you got there
  • what you did there
  • and explain if you enjoyed it

Model Talk

I would like to talk about a holiday I went on in the south of Vietnam just a few months ago. I went with my parents to a town called Nha Trang, which is a lovely coastal town, and we decided to go there so that they could experience a different part of the country and see life by the beach.

We flew there from Hanoi, which is the capital of Vietnam. The flight took about 1 hour and on the whole it went smoothly. We managed to be one of the first on board and one of the first off when we landed. It was certainly quicker and easier than going by train, which can take over 15 hours.

There was so much to do there that we only had a chance to do just a few things on our three day trip. We took a cruise around the islands and also did some sightseeing inland as well. Taking part in a cookery course was great fun, where we bought fresh ingredients at the local market and learned how to use a wok to fry fresh fish and other seafood like crab and lobster.

We definitely enjoyed our trip and would go there again if we could. Seeing the colourful lifestyle of the locals and having a chance to see spectacular scenery was something we will never forget. For my parents it was a holiday of a life time and they’re still talking about it. If I could live there, I would.

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Opinion Essay Introduction: The Thesis Statement

In an IELTS opinion essay for writing task 2, your introduction has a background statement and a thesis statement. You should aim for between 40 to 50 words for the length of your essay introduction. While the background statement introduces the topics, the thesis statement is your answer to the task given by IELTS. It should introduce the main points and show the direction your essay will take. Below are two possible introductions with different thesis statements for the following IELTS task.

IELTS Task 2

The increase in the amount of traffic is responsible for growing problems in many large cities and this has resulted in more traffic congestion, particularly at rush hour. What measures could be taken to deal with this problem?

Essay Introductions

The introductions below have different thesis statements. Which one do you think is the best?

1. The growth in the quantity of traffic in most major cities has led to problems of congestion in the peak travel hours. There are a number of solutions to this issue which I will discuss in this essay.

2. The growth in the quantity of traffic in most major cities has led to problems of congestion in the peak travel hours. This can be solved by having a traffic free zone and improving the public transportation system offered to the public.

Answer

Number 2 is the best introduction.

Although the first introduction has academic language in the thesis statement, it is not appropriate for a high score essay in IELTS. IELTS is a test of your ability to use your own language not your ability to learn an academic sentence and use it in your essay. Therefore, introduction number 2 shows the main points and uses language directly relating to the task.

 

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Opinion Essay Model Band Score 9 , click here
IELTS Writing Task 2 Video: How to write an introduction, click here

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