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IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Topics 2024

Below are essay topics and questions for IELTS Writing Task 2. They comprise of previous topics, common topics and trending topics in the world today. You must prepare all topics fully because ideas for topics are marked in the IELTS writing task 2 test. 

However, you must also review all common topics which are likely to be repeated and repeated most years. Click here: 100 Common Essay Questions. I’ve also put a link to free model essays and tips at the bottom of the page.

IELTS Essays Topics for 2024

These essay questions may be reworded and the tasks changed (for example an opinion essay changed to a discussion essay). These are guides for your preparation this year. The essay question changes with each test and different questions are used each day.

Advertising

  1. Some people think that adverts control what we purchase, while others think they are useful sources of information on products. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  2. Fast food advertisements can be found on TV and throughout social media which tempts people to eat unhealthy food. Should fast food ads be banned?
  3. Many adverts target children. What problems does this create? And how can these problems be solved?

Buildings

Business

  1. More companies should employ older people. Do you agree?
  2. More business meetings are being conducted online rather than person to person. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend?
  3. Some companies use a lot of packaging when selling their products. Why is this? Is it a good thing?
  4. Some people think that next day delivery services are a good thing, while others think such services are having a negative impact on the environment and so should be stopped. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  5. Companies should relocate their factories to rural areas. Is this a good idea?
  6. Some companies encourage workers to be competitive, while others encourage teamwork. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  7. Large supermarkets will be the death of small, local shops. Do you agree?

Crime and Punishment

  1. Parents should be punished for the crimes of their children. To what extent do you agree?
    1. (note: frequent topic in IELTS and also a real life case in US of a parent being found guilty of a crime committed by their child this year: read article)
  2. Do developments in technology make crime easier to detect or do they make people more vulnerable to crime? Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  3. Many people who commit crime have a low level of education. Are education courses in prison the best way to reduce crime rates?
  4. Some people think that teenagers should be given the same punishment for crimes as adults. What is your opinion?
  5. Some films glorify criminal behaviour which might tempt some people into crime. Do you think such films should be banned?

Culture

  1. Tourism is increasing in many far to reach places around the world. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of this trend?
  2. Traditional ways of life are being lost in the modern world. Why is this happening? Do you think it is a positive or negative trend?
  3. The government should support local artists financially. Do you agree?
  4. People should adapt how they live to fit into a new country. Do you agree?
  5. The world would be a better place with only one culture and no cultural misunderstandings. Do you agree?

Family

  1. Children can benefit from spending more time with their grandparents. Do you agree?
  2. Parents have a responsibility to help children with their homework, but others believe children should do it on their own. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  3. Adult children are choosing to live with their parents longer. Why is this happening. Is it a positive or negative trend?
  4. Parents should be solely responsible to keep their children safe online. To what extent do you agree?

Food

Education

Note, most of these questions are repeated each year.

  1. More people are educating themselves with online educational sources. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  2. Schools, not parents, should be responsible for teaching children good behaviour. Who should be responsible for teaching children good behaviour? What can be done to promote good behaviour in children?
  3. Some schools no longer teach children handwriting skills. Do you think this is a positive or negative trend?
  4. Online education is better than classroom education. Discuss both methods of education and give your opinion.
  5. University education should be free for all. Do you agree?
  6. Having a university education is the best way to guarantee a successful career. To what extent do you agree?
  7. While some parents think homework puts too much pressure on children, others believe it is essential for a child’s educational development. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  8. Some people think that children who fail in school will have a limited future. Do you agree?
  9. Computers and smart phones will be the death of handwriting, grammar and spelling. Do you agree?
  10. Schools should put more emphasis on sport and exercise, while others believe that schools should focus on science subjects. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  11. Some people think tests are better than continual assessment as a way to evaluate school children. What is your opinion?
  12. Many children and adults enjoy watching historical films and serial dramas. What are the advantages and disadvantages of learning about historical events or characters from such sources?
  13. Some children are home schooled. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of home schooling?
  14. Reading books is essential for a child’s development. Do you agree?

Environment

  1. Recycling is an important part of protecting the environment. Why is this? How could more people be encouraged to recycle?
  2. Environmental problems should be tackled internationally, not nationally. Do you agree?
  3. The government should take full responsibility for environmental issues, but others believe it ought to be the responsibility of individuals. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  4. Plant and animal diversity is declining around the world. Why is this happening? Why is this a problem? (this question might also be a cause/solution essay)
  5. Some people believe the world is getting hotter. What are the causes and possible solutions for global warming?
  6. The government should encourage people to use electric cars. What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars?
  7. Low-cost airline travel is damaging the environment. Do you agree?

Health

  1. Obesity is a growing problem around the world. Why is this? What can be done about it?
  2. Mental health problems are having a greater impact on people. Why is this? What solutions can you suggest?
  3. Having a good work-life balance is the key to a healthy life. Do you agree?
  4. To ensure children’s health, schools should provide free nutritious meals. To what extent do you agree?

Language

Life & Lifestyle

  1. People were happier in previous generations compared to now. To what extent do you agree. Note: This question can also be about stress.
  2. Some people think that teenagers are happier than adults, but others do not agree. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  3. People should donate part of their income to charity. Do you agree?
  4. Some people like change, while others prefer stability. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  5. Some people live in the moment, while others prefer to plan for the future. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  6. People living in communities are less socially connected with each other than in the past. Do you agree?
  7. Fewer people are visiting shops to make their purchases. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend?
  8. People knew how to relax in a healthier way in the past than now. Do you agree?
  9. People in the past had more hobbies which made their lives interesting compared to people today. Do you agree?
  10. More and more elderly people are living at home alone with very little social contact. Why is this happening? What can be done to improve the situation?

Media & News

  1. Some people think national news is more important than international news, while others disagree. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  2. More and more people are accessing the news online. Is all online news trustworthy?
  3. Celebrities are often in the press. Should they have the right to total privacy whenever they want?
  4. Some people think celebrities are poor roles models for children? Do you agree?
  5. Social media promotes luxurious lifestyles. Is this a bad thing?
  6. Social media promotes appearance over character. Do you agree?
  7. Social media provides a convenient outlet for people to vent their negative feelings about a situation or a person. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
  8. More and more people are streaming films and serial dramas online. Is this a positive or negative development?

Money

  1. Some people think saving money is the most important thing, while others believe it is better to spend money and enjoy life. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  2. Spending money on luxury items or special occasions is very expensive. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  3. Money management should be taught in schools. Do you agree?
  4. Schools should be responsible to teach children money management. Do you agree with this?

People & Personality

Space

  • For this topic, see the essay questions on this page: Space 
    • Note, even though this topic might not appear in the GT test, it could appear in IELTS Speaking Part 3 so everyone should prepare ideas and vocabulary for it.

Technology

  1. In many areas of work, robots are being given more roles. Is this a positive or negative trend?
  2. Smart phones provide an instant way to video record or photograph someone. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?
  3. People are spending too much time on their smart phones. Why is this? Is it a positive or negative trend?
  4. Online translations will one day make learning foreign languages obsolete. What is your opinion?
  5. Some companies rely 100% on technology for calculations and other such functions. What advantages does technology bring to the workplace? Is there a downside to relying too much on technology?

Travel and Tourism

World Issues

Note, these topics appear most years in the test.

  1. The gap between rich and poor countries is expanding. How can it be resolved?
  2. With the growing gap between rich and poor countries around the world, some people think that rich countries should economically support poorer countries more than they have in the past. Do you agree?
  3. Homelessness is a problem only the government can tackle. To what extent do you agree?
  4. More and more people are migrating from rural to urban areas. Why is this? What problems does it create?
  5. Green spaces should be prioritised in urban areas. Do you agree?
  6. Overpopulation is an increasing problem in urban areas around the world. What is the main reason for this? What could be done to tackle it?
  7. Littering is an increasing problem in many countries. What is the reason for this? What measures can be taken to tackle it?
  8. With a growing population, families should be prepared to take responsibility for their elder family members. To what extent do you agree?

Work

  1. Companies should employ more old people. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this?
  2. Having a good education is the best way to secure a good job. Do you agree?
  3. Some people think it is good to socialise with work colleagues, while others believe in maintaining a professional distance. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  4. Some companies prefer people to work in the office, while others facilitate their employees to work from home. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  5. Being self-employed is becoming more common these days. Is this a positive or negative development?
  6. Some people think that working fewer days per week actually increases productivity in workers. To what extent do you agree?
  7. Older people make better managers and company directors than younger people. To what extent do you agree?

Share Your Test Experience

Feel free to post your experience after you finish your test. Sharing tips with others is useful.

More IELTS Essay Topics, Model Essays & Tips

For further preparation, see 100 Common Essay Questions

For free model essays, tips etc: ALL WRITING TASK 2 MODEL ESSAYS & TIPS

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Introduction Paragraph for IELTS Writing Task 1

FREE VIDEO: How to write an introduction paragraph for IELTS Writing Task 1. This is a full lesson which shows you techniques to create a high band score introduction for various kinds of tasks in Writing Task 1. This is a Must Watch video for all IELTS candidates preparing for their test.

Take your time to learn from this video. It is packed with tips, techniques and lots of advice to help you understand how your writing is marked.

 

This is my first video lesson for IELTS preparation in nearly a decade. I enjoyed making it for you and I hope you will enjoy and benefit from watching it.

All the best

Liz

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topic Water Sports: Vocab & Model Answer

The IELTS cue card Water Sports is a common topic in Speaking Part 2. It appears most years and is in use at the moment. It’s not an easy topic if you haven’t prepared for it. Below you can see some useful ideas for this topic, vocabulary and a model answer.

IELTS Cue Card Water Sports

Talk about a water sport you would like to try

  • what it is
  • where and how you would do it
  • what equipment would you need
  • and why you would like to try it

Examples of Water Sports

Below are some examples of popular water sports:

  • canoeing
  • kayaking
  • surfing
  • windsurfing
  • water skiing
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • boating
  • yachting
  • fishing
  • water volleyball
  • swimming

As you can see, some of these options might not be considered a water sport, such as swimming (for enjoyment) and fishing (for enjoyment). But that’s ok and still acceptable to use for your talk. To expand your talk, you could branch into other things people do around water or on the beach, such as building sandcastles, beach volleyball, going to a water park etc.

Water Sports Vocabulary:

  • wetsuit
  • swimming costume
  • bikini
  • sunscreen
  • sun hat
  • baseball cap
  • waves
  • choppy / gentle waves
  • waves lapping against the shore, calm water
  • crystal clear water
  • strong currents in the sea
    • weak swimmers get pulled out to sea by the current
    • they need to stay close to the shoreline
  • high tide / low tide
  • sand
  • sand dunes
  • seaweed / kelp
  • lagoon / lake / bay
  • reef  / coral
  • life jacket
  • armbands
  • water floats
  • inflatable waterbed
  • jellyfish
  • wind surfing: controlling wind, balancing on a board, adjusting the sail to control direction, gusts of wind, learn manoeuvres, take hold of the mast with both hands
  • canoeing and kayaking: sitting in a small water craft, slimline craft and easily manoeuvrable, propelling yourself through the water with a paddle, legs stretched out in front, life jacket, flat water, white water
  • diving: oxygen tanks, mask, regulator, fins, wetsuit, weights, sink neath the waves, swimming pool, open water, claustrophobia, sharks, stingray, fish, reef
  • fishing: line rod, hook, fly, weights, casting the line out, fly fishing, bait casting, spinning, angling

Feelings:

  • I hate water going up my nose, I can’t stand water going over my head.
  • I feel uncomfortable submerging my head below the surface of the water.
  • I have a a fear of drowning.
  • I love floating on the surface of the water.
  • I enjoy the the feeling of being weightless.
  • I adore diving into the waves.
  • I’m scared the current will pull me out to sea.

Model Answer: IELTS Water Sports Part 2 Speaking

Below is a model answer to the cue card above about water sports.

I’d like to talk about kayaking. It’s something I’ve never tried before but I’ve heard loads of people talking about it. In fact, my friend recently went to the Vietnam and kayaked around Ha Long Bay, which is a gorgeous bay spotted with mountains that sprout up out of the water. She showed me pictures of her and her boyfriend kayaking around the crystal blue waters. It looked magical. They were both in the same kayak, cutting through the still waters completely at peace with the world. If I had a chance to try kayaking, it would probably be in a local river where the water is calm rather than choppy. The company who offer it is really keen on safety so they provide really strong crafts and lifejackets, as well as training in necessary safety measures. From the pictures I’ve seen, you get a single kayak for one person which you sit in. You use a paddle to move the kayak in the water. You also use the paddle to break and slow down if you go too fast. One of the reasons I want to try it is because I like being around water but I don’t like being submersed in water, as you would for swimming. So, kayaking is a perfect compromise for me. Some people told me I should try diving because you don’t get wet when you wear a wetsuit. But I get claustrophobic and I think the feeling of being under the water with only a tank of oxygen would make me panic. But if you asked me what I would prefer doing if I was on a beach holiday, it would be to just stroll up and down the beach collecting shells and driftwood. I much prefer looking at the sea, than being in it. But, I’ll see how I feel on my next holiday.

Comments and Tips:

  1. You can see that it isn’t necessary to talk about only one thing , even though you are asked about only one. If you don’t know much about something, you can talk about it a little bit and then introduce other things. So, in this talk, the topic was kayaking, but the speaker also mentioned diving and general beach activities. This is a good strategy for IELTS Speaking Part 2.
  2. Create a story – you can go into detail about someone else’s experience. It’s a great way to give descriptions: crystal blue water, mountains that sprout up out of the water etc.
  3. If your talk is about a sport, always try to mention equipment even if it isn’t asked for on the cue card. It’s good vocabulary to show the examiner. If you don’t know precise words like “wetsuit”, you can just say “specialist water proof clothing for water pursuits”. Paraphrasing is always good.
  4. You can talk about things you don’t like as well as what you do like. Or things you would do as well as things you wouldn’t do. It’s a great way to expand your talk.
  5. This is a hypothetical topic “something you would do”. Make sure you use at least one conditional statement: If I had the chance, I would ….
  6. Also use at least one present perfect: I have never tried …

More Speaking Cue Cards, Model Answers and Tips

Click here: Main IELTS Speaking Page

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IELTS Liz Personal Update 2024

Hi guys,

I’ve made this video to let you know how I am and whether I’m going to make more videos. I haven’t made a video for 9 years and now it is time to tell you what happened to me. Learn about my background and my motivations behind creating this website. Click below to watch…

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Thanks to all of you who sent me lovely, kind, supportive messages over the years as I’ve been fighting for my health. I appreciate all your support.

Wishing you all the best

Liz

IELTS Model Essay -Two Questions Essay Type

The IELTS Writing Task 2 Two Questions Essay: Causes & Positive/Negative Trends.

There are a number of different types of IELTS essay questions. There are Opinion Essays, Discussion Essays, Advantage/Disadvantage Essays, Solution (including Cause/ Solution) Essays and there are Direct Question Essays (such as the Two Question Essay). However, please note that different teachers use different names for essay types.

The model essay below looks at the Direct Question Essay which contains Two Questions. 

IELTS Essay Question  – Computer Games

More and more adults are playing computer games.

Why is this happening? Is it a positive or negative trend?

The main topic in the essay question is Technology and the specific topic is Computer Games. It is a current essay question because it is about a current trend in the world today. I’ve provided a list of tips to help you tackle this type of essay question.

Points to Consider

  1. There is only one issue to tackle: computer games. This is lucky. It is an easy essay question. Some essay questions are more complex and have two separate issues to tackle.
  2. There are two questions to answer. I call this type of question a “Direct Question Essay”. The first question is about causes of the trend. The second question is about evaluating whether it is good or bad. Whenever you are asked to choose, it means you must give your opinion.
  3. Pay attention to the wording of the essay topic. This is about adults, not children. It is about computer games which some people consider are for children. Always pay attention to all keywords in the essay question when you brainstorm or you will go off topic. Ask yourself questions to stimulate ideas. Why are adults playing games on a computer? We know that children like to do this, but why are adults doing this? And is this good? Is it good that adults are playing computer games? If it is bad, why? 
  4. Next think about the concept of “computer games”. Spend time analysing the issue given. We often consider computer games to be silly entertainment fore children. But is that correct? Are all computer games actually silly? If we think about this carefully, we will realise that actually some computer games are complex and strategic. Some games require skill and intelligence to play. This means that the issue of computer games is not a simple one. Computer games are varied. Does this essay question apply to childish computer games or complex games? The answer is – it applies to both. So, now we know we can tackle this issue at a level of more depth. Getting to the depth of the issue is essential for a high score. So, while we can see there is only one issue (computer games) that single issue is complex and can be divided into different aspects.
  5. After you brainstorm, choose the ideas that are the most relevant and the easiest to explain well. You don’t get a high score because you have lots of ideas. You get a higher score for presenting specific ideas which are well developed and highly relevant.
  6. If you have two questions to cover. It is logical to have two body paragraphs. Being logical in your choice of paragraphing is important. 
  7. Provide a clear position in your introduction as to whether you think this is a positive or negative point. Being clear in the introduction helps the examiner follow your body paragraphs more easily and this will increase your score. If you think it is positive – make it clear. If you think it is negative – say so. If you think “it depends” – make sure you word it clearly and explain it clearly in the body paragraphs. The easiest approach is a positive or negative one (a one-sided approach). The “it depends” approach is harder and requires stronger language skills. 

Model Essay: Computer Games (2024)

It seems that the current trend is for an increasing number of adults to enjoy playing computer games in their free time. With the development of game technology, it is hardly surprising that adults are playing games, but whether it is positive or negative depends on the games played and the time spent on them.

In terms of why so many adults are choosing to spend time playing computer games, it is mainly because the technology behind the games is becoming more sophisticated. Initially, when games first came out, they were very simplistic and appealed mainly to children. However, things have moved on since then and games have become visually appealing, very absorbing, require great dexterity and some also have a strategic challenge to them which adults particularly like. Such games can attract professional adults looking to hone tactics and skills to other adults wishing just to relax and switch off.

However, whether this trend in adults towards computer games is beneficial or not can be challenged. Some adults use complex, challenging games as a form of escapism which keeps their mind sharp and helps them relax at the same time. As long as the time spent on such games is balanced with other healthier pursuits, it can be constructive. Unfortunately, adults who ignore their physical health and spend too much time on mindless, repetitive games develop a sedentary lifestyle which can be detrimental to their wellbeing. 

In conclusion, computer games have become more fascinating and tempting to adults. While games that help develop tactics and knowledge might be advantageous, no game, particularly senseless games, should be played to excess and certainly should not replace healthier leisure activities.

Word count = 276 

IELTS Writing Task 2  Model Essays & Tips

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IELTS Bar Chart of Age Groups 2024

A Model Bar Chart of Age Groups for IELTS Writing Task 1. Use flexible language for describing age groups and don’t get too lost in lots of detail. Use the model answer below to guide you. Charts, tables and graphs showing age groups appear every year in IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic Test).

IELTS Bar Chart Age Groups: Salt Intake (2024)

This writing task 1 bar chart has been adapted from a bar chart that was reported by an IELTS candidate in the IELTS writing task 1 test. 

IELTS Bar Chart of Age Groups

Click here to Enlarge Bar Chart Image 

IELTS Bar Chart of Age Groups: Model Answer

I’ve underlined language relating to age groups in the model below.

Your Task: Complete the model answer using these linking words: while / as opposed to / then / overall / regarding / furthermore

The bar chart illustrates the amount of salt an average man and woman consumed per day (divided into nine age groups) in a European country in 2019. Units are measured in milligrams.

(1)………………, men had a higher intake of salt compared to women and salt intake was above the recommended daily amount in most age groups. (2)………………….., middle aged men and women had the highest intake of salt, (3)………………….. young children who had the lowest. A greater difference in salt intake between the sexes could be seen as men and women aged.

The salt consumed by the youngest age group was just under 2000mg each day for boys but only 1500mg for girls aged five and below. Salt intake (4)…………… increased in both sexes to reach a high of over 5000mg in men and almost 4000mg in women aged 30 to 39.

(5)………………. the 40 to 49 age group, salt intake stood at about 4500mg daily for men, whereas for women it was around 3500mg. This decreased for both genders and by the age of 70 or more, consumption was still relatively high in men (just under 4000mg), (6)……………. women took the recommended daily amount of 2,300mg.

ANSWERS

Click below to reveal the answers to the exercise and the full complete model.

ANSWERS
  1. Overall
  2. Furthermore
  3. as opposed to
  4. then
  5. Regarding
  6. while
FULL MODEL & TIPS

The bar chart illustrates the amount of salt an average man and woman consumed per day (divided into nine age groups) in a European country in 2019. Units are measured in milligrams.

Overall, men had a higher intake of salt compared to women and salt intake was above the recommended daily amount in most age groups. Furthermore, middle aged men and women had the highest intake of salt, as opposed to young children who had the lowest. A greater difference in salt intake between the sexes could be seen as men and women aged.

The salt consumed by the youngest age group was just under 2000mg each day for boys but only 1500mg for girls aged five and below. Salt intake then increased in both sexes to reach a high of over 5000mg in men and almost 4000mg in women aged 30 to 39.

Regarding the 40 to 49 age group, salt intake stood at about 4500mg daily for men, whereas for women it was around 3500mg. This decreased for both genders and by the age of 70 or more, consumption was still relatively high in men (just under 4000mg), while women took the recommended daily amount of 2,300mg.

(200 words)

Tips & Comments

  1. The introduction is concise and introduces all key information about the chart, such as categories, divisions, units, country, frequency etc. Introductions are usually just one sentence in writing task 1 reports.
  2. The overview is separate and contains all key features about highs, lows and any useful comparisons that give a clear overview.
  3. The body paragraphs contain smaller detail and all sentences are supported by numbers from the chart.
  4. Rather than giving each individual age group, key points are selected and other groups are referred to as “salt intake increased over the age groups…”. This gives information about other age groups without going into too much detail.
  5. Always use flexible vocabulary about age: middle aged people/ children aged five and under / young children / as people grew older / the youngest age group / the oldest age group / over the age groups given / people aged 30 to 39 / the 40 to 49 age group / by the age of 70 or more / people between 30 and 39 years of age
  6. This chart does contain a lot of information which is why the report is 200 words in length. However, most reports will probably be between 170 and 190 words. Longer doesn’t mean better. It just depends on the chart. You do not need to write the word count under your report in your test – I do that just for your benefit.

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More IELTS Writing Task 1

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IELTS Topic: Urban Planning

The current IELTS topic of Urban Planning in IELTS Speaking and Writing Task 2. This topic has appeared in the IELTS test recently. For this reason, it is a good topic to prepare for. Many people find this topic challenging because they don’t have many ideas about it. Below you will find:

  • What urban planning means
  • Speaking Part 3 Questions
  • Speaking Model Answers
  • Writing Task 2 Essay Questions
  • Useful Vocabulary and Ideas

This topic might also be called Urban Design.

What is Urban Planning / Urban Design

Before we look at questions and model answers, lets first understand what urban planning is.

  • Urban planning is about planning where houses and buildings are located in a city.
  • It is about ensuring there will be enough housing for the residents both now and in the future.
  • It is about planning the infrastructure of roads, bridges, overpasses etc to ensure a good flow of traffic.
  • It is also about the design of buildings and their function.
  • It’s about protecting some buildings and knocking others down.
  • It’s about how space is used in a city.
  • It helps ensure that a city can meet the needs of its citizens.
  • Before someone builds a house, it means they would require building permission which ensures their plans are acceptable.

IELTS Speaking Part 3: Urban Planning

Speaking Part Questions for Urban Planning with Model Answers. As you can see from the title of this section, this is most likely to appear in Speaking Part 3. If you had a topic in part 2 about your city, an interesting place in your country, or a crowded place, it is very possible to get this topic in part 3. Below are some questions:

  1. Is urban planning useful? (Why do we need urban planning?)
    1. I think it’s essential for any growing city. If there wasn’t any planning, people would be able to build what they want, where they want. There would be chaos, blocked traffic and unsafe buildings. I think that if any city wants to become successful in the modern world, it needs careful planning so that it remains efficient and appealing.
      1. Alternative answer: I think urban planning is really important, but too much control isn’t good. What I mean is, planning is important for big buildings, historical buildings and the infrastructure, but I think people should still be able to build the house they want for themselves without the government saying no.
      2. I’ve been to cities with good urban planning. They are really a joy to be in. There are wonderful city gardens, cycle paths, well-spaced buildings, trees and roads wide enough for the traffic, good facilities all easily accessible and much more. I think urban planning is essential if a city is to attract visitors, residents and businesses.
  2. Do you think it is interesting living in a crowded area?
    1. Personally, I’m not very keen on crowds. I mean, crowds are ok for concerts or festivals because they are exciting. But I wouldn’t want to live that way on a daily basis. I prefer cities that are more tranquil.
      1. For me, I think all modern cities with the best job opportunities are crowded. You can’t get away from that. It shows how popular the city is. Also, the more crowded it is, the more facilities and entertainments there probably are. I’d love to live in a bustling city. Such cities, feel really alive and fun.
  3. Are cities better to live in than the countryside?
    1. I suppose it depends on who you are talking to. I mean, people who have a family might prefer to live in the countryside where it’s more peaceful and also cheaper. But young people who are trying to get ahead with their careers might prefer a city because there are so many more opportunities and the salaries would be higher.
  4. Is it important for a city to have facilities for amusements?
    1. I think all cities should be designed to have amusements. I can’t imagine so many people living in a city that had nothing to offer for their free time. I mean, cities are the best places to go for nightclubs, cinemas, restaurants and concerts. Also, people come to the city to earn money and most of them probably would want to enjoy their income in their leisure time.
  5. Does urban planning make a city more boring? (Does urban planning take the character out of a city?
    1. I think it depends on the government and the aims of their urban planning. That is to say, some governments are only interested in cheap, unattractive, functional buildings which have no character and no charm. This would definitely make a city pretty boring to visit and live in. But other governments understand that a city should be appealing, with impressive buildings, historical buildings and beautiful parks. So, if urban planning is done correctly, it can make a city more attractive, not only to the residents there, but also to foreigner travellers. After all, tourism is good for the economy.
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IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Question: Urban Planning

Below are examples of essay questions that have appeared in the IELTS test about buildings and city planning.

Some people think that cities should be designed to be beautiful rather than functional. Do you agree?

Some people think urban centres need more green spaces, while others believe more housing is needed. What do you think?

As cities have increased in size and building work has expanded in a haphazard way, there should be more careful planning. Do you agree or disagree?

Some people think it is better to pull down old buildings and replace them with modern ones. However, others believe old buildings still have value. Discuss bot sides and give your opinion.

Some cities locate shops, housing, schools and entertainment in different areas of the city. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

Useful Vocabulary for Buildings and Urban Planning Topic

  • requalify existing city buildings
  • create new urbanisations
  • improve the quality of life of the inhabitants / residents
  • ensure a logical and efficient city layout
  • plan commercial centres
  • ensure building safety
  • plan infrastructure, such as roads, airports, railways, public transport system, cycle paths etc
  • planning for the increase in traffic on roads to avoid congestion
  • make educational and health care facilities easy to access
  • without planning, future city growth might become unsustainable
  • protect heritage sites and places of historic significance
  • create national pride through buildings and layout of key buildings
  • plan parks and other green spaces for health benefits
  • ensure that housing and buildings do not encroach on natural resources, places of beauty and other protected areas
  • prohibit development that might threated wildlife and natural habitats
  • to ensure the capacity for future urban growth
  • relocating business outside urban areas
  • decentralising services, such as schools, shops and companies
  • helping with carbon emissions by developing cycle paths and efficient public transport
  • to ensures a good urban landscape
  • waste management and sanitation must be well planned for hygiene reasons
  • it makes a city more liveable / more accessible / more interesting / more appealing
  • people will feel more prosperous in a well planned city
  • it attracts investment for business
  • ensures that the city is well connected with other cities and other countries

IELTS Writing Task 2 Useful Links

Click here for: IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Essays, Tips and Lessons

Click here for: IELTS Writing Task 1: Model Answers, Tips and Lessons

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