IELTS Essays Real Test: Causes and Solutions – Lack of Exercise

Lack of Exercise 2

Doctors in many countries say that people do not do enough physical exercise. What are the causes of this trend? How can the situation be improved?

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) This essay requires you to write about some causes and some ways (solutions) to deal with those causes. Aim for two causes and two solutions.

(2) The topic does not require you to talk about effects. Writing about the consequences of a lack of exercise will not count towards your mark and will harm it.

(3) Always try to use some synonyms for words you will frequently use. For example, “causes” –> “reasons” “factors”, “problems” –> “issues”, “solutions” –> “steps that can be taken” “measures” “ways to address the issue” etc. Similarly, make sure you paraphrase the topic. For example, “do not do enough physical exercise” could be “do not get sufficient exercise” or “do not exercise enough to be healthy”.

(4) Try to use balanced language when offering solutions. For example, instead of saying something is “a solution”, say it is “a potential solution”; instead of saying something “is a solution”, say it “could be a solution”.

(5) You can have one body paragraph for the cause and one for the solutions, or you can have one paragraph for cause one and solution one, and one paragraph for cause two and solution two. Just make sure you link your paragraphs appropriately.

(6) Use your conclusion to summarize the points that (a) the problem is serious but (b) we can do something to solve it (think positively!)

NOTE – The following topic is taken from a recent IELTS exam. There are two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each answer contains useful linking vocabulary in italics and synonyms and advanced vocabulary in bold. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Lack of Exercise 3

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

Doctors around the world are warning us about the lack of of exercise that many people are getting. Not doing enough exercise is related to our modern lifestyle, although there are some steps that can be taken that could lead to improvements in this situation.

One of the main reasons why people do not get enough exercise is because they do not have enough time. They have to get up early to go to school or work, and by the end of the day they are too tired to go to the gym or do some other kind of exercise. Another factor is that, even if they have time to work out, people have many more choices about what they do in their free time. Nowadays, it is so easy to watch a movie or some entertaining videos online and, after a long tiring day, all someone wants to do is sit back and relax and switch off their brains with something inactive.

A lack of physical activity leads to a range of serious problems, so it is important that this issue is solved. One possible solution is to improve the balance between people’s life and work. People normally live to work and have just enough free time to recover for the next day of work. Creating a four-day work week or reducing the typical 9-5 working day could be a way to deal with this. In addition, people need to take personal responsibility. In other words, they have to accept that regular exercise is a necessary part of good health, and they need to find a few minutes each day to do something physically active.

Overall, not getting exercise is terrible for a person’s mental and physical health. Society and individuals need to change the way they work in order to allow everyone the chance to be active and as healthy as they can be. (315 words)

Lack of Exercise 1

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

Doctors in many countries say that people do not do enough physical exercise. What are the causes of this trend? How can the situation be improved?

Despite frequent warnings from medical professionals around the world about the dire consequences of a lack of physical activity, many people continue to get little to no exercise. The causes of this can be traced to the way modern society operates, but there are potential ways to tackle this issue and improve people’s quality of life.

The majority of most people’s lives is spent working or traveling to and from work. Simply put, this means the majority of people struggle to find time to exercise. Moreover, any free time they do have, they are too exhausted and rundown by work to find the motivation to exercise. Related to this is the fact that people have many other choices and distractions in their downtime. Streaming a movie or scrolling through endless memes is more appealing than going to the gym or even taking a casual stroll.

Because the problem exists at a social level, it requires changes to society. People need to have more free time rather than just existing to work and sleep. Reducing the length of the working week or cutting back on the conventional 9-5 working day are two such possibilities. At the individual level, people need to have more personal respect for themselves and accept that exercise is not a choice but an essential part of achieving the best physical and mental health that they can.

The sedentary society we live in is one of the main causes of escalating rates of mental health problems and costs billions of dollars ever year in healthcare expenses. Nevertheless, by emphasizing the importance of exercise and adapting society to meet human needs rather than vice versa, this looming issue can start to be resolved. (283 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

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FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

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IELTS Reports: Maps – Stokeford

T1 Maps - Stokeford

The maps show the town of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the main features and making comparison where relevant.

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) Maps are a little different from the other task types. You need to compare the important changes that took place using tenses like simple past and past/present perfect.

(2) However, the structure of your report should be similar to other types. That means (i) Start with an introduction that paraphrases what you are told about the maps (ii) Give an overview of the main features (iii) Report the main features in 1-2 well-organized body paragraphs.

(3) Try to use a range of vocabulary. In other task types, you want to use synonyms for words like “increase” “decrease” etc. In a map task, you want to use synonyms for words like “happen” –> “occur” “take place”, “located” –> “situated”, “changes” –> “developments”. You will also gain marks for correctly using specific vocabulary like “demolish” “convert” “residential” etc.

(4) Remember that you must include an overview. This can be after your introduction or as a conclusion. Look at the maps and report what you notice first. Normally, the main changes are large and obvious.

(5) Make sure you link the changes with a range of vocabulary. For example, “another major change was…” “However…” “In the present day…”

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers have useful linking vocabulary included in italics and advanced vocabulary and synonyms in bold. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Stokeford

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

T1 Maps - Stokeford

The maps show the town of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the main features and making comparison where relevant.

The maps present the changes that occurred in the town of Stokeford between 1930 and 2010.

Overall, Stokeford increased significantly in size over the period with house replacing areas that used to be farmland.

Stokeford is situated on the east side of the River Stoke. In 1930, there was one main road going through the town from north to south. Along each side of the road were some houses, some shops, a post office, and primary school. By 2010, the post office still remained, but the shops had been replaced by more houses. There were also new roads built to connect the new houses to the main road. Moreover, the primary school had been enlarged and even more houses had been built to the west of the town in an area that was farmland in 1930.

To the southeast of the town, there were some public gardens with a large house, but this was converted into a retirement home sometime over the period. Finally, the farmland that had been to the south of the town was also converted into a new housing area. (178 words)

Stokeford 2

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

T1 Maps - Stokeford

The maps show the town of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the main features and making comparison where relevant.

The maps provide a comparison of the state of the town of Stokeford in 1930 and 2010.

Over the 80-year period depicted in the maps, Stokeford underwent some major changes, with a dramatic increase in residential areas and a corresponding reduction in farmland being the most noticeable.

Stokeford, which lies on the eastern bank of the River Stoke, was surrounded by farmland to the south and northeast in 1930. However, by 2010, this agricultural land had been converted into new housing with new roads providing access. The shops that stood on the single road that used to run through Stokeford from north to south were demolished and replaced by housing sometime between 1930 and 2010, although the original post office still remained. Similarly, while the old primary school still stood where it had in 1930, it had been extended to cater for the rising population.

Another prominent feature of Stokeford in 1930 was a sizeable area of gardens to the south of the town that also contained a large estate house. Nevertheless, eight decades later, this area had been converted into a retirement home with extensions to the original house being made. (184 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

IELTS Task One (Basic to Band 9): Maps – Fonton and Meadowside

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Band 9 Reports: Maps – Island Resort

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

IELTS Reports: Line Graphs – Radio and Television

T1 Line Graphs - Radio and TV

The graph above shows radio and television audiences throughout the day in 1992. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the key details and making comparisons where relevant.

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) Line graphs require you to report trends. Think about (i) peaks and lows (ii) periods where there are big/fast changes (iii) periods where there are no/very small changes (iv) periods where the line goes up and down rapidly (fluctuations)

(2) You will not have enough time to write about every little change, so focus on the main ones. In other words, don’t go hour-by-hour.

(3) Don’t forget to make comparisons. Which one was more popular/bigger. Did one become more popular than the other? When?

(4) Use a range of vocabulary for reporting trends. For example, “increase” –> “grow” –> “rise” –> etc.

(5) You MUST include an overview. This can be 1-2 sentences that report the main details. This should be obvious and what you notice about the graph after looking at it for a few seconds.

(6) Organize your report into paragraphs. For this type of graph, you can have one body paragraph for “TV” and one for “Radio”, or you can organize the paragraphs based on time (e.g. 12am-12pm –> 12pm -12am). In the samples below, the simple one is written using the first method and the advanced one is written using the second method (which can be harder to do because you have to talk about TV and radio at the same time!)

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers have useful linking vocabulary included in italics and essential/advanced descriptive vocabulary and synonyms in bold. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

TV Viewers

T1 Line Graphs - Radio and TV

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

The graph shows the average percentage of people in the UK aged over 4 who watched TV or listened to the radio from October to December 1992.

Overall, listening to the radio was more popular in the morning, while watching TV  was more common at night.

From 1am to 5am, the percentage of radio listeners was very low, at around 2-3 percent. However, there was then a sharp rise in listeners to a peak of 25 percent around 8am. After that, the number of listeners declined steadily to just over 10 percent by 3pm. There was a small increase of a few percent to around 5pm and then the percentage dropped until the end of the day with some small fluctuations.

Around 3 percent of the population were watching TV at 2am and this figure rose slowly to about 7 percent by 8am. There was a fall back to around 3 percent by 11am, but then viewer numbers increased significantly to 15 percent by 1pm. The percentage of viewers was higher than radio listeners for the rest of the day, with TV watchers climbing to 40 percent of the population at 6pm and reaching a peak of just under 45 percent at 9pm. (190 words)

Radio Listeners

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

T1 Line Graphs - Radio and TV

The graph above shows radio and television audiences throughout the day in 1992. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the key details and making comparisons where relevant.

The graph provides an overview of the proportion of radio listeners and TV viewers aged over 4 in a typical day from October to December in the UK in 1992.

Overall, it is apparent that radio was most popular in the morning as people were getting ready to start the day, while TV viewership was highest in the evening.

In the early morning hours prior to 6am, TV and radio both had audiences of less than 5 percent of the population, with TV slightly ahead of radio. However, from 6am to 9am, radio listeners spiked, peaking at one quarter of the UK population. At the same time, TV viewers rose much less significantly, standing at around 7 percent at 8am. TV and radio viewer percentages then declined, with TV returning to its early-morning low, while radio listeners continued to drop so that by 3pm they were at half the level of their morning peak.

In fact, despite an increase of a few percent around 5pm, radio listeners continued to diminish throughout the rest of the day. On the other hand, from its 11am low, the proportion of TV viewers began to climb dramatically, overtaking radio’s popularity by 1pm. After that, TV viewer figures continued to surge. By 6pm, 40 percent of the relevant UK population were watching TV and this figure continued to climb to a peak of approximately 45 percent at 9pm, before a rapid drop-off began as viewership returned to its late-night/early-morning lows. (235 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

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FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Essays: Opinion – Responsibility for the Environment

Environmental Responsibility 3

Global environmental issues are the responsibility of richer nations, not poorer ones. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) This is an opinion essay. In the introduction you MUST state your opinion.

(2) The question asks you to what ‘extent’ do you agree or disagree. This means you opinion can be anything from 100% agree to 100 disagree.

(3) Even if you totally agree (or disagree), it is a good idea to mention views for both sides. You can do this when you give your opinion (e.g. “While some people believe…, I think…”)

(4) Try to think of some synonyms for the keywords in the task. For example, “global” –> “worldwide” or “around the world”, “issues” –> “problems”, “richer” –> “wealthier”. Never copy the task directly but only use synonyms if you are sure they are appropriate.

(5) Aim for 2-3 body paragraphs. Each should have one main idea that supports your opinion. If your view is in the middle (“it depends” “there are two sides” “both are true/false”), then you can have one paragraph for each side.

(6) Summarize your view in the conclusion (paraphrase your main ideas).

NOTE – The following essay topic contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each one contains useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Environmental Responsibility 1

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

Global environmental issues are the responsibility of richer nations, not poorer ones. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

As environmental problems around the world become more serious, it is important that something is done about them as soon as possible. Because we all share the same planet, it is the responsibility of everyone to protect it, although nations with more ability to fix the problem should do more.

Richer nations became rich by using the environment and this has led to the problems we have today. By using a great amount of natural resources, like oil and coal, to produce things, they created air pollution and destroyed a lot of places where plants and animals live. Therefore, they should pay to help fix the problem because they have benefited the most from damaging the environment.

COMMENT – Your first goal is to be clear. If you know words like “habitat” (instead of “places where plants and animals live”), then use them, but only if you have made a clear point first.

On the other hand, if countries with a lot of money try to fix the world’s environmental problems, it will not matter if the poorer countries are still polluting the environment. The majority of the world’s population live in developing countries and as these places become more developed, their pollution levels also increase. For example, the world’s biggest polluter is China and its population is much more than one billion people, so even if richer countries stopped polluting, the world would still suffer from pollution.

Overall, the best way to help the environment is for everyone to take care of it. The world is connected, so even if one part of it tries to improve the condition of the environment, it will not matter. Countries that have more money should take the lead, but protecting the environment needs to be a priority for all of us. (263 words)

Environmental Responsibility 2

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

Global environmental issues are the responsibility of richer nations, not poorer ones. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

There is no debate that humans are rapidly destroying the planet that we rely on to survive. The question now is who is responsible for addressing this enormous problem. While some believe it is the responsibility of nation who have gained their prosperity through exploiting the environment, it seems that all countries must play a role because there is only one Earth and all countries are connected.

The wealthiest countries now are generally the ones who were the first to industrialize. This process of industrialization produced huge amounts of pollution as well as deforestation and the extinction of numerous plant and animal species. At the same time, it allowed these countries to become extremely rich and the people living in them had a higher quality of life than people in poorer countries. Consequently, these countries should be the first to provide funding for environmental protection as they have the ability and their wealth comes from destroying what we all depend on.

However, the environment is a worldwide problem and rich nations cannot solve it alone. The biggest threat to the environment is people, and the majority of the world’s population live in developing countries that are now some of the world’s largest polluters. In other words, even if the most developed countries take action, it will be futile if most of the world is still pumping harmful emissions into the atmosphere and leveling rain forests.

Developing countries often argue that rich countries became rich through abusing the environment and now they are just doing the same thing. However, this is not an excuse when we know the risk humanity faces if the Earth can no longer support us. At the same time, richer nations are the ones that have the most power, so they must lead the way in preserving the environment for everyone. (307 words)

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FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Task One: Mixed Task – Water Use and Consumption

Global Water 1

T1 Mixed - Water Use

The graph and table above give information about water use worldwide and water consumption in two different countries.

THINS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE WRITING

(1) In a mixed task example (where you have more than one type of chart), try to see if there is any connection/relationship between the two. In this example, one (the graph) is about global water use over a one-hundred-year period, while the other is about water use in two countries in one year, so you do not need to compare between the charts for data, although you can note that agriculture seems to be the biggest user of water.

(2) Organize your body with (i) an introduction (ii) an overview (this part is essential!) (iii) a paragraph for the graph (iv) a paragraph for the table.

(3) When writing the introduction, try to think of some synonyms for the topic words (e.g. “water use worldwide” and “water consumption”) and also synonyms for more general words (e.g. “give information”). If you are not sure of a synonym, then don’t use it. Use easy ones like “global” instead of “worldwide” and “use” instead of “consumption”

(4) Make sure you use comparisons instead of just listing the data. For example, agriculture was always the “biggest user”, by 2000 industrial use was “half of agriculture”, etc.

(5) You do NOT need to use any outside knowledge and you should NOT give your opinion. However, you can point out relationships, like in the table where irrigated land seems to be connected to water use per person.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers have useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced vocabulary, synonyms and key points are included in bold. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Global Water 2

T1 Mixed - Water Use

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

The graph provides information about global use of water from 1900 to 2000, while the table shows how water was consumed in two specific countries in 2000.

Overall, water use in all sectors increased significantly in all sectors between 1900 and 2000, while Brazil consumed much more water per person than the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Agriculture was the biggest consumer of water throughout the twentieth century. In 1900, about 500km3 of water was used in this sector, and by 2000 this level had grown dramatically to around 3000km3. Domestic and industrial water use was quite low in 1900, but both climbed significantly over the next 100 years. In 2000, industrial water use was at 1300km3, while domestic use was at approximately 400km3.

As for the two countries shown in the table, there are some major differences. Brazil’s population in 2000 was 176 million, which was about 35 times higher than the DRC’s population of 5.2 million. Moreover, while the DRC only had 100km2 of agricultural land, Brazil’s figure was more than 250 times higher than this (26,500km2). The difference in water use per person was also great, with a total of 359m3 per person in Brazil and just 8m3 in the DRC. (188 words)

Global Water 3

T1 Mixed - Water Use

The graph and table above give information about water use worldwide and water consumption in two different countries.

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

The graph presents an overview of global water usage in the twentieth century, while the table provides a comparison of water use in 2000 in two specific countries: Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

From the graph, it is evident that the total amount of water used around the world increased enormously between 1900 and 2000. Further to this, the graph and the table also show that agriculture is the main factor behind water consumption.

Agriculture was the largest water user throughout the hundred years covered in the graph, and its use grew six-fold over that time from 500km3 to 3000km3. Water use in the industrial and domestic sectors was relatively low in 1900, but then climbed substantially over the next century. By 2000, industrial water use stood at about half that of agriculture, while domestic use had risen to the level agriculture had been at in 1900.

In 2000, the respective populations of Brazil and the DRC were 176 million and 5.2 million. However, water consumption per capita in Brazil was 359m3 compared to only 8m3 in the DRC. This huge difference can be explained by the fact that Brazil (26,500km2) had more than 250 times the amount of irrigated land than the DRC (100km2). (198 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

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IELTS Essays: Advantages and Disadvantages – Working from Home

Working from Home 2

In the past, most people used to travel to their place of work. With increased use of computers, the internet and smartphones, more and more people are starting to work from home. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) This is an advantages and disadvantages essay. You must write about BOTH! Try to think of two good things and two bad things.

(2) Use a simple four-paragraph structure with one body paragraph for the advantages and one for the disadvantages.

(3) In the conclusion, you should give your opinion/state whether you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or vice versa.

(4) Try to use synonyms for the topic words you will write about. For example, “travel to work” could be “commuting”, “work from home” could be “work remotely” or “not work in an office”. Even “more and more people” can be “a greater number of people”

(5) Always try to use synonyms for the task words. For example, use “benefits” instead of “advantages” and “drawback” instead of “disadvantage”.

(6) Make sure you link your ideas with a variety of suitable vocabulary. Remember that 25% of your mark is for how clear and well-organized your writing is!

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both answers have useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. The advanced answer is written at a Band 9 level.

Working from Home

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

In the past, most people used to travel to their place of work. With increased use of computers, the internet and smartphones, more and more people are starting to work from home. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?

Instead of traveling to work, a greater number of people are working from home, using their computer or some other device connected to the internet. Although this has some major benefits, there are also some drawbacks, and both will be considered below.

One of the main advantages is that people do not have to spend a large amount of time each day going to work and then back home. For many people, this can take an hour or more each way and is a major cause of stress. By not sitting in a car in traffic, they can not only save time, but avoid stress, and this should make them be able to work more effectively. Moreover, working from home can mean that people have more control over their lives. In other words, people in an office often have to make it look like they are working when really they are just wasting time. At home, they have an amount of work they have to do and a deadline, and it is up to them to decide when and how they complete it.

Nevertheless, working from home can be lonely. Not having co-workers to chat with and help you out if you have a problem that cannot be fixed online is a serious disadvantage. Furthermore, even if you can contact someone via email, it is often better to solve problems face-to-face, while working in an office can create a team atmosphere that is better for productivity and the success of the company.

Overall, it seems that working from home can make a worker’s life easier and give them more control. However, there are some things that are better done with other people around. (283 words)

Working from Home 3

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

In the past, most people used to travel to their place of work. With increased use of computers, the internet and smartphones, more and more people are starting to work from home. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?

The advent of the internet has enabled people to work remotely from home rather than commuting daily to work. Like most new technologies, this has some obvious benefits, but also some less obvious downsides, and both of these must be assessed.

On the positive side, the ability to work from home gives a person more freedom. For one thing, they do not have to endure the daily commute, sitting in heavy traffic for hours each day as their stress levels rise just to sit in an office all day. Moreover, working from hone allows a person to manage their own time. For example, some people like to work slowly and steadily, while some people like to work in short bursts. However, in an office environment, people are usually under pressure to make it seem like they are working even if they are not.

On the other hand, it is often said that modern society leads to feelings of isolation and working from home might exacerbate this. Having no one around to chat with might actually make people more stressed and have worse effects on their mental health than working in an office. Not to mention, the internet has created a world of distractions that may be hard to resist if someone is sitting in their living room rather than in a cubicle. Furthermore, everyone who has ever tried to organize a conference call knows that face-to-face interactions are normally more time-efficient and productive than trying to communicate remotely.

Overall, it seems that working from home is a mixed bag. The freedom of not having to come to a certain place to work each day is appealing, but human’s are social creatures and having everyone in their homes all day is probably not the best solution either. (294 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED POSTS USEFUL

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FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Task One Writing: Bar Charts – Electricity Consumption

Electricity 2
T1 Bar Charts - Electicity Consumption
The bar chart above shows the top ten countries for the production and consumption of electricity in 2014. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) Read the instructions! Your job is NOT to list the numbers. You MUST give comparisons where relevant. This means you should think about which are the highest and lowest. Which figures are similar? Which figures are very different? Can you group the data in some way?

(2) Make sure you have an overview that gives the main details about the chart (without data). This is normally the things you notice immediately. For example, China and the USA are much bigger than the rest, Germany is the only one that consumes more than it produces, etc.

(3) Try to use a range of vocabulary when reporting data, but be careful when using synonyms for the topic words (i.e. “consumption” “production” “electricity” etc.) Words like “power” for “electricity” and “generate” for “produce” are good synonyms. If you are not sure about synonyms, change the grammar (e.g. “consumption” –> “consumed”). If you are not sure about a good synonym, do NOT use it. Your first goal is to be clear!

NOTE – the following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Both sample answer have useful linking vocabulary included in italics and synonyms and advanced vocabulary are included in bold. The advanced answer is written at a Band 9 level.
Electricity 3
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

T1 Bar Charts - Electicity Consumption

The bar chart above shows the top ten countries for the production and consumption of electricity in 2014. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

ANSWER – “The bar chart gives information about the amount of electricity produced and consumed by the world’s top ten energy users in 2014.

Overall, it is clear to see that China and the USA produced and consumed significantly more electricity than any other country. Interestingly, Germany was the only country in the Top 10 that consumed more electricity than it produced.

In 2014, China was the world leader in electricity production and consumption, with over 5000 billion kWh for each. The USA was in second place, producing and consuming about one-fifth less than China. In third place was Russia, although its power production and consumption was only around 1000 billion kWh.

The lowest producer in the Top 10 was South Korea with 485.1 billion kWh, which was about half of fourth-place country Japan. The seventh and eight-placed countries – France and Brazil – both produced and consumed similar amounts of electricity at around 550 billion kWh for production and 450 billion kWh for consumption. Finally, in ninth-place, Germany produced only 526.6 billion kWh of power, but it consumed 582.5 billion kWh, which was actually the fifth highest. (174 words)

Electricity 1

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

T1 Bar Charts - Electicity Consumption

The bar chart above shows the top ten countries for the production and consumption of electricity in 2014. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

ANSWER – “The bar chart provides an analysis of electricity generation and usage levels by the Top 10 global energy users in 2014.

A broad assessment of the data reveals that China and the USA were by far the greatest users and producers of electricity, while the bottom half of the Top 10 had similar electricity production and consumption needs.

China was the world’s leading energy generator and consumer in 2014, producing around 5500 billion kWh and consuming almost the same amount. In second place, the USA produced and consumed about 20 percent less electricity than China. The remainder of the Top 5 – Russia, India, and Japan – generated and used up about four to five times less power than China or the USA.

In seventh and eighth place, France and Brazil both produced and consumed similar amounts of electricity, with production figures of approximately 550 billion kWh and consumption of around 450 billion kWh. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that ninth-placed Germany was the only country whose energy consumption was higher than its production. In fact, its consumption figures were the fifth-highest. Finally, rounding out the Top 10 was South Korea with electricity generation and usage numbers a little under 500 billion kWh. (191 words)

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FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS YOU MIGHT HAVE

GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Essays Real Test: Opinion – Old vs. Younger Population

Ageing Populations 1
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE WRITING

(1) This might be a difficult topic for some people (especially if this is not an issue in your country). Always try to keep your main ideas simple and clear. In the simple version below, the main ideas are just that old people have “life experience” [positive] and too may old people can cause “social problems”. Try to explain what you mean by your main ideas and give a specific example if you can.

(2) This essay type requires you to give your opinion, but you should try to mention both positive and negative sides in order to get a high Task Response score.

(3) You can give you opinion in the introduction or you can save it for the conclusion. If you save it until the conclusion, you should mention in the introduction that you are going to look at both sides before making a decision.

(4) A four-paragraph structure is fine for this type of essay with 1-2 ideas for each side.

NOTE – The following essay topic is taken from a recent IELTS example. There are two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each answer has useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced/topic-specific vocabulary in bold. There are extra comments and tips included in some answers. The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.
Ageing Populations 3
SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

It is expected in the near future that there will be a higher proportion of old people compared to the younger population in some countries. Is it a positive or negative development? Give your opinion and examples.

It has been predicted that some countries will soon have a greater percentage of older people than younger. While this situation can have some positive effects, they are outweighed by the negative ones.

COMMENT – Always to paraphrase the topic (write it in your own words) as best you can, and never copy it. In the example above, the tense is changed to present perfect (“It has been predicted”) and other keywords, like “higher proportion” have been changed (“greater percentage”). This is a relatively easy way to improve your vocabulary score and you should do it every time!

In the past, older people were valued for their life experience and wisdom. There was a lack of ways for people to find information, so younger people relied on older people to explain things and solve problems. For example, there was no Wikipedia or internet at all, so any question would be asked to someone who had been around the longest. This is still true today as older people have generally seen more things and have hopefully learned from their mistakes, which should make them wiser.

However, an ageing population can also cause major social problems. Older people require extra care and this is provided by younger people. If the population of older people gets too high compared to the younger age group, then there will be no one look after them when they are so old that they cannot take care of themselves. This is a serious issue in countries like Japan where young people move to the cities to look for work and the countryside is full of old people who are left to look after themselves.

COMMENT – Try to include specific examples if you can. You should have at least one per essay.

Overall, when people are young they require care from older people and when they are older they require care from younger people. If the proportion of one age group gets too high or low it can affect the balance of society and cause suffering for many people. (256 words)

Ageing Populations 2

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

It is expected in the near future that there will be a higher proportion of old people compared to the younger population in some countries. Is it a positive or negative development? Give your opinion and examples.

Many countries are currently undergoing a significant change in their demographics where the percentage of older people is now exceeding that of younger people. This phenomenon has the potential to lead to disastrous results, but the outcomes are not all bad.

On the positive side, a higher proportion of elderly citizens generally indicates a declining birthrate. Because of the harm caused by high populations, such as environmental degradation and resource depletion, having more older people might be a sign that the population is falling. For example, Japan has a low birthrate and minimal immigration to support its population and, as a result, it now has a disproportionate number of people in the oldest age groups with an population that is decreasing overall.

However, an ageing population brings a range of harmful effects. As people live longer they generally work longer, which can reduce the amount of employment opportunities for younger people and lead to social disharmony as a huge number of young people are out of work. Moreover, the social contract in most societies is that the older people are taken care of by younger people when they become too old to look after themselves. However, it is obvious that if young people are greatly outnumbered by older people, then this system will break down with unpleasant results. Some countries are already trying to address these issues by developing robot helpers that can assist older people with their daily tasks instead of the job being performed by the younger generation.

Overall, a balance of age groups is desirable. There are alarming examples, such as one-child policies, that show what can happen when one particular group becomes too dominant and it is an issue that requires urgent attention. (276 words)

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IELTS Writing Task 1: Tables – Mobile Phones

T1 Tables - Mobile Phones
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING

(1) Make sure your writing is well-organized. Include an introduction, an overview, and body paragraphs. DON’T write one big block of words.

(2) Your Task 1 report MUST include an overview. Look at the chart/table/graph/etc and try to work out what are the main details. Look for the biggest, the smallest, any big changes,  anything that stays the same, or anything else interesting.

(3) You are not expected to be an expert on the topic. Do NOT give your opinion.

(4) Make sure you make some comparisons. DON’T just list data.

(5) Tables have a lot of information (this one has 21 data points). You will NOT have enough time to write about every point. If you try, you will just list the data with no analysis/comparisons. Only mention data that supports your overview or makes the information clearer.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a simple one and an advanced one. Each answer contains useful linking vocabulary in italics and advanced vocabulary in bold. Extra comments can be found within each sample answer. The advanced answer is written at a Band 9 level.

Phone Features

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Simple)

T1 Tables - Mobile Phones

The table above shows the percentage of mobile phone owners using various mobile phone features. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the information and making comparisons where relevant.

The table gives information about the proportion of mobile phone users that used different features on their phones in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

COMMENT – Always try to use synonyms for words in the title. Common words like “show” and “various” should always be changed. You can use synonyms for the subject (i.e. “mobile phone users” –> “owners”) but be careful that you have chosen a suitable synonym.

Overall, making phone calls was the most commonly used feature, while searching the internet and recording video became much more popular once they became available in 2008.

In 2006 and 2008, all phone owners used their phones to make calls, although this figure dropped slightly to 99 percent in 2010. The next most popular feature was texting, which had a small increase over the period, climbing from 73 percent of users in 2006 to 79 percent in 2010. Taking photos also had a similar rise, with a 10 percent increase from 66 to 76 percent over the four years shown.

The biggest increases were for the remaining features. Playing games and playing music both more than doubled in popularity. The percentage of people playing games on their phones was 17 percent in 2006 and just over 40 percent in 2010, while playing music grew from about one-eighth of phone users to a little over a quarter.

Finally, searching the internet went from being unavailable in 2006 to 73 percent of phone owners using this feature in 2010. While recording video also became a new feature at the same time, only around one-third of people used this feature by 2010. (199 words)

Phone Features 1

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

T1 Tables - Mobile Phones

The table above shows the percentage of mobile phone owners using various mobile phone features. Write a report of at least 150 words, summarizing the information and making comparisons where relevant.

The table provides a summary of the changes in the most-used mobile phone features in three different years: 2006, 2008, and 2010.

A brief examination of the table reveals that, while commonplace phone activities such as making calls and sending texts were the most frequently used features, there were significant increases in less traditional uses of mobile phones.

The entirety of phone owners made calls on their devices in 2006 and 2008, although the percentage dipped slightly to 99 percent in 2010. After that, texting was a function used by about three-quarters of phone users, with a small increase over the period shown.

COMMENT – When you’re writing about percentages, try to present some of the data as a related fraction (e.g. “75%” –> “three quarters”). This is good for variety.

Just behind texting, the ability to take photos was a feature employed by 66 percent of mobile owners in 2006, and by 2010 this figure had grown to 76 percent, making it almost as popular as texting. Searching the internet also had similar levels of popularity in 2010, despite not being available until 2008. Another new feature implemented in 2008 was the ability to record video, which was used by just over a third of people by 2010.

Finally, using a mobile for entertainment purposes, specifically playing games and listening to music, became considerably more popular, with the frequency of both more than doubling. The former rose from 17 percent to 41 percent, while the latter climbed from around one-eighth to just over a quarter. (211 words)

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GOOD LUCK!

 

IELTS Real Test Essays: Advantages and Disadvantages: Small vs. Big Stores

Small Big Stores 1

In some countries, small town-centre shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU WRITE

(1) This is an advantages and disadvantages essay. Therefore, you MUST write about the good AND the bad sides.

(2) Moreover, the question has several parts, and you need to write about all of them to meet the Task Response requirement. Make sure you say something about (i) small shops going out of business (ii) people without cars (iii) an increase in the use of cars. Not all points have to be covered in the same amount of words, but at least mention them. Remember that you only have 40 minutes and 250 words, so you can’t mention every point you might think of.

(3) The easiest structure for an advantages/disadvantages essay is a FOUR-paragraph one. In the introduction, state the topic and state you will discuss the good and the bad. In the body, have one paragraph for the good things and one paragraph for the bad (the order does NOT matter). In the conclusion, give YOUR view (i.e. does the good outweigh the bad or not) and briefly say why.

(4) This is one of the more difficult IELTS essay topics. If the topic is really hard, try to think of some simple ideas and use them as your topic sentences. Then, explain those ideas with more complex sentences and specific examples you can think of.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answer: a simple one and an advanced one. Useful linking vocabulary is included in italics. Advanced and topic-specific vocabulary is included in bold. Pay attention to the range of grammatical structures (comparatives, participial clauses, complex sentences, etc.) The advanced version is written at a Band 9 level.

Small Big Stores

SAMPLE ESSAY ONE (Simple)

In some countries, small town-centre shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

As cities have grown larger and spread out, there has been an increase in the number of large stores located away from the central city, which forces people to drive to them. This creates issues with smaller stores going out of business, people not having access to these stores, and growth in the use of cars. This essay will look at the benefits and drawbacks of this situation.

On the positive side, large stores are often able to offer cheaper prices, which is good for the buyer. Similarly, having many products available for purchase in one place is more convenient. Moreover, as cities spread out, many people will actually live closer to a large store or mall in the suburbs than a smaller one in the city center.

However, there are also some downsides. For one thing, encouraging people to drive increases traffic congestion and air pollution, while also making it necessary to build more roads, which makes the problem worse. Furthermore, small stores are often family-run businesses, whereas large stores are often owned by huge corporations that do not give back much to the community. Another issue is that people without private vehicles will have fewer options and be forced to buy whatever is available close to them.

Overall, it seems that the negative effects of large stores outweigh the positive ones. Although large stores may be convenient, they harm local businesses and affect the lives of people who live in the area whose communities end up being built around these large shopping centres. (255 words)

Small Big Stores 2

SAMPLE ESSAY TWO (Advanced)

In some countries, small town-centre shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

As a result of urbanization, cities are now surrounded by suburbs, and these areas often feature a large mall or shopping centre. The concentration of products in one location make these retail outlets attractive destinations for consumers, who almost without exception drive to them. Despite the benefits of these all-in-one locations, there are some notable drawbacks that should be considered.

Beginning with the positive aspects, it is clear that a gigantic mall offers more choice to the consumer. Moreover, the large chain stores that populate these shopping centres generally offer cheaper prices due to economies of scale. A further convenience is that a considerable amount of the population resides in suburban zones, so these large shopping centers are actually closer to people than traditional stores situated in the central business district.

Nevertheless, there are some highly undesirable effects of this situation. For one, large stores and malls are operated by monolithic corporations who run small shop owners out of business, while not returning much to the local community. In fact, Walmart, one of the largest mega-stores in the United States receives a massive amount of government welfare, while locally-owned businesses are forced into bankruptcy and even Walmart employees are paid minimum wage and often rely on government handouts. Not to mention, the almost ubiquitous practice of driving to malls and large chain stores puts a strain on local transport infrastructure, increasing traffic congestion and contributing to air pollution.

Overall, while having everything available in one location is undeniably convenient, the harm to local communities is similarly clear. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’, and in this instance it seems that the benefits of large stores is outweighed by the economic and social harm they cause. (292 words)

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