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You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Celebrities make a very good living out of media attention and have chosen to live
in the public spotlight. They have no right to complain when they feel the media
are intruding on their privacy. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
Being famous should not mean that you give up all right to a private. Although a lot
depends on the reason why a person is famous, everyone should be able to enjoy a
certain amount of privacy.
I believe it is useful to draw a distinction between those who have sought a career in the
public eye and those who have not. Prominent performers in film, television and music,
for example, have clear chosen a career path that potentially leads to fame. In fact, for
many of them, becoming as widely known as possible is a key ambition. Since they
have invited the public to focus their attention on them, they should not be too surprised
to find that people are interested in gossip or scandal about their private lives. Public
attention is not something that you can turn on and off at will. Having said that, even
those who seek fame still deserve the protection of the law and the media should be
prevented from harassing them.
Other public figures, on the other hand, have not chosen to be famous. Members of
royal families are born into fame, as are the children of celebrities. Ordinary people in
the news often become well-known through no fault of their own. It is my opinion that
the media have no right to intrude into these peoples private lives. I would even go so
far as to say that I support an extension of the law to guarantee their privacy. The media
should be prevented from reporting on things that should be private matters.
As the media continue to become more and more powerful in our society, so the
question of privacy becomes more important. Everyone deserves a private although
perhaps some deserve it more than others.
(294 words)

Some parents buy their children a large number of toys to play with. What are the
advantages and disadvantages for the child of having a large number of toys?
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
It is true that many parents purchase a multitude of playthings for their offspring.
Whether or not this is a good thing for the child, is a moot point. On the face of it the
advantages seem most apparent, but could there be a downside to this phenomenon of
devoted parenting as well?
Most people would consider children who have many toys to be the fortunate ones.
Interesting things to play with stimulate many positives in the young boy or girl, such as
optimum brain development, hand-eye coordination and colour recognition, apart from
the simple joy of playing. Modern toys are designed to be educational as well as fun,

and concerned parents carefully select products which might speed their child's
acquisition of numbers or the alphabet.
Is it possible that owning multiple toys could be in any way detrimental to a child? This
is an unusual question, but there are some hidden pitfalls. For one, wealthy parents
might spoil their son or daughter by showering him/her with toys, resulting in a
negative effect on the child's character. For another, a growing child's concentration
span may suffer if they are constantly surrounded by too many tempting objects, so that
they become unable to focus on any one game for a decent length of time before being
distracted. On the social side, older children may become targets of envy from
classmates, if they are perceived as having far more possessions than their peers.
Finally, the majority of toys today are made of plastic which commonly contains the
chemical BPA, proven to be dangerous for infants to suck on or ingest.
It is clear then that this situation is not as straightforward as it first appears. It would
seem that one of the many duties of parents is to make an informed choice about how
many toys they buy for their young ones.
(310 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

In general, people do not have such a close relationship with their neighbours as
they did in the past. Why is this so, and what can be done to improve contact
between neighbours?
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
In the past, neighbours formed an important part of people's social lives and they helped
them when they had problems. Nowadays, people often do not even know their
neighbours and in consequence they live much more isolated lives.
There are a number of reasons why we have less contact with our neighbours. Firstly,
our lifestyles are more mobile. This means people may change the area where they live
quite frequently and this causes their relationships with their neighbours to be more
superficial. Secondly, nowadays people often live and work in different places. This
leads to people forming closer relationships with work colleagues than the ones they
have with their neighbours. Finally, modern lifestyles make us spend more time inside
our houses watching television, and when we go out, we travel by car. Consequently,
we do not speak to the people in our neighbourhood so much.
There are a number of ways in which I think contact between neighbours can be
improved. First of all, local authorities can provide communal areas such as
playgrounds for children and community halls so that there are places where neighbours
can meet and make friends. Next, I think that when new neighbours come to a street, the
people living there ought to introduce themselves and welcome them. Lastly, people
living in a street or small district should form neighbourhood associations and meet
regularly to discuss the things which affect them.
In conclusion, these suggestions will probably not make neighbours as important in our
lives as they were in the past. However, they will help our relationships with our
neighbours to become more useful and valuable.
(270 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people think that human history has been a journey from ignorance to
knowledge. Others argue that this underestimates the achievements of ancient
cultures, and overvalues our achievements. Discuss both these views and give your
own opinion.
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
Some argue that people in the modern world are in possession of much more knowledge
than people of ancient cultures. Others believe that this ignores the accomplishments of
the past and places too much emphasis on present achievements.
While it is undoubtedly true that modern technologies, such as the internet could not
have been imagined in ancient cultures, it is a mistake to view these ancient cultures as
ignorant. Few would argue that the builders of the Sphinx were mere primitive
cavemen, for example. People at the time had the knowledge they needed to understand
and deal with their world and in fact one argument that is sometimes put forward is that,
even with all we know today, we do not have the technology to build the Pyramids of
Even if we do accept that modern society is richer in technological terms, it is
undoubtedly poorer in spiritual terms. Our societies have become so complex that
people often become victims to the lifestyles they lead and must face a whole new
variety of widespread modern-day problems, such as stress and obesity which affect
people in developed countries worldwide. Furthermore, the number of uneducated
people still living in poverty with little opportunity to benefit from technological
achievements suggests that our modern society is not so advanced after all.
In my view, however, there is no comparison between what we can achieve today and
what people even two hundred years ago could achieve as we now know so much more.
The vast majority of people in developed countries are able to benefit from an education
system, standard of living, healthcare and life expectancy that are so much more
advanced than ever before. It is my personal opinion that although we must remember
and respect ancient cultures, modern day achievements have brought us to the peak of
human civilisation.
(307 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people think that there are things individuals can do to help prevent global
climate change. Others believe that action by individuals is useless and irrelevant
and that it is only governments and large businesses which can make a
difference. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
Climate change is a phenomenon affecting all people in all walks of life, from
individual citizens to whole countries and huge multinational companies. The question
of what we can do to prevent global climate change and whether individual action is
effective or not is a hotly debated issue.

There are those who say that the majority of the damages is wrought by big businesses.
By imposing restrictions on emissions and by strictly monitoring waste disposal from
factories, plants and businesses, governments would go a long way towards preventing
climate change. It is thought that governments around the world should come up with
solutions to help prevent imminent environment disaster. Proponents of this view claim
that individual action is irrelevant in the face of massive, wide-scale prevention policies
set and controlled by governments.
On the other hand, there are a growing number of people who believe that individual
action combined with governmental and business action will do a lot more to prevent
climate change than if individual citizens were not involved. In a world of six billion
people, if everyone thought about the number of water they use, how they dispose of
their rubbish, whether or not something needs to be thrown away or if they can, in fact,
re-use certain items then we would be giving the problem of climate change and its
prevention a massive boost.
Taking both points into consideration, I firmly believe that individual citizens cannot sit
back and say it is someone elses responsibility to protect the environments; we must all
play our part-individual citizens, governments and big businesses alike.
(264 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Many people believe that media coverage of celebrities is having a negative effect
on children. To what extent do you agree?
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
In the past, news about famous people may have been confined to gossip columns in
newspapers; these days it is not uncommon for celebrities to feature as front page news.
There is evidence that the public feels there is too much news coverage of famous
people. Not surprisingly, there is concern about how this might be affecting people, and
in particular children.
One of the possible negative consequences of the 'cult of celebrity' is the tendency to
confuse fame and notoriety. Celebrity scandals are just as likely to receive publicity as
celebrity achievements. Indeed, some famous people have received more attention for
their misuse of drugs and alcohol than for their successes on the stage or in sports.
Children who crave attention may come to see misbehaviour as normal.
The emphasis on individuals in the public eye may also be at the expense of serious
news coverage. Next to the superficial excitement of celebrity gossip, news about
serious events and issues that have a more profound effect on people's lives may seem
uninteresting. Children may be forming a very distorted picture of how the world
The negative influence of celebrities on children can also be seen in children's career
aspirations. These days, young people are much more likely to see themselves as
potential sports stars or entertainers. The prevalence of these figures in the mass media
may convey the impression that such positions are plentiful. Children may be
developing unrealistic expectations that they too will become rich and famous.
In summary, the 'cult of celebrity' may be affecting children in a number of undesirable
ways. It is important that children be taught to critically evaluate what they see in the

media so that they can form a more realistic view of society, acceptable behaviour, and
indeed themselves.
(298 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Many high-level positions in companies are filled by men even though the
workforce in many developed countries is more than 50 per cent female.
Companies should be required to allocate a certain percentage of these positions to
women. To what extent do you agree?
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
In many countries these days, females make up over 50 per cent of the workforce, and
increasingly highly skilled women are taking managerial positions. However, it is still a
fact that high positions such as CEO posts are still dominated by men. Although this is
not desirable, I do not personally believe that imposed quotas are the solution.
Firstly, I believe companies have a right to choose the best person for the job, whatever
their gender, in order to contribute to the success of the business. Forcing companies to
hire, promote and appoint women could negatively affect business in the short term and
even the long term.
Secondly, to my mind the solution to this problem should be solved outside the
workplace. Girls need to be encouraged to take more male-dominated subjects at school
and later at university, and to aspire to do well in their careers. Girls and boys also need
to be taught equality from an early age. This education can take place in schools and
career programmes and in the home.
To those who argue that quotas are a good way to initiate this change, I would like to
point out that artificially imposing rules has not always had the desired effect. When
governments required males and females to receive the same pay for the same jobs,
employers simply changed job titles to ensure that women were still paid less than men.
It is my belief that employers will simply try to find loopholes to get around any such
In summary, I do not believe that forcing companies to allocate jobs to women is the
best way to address the imbalance. Rather, it is a question of education and of changing
mindsets so that those who deserve to be at the top will earn it and be appropriately
(303 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

As the number of private cars has increased, so too has the level of pollution in
many cities. What can be done to tackle this increasingly common problem?
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer

As the number of private cars has increased, so has the level of pollution. Overreliance
on cars at the expense of public transport has made this problem even worse, causing
many concerned citizens to look for a solution to the problem.
One potential solution to this problem is to discourage the use of private cars by raising
taxes. If the cost of petrol was increased, then many people would consider using
alternative forms of transport or even walking. Admittedly, there would be a number of
complaints from car drivers, but these would not be of much importance when balanced
against the environmental benefits.
Another solution could be to look at more specific causes of the problem. Modern cars
are fitted with cleaner burning engines and catalytic converters. Accordingly, they do
not cause as much of an environmental hazard as some older cars. In Japan, for
example, cars are heavily taxed once they have been on the road for three years or more,
encouraging people to buy new cars which pollute less. By heavily taxing older vehicles
from the road, some of the worst-polluting vehicles would be taken off the road.
However, this would not really be fair to those who cannot afford a new car with such
An improvement in the quality and efficiency of public transport would also encourage
people to use their cars less. In London, for example, a system has been operating for
some time in which people are allocated days of the week when they can use their cars.
On days that they are not allowed to drive, public transport is taken.
Although these are potential solutions to the problem, none of them are perfect. Only by
a concerted effort by both the government and the public can this situation truly be
(298 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people think that professional athletes make good role models for young
people, while others believe they dont. Discuss both these points of views and give
your own opinion.
Write at least 250 words.
With some question types in IELTS Writing Task 2, you need to discuss more than one
type of evidence, argument or point of view before reaching your conclusion. This is
called the evidence-led approach.
The term role model generally means a person whose behaviour, example, or success is
or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.
Model answer
People everywhere like watching sports. Many top athletes are admired throughout their
countries, and some even have fans all around the world. Young people especially, view
many athletes as role models and want to emulate the way these stars dress, act and live
their lives. While some athletes aren't deserving of their "role model" status, others act
like role models and responsible community citizens.

Top athletes get the attention of young people. Most children and teenagers like to
follow professional sports. For many of them, star athletes represent heroes, and
children want to be like their heroes. This means they will want to play sports, which is
good for their health. Playing sports also teaches valuable life lessons such as
teamwork, discipline, goal setting, and the realities of dealing with success and failure.
Professional athletes demonstrate the importance of working hard to achieve a goal, or
practicing regularly to become good at something. This is a good example for children
to follow.
However, professional athletes are not always good role models. For one thing, when
young athletes reach a level of fame, it comes with media attention, large financial
benefits and social attention. This can lead children to believe that money and fame are
an important part of sports. Children might focus more on these aspects than on the fun
of the game or on the challenge of learning how to play well. Then there are those
athletes who behave badly. For example, some cheat to win their games or take drugs to
improve their performance. This kind of behaviour sends the wrong message to
Athletes are people who are held at a lofty place in the society owing to their popularity
and wealth. These attributes are what makes people want to look up to them and model
various facets of their lives along those of the athletes. We can thus be led to conclude
that professional athletes can be very good role models for children, as long as they
focus on the positive aspects of playing sports.

Write about the following topic:

Is freedom of speech necessary in a free society?
Give reasons for your answer.
Write at least 250 words.
Writing Tip
Decide whether you agree/disagree completely with the statement, partly agree/disagree
with it, or have no definite opinion.
Choose one of these approaches:
State your position in the introduction and then justify it with arguments. This may
be more suitable if you feel strongly about the statement.
Present the arguments first and then say what you think in the conclusion. This
may be better if you have no strong opinion but can put forward arguments on both

Model answer
In the last decade, there has been considerable debate over the role of free speech in a
free society. Some object to absolute freedom of speech. Others advocate free speech,
arguing that the freedom of speech is the single most important political right of citizens
in a civilized society. Whilst I believe that there are strong arguments on both sides, I
would suggest that freedom of speech should be protected in all but extreme
The freedom of speech is important at all levels in a society. Yet it is most important for
the governments. A government which does not know what the people feel and think is
in a dangerous position. This is how the communist regimes of Eastern Europe were
toppled in the 1980s. The same is happening again in other regions of the world today.
The governments that muzzle free speech run a risk of pushing their people to behave
destructively or to rebel.
Furthermore, without free speech no political action is possible and no resistance to
injustice and oppression is possible. Without free speech elections would have no
meaning at all. Policies of contestants become known to the public and become
responsive to public opinion only by virtue of free speech. Between elections the freely
expressed opinions of citizens help restrain oppressive rule. Without this freedom it is
futile to expect political freedom or consequently economic freedom.
In conclusion, I believe that the importance of free speech as a basic and valuable
characteristic of a free society cannot be underestimated. It may be challenging for
society to allow differences of opinion out into the open; however, the consequences of
restricting free speech are likely to be more damaging in the longer term.
(285 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:
Some people think women should be allowed to join the army, the navy and the air
force just like men. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer.
Write at least 250 words.
Test Tip
At the end of any type of essay in the IELTS exam, you need to write a short
conclusion. The important thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong
conclusions, and the examiner will not make any judgments about your opinions, so
write freely and clearly
Model answer
Whether women should be allowed to serve in the military has triggered spirited debate.
Some assert that women should be allowed to defend their country in the same capacity
as their male peers. Personally, I agree with their assertion for two reasons.

History has shown that women are fully capable of performing well in the military.
Historically, there were a host of valiant women soldiers whose achievements really put
their male counterparts to shame. One need only look at the classic examples of Joan of
Arc and Mulan to see how exceptionally women could perform on the battlefield. In my
observation, their determination, courage and dignity, to this day, are still being admired
by male soldiers and civilians alike throughout the world.
Moreover, from an enlightened standpoint, female patriots should be granted the right to
go to the front line when their motherland is involved in a war. Admittedly, gender
inequality was a highly controversial issue in the twentieth century. However, now
twelve years into the new millennium, women can learn and teach, work and supervise,
vote and voted in most countries just like men. In light of this sweeping progress in
gender equality, there is no sense in denying them the right to defend their home
country when a war breaks out.
In sum, keeping military services out of bounds of women in the information age is
unwarranted. I have been convinced that it is in the best interest of a nation if women
are also granted equal rights in this particular arena.
(254 words)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:
Machine translation (MT) is slower and less accurate than human translation and
there is no immediate or predictable likelihood of machines taking over this role
from humans.
Do you agree or disagree?
Write at least 250 words.
Model answer
Read the following sample answer. Complete the answer by filling the gaps with a
word or phrase from the box below.
on the contrary
for these reasons

for instance



in order to

it is true
it seems to me

of course
for example

It is true that there have been great advances in technology over the last forty years.
.................... the use of mobile phones and e-mail communication are common these
days. ...................., machines that translate from one language to another are still in their
early stages.

.................... that a machine could never do as good a job as a human, ....................

when it comes to interpreting what people are saying. ...................., machines can
translate statements such as Where is the bank? but even simple statements are not
always straightforward .................... the meaning depends on more than just words.
.................... the word bank has a number of different meanings in English. How does
a translating machine know which meaning to take?
.................... understand what people are saying, you need to take into account the
relationship between the speakers and their situation. A machine cannot tell the
difference between the English expression Look out! meaning Be careful! and
Look out! meaning Put your head out of the window. You need a human being to
interpret the situation.
.................... with written language, it is difficult for a machine to know how to translate
accurately .................... we rarely translate every word. ...................., we try to take into
consideration how the idea would be expressed in the other language. This is hard to do
.................... every language has its own way of doing and saying things.
.................... I feel that it is most unlikely that machines will take the place of humans in
the field of translating and interpreting. If machines ever learn to think, perhaps then
they will be in a position to take on this role.

Write about the following topic:

Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous
people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love.
We also often see pictures of them in private situations. Is it appropriate for a
magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people?
Give reasons for your answer.
Write at least 250 words.
Writing Tip
Structuring an essay is an important part of writing for IELTS. For a Task 2 essay, use a
standard essay structure consisting of separate paragraphs: an introduction (one
paragraph), followed by the main body of the essay (two or three paragraphs), then a
conclusion (one paragraph).
There are various connectors that are typically used for conclusions. The first one on the
list is the most unimaginative, and it is better to think of a more interesting one if you
In conclusion, finally, therefore, consequently, clearly, it is clear, on the whole, in
other words, generally speaking
You cannot score above Band 5 if you do not use any paragraph. You cannot score
above Band 6 if your paragraphs do not have a clear central topic.

Model answer
Generally, people read newspapers to find out about world current affairs and they read
magazines to be entertained. Therefore, one would expect to find articles that feature the
private lives of famous people in magazines rather than newspapers. However,
nowadays, more and more newspapers include stories like these which are neither
informative nor useful.
In my opinion, this type of gossip about people's private lives should not be in
newspapers for several reasons. Firstly, for example, the fact that Princess Diana is
going out with a sportsman is not important news. Secondly, if newspapers want to
publish articles about famous people they should focus on their public events and
achievements. In other words, if there is an article about Princess Diana it should be
about her works of charity, which will increase public awareness of important problems.
In addition, journalists should make sure that they write about the facts only, not
rumours. One should be able to rely on newspapers for the actual truth.
Magazines, on the other hand, focus on social news. But I feel it is more acceptable for
them to contain some features about famous personalities. In addition to being popular
reading, these stories often benefit the stars by giving free publicity to them, thereby
helping their careers. However, I also believe that magazine stories should not mention
things that are too embarrassing or untrue just to attract people to buy the magazine.
Sensational stories, such as these, cause great unhappiness to the people concerned.
In conclusion, I think newspapers should concentrate on real news but magazines can
feature some articles on people's private lives.
(268 words)

Write about the following topic:

Some people feel that certain workers like nurses, doctors and teachers are
undervalued and should be paid more, especially when other people like film
actors or company bosses are paid huge sums of money that are out of proportion
to the importance of the work that they do. -How far do you agree? -What criteria
should be used to decide how much people are paid?
You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments
with examples and relevant evidence.
Write at least 250 words.
1) It is essential that you plan your essay before actually beginning to write your
answer. Some students may want to begin writing immediately as they are afraid that
they will run out of time. This will not allow them to produce a well-organised essay.
2) There is more weight to Task 2 when calculating your overall writing score, so time
management is important.
3) You should introduce the issue in your introduction, but avoid copying directly from
the prompt. Rather, you should paraphrase the question using your own words.

4) If you write less than 250 words for Task 2, you will be penalized in the Task
Response criteria.
Model answer
Nobody can deny that there are certain professionals like nurses, doctors and teachers
who are essential to the fabric of society, and who should therefore be rewarded
accordingly. However, this is seldom the case. When we look at the salaries and fees
commanded by certain film stars and actresses and people who run large companies,
this does not seem fair.
First of all, not all film stars earn huge sums of money. In fact, at any one time in the
UK, for example, roughly 80 per cent of actors are out of work and on top of that the
number who are paid so-called telephone number fees is even smaller. One must also
remember that the career of many actors is very short and that therefore the money they
earn has to be spread over many years. The same applies to company bosses.
Stating a set of criteria as to how much people should be paid is not easy. The idea of
performance-related pay is very much in vogue at the moment. Rewarding people
according to qualifications has long been used as a yardstick for paying people, but it is
not a consistently good measure. Another is years of relevant experience, but there are
many cases where a younger person can perform a task better than someone with lots of
Whatever criteria are used to assess salaries, an on-going cycle will develop. This will
create pressure in other areas. This considered, generally I feel that certain key
professionals should have their salaries assessed by independent review bodies on an
on-going basis so that they do not fall behind.
(269 words)

Write about the following topic:

More and more qualified people are moving from poor to rich countries to fill
vacancies in specialist areas like engineering, computing and medicine. Some
people believe that by encouraging the movement of such people, rich countries
are stealing from poor countries. Others feel that this is only part of the natural
movement of workers around the world.
Do you agree or disagree?
Write at least 250 words.
Exam Tip
Writing Task 2 is a discursive essay. You will be given a topic to write about. You
should write a plan so that your ideas are organised logically and coherently. Try to use
a wide variety of vocabulary and dont copy words from the question paper. Try not to
repeat the same words or ideas. When you have finished, check your spelling and make
sure you have written at least 250 words.

Model answer
The so-called brain drain from poor to rich countries is now robbing poorer countries
of essential personnel like doctors, nurses, engineers, and the trend is set to continue, if
not to get worse.
Some people say this movement of people around the world is not a new phenomenon.
Migrant workers have always been attracted by the wider choice of employment and
greater opportunity in major cities in their own countries and abroad. Recently, as the
technological age has advanced and as richer countries find themselves with not enough
workers to feed their development, they have had to run to other parts of the world to
find the necessary manpower. Many richer European countries, for example, are now
trying to attract skilled IT workers from my home country India by offering higher
salaries than they could hope to earn at home. With the globalisation of the world
economy, many people feel that the process cannot be stopped.
Others, myself included, are of the opinion that measures should be taken to address the
problem, by compensating poorer countries financially for the loss of investment in the
people they have trained, like doctors and nurses. Admittedly, this may be cumbersome
to administer, but an attempt could be made to get it off the ground. Another step,
which in part has already begun to happen, is to use the forces of globalization itself.
Western countries could encourage people to stay in their own countries by direct
investment in projects like computer factories or by sending patients abroad for
treatment, as is already happening.
It is obviously difficult to restrict the movement of people around the world and it is
probably foolish to try to stop it, but attempts should be made to redress the imbalance.
(291 words)