Top Tips for IELTS

Sample IELTS essay questions and topics

If you read enough IELTS books (or take the exam too often!), you’ll soon realise that there are very definite IELTS topics. There is a good reason for this: IELTS is a very international exam and the topics have to be suitable for all countries and all cultures. Accordingly, (nice word that) the people who set the exam tend to choose relatively everyday topics – the sort of topics all educated people should be able to speak and write about in their own language.

Academic IELTS topics

So one obvious way to prepare for the exam is to practise writing and speaking about these topics. They are:

Questions not just topics

While the topics are predictable enough, the actual questions are invariably extremely precise. Again, there is also a good reason for this: the examiners do not want you to learn an essay, they want to test your English and see if you can answer a precise question, rather than produce a general answer to a general topic.

The exam format

Remember that in the exam these words are always included:

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience

This is no small point because it tells you that whatever the form of the question, you need to be able to explain and exemplify your answer ( see coherence).

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108 Responses to Sample IELTS essay questions and topics

  1. jian October 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    if the task or question is “to what extent do you argree or disagree” should i still present both sides of the argument and on my conclusion i will sight my opinion? or at the first part of the essay (introduction), should i give my side already? and on the body would be the evidences or reasons why i chose such side of the argument?

    • Dominic Cole December 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

      Another good question. There is no definite right or wrong answer here. But let me give you a few guidelines.

      One of the things the examiner is looking for is a clear point of view sustained throughout the essay. Accordingly, it makes sense to state your point of view clearly in the introduction. This way it makes it easy for the examiner to see what you are doing. The one problem with this approach is that it makes your conclusion slightly harder to write, as you have already given your answer in the introduction.

      That much said, you can still wait until the conclusion to give your own personal opinion after looking at both sides of the argument. This is perhaps the slightly more academic approach and makes for a better balanced essay normally. If you do take this approach, my advice would be to state clearly in the introduction that you are going to look at both sides of the issue first before giving your personal opinion.

  2. jian October 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    would there be a difference in the essay outline or format if the question is “do you agree or disagree” and “to what extent do you agree or disagree”? or same approach could be used? thanks so much! God bless you!

    • Dominic Cole December 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

      This is a good question and I apologise for not answering sooner. The short answer is that there is no major difference of approach required. If the question was “Do you agree or disagree?” Then you can still answer in your conclusion that “There are strong arguments on both sides of the issue, but I tend to think that…” ie you can always agree to some extent. Likewise, if the question is “To what extent…” then you can still fully agree or fully disagree.

    • Jennifer March 7, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

      Are there any sample question papers of writing?

  3. Gazel January 24, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    What about a discussion? Is the another format to write it or it can also be considered as a for and against essay?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Phaidra Ruck November 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

      “To What Extent” should be answered by choosing arguments to support one of 3 major stances: to a great extent, to a certain extent / to some extent, or to a lesser extent. The question is asking for a measurement.

  4. Ratoa March 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Dear Dominique:

    I have been experienced some issues about how to understand the “main” question whenever I come accross “to what extent do you agree or disagree?” For example:

    “Creative artists should always be given the freedom to express their own ideas (in words, pictures, music or film) in whichever way they wish. There should be no government restrictions on what they do. To what extent do you agree or disagree?(Cambridge IELTS 4)”

    Is it OK if I say that the main question is ” Does government restrict freedom of speech?”

    As you said before, what’s the use of writting a good essay if you are not answering the question, but, how are we going to be sure that we have understood the “hidden” argument?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

      A really good question. One possible problem is that the question comes in 2 parts. This is really quite common in IELTS. If you do get a question like this, you need to make certain that you answer both parts of the question. in your example.

      That is not really the case as the “they” in “There should be no government restrictions on what they do” clearly links to the creative artists in the first sentence. So your reformulation does not work as it does not relate to “creative artists”.

      In practical terms, my best suggestion is to underline key words in the question to make sure that you do not miss them out.

      • kiran August 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

        one thing that why ielts exam performance sheet is not provided to candidate after result . beacuse if a candidate is not scoring the bands more than 5 or 5.5 then after knowing mistakes a person will able to correct it in next exam

  5. Aizan May 10, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    How do we respond an essay that asks for our opinion ?
    Do we simply give our views all the way through?

    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

      No one answer to this. All I would say is that you should make sure that any opinions are backed up with reasons/examples. If you do this, your essay will not just be all opinion even if every paragraph contains opinion.

  6. lin May 25, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    Hello Dominic,

    Can I please ask you two questions?
    Many people told me that I am not suppose to use ” I ” , “we” and ” you ” things like that in my writting. But I noticed you actually use them quite often. does that mean I could use these words in my writting?

    Also, how to overcome umfamiliar topics? I feel one of the most frustrate thing is to think out ideas. I never can produce an essay in a limited time. I guess the problem for me is I do not have opinions at all. do you have any good suggestion about this?


    PS : I am going to have my IELTS exam this 29th, urgently need your advice! ;-)))

    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      There are no hard and fast rules here. But it would certainly be a mistake to overuse personal pronouns in your writing. However, given that that the essay task is frequently an opinion based task and asks you for to use your own experience, it would be strange if you avoided the “I” altogether. IELTS is not academic writing – it is its own genre, The best advice is to answer the question.

      • deep June 4, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

        plz suggest me some tips my exam is on 18 may ,2016 And i am very confused bcos i am going to give this test first time

  7. Yousman August 21, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Dear Dominic Cole,

    in this forum, Could I ask you an assessment of my essay relate to IELTS writing assessment ?

    Thank you



    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

      Sorry, not for now. I may start a grading service soon but sadly my time is too short.

  8. Ragif September 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi What about if you are not familiar with asked essay topic.
    Can you answer the question with general writing?


    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      You should do your best to answer the question as asked. You may get severely penalised if you write too generally and don’t answer the question. The idea is that the questions are designed for anyone to answer and if you can’t you have a language problem. That sounds a little harsh, no? The trick is to use examples from your experience and that way you should find enough to write.

      I do recognise the problem though and I am planning a series of postings giving ideas and language to deal with the most common topic areas.

  9. maria andros November 29, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    Thanks for the post, keep posting stuff

  10. Elle December 28, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Hi Dominic,

    I was taking IELTS classes from a tutor. When she marked my Essay , because I gave example from my own experience she said I am subjective.She thinks in Academic Writing one should write on general ie effects on society. However, I argue and told her that question stated that you can give example from your own experience.Do you think if I give my own experience the examiner will mark me down?

    Kind regards,

    • Dominic Cole December 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

      Absolutely not. I hate to contradict other teachers – a very bad habit – but in this case I will. The rubric to the essay question almost always contains these words:

      “include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experience”

      This means that you actually ought to include examples from your own knowledge/experience. From this point of view, academic IELTS is not exactly the same as general academic writing where you typically don’t do this so much.

      The question remains though how you do it. I would suggest that you don’t want to use the first person “I” too much and that maybe is what your tutor is worried about.

      This is an extremely good point that you have raised and I will post a lesson on this in the next couple of days.

    • StudyHorror November 8, 2011 at 12:14 am #

      It’s very true that it doesn’t matter if your writing is subjective or not. The way you express your ideas and construct your writing matter.

      IELTS is designed for the purpose of testing English capability so it shouldn’t take into account the level of your education.

      Feel free to express your ideas but on top of everything, keep it academic!


  11. Rajneesh kapur January 2, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Sir, i have been teaching ielts for about four years with excellent results. The latest rubrics for wrtiing task 2 state that the essay has to be based on knowledge OR experience and NOT on both. Please maintain contact with me for further details.

    • Dominic Cole January 2, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      Thank you for the correction on the exact wording. I do take issue with your interpretation of it though. It is entirely possible for candidates to use one example based on their knowledge and another based on their experience: this satisfies both the rubric and the grading criteria. Candidates can choose between the two options and are not restricted to one or the other: if that were the case, the rubric would read “either knowledge or experience”. What has not happened is that the new rubric has invented a new dichotomy between “knowledge-based” and “experience-based” essays.

      Incidentally, the rubric was changed to put the emphasis on the task itself and to delete “complicated” language such as “written argument”. The idea is supposed to simple and the key to understanding the new rubric is that it explicitly asks candidates to be “relevant” in their examples and that these support the main points. Read this report by the chief IELTS examiner in Australia:

  12. arash March 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    hello Dominic

    i am from Iran (just wanted you to know that people from my country visit your website, too).

    I’ve been searching the net for ages to find a website that can help me with my ielts essay questions and i now i can say yours is one of the bestests 😉

    i have some questions. will you help me with them please?

    1. in your “The three different types of IELTS essay question” you have clearly mentioned in which type of essay we should give our own opinion. can you see this page please:
    i am confused a little. in which type should i reflect my opinion? and more importantly in which paragraph?

    2. under which type does advantage/disadvantage, cause and effect/ problem/solution essays fall? discussion or argument? you seem to insist that all of them are argument type, but seems to differ.

    3. what is explanatory essay?

    Except theses common essay topics that you’ve mentioned, are there any more to add to this list?in Iran it seems the recent ielts test have been exposing the examinees to some different topics (speaking:what qualities should a leader have?does your political one have?, etc)

    thanks an ocean for spending time for us

  13. aman May 3, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    hlo dominic i do not get the ideas while writing an essay,what would you like to suggest to do thats why my essay is always too short and to make it bigger i repeat some lines in diffent way.

    • Dominic Cole June 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Typically, I advise my students to think of examples and reasons. It is very easy to get stuck when you are looking for ideas. Ask yourself the questions “Why is that true?”or “how can I explain that?”

  14. Malika May 19, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    if a question says ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’,then what should i write in th body paragraphs. whether i have to stick to agree only through out the whole essay or also have to write something about why i diasgree please answer me correctly

  15. m3oda July 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    hello mister Cole.

    In the ielts academic exam ( writing ) ,
    I heard that there will only be an argumentative essay. is that true ? and if not what else ?

    • Dominic Cole July 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

      Ah. It depends what you mean by argumentative. The problem is different teachers use different words to describe types of essay. I am guilty of this too. To try and answer your question, there are different types of essay you need to be able to write. These include:

      discussing both sides of an issue
      commenting on a proposal to solve a problem
      looking at two different options and deciding which is better
      giving solutions to a problem

      I could go on. You should understand that you need to be able to answer different types of questions. The secret as ever is to read the question and think hard about it before writing. Think about what it is asking you to do. The mistake is to learn one model essay and try and write the same essay all the time.
      – Show quoted text –

  16. Julia Robert July 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Very helpful post for IELTS Students.

  17. Nicolo August 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    (I am writing here since I could not find an email to write to)

    Dear Dominic

    first of all I want to compliment you for your website. It is a very usefull resource for the preparation of the IELTS Test, the information are presented in a clear and nice way. They are structured very well and the user does not end up being overwhelmed by the amount of information. This is a very important point -at least to me-, because reading your site had the result of calming me me and improve my self confidence for the exam. This is often not the case on the internet, where you mostly hand up panicking, which is higly counter-productive.

    Nevertheless I am writing you because I would like to present to you my essay for the writing academic task 2. I would really like to have a feedback from you, because unfortunately I can’t find no one to correct me one and I would like to have an opinion before I take the exam (which is in 7 days: unfortunately I have found your website late 🙁 ). I am not asking you to correct every mistake, just to read it once and give me your impression and maybe the main points that I have to be careful about in the test (the first being word number: by rewriting to the computer I have just seen a lot of mistakes that I could have corrected if I had the time, thing which I haven’t). If it possible can you say to me around band score I am? Or, is this essay enough good for a minimum band score of 5.5?

    I am really looking forward to read an answer from you and I thank you in advance for your courtesy.

    Kind regards

    Writing task 2

    Write about the following topic:

    In many countries schools have severe problems with student behaviour.
    What do you think ar the causes of this?
    What solutions can you suggest?

    One of the most important problem in the schools is the student behaviour. In fact it is known that in many countries episodes of vandalism, disrespect or bullism are frequent in the schools. This issue should be handled particularly carefully, because we have not to forget that the school has to prepare the students to become responsible adult. It is therefore very important to individuate the causes and the possible solutions to be applied, in order for the school to fullfill its educational role in the best way.

    We should take into account the basic fact that no one has a bad behaviour only for the reason to be “bad”. Often those behaviours are the expressions of other, hidden problems. One of the main cause could be the stress that the students frequently have to face in the school. Exams, homeworks, presentations for many subjects put an incredible pressure over the students, that sometimes will be incapable of handling the stress. Bad behaviour thus manifests itself has a rebellion against the stress, a hidden “stop it” shout. Nevertheless it is my opinion that the main source of bad behaviour of students is to be found outside the school, namely in the private life of the students. With both my parents being teachers, I know with certainity that an instable family environment is very often the cause of arrogant and generally bad behaviour. Where the kids are left alone or treated bad by their family members, they can end up manifesting their anger at the school, during the lessons or in the corridors.

    Those problems suggest their solutions. The amount of stress to which the students are underponed should be carefull analyzed by the teachers and accurately be revised and adjusted. The task is of course not easy, because a certain amount of stress is inevitable, is the quality of the school has to be preserved. Regarding family problems, it is my firm convinction that child that were raised (or still are) in instable family environment should be followed carefully by expers, such as psyhcologists and pedagogists, and sustained by teachers, in order to allow them to retrieve their happiness and bring their life back on the tracks.

    Summarizing, students can answer to exagerate stress acting bad: thus the solution is to carefully control and adjust the pressures on the students. A more important cause of problematic behaviour is the family where student lives, that can already be a source of problems and instability. Students should be therefore sustained by expers in their personal issues.

    (you can answer me via email if you want)

    • Dominic Cole December 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Sorry for the delay. Had a quick look and it looks an extremely good essay. My one concern is length. sometimes shorter can be better. Sorry but I simply don’y have the time to look at individual essays.

  18. TheIELTSSolution August 23, 2011 at 3:19 am #


    This is a very good job. It was clearly given how to approach a task since you already have given the clue how to practice a certain topic, and so, through this, many IELTS writing examinees will have the idea now on how to write and speak appropriately.

    Thank you.

  19. omneya zeyada August 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    it is my first acknowlegment of this wonderful site. Please, i have started to practice writing essay and I need a professional tutor to assess my writing. I would like to know if I can send my essays to be assessed.

  20. jay barot September 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    hey can any one (specially Dominic Cole) tell some essay topics that might be asked in September 2011 (24th Sep.). please reply fast i need some important topics .

    • Dominic Cole September 15, 2011 at 1:51 am #

      Sorry, I have no way of telling – there’s a pretty large stock of questions. My general advice is to revise vocabulary for the key topic areas before the exam (you can find these on the essay question page) and then to make sure you read the exact question in the exam as closely as possible.

      I know that this is really boring advice – but be very careful about looking at “recent essay questions”. For me, their only real value is to tell you the types of topic you will need to write about and what sort of vocab you need. Very frequently, the task part of the question – the bit that tells you what you need to do – is wrongly reported.

  21. tina September 22, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Dear Dominic,

    Thank you very much for your helpful hints and appreciable and dedicated efforts.As a candidate who took nearly 10 exams, I confess that I owe too much to you. This is a very simple way to say thank you.

    • Dominic Cole September 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      Pleasure. I hope it’s worked out for you now. 10 tests is a lot – painful.

  22. Zuzu September 28, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Hi Dominic, very good exam website thankyou.

    Please, how much is band reduce for short answer?


    Happy world rabies day!

    • Dominic Cole December 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

      It rather depends how short the answer is. My understanding/recollection is that you cannot get above 5.0 for task response unless you use 250 words

  23. TheIELTSSolution October 4, 2011 at 1:31 am #


    Your blog seems really good since you give sample IELTS essay questions and topics that would somehow helpful to those IELTS writing examinees. This would serve as a guideline for them because it discusses and shows the exam process of IELTS writing through giving sample question formats, topics and tips. Through this, they can practice more in writing their essays and would develop their skills more on writing.

    Thank you.

  24. arpit shah October 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    dear Dominic Cole,

    can you please suggest me i started my writing task 1 and task 2 at appropriate place task 2 i need another page the invigilator give me page and stick behind task 2..but unfortunately i continue my task 2 on the first page (task 1)..if they will penalised me..p;ease answer me because i m in dilemma i write both task very well. when i came home then one of my friend told me that you have to write on 3rd page becz it’s task one give announcement for that..will it affect my score?? please answer as soon as possible..

    • Dominic Cole December 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that one. I suspect that it wouldn’t make any difference. The examiner is likely to have worked out what you did.

  25. rajneesh kapur October 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    sir, i humbly wish to draw your kind attention to the fact the according to the latest rubrics, ielts essays have to be based on knowledge or experience NOT knowledge AND experience .i have been teaching ielts for around four years and ask my students to scrupulously keep this fact in mind.Please answer.

    • Dominic Cole December 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

      Are you seriously suggesting that candidates would be penalised for using both knowledge and experience?! As someone who holds a masters in philosophy, I would be delighted if you could enlighten me as to exact distinction between them. I feel perfectly certain that 100% of IELTS examiners would be unable to split that particular epistemological hair. I believe you will find that “or” enables candidates to do both. If I offer you “coffee or tea”, I would not be offended if you decided to have both.

      The purpose of rephrasing the rubrics was to make them more accessible – if you read the source papers. The purpose was not to introduce a new challenge to candidates.

  26. rajneesh kapur October 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    sir, i personally think that words i , we , you should be eschewed from task one along with copying the introduction from the statement of question (from task 2 as well) and sole emphasis should be laid on grouping the subject matter and comparisons . This is what i ask my students to do .

    • Dominic Cole December 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      Eschewed! a long time since I saw that word used in earnest. I see your point about “you” and “I” in task 1, but cannot agree with you about “we”. I agree with you about copying wording from the question. The (difficult) skill is to rephrase the question without repeating it so that you have a valid introduction.

  27. tanya October 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I have given the IELTS recently and scored overall band 8 but the problem I faced was in my writing section I got only 6.5 and I need a score of & minimum to get into the university I desire for.

  28. StudyHorror November 2, 2011 at 3:25 am #

    Your blog is very helpful. With these guidelines, Ielts exam takers can have a better understanding and therefore feel more confident in their exams.


  29. piya November 27, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    hi…. piya here

    pls can anybody suggest me reading techniques ?? specially for headings n yes/no/not given i cnt get more thn 6

    • Dominic Cole November 27, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      You will find my own suggestions on the reading page. The key is to understand the difference between No and Not Given.

  30. Jale HCY December 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    help me 🙂 write for and against argumentative essay Taking exams : for and against

    • Dominic Cole December 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      I’ll see what I can do for you. It’s the sort of topic you need to be able to write and speak about. I’ll try and post something next week.

  31. Jale HCY December 4, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Thanks but I need it for Monday. 🙂

  32. Aydar December 10, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    good job, Dominic

  33. STUKA December 18, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    which kind of English should i register for, general or academic? my intention is to apply for a job as a nurse. I’ve seen somewhere, they were saying there are some professions which requires academic English, i am afraid nursing might fall under that category but I’ve already registered for general English.

    • Dominic Cole December 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      If you are headed for the UK, it will be academic IELTS you need. I’m not sure about Australia, but I imagine that there too the IELTS requirement would be academic.

      When did you apply? Normally, you can get a refund of your fee if you cancel 5 weeks before. Contact your local test centre. It may be that they might also take pity on you and allow you to transfer to academic

      • Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

        This is the first time i visited this site. In Australia, you need a minimum of 7.0 in every exam including the OBS. And the requirement there is Academic.

  34. Viki December 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Dear Dominic,

    I have a very big problem with preparing for IELTS( Academic).
    I took IELTS for 3 times and my overal band score was 6.0 in all of them.
    My first time I scored 6.0 in every module.
    The second and the third I had 5.5 in Listening, 6 in Reading and Writing and 6.5 in Speaking.
    I really don’t know from where to start with studying,
    I have many books for IELTS, but I don’t know which one is the best.
    Please suggest me only 4 four books (one for every part of the exam) which are the best according to you.

    I desperately need 7.0 in every part of the test.


    • Zarya January 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      Appreciation for this infmortiaon is over 9000-thank you!

  35. Muhammad January 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Can i use pencil to attempt IELTS writing test?please anyone must reply me.

  36. SAM January 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi Dominic,

    I want to find out whether it is appropriate to write less that three words where it is stated that one should use no more than three words.

    Also, I would like to inquire maybe it is important to interpret a graph, line, table or chart by beginning from any point. Front, Middle or Back.

    I shall be looking forward to receiving your reply.

    Thanking you in advance.

    • Dominic Cole January 4, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

      No more than 3 words means 1, 2 or 3 words.

  37. AKMAL March 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    you helped me a lot

  38. Hans March 20, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Hi Dominic

    I have studying on your website recently. I found it great and a resourceful webpage. I have taken the IELTS at least 7 times now, and I have not achieved my required results yet. I need a band score of 8 in each module. My next exam is on the 31.03.12, any more advice Sir?In my last 2 exam, I got 6.5 in Writing.

  39. Mavic April 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Hello Dominic,

    Your website is of great help for those who want to take IELTS 😉

    I just want to ask you this question:

    Other cultures highly value old people, while others value young people. Discuss both opposing views and give your opinion.

  40. lady May 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Dear Dominic,

    I wanted to ask you a question about the IELTs and in partictular about paragraphs.

    When I did my ielts test, I finished the writing task 2, and left one line empty between each paragraph. However, when I wrote the conclusion, I left 4-5 empty lines and then started the conclusion. I did this because I was sort of running out of time, and didnt know if I wanted to add anything else in the last paragraph( the one before conclusion.

    so it looked a bit like this



    paragraph 2


    Do you thing this will affect the mark I get?

    • Dominic Cole July 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      No, I very much doubt it- examiners are intelligent people.

  41. khadija May 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Dear Dominic

    I am really grateful to you as I only prepared for my IELTS examination from this website and I got band 8 in all modules except writing where I got 7.5.

    You are awesome.

    Thanks again.

  42. Jagjot singh May 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    In simply words . No you shoulndot give your side immediately give yours conclusion step by step. Firstly explain both sides and then which you like most give him side . Agree or disagree is most important part choose 1 thing . Yes you should choose a type of argument the main factor.

  43. rasna May 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    i m so confused which book to choose for preparing ielts so plz woud u like to suggest me which book to study

  44. Doloris Moreida June 4, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • Dominic Cole July 5, 2012 at 4:42 am #

      Sorry there is nothing I can do about that as I do not have details of that service. I can only suggest that you move the post to spam!!

  45. Anonymous June 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Dear Dominic,
    Congrats on your blog.
    One question thou, some literature state there are 4 different types of essays instead of the 3 types you mention in your blog, these are:

    1.advantages/disadvantages essays
    2.Causes/solution essay
    3.opinion essay
    4.Discussion essays

    Do you agree with this?
    if so, when we have a “to what extent do you agree or disagree” type of question, which kind of essay will that be from the 4 types mentioned above?x

    • Dominic Cole July 6, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Hmmmm. I do need to go back to that post. The division you maker does make sense. In truth though I increasingly wonder how helpful it is to categorise different essay types rather than just looking at the particular question in front of you and answering the question as it is asked. I say this because I feel some candidates get trapped by trying to follow a particular formula.

      I will put this on my to do list. Thank you for your comment.

  46. ROY June 25, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Hi Dominic,
    firstly thanks for the effort you have made for us.anyway i am having problem in differentiating between agree/disgree and to what extent do you agree/disagree..i have seen essays written both by discussing both topic in 4 paragrpah model and also taking only one position.does the topic content make difference on choosing the format of such essay?

    • Dominic Cole July 5, 2012 at 2:57 am #

      Good question. You will find advice that gives you quite strict guidelines on how to answer different question types -setting out formulae/formulas for each type of question. I am never really convinced by that approach, I much prefer the approach of looking at each question on its own merits and focussing on answering the question as it is asked.

      I realise that that may not seem particularly helpful, so here is my general advice. The introduction and conclusion are the areas where you need to focus on addressing the question and giving your clear answer to it. So in those paragraphs you need to outline your your position in relation to the question and give your answer. Even if the question is “do you agree?”, it is open to you to say I agree but only up to a point. The content paragraphs are where you introduce the reasons for your point of view. Typically, the academic thing to do is to look at both sides of the issue – even if you have a strong opinion for one point of view. This can work with almost IELTS agree/disagree type questions. Certainly, with my own students, I encourage them to look at both sides of the issue, as for them IELTS is simply a passport to academic courses at university and I want them to learn the skills of academic writing.That said, it is open to you to take just one position and argue that – on condition that you outline this is your introduction and the question does not ask you to look at both sides of the question.

  47. Zahid Masum September 3, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Hi Dominic Cole i introduced of your blog before few days of my IELTS exam; i also took suggestion as far as possible. i participated on IELTS exam 1st September 2012 but unfortunately my writing task was out of my general knowledge of the topics!!! I frustrated what i should write? my topic was quoted you. It was
    ” It is a natural process of animal species to become extinct (e.g dinosaurs, dodos etc). There is no reason why people should try to happening this. Do you agree or disagree?”
    in this case how i prepare myself to get excellent score? any suggestion? please

  48. simmi September 7, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Hi Dominic cole,

    I have given Ilets exam in General three times and every time i got 6.5 in writing but i need 7 each.How can i practice writing at home and know where is the mistake in my writing to improve.Please give some tips. Thank you

  49. neha solanki September 10, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    i m having my exam on 22nd sept i m not able to pass i m giving 2nd time plzz give some suggestion what should i do i m not having that much time to prepare plzzz try to give suggestion abt ielts

  50. asa September 17, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    you done very well. your blog guide me to significant progress… thanks a lot…

  51. Variation of leave remain in the UK February 27, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    Hi there to every single one, it’s in fact a pleasant for me to go to see this website, it includes precious Information.

  52. Immigration Solicitor in Essex February 28, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Awesome blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
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    a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?

    There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Cheers!

  53. IeltsChampio April 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Practiced essay need to get it reviewed, How can i do that

    • Dominic Cole April 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      I suggest you contact one of the tutors on the site.

  54. Darren July 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    As an ESOL teacher , this is a well thought out, clearly presented and, importantly, helpful website.
    I have found it extremely useful for my own and my students’ use.
    Thank you.

  55. Aching August 15, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Hy, I dont have much to ask for right now. Just wanted to clarify a query for writing test. Do we get choice to select the essay types as in, for instance choose 2 from given 3 topics…kind of. I hope you get what I mean in this context. Please excuse my lame language.
    Thank you.

  56. SHO September 3, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Hello, I was just wondering is there any difference in scoring of academic and general writing ? I felt, the vocab section in academic test , requires more academic words.If not, candidates will not score a 7 or 8 in it (?????). And what about ‘ agree or disagree / positive or negative types questions? Is it necessary to stick with one side in the opinion paragraph? ie; 2 positive points and 1 negative point. Can I still conclude it as ‘positive’ ? Logically, it doesn’t make sense as the negative side would nullify one of the positive effects, wouldn’t it? Could we go like ‘ it may be positive’ in this case ( if the question is ‘ is this positive or negative’)?

    Why many students are not getting 9 in task response? Is it mainly because of the lack of relevant example ?

    If you could be any of my assistance, I’d really grateful.



  57. philip September 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    it was so great………

  58. Xuan November 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Hi Dominic,

    I have had a question for writing task 2. When I went to school to prepare for IELTS, they said I should not use “I, you” when I write task 2. I could use “It is said/ believed/ stated that…”. Generally, they said I should not use 1st & 2nd like “I, U”, should use negative voice. What do you think about this opinion?

    • Dominic Cole March 2, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Good question. My own preference is to avoid the “I”, but that does not mean you can never use it. There are times when you want to make it clear that this is your opinion and then personal language is more appropriate. It may be more stylist though to use “In my view” rather than “I think”

  59. salina basnet January 29, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    what will happen if i write agree/disagree while question ask for both view

  60. student writing Paper February 6, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    Thank you for the great ideas. I have to focus on some time I choose to adopt to write a article.

  61. Alina February 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    It is very important that you keep to the topic. Don’t stray onto something else!

  62. Sumair khan` July 31, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    Hey DC .. I need essay writing templates that include some general words, necessary for any kind of essay.. Please help me

  63. pooja August 31, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    dear dominic i m writing from india my exam on 6 september 2014 …..pls help me in writing topics….for ex…….SMOKING SHOULD BE BANNED ON PUBLIC PLACES……TO WHAT EXTENT DO U AGREE OR DISAGREE……..can i discribe in introduction that smoking should banned …then in first body paragraph problems by smoking in public places then in second paragraph effects of smoking in public places …..then in conclusion about goverment should take hard step to stop this………….also tell me in agree &disagree we must have to dicusss both …….answer soon..

  64. Anonymous August 16, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Hi Dominic,
    I find your website really helpful. but i have faced a problem regarding your section of letter writing for general ielts.
    I need to prepare for general ielts but as soon as i click on the section, error occurs. So please fix the problem. Regards

    • Dominic Cole September 2, 2015 at 9:30 am #


      Can you point me to the exact link that doesn’t work. It all seems fine to me.

      • Daniela Marquez September 13, 2017 at 11:15 am #


        Many of the links for the topics are broken.


  65. Jeenn lee August 24, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    How many people have visited your website? Of them, what is the % from China?

    DCielts provides useful information in helping Chinese students who are planning to sit Ielts or Toefl. Thanks.

  66. Asha September 26, 2015 at 5:40 am #

    Hi Dominic,

    I found your website very useful for me. Thanks to your sample essays, I was able to get 8 for writing. Thank you very much sir.

  67. ABHIJEETSINH RAJPUT November 25, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Hello Sir,

    Actually I m very confuse about writing task 2 ( Essay Writing ).Is it possible that Same Essay topic will come again next IELTS exam?Which topic I refere maximum for exam?Can you please guide me sir?

    Thank You

  68. aiden May 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    thank’s dominic you helped me a lot

  69. Mohammad Zohaib May 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Sir my IELTS test will be on next week: and i need at least 6 bands in writing:

    Some people claim that not enough of the waste from homes is recycled. They say that the only way to increase recycling is for governments to make it a legal requirement.

    Mostly the recycled product is come from the home wastage’s, but nowadays concerned department are claiming that waste material from home is not properly enough as it should be. Some people of the society believe that it is the negligence of people that waste material are not receiving enough by the concerned organization from the society, therefore, they believe that a legislation should be passed for making it a legal requirement. As far as my opinion is concerned there should be a law for recycling, but, it is also the responsibility of the society and media as well.

    Organizations for recycling are doing their job in a proper manner. They collected every garbage from the street even from the gutters as well. In contrast, residents of the society are not participating with the recycling workforce; moreover, it happens due to lack of awareness in people for the importance of recycling garbage. Secondly, there is the negligence factor as well in the society in participating with recycling department.

    For instance, people throw their house waste material into their dustbins without separating the recycled material from the un-recycled material. Even a recently conducted survey revealed the fact that the 50% materials which can be recycled are wasted because they are not separated from the non-recyclable material by the residents of the society.

    Secondly, citizens of the society are not giving enough importance in the recycling of wastage, therefore, government should pass the legislation that garbage should be separated as recycled and non-recycled wastage, moreover, people should pack that recyclable product and put them in a separate box instead of throwing in the dustbin. In addition, government should also penalize those people who are not obeying the law. Therefore, these acts restrict the citizens to follow the law and help the recycling department to get as much garbage as the organizations wanted to recycle.

    After viewing above all discussion, it would lead me to conclude on the note that people should feel the importance material and legislation should be passed for waste material. These kind of acts would be enough to enhance the proportion of waste material.


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