Ielts sample essay questions and answers

100 IELTS Essay Questions

Below are sample IELTS essay questions and topics reported by IELTS students in writing task 2. The 100 essay questions have been reworded and are organised under common topics which frequently come in IELTS writing task 2.

At the bottom of the page, I’ve put some essay questions for you to practice each type of essay: opinion, discussion etc. These are practice essay questions to prepare ideas, not for full exam practice.

IELTS often use the similar topics for their essays but change the essay question. In order to prepare well for writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for common topics and then practice applying them to the tasks given (to the essay questions). Also see model essays and tips for writing task 2

Common IELTS Essay Questions

IELTS practice essay questions divided by topic. These topics have been reported by IELTS students in their tests. Essay questions have been recreated as accurately as possible.

  • Art (5 essay questions)
  • Business & Money (17 essay questions)
  • Communication & Personality (17 essay questions)
  • Crime & Punishment (12 essay questions)
  • Education (17 essay questions)
  • Environment (12 essay questions)
  • Family & Children (8 essay questions)
  • Food & Diet (8 essay questions)
  • Government (6 essay questions)
  • Health (9 essay questions)
  • Housing (4 essay questions)
  • Language (2 essay questions)
  • Leisure (1 essay question)
  • Media & Advertising (12 essay questions)
  • Reading (5 essay questions)
  • Society (10 essay questions)
  • Space Exploration (3 questions)
  • Sport & Exercise (6 essay questions)
  • Technology (6 essay questions)
  • Tourism (6 essay questions)
  • Transport (7 essay questions)
  • Work (16 essay questions)

IELTS Essay Questions by Essay Type

There are 5 main types of essay questions in IELTS writing task 2 (opinion essays, discussion essay, advantage/disadvantage essays, solution essay and direct question essays). Click on the links below to see some sample essay questions for each type.

2018 IELTS Essay Questions

You can see recent essay questions reported by students in Jan 2018, here: Jan 2018 Essay Questions. For 2017, see these links: IELTS Essay Questions 2017. Essay questions for December 2017.

Recent Exam Questions

A page of recent questions in all sections of the IELTS test reported by students. Although the words in the essay questions can be changed, the issues and topics often remain the same.

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers lessons, videos and more.

IELTS Essay Topics with Answers (Writing Task 2)

September 16, 2018 By bw

IELTS Topics are extensive, and consistently finding answers for them takes practice. Below I share how I produce an essay, including thinking of ideas, building paragraphs and planning.

How to Get Ideas For Topics

Sometimes you see a question and your mind goes completely blank. This is such a common problem that we have a full chapter in this course dedicated to solving it.

Here is a very brief method I have taught for years that helps solve this exact problem, for the complete tutorial click here.

  1. Make sure your head is full of ideas for every type of question.
    Work through lists of task 2 questions.
    Specifically practise making quick essay plans / answers – they need to be made quickly to simulate exam conditions.
  2. If you find you have no idea what to write then research online. For example, imagine you got a question about the environment / climate warming, you go to google and research and read about that exact topic.
  3. Then go back to the question and try making a plan.
  4. Try to simplify the question in your mind, cut through to the minimum – this will make the task clearer. For example this question:
    Some people give praise to famous scientists and mathematicians. Others think more highly of literary authors and artists than scientists or mathematicians. Which group of professionals do you regard more highly and why? Include specific details and examples to support your choice.
  5. Could be crudely simplified to:
    Who are better? Scientists or authors?
    Yes, this is an oversimplification , but it will get your brain started in the right direction, especially if your mind has gone blank.

Recent IELTS exam questions with answers
A full and comprehensive archive of recent IELTS exam questions with answers can be found in the comments section below.

IELTS writing task 2 structure
Structure is quite essential when writing a fully relevant and well formatted essay. In the IELTS they are especially looking for how coherent your essay is, to see how you can better structure yours for success click here.

Vocabulary for IELTS writing task 2 band 8
Achieving a band 8 score in the IELTS is not impossible, it just needs preparation and a variation of vocabulary to help showcase your English skills. We have compiled a list of helpful vocabulary you might want to incorporate to your own.

IELTS writing task 2 introduction phrases
Introducing your essay is the first way to grab and hold the attention and good impression of the marker. Take a look at some introduction phrases here to help you do just that.

2018 Topics and Answers

TECHNOLOGY

Some people think that robots are important for human’s future development. Others think that robots have negative effects on society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Definitely important, true, big advances, productivity, intelligence, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc

Can have negative effects –
Unemployment – automation – loss of jobs – safe nets need to be in place – welfare system etc
Even death of citizens – Tesla accident autonomous driving –

Conc: there are too many advantages to ignore, we cannot forego these advances however more precaution and govt. Legislation could be wise.

SOCIETY

Some people think that new houses should be built in the same style as older houses in the local area. Others disagree and say that local authorities should allow people to build houses in the styles of their own choice. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Yes, should be in the same style, keeps property values higher, uniformity, conformity, and cohesion –

EG certain villages in prosperous parts of England such as Cheshire, The Cotswolds, and Howarth have extreme rules because the areas have immense cultural heritage. To place a modern MacDonald’s style restaurant in one of these areas would be tantamount to architectural vandalism .

-Great idea! Innovates an area, introduces new flavours, styles and ideas into stale and old areas. Your house can reflect your personality. You can make it more environmentally friendly. You can install technical innovations. Solar panels, or even solar cells in roof tiles, available from Elon Musk’s company.

Conc: both are viable and fair, the caveat is that the law should be clear from the beginning and be permanent – changing it would be extremely unfair.

SPORTS

Some people spend a lot of money attending cultural or sports events. Is it a good or a bad thing? Give your opinion and examples from your own experience.

BODY PARAGRAPH 1
Definitely a good development, gives something for people to aspire to. It also most likely begets higher revenues for the performers and promoters , which should ultimately lead to a even more events. This undoubtedly leads to greater monetary and cultural wealth for a society. Take for example the English Premier League (EPL), this entertainment spectacle has brought considerable wealth into cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and London. Higher ticket prices lead to better wages for football stars, which lead to more quality players wanting to play in the EPL, leading to a considerable increase in high net-worth individuals residing in these cities. There has undoubtedly been a positive self-fulfilling cycle of improvement and quality, fuelled by increasing prices. Furthermore high prices will most likely mean higher tax revenues for the government, this is definitely beneficial for society.

P2 – Same, but apply to a cultural event – ballet – opera.

IELTS Sample Essays

Here you will find IELTS Sample Essays for a variety of common topics that appear in the writing exam.

The model answers all have tips and strategies for how you may approach the question and comments on the sample answer.

Looking at IELTS essay topics with answers is a great way to help you to prepare for the test.

IELTS Sample Essays

These IELTS sample essays have been categorised in a way that makes it easy for you to see how certain essay question types require you to provide certain responses to ensure the question is fully answered.

Specifically these are:

  • Agree / Disagree
  • Discuss Two Opinions
  • Causes
  • Problems and Solutions
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Other Types

Agree / Disagree Type Questions

In these types of question you are given one opinion and you then have to state the extent to which you agree or disagree with that opinion:

Discuss Two Opinions Type Questions

In this essay question type you are given two opinions, and you have to discuss both of these and then give your own view:

Cause Type Questions

There are a variety of ’cause type’ essay questions. In these you first have to give the reasons why something has happened, in other words the causes, but then discuss a different aspect of it, such as the effects, solutions or the extent to whether it is a positive or negative development:

Causes & Effects:

Causes and Solutions:

Causes, Pros & Cons:

Problems & Solutions Type Questions

In these type of questions, instead of discussing the causes of a problem, you need to discuss the problems related to a particular issue in society, and then suggest what can be to solve these problems:

Advantage & Disadvantages Type Questions

In these type of questions you are asked to discuss the positive and negative sides of a particular topic:

Other Types of Question

There are sometimes questions that don’t fit easily into a particular category. You can view some IELTS sample essays for these here:

Student Sample Essays

For more IELTS essay topics with answers you can also view essays that have been written by students in the Essay Feedback Forum: