How to Prepare for IELTS Writing Task 2?

IELTS Writing Task 2 is the second task of your Writing test. Here, you will be presented with an essay topic for which you have to produce a formal piece of composition writing in response. You need to write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes as task 2 is worth 2/3rd of your writing marks.

You must bear in mind the four criteria your score will be based on – task response, grammar, coherence and cohesion, and vocabulary.

In general, the most common IELTS Writing Task 2 questions are:

  1. Opinion (Agree or Disagree)
  2. Advantages and Disadvantages
  3. Problem and Solution
  4. Discussion (Discuss both view)
  5. Two-part Question

And typically, there are 10 general topics that come up more often than others. They are:

Health, Environment, Education, Development, Globalization, Public Transport, Criminal Justice, Youth Crime, Technology, Government Spending.

Writing your essay:

An essay that will take you 40 minutes to write, can be written in 25 minutes if you spend 5 to 7 minutes to plan first. The more you practice, the faster you will become (tried and true). Your goal should be to allow enough time for these three things:

Planning – 5 – 7 minutes

Writing – 25 – 32 minutes

Checking – 5 minutes

Keep five to seven minutes as a realistic target for brainstorming and planning. After you have done the planning, it’s time to plunge into the writing part.

Similar to task 1, task 2 also requires you to follow a basic outline and bring together your response paragraph by paragraph.

ielts writing task 2

Step 1 – Introduction

Introductions can be short and concise with two sentences. The two parts should be comprised of:

Topic Sentence – In the first sentence of your introduction, you simply need to paraphrase the topic stated in your question.

Thesis statement – The thesis statement articulates the main idea of your essay. It also presents the main ideas of each body paragraph that are followed afterwards. You must answer the essay question precisely in your thesis.

Step 2 – Body – 2/3 paragraphs.

The body paragraphs are your chance to illustrate the thesis. Each body para should present one main point. Describe the main idea with supporting details and examples.

Step 3 – Conclusion

Finally, paraphrase the thesis statement to close your essay in not more than two sentences.

Now, let’s dig into a couple of band 9 sample answers for more clarity on the approach.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 1:

ielts writing task 2 gradbunker


Some parents may worry that pushing their children towards a particular career could be harmful. While I agree it is unwise to predetermine a child’s profession, parents should still offer guidance through open communication.

Young people need freedom to make choices, especially when it comes to their careers. Even parents who agree with this idea may still feel some anxiety about it. Ultimately, most parents hope their children will be financially secure. Deep down some parents may also want their children to choose prestigious careers, or jobs that will impact society in some way. These wishes are normal and not necessarily harmful. Yet, it can be problematic if these desires turn into firm expectations. In such cases, the main motivation for a child becomes fear of disappointing her parents. It can lead to resentment if she spends her life doing something she doesn’t enjoy. With freedom to explore, by contrast, she can take ownership of her career decisions and develop internal motivation to reach her goals.

Yet, offering a child freedom does not imply that parents should be absent. To the contrary, parents should strive to foster open communication about career decisions. If a child’s aspirations do not line up with his parents’ wishes, he may fear that approaching them could lead to judgment and confrontation. However, if he feels that his parents will listen carefully and maintain an open attitude, he may let down his guard and welcome their feedback. When this happens, parents can provide guidance and, importantly, even critiques of their child’s plans. In this way, open communication creates opportunities for young people to benefit from their parents’ wisdom and experience.

In conclusion, even though parents should avoid pressuring their children to follow specific career paths, they should not abandon the discussion. Parents should strive to create an environment where they can offer caring guidance through open communication.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 2:

Many museums charge for admission while others are free. Do you think the advantages of charging people for admission to museums outweigh the disadvantages?


Some museums have an admission charge while some do not. In my opinion, the drawbacks of an entrance fee are eclipsed by its benefits in the sense that the income will be ploughed back into operation and development of the museums.

A major disadvantage of an admission fee is the possibility of reducing the number of visitors. Museums house exhibitions and artefacts of great educational and historical value. If the chief aim of a museum is to introduce the local community, admission should be free to the public and visitors. Take some folk museums in Hong Kong, which preserve historic relics and display folk customs, for example. Admission to these folk museums, which are often monuments, is free of charge. If they had charged an entrance fee, many might have turned to other activities.

Granted, an entrance fee might have a negative effect on the admission figures, but an income is favorable to museums in terms of operation. Museums feature educational exhibitions at times, and this could not have been done without a sum of money expended on hiring professionals and buying equipment. The Hong Kong Space Museum, for instance, has monthly exhibitions on different issues and professional docents are employed to take visitors on a guided tour around the museum. This example speaks volumes about how a reasonable admission charge is advantageous to the operation of a museum.

In conclusion, the disadvantages of an admission fee are overshadowed by the benefits accruing from a stable source of income. Therefore, having weighed up the pros and cons, I am convinced that museums should charge an entrance fee for the sake of operation and development.

Resources for IELTS Writing Task 2:

There are tons of materials for IELTS preparation available online but I would recommend you to initiate with ‘IELTS Academic Test Preparation’, an online course on edX (for free!).

Next, the only books you need for your preparation are the IELTS Cambridge books 6 to 17 (17 being the most recent). You will find authentic IELTS test papers in these books. Each book contains four IELTS practice tests. You do not need to go through 1 to 5, those are old materials.

For tips and techniques, ‘IELTS Advantage’ has great materials that include full lessons, sample answers and hints. If you desire a more visual approach to learning, IELTS examiner ‘IELTSLiz’ demonstrates her lessons with instructive and educational videos.

Everything considered, the most important strategy for IELTS writing is all about the structure. If you learn the right tactics and apply them in your writing, you will certainly achieve a band 7+ in the writing component. In a nutshell, you must have a good grasp over the format of IELTS in order to attain your desired score.

Hope this helps. For writing task 1, we have published another article. Good luck with your preparation! If you have questions regarding the subject, please let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: No A.I. was used to generate any portion of this content.

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