Monday, 30 March 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 2

Car ownership has increased so rapidly over the past 30 years that many cities in the world are now ‘one big traffic jam’. How true do you think this statement is? What measures can governments take to discourage people from using their cars?

Excessive traffic can be seen in mega cities such as Beijing, Mumbai and Lagos. This is because the standard of living has increased in certain countries in Africa and Asia resulting in more people being able to afford to buy a car. In the past other forms of transport such as bicycles were popular but today people’s preference for cars has meant that traffic congestion is on the rise. This also means that the level of pollution has increased dramatically.

If the government promotes alternative means of transport, this might convince people to stop buying and using cars. Having an efficient and cheap public transport system should reduce traffic on roads. Using bicycles is a healthy and environmentally friendly way of moving around a city. In fact some cities such as Amsterdam favour this type of transport. The government could pave certain areas in the city in order to ban the use of cars in those locations or they can build bicycle lanes and rental areas for bikes.

On the other hand, the government might opt for more drastic measures. They can impose heavy taxes on new cars thus making them too expensive to buy or increasing the price of fuel so that using a car becomes a luxury. An efficient method is used in London whereby drivers pay a fee to drive their cars to the centre. Camera’s read a car’s number plates and at the end of the month they are billed for using their cars in a congested area.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p. 205

Sunday, 29 March 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

The line graph shows the monthly temperatures in London, New York and Sydney on average per month while the table displays the hours of sunshine in these 3 cities.

To begin with, low temperatures are recorded from November to January in New York, that is, less than 100 . Temperatures rise in this city from March to July by 200, then drop to 150 in October. A similar pattern can be observed in London. From December to April it is below 150, while from June to August, temperatures are between 200 and 150. In October and November it starts getting colder with drops in temperature from 180 to 100. Sydney is fairly warm with the coldest month being July (160). From November to March, temperatures are stable at around 250. From April to July there is a drop from 250 to 160 and from July to October temperatures rise from 160 to 240.

New York is the sunniest city with 2,535 annual hours of sunshine followed by Sydney with 62 days less. London ranks third with 1,180 hours of sunshine per year.

To conclude, July is the hottest month in New York and London but in Sydney it is the coldest. Sydney's temperature follows a different pattern to the other two cities. New York has the most sunshine every year whilst London has the least hours.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.188

Thursday, 26 March 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 2

The internet allows us to stay connected with each other no matter where we are. On the other hand, it also isolates us and encourages people not to socialise.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements?

The internet has made the world smaller and has allowed users to keep in touch with each other irrespective of their location. Wi-fi, 3G and 4G technology now allows users to be logged in at all times.

People have a need to be connected with their family and friends and the internet serves this purpose. It allows us to communicate with people who are living or studying abroad and keep up-to-date with their daily lives through updates and photos. This is a great improvement and benefit when compared to the past, before the internet existed. People could only keep in touch by letters or expensive international phone calls. It was easy to lose touch with someone and it put a strain on relationships.

On the other hand, the internet does not encourage real human interaction. People do not make an effort to go out and meet new people because they have all their social life nicely packaged on a small, portable device. It is much easier, faster and less intimidating to stay at home sending messages rather than trying to get outside your comfort zone. It is for this reason that many believe that the internet isolates people.

Globalisation has meant that many more family members and friends are scattered around the globe. It is a blessing to be able to maintain contact with the people that matter the most. However, in the case of making new friends and establishing new contacts, I don't think it's a wise idea to do so via the internet.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.129

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

The bar chart shows the percentage of British adults who donate to charity in two time periods.

In 1990, 42% of 36-50 year olds give money to charity. This is the greatest percentage on the chart. A little over 10% less is given by the next age category (51-56). About 30% of the 26-35 and >65 offer money to charity while only 17% of the youngest age group do so.

Ten years later, there is an increase in the percentage of those aged 51-65 contributing, resulting in almost 40% in this age group. 35% of 36-50 and >65 donate to charities in 2010. 24% of the 26-35 year olds give to charity which is 7% less than 10 years earlier. Finally, only 7% of those aged 18-25 donate money. This is the lowest percentage on the chart.

As we can see, in 1990 it was mostly the 36-50 category that gave a monetary contribution while in 2010 it was mostly the 51-65 year olds who gave money to charity. Fewer members of the youngest age group donated in both years.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.171

Saturday, 21 March 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

West Park Secondary School built to the south of the main road has undergone some changes since it was constructed in 1950.

The school was initially built near some houses, playground and farmland. The houses were to the left of the school. The farmland was behind the houses while the playground was attached to the school. Thirty years later, a science block was built and added to the main school building. The houses were replaced by a car park. While the playground remained the same the farmland was turned into a sports field.

In 2010, the car park became considerably larger while the sports field was halved and the playground was reduced slightly. The school buildings did not change.

To conclude, over a thirty year period the whole area south of the main road was dedicated to the school. The houses and farmland made way for a large car park and a small sports field. The school buildings also expanded.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.205

Sunday, 15 March 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

Many developments have taken place in the town centre since 1700.

To begin with, the roads have been widened, traffic lights inserted at Steggle Road and there is now a roundabout and pedestrian crossing in Market Street. Market Street has been extended southwards.

While the river and bridge remain the same, Steggle Farm in the South and the fields South of the High Street no longer exist. New houses , shops as well as a supermarket have now been built.

Market Square and the church in the centre of the town remain the same while the hotel has increased in size. North of the centre, Goode Farm has been replaced by a large car park and houses. Finally, to the right of Market Street, the stables are now a block of flats and many more houses have been built.

To conclude, the town centre today has been modernised, with wider, organised roads. Farms and fields have made way for housing and many more buildings.

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p. 110

Linking ideas - Cohesion

Connecting similar ideas: similarly, furthermore, in addition, not only....but also, also

Connecting different ideas: but, in spite of, however, although, on the other hand, while, whereas, despite

Clarifying an idea: in other words, that is, in fact

Giving examples: for example, such as, for instance

Giving a reason or conclusion: therefore, because of, as a result, consequently, so

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training p.382

Sunday, 1 March 2015

IELTS General Training - Writing (Task 1)

You rent a four-bedroom house, which you share with two other students. However, there are several problems with this house that need fixing. You also find it expensive and would like to find another student to share the spare bedroom. 

Write a letter to the estate agency. In the letter

  • explain the situation
  • describe the problems with the house
  • say what you would like to happen

Dear Sir or Madam,

I rent a four-bedroom house with two other students at 24 Orchard Road.  My contract is with your agency. I am writing to bring to your attention some problems I am experiencing with the building.

Firstly, we do not have any hot water as the thermostat in the bathroom does not appear to be working.  As a result we are forced to have a shower with cold water.  Another problem we are facing is with the freezer. The device that controls the temperature does not function well, so we cannot store any of our food there.  Finally, regarding the rent, we feel that it is slightly expensive and as students we are struggling to pay it.

As our contract covers repairs to the house we would appreciate it if you could arrange for a technician to come and repair the thermostat and refrigerator. We would also like to know if it is possible for you to arrange to find an additional student to share the spare room. This will lower the rent for everyone and will make it more affordable.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Owens

Question taken from The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training.p.114