Thursday, 15 October 2015

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

The two bar charts compare what British graduates and postgraduates did in 2008 after graduation.

The first bar chart shows that almost 30,000 UK graduate students decided to continue their education in 2008 after leaving college. Those who opted for part-time work or were without a job after graduation ranged between 16,000 and 18,000. Only 3,500 graduates chose to spend their time doing voluntary work.

Almost 30,000 post graduate students went on for further studies in 2008 and approximately 200 less were engaged in part-time work. A little over 1,500 postgraduates did not have work. Finally, very few university leavers, that is, 345 chose voluntary work.

Most graduates and undergraduates continued with their studies and not that many of them opted to volunteer. Both types of students found part-time work rather than being unemployed. The difference between part-time work and unemployment was smaller among graduates than it was for postgraduates.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p.77

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 2

Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products anywhere in the world.
Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Globalisation and the improvement in transportation means that it is possible to purchase the same brands wherever you are. Franchise stores are available worldwide, for example it is possible to buy an identical dress in Beijing, Cape Town and Berlin.

Unfortunately being identical means that a country loses its own distinct identity and what makes it different from all the others. Local products disappear from the market and are replaced by mass produced ones. This trend also means industries that used to produce traditional products shut down and all production takes place from a central location.

On a positive note this trend may eliminate differences and discrimination as it allows everyone equal opportunities to access products irrespective of where they come from. In this way they can keep up with international fashion and what is popular globally. For example, when the next leading mobile phone model comes into the market everyone will be able to own one by going to their local shopping centre. Manufacturers benefit from international sales and a single large market. This saving in costs might be passed onto the consumer in the form of lower costs.

I'm afraid that if we all own the same products, countries and consumers will no longer be unique. Although we might have cheaper products and our favourite brands are readily available, we stand to lose our multiculturalism, our individuality and our difference. If we all dress the same, eat the same food, drive the same cars, speak on the same phones etc the world will lose its charm.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p.78

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 1

The three stages in the life cycle of a salmon are shown in the diagram.

The first stage of the process begins with the adult salmon laying its eggs in the reeds among the small stones. These reeds are located in the upper river which is slow moving. It takes around 5 to 6 months for the eggs to hatch.

The young fry measure between 3 to 8 cm and swim to the lower river which is fast flowing. They inhabit this area for approximately 4 years in which their sizes increases to between 12 and 15 cm.

The smolt then swims to the open sea and remains there for around 5 years. In this environment it reaches its full adult size of 70-76 cm. It is now referred to as salmon in this stage of development and makes its journey back to the upper river in order to lay eggs once again.

We can see that salmon live in three different areas during their life time increasing in size in each habitat. The whole process from egg to adult takes around nine and a half years.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p.101

IELTS Academic Writing - Task 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?

Visiting museums is a way of learning about a country's history, culture, art and way of life. Entrance fees depend on the type of exhibit and museum and so vary from museum to museum.

Some people believe that there should be no admission fee making museums available to all not just to those who can afford it. This will increase traffic to museums and visitors can gain valuable knowledge for free. Others might feel its unfair to pay a price to see their own cultural heritage. After all, what is housed in a museum is part of their past. Many national museums are considered public and therefore free of charge.

On the other hand, one must not forget that there are many expenses involved in looking after a museum. Electricity bills need to be paid, staff wages, maintenance fees etc. The entrance fee usually covers these costs. In addition, if someone pays for something they usually appreciate and value it more. Art and history lovers and visitors who are genuinely interested in what a museum has to offer are willing to pay a price to see it. Charging visitors for admission also increases the value of the items on display.

I believe there should be an admission fee to museums in order for them to continue to operate by covering their expenses and offering a valuable experience to people who appreciate museums. There should also be concessions to the local population, students, retired people and the unemployed to make it attractive and affordable for them to visit if they wish to do so.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p. 102

Saturday, 10 October 2015

IELTS General Training Writing - Task 2

In many countries, the amount of crime is increasing.

What do you think are the main causes of crime?

How can we deal with those causes?

Crime is on the rise in several countries. There are many reasons for this, the most obvious being poverty. If someone lives in an inner city area under difficult circumstances they might be drawn to crime. They might steal to survive. In case they are unemployed they might break into houses or shops to steal products to sell on the black market. Coming from a broken home is another reason why young people turn to crime. Absent parents, hanging out with bad friends or joining neighbourhood gangs, not going to school, addiction to drugs and alcohol are all factors that lead to a rise in crime. So economic factors, a person's family, environment and lack of education or opportunities might be contributing factors.

In order to deal with these issues certain measures can be taken. Firstly, the government can work with local companies to train young people and provide them with job opportunities to get them off the streets. Secondly, schools should try to motivate students to continue their education and not drop out. Having a high school education keeps a person focused and increases their chances of employment. Unfortunately it is very difficult for the government to get involved in the way a person raises their family. In cases where children have a violent upbringing, social services should speed up the process of proving help to victims, moving them to safer environments. This may reduce their chances of turning to crime when they are older. Finally, the government might take a different approach and enforce stricter punishments for those who break the law. This might make criminals think twice before committing a crime. 

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10, p.116

IELTS General Training Writing - Task 1

You are going to another country to study. You would like to do a part-time job while you are studying, so you want to ask a friend who lives there for some help.

Write a letter to this friend. In your letter

  • give details of your study plans
  • explain why you want to get a part-time job
  • suggest how your friend could help you find a job

Dear Denise,

I've got some great news. I'm coming to Shanghai in September to study Finance. I'll be doing a 3 year degree at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. If I manage to get through that I might stay on to do a Master's degree.

I would also like to find a part-time job to get some work experience and improve my Mandarin. This would look impressive on my CV when applying for a future job especially if the position was in a well-known international company. I would have the opportunity to increase my connections and network with important people which is necessary in my field of work.

I hope you will be able to help me find a part-time job. I know you have been working at HSBC for quite a while now and I was wondering if you know of any openings for students or internships. If you hear of any positions advertised by any of your clients please let me know.

I'm so excited about coming to Shanghai and I can't wait to see you.

Best Wishes,


Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p.116

IELTS General Training Writing - Task 2

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?

Today parents purchase many toys for their children for various reasons. They may wish to reward their children, feel pressure to keep up with what is popular or may feel guilty that they don't spend enough time with their family. Often toys are not only given on special occasions but on a weekly basis resulting in an excess of toys.

Having many toys means that children can develop a variety of skills especially if the toys are educational. They can improve their imagination, general knowledge, co-ordination, balance etc. Secondly, children enjoy playing games as this keeps them amused and occupied for long periods because they have many toys to choose from. Finally, a child may be more willing to share toys with others if they have many of them.

On the other hand, children don't appreciate toys if they have a large number of them. They will play with a new toy for a couple of hours and then forget about it. This will also increase their expectations and will pressure their parents to keep buying them new toys. In other words, they are never satisfied and learn how to be materialistic. Secondly, children don't need so many toys. It is better for them to play outdoors with their friends where they learn to be social, use their imagination to invent new games as well as exercise. What they need instead of toys is their parents to dedicate time to them in order to strengthen family bonds so they can become balanced individuals.

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p.129

IELTS General Training Writing - Task 1

You and some friends ate a meal at a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion and you were very pleased with the food and service.

Write a letter to the restaurant manager. In your letter

  • give details of your visit to the restaurant
  • explain the reason for the celebration
  • say what was good about the food and the service

Dear Mr Chen,

Last week we booked a table at 8 pm at the Red Dragon for thirty of our friends to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had asked for special seating arrangements and a set menu. Our requests were met and I am writing to thank you and your staff for making the occasion so memorable for us.

We have never celebrated our anniversary in the past. However as we have been married for so long we decided it would be a great idea to share our happiness with our family and friends who have been so supportive all these years.

All our guests were impressed with the quality of the food. The vegetables were fresh, the duck crispy and the sauces delicious. The complimentary dessert was appreciated by all. Your jasmine tea and chicken soup were refreshing. The good service did not go unnoticed. Your well-trained staff were quick to serve us and were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the content of each dish.

We will definitely be recommending your restaurant to our colleagues and suggesting that we have our office functions there.

Yours Sincerely,

Jack Ma

Question taken from Cambridge IELTS 10 p.129