IELTS WRITING TASK 2 [Agree or disagree]: Truth in Relationships

Jul 18, 2023 | IELTS Test

The mock essay below addresses the very common Agree/Disagree task type. As you read through, think about how it fully meets the task requirement by giving a clear opinion; presenting a number of relevant ideas; and how it maintains an advanced level of vocabulary with frequent higher-level, less common terms (fundamental, critical, allowance, implications, acknowledged, anticipated etc). Over-repetition of key terms is avoided (see how we substitute honest/honesty for truth in places), and there are a number of collocations (basic requirement, smooth functioning, delivery date, thought-provoking, general rule etc) which an examiner would note in awarding a high score.

Remember how the To what extent…. wording always gives us the option to take a position along the Scale of Agreement other than completely Agree/Disagree at the extremes. In this case, our position could be summarised as Mostly Disagree.

There is also a variety of grammar forms, with frequent longer, complex sentences, but inclusion of some shorter, simple structures too, e.g This was not always done in the past.

Note too the use of passive verb forms (need to be able, are expected, may be seen etc) through several parts of the text.

The essay is structured here in a five-paragraph format as follows:

Introduction: paraphrasing the topic and question; giving a clear opinion. 1st Body Paragraph: presenting the Agree side of the issue, with an example. 2nd Body Paragraph: extending the Agree argument with a further example.

3rd Body Paragraph: presenting the other side of the issue with examples in the form of rhetorical questions. Conclusion: reinforcing the author’s opinion as stated in the Introduction.

IELTS Practice Question

image of couple holding hands

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship between people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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

Write at least 250 words.

Mock IELTS Task 2 Answer

Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship between people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Fundamental honesty between people is a basic requirement for a functioning society. Whether this means that always being truthful in any relationship is the most critical consideration, however, is debatable. There are some occasions when this may actually cause more harm than good.

On the one hand, people need to be able to rely on basic facts. In many relationships such as in business and dealing with officialdom, we expect that others will tell us truthfully what we need to know. For example, if we are someone’s business customer, we must be able to rely on the promised delivery date of materials as this affects the smooth functioning of our own business and our relationships with our own clients. If there is a problem, we need our supplier to be honest and tell us, in order to make allowance in some way for late delivery, or source from an alternative supplier.

As another example, consider how doctors are expected to tell patients of the full implications of a serious health condition. This was not always done in the past,. Now, though, it is generally acknowledged to be much better for people to fully understand their situation and the possible options for treatments and anticipated outcomes.

Nevertheless, there are situations, especially between friends and romantic partners where a ‘white lie’ can spare the other’s feelings. If a friend strongly urges us to see a movie which they thought was excellent, would we really say after we saw it that it was terrible, or would we instead say it was perhaps interesting or thought-provoking? If our partner asked what we thought of their new hairdo, or new suit, would we necessarily tell them we did not like it at all?

In conclusion, while ‘honesty is the best policy’ is a commendable general rule, it may not always be advisable. Avoiding hurting the feelings of those we cherish may be seen as equally important.

(321 words)

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