IELTS Writing Task 2 Question Types

Jun 23, 2019 | IELTS Test, IELTS Writing

Many IELTS textbooks and websites describe 4-5 IELTS Writing Task 2 question types.

In reality, IELTS exam writers word their questions in many more ways.

Nevertheless, dividing IELTS Writing Task 2 questions into several types can help us to understand the requirements of each question…

1. Agree/Disagree Questions

This type of question tends to present you with a statement and then asks you if you agree or disagree.

The four-paragraph model provides the most straightforward and best way to answer this question….

Introduction: with your position/opinion
Body Paragraph 1: With a reason why you agree or disagree
Body Paragraph 2: With a reason why you agree or disagree
Conclusion: with your position/opinion

A typical agree/disagree question begins with a statement …

Many people believe that the important things in life are free and cannot be bought.

A question follows the statement …

Do you agree or disagree?

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Whichever wording you receive; your approach you should use the same method.

Our video courses go into more detail about how you should answer this IELTS Writing task 2 question type.

2. Development Questions: Advantages and Disadvantages or Positives and Negatives

This kind of question tends to present you with a modern-day development and then asks if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

As usual, the question begins with a statement which in this case presents a typical development…

These days many people have access to a computer and the internet and so work from home.

The question which follows the statement has several possible wordings…

Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Do you think the benefits of working from home outweigh the disadvantages?

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Does working from home have more advantages or more disadvantages?

Is this a positive or negative development?

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Whichever wording you receive; you will answer the question in the same way.

This kind of question suits the 5-paragraph model…

Body Paragraph 1: One Advantage or disadvantage
Body Paragraph 2: One Advantage or disadvantage
Body Paragraph 3: One Advantage or disadvantage

For more information and a walkthrough of how to answer an advantage/disadvantage essay, purchase one of our video courses.

3. Discuss Both Views

This question type has the most consistent wording.

The opening statement introduces contrasting viewpoints or opinions. The following question asks you to discuss them…

Some people believe that everyone should be given a monthly sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status. Others say that only the poorest in society should be given state support.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

A four-paragraph model usually works best for this kind of question. You should give one point of view in each body paragraph. As with all question types, you should give your own opinion right from the introduction.

4. Two-part Questions

As usual, the question begins with a statement. This time two questions follow the statement.

They look something like this…

It has been said that society is to blame for increasing youth crime.

What is causing this trend?
Who should be responsible for dealing with it?

Again, I would recommend following a four-paragraph model here. Each body paragraph should answer one of the questions.

5. And There Are More IELTS Writing Task 2 Question Types

IELTS Writing Task 2 questions have many more alternative wordings. They do not have to follow the above formats – although most do.

At the end of the day, you should just do what the question asks you.

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