Top 100 Phrases for IELTS Writing Test

Top 100 Phrases for IELTS Writing Test

If you are taking the IELTS Writing Test, it is beneficial to have some key phrases in handy to assist you in getting a high band score. 

Expanding your IELTS Writing vocabulary is a good idea, but it is even more crucial to write naturally and articulately to get the best results. 

Phrases like ‘It can extend a person’s horizon,’ ‘The essence of the debate is, and ‘very debatable’ is now regarded as ‘ scripted phrases,’ and using them in your IELTS Writing Test will only result in you losing marks.

To ace the IELTS Writing Test, you will need to use essential words and phrases to convey the points you want to make in an articulate, intelligent, and compelling manner. 

While we do not encourage you to memorize phrases, having a better comprehension of the terms that should be used in an academic writing test will help you build the vocabulary that will quickly improve your marks in the IELTS Writing Test. 

Continue reading and learn the most effective and common phrases in IELTS Writing to give you the band score that will be your ultimate ticket to achieving your dreams of studying, working, or living abroad. 

What is the IELTS Writing Task?

Linking structures and cohesive devices, connecting words for both ielts tasks, vocabulary to use in writing task 1, general training test: vocabulary to write letters, vocabulary to use in ielts writing task 2 (both academic and general training), ielts writing sample responses, ielts academic writing test : word lists, commonly confused words in the english language, tricks to learn and remember english vocabulary, additional faqs on ielts writing test.

The IELTS Writing Test is one of the four sections in the IELTS Test , the other three being Speaking , Listening , and Reading Tests. 

It is different for the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training modules, but both tests have two tasks to be completed. It lasts about 60 minutes, and you are advised to spend only 20 minutes on the first task because the second task has more weight. 

The first task in the IELTS Academic Writing Test requires you to describe and explain the information given in either a graph, chart, map, table, or diagram. 

On the other hand, Task 1 of the IELTS General Training Writing Test asks you to compose a letter responding to a situation and requesting information and explanation. You should write at least 150 words in IELTS Writing Task 1 . 

Moreover, the second task in the IELTS Academic Writing and IELTS General Training Writing is the same. You need to respond to a point of view, problem, or argument by writing an essay. You need at least 250 words in IELTS Writing Task 2 . 

The IELTS Writing Task will be marked on the following criteria: grammar and sentence structure, vocabulary utilization, task response, and coherence and cohesion. 

Each contributes 25% to the overall score. Over the years, examiners have been impressed by candidates’ vocabulary and mastery of syntax but frustrated by how incoherently one sentence flows into the next.

Learn how to use linking structures and cohesive devices below:

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 1?

Academic test:.

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 for:

  • transitioning from a description of one visual to the next
  • comparing and contrasting the key features of the visuals
  • pointing out and emphasizing details of the visuals 

General Training Test:

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 for:

  • describing the problem or situation 
  • transitioning from one viewpoint to the next
  • explaining your requests

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2?

Academic and general training:.

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS Writing Task 2 for:

  • presenting your opinion
  • transitioning from one paragraph to the next
  • providing reasons
  • giving examples
  • explaining conditions and consequences of different scenarios 

To get higher marks in the IELTS Writing Test, more linking words are required. To achieve coherence and cohesion, you must employ a variety of phrases to connect one thought to the next, allowing the reader to follow your reasoning. 

Here are the most effective and common phrases in the IELTS Writing Test:

Transitional Words

  • In addition…
  • Furthermore…
  • Additionally…
  • On top of that…

Cause and effect

  • As a result…
  • Accordingly…
  • Consequently…
  • On that account…
  • For that reason…


  • In contrast…
  • Alternatively…
  • Nevertheless…
  • On the other hand…
  • In the end…
  • To sum up… 
  • To conclude…
  • To summarize…
  • In conclusion…
  • As long as…
  • Provided that…
  • Supposing that…
  • On the condition that…
  • Especially…
  • In particular…
  • Particularly…
  • Importantly…
  • Without a doubt…
  • To illustrate…
  • For instance…
  • For example…
  • The best example is…
  • A very good example is…
  • I concur that…
  • I agree that….
  • I think/feel/believe that…
  • Personally, I feel that…
  • As far as I am concerned…
  • From my point of view…
  • In spite of…
  • Admittedly…
  • Even though…
  • First of all…
  • To start with…
  • Thirdly/fourthly/etc…

Academic Test:  Vocabulary to Describe Graphs

Introducing the graph

The graph/table/pie chart/bar chart/diagram…

  • illustrates …
  • explains why …
  • describes …
  • gives information about/on …
  • provides information about/on …

Changes in the graph

  • a growth of…
  • a surge of…
  • a decrease in…
  • a decline in…
  • a fluctuation in…
  • a variation in…
  • dramatically
  • significantly
  • considerably
  • significant
  • considerable
  • substantial

1. Introduction of the Letter

  • I am writing to inform you that …
  • I am writing to ask/inquire …
  • I am writing with regard to …
  • I am writing in connection with …
  • I am writing with reference to …
  • It’s been a long time. I am writing to…
  • I’m simply writing to inform you that…
  • I haven’t seen you in a long time.
  • Please accept my apologies for not writing in such a long time. I’ve been quite busy…

2. Body of the Letter

Asking for information.

  • I’d like for you to…
  • Could let me know if…
  • I’d appreciate it if you could…
  • I’m hoping you could inform me…
  • I’d like to seek your opinion on…


  • This letter is to express my dissatisfaction…
  • I’m writing to express my displeasure with…
  • I’m writing to voice my disappointment with…
  • I’m writing to tell you that I am disappointed… 

Expressing Gratitude

  • I am thankful for…
  • I’m very grateful for…
  • I very much appreciated…
  • I’d like to thank you very much for…


  • I really regret that/about…
  • Please accept my apologies for…
  • I’d like to express my regret for…
  • Please accept my sincere apologies for…

Giving Advice

  • You should…
  • You ought to…
  • Why don’t you…
  • If I were you, I’d…

Giving Suggestion

  • If you like, I can…
  • Do you want me to…
  • What do you think about…
  • I believe it would be fantastic if you…

3. Closing of the Letter

  • I eagerly await your response.
  • Thank you so much for your assistance.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
  • I’m hoping for a quick resolution to the matter.
  • Please do not hesitate to call me if you need any additional information.
  • Please stay in contact!
  • I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
  • Thanks a lot for your assistance, send me a message soon.
  • Anyway, I have to leave now. If you need additional details, please write again.

Vocabulary to Write Essays

Expressing Opinions

  • I’d argue that… 
  • In my opinion…
  • Personally, I believe…
  • It appears to me that… 
  • I have to admit that…
  • As far as I can tell…
  • As for me, I believe…
  • That is something I cannot deny…
  • I’d like to emphasize that…
  • In my personal experience…

Proving Arguments

  • This is testified by…
  • This is evidenced by…
  • This establishes that…
  • This is attested/proven by…

Expressing General Point of View

  • It is commonly stated that…
  • According to popular belief…
  • It is commonly assumed that…
  • It is generally assumed that…
  • It is largely agreed upon that…
  • It’s a widely held assumption that…

Outlining Facts

  • It is evident that …
  • The truth is that …
  • It is obvious that …
  • This shows that …
  • There is no doubt that …

Giving Examples

  • As an example…
  • Take for instance…
  • We can see this in…
  • A good illustration of this is…
  • Evidence for this is manifested in…
  • To summarize… 
  • In conclusion… 
  • In general…
  • On balance… 
  • Taking everything into account…

Additional Reading: IELTS Grammar

  • Top 100 IELTS Phrasal Verbs
  • Grammar for IELTS Exam: Complete Guide
  • 50 Useful Phrases for the IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS Writing Test is by no means easy. Most candidates would agree that this part of the test made them anxious. 

To impress the examiners and get a high band score , it is advised that you read and study different sample and model responses and learn the different writing techniques to help you achieve your desired band score. 

Here are some of them. Take note of the transition words and vocabulary used. 

CountryFood and DrinkHousingClothingEntertainment

You were supposed to start a new job next week, but you won’t be able to because of certain issues. Send a letter to your new boss. In your letter, 

  • give an explanation of your circumstances
  • state your issues
  • inform him/her when you think you’ll be able to begin.

How much do you agree or disagree with the claim that e-books and modern technology will completely replace conventional newspapers and magazines?

Example 4: 

Some argue that children should be educated to compete, while others argue that they should be taught to cooperate. What are your thoughts on the matter?

The IELTS Writing Test requires an extensive vocabulary. Having a diverse vocabulary is one of the secrets to writing an effective essay. However, it is not enough to memorize the words; you also need to know how to use them in your writing.

We have listed a set of word lists to help you with your IELTS Writing Test.

Do not be worried if you will not memorize all the word lists: quality trumps quantity! It is far preferable to learn 1 word-lists well rather than 5 word-lists poorly.

Word List 1

Words 1 to 10Words 11 to 20Words 21 to 30Words 31 to 40Words 41 to 50
Words 51 to 60Words 61 to 70Words 71 to 80Words 81 to 90Words 91 to 100

Word List 2

Words 1 to 10Words 11 to 20Words 21 to 30Words 31 to 40Words 41 to 50

Words 51 to 60Words 61 to 70Words 71 to 80Words 81 to 90Words 91 to 100

Word List 3

Words 1 to 10Words 11 to 20Words 21 to 30Words 31 to 40Words 41 to 50
Words 51 to 60Words 61 to 70Words 71 to 80Words 81 to 90Words 91 to 100

Word List 4

Words 1 to 10Words 11 to 20Words 21 to 30Words 31 to 40Words 41 to 50

English is a complicated language. Some words look the same, and some sound the same.

Recognizing the difference between these similar words could be tricky. 

We want to help you succeed on your IELTS journey, so we are providing you with some of the most commonly confused words in the English language. Pay close attention to these words and avoid the past mistakes most candidates have committed. 

Affect vs. Effect

Meaning: To have an influence or effect on something/someone

Example Sentence:

Meaning: To cause something to happen

Loose vs. Lose

Meaning : Not fitting tightly or closely

Meaning : (1) To fail to win or

(2) to misplace something

Lay vs. Lie

Meaning : To put down gently or carefully

Meaning : To assume a horizontal position on a resting surface

Accept vs. Except

Meaning : To consent to receive

Meaning : Not included

Complement vs. Compliment

Meaning : Something that fills up, completes, or makes better

Meaning : A polite expression of praise

Farther vs. Further

Meaning : Over a large expanse of physical distance

Meaning : Over a large expanse figurative distance

Passed vs. Past

Meaning : Simple past tense of ‘pass’

Meaning : Gone by in time and no longer existing

Elicit vs. Illicit

Meaning : Draw out a response from someone

Meaning : Forbidden by law

Any way vs. Anyway

Meaning: A phrase that means in any manner or method

Meaning : Used to confirm an idea just mentioned 

Than vs. Then

Meaning : Used before the second element in a comparison 

Meaning : An adverb indicating time or sequence.

Its vs. It’s

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with a thing previously mentioned

Meaning : Contraction of ‘it is’

Their vs. There vs. They’re

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with people or things previously mentioned 

Meaning : An adverb of place (in, at, to)

Meaning : Contraction of ‘they are’

Your vs. You’re

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with the person or people the speaker is talking to

Meaning : Contraction of ‘you are’

Who vs. Whom

Meaning : A pronoun used as a subject refers to a person or people

Meaning :   A pronoun used as an object referring to a person or people

That vs. Which

Meaning : Used when the phrase after it is essential in the sentence

Meaning : Used when the phrase after it is not essential in the sentence

Meaning : A preposition that indicates the direction

Meaning : An adverb that means in addition or also

You will not get very far with your language skills, no matter how brilliant your grammar is if you do not know any words to use it with. Vocabulary brings up new worlds while also making studying enjoyable and rewarding.

However, extending your vocabulary is like going on a diet. You need to exert effort, and there is no magic trick, no secret, and no one-size-fits-all method for doing so. You must identify what works best for you. Nevertheless, being patient, setting reasonable objectives, and rewarding yourself when you achieve them are sound strategies that can be supplemented with the following suggestions.

  • Make Use of Memory Tricks : Mnemonics are mental shortcuts that will help you remember more complicated concepts or words. It is a popular approach to memorizing a language. You can make associations between words. For example, when you need to buy Spaghetti, Tomatoes, Olives, Rice , and Eggs from the STORE . Furthermore, the more you think about acronyms or associations, the better you will remember the phrases that go with them.
  • Create an Environment Conducive to Learning : When you study abroad, you will hear and read the language everywhere, allowing you to acquire the language far more quickly through immersion. Luckily, you do not need to travel overseas to enhance your vocabulary gradually. You may create an inspirational and study-friendly environment wherever you are. Purchase publications or books in the new language, watch movies and prepare (or simply eat) local cuisine.
  • Make Use of a Notebook : Writing new words in a tangible notebook has a romantic quality to it. Just add a new word to a running vocabulary list when you come across a new word that you do not recognize. Then, a few times a week, go over the list, obliterating the English definitions and attempting to recall what each term meant. The more you read through the notebook, the easier it will be to recall the words. You can eventually cross off the words you know, so you do not have to go over them again.
  • Put the Words in Their Proper Context : Putting words in context is a fantastic way to learn more vocabulary faster. Consider putting them together in phrases rather than composing lists of random words. That way, you will understand how the word is utilized in everyday situations. It will also be easier to remember if you come up with entertaining sentences. You can also generate drawings or discover visuals that will complement the sentences and place the words in their natural home, depending on how you learn.
  • Take it a Step Further : Allow adequate space for mind maps with connected words, synonyms, and antonyms if you want to take your learning a step higher. If you’re going to make the most of your learning, try explaining and describing the word in English rather than translating it into your original tongue.
  • Put in The Effort : The most crucial thing you will need to recall English words is the appropriate attitude and the willingness to put in the effort. However, there is no such thing as a magical system. None of the approaches listed above are “correct” or “incorrect.” Find something that works for you and utilize it regularly. Experiment with a few to find which produces the greatest results.

Additional Reading: How to Improve Your English Speaking Skills

  • How to Speak English Without an Accent
  • 30+ Tips to Speak English Without Grammar Mistakes

Is it Okay to Write 400 Words in IELTS Writing?

Candidates should write words that are slightly above the word limit. That is 170 – 190 words in the IELTS Writing Task 1 and 270 – 290 words in the IELTS Writing Task 2.

However, note that there is no word limit, and you will not lose marks for exceeding the word limit.

Keep in mind that the examiners will mark your IELTS Writing not based on the number of words you write but on the quality of your work. 

Is a 7 in IELTS Writing Good?

Yes, a band score of 7 in the IELTS Writing Test is good. It means that you are a ‘good user’ and that you have impressed the examiner enough to give you a 7.

Most candidates have not been able to achieve this as the IELTS Writing Test is arguably the most challenging.

So if you get a 7 (or higher) band score, be proud.

How is the IELTS Writing Marked?

The examiner will focus on four primary areas: 

(1) how you were able to answer the question well;  (2) how well you connect an idea to the text;  (3) your vocabulary range and accuracy; and  (4) your grammatical forms range and accuracy. Each criterion contributes 25 percent of your overall marks in the IELTS Writing Test. 

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The 100 most useful phrases for IELTS Writing Task 1 tables

The 100 most useful phrases for IELTS Writing Task 1 tables

By: Alex Case | Category: English Language Examinations | Topic: IELTS

Last Updated: 12th May. 2023

Essential phrases for describing tables in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, with important phrases for the introduction and body of such essays.

Rephrasing the question/ A very brief description of the table

(optional) summary sentence/ description of what you notice straightaway, sentence describing the structure of/ organisation of/ plan for (the body of) the essay, starting body paragraphs, describing positions, describing times, giving vague data and times, giving exact data and times, the most useful phrases for comparing the figures/ columns/ rows/ tables, useful trends language for describing tables.

This is a short list of vital words and phrases to memorise in order to do well in IELTS Academic Writing Part 1 table tasks. A bigger list of useful language and over 300 pages of materials to give input on, practice and give feedback on all kinds of IELTS Academic Writing tasks are available at

The most useful phrases for IELTS Writing Task 1 table task introductions

  • The table gives data/ information/ figures/ statistics on…
  • The data/ figures/ statistics give information on differences in… (related to … categories of…)
  • The tables include statistics on changes in…
  • The two tables list the proportion of…
  • The tables on the right and on the left compare…
  • Both tables show percentages of…, but the one of the left presents… whereas the righthand one includes…
  • The columns are labelled with… and the rows (a variety of) different…
  • There are… columns representing… and… rows which show…
  • There is a wide variation in the data, ranging from… to…
  • The data ranges from (a low of)… to (a highpoint of)…
  • There is a mix of…/ The figures are a mix of…
  • For the most part…
  • Most of the figures are between… and…, but…
  • In general,…
  • The lefthand column represents… and the others…
  • The data between… and… is generally…, whereas…
  • There is a noticeable…
  • Among all the…, the thing that stands out is…
  • I will describe the first… rows and then turn my attention to the …th to …th ones.
  • I will look at the past data and then move on to the future.
  • I will explain the similarities between…, before turning to the differences.
  • I will examine some of the highest figures, then write about a few of the lower ones.
  • I will summarise the data related to…, then focus on….
  • I will explain those two tables in that order/ in turn (in the paragraphs below).

The most useful phrases for the body of IELTS Writing Part One essays

Starting any body paragraph.

  • According to the table at the top of the page,…
  • From the information given on the years between… and…, we can see that…
  • Looking at the three leftmost columns, it is obvious that…
  • If we look at the table giving data on…,…

Starting the second (or third) body paragraph

  • Turning (our attention) to the remaining figures,…
  • Moving on to the other four columns,…
  • In (complete) contrast to the four rows described above, in the rest…
  • Compared to the table/ column(s)/ row(s)/ topic(s)/ time period(s) described above,…
  • In common with the table/ column(s)/ row(s)/ topic(s)/ time period(s) described above,…
  • The other table/ two rows/ … columns/ time period(s)/ subject(s)…
  • The second table/ time period/ subject/ country…
  • The lower table/ half of the table…
  • The righthand table/ half of the table/ time period…
  • The line(s) representing… …
  • The first/ second/ third/ …th row from the top/ bottom…
  • The first/ second/ third/ …th column from the left/ right…
  • The top/ bottom row…
  • The rightmost/ leftmost/ righthand/ lefthand column…
  • In the column to the left/ right of that, we can see…
  • In the row above/ below that one, the data is…
  • (Around/ More or less in) the middle of the table,…
  • The table to the right of that one…
  • The table of figures below that one…
  • In the bottom right/ bottom left/ top left/ top right cell,…
  • Between those two rows/ columns/ cells, there is…
  • At the beginning of the times shown in the table,…
  • At the end of the period given,…
  • Between… and… there is a change in…
  • In the following day/ week/ month/…,…
  • Over the next two/ three/ four/… days/ weeks/ months/…,…
  • In the next day/ month/ period given/…,…
  • (Just/ Slightly) after that
  • This lasts (on and off) for…
  • This continues (in a similar vein) until…
  • By the time we reach…, we can see…
  • Meanwhile, if we look at…, we can see a very different…
  • At the same time (in…),…
  • about/ approximately/ around/ more or less/ roughly
  • (just) under/ (just) below/ nearly/ almost/ (slightly) lower than/ (a little) less than
  • above/ (just) over/ (slightly) more than
  • very nearly/ a tiny bit under/ virtually
  • to be precise

Useful phrases for explaining similarities between the figures/ columns/ rows/ tables

  • In common with…,…
  • Similarly,…
  • (more or less/ almost/ nearly/ virtually/ practically) identical/ the same
  • (extremely/ very/ fairly) similar
  • (exactly/ just/ almost/ nearly/ two thirds/ half/ a quarter) as… as…
  • … have (two/ several/ some) things in common, including…

Useful phrases for explaining differences between the figures/ columns/ rows/ tables

  • Compared to…,…
  • In (complete) contrast (to…),…
  • …, while/ whereas…
  • This contrasts with…
  • (far/ much/ a great deal/ substantially/ considerably/ quite a lot/ somewhat/ slightly/ a bit/ a little/ a tiny bit) higher/ bigger (than…)
  • (far/ much/ a great deal/ substantially/ considerably/ quite a lot/ somewhat/ slightly/ a bit/ a little/ a tiny bit) lower/ smaller (than…)
  • (more or less/ more than/ almost/ virtually) double/ triple/ four times/ … times…
  • not (nearly/ quite) as high as…/ as much as…/ as great as…
  • (approximately) half/ a third/ a quarter/ a fifth/ a… of…
  • (around) two thirds/ three quarters/ … …s (the level) of…
  • one and half times/ twice/ three times/ …. times
  • The biggest/ main difference between… and… is…
  • A major difference…
  • The most obvious difference/ The clearest difference…
  • (slightly/ very/ almost completely/ totally) different

(Only very simple language is included here to avoid wasting time analysing the data, but see the similar list on line graphs for more of this kind of language.)

  • (more or less/ more than) double/ triple/ quadruple
  • (approximately/ almost/ more than) halve
  • lose half/ a third/ a quarter/ a… (of…)
  • increase/ grow/ go up
  • decrease/ decline/ drop/ fall/ go down
  • There is a (roughly/ greater than/ over) fourfold/ fivefold/ …fold increase/ decrease in…
  • There is then a (very) large/ substantial/ slight increase/ decrease in…
  • remain (more or less) stable/ stay (approximately) the same/ not change much
  • change/ vary/ move
  • It reaches (a high of)…

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Useful Phrases for IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

Here we have listed useful vocabulary and phrases you can use when writing an essay in IELTS Writing Task 2 . Instead of providing an extensive list of 100+ essay phrases for IELTS, we have narrowed it down to the most essential.

Keep the vocabulary list next to you while you practise, so you can get ideas for linking and expressing your views.

  • Over the last century ...
  • The idea that ... has its merits.
  • While this is an interesting proposal and has some merit, my own view is that it would ...
  • Despite these arguments, there is an equally strong case to be made that it would be ...
  • There is much debate about the position. I will discuss both these ... in this essay.
  • This is a complex issue and my belief is that ...
  • There are a variety of potential ways of combatting this problem.
  • However, in order to find a solution, it is first of all necessary to understand what has led to this happening.
  • Finding the right policies is not an easy task as it is a complex problem.
  • There is some dispute whether the best method of …

Stating viewpoints

background, writing correction markups

  • There are different viewpoints held in this discussion.
  • Some people argue that ..., while others think that ...
  • However, there is a large body of opinion which is opposed to …
  • It is said that three-quarters of all children ...

To add more points on a topic

  • There are several reasons why ...
  • It can also be argued that ...
  • This is certainly not an easy issue though, because ... has caused as many problems as it solves.
  • ... is the only point to be taken into consideration when ...
  • ... is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed.
  • At the same time, a lot of publicity is given to what the public consider to be ...
  • Most of the experts blame … for this problem.
  • Given that … is cheap and ..., it is not surprising that ...
  • My conclusion is therefore that ...
  • In conclusion, I believe that while there are real merits on both sides of the argument, the moral case against forcing people to work slightly outweighs any benefit to ...
  • Its benefits outweigh the drawbacks and have a positive effect on many aspects of our lives ...
  • All things considered, ...
  • My own personal view is that there is merit in both sides of the debate.
  • Finally, ...

See also: Linking Words For IELTS Writing and Speaking


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IELTS Essay Writing

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5 Types of IELTS Essays

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How to Improve IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay?

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IELTS Discussion Essay Sample

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IELTS Agree / Disagree Essay Sample

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IELTS Advantage / Disadvantage Essay Sample

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IELTS Problem / Solution Essay Sample

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IELTS Two-part Question Essay Sample


Vocabulary for IELTS Essay

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Linking words for IELTS

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IELTS Academic word list (online and pdf)

On this page you can find an ultimate IELTS academic wordlist that consists of 5 sub-lists with 100 words in each. The lists get increasingly difficult. By learning these words you will learn the most common and important vocabulary that occurs in IELTS.

Vocabulary is equally important for reading and writing . By knowing a lot of prevalent words you will understand the reading texts better. Moreover, vocabulary is one of the four marking criteria used to assess you IELTS writing. So one of the secrets of a successful essay is a broad range of vocabulary.

Simply memorizing the words is not enough: you need to know how to adopt the words in your writing.

So, having learnt the word resolute , you should be able to apply it in your writing. For example: her resolution to become a designer has led her to success.

Don't worry if you haven't learnt all of the word lists: quality is more important than quantity! It's much better to learn 1 word list well than 5 word lists poorly.

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10 steps to writing high-scoring IELTS essays

Whether you take the general training or academic IELTS test, the second writing task is writing an essay in response to a problem or argument. Here are 10 easy steps, with lots of tips, to guide you on how to write high-scoring essays.

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How is the ielts essay component marked.

Fairness and accuracy are critically important when marking IELTS writing tasks . Your essay will be marked by at least two experienced IELTS examiners on the following criteria:

Task response - Whether you answered the question fully and supported your answer well. 

Coherence and cohesion - How well you linked your ideas together. 

Lexical resource - Whether you used a wide range of vocabulary correctly and appropriately. 

Grammatical range and accuracy - How many grammatical structures you used accurately and appropriately. 

Each of these criteria is worth 25% of your total score for the essay writing task. Both of your writing tasks are used to calculate your overall writing band score.

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How to write high-scoring essays in 10 easy steps, step one: plan your time.

The Writing test (consisting of Writing tasks 1 and 2) takes approximately 60 minutes. Plan to spend around 20 minutes on your first task, and 40 minutes on your essay task. A sample plan for your time might be:

5 to 10 minutes reading the essay question and planning your answer

15 to 20 minutes writing your first draft

10 minutes proofreading and editing your essay

How to write a good introduction

Step two: read the question.

While you may be anxious to jump straight into writing, make sure you take the time to carefully read the essay question. If you misunderstand the question, you risk writing an essay that does not address the issues properly which will lower your score.

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Step three: highlight the issues to address.

There will be multiple issues that you will need to address in your essay. Addressing each issue individually is key to achieving a high essay score. Highlight each individual issue that you will need to address.

The A to Z of IELTS: E is for Essays

Step four: outline your response.

Create an outline of how you will respond to the issues in your essay. This will serve as your ‘blueprint’ when you write your first draft. As a general rule your essay should have:

An introduction stating what you will talk about

Two or three body paragraphs , each addressing one issue or idea

A conclusion summing up what was discussed in the essay

Make sure you note which idea or issue you will address in each paragraph. Check that the issues you highlighted are all accounted for in your outline.

Step five: Expand on your ideas

Write some notes about any key points or ideas you’d like to include in each paragraph. When you’re writing your first draft, these notes will help to make sure you don’t forget any ideas you want to include.

Mind maps to build your vocabulary resource for IELTS

Step six: plan how you will connect your ideas.

Connecting your ideas clearly and correctly is critical to achieving a high essay score. Try to use a range of linking words to make your essay easy to read. You can use connecting devices and phrases to:

List connected ideas

‘Firstly, secondly, thirdly’


Provide more information

Compare ideas.

‘On the other hand’


Don’t fall into the trap of trying to put a linking word in every sentence. Essays will score higher when the writer uses linking words only where necessary and appropriate.

Step seven: Write your first draft

Now that you’ve planned your essay, it’s time to write your first draft. Follow the outline you’ve created and expand on the notes and ideas you included there. 

Avoid informal language unless it is appropriate.

Avoid spelling and grammatical errors where possible.

Use a mix of sentence structures such as simple sentences, complex sentences and compound sentences.

How to boost your IELTS Writing score

Step eight: proofread your essay.

When you have completed the first draft of your essay, it’s important to proofread it. Read your essay from start to finish.

You can read it silently, but it may help to read it out loud if you can do so without disturbing others. Make a mental note or mark your paper anywhere that you may need to fix an issue.

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Step nine: edit your essay.

Carefully go through the issues you noted while proofreading. Edit or rewrite these until they look and sound correct. Examples of issues and how to edit them may include:

The sentence is too long. A sentence is probably too long if you need to take a breath in the middle of reading it. Try splitting this up into smaller sentences.

A sentence sounds strange when you read it out loud. Try using different words or punctuation until it sounds right. It may need to be connected to another sentence.

The same word appears many times. Think about any other words you could use instead.

There is more than one main idea in each paragraph. Move any unrelated sentences to the correct paragraph. Each paragraph should address one issue only.

IELTS Writing: How to organise your responses

Step ten: proofread your essay again.

After your edits and before submitting your essay , give it one final proofread. Make sure you have:

Included all the points you highlighted in step three

Followed your outline from step four

Used good connecting words from step six

Fixed any errors or issues in step nine

IELTS Writing: 8 steps towards a band 8

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Also, the IELTS Familiarisation test is designed to give test takers an idea of what to expect on the actual IELTS test. It includes sample questions from different part of the test, such as Listening, Reading, and Writing.  Set yourself up for success and explore our extensive library of preparation materials today.

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Preparation for the IELTS Exam

How to write an IELTS opinion essay

Ielts opinion essay: structure, model answer, and analysis..

Updated: February 2023

There are 5 types of essays in IELTS writing task 2 and a common one is an opinion essay.

So how do you know if it is an opinion essay?. You will first need to study the instruction words. These words tell you what you should write about and this should be the first step to take before you even begin to plan. Analyse the task and especially the instruction words so you do not go off-topic or write a different essay altogether.

Here are 2 essay tasks below, which one do you think is the opinion essay?

1.  Most people agree that money cannot buy happiness. Why is happiness difficult to define? How can people achieve happiness? 2.  Some people believe that nowadays we have too many choices. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Looking at the instruction words we can see that the second one is an opinion essay as it asks ‘ To what extent do you agree or disagree? ‘

The first task is called a ‘Two-part question essay’ or sometimes called a ‘Direct question essay’.

Instruction words

Opinion essays will have various instruction words such as:

To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Do you agree or disagree?
What is your opinion?
Do you think…?
What do you think….?
In your opinion what is ….?

In some cases the instruction words ask your opinion it may be a discussion essay such as:

‘Discuss both views and give your own opinion’ 

The structure of a discussion essay is different from an opinion essay as you will need to explain peoples views before you go into your own opinion.

This task below is a 2 part question essay and the second question asks your opinion.

Most people agree that money cannot buy happiness. Why is happiness difficult to define? How can people achieve happiness?

The opinion essay that I am referring to asks ‘ To what extent do you agree or disagree?’ means how much do you agree/disagree? , do you completely agree/disagree?  or somewhat agree/disagree?  or do you neither agree nor disagree?

You can write in your thesis statement something like:  ‘ I completely agree because…..’ or if you don’t agree, something like: ‘ I absolutely disagree because…..’

What is an effective opinion essay structure?

There is no magic Band 9 structure but my students have found that the structure below works well in an opinion essay.

words to use in essay ielts

Tips on structure:

  • The main body paragraphs will cover the reasons for your opinion; however, do not list ideas just use one central idea and explain and support it.
  • Don’t wait until the conclusion to give your opinion. It must be throughout the whole essay .
  • Don’t give 2 different opinions. Do not agree then disagree as it will confuse the examiner. You can balance it with why someone would hold an opposing view but it is not a discussion essay.
  • I advise keeping the introduction under 60 words , each body paragraph should be approximately 90 to 105 words , the conclusion needs to be shorter than the introduction and no new ideas should be added to the conclusion
  • Aim for between 270 to 295 words , over 300 words is not realistic as you only have 40 minutes to write the essay .

Which body paragraph is better?

Take a look at these 2 main body one paragraphs to the task below, what do you think will score higher?

Task question:

Some people believe that nowadays we have too many choices . To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

A long time ago people used to go to market places and they bought basic daily necessities, now people can buy online and go to many high street shops. In addition, we can choose any hotel we like at cheap prices. Also, businesses compete with each other which means customers can buy items at low cost as well as a bigger selection of goods. Furthermore, the economy benefits because people can select from so many different products. For example, has millions of products that are much cheaper than buying at a shopping mall.

Admittedly, these days there are far too many choices which can be overwhelming; however, I think that for consumers this is an advantage because it forces businesses to compete with each other. This means that shoppers can benefit greatly from lower prices. For example, over the past two decades, Ryanair and EasyJet budget airlines have considerably reduced the cost of airfares for flights all over Europe. Before this, there was only one airline to choose from at exorbitant costs. Presently, many more budget airline options are serving destinations worldwide with incredible bargains for customers.  

Click below for the answer.

The 2nd example is better because I wrote one central idea (lower prices for consumers) and expanded on that. The example given is not entirely true but it looks very feasible. You can just make up examples but they have to be specific and realistic looking. The point of an example is to support your main idea.

At the start of the paragraph I mentioned that too much choice is overwhelming but then contrast that with my opinion (Admittedly, these days there are far too many choices which can be overwhelming; however, I think that…) .

To see how to balance the essay click here for a lesson on balancing your opinion .

In example 1 above this has too many ideas and too many points. It jumps around and is not focusing on one central idea. The points are relevant but there is too much going on.

You will also notice an opinion is not given directly in the first example (I think / I believe etc)  the whole paragraph affects coherence and cohesion as well as task response. The example given about is also quite weak and not well explained.

Analysing the question.

As with all IELTS essays, it is crucial to spend a couple of minutes analysing the task and underling the keywords so that you are writing relevant points in the essay. If you go off-topic or write irrelevant points it will affect your score.

This is the task question for my model answer below and it is clear that the essay is about having too many choices these days . This means that there is something negative about having many choices, as the word ‘too’ implies something negative. In my model answer, I disagree with this being a negative and in fact, many choices are beneficial.

Click here for the 5 steps you need to take before writing.

I advise 10 minutes of planning time, this includes time analysing the question and getting relevant ideas.

Click here for a lesson about examples in main body paragraphs.

Model Answer

Some people believe that n owadays we have too many choices . To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

It is argued that in recent times people are overwhelmed by so many choices. Although I agree with this to some extent, for consumers I believe that having so many options enables them to purchase more competitively priced and higher quality products.

Another reason why I believe that more choice is beneficial is that the quality of products has improved in recent years. This is because many businesses are vying for customers’ attention, so their main selling points are not only low prices but also much higher quality. For instance, smartphone costs have decreased in the past 5 years and these devices are more powerful and more durable than ever before. This is primarily because manufacturers have focused on quality control to compete with rival products. I would argue that this has been a benefit to consumers which would not have been possible with one or two companies monopolising the smartphone market.

To conclude, despite the argument that there is too much freedom of choice nowadays, I hold the view that this is a positive trend as so many options allows customers to buy inexpensive items without compromising on quality.

Click below to see more detail and an analysis

1. My thesis statement says: Although I agree with this to some extent, for consumers I believe that having so many options enables them to purchase more competitively priced and higher quality products.

I am giving a balanced opinion here and focusing specifically on choice for consumers.

2. I have covered the points about how more choices have resulted in lower prices in main body one, while in main body two I cover the point about higher quality products because of the fact there are more choices. Notice how I have balanced my view: Admittedly, these days there are far too many choices which can be overwhelming; however, I think that for consumers this is an advantage because it forces businesses to compete with each other. .

3. The examples I gave are made up and not entirely true but they look realistic, the examiner does not check your examples for validity. Examples are there to support your main ideas. Do not put statistics in the examples either.

4. The points I have made in the essay connect with consumerism and shopping, but I have linked them to the points about how having many choices are of benefit to customers or consumers , because my opinion is that having many choices is a good aspect

5. In this type of essay, you could write about other areas where having many choices are relevant such as the choices of universities we can attend, the choices of work we might engage in, The choice of health care options available….and so on.

Here is a good news article from ‘ Business Insider’ that connects with this task question. Reading is a very good way to get ideas for IELTS essays.

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Vocabulary for IELTS: Word Lists, Exercises & Pronunciation

IELTS vocabulary lessons with word lists, practice exercises and pronunciation. Learn word lists for common topics and how to pronounce words correctly in English. Vocabulary  is 25% of your marks for IELTS writing and speaking and also plays a key role in listening and reading. You need to develop your English language vocabulary if you wish to crack IELTS.

Vocabulary for IELTS Topics

Below are IELTS topics for improving your English language vocabulary.

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Paraphrasing Successfully

Improve your IELTS vocabulary score by learn useful tips for paraphrasing in IELTS. You need to learn to paraphrase correctly and avoid errors to get a good score in all skills, particularly IELTS writing. Knowing which words to repeat and which words to paraphrase is essential.

Paraphrasing Video: How to paraphrase and avoid errors

Uncountable Nouns

Get a list of over 100 common uncountable nouns with practice exercises. This is an essential page to view before your IELTS test. The most common vocabulary mistake in IELTS is with uncountable nouns.

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Spelling: US vs UK English Words

Learn about the differences in spelling between UK English and US English. For the IELTS writing test, you ought to choose one type of spelling and not mix them. Click below:

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Idioms count for your score of vocabulary. They are informal and should not be used in writing. But you can use some of them in IELTS speaking.

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Individual Words for IELTS

Improve your vocabulary by learning the exact meaning of words and how to use them correctly. These lessons are either words lists or lessons which focus on how to use a particular word correctly. For students aiming to reduce the number of errors in their writing and speaking, these lessons are essential.

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Learn 570 Essential Words for IELTS

These exercises on the  academic word list  are designed to improve your knowledge of vocabulary for the IELTS test. 

Start Learning the Words

The AWL consists of  570 word families , and these words are the most common words to be found in academic texts. 

This is why they are so useful to learn if you are studying for tests like IELTS where your level of vocabulary can affect your score.

Sublist 1 contains the most common words that are in the Academic Word List, sublist 2 contains the next most common, and so on.

The words shown on this page below are just the  headwords . If you  download the full academic word list , you can see that there are many variations of each word according to whether you are using it as a noun, verb, adjective etc.

There are a total of  60 word families  in each sublist, apart from sublist 10 which has 30.

About the Academic Word List Exercises

In order to make your learning of the words structured, each academic word list has been divided into sets of 10 words. Each set of exercises then focuses on just those 10 words.

When you are confident you know them, you can move onto the next 10.

Before you start learning them it is important to understand that  recognizing  the words and actually  using them  are two very different skills, the first one being much easier than the second.

Lets look at an example using the first word on the academic word list,  analyse :

  • analytically

If you learn the word  analyse  and its meaning and are aware of the other word forms, then you may well understand the meaning of the word when you read it, whichever form it is in.

However, knowing which one to use when you are writing is a much more difficult skill and will take a lot more practice and time to master!

These academic word list exercises will help you to get to know the words, but you will need to work on your own as well. No website will be a substitute for actually practicing the words when you are writing and checking your usage.

And an important thing to do whenever you learn a new word from the academic word list or elsewhere is to learn which words it  collocates  with.

And the number one rule with vocabulary  - only use words in the test that you are confident you know how to use!

Or you are at least confident you understand its meaning and where it can be used - a few errors in word form are ok in the test if you are not looking for a top score as you will be given some credit for using less common words.

However, you may find you actually lower your band score if you try to use lots of clever vocabulary but you are not using it properly or making lots of word form errors!

This will only confuse the examiner when they read your work. Try to keep improving your vocabulary, but when it comes to the test, stick with what you know and are confident with!



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Band 9 Guide: IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Types and Structures + Sample Essays

In the IELTS Writing Task 2, you are required to craft a compelling essay on a given topic. The approach and structure will largely depend on the question type presented. This guide offers a detailed look into the various question types, their structures, and strategies to tackle them effectively.

Here are the essay types that we will cover:

  • Opinion Questions (Agree or Disagree)
  • Advantages and Disadvantages Questions
  • Discussion (Discuss Both Views) Questions
  • Problem and Solution Questions
  • Two-Part Questions
  • Mixed Type (Advantages and Disadvantages + Opinion)
  • Double Question
  • Causes (Reasons) and Effects

At the end, we will provide you with some supplementary tips that you can use to improve your writing band score in the IELTS exam.

1. Opinion Questions (Agree or Disagree)

This question type asks you to express your viewpoints on a given topic or statement.

Question Example:

Is digital technology in schools beneficial for students learning?

Essay Structure:

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and state your opinion, outlining the main ideas.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Begin with a topic sentence, explain this topic sentence, and provide an example.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Follow the same format as the previous paragraph.
  • Conclusion : Recap the main points and reiterate your opinion.

Sample Essay:

Introduction: Digital technology has become an integral part of modern education, transforming the way students learn and interact with the world. In this essay, I will outline why I believe that incorporating digital technology in schools is highly beneficial for students learning.

Main Body Paragraph 1: First and foremost, digital technology enhances engagement and active participation in the learning process. Interactive learning platforms, virtual simulations, and multimedia resources make lessons more captivating and encourage students to explore concepts in depth. For instance, online platforms like Khan Academy offer interactive math lessons that adapt to individual learning paces, ensuring a personalized and effective learning experience. This level of engagement fosters a deeper understanding of subjects.

Main Body Paragraph 2: Furthermore, digital technology equips students with practical skills relevant to the digital age. In today’s interconnected world, proficiency in using digital tools and navigating online resources is essential for success. Integrating technology into education not only prepares students for the future job market but also empowers them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. For instance, coding workshops in schools enable students to develop computational thinking, a skill applicable in a wide range of disciplines.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the integration of digital technology into schools brings numerous advantages to students’ learning experiences. It enhances engagement, promotes practical skills, and cultivates a mindset of adaptability and innovation. While some may argue that excessive screen time can be detrimental, judicious use of technology can mitigate these concerns. By embracing digital technology, schools can provide a holistic and dynamic education that prepares students for the challenges of the modern world.

Advanced Tips:

  • Be clear in your stance and acknowledge counterarguments if necessary.
  • Employ persuasive tools like strong adjectives, rhetorical questions, and emphatic structures to bolster your arguments.

2. Advantages and Disadvantages Questions

You need to evaluate both the benefits and drawbacks of a particular topic or situation.

What are the pros and cons of remote work for professionals?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and outline the main points.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Discuss two advantages, expand on each, and provide an example.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Detail two disadvantages, delve deeper into each, and give an example.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the main pros and cons discussed.

Introduction: The advent of technology has revolutionized the way professionals work, giving rise to the concept of remote work. In this essay, I will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of remote work for professionals.

Main Body Paragraph 1: Remote work offers several compelling advantages for professionals. Firstly, it provides a flexible work environment that allows individuals to balance their personal and professional lives effectively. This flexibility can lead to increased job satisfaction and improved overall well-being. Moreover, remote work eliminates the need for daily commutes, saving valuable time and reducing stress. According to a study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, remote workers report higher levels of productivity due to reduced distractions commonly found in traditional office settings.

Main Body Paragraph 2: However, remote work also presents certain challenges. One notable disadvantage is the potential for isolation and reduced collaboration. In a traditional office environment, spontaneous interactions and face-to-face discussions foster creativity and teamwork. Remote work can lead to feelings of loneliness and hinder effective communication, which is crucial for innovative solutions to complex problems. Additionally, remote work requires a high level of self-discipline, as the absence of direct supervision may lead to procrastination and decreased accountability.

Conclusion: In conclusion, remote work offers professionals a range of benefits such as flexibility and time savings. However, it is not without its drawbacks, including potential isolation and reduced collaboration. To maximize the advantages of remote work while mitigating its disadvantages, professionals must cultivate effective communication skills, establish a dedicated workspace, and maintain a disciplined work routine. Ultimately, the success of remote work hinges on the ability to strike a balance between the convenience it offers and the challenges it poses.

  • Use transitional phrases to ensure smooth transitions between points.
  • Avoid mere antonyms when presenting pros and cons.

3. Discussion (Discuss Both Views) Questions

These questions require you to explore multiple perspectives on a topic.

Should governments prioritize economic growth over environmental conservation?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and provide a thesis statement.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Detail one viewpoint, give reasons for/against it and provide an example.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : State the opposing viewpoint, discuss it, and again offer an example.
  • Conclusion : Sum up the discussion and state your preferred perspective.

Introduction: The delicate balance between economic growth and environmental conservation has become a critical concern in contemporary societies. In this essay, I will delve into both perspectives on whether governments should prioritize economic growth or environmental conservation.

Main Body Paragraph 1: From an economic standpoint, prioritizing growth can lead to numerous benefits. Economic expansion creates job opportunities, boosts national income, and improves living standards for citizens. For instance, countries like China and India have experienced significant economic growth that has lifted millions out of poverty. This growth can fund essential services such as healthcare and education, contributing to overall societal development.

Main Body Paragraph 2: On the other hand, environmental conservation holds paramount importance for the future well-being of our planet. Ecological degradation and resource depletion have dire consequences for ecosystems and humanity alike. Focusing on environmental conservation ensures the preservation of biodiversity, clean air, and freshwater sources. For instance, countries like Sweden have successfully implemented green policies, resulting in cleaner air and sustainable use of natural resources.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the debate over whether governments should prioritize economic growth or environmental conservation is complex and multifaceted. While economic growth brings prosperity and improved living standards, neglecting environmental concerns could lead to irreversible damage to our planet. Striking a balance between these two perspectives is crucial. Governments can implement policies that promote sustainable economic growth while also ensuring responsible resource management and environmental protection. Only through careful consideration and informed decision-making can societies navigate the intricate interplay between economic progress and environmental stewardship.

  • Ensure you give equal weight to both viewpoints.
  • Your conclusion should reflect a balanced understanding of the topic.

Read Also : Cohesive Devices for Band 9 in IELTS Writing: The ultimate guide

4. Problem and Solution Questions

This question type asks you to identify problems related to a situation and suggest solutions.

What challenges does urbanization present and how can cities adapt?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and outline the main ideas.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Identify the problems, discuss them, and offer examples.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Suggest possible solutions, discuss their feasibility, and provide examples.
  • Conclusion : Recap the highlighted problems and proposed solutions.

Introduction: The rapid pace of urbanization has transformed the world’s landscape, bringing with it a host of challenges that demand urgent attention. In this essay, I will explore the problems posed by urbanization and propose viable solutions to address these challenges.

Main Body Paragraph 1: Urbanization has given rise to a range of pressing issues. One significant challenge is the strain on urban infrastructure, including transportation and housing. As rural populations migrate to cities, the demand for housing outpaces supply, leading to slums and inadequate living conditions. Additionally, traffic congestion and limited public transport options undermine efficient mobility. Pollution is another critical concern as increased industrial activity and vehicular emissions degrade air quality, endangering residents’ health.

Main Body Paragraph 2: To counter these challenges, cities can adopt proactive measures. Firstly, urban planning should prioritize affordable housing initiatives and sustainable infrastructure development. By building smart cities that utilize technology to manage resources efficiently, governments can alleviate congestion and enhance the quality of life. Moreover, investing in efficient public transportation systems, such as metro networks and buses, can reduce traffic congestion and pollution. For instance, the Bus Rapid Transit system in Curitiba, Brazil, has improved transportation efficiency and reduced congestion.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the challenges posed by urbanization require multifaceted solutions that span urban planning, infrastructure development, and sustainable policies. By addressing housing shortages, improving transportation, and promoting environmentally conscious practices, cities can harness the potential of urbanization while mitigating its negative consequences. This approach will not only enhance the quality of life for urban residents but also contribute to the overall well-being of society in the face of an increasingly urbanized world.

  • Be specific in identifying problems and avoid vagueness.
  • Solutions should be practical and actionable.

5. Two-Part Questions

You are presented with a statement followed by two distinct queries that must be addressed.

How has digital technology impacted workplaces and what future advancements can be anticipated?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the statement and outline both questions.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Address the first question with explanations and examples.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Respond to the second question, again with explanations and examples.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the responses to both questions.

Introduction: The integration of digital technology into workplaces has reshaped the dynamics of modern work environments, bringing forth both immediate changes and future possibilities. In this essay, I will delve into the ways digital technology has already transformed workplaces and discuss potential advancements that can be anticipated.

Main Body Paragraph 1: The impact of digital technology on workplaces has been profound. Firstly, it has streamlined communication and collaboration, allowing teams to collaborate across geographical boundaries in real-time. Tools like video conferencing and cloud-based document sharing have revolutionized how projects are managed. Moreover, automation powered by artificial intelligence (AI) has improved efficiency by handling routine tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more complex, creative endeavors. This has been particularly evident in industries like manufacturing, where robots have taken over repetitive and dangerous tasks.

Main Body Paragraph 2: Looking ahead, digital technology is poised to bring even more transformative changes. The rise of remote work is likely to continue, with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies offering immersive virtual workspaces that replicate physical office environments. Furthermore, AI-driven analytics will enable data-driven decision-making, enhancing business strategies and customer interactions. The concept of a “smart office” will likely emerge, with interconnected devices and IoT (Internet of Things) technology optimizing resource utilization and energy efficiency.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the impact of digital technology on workplaces has been substantial, revolutionizing communication, automating tasks, and increasing efficiency. As we move forward, advancements such as AR, VR, AI, and IoT hold the promise of further reshaping work environments. To stay competitive, companies must embrace these innovations while also addressing potential challenges like data security and workforce adaptation. By doing so, they can position themselves to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

  • Maintain a clear division between your answers to both questions.
  • Use predictive techniques when addressing future-related queries.

6. Mixed Type (Advantages and Disadvantages + Opinion)

Here, you should discuss the pros and cons of a topic, followed by expressing a personal opinion.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping and give your own opinion.

  • Introduction : Introduce the topic.
  • Advantages : 1-2 paragraphs detailing the benefits.
  • Disadvantages : 1-2 paragraphs detailing the drawbacks.
  • Opinion : State your viewpoint and provide supporting reasons.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the main points.

Introduction: The proliferation of online shopping has transformed the way consumers engage in commerce, offering convenience and accessibility like never before. This essay will explore the benefits and drawbacks of online shopping, followed by my personal opinion on its overall impact.

Advantages: Online shopping presents several advantages. Firstly, it offers unparalleled convenience, allowing customers to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. This eliminates the need to travel to physical stores, saving time and energy. Moreover, the variety of options available online ensures a wider selection of products, often at competitive prices. Online platforms also offer detailed product information, reviews, and comparison tools, empowering consumers to make informed decisions.

Disadvantages: However, online shopping is not without its disadvantages. One major concern is the inability to physically inspect products before purchase. This can lead to dissatisfaction if the received item doesn’t match expectations. Additionally, online transactions may pose risks to personal data security and privacy. Cases of identity theft and online scams are not uncommon, raising concerns about the safety of online purchases. Furthermore, the lack of face-to-face interaction eliminates the personal touch of traditional shopping experiences.

Opinion: In my opinion, the advantages of online shopping outweigh its drawbacks. The convenience, vast selection, and competitive prices make it a viable option for today’s busy consumers. The potential risks associated with online transactions can be mitigated by adopting secure payment methods and practicing caution when sharing personal information. As technology continues to advance, addressing security concerns will likely become more effective.

Conclusion: In conclusion, online shopping offers undeniable benefits in terms of convenience, variety, and accessibility. While challenges such as product inspection and security issues persist, they can be managed with prudent shopping practices. Embracing online shopping while remaining vigilant about its potential pitfalls can lead to a rewarding and efficient shopping experience.

  • Balance your essay by giving equal importance to advantages, disadvantages, and your opinion.
  • Use rhetorical questions to highlight the significance of your viewpoint.

Read Also : Common grammar mistakes to avoid in the IELTS writing section

7. Double Question

Two distinct questions are presented that must be answered within the essay.

Why do people attend colleges or universities? What are the benefits of higher education?

  • Answer to Question 1 : Provide reasons and examples.
  • Answer to Question 2 : Offer explanations and illustrations.
  • Conclusion : Recap the main points made.

Introduction: The decision to pursue higher education is driven by a multitude of factors, each intertwined with the potential benefits that education beyond high school can offer. This essay will delve into the reasons individuals choose to attend colleges or universities and the advantages that higher education brings.

Answer to Question 1: People seek higher education for various reasons. Firstly, acquiring specialized knowledge and skills is a primary motivation. Colleges and universities offer structured curricula that equip students with expertise in their chosen fields. Furthermore, higher education provides opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. The university environment encourages critical thinking, independent research, and exposure to diverse perspectives, fostering well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the challenges of the modern world.

Answer to Question 2: The benefits of higher education are manifold. Firstly, it significantly enhances career prospects. Graduates with degrees are often more competitive in the job market, commanding higher salaries and better employment opportunities. Additionally, higher education fosters networking and social connections that can open doors to professional opportunities. Moreover, education beyond high school cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are invaluable assets in various aspects of life. For instance, an educated citizenry contributes to informed decision-making in society and drives innovation.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the decision to attend colleges or universities is driven by a desire for specialized knowledge, personal growth, and expanded opportunities. The benefits of higher education are far-reaching, including improved career prospects, enhanced critical thinking abilities, and societal contributions. As higher education continues to evolve and adapt to changing demands, its role in shaping individuals and society remains indispensable.

  • Use connectors like “Firstly” and “Secondly” to distinguish between the two answers.
  • Provide real-life examples to make your answers more credible.

8. Evaluation

You should assess the significance, relevance, or implications of a topic or statement.

How significant is the role of technology in education today?

  • Significance/Relevance : Describe why the topic is essential.
  • Counterarguments : Discuss opposing viewpoints or potential drawbacks.
  • Conclusion : Summarize your evaluation.

Introduction: Technology’s pervasive presence in modern education has sparked debates about its significance and impact on learning. This essay will evaluate the role of technology in education today, examining its importance and potential drawbacks.

Significance/Relevance: The role of technology in education is undeniably significant. It has transformed traditional classrooms into dynamic learning environments, offering interactive tools and resources that engage students. Technology facilitates personalized learning experiences, catering to diverse learning styles and paces. For instance, adaptive learning platforms tailor content to individual students’ progress, optimizing comprehension and retention. Moreover, technology has transcended geographical barriers, enabling distance learning and online courses that make education accessible to a global audience.

Counterarguments: However, there are counterarguments to the unqualified significance of technology in education. Overreliance on technology may lead to reduced face-to-face interactions and diminished social skills. Additionally, some educators argue that technology can be a distraction, diverting students’ attention from essential learning objectives. Moreover, the digital divide, where not all students have equal access to technology, can exacerbate educational inequalities.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the role of technology in education is undoubtedly significant, enhancing engagement, personalization, and accessibility. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge potential drawbacks such as social skill erosion and disparities in access. Technology’s effectiveness in education depends on its thoughtful integration and its alignment with pedagogical goals. Striking a balance between harnessing technology’s benefits and mitigating its downsides is essential to maximize its positive impact on modern education.

  • Maintain objectivity; avoid extreme positions unless strongly backed by evidence.
  • Use qualifiers like “largely”, “often”, or “generally” to avoid making absolute statements.

9. Causes (Reasons) and Effects

This type demands an understanding of the root causes of a situation and its resultant effects.

What are the reasons for increasing obesity rates in children, and what are its consequences?

  • Causes/Reasons : Elaborate on the underlying factors.
  • Effects/Consequences : Detail the outcomes or repercussions.
  • Conclusion : Recap the main causes and effects.

Introduction: The rising prevalence of childhood obesity has emerged as a critical public health concern in many societies. This essay will delve into the underlying causes of increasing obesity rates in children and explore the far-reaching consequences of this alarming trend.

Causes/Reasons: Several factors contribute to the growing obesity rates among children. Firstly, changes in dietary habits have led to increased consumption of processed foods high in sugars and unhealthy fats. Busy lifestyles and convenience-driven choices have shifted diets towards calorie-dense but nutritionally poor options. Sedentary behaviors, fueled by excessive screen time and a decline in physical activity, also play a pivotal role. Reduced outdoor play and an increasing reliance on electronic devices have led to a decline in daily physical activity levels. Furthermore, socioeconomic disparities can impact access to healthy food options and safe play spaces, exacerbating the issue.

Effects/Consequences: The consequences of childhood obesity are multifaceted and far-reaching. In the short term, overweight children often face social and psychological challenges, including low self-esteem and bullying. Moreover, childhood obesity sets the stage for lifelong health problems. Obese children are at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and musculoskeletal issues. The economic burden on healthcare systems is substantial, as treating obesity-related illnesses places a strain on resources.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the rising prevalence of childhood obesity can be attributed to a complex interplay of factors, including dietary changes, sedentary lifestyles, and socioeconomic disparities. The consequences of childhood obesity extend beyond physical health, impacting mental well-being and straining healthcare systems. Addressing this issue requires a comprehensive approach involving education, policy changes, and community initiatives that promote healthy diets and active lifestyles from an early age.

  • Use cause-effect connectors like “due to”, “because of”, “as a result”, and “hence”.
  • Illustrate causes and effects with recent studies or statistical data where possible.

Read Also : How to use Complex Sentences in IELTS writing?

Supplementary Skills and Tips

Advanced Writing Techniques :

  • Use cohesive devices like ‘however’, ‘moreover’, and ‘therefore’ to ensure fluidity.
  • Vary sentence lengths for rhythm and engagement.
  • Incorporate credible statistics where appropriate.

Pitfalls to Avoid :

  • Stay away from broad generalizations and sweeping statements.
  • Use varied vocabulary to prevent monotony.
  • Always revise your essay before submission.

Enhancing Vocabulary :

  • Improve your vocabulary to make your essay more engaging. For instance, instead of “good”, use words like “beneficial” or “advantageous”.

The Importance of Practice and Feedback :

  • Regular practice, coupled with feedback, is key. Take online IELTS mock tests with detailed feedback from certified examiners to improve your writing skills.

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Connectors / Linking Words for Writing – Functions and Tips


Updated On Sep 15, 2023


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Connectors / Linking Words for Writing – Functions and Tips

Effective IELTS Essay Connectors for Writing Task 2 & Task 1

Linking words or connectors are the adverbs that turn out to be the easiest way to connect ideas or sentences with one unique word. Such linking words or connectors make the entire sentence look appealing. In IELTS, if you use the connesctors appropriately, it will showcase your advanced English communication skills.

So, in any way, if you find yourself stuck with handling these linking words or connectors, here are a few tips that will help you out.

How do Linking Words or Connectors Function? 

Jotted down below are a few reasons why you should be using linking words or connectors in your IELTS writing tasks:

  • They make your writing clear and appealing.
  • You get to provide meaning to otherwise complex sentences.
  • They help readers understand how one sentence is related to the other.
  • They help to know the purpose of the question and also give an appropriate answer to the question.

Tips to Use Linking words or Connectors

Here are a few tips that you can keep in mind when using linking words or connectors:

Are you being accurate with your choice of words?

There are a lot of linking words that can be used in a sentence, so you need to be careful while using the linking words and use them accurately.

Are you overusing linking words or connectors?

The linking words can be used once or twice in the sentence. Making overuse of the linking words in the sentence makes the sentence meaningless.

Are you mixing up?

Try to use a lot of linking words in the paragraph, but make sure the sentence is meaningful while using these words. Using a single word many times in a paragraph doesn’t make any sense. So while using the linking words, use them wisely.

Common Linking words and Connectors used in IELTS Writing

When writing an essay or a report in an IELTS exam, there are plenty of linking words or connectors used throughout. You can take ideas from the ones mentioned below:


Agreement / Disagreement


Listing Points

Reasons and Causes

Extra Information

Results and Consequences

An Indication of Time

Highlighting or Emphasising

Presenting Contrast

Presenting Comparison


Also check :

  • IELTS Writing
  • IELTS Writing tips
  • IELTS Writing recent actual test
  • IELTS Writing Answer sheet
  • IELTS Writing Practice tests

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are connectors important in writing?

Name some of the common connectors used in IELTS Writing?

What are some linking words expressing differences or contrasts?

Mention some linking words that can be used to express a finale or summarization

Where do you use connectors or linking words in IELTS writing?

Explore IELTS Writing

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Proven tips to score Band 9 in IELTS Writing


Janet had been an IELTS Trainer before she dived into the field of Content Writing. During her days of being a Trainer, Janet had written essays and sample answers which got her students an 8+ band in the IELTS Test. Her contributions to our articles have been engaging and simple to help the students understand and grasp the information with ease. Janet, born and brought up in California, had no idea about the IELTS until she moved to study in Canada. Her peers leaned to her for help as her first language was English.

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Useful Vocabulary for Writing an IELTS Graph Essay

ielts graph vocabulary - image by Magoosh

When it comes to IELTS writing task 1, 25% of your marks are for the range of words you use. That means IELTS graph vocabulary is a very important component to review as you prepare for the Writing Task 1. You can start by checking out this IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary guide . And below, I’ll provide an overview of words and useful phrases to incorporate into your writing so that you can get top marks on the lexical resource category and a high band score overall. Basically, the better your IELTS writing chart vocabulary, the higher score you’ll get. It’s not hard, but there is a clear formula to doing well.

How to Use IELTS Graph Vocabulary in Writing Task 1

Because IELTS writing task 1 involves describing a graph or chart of some type, it will help to have a handle on IELTS writing chart vocabulary — words and phrases that help you write about the information on the chart or graph.

words to use in essay ielts

How are graphs described in IELTS? Let’s walk through the best vocabulary for the task, step by step.

Get a higher IELTS score? Start your online IELTS prep today with Magoosh.

1. Start With Introduction Phrases

Often ESL students start their essay with ‘The graph shows…’. While this is fine, the verb ‘shows’ could be replaced by a more exciting and high-level vocabulary word. Here are four different prompts to start your essay:

  • The graph illustrates the trends in…
  • The graph reveals information about the changes in…
  • The graph provides the differences between…
  • The graph presents how X has changed over a period of…
  • DO NOT write the word below or above in your introduction. i.e. The graph above/below shows…

2. Add Suitable Adverbs

Adverbs help express a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, and degree, and can greatly add some color and interest to your writing as well as show off your range of vocabulary. Unlike adjectives (which describe nouns), adverbs describe verbs, or actions. Here’s a great list of adverbs to use:

Adverb Meaning
Approximately Almost, but not completely exact; roughly
Dramatically By a quick and large amount
Erratically In a way that is uneven or irregular
Gradually By slow degrees
Markedly Noticeably, significantly
Significantly In a way that is worthy of attention; importantly
Slightly To a small degree
Slowly At a slow speed, not quickly
Steadily In a regular or even way

3. Use Appropriate Synonyms

Again using a variety of nouns and verbs for words like rise and fall will help increase your overall score. Here are some suggestions:

Rise (Noun) Rise (Verb) Fall (Verb) Fall (Noun) Fluctuate (Verb)
Climb Increase Collapse Decline Be erratic
Increase Climb Decline Decrease Be fitful
Improve Leap Decrease Deterioration Vary
Jump Pick up Deteriorate Dip Rise and fall
Leap Surge Dip Drop
Move upward Growth Drive Plunge
Rocket Drop Freefall
Skyrocket Go down Slide
Soar Plummet Slip
Shoot up Plunge Dive
Pick up Slide Reduction
Surge Slip (back) Slump
Recover Slump
Take a nosedive

4. Add Time Phrases

Below are some excellent time phrases with sentence examples:

Time Phrase Example Sentence
Between…and Between 1982 and 1992 there was a steady drop.
From…to From 1992 to 1996 there was a dramatic increase.
In the year… In the year 2020, unemployment spiked.
During/over the period During the 1980s, trends stayed consistent.
over the latter half of the year/century/decade/period Over the latter half of the century, more women entered the workforce.
over the next/past/previous… Over the previous year, work-from-home rates sharply increased.
days/weeks/months/years/decades For several weeks, stock prices have remained stable.
by… By 1997, market growth had stabilized.

Using IELTS Graph Vocabulary in a Model Essay

Look at the sample IELTS writing Task 1 graphs on the British Council website . Below is my model answer with useful words in bold:

The bar charts illustrate the trends in computer ownership, with a further classification by level of education, from 2002 to 2010.

Over the period, it can be observed that there was a significant surge in the percentage of the population that owned a computer. In the year 2002, only about 58% of the population owned a computer, whereas by 2010 , this gradually increased to where over three-quarters of individuals had a home computer.

Looking at the information by level of education reveals that higher levels of education correspond to higher levels of computer ownership in both of those years. In 2002, a significantly low percentage of the population who did not finish high school had a computer, but this figure skyrocketed by 2010, going from 15% to over 40%. There were also dramatic climbs , of approximately 30 percentage points, for those with a high school diploma or an unfinished college education (reaching 65% and 85%, respectively, in 2010).

To conclude, during the last decade, there has been a substantial growth in computer ownership across all educational levels.

Other IELTS Graph Vocabulary Resources

Keep in mind that IELTS writing task 1 may contain one of several different types of infographic: a bar chart, pie chart, line graph, diagram, etc. Regardless of the type, you’ll want to have a good handle on IELTS writing chart vocabulary.

For more specific guides to the different kinds of graphs, charts, and graphics you may find on IELTS writing task 1, check out the following resources:

  • How to Describe a Bar Chart
  • How to Describe a Pie Chart
  • How to Describe a Map
  • How to Describe a Process Diagram

You can also check out Magoosh’s IELTS linking words PDF for transitions between ideas. Hopefully you’ll start to incorporate some of these key words and phrases, as well as the above suggestions, in your IELTS Task 1 Writing. If you still don’t feel comfortable doing so, consider dedicating more time to your IELTS studies with Magoosh’s fun, engaging IELTS prep for extra practice.

Eliot Friesen

Eliot Friesen-Meyers is the Senior Curriculum Manager for Magoosh IELTS and TOEFL. He attended Goshen College (B.A.), New York University (M.A.), and Harvard University (M.T.S.), gaining experience and skills in curriculum development, ESOL instruction, online teaching and learning, and IELTS and TOEFL test prep education. Eliot’s teaching career started with Literacy Americorps in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later, taught ESL programs at Northeastern University, University of California-Irvine, and Harold Washington College. Eliot was also a speaker at the 2019 TESOL International Conference . With over 10 years of experience, he understands the challenges students face and loves helping them overcome those challenges. Come join Eliot on Youtube , Facebook , and Instagram . Recent blog posts Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 1 Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2

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11 responses to “Useful Vocabulary for Writing an IELTS Graph Essay”

Sana Avatar

I would like to get sample of all types of graph eassy

Magoosh Expert

IELTS Liz offers a pretty good range of graphs and charts for IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic) . You can also get a nice selection of these on the official IELTS websites . And last but not least, Magoosh offers a good selection of these types of questions with a Magoosh IELTS Premium subscription. 🙂

Joyce Avatar

Thank you Magoosh for the comprehensive guide. I’m a subscriber to you GMAT course and is now checking out IELTS.

Wanna ask, I read and watched many other sources that says we should not write a conclusion. However, yours did.

So, is it permissible or not permissible?

The concluding sentence is optional–if you have time to write a concluding sentence after writing and reviewing your essay, then it looks good to have a concluding sentence. If you don’t have time to write a concluding essay or you’d rather focus on other parts of your essay, then it’s totally fine to leave it out. You can read more about this in our Complete Guide to IELTS Academic Writing Task 1.

Julia P Avatar

“Growth” is not an noun? Because in the board it’s saying that it is a verb

Thanks for pointing this out! It seems like a mistake on our part. We should probably change that to “grow”. I’ll make a note for our writing team to make this change 🙂

Bharti English Classes Avatar

I appreciate you very much. Your blog on Useful Words for Writing an IELTS Graph Essay was the outstanding blog ever. You have given so much good information about the new english words & grammar in your post, which will help me in future. Always keep data like this on your website

Aakash Avatar

I have two significant questions. The first one is related to the unit of measurement in over view. Is it academic? And the second one is of conclusion. Do we need to write conclusion?

Hi Aakash, I’m afraid I don’t understand your first question. Can you please provide some more information? For your second question: a conclusion is not necessary. You can add one if you’d like, but it’s more important to spend time analyzing the graph.

Hademe Precious Avatar

This is one of the best among the essay I’ve read recently.

Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

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Learn English Team

List of Synonym Words for IELTS + PDF

If you’re preparing for the IELTS exam and want to expand your vocabulary, we’ve got you covered with our list of synonym words for IELTS. This comprehensive IELTS vocabulary list will help you diversify your language skills and improve your writing and speaking for the test.

words to use in essay ielts

Check Also: 300+ List of Vocabulary Words for IELTS (updated 200+ IELTS Academic Word List & Examples and PDF Linking Words and Phrases & List & Examples

IELTS Synonyms A- C List

Here you can find the vocabulary list for IELTS Synonyms from A to C.

ordinary, fair
dreadful, atrocious
clumsy, uncoordinated
prohibit, forbid
unproductive, infertile
shy, timid
pretty, attractive
prior, earlier
start, initiate
trust, accept
under, lower
helpful, useful
finest, choice
combine, mix
base, foundation
courageous, bold
fracture, burst
short, concise
quiet, tranquil
concern, protection

IELTS Synonyms C – F

Here you can find the vocabulary list for IELTS Synonyms from C to F.

stop, discontinue
positive, sure
delightful, appealing
cool, nippy
plump, pudgy
explain, simplify
shut, fasten
near, imminent
bumpy, rough
enormous, immense
blend, unite
amusing, funny
crush, condense
real, tangible
admit, acknowledge
contain, enclose
oppose, differ, clash
fight, battle, struggle
comply, submit
complicate, muddle, jumble
overcrowded, stuffed
join, link, attach
scrupulous, virtuous
aware, cognizant
successive, continuous
cautious, restrained
persist, persevere
recuperate, recover
handy, accessible
customary, traditional
accurate, right
bravery, valor
polite, civil
conceal, hide
comfortable, snug
cross, irritable
insane, daft, mad
mean, heartless
sob, weep
loiter, linger
hurt, impair
unsafe, hazardous
bold, audacious
subtract, remove
protect, shield
resist, challenge
fragile, dainty
destroy, wreck
blame, censure, indict
thick, heavy, compressed
leave, exit
store, place
barren, forsaken
hate, detest, loathe
poor, penniless
hinder, prevent
sure, convinced
expire, perish
distinct, unlike
hard, challenging
weaken, thin
curtail, lessen, decrease
soiled, messy
differ, dispute
debate, oppose
different, distinct
separate, split
tame, gentle
sleeping, inactive
mistrust, dispute
dull, lifeless
doubtful, questionable
blunt, dreary
stupid, dense
premature, beforetime
peculiar, unusual
joy, rapture, elation
drain, unload
promote, support, urge
opponent, foe
like, appreciate
expand, magnify
vast, immense, colossal
remarkable, outstanding
arouse, provoke, incite
overjoyed, ecstatic, elated
exact, distinct, unmistakable
delightful, charming, lovely
marvelous, amazing
confront, meet
honest, just, impartial
imitation, phony, artificial
incorrect, untrue
elaborate, ornate, fussy
incredible, outrageous
rapid, quick, swift
chubby, plump, stout
deadly, mortal, killing
tire, exhaust
fantasy, untruth, myth
load, pack
mend, repair
defect, fault, blemish
frail, fragile, delicate
impudent, sassy

IELTS Synonyms F – O

Here you can find the vocabulary list for IELTS Synonyms from F to O.

enemy, adversary, opponent
pardon, excuse, absolve
previous, earlier
part, portion, segment
candid, straightforward, blunt
fury, rage
unused, new
comrade, buddy
freezing, frosty
trivial, unimportant, silly
angry, enraged, infuriated
coming, tomorrow
acquire, obtain, receive
chivalrous, stately
collect, accumulate, compile
showy, garish, vulgar
scrawny, skinny, thin
giving, selfless, big-hearted
tender, mild
real, authentic, sincere
immense, colossal, enormous
donate, present, offer
happy, pleased, delighted
dark, dismal, depressing
ravishing, dazzling, stunning
thankfulness, appreciation
outstanding, remarkable
useful, convenient, skillful
firm, solid, difficult
loathe, detest
aid, assist
elevated, lofty
grasp, grip, retain
truthful, sincere, frank
welcoming, cordial, gracious
antagonistic, aggressive, militant
vast, immense, great
modest, unpretentious
embarrass, disgrace, dishonor
alike, duplicate
spotless, pure
childish, inexperienced
resistant, exempt
neutral, unbiased, fair
eager, anxious, intolerant
compulsory, crucial, mandatory
marred, defective, faulty
impulsive, rash, reckless
significant, meaningful
self-reliant, autonomous
lesser, substandard
enrage, agitate, provoke
clever, creative, original
guiltless, blameless
provocative, engrossing
sporadic, periodic
inner, inside
bigoted, prejudiced
fascinating, enthralling
inappropriate, unrelated
annoy, agitate, provoke
connect, unite, link
merry, jovial, joyful
overjoyed, delighted, elated
save, protect, guard
considerate, tender, thoughtful
fewest, minimum, smallest
readable, clear
lax, unrestrained, easy
lethargic, tired
sensible, sane, rational
slack, limp
attract, seduce, entice
extravagant, elegant
expand, enlarge, exaggerate
required, compulsory
manipulate, handle, scheme
greatest, uppermost, highest
scanty, sparse, poor
unkind, malicious, nasty
combative, aggressive, warlike
lesser, inferior, secondary
merriment, fun, laughter
naughty, impish
hardship, catastrophe, mishap
moveable, changeable
temperate, lenient, medium
important, powerful, outstanding
boring, tedious dreary, humdrum
ethical, virtuous, righteous
appalling, awful, ghastly
gloomy, sullen, moody, glum
grieve, lament, bemoan
elusive, occult, secret
bad, disobedient, wrong
indifferent, lackadaisical, blase
ordinary, typical, usual
several, abundant, considerable
mind, heed, comply
unconscious, preoccupied, dazed
offensive, abominable, repulsive
examine, study, scrutinize
extinct, dated, antiquated
stubborn, bullheaded, adamant
peculiar, weird, strange
displease, affront, disgust
threatening, menacing
obscure, murky, unclear
begin, unfold, originate
enemy, rival, foe
hopeful, confident
voluntary, elective
usual, average
preposterous, shocking
extraordinary, distinguished

IELTS Synonyms P – Z

Here you can find the vocabulary list for IELTS Synonyms from P to Z.

painstakingmeticulous, precise, fastidious
peculiarweird, bizarre
perfectflawless, accurate
permanentenduring, lasting
perpetualeternal, endless, incessant
persuadeconvince, influence
plausiblebelievable, reasonable, logical
plentifulample, enough, abundant
pliablesupple, flexible, compliant
politegracious, refined, courteous
poordestitute, needy, impoverished
portionpart, segment, piece
possibleconceivable, feasible, plausible
precariousdangerous, uncertain, shaky
preciouscherished, valuable, prized
prejudicedbiased, opinionated, influenced
prematureearly, hasty
prevalentcustomary, widespread
preventthwart, prohibit, hinder
probablelikely, apt, liable
proficientskilled, adept, competent
profitgain, earnings, benefit
prohibitforbid, bar, restrict
prominentdistinguished, eminent
promptpunctual, timely
prosperousthriving, successful, flourishing
proudarrogant, elated
pushshove, propel
quitcease, stop, withdraw
racketnoise, commotion, disturbance
radiantluminous, shining, lustrous
raisehoist, elevate
ratifyapprove, confirm, endorse
rationallogical, level-headed, sensible
ravagedevastate, ruin, damage
razedestroy, demolish
recreationamusement, pleasure, pastime
reducelessen, decrease, diminish
relentlesspersistent, merciless, unyielding
relevantpertinent, suitable, apropos
reliabletrustworthy, steadfast, stable
reluctantunwilling, hesitant
remotesecluded, isolated, distant
repulsivehideous, offensive, gruesome
reputablehonorable, upstanding, honest
resistoppose, withstand, defy
retaliateavenge, revenge, reciprocate
revealshow, disclose, divulge
ridiculousnonsensical, foolish, preposterous
sameidentical, alike, equivalent
savageuncivilized, barbarous
savepreserve, conserve, keep
scarcescanty, rare, sparse
scrawnyskinny, gaunt, spindly
scrupulousmeticulous, ethical, fastidious
seizeapprehend, grab, snatch
separatedivide, segregate, partition
serenepeaceful, tranquil, calm
seriousgrave, solemn, pensive
shrewdclever, cunning, crafty
sluggishlistless, lethargic, inactive
smalllittle, insignificant, trivial
smoothslick, glossy, level
sociablefriendly, cordial, gregarious
sorrowwoe, anguish, grief
specialexceptional, notable, particular
spontaneousinstinctive, automatic, natural
stablesteady, unchanging, settled
stationaryfixed, immobile, firm
stimulaterouse, stir, motivate
stopquit, cease, terminate
strenuousvigorous, laborious
strictstringent, severe, stern
strongpowerful, mighty, potent
stupidunintelligent, dense, foolish
subsequentfollowing, succeeding, latter
suppressrestrain, inhibit, squelch
surplusexcess, additional, extra
swiftfast, speedy, hasty
syntheticman-made, artificial
tallhigh, lofty
tangibleconcrete, definite
tauttense, tight, stiff
tenderdelicate, gentle, affectionate
terribledreadful, horrible, vile
thawmelt, defrost
thriftyeconomical, frugal, prudent
thriveprosper, flourish, develop
totalwhole, entire, complete
trivialinsignificant, worthless
upsetperturb, ruffle, agitate
urgentcrucial, important
vacantunoccupied, empty
vagueunclear, obscure, indistinct
valiantcourageous, brave, heroic
vibrateshake, quiver, tremble
viciousmalicious, spiteful, ferocious
victorytriumph, win, success
virtuousmoral, righteous, angelic
vulgaroffensive, uncouth, coarse
wealthriches, prosperity, assets
wearytired, fatigued, lethargic
wintriumph, succeed, prevail
wiseknowing, scholarly, smart
wonderfulmarvelous, incredible
wornused, impaired, old
wrongincorrect, untrue, mistaken
yieldproduce, bear, provide
zenithpeak, apex

IELTS Synonyms Words List PDF

Here you can download detailed Synonym Words List for IELTS exam.

  IELTS Synonyms Words List PDF – download

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Assalam alikum sir g i have my ielts exame on 23 march please send me words of synonyms

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Vocabulary For Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 (part 1)

Use synonyms in your graph response

Introduction + Basic/ General Trends + Details Description + Summary (optional) .

Vocabulary for the introduction part:.

The/ the given / the supplied / the presented / the shown / the provided

diagram / table / figure / illustration / graph / chart / flow chart / picture/ presentation/ pie chart / bar graph/ column graph / line graph / table data/ data / information / pictorial/ process diagram/ map/ pie chart and table/ bar graph and pie chart ...

shows / represents / depicts / enumerates / illustrates / presents/ gives / provides / delineates/ outlines/ describes / delineates/ expresses/ denotes/ compares/ shows contrast / indicates / figures / gives data on / gives information on/ presents information about/ shows data about/ demonstrates/ sketch out/ summarises...

the comparison of…
the differences…
the changes...
the number of…
information on…
data on…
the proportion of…
the amount of…
information on...
data about...
comparative data...
the trend of...
the percentages of...
the ratio of...
how the...


General Statement Part:

Vocabulary for the general trend part:, 1. in general... 2. in common... 3. generally speaking... 4. overall... 5. it is obvious... 6. as it is observed... 7. as a general trend... 8. as can be seen... 9. as an overall trend/ as overall trend... 10. as it is presented... 11. it can be clearly seen that... 12. at the first glance... 13. it is clear, 14. at the onset... 15. it is clear that... 16. a glance at the graph(s) reveals that..., the structure of the ielts academic writing task 1 (report writing):, introduction:, reporting details:, conclusion:.

Report Writing Structure

 Vocabulary to Start the Report Body:

1. as it is presented in the diagram(s)/ graph(s)/ pie chart(s)/ table... 2. as (it is) shown in the illustration... 3. as can be seen in the... 4. as the diagrams suggest... 5. according to the... 6. categorically speaking... 7. getting back to the details... 8. now, turning to the details... 9. the table data clearly shows that... 10. the diagram reveals that... 11. the data suggest that... 12. the graph gives the figure... 13. it is interesting to note that... 14. it is apparently seen that... 15. it is conspicuous that... 16. it is explicitly observed that... 17. it is obvious... 18. it is clear from the data... 19. it is worth noticing that... 20. it is crystal clear/ lucid that... 21. it can be clearly observed that... 22. it could be plainly viewed that... 23. it could be noticed that... 24. we can see that...,  vocabulary to show the changes:.

rise / increase / go up / uplift / rocket(ed) / climb / upsurge / soar/ shot up/ improve/ jump/ leap/ move upward/ skyrocket/ soar/ surge.

a rise / an increase / an upward trend / a growth / a leap / a jump / an improvement/ a climb.

fall / decrease / decline / plummet / plunge / drop / reduce / collapse / deterioriate/ dip / dive / go down / take a nosedive / slum / slide / go into free-fall.

a fall / a decrease / a reduction / a downward trends /a  downward tendency /  a decline/ a drop / a slide / a collapse / a downfall.

unchanged / level out / remain constant / remain steady / plateau / remain the same / remain stable / remain static

a steadiness/ a plateau / a stability/ a static

an upward trend / an upward tendency / a ceiling trend

a downward trend / a downward tendency / a descending trend

level(ed) off / remain(ed) constant / remain(ed) unchanged / remain(ed) stable / prevail(ed) consistency / plateaued / reach(ed) a plateau / stay(ed) uniform /immutable / level(ed) out/ stabilise/ remain(ed) the same.

 No change, a flat, a plateau.

IELTS Writing task 1 vocabulary

Vocabulary to represent changes in graphs:

dramatically / rapidly / sharply / quickly / hurriedly / speedily / swiftly / significantly/ considerably / substantioally / noticably.

dramatic / rapid / sharp / quick / hurried / speedy / swift / significant / considerable / substantial / noticable.

moderately / gradually / progressively / sequentially.  

moderate / gradual / progressive /  sequential.

 steadily/ ceaselessly.

steady/ ceaseless.

slightly / slowly / mildly / tediously.

slight / slow / mild / tedious.

IELTS Vocabulary

wave / fluctuate / oscillate / vacillate / palpitate

waves / fluctuations / oscillations / vacillations /  palpitations

Types of Changes/ Differences and Vocabulary to present them: 

Dates, months & years related vocabulary and grammar: , percentage, portion and numbers:, words/ phrases of approximation - vocabulary:, what criteria would a band 9 graph response satisfy.

Band score 9- Lexical Resources requirements

Next »» Graph Writing Vocabulary (Part 2)»

words to use in essay ielts

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IELTS Writing icon

IELTS General Training format: Writing

Every detail you need for the writing part of your ielts general training test, what’s in the ielts general training writing paper.

There are two Writing tasks and BOTH must be completed.

In Task 1, you have to respond to a situation by writing a letter, for example, asking for information or explaining a situation. You need to write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes.

In Task 2, you are given a point of view, argument or problem which you need to discuss . You need to write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes.

You must write your answers using full sentences. You must not write your answers as notes or bullet points. You must write your answers on the answer sheet. You are allowed to write notes on the question paper but these will not be seen by the examiner.

Certificated IELTS examiners assess your performance on each Writing task. There are four assessment criteria (things which the examiner thinks about when deciding what score to give you):

  • Task achievement/response
  • Coherence and cohesion
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy.

Task achievement (in Task 1) and Task response (in Task 2) assess how accurately, appropriately and relevantly your response covers the task requirements, using the minimum of 150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2.

In Task 1, Task achievement refers to how well your letter achieves its purpose.

In Task 2, Task response includes how well you develop your argument in response to the task, giving evidence and examples which may be from your own experience.

Coherence and cohesion assesses how clear and fluent your writing is, and how you organise ideas and information. It includes giving your ideas in a logical order, and using a range of cohesive devices (for example, linking words, pronouns and conjunctions, etc.) appropriately.

Lexical resource assesses the range of vocabulary you use, and how accurately and appropriately you use it.

Grammatical range and accuracy assesses the range of grammar you use and how accurately and appropriately you use it.

Time allowed : 60 minutes

Number of tasks : 2

Marking : Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.

Writing tasks 1 and 2

What's involved.

In General Training Writing Task 1, you are given a situation and you need to write a response of at least 150 words in the form of a letter. Depending on the task, the letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style. The question paper tells you what information to include in the form of three bullet points.

You might need to ask for or give information and/or explain a situation. The situations you need to write about are common, everyday situations such as:

  • writing to a college accommodation officer about problems with your accommodation
  • writing to a new employer about problems you are having with managing your time
  • writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport
  • writing to a renting agency to sort out problems with the heating system in your house.

The style of writing that you use depends on who you are asked to write to and how well you are supposed to know them. You need to choose a style that is appropriate for your audience and will help you achieve your purpose for writing, e.g. writing to a friend (personal) or writing to a manager (semi-formal or formal).

You should spend no more than 20 minutes on this task. You need to write at least 150 words and will be penalised if your answer is too short. While test takers will not be penalised for writing more than 150 words, you should remember that a longer Task 1 answer may mean that you have less time to spend on Task 2, which contributes twice as much to your Writing band score.

You should remember that you will be penalised if what you write is not related to the topic. You will also be penalised if your answer is not written as a whole piece of connected text (i.e. you must not use notes or bullet points). You will be severely penalised if your writing is plagiarised (i.e. copied from another source).

You do not need to write any addresses at the top of your letter.

You must write your answer on the answer sheet.

What skills are tested?

This task tests if you are able to write a letter which is well organised and appropriate in its register and style.

Depending on the task type, you will be assessed on your ability to:

  • ask for and/or provide general factual information
  • express needs, wants, likes and dislikes
  • express opinions (views, complaints, etc.).

How much do I have to write?

A minimum of 150 words.

In General Training Writing Task 2, you need to write a semi-formal/neutral discursive essay of a minimum of 250 words.

The instructions for Task 2 give information about an opinion, argument or problem. The instructions then tell you what you should discuss in your essay.

You will need to write about a topic of general interest, such as:

  • whether children’s leisure activities should be educational
  • how environmental problems can be solved
  • whether smoking should be banned in public places.

You should make sure that you write your answer carefully so that you give a complete response that is also relevant. To do this you will need to organise your ideas clearly and make sure you use relevant examples (which can be from your own experience, if relevant) or evidence. For this task, you need to be able to discuss more abstract and complex ideas and use a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

You should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task. You must write at least 250 words and will be penalised if your answer is too short. While you will not be penalised for writing more than 250 words, if you write a very long answer you may not have time for checking and correcting at the end, and some ideas may not be directly relevant to the question. You may also produce handwriting which is unclear.

This task tests if you can write a clear, relevant, well-organised argument, giving evidence or examples to support your ideas, and use language accurately. Depending on the task type, you will be assessed on your ability to:

  • provide general factual information
  • outline a problem and present a solution
  • present and possibly justify an opinion
  • evaluate and discuss ideas, evidence or an argument.

A minimum of 250 words.

Learn about the other sections of the test

IELTS Listening icon

Time allowed: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes to transfer your answers to an answer sheet)

IELTS Reading icon

Time allowed: 60 minutes (including transfer time)

IELTS Speaking icon

Time allowed: 11–14 minutes

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IELTS Speaking Vocabulary

Below you will find the IELTS speaking vocabulary for different topics in the  IELTS speaking test .

You’ll find example speaking questions and how to use these words in context and the definitions of each word.

Use this to increase your vocabulary with useful speaking grammar, lexical resources and idioms and phrases for your speaking.

Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking Topics

Each link below covers a familiar topic on the speaking test along with extensive vocabulary lists, definitions, and a sample answer.

  • Friends and Family
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Modern Technology
  • Coronavirus Vocabulary (new)
  • Pollution and the Environment
  • People, Personalities and Characters
  • Fitness and Health
  • School and Education
  • Work and Careers
  • University and Student Life
  • Accommodation
  • Books, Film and Art
  • Climate Change (popular topic)
  • Working From Home
  • Social Media (popular topic)
  • Advertising
  • Fashion and Shopping

Advanced vocabulary for IELTS speaking

Here are a list of words that can be considered ‘advanced’ because although they are understood they are used far less in everyday English.

These words were selected because we believe they could be used easily used in the speaking exam . For example, the cue cards usually ask you to talk about a person, place or an experience. You can see the meaning of the words followed by an IELTS-specific example.

Ludicrous – unreasonable, or out of place, so as to be funny. “Well, a person I admire a lot was the Queen of England, and I find it ludicrous some countries would prefer to be a republic, rather than have her as head of state”.

Pinnacle – the most successful point. “A person I admire a lot would be Sir Lewis Hamilton, during his career he has been at the pinnacle of motorsport”. 

Proponent – a person who advocates for something. “I think I am a big proponent for making the world a cleaner place, for example…”.

Invigorating – making one feel strong, healthy, and full of energy. “Well, to relax, I find a long hot bath with some candles and music, really invigorates me for next day”.

Indulge – to enjoy the pleasure of something. “Well, to relax, I make a huge hot chocolate, loaded with marshmallows, then grab a pack of biscuits, and indulge my sweet tooth for an hour or two”.

Mere – used to emphasize how insignificant someone or something is. “The mountain cannot be climbed by mere mortals”.

Here is a post full of advanced grammar techniques for your speaking exam.

Is vocabulary the quickest win?

Even native speakers are impressed by other native speakers who have an expansive vocabulary. Similarly, a reduced vocabulary is often associated to reduced intelligence ( source ).

I always remember my English tutor saying ‘ Never use the word nice’. Nice is an incredibly plain and overused word. It is probably among the first 100 words you learnt in English.

There are so many richer and more elegant words for you to use in your IELTS exam:

  • Being nice helps to develop confidence. vs. Being pleasant helps to develop confidence .
  • Her spoken English skills are really nice . vs Her spoken English skills are profound .
  • It is nice to hear phrasal verbs used correctly. vs. It is delightful to hear phrasal verbs used correctly.

Active vocabulary helps your fluency

If the word you are searching for only comes after 5 seconds of waiting and there are pauses in your speaking, you do not sound fluent. Your vocabulary is not activated / it is passive.

Therefore having an extensive vocabulary is useless unless it is activated. Practice exercises to activate your vocabulary must consist of using the word various times after learning it. This is one of the best ways to consolidate your vocab for IELTS speaking.

Make sure the word is used in context though.

Word lists can be helpful if you follow the above rule of using the word various times after learning it.

Listening and repeating authentic native English speaker material on common topics will not only help your pronunciation , your vocabulary but also your fluency.

In English individual words are often pushed together in what is called connective speech. Mimicking helps you get a feel for connected speech.

It is especially useful when you learn a new word because you get the context and the correct pronunciation first time.

Likewise, learning an entire phrase by mimicking it will help with your intonation and make you sound more like a native speaker.

TIP: Most people don’t know that if you know you make a mistake it is ok to go back and correct yourself, just make sure it does not happen very often otherwise it may start to affect your score. For more help on learning speaking vocabulary and tips on the IELTS speaking test check out this guide .

Reading (not the shy or perfectionists)

Although reading is definitely useful you do not want to have ‘text book English’ which means all your English is in your head and not in your mouth. Basically you know a lot but cannot use it.

This is common among shy students and perfectionists who are reluctant to make mistakes and hate being embarrassed.

Unfortunately, the only way to get a high score and improve your speaking skills is to get out there and make mistakes. Get feedback and learn from the errors. Make the most of the classes at school or online by insisting your tutor either corrects you or notes down your mistakes. Otherwise, the lesson is just casual chit-chat between friends.

A mistake in speaking is only a failure if you failed to learn from it.

Improving your writing can help

A strong writer is often a strong communicator. Articulate writers often find their skills carry over into the speaking domain. This is especially true with the topic specific vocabulary learnt for the other modules such as writing task 2, and the reading test .

A high score through the accurate use of idioms can be achieved, if they are used naturally and accurately, here is a guide on how to use idioms in your speaking exam.

Be warned though, you must be confident you are using it aptly otherwise it can sound forced and unnatural.

Quick Speaking Tips

Tip 1. Don’t memorize your answers before the exam.

Tip 2. Develop the skill to talk spontaneously on different topics.

Tip 3. Practice your IELTS speaking using sample questions with other students.

Tip 4. Don’t be shy to ask for clarification.

Tip 5. Elaborate, explain, and develop your answers. If possible try to use more academic language.

Tip 6. Don’t rush your answers. Speak slowly and clearly (it may seem slow to you but will most likely be a natural pace).

Tip 7. Don’t panic if you make a mistake.

Tip 8. Practise fluency and accuracy separately.

Tip 9. Practise speaking about different topics with native and non-native speakers.

Tip 10. Use anecdotes, especially in your practice lessons, so as to avoid errors on exam day.

Tip 11. When using examples in your responses, try to avoid hypothetical situations.

Tip 12. Learn useful phrases for the exam, especially phrases related to the IELTS speaking topics .

Tip 13. Write out your sample answers and try and upgrade them (especially the basic vocabulary!).

Tip 14. Developing your listening skills is also essential for a high score. You want to be able to understand the examiner without asking for clarification.

Get the full lesson about speaking tips here.

More IELTS Speaking Tutorials

Take a look at some more speaking tutorials to help you in your  IELTS exam

  • Full guide to speaking part one of the exam
  • Learning English Idioms
  • How to give your opinion  in the speaking exam
  • Complex sentence structures to use in your speaking exam
  • How to Greet the Examiner  when you start your IELTS Speaking test
  • Idioms to use in your IELTS Speaking exam
  • IELTS Speaking tips to Achieve Band 9
  • How to Speak about Hobbies in Part 1
  • Using Conditionals  in your Speaking Exam
  • Questions and Model Answers  for IELTS Speaking
  • Advanced Grammar | Inversion
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He is dangerous in word, deed and action

He puts self over country, he loathes the laws we live by, donald trump is unfit to lead.

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values . It is separate from the newsroom.

Next week, for the third time in eight years, Donald Trump will be nominated as the Republican Party’s candidate for president of the United States. A once great political party now serves the interests of one man, a man as demonstrably unsuited for the office of president as any to run in the long history of the Republic, a man whose values, temperament, ideas and language are directly opposed to so much of what has made this country great.

It is a chilling choice against this national moment. For more than two decades, large majorities of Americans have said they are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, and the post-Covid era of stubborn inflation, high interest rates, social division and political stagnation has left many voters even more frustrated and despondent.

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The Republican Party once pursued electoral power in service to solutions for such problems, to building “the shining city on a hill,” as Ronald Reagan liked to say. Its vision of the United States — embodied in principled public servants like George H.W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney — was rooted in the values of freedom, sacrifice, individual responsibility and the common good. The party’s conception of those values was reflected in its longstanding conservative policy agenda, and today many Republicans set aside their concerns about Mr. Trump because of his positions on immigration, trade and taxes. But the stakes of this election are not fundamentally about policy disagreements. The stakes are more foundational: what qualities matter most in America’s president and commander in chief.

Mr. Trump has shown a character unworthy of the responsibilities of the presidency. He has demonstrated an utter lack of respect for the Constitution, the rule of law and the American people. Instead of a cogent vision for the country’s future, Mr. Trump is animated by a thirst for political power: to use the levers of government to advance his interests, satisfy his impulses and exact retribution against those who he thinks have wronged him.

He is, quite simply, unfit to lead.

The Democrats are rightly engaged in their own debate about whether President Biden is the right person to carry the party’s nomination into the election, given widespread concerns among voters about his age-related fitness. This debate is so intense because of legitimate concerns that Mr. Trump may present a danger to the country, its strength, security and national character — and that a compelling Democratic alternative is the only thing that would prevent his return to power. It is a national tragedy that the Republicans have failed to have a similar debate about the manifest moral and temperamental unfitness of their standard-bearer, instead setting aside their longstanding values, closing ranks and choosing to overlook what those who worked most closely with the former president have described as his systematic dishonesty, corruption, cruelty and incompetence.

That task now falls to the American people. We urge voters to see the dangers of a second Trump term clearly and to reject it. The stakes and significance of the presidency demand a person who has essential qualities and values to earn our trust, and on each one, Donald Trump fails.

Moral Fitness Matters

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Presidents are confronted daily with challenges that require not just strength and conviction but also honesty, humility, selflessness, fortitude and the perspective that comes from sound moral judgment.

If Mr. Trump has these qualities, Americans have never seen them in action on behalf of the nation’s interests. His words and actions demonstrate a disregard for basic right and wrong and a clear lack of moral fitness for the responsibilities of the presidency.

He lies blatantly and maliciously, embraces racists , abuses women and has a schoolyard bully’s instinct to target society’s most vulnerable. He has delighted in coarsening and polarizing the town square with ever more divisive and incendiary language. Mr. Trump is a man who craves validation and vindication, so much that he would prefer a hostile leader’s lies to his own intelligence agencies’ truths and would shake down a vulnerable ally for short-term political advantage . His handling of everything from routine affairs to major crises was undermined by his blundering combination of impulsiveness, insecurity and unstudied certainty.

This record shows what can happen to a country led by such a person: America’s image, credibility and cohesion were relentlessly undermined by Mr. Trump during his term.

None of his wrongful actions are so obviously discrediting as his determined and systematic attempts to undermine the integrity of elections — the most basic element of any democracy — an effort that culminated in an insurrection at the Capitol to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Trump incited a mob to violence with hateful lies, then stood by for hours as hundreds of his supporters took his word and stormed the Capitol with the aim of terrorizing members of Congress into keeping him in office. He praised these insurrectionists and called them patriots; today he gives them a starring role at campaign rallies, playing a rendition of the national anthem sung by inmates involved with Jan. 6., and he has promised to consider pardoning the rioters if re-elected. He continues to wrong the country and its voters by lying about the 2020 election, branding it stolen, despite the courts, the Justice Department and Republican state officials disputing him. No man fit for the presidency would flog such pernicious and destructive lies about democratic norms and values, but the Trumpian hunger for vindication and retribution has no moral center.

To vest such a person with the vast powers of the presidency is to endanger American interests and security at home as well as abroad. The nation’s commander in chief must uphold the oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” It is the closest thing that this secular nation has to a sacred trust. The president has several duties and powers that are his alone: He has the sole authority to launch a nuclear weapon. He has the authority to send American troops into harm’s way and to authorize the use of lethal force against individuals and other nations. Americans who serve in the military also take an oath to defend the Constitution, and they rely on their commander in chief to take that oath as seriously as they do.

Mr. Trump has shown, repeatedly, that he does not. On numerous occasions, he asked his defense secretary and commanders in the American armed forces to violate that oath. On other occasions, he demanded that members of the military violate norms that preserve the dignity of the armed services and protect the military from being used for political purposes. They largely refused these illegal and immoral orders, as the oath requires.

The lack of moral grounding undermines Mr. Trump even in areas where voters view him as stronger and trust him more than Mr. Biden, like immigration and crime. Veering into a kind of brutal excess that is, at best, immoral and, at worst, unconstitutional, he has said that undocumented immigrants were “ poisoning the blood of our country ,” and his advisers say he would aim to round them up in mass detention camps and end birthright citizenship . He has indicated that, if faced with episodes of rioting or crime surges, he would unilaterally send troops into American cities. He has asked aides if the United States could shoot migrants below the waist to slow them down, and he has said that he would use the Insurrection Act to deploy the military against protesters.

During his time in office, none of those things happened because there were enough people in military leadership with the moral fitness to say “no” to such illegal orders. But there are good reasons to worry about whether that would happen again, as Mr. Trump works harder to surround himself with people who enable rather than check his most insidious impulses.

The Supreme Court, with its ruling on July 1 granting presidents “absolute immunity” for official acts, has removed an obstacle to Mr. Trump’s worst impulses: the threat of legal consequences. What remains is his own sense of right and wrong. Our country’s future is too precious to rely on such a broken moral compass.

Principled Leadership Matters

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Republican presidents and presidential candidates have used their leadership at critical moments to set a tone for society to live up to. Mr. Reagan faced down totalitarianism in the 1980s, appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court and worked with Democrats on bipartisan tax and immigration reforms. George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act and decisively defended an ally, Kuwait, against Iraqi aggression. George W. Bush, for all his failures after Sept. 11, did not stoke hate against or demonize Muslims or Islam.

As a candidate during the 2008 race, Mr. McCain spoke out when his fellow conservatives spread lies about his opponent, Barack Obama. Mr. Romney was willing to sacrifice his standing and influence in the party he once represented as a presidential nominee, by boldly calling out Mr. Trump’s failings and voting for his removal from office.

These acts of leadership are what it means to put country first, to think beyond oneself.

Mr. Trump has demonstrated contempt for these American ideals. He admires autocrats, from Viktor Orban to Vladimir Putin to Kim Jong-un. He believes in the strongman model of power — a leader who makes things happen by demanding it, compelling agreement through force of will or personality. In reality, a strongman rules through fear and the unprincipled use of political might for self-serving ends, imposing poorly conceived policies that smother innovation, entrepreneurship, ideas and hope.

During his four years in office, Mr. Trump tried to govern the United States as a strongman would, issuing orders or making decrees on Twitter. He announced sudden changes in policy — on who can serve in the military , on trade policy, on how the United States deals with North Korea or Russia — without consulting experts on his staff about how these changes would affect America. Indeed, nowhere did he put his political or personal interests above the national interest more tragically than during the pandemic , when he faked his way through a crisis by touting conspiracy theories and pseudoscience while ignoring the advice of his own experts and resisting basic safety measures that would have saved lives.

He took a similar approach to America’s strategic relationships abroad. Mr. Trump lost the trust of America’s longstanding allies, especially in NATO, leaving Europe less secure and emboldening the far right and authoritarian leaders in Europe, Latin America and Asia. He pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, leaving that country, already a threat to the world, more dangerous, thanks to a revived program that has achieved near-weapons-grade uranium.

In a second term, his willingness to appease Mr. Putin would leave Ukraine’s future as a democratic and independent country in doubt. Mr. Trump implies that he could single-handedly end the catastrophic war in Gaza but has no real plan. He has suggested that in a second term he’d increase tariffs on Chinese goods to 60 percent or higher and that he would put a 10 percent tariff on all imported goods, moves that would raise prices for American consumers and reduce innovation by allowing U.S. industries to rely on protectionism instead.

The worst of the Trump administration’s policies were often blocked by Congress, by court challenges and by the objections of honorable public servants who stepped in to thwart his demands when they were irresponsible or did not follow the law. When Mr. Trump wanted an end to Obamacare, a single Republican senator, Mr. McCain, saved it, preserving health care for millions of Americans. Mr. Trump demanded that James Comey, his F.B.I. director, pledge loyalty to him and end an investigation into a political ally; Mr. Comey refused. Scientists and public health officials called out and corrected his misinformation about climate science and Covid. The Supreme Court sided against the Trump administration more times than any other president since at least Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A second Trump administration would be different. He intends to fill his administration with sycophants, those who have shown themselves willing to obey Mr. Trump’s demands or those who lack the strength to stand up to him. He wants to remove those who would be obstacles to his agenda, by enacting an order to make it easier to fire civil servants and replace them with those more loyal to him.

This means not only that Americans would lose the benefit of their expertise but also that America would be governed in a climate of fear, in which government employees must serve the interests of the president rather than the public. All cabinet secretaries follow a president’s lead, but Mr. Trump envisions a nation in which public service as Americans understand it would cease to exist — where individual civil servants and departments could no longer make independent decisions and where research by scientists and public health experts and investigations by the Justice Department and others in federal law enforcement would be more malleable to the demands of the White House.

Another term under Mr. Trump’s leadership would risk doing permanent damage to our government. As Mr. Comey, a longtime Republican, wrote in a 2019 guest essay for Times Opinion, “Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from.” Very few who serve under him can avoid this fate “because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites,” Mr. Comey wrote. “Of course, to stay, you must be seen as on his team, so you make further compromises. You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values. And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.” America will get nowhere with a strongman. It needs a strong leader.

Character Matters

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Character is the quality that gives a leader credibility, authority and influence. During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump’s petty attacks on his opponents and their families led many Republicans to conclude that he lacked such character. Other Republicans, including those who supported the former president’s policies in office, say they can no longer in good conscience back him for the presidency. “It’s a job that requires the kind of character he just doesn’t have,” Paul Ryan, a former Republican House speaker, said of Mr. Trump in May .

Those who know Mr. Trump’s character best — the people he appointed to serve in the most important positions of his White House — have expressed grave doubts about his fitness for office.

His former chief of staff John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, described Mr. Trump as “a person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators. A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution and the rule of law.” Bill Barr, whom Mr. Trump appointed as attorney general, said of him , “He will always put his own interest and gratifying his own ego ahead of everything else, including the country’s interest.” James Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general who served as defense secretary, said , “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.”

Mike Pence, Mr. Trump’s vice president, has disavowed him. No other vice president in modern American history has done this. “I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States,” Mr. Pence has said . “And anyone who asked someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

These are hardly exceptions. In any other American administration, a single cabinet-level defection is rare. But an unprecedented number of Mr. Trump’s appointees have publicly criticized his leadership, opposed his 2024 presidential candidacy or ducked questions about his fitness for a second term. More than a dozen of his most senior appointees — those he chose to work alongside him and who saw his performance most closely — have spoken out against him, serving as witnesses about the kind of leader he is.

There are many ways to judge leaders’ character; one is to see whether they accept responsibility for their actions. As a general rule, Mr. Trump abhors accountability. If he loses, the election is rigged. If he is convicted, it’s because the judges are out to get him. If he doesn’t get his way in a deal, as happened multiple times with Congress in his term, he shuts down the government or threatens to.

Americans do not expect their presidents to be perfect; many of them have exhibited hubris, self-regard, arrogance and other character flaws. But the American system of government is more than just the president: It is a system of checks and balances, and it relies on everyone in government to intervene when a president’s personal failings might threaten the common good.

Mr. Trump tested those limits as president, and little has changed about him in the four years since he lost re-election. He tries to intimidate anyone with the temerity to testify as a witness against him. He attacks the integrity of judges who are doing their duty to hold him accountable to the law. He mocks those he dislikes and lies about those who oppose him and targets Republicans for defeat if they fail to bend the knee.

It may be tempting for Americans to believe that a second Trump presidency would be much like the first, with the rest of government steeled to protect the country and resist his worst impulses. But the strongman needs others to be weak, and Mr. Trump is surrounding himself with yes men.

The American public has a right to demand more from their president and those who would serve under him.

A President’s Words Matter

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When America saw white nationalists and neo-Nazis march through the streets of Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and activists were rallying against racism, Mr. Trump spoke of “very fine people on both sides.” When he was pressed about the white supremacist Proud Boys during a 2020 debate, Mr. Trump told them to “stand back and stand by,” a request that, records show, they took literally in deciding to storm Congress. This winter, the former president urged Iowans to vote for him and score a victory over their fellow Americans — “all of the liars, cheaters, thugs, perverts, frauds, crooks, freaks, creeps.” And in a Veterans Day speech in New Hampshire, he used the word “vermin,” a term he has deployed to describe both immigrants and political opponents.

What a president says reflects on the United States and the kind of society we aspire to be.

In 2022 this board raised an urgent alarm about the rising threat of political violence in the United States and what Americans could do to stop it. At the time, Mr. Trump was preparing to declare his intention to run for president again, and the Republican Party was in the middle of a fight for control, between Trumpists and those who were ready to move on from his destructive leadership. This struggle within the party has consequences for all Americans. “A healthy democracy requires both political parties to be fully committed to the rule of law and not to entertain or even tacitly encourage violence or violent speech,” we wrote.

A large faction of one party in our country fails that test, and that faction, Mr. Trump’s MAGA extremists, now control the party and its levers of power. There are many reasons his conquest of the Republican Party is bad for American democracy, but one of the most significant is that those extremists have often embraced violent speech or the belief in using violence to achieve their political goals. This belief led to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and it has resulted in a rising number of threats against judges, elected officials and prosecutors.

This threat cannot be separated from Mr. Trump’s use of language to encourage violence, to dehumanize groups of people and to spread lies. A study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, released in October 2022, came to the conclusion that MAGA Republicans (as opposed to those who identified themselves as traditional Republicans) “are more likely to hold extreme and racist beliefs, to endorse political violence, to see such violence as likely to occur and to predict that they will be armed under circumstances in which they consider political violence to be justified.”

The Republican Party had an opportunity to renounce Trumpism; it has submitted to it. Republican leaders have had many opportunities to repudiate his violent discourse and make clear that it should have no place in political life; they failed to. Sizable numbers of voters in Republican primaries abandoned Mr. Trump for other candidates, and independent and undecided voters have said that Mr. Trump’s language has alienated them from his candidacy.

But with his nomination by his party all but assured, Mr. Trump has become even more reckless in employing extreme and violent speech, such as his references to executing generals who raise questions about his actions. He has argued, before the Supreme Court, that he should have the right to assassinate a political rival and face no consequences.

The Rule of Law Matters

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The danger from these foundational failings — of morals and character, of principled leadership and rhetorical excess — is never clearer than in Mr. Trump’s disregard for rule of law, his willingness to do long-term damage to the integrity of America’s systems for short-term personal gain.

As we’ve noted, Mr. Trump’s disregard for democracy was most evident in his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and to encourage violence to stop the peaceful transfer of power. What stood in his way were the many patriotic Americans, at every level of government, who rejected his efforts to bully them into complying with his demands to change election results. Instead, they followed the rules and followed the law. This respect for the rule of law, not the rule of men, is what has allowed American democracy to survive for more than 200 years.

In the four years since losing the election, Mr. Trump has become only more determined to subvert the rule of law, because his whole theory of Trumpism boils down to doing whatever he wants without consequence. Americans are seeing this unfold as Mr. Trump attempts to fight off numerous criminal charges. Not content to work within the law to defend himself, he is instead turning to sympathetic judges — including two Supreme Court justices with apparent conflicts over the 2020 election and Jan. 6-related litigation. The playbook: delay federal prosecution until he can win election and end those legal cases. His vision of government is one that does what he wants, rather than a government that operates according to the rule of law as prescribed by the Constitution, the courts and Congress.

As divided as America is, people across the political spectrum generally recoil from rigged rules, favoritism, self-dealing and abuse of power. Our country has been so stable for so long in part because most Americans and most American leaders follow the rules or face the consequences.

So much in the past two decades has tested these norms in our society — the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, the failures that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that followed, the pandemic and all the fractures and inequities that it revealed. We need a recommitment to the rule of law and the values of fair play. This election is a moment for Americans to decide whether we will keep striving for those ideals.

Mr. Trump rejects them. If he is re-elected, America will face a new and precarious future, one that it may not be prepared for. It is a future in which intelligence agencies would be judged not according to whether they preserved national security but by whether they served Mr. Trump’s political agenda. It means that prosecutors and law enforcement officials would be judged not according to whether they follow the law to keep Americans safe but by whether they obey his demands to “go after” political enemies. It means that public servants would be judged not according to their dedication or skill but by whether they show sufficient loyalty to him and his MAGA agenda.

Even if Mr. Trump’s vague policy agenda would not be fulfilled, he could rule by fear. The lesson of other countries shows that when a bureaucracy is politicized or pressured, the best public servants will run for the exits.

This is what has already happened in Mr. Trump’s Republican Party, with principled leaders and officials retiring, quitting or facing ouster. In a second term, he intends to do that to the whole of government.

Election Day is less than four months away. The case against Mr. Trump is extensive, and this board urges Americans to perform a simple act of civic duty in an election year: Listen to what Mr. Trump is saying, pay attention to what he did as president and allow yourself to truly inhabit what he has promised to do if returned to office.

Voters frustrated by inflation and immigration or attracted by the force of Mr. Trump’s personality should pause and take note of his words and promises. They have little to do with unity and healing and a lot to do with making the divisions and anger in our society wider and more intense than they already are.

The Republican Party is making its choice next week; soon all Americans will be able to make their own choice. What would Mr. Trump do in a second term? He has told Americans who he is and shown them what kind of leader he would be.

When someone fails so many foundational tests, you don’t give him the most important job in the world.

From top, photographs and video by Damon Winter/The New York Times (2) and Jay Turner Frey Seawell (5).

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