Welcome to my blog….

Hi, welcome to my IELTS blog. This is where I will be posting hints, tips, and strategies to help you get the score you want in the IELTS, for writing in particular. I was going to post lessons about all four sections but there are lots of websites that do that and there is no need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. What I have found is that most of my students want help with writing, especially their task 2 essays, so with that in mind I am going to focus purely on writing help from now on. If you look at the posts, you will see that some of my past posts are for speaking and for general strategies, I might write more on different subjects in the future but for the moment it will just be for writing.

As you will see, several of the posts have a video embedded in them, you can find these on my YouTube channel


I hope you will subscribe to it…

Currently, I am aiming to directly address my students questions and write/make videos/podcasts about them. I am hoping that this site will develop over time into something more useful with lots of materials for you to use, for free.

So, if you have any queries at all, any questions about writing for the IELTS,  write to me at kevinadean@prepareielts.com and I will see what I can do. Your questions will be used as material for this blog, so make them good ones!


Three new sample essays: Band 9.0 (agree/disagree + discuss both views)

three sample essays

Firstly, sorry to say, no video for this week as I have been too busy with other projects and to tell the truth I was feeling less than inspired. I have been making a video for my partner school in Bratislava English4you to promote our new courses, one of which will be a classroom based IELTS course taught by yours truly, so if you live in Bratislava keep an eye out for that.

Anyway, even though there is no video for this week I still have something for you, I have three sample essays which I have been using with my students this last week. They were written to illustrate the structures and writing process which I talk about in my lessons, so as I spent a bit of time on them, it seemed a shame to waste them, so here they are for your delectation and delight. Or something like that…

I won’t post the structures here as you can find them of several of my previous posts, so just have a look for those, or you can see them on my YouTube channel. So, we have three essays for you, two agree/disagree and one discuss both views. I won’t comment further, just have look and feel free to copy/steal/study them for your own useage. No worries…any questions, you can write me at kevin@prepareielts.com

Children today are too dependent on computers and electronic entertainment. It would be better for them to be outside playing sports and taking part in more traditional pastimes than spending all day indoors.

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

It can be argued that instead of spending all day indoors playing computer games, children these days would benefit more from playing outside. I agree with this statement and will argue that children need to develop social skills by playing with other children outdoors, and also that playing outdoors reduces the risk of obesity.

Firstly, it is vital to develop social skills in childhood. That is to say, as adults people need the skills of communication and empathy if they are to find a job and a partner and these skills are more easily learnt as a child. For example, a recent study by Moscow State University showed that 85% of long term singletons were isolated and introverted as children. This research would suggest that interaction with other children, especially in outdoor games, is an essential part of the journey to adulthood.

Also, nowadays a lot of adults suffer from obesity which is often caused by bad childhood habits. Many children who spend a little or no time outdoors in play have a tendency to be overweight and they often carry this poor lifestyle into adulthood. For example, the Russian Ministry of health showed that based on a ten year monitoring of public health in Moscow, 75% of overweight young men spent less than 1 hour of play or exercise outdoors a week.

In conclusion, it can be said that it is good for children to play outdoors as it is beneficial for the reduction of obesity, and for the development of vital social skills to help them communicate better in their adult life. I totally agree with this idea and would recommend that all children have more time for play and socialising with other children.

286 words

Computers and modems have made it possible for office workers to do much of their work from home instead of working in offices every day. Working from home should be encouraged as it is good for workers and employers.

Do you agree or disagree?

Modern technology has made it possible for many people to work from home rather than having to go to the office This essay believes that this practice ought to be encouraged as it is beneficial for both employees and employers, firstly as it saves commuting time, and secondly as it makes workers happier and therefore more productive for their companies.

One of the major disadvantages for many office workers is the daily commute to and from work. Working in a major city often means that many people have to spend several hours a day in travel time, time which they would no doubt prefer to spend at home. For example, a recent survey by The Moscow Times showed that 80% of Muscovites spend an average of three hours commuting every weekday. If workers could work from home online then they would have have more free time for themselves and their families which would undoubtedly make them significantly happier.

As far as the employers are concerned a major benefit of happy workers is that they are likely to be more productive in their work, thus generating greater profits for their companies. In this case, allowing home working for some employees would seem to be a clever move on the part of bosses as they stand to benefit also. For example, research by the Moscow Business Council suggests that over 60% of employers are considering encouraging home working as a tool to boost productivity.

In conclusion, as technology has changed the way many people can work these days, this essay believes that such a move is advantageous to both employers and employees, as it saves time and encourages productivity.

277 words

Some people believe that capital punishment should never be used. Others however, argue that it should be allowed for the most serious crimes.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

It has been argued that the sentence of death should not be used in any circumstances, whereas, others would argue that it is right to use it for very serious crimes. This essay believes that capital punishment is necessary and will argue that some crimes are too serious for any other punishment, whereas, the state does not have the right to take a human life.

Firstly, for the most serious crimes a serious deterrent is needed, such as the death sentence. That is to say, for some crimes such as murder, or child sex offences, public outrage demand an ultimate punishment, so the offender will not commit those crimes again. For example, in Hubei province recently a womens baby stealing gang were caught and executed to reassure the public that such crimes would not happen again.

For many people, only god has the right to decide who lives or dies, therefore, the state should not practice capital punishment. In this view, sentencing people to death is morally wrong and imprisonment is a more just and suitable punishment. For example, it is a fact that in the UK there were several cases of innocent men being wrongfully executed and later found to be innocent of the crime. If they had been jailed instead, they would have been alive to be set free.

In conclusion, despite some people thinking capital punishment to be wrong and not the business of man, rather of god, this essay believes that it is justified by public outrage for very serious crimes such as murder and child sex offences.

262 words


Four Common Essay Mistakes, part 2: writing off-topic…

Four common essay mistakes- part 2


In today’s video, I want to talk about the second common mistake that I find in many student essays, that is to say, writing off-topic. What this means is when a student either doesn’t understand the question, or has no clear ideas and simply writes everything he/she can think of about the general theme of the question. In the essay below we can see a clear example of this.

One way to avoid this is to be careful when analyzing the question, in the five to ten minutes planning stage before you start to write. You need to identify the topic words, and the micro words, which tell you what the actual questions is. In this essay, the question is

Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

So, for this essay you would need to write about would health be improved by having more gyms, etc, or would other measures be more effective. You also need to express a clear opinion throughout the essay.

If you watch the video then you will see how the author failed to achieve this, also, you will see a sample essay which shows what the author should have done. You can copy the two essays below. One final thing, if you have any questions or you have an essay you want me to critique, then feel free to write to me at kevin@prepareielts.com.

Essay 1

These days, people’s health condition has become increasingly worse because of overload work pressure and lack of exercises. Many people hold the point of view that sports equipments are required while others believe that there are also some essential

A large number of people cannot do adequate exercises regularly. They have to do extra work and learn advanced technical skills to keep pace with the modern world. For example, an engineer has to deal with a great many issues everyday, such as having a phone meeting, signing a contact or attending a party with their supervisors. Furthermore, young parents need to take care of their children and keep an eye on their children’s academic performance, which takes a large part of their spare time. In terms of this, I suggest that employees should be given enough free time to spend, including exercising.

On the other hand, there are still many people living in rural areas who do not have sports facilities. They lead a flexible lifestyle for they do not have to work overload, but lack of facilities is the main obstacle for them who enjoy sports. So I agree that governments should increase investments to those areas so that local people there may have access to doing sports.

In conclusion, the main problem in urban areas is that people have to work excessively and lack spare time. So the solution for them may be reducing their working hours and stress. For people who live in rural areas, however, establishing some sports systems and buildings can be a better choice.

Essay 2

It has been argued that increasing the number of leisure and sporting facilities is the most effective way of developing and improving the health of the general public, while others would argue that this would have little impact on health and that other steps are needed. This essay will argue that simply building new sports centres is not a viable answer, and that the key to developing a healthy citizenry is education.

Firstly, while going to gyms and sports/leisure centres is undoubtedly a good thing for a healthy life it can be suggested that motivation is the key factor in getting people to exercise. If a person does not have the desire or will to get out of their arm chair and go and exercise then having a gym built at the end of their street will have little or no effect on their well-being. A recent study by the University of Bath showed that 80% of people who buy a gym membership only went regularly for the first two months then either went sporadically or not at all after that time. This study would seem to back up the idea that motivation not availability of sports centres is the main factor in exercising regularly.

What might be more useful is a government funded education campaign to show people the dangers of not exercising, being sedentary, eating unhealthily, etc. Many people seem unaware of the dangers that the modern way of life has for their health and if this was pushed into their faces on tv, radio, etc, then they may take notice and take steps to live in a better way. For example, when the UK government ran an anti-smoking campaign in 2014 across all media, Drs around the country reported an increase of 50% of patients inquiring about how to stop smoking. This clearly demonstrates that, as in all things, education is often the most effective way to change peoples behaviour.

In conclusion then, although having a ready availability of places to exercise may seem intuitively to be a good way to get people healthy, in reality if the motivation to do so is not there then it will have little effect. A far better option would be to inform citizens of the harm that modern life is doing to their bodies while educating them to change their lifestyles for a positive outcome.



Four common essay mistakes: part 1…the case of the missing paragraphs…..

Four common essay mistakes- part 1

Hello, and welcome…it’s been a few weeks since my last video so I have to make up for that. I have a series of four videos in mind to make this week, all dealing with real student essays, all of which have one problem to focus on. In this video, I deal with something relatively straight forward, how to paragraph your essay. I know this is an obvious thing for many, but if this is your first ever essay…then it is not so obvious.

I remember when I was at Ruskin College, my first essay…I had no idea and just wrote down the first stream of consciousness that came into mind. Needless to say, it was rubbish. But that’s what happens when you write your first essay…so in this video today, you can see a refresher lesson in paragraphing. I have wrote about this before, and will no doubt do so again…

I will post the text and structure below for your edification…and if you have any questions, or video requests, you can write me at kevin@prepareielts.com.

For this type of essay, I suggest using a typical four paragraph structure. Although the structure sentence by sentence may vary according to how the question is worded, this is the general structure we might use. Of course, it is possible to combine several of these elements in a single sentence, the exact wording is up to you, as long as you remember the keywords from the criteria, logical progression/sequencing, and develop/extend/support of your ideas.

Essay structure.

Paragraph 1: introduction

Sentence 1: paraphrase question/restate topic.

Sentence 2: Thesis/opinion statement.

Sentence 3: outline statement/main idea 1 (for paragraph 2), and main idea 2 (for paragraph 3).

Body paragraph 1.

Sentence 1: topic sentence (main idea 1).

Sentence 2: explain/expand on main idea 1.

Sentence 3: example (the more specific the better).

Sentence 4: option 1(concession sentence)/option 2 (reinforce/reiterate example/main idea).

Body paragraph 2.

Sentence 1: topic sentence (main idea 2).

Sentence 2: explain/expand on main idea 2.

Sentence 3: example (the more specific the better).

Sentence 4: option 1(concession sentence)/option 2 (reinforce/reiterate example/main idea).


Sentence 1: summary (restate question/topic + main idea 1 and 2).

Sentence 2: suggestion/recommendation (depends on how the question is worded/if you can think of anything).

With the pressure on today’s young people to succeed academically, some people believe that non-academic subjects such as P.E and cookery should be removed from the syllabus so that children can focus solely on academic subjects.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It has been argued that non-academic lessons should be taken out from the school curriculum so that school children can focus purely on academic subjects. I disagree with this view and will argue that other subjects such as PE and cookery help to make children more rounded individuals, and secondly that as children are too young to know their future direction it makes sense to keep all their options open.

Firstly, we need to ask ourselves what is the purpose of education. That is to say, is it just to prepare children to fill various roles in society and to turn them into consumers and obedient wage slaves. If as some believe the purpose of education is to make children more rounded and open individuals then it would make sense to teach them skills other than academic ones such as PE and cookery so they can function better in later life. For example, the University of London conducted research in 2016 which showed that children who were taught a wide range of subjects at school described themselves as more content and able to “handle” lifes problems than those whose focus was purely academic.

Secondly, as children have their whole lives ahead of them does it make sense to define their future studies and life path at such a young age? I believe that children should be allowed to be children and to be taught a variety of subjects so that they may decide later where their interests lie. For example, research by the Dept of Employment in the UK in 2015 showed that 50% of employees expressed some regret over the subjects they took at school and their subsequent career path.

In conclusion, although a focus on pure academia may seem a good idea, I believe that exposure to a range of subjects allows children to be happier and have more life skills, and also may prevent them from taking an unsatisfying career path in the future.

327 words

Students essay assessment, how to get from band 7.0 to 8.0+

IELTS essay assessment from 7 to 8

In this video, I analyse a student essay (scored 7.0) and show how with a few minor tweaks it could score 8.0 or higher. The essay is not bad, but as you will see in the video, a little more focus on such things as an outline sentence, a clear opinion in the introduction, not wasting sentences saying the same thing, and having good and specific examples to back up the main ideas, these are what will get you a high score every time.

So, below you will find the student essay, the structure for your reference, and the essay examples I used. The video is at the bottom of the page. As always, any questions, or if you want your essay featured, you can write to me at kevin@prepareielts.com, anytime.

Some people believe that university graduates should pay the full cost of their education. Others say that university education should be free. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

The question of whether to pay all the expenses incurred by the university authorities for the education they provide or not continues to be a controversial topic. Some people think that higher education pupils had better pay the full charge of their education. However, the issue is not entirely straightforward, and arguments can also be made against the idea. There are valid opinions on both sides, which will be considered now.

On the one hand, some people feel that education should be free of any charge. This, it is argued, would expand the opportunities for any individual, either poor or rich to have an equal chance at higher education. Furthermore, supporters of free education claim that the procedure would encourage talented, and at the same time underprivileged, students to pursue their tertiary education, which would increase equilibrium in university entries.

The other side of this debate is that one major benefit of paid education deals with the quality and standard of education. If the university authorities had not charged the educational graduates with required fees, the society would not have improved its academic and global ranking in terms of science, welfare and development. Furthermore, supporters of the current issue emphasize that education is a personal issue, which is often felt to be due to the fact that rich people give higher taxes. To illustrate, those people who are levied, have more right to education than those who do not pay far higher taxes.

Overall, it seems advisable that university education should not be free at all because its positive effect on society can be perceived in terms of pedagogical quality and tax-based fairness among different social strata. This is as long as access to education for all members of the society is maintained.

Word count: 292


Sentence 1- Paraphrase Question

Sentence 2- State Both Points of View

Sentence 2- Thesis Statement

Sentence 3- Outline Sentence

Main Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1- State first viewpoint

Sentence 2- Discuss first viewpoint

Sentence 3- Reason why you agree or disagree with viewpoint

Sentence 4- Example to support your view

Main Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1- State second viewpoint

Sentence 2- Discuss second viewpoint

Sentence 3- Reason why you agree or disagree with viewpoint

Sentence 4- Example to support your view


Sentence 1- Summary

Sentence 2- State which one is better or more important

There has been a dramatic growth in the number of people studying at universities in the last few decades. While some people see this as a positive trend which raises the general level of education within the community, others fear that it is lowering the quality of education.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the increase in student numbers at university?

The number of university students has dramatically increased in recent decades, some argue having more educated people is beneficial to the whole community while others are afraid this trend will lower educational quality. This essay will argue the main advantage of this increase is a more knowledgeable populace that will develop the economy, while the main disadvantage is the lowering of the value of a university degree.

Firstly, having more people graduate with university degrees is of obvious benefit to any community. It could be argued that a more educated citizenry will naturally lead to higher levels of innovation and productivity with consequent increases in the economy. For example, if we consider the situation in America, a recent survey by Harvard Business School indicated that over 80% of young people involved in startups and creating their own online businesses had at least a BA degree. The implication from this survey is that, in most cases, a high level of education seems to be the norm for most entrepreneurs.

However, a possible drawback to high graduate numbers could be the lessening of the value of a degree. If employers take education and a degree qualification as a measure of a persons suitability for employment, then if everyone has a degree, it would be difficult for a candidate to stand out. For example, a recent survey (2016) by the Employers Federation (UK) revealed that 80% of employers were now looking for other qualities in job candidates rather than a degree. If this is so, then high numbers of graduates will have no reason to have taken their degree in the first place.

In conclusion, as tertiary student numbers are growing, the benefits of education to the economy of this increase need to be considered in the light of a possible downgrading in status of such educations value in the job market.

Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe that there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

It has been argued that the purpose of tertiary education is to assist graduates to obtain a better job, while others would argue that university education has a higher function in terms of usefulness to society and the individual alike. I believe that the benefits of attending university go beyond mere jobseeking and will consider how useful is a degree in finding employment, and the advantage of having a highly critical citizenry.

Firstly, one of the major selling points of a university degree is its advantage in the job market. As a degree is a sign of a good education as well as the transferable skills that a graduate learns while taking a degree, it is no surprise that employers value graduates. I would agree that as a general measure of intelligence a degree has some currency. For example, a recent survey by the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) showed that an increasing number of jobs, over 70% of office jobs, are now asking for a degree as a minimum qualification.

However, even though a degree may be important for a job, studying at university teaches many skills of use to wider society. It teaches critical thinking, the ability to analyse and synthesise information when writing an essay for example. I would suggest that citizens who enter society with the ability to analyse conflicting sources of information are best placed to make suitable decisions for themselves, when voting for political parties say. For example, a study by the University of Edinburgh showed that as many of 80% of new graduates considered themselves more likely to question what they read and see in the news than non-graduates.

In conclusion, despite the obvious benefit of a degree in the job market, I believe that the skills that may be learnt at university go beyond merely employment but offer the prospect of a well informed and critical citizenry that can think for themselves and make better choices for society.

326 words





Student Essay Assessment with Commentary and Example Essay..

IELTS sample essay


Hello, time for a new video and tutorial. This is a student essay which was sent to me on Facebook, and I offered to make a video and comment on it and here it is. As you will see, it is another “To what extent” essay, so without further ado, the files are below for your edification, and the video is at the bottom of the page. Any comments or questions, feel free to write to me at kevin@prepareielts.com.

Fatherhood ought to be emphasised as much as motherhood. The idea that women are solely responsible for deciding whether or not to have babies leads on to the idea that they are also responsible for bringing the children up.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Family is a simple word with vast meaning inside. It comprises of father mother & baby. Father literally the income source, hard working person, facing the hardship in outside an integral part of family. Whereas mother a homemaker, houseengeneer, a basket of love &emotion, a symbol of asthetic & pure love another integral part of family.

A family is nothing but a combination of fathers & mothers love, caring, sharing, respect & mutuality. Every single decision in family depends on both. Both of them has equal right to say yes or no. The decision to have a baby is a vital one. There should be no grey area. So, both should decide mutually. As respect & mutuality in decission worth happiness. When a baby comes, it imparts heavenly feelings, like an angle. The whole family becomes colourful within a moment. Smile begets smile.

But there is a bitter truth. Rearing baby is one of the toughest job. Both partners should be dedicated for 24*7 caring , maintaining. Now a days maintaining is costlier. So, parents should be mentally, physically, financially. So no one can make decision alone. Like everything else in life , our life should be upgraded. We cant update this from google. We have to update this from our views, values, sorrounding. Women are not lagging behind. They are at same pace. So their decision & importance are as same as men. This is very simple & easy, that father & mother are equally important as well as their decision.

So i believe a mutual & eminent decision will come out as a busket of love, as respect & mutuality in decision worth eternal

It can be argued that the fathers role should be recognised as equally as the role of the mother in parenthood, and that as women decide to have children or not makes them responsible for the child’s upbringing. I disagree with this idea and will argue that scientific evidence shows that children benefit from a stable environment with both parents present, and that in this modern age it is increasingly common for men to show responsibility for their children.

Firstly, although the decision to have a child may be the mothers, it can be said that a child will certainly benefit by having a fathers involvement. That is to say, all research into this subject in the field of sociology shows that a child with both parents in their lives will be more successful in school, and in later life. For example, a study by the University of Massachusetts in 2015 showed that over 85% of high school graduates in New York came from two parent families, and that over 60% of teen criminals came from single parent homes. Although very general, this research seems to suggest that having both parents in the family life is certainly beneficial.

Secondly, although in the recent past it was considered the norm for women to bring up their children while the father or husband went to work, this is by now an outdated notion. It has been seen that more men are taking time off work to help care for their children, some going as far as becoming “house-husbands”. For example, the US Dept of Employment reported that in 2016 the number of men requesting paternity leave had risen by over 50% over the last ten years. This would indicate that more men are actively embracing parenthood these days, as opposed to previous generations.

In conclusion, although women make the decision to have children, they do not have to be solely responsible for them. I believe that both parents are needed in family life for the welfare of the child, and that in fact more and more men are choosing to make the responsibility a joint effort.

354 words

Band 9.0 Essay Example…”a persons worth”

a persons worth essay example to what extent

Ok, it’s been a while, so let me post another essay example for you. I have been away at another English camp, then I had two weeks of lessons to catch up on so I didn’t have any time for any posts/vids/pods or anything else, something I will try to remedy shortly.

This essay comes out of a lesson I gave to one of my students to illustrate a tricky question, a “To what extent” question type, about how a person’s worth is measured. I had some trouble thinking of reasons and examples for this one, you will probably notice as you read. However, as I tell my students, your ideas and reasons and examples can be quite boring, as long as you meet the criteria the examiners are looking for. And in this instance I think they do. I won’t write anything further, just have a look at the question, and check out the answer. See what you think. If you have any qs or comments, send me a message anytime, kevin@prepareielts.com is the address.

A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important.

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

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

Write at least 250 words.

It could be argued that the values of a previous era such as honour and trust are not important in today’s world, and that what is valuable now are the things we own and our status in society. I agree completely with this statement, and will show that the rise in consumerism, and celebrity worship are the two main factors behind this shift in values.

Firstly, as we are living in an increasingly materialistic and consumer driven society how people are judged depends on what they own. That is to say, as living standards rise more people can afford to buy expensive goods such as clothes and mobile phones, etc, and these possessions are taken as a symbol of status. For example, a recent survey by the US Education Dept in 2016 showed that 80% of teenagers judged their classmates on what brand of mobile phone they owned. This research suggests that for many people material belongings are a considerable measure of social importance.

Additionally, as the internet increasingly takes over modern life, especially social media, more people are obsessed with appearance. For many people this means that so-called celebrities are taken as role models based on their looks and lavish life styles, and this is seemed as something desirable in many peoples eyes. The proof of this is in the fact that for a considerable number of young people, such sites as Instagram and Facebook take over their lives and posting selfies becomes an important part of their self-worth. A recent survey by Google showed that 85% of millennials posted a selfie on the internet everyday and the number of likes they received are seen as a sign of social value and status.

In conclusion, it would seem that society’s values have indeed shifted towards materialism and new standards of “status”. In my view this is a sad fact in today’s world, and until consumerism and the temptations of social media are curbed this shift is likely to continue.

330 words


Student Essay Assessment..with corrections and example

IELTS Essay Assessment

Hello, time for another tutorial. In this one, I had a request from a student who has seen my YouTube channel and sent me an essay for assessment. What I do here is to go through the essay line by line, make corrections, and then show how I would approach the same question using the structure and technique you may have seen in my earlier videos.

You can find the texts below, of the essay with corrections, then my essay. You can find the video at the bottom of the page. Any questions, or requests for videos, feel free to write to at kevin@prepareielts.com.


Several universities now have their courses available online as an alternative option to campus based classroom tuition. I believe this is a positive step as online tuition should be cheaper and therefore available to more people, and also that remote learning will have a similar broadening of access.

Firstly, the main advantage of online learning is that of cost. Many online courses are considerably cheaper than attending a bricks and mortar institution as they are virtual and do not require a building, staff, etc. For example, as a teacher I know that many would be teachers take online TEFL courses as they are a fraction of the cost of attending a language school. This means that more people can access this kind of course than previously.

Also, being able to access a lesson online means it can be available anywhere. This means that many people living in remote parts of the world, especially the less developed areas, can have quality educational content at their fingertips. For example, the University of Bath conducted research in 2016 which showed that over 80% of online students were from Africa, and South East Asia. The implications of this study shows that distance is not a barrier to education for the people in developing nations.

In conclusion, the increase in universities offering online courses is I believe a significant advantage as cheaper tuition and ability to access remotely is of obvious benefit for less well off people, and students in far flung places of the world.

251 words….

“Two part question” sample essay..shopping in local shops or supermarket?

IELTS sample essay two part question supermarkets or local shops

My final post for today, as I have posted to what extent, both views, and advs and disadvs, the final post is a two part question. These are virtually identical to the problem/causes + solutions question where you briefly answer both questions in the outline sentence. Apart from the structure, the question itself is pretty straight forward, it asks why something happened, and if it is positive or negative. You will find a structure below and the essay beneath that…if you have any questions about anything here or in the previous posts, then feel free to write to kevin@prepareielts.com…

Two Part Question Essay Structure


Sentence 1: paraphrase/restate question

Sentence 2: outline sentence (main idea 1 + 2)/ briefly answer both questions

Paragraph 2

Sentence 1: answer first question/main idea 1

Sentence 2: explain/expand on first sentence

Sentence 3: develop sentence 1 + 2 further

Sentence 4: give (specific) example

Paragraph 3

Sentence 1: answer second question/main idea 1

Sentence 2: explain/expand on first sentence

Sentence 3: develop sentence 1 + 2 further

Sentence 4: give (specific) example


Sentence 1: summary of main points (main ideas 1 + 2)

People prefer to go shopping in the supermarket rather than small shops or local markets. Why has this happened? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

An increasing number of shoppers are doing their shopping in supermarkets instead of small local shops. It can be argued that the main reason for this is the cheaper price of the goods for sale. In my opinion this is a positive step which will benefit less well off people and allow them to eat good food cheaply.

Firstly, many more people shop at large supermarkets due to the price difference as opposed to local shops. Supermarkets have more spending power and can pass on any savings in price to their customers. Especially for food, supermarket chains can buy in bulk from farmers for a considerably lower price. For example, the UK retail chain Tesco only pays farmers 10 pence per litre for milk and can make a fair profit margin on reselling whereas local shops cannot pay this price and would charge customers more.

Secondly, I believe that for some customers this lower price policy is extremely beneficial. Poor people cannot afford good quality food at high street prices so being able to do their shopping for less is a major benefit for them. Eating well is a pre-requisite for good health so this can only have good consequences for less well off people. For example, research from the university of York suggests that people who buy from big markets as opposed to local shops can save up to 40% on their weekly shop.

In conclusion, the increasing number of shoppers at supermarkets are doing so due to the price difference when compared to local shops which can only be a positive development for those people who are on low incomes.








“To what extent”…controlling car ownership sample essay

IELTS sample essay to what extent car ownership

Another good example of a “To what extent” essay for you now…I just want to mention something first about the importance of correctly interpreting the question. Some people when approaching this question have written about car numbers, and why cars are bad, and how they cause pollution, etc. All of which is very interesting. However, as I have mentioned before in my videos  if you write too generally about the topic but fail to focus and address the specific question then you will be throwing potential points away.

That is to say, if we consider the question

The first car appeared on British roads in 1888. By the year 2000 there may be as many as 29 million vehicles on British roads.

Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

You might well think it is asking to write about why we should ban cars and stop them polluting and so on and so forth. However, it is asking do you agree or not that alternative forms of transport and international laws should be used to control car use. So, it is not asking why we should control car use, but how we should control it. A subtle distinction indeed….

So take a look…

The number of cars on UK roads has risen from their introduction in 1888 to an estimated 29 million by 2000, this number has prompted the suggestion that alternative means of transport as well as international legislation be introduced to curb car usage. I disagree with this suggestion and will argue that given the selfish nature of individuals, most people will not choose alternative transport, and that introducing new legal instruments will require more political will than most current governments possess.

Firstly, it can be argued the main selling point of the private car is privacy and convenience, as well as selfishness. Many people do not want to use public transport and are aware of the benefits it provides, however, the ease and convenience of personal transport for many takes precedence. For example, a recent survey by the University of Edinburgh shows that 90% of private car owners would still use their cars even when they were aware of the problems they cause, such as congestion, pollution, etc. This research indicates that even if alternatives were available, human selfishness would discourage many drivers from making use of them.

Secondly, even if effective legislation could be written which would curb car usage, it is doubtful they would be implemented. Given the number of voters who are car drivers, any government who proposed such restrictions of the drivers “right” of ownership would soon find themselves voted out of office. For example, UK Dept of Transport research showed that over 75% of current car owners believed any anti-car laws would be an attack on their freedom to drive, and would vote against the political party who tried to introduce them. This would suggest that any governing power who tried such a move would require considerable political will in the face of certain electoral suicide.

In conclusion, despite the number of cars on UK roads currently, in my opinion, attempts to reduce them by encouraging the use of alternatives and by legislation are doomed to failure. This is due to personal selfishness, and the perceived “right” of the individual to drive as they wish.









“Discuss both views”…who has the most influence, scientists or politicians?

IELTS sample essay discuss both views science or politics

Another example for you, this time “Discuss both views and give your opinion”…now I have to say this was a tricky subject. Not the easiest essay to interpret and think of ideas, the trick is to carefully analyse the question. For this essay we need to discuss who has the most influence now, as the question is in present tense.

“Some people think that politicians have the greatest influence on the world. Other people, however, believe that scientists have the greatest influence.”

And not as some students have done, write about how science and politics has influenced the world in the past. So, be careful when planning and analyzing your essay…

Some people think that politicians have the greatest influence on the world. Other people, however, believe that scientists have the greatest influence.

Discuss both of these views and give your own opinion.

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

According to some, the people with the greatest influence on the world are politicians, whereas others would argue that scientists have the greatest impact. My own view is that although science has massively influenced world affairs in the past, politicians currently have the advantage of influence. This essay will firstly, discuss how science has not produced any significant inventions since the internet and personal computing, and secondly, how political figures are key to shaping the world in this present age.

Science has no doubt significantly impacted on the world for centuries, especially the 20th, nuclear power, the internet, personal computing, the aeroplane, the internal combustion engine, etc. However, despite these world changing creations, science in recent years has not had such an influence, all the last great discoveries/inventions are at least 20-30 years ago, the internet and personal computers being a case in point. For example, in the 21st C the major scientific discoveries are mainly theoretical and have no practical world changing effects so far, (discovery of Higgs-Boson particle, Human genome mapping, to name two). It would be fair to say then that the days of science changing the world lies in mainly the 20th century and not currently in today’s world.

On the other hand, politicians and world leaders have easily the most influence on world events shaping and affecting the lives of millions. In this era of conflict, terrorism, declining global markets, pollution, to name but a few issues, it is the decisions made by this group of people which has the most effect on the global population these days, not science. To give some concrete examples, Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex Ukraine directly led to economic sanctions against Russia which has affected the economy and living standards of millions, Angela Merkal’s unilateral decision to allow over a million illegal immigrants into Germany will have a direct impact on the future of Germany and in turn, the wider Europe. Also, Donald Trump’s electoral success has polarised America and American politics for some years to come and has resulted in civil unrest and division in the worlds biggest economy. Given these facts, it seems apparent that politicians and the choices they make currently have more influence than science, whose greatest discoveries seem to be in the past.

In conclusion, despite science being a major influencer and shaper of the world in the past, in my view, it is political leaders who currently hold the reins in terms of world shaping events and influence.