Common Task 2 Topics

July 17, 2017 by Ashlee Hunter Ashlee Hunter

Although you never know what your question for writing Task 2 on the IELTS exam is going to be, there are often certain topics that come up repeatedly when practicing sample questions. Here is a list of common writing Task 2 topics and some strategies to become familiar with them.

Education

Education is a topic that most IELTS candidates can relate to and it is a common theme for the IELTS Writing Task 2. Questions can range from topics such as the classroom to the curriculum.

Examples:

Many feel that the common educational system of teachers and students in a classroom will be replaced by the year 2050.

Do you agree with this view? Give your opinion.

Education should be free to all people and should be paid for and managed by the government.

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Technology

Much of our world today is heavily influenced by technology and so many aspects of our lives are impacted by this topic. Various Task 2 questions have technology as the main idea.


Examples:

Nowadays, children watch a lot of TV and play video games. However, some think that these activities are not beneficial for a child’s mental health.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Modern technology now allows rapid and uncontrolled access to information in many countries. This is a danger to our societies.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Health

Health is another common topic on the IELTS writing Task 2 as healthcare is becoming more complex with people in many countries becoming more concerned with their health and having varying opinions on how to care for themselves.

Examples:

Doctors recommend that older people exercise regularly. However, many of them do not get enough exercise.

What are the reasons?

What can be done to encourage them to exercise more?

Health care costs are increasing and many governments are finding it difficult to balance their healthcare budget. Should citizens be totally responsible for their own health with private health insurance or should the government provide free healthcare for all?

Discuss your viewpoint on this issue.

Environment

The environment is a worldwide issue that affects everyone. For this reason, it is a common topic on writing Task 2.

Examples:

Some feel that it is impossible for a country to be economically progressive and environmentally friendly at the same time. Others disagree with this view.

Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

Water pollution has become an increasing problem over the past few decades.

What causes water pollution?

How can we prevent this problem?

Government Spending

Government spending affects everyone within a country, so many citizens have strong opinions on how government funds are allocated. For writing Task 2, questions could discuss government spending on a wide range of topics.

Examples:

Governments should lower budgets for arts in order to allocate more money to education.

Do you agree with this view?

Some believe governments should spend more money on improving roads and highways, while some think money should be spent improving public transportation, such as buses, trains, and subways.

Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

Sociology

People and the way they behave in different situations is the focus of many questions. This is why sociology is a common topic on the writing section of the IELTS exam.

Examples:

Many parents put a lot of pressure on their children to succeed.

To what extent do you agree?

Most societies are based on rules and laws. If individuals were free to do whatever they wanted, society could not function.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Now that you know some common topics, here are some strategies to feel comfortable writing about any of them:

Read the news

All of these topics are commonly found in the news, in various types of stories and articles. Reading the news is a good way to get a sense of each topic and the vocabulary that is commonly associated with each of these topics.

Develop common vocabulary for each topic

Happy romantic couple readingReading the news will allow you to see what words are common across these topics. Writing this vocabulary down and noting how to use it will help develop your writing skills. When you practice writing Task 2 essays, try to use this vocabulary in the correct form and in different questions.

Practice writing about these topics

Although this is not an inclusive list of topics, it's a good place to start. Look at common questions about these topics and practice writing them. This will allow you to get more comfortable with writing a Task 2 essay as well as using more advanced, topic-specific vocabulary.

Know these topics in different essay types

When you look at Task 2 questions, think about all essay types because you never know what kind of essay you are going to have to write on the IELTS test. If you read a topic about sports, think about your opinion, how you would discuss both views, what are the advantages and disadvantages of differing views, any problems or solutions associated with the topic, etc. Following this advice will help you understand how you would answer any type of essay question and aid in your success with writing Task 2.



Ashlee Hunter

Ashlee has been involved in the ESL world for over ten years and has now planted her roots in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nothing gives her more pleasure than watching students and candidates reach their language and IELTS goals.

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