Sample Essay Questions

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Below are sample IELTS essay questions and topics reported by IELTS students in writing task 2. The 100 essay questions have been reworded and are organised under common topics which frequently come in IELTS writing task 2.

At the bottom of the page, I’ve put some essay questions for you to practice each type of essay: opinion, discussion etc. These are practice essay questions to prepare ideas, not for full exam practice.

IELTS often use the similar topics for their essays but change the essay question. In order to prepare well for writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for common topics and then practice applying them to the tasks given (to the essay questions). Also see model essays and tips for writing task 2.

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Common IELTS Essay Questions

IELTS practice essay questions divided by topic. These topics have been reported by IELTS students in their tests. Essay questions have been recreated as accurately as possible.

IELTS Essay Questions by Essay Type

There are 5 main types of essay questions in IELTS writing task 2 (opinion essays, discussion essay, advantage/disadvantage essays, solution essay and direct question essays). Click on the links below to see some sample essay questions for each type.

2018 IELTS Essay Questions

You can see recent essay questions reported by students in Jan 2018, here: Jan 2018 Essay Questions. For 2017, see these links: IELTS Essay Questions 2017. Essay questions for December 2017.

Recent Exam Questions

A page of recent questions in all sections of the IELTS test reported by students. Although the words in the essay questions can be changed, the issues and topics often remain the same.

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers lessons, videos and more.

Sample essays

Sample essay questions and suggested reading

Here are a few sample essay questions for you to think about. Remember that you get 40 minutes to write a maximum of 750 words – ideally about 500-600 words.  We also have sample answers to some of these questions. See download links at bottom of this page.

  • How should judges be appointed?
  • Make the best case you can for public funding of the arts. Answer
  • Does it matter if some animal and plant species die out? Answer
  • ‘It is right that students should contribute to the cost of their degrees.’ Do you agree?
  • What disciplinary sanctions should teachers be allowed to use?
  • ‘We must be prepared to sacrifice traditional liberties to defeat terrorism.’ Discuss.
  • Should the law require people to vote in general elections?
  • Should private cars be rationed? If so, how?
  • What is ‘political correctness’ and why does it matter? Answer
  • There are more essay topics on our practice tests.

As part of your preparation you may also like to look at some materials on critical thinking. Here is a selection. Some of them include exercises that can help you develop your LNAT skills.

A. Fisher, Critical Thinking: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press 2001) ISBN 0521009847

R. van den Brink-Budgen, Critical Thinking for Students (How to Books 2000) ISBN 1857036344

N. Warburton, Thinking From A to Z (Routledge 2000) ISBN 0415222818

P. Gardner, New Directions: Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking(Cambridge University Press 2006) ISBN 0521541727 (mainly for those who have English as a second language)

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