Advanced Essay Questions

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.

Text Version:

The only way to get better at anything is to do it—over and over again. In addition to practicing your English conversational skills, you should also practice your writing skills on a regular basis.

The good news is that writing in English doesn’t need to be a painful experience. By choosing topics that you’re passionate about or focusing on prompts that will put different grammar lessons into practice, you can ensure that writing is an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Here are twenty-two potential essay topics to get you started, but don’t be afraid to branch out and come up with your own topics, as well.

Descriptive topics

  1. Describe your favorite place in as much detail as possible.
  2. What do you do outside of school and work? Describe any hobbies you have, sports you participate in, or other activities you regularly enjoy.
  3. If you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would they be? What is each guest like?
  4. Describe your favorite fictional character in as much detail as possible.
  5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Describe it and explain why you’d choose it.

Instructions

  1. Give directions for getting from one point to another. Explain what landmarks someone might see along the way.
  2. Explain how to entertain guests who unexpectedly arrive at your home.

Verb tense practice

  1. What’s one thing you could never live without and why?
  2. Describe your ideal town or city, why you would want to live there, and what you would do there.
  3. Write about a time in the past when you had to make a difficult decision, and explain what you did.
  4. Talk about five specific goals you want to accomplish this year, and explain how you are going to accomplish them.
  5. Imagine you’re babysitting a child who breaks the kitchen table. Explain to the child how they could have avoided doing this if they had behaved differently.

Practical vocabulary practice

  1. Write a review of a new restaurant (either fictional or real) in your area.
  2. Describe the best party or large-scale event you’ve ever attended.
  3. If you could get one gift for everyone in your family, regardless of the cost, what would you get them and why?
  4. Choose a form of transportation (such as cars, trains, boats, planes, or subways) and explain how it has changed people’s lives.
  5. Write a pitch for a new blockbuster movie. Explain what will happen in the movie and why it will draw crowds to the theater.

Persuasive writing practice

  1. Do you think our society is too dependent on technology like smartphones? Why or why not?
  2. Imagine that a big new department store is being built in your hometown. Do you support this development or not?
  3. Do you think it’s better for students to have a long summer break or be in a year-round school system with more breaks throughout the year? Explain your position.
  4. Should employers set aside time during the day for their employees to exercise? What might be some of the advantages or disadvantages of this?
  5. What is your favorite book or movie, and why should people read or watch it?

What are some great ESL essay topics you've encountered? Let us know in the comments.

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