IELTS General Past Essay Questions


Over 150 IELTS (General) exam past essay questions mentioned category-wise for the practice of aspirants. Do practice these essays as they not only provide you an idea about the topics that are likely to be asked in Writing Task 2 but may also appear as it is in the actual exam.

IELTS General Past Essays

Children

There are some violent cartoon characters on TV such as Mickey Mouse which bring a negative influence on children. Do you agree or disagree? What types of TV programmers are suitable for children?

Some people argue that a growing number of young people spend too much time watching TV. Why does this phenomenon happen? What kinds of activities should be encouraged to them?

Some people think that watching TV programmers can help children’s development while others disagree. What is your opinion?

Most children want to watch the same TV programs and play the same computer games as their friends do. Should parents allow them to do this?

Some parents believe that watching TV and playing computer games should be limited and substituted by reading books. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion.

Young people have different ideas and attitudes from their parents and grandparents. What are the differences? What problems may be caused?

Parents often buy their children many toys. What are the advantages and disadvantages of children having a large number of toys? Use examples from your personal knowledge and experience.

Today, the majority of children are raised by their grandparents due to the fact that their parents are busy working. To what extent do you think it affects the whole family?

It is better for children if the whole family (e.g. aunts, uncles, and grandparents) are involved in the children’s upbringing, rather than their fathers and mothers only. Do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Some people think parents should control the behavior of children from a very young age but others think we should give them more freedom. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many adults think childhood and school days are the best years of a person’s life. What’s the reason do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Some people believe that children should be brought up in cities. Others believe that the countryside offers a better environment for children. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

In many countries, children are getting fatter and less fit day by day. Why is it so? Suggest solutions?

People say that a child’s success is dependent on the way parents bring them up. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Providing children with pocket money on a weekly basis can benefit them in the future. Do you agree or disagree?

In some countries, the age of 18 means adults, while in others, it is older. What is your opinion? Talk about the responsibility of an adult?

Teenagers have problems at home and school. What difficulties are they facing now? What should parents and schools do to help them?

More and more young children have mobile phones. Some people say it is a good thing for them, while others say it is a bad thing. What is your opinion?

Elderly / Family

Children have the responsibility to take care of their older family members, but some people say that old people should not need to live with their families. What is your opinion? 

Nowadays, people are living an increasingly longer life and in many countries, there are more old people than young people. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? 

Some people claim that family members are more important than friends; do you agree or disagree with this statement? 

Nowadays, fewer people tend to look after their old relatives and send them to some old age homes. What is the situation in your country? In your opinion, who should be responsible to look after the elderly? 

There are more and more old people in many parts of the world. What are the causes of this and what are the solutions?

Some people say now there is less communication between the family members than in the past. To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

Young people these days tend to be less polite and respectful than in the past. What are the causes and suggest some solutions?

Job / Workplace

Some people think it is better for people to change their career at least once in their life and do different kinds of jobs. Do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Some companies and organizations require their employees to wear uniforms. What are the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a uniform?

According to a survey, people involved in certain occupations and professions are seen to be honest. What is the situation in your country?

Although there are more and more women police officers in the reality, are they really suitable for this job?

Nowadays some professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers are paid much higher than ordinary workers. What do you think of this trend? Are there any jobs which you think should offer higher salaries?

Nowadays, some celebrities such as film stars, sportsmen and pop musicians are paid too much money. Do you agree or disagree? Which jobs should be highly paid?

In some countries, it is common for women to participate in the workforce when their children are young. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Some people who go to work abroad for a period of time take their family with them. Does it have more advantages than disadvantages for individuals and their families?

In many countries, teenagers are encouraged to do part-time jobs. What’s the situation like in your country? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of doing part-time jobs?

In many places, women are taking jobs that are traditionally done by men. What do you think to make these changes happen? What’s your opinion about it?

Nowadays, many people have to work a long time, and they feel more stressed than before. What are the reasons? What can employers do to make their life easier?

More and more people are working at home rather than in the workplace. Some people say this will bring benefits to the workers and their families, but others think it will bring stress to the home. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Travel from and to work is becoming more difficult. One solution is that employers should allow employees to work at home. Do you agree that the advantages are more than disadvantages?

Nowadays doctors can become very rich. Maybe they should not focus on profitable activities such as plastic surgery or looking after rich patients and concentrate more on patient’s health, no matter how rich they are.

In companies promotions to high positions should be given to employees inside the company, not to someone from outside or new hiring, do you agree or disagree?

Self-employed or working for companies or institutions, which is better?

Many people prefer to stay the same type of work all their life, and others prefer to change the type of work. Discuss both sides and state your own opinion.

Many people want to have a successful career and a happy family life both. What problems are involved in combining a career and family life? How to overcome such problems?

In many countries, workers over 60 can still be found in the workplace. However, some people think that this may cause social problems and they should be retired. Do you agree or disagree?

There is too much stress in the workplace. What can employees and employers do about it?

Many jobs used to be done at home by hand, but nowadays an increasing number of them are done using machines instead. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this development.

Sports / Health / Food

Some sports are extremely dangerous but many people still like them very much. Why do people take part in dangerous sports? Give some suggestions on how to deal with these dangers. 

Some people think competitive sport is important for a child’s education. Others think it has negative effects on children. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

Some people believe that Competitive sports like football are valuable for different group ages and culture while some others believe that it may cause some problems for culture and nationalities. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

More people have an unhealthy diet and do not do enough exercise. What are the reasons for this? How can we encourage people to have a healthier lifestyle? 

Schools do not teach young people enough knowledge to look after their health. Do you agree with this opinion? 

Discuss your opinion about how modernism can affect our health. What can the government do to overcome such circumstances? 

Fast food is becoming one part of people’s daily life everywhere, and this has had negative effects on our lifestyles and diet. Do you agree with this statement? 

Doctors say that people do not do enough physical exercise. What are the reasons? Suggest some solutions. 

Many people think professional sportsmen/sportswomen’s behaviors on or off the field are not important as long as they are good players. To what extent do you agree or disagree with it? 

Most people hope that they can hold sporting competitions in their own countries, while others believe that it may cause problems. Discuss both sides and give your ideas. 

People try new dangerous sports such as sky-diving or rock climbing. Should such sports be banned? 

Now the traditions and customs of the food we eat and the way we eat it are changing. What is the way they are changing, and what do you think of the change? 

Do you agree or disagree that improvements in technology reduce the role of the Olympic Games? 

Playing team sports can teach students more than just games themselves. What do young people learn from playing team games? How are they useful in their later life?

Shops / Shopping

In many countries around the world, shopping has turned into a form of entertainment rather than a way of getting what people need. Discuss the reasons for this trend. Is it a positive or negative development? 

Nowadays, large shops have replaced privately-owned shops. Why is it? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Some shops are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Do you think it is a good thing for the customers, shop staff and company as a whole? 

Many people are doing their shopping on the internet nowadays. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of shopping online.

Travel / Transport / Tourism

Road transport is taking over rail services. Discuss the positive and negative effects of this development. Is this situation true for your country? 

More and more people use private cars instead of taking public transport. What are the reasons for this trend? How can the government encourage people to take public transport? 

Now, more and more people want to buy cars. However, cars cause many problems. What are these problems? How can we encourage people to take public transportation? 

Some people say cars should be banned from the centers of cities. Do you agree or disagree? 

In some countries, air travel has become a much cheaper form of transport than in the past. Some people say this is a positive development but other people disagree. Discuss the two views and give your opinion. 

Some people think building more roads can reduce the traffic problems. What do you think of this solution?  

In many countries, there is an increasing number of private cars. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? 

Some people think that there will be a decrease in international travel in the future. Do you think the less amount of international travel is a positive or negative development? 

Traveling abroad is regarded as a valuable and good activity for young people, but some people think it takes too much time and money. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. 

Some people believe that traveling alone really benefits in learning a country’s culture and experience, while others believe it is better to travel with someone you know. Discuss both these views and share your opinion. 

Some people believe public transport should be free of charge. Do you think the advantages are more than disadvantages?

Media

Today the Internet has replaced traditional books as a source of information. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this development. 

The radio will no longer be able to hold its presence as television and Internet media will replace it very soon. Do you agree or disagree? 

Nowadays people depend on newspapers, radios, television, and the Internet for news and information. In your opinion, which is the best way for getting news and why? 

Among the Internet, radio, TV, and newspaper, which has the greatest effect on the social activity of people? Tell reasons. 

More and more media attention is being paid to famous people who are successful in sports and movies. Why do you think this is happening? Is this a good thing? 

Some people say television contributes more than other modern inventions to the quality of life of ordinary people. Do you agree or disagree? 

Some people are interested in international news, others prefer watching the national news. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

Recently, more and more people use the Internet to get information and buy goods. What do you think about the advantages and disadvantages of this phenomenon? 

Films can have an effect on children’s education and teach them many things. Do you think it is always a positive influence? Discuss.

Education

Some people who failed at school can be highly successful in their adult life. Discuss why does this happens? And what are the main factors to getting a successful life? 

Some people say that in our modern age it is unnecessary to teach children about the skills of handwriting. To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

Some people think if students are afraid of the teacher it is better. Others say that having a friendly relation is better. What do you think?

Some people say that to become a good teacher, you should acquire enough training, while others say that teaching capabilities can be developed with experience. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some people think young people are suitable for learning foreign languages. Some people think adults are more suitable. Discuss both and give your opinion. 

An increasing number of people decide to learn a foreign language. What is the most difficult part when learning a foreign language? How can the learner overcome these difficulties? 

People find it very difficult to speak in public or to give a presentation before an audience. Do you think public speaking skill is really important? Give reasons.

Some people say public speaking should be taught at school. Do you agree or disagree? In some countries, students are required to learn a foreign language, but in other countries, it is not necessary to do so. Discuss the benefits of each case and give your own opinion.

In some countries, children start school at the age of seven, so they could have more time to build relationships with their parents. In other countries, children start school when they are 4 years old. Do the advantages outweigh its disadvantages? 

Some people say subjects like arts, music, drama and creative writing are more beneficial to children, and therefore they need more of these subjects to be included in their timetable. Do you agree or disagree? 

Some people think children should attend extra classes after school, while others disagree. Discuss both opinions and give your own view. 

Some people think that young children benefit from going to nursery school before starting primary school. Others think it is better for young children to stay all day with the families. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

Nowadays, an increasing number of countries are confronted with the disappearance of cooking skills. What is the situation like in your country? Do you agree that young children should be taught home cooking in school? 

In some countries, schools are open late so that children can be looked after when parents are at work. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages. 

In modern society, many people think that primary schools should teach science and technology rather than history and geography which are useless and boring. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? 

Some people think that secondary school students should study academic subjects (such as history and physics). While others believe they should study practical subjects (such as car machinery and cookery). Discuss both views and give your own opinion. 

Students in schools should learn practical skills like car maintenance and managing a bank account in addition to academic subjects. Do you agree or disagree?

Some say that secondary school should spend less time on traditional subjects such as history and should spend more time on communication skills and business courses. To what extent do you agree or disagree with it? 

Many students have to study subjects which they do not like. Some people think this is a complete waste of time. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? 

Some people think that the subject of music is not necessary for primary school, and other practical subjects like science should replace it. What is your opinion? 

Many schools have made it compulsory for the students to wear a uniform. However, it is hated by the students. How much freedom do you think students should have to choose their own clothes for school? 

Schools should teach children good behavior and introduce ideas of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. It should not only be left to parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Zoos

Many people think that zoos that kept wild animals in a man-made environment should no longer exist in the 21st century. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? 

Some people argue that the purpose of zoos is only to entertain people. What do you think? What are the other purposes of zoos?

Money

Some people think spending a lot on birthdays and marriage celebrations is a waste of money but others think it is important to young people and society. Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

Some people say that money can make life easier and more comfortable. But others say that having a lot of money can bring some problems. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of having a lot of money? 

Many people think having enough money brings happiness but others think too much money can bring problems. Do you agree or disagree? 

Today in many countries, people hold bigger and more expensive weddings than before. Is it a positive or negative development?

Environment

The level of noise around us is constantly increasing and is affecting the quality of our lives. What causes the noise? What should be done about it? 

In natural scenic spots, such as lakes, mountains, and beaches there is much litter or rubbish. Why do people do that? How to deal with it? 

Some people believe that taxing companies which cause it is the best way to reduce industrial pollution while some suggest that there are several other ways to solve this trouble. Discuss both the views and give your opinion. 

People generally know that the environment is important. However, most individuals still don’t take responsibility to protect the environment. Why is this? What should be done to encourage people to protect the environment?

Buildings / Architecture

Nowadays, more and more buildings have been rebuilt or redesigned into a new modern form. What are the advantages and disadvantages of it?

Many old cities around the world are going through a major process of modernization. What are the advantages and disadvantages of modernization?

Historical buildings are destroyed for housing schemes in most of the cities these days? Discuss and give your opinion.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in a house and living in an apartment and give your opinion.

Many people think living in high-rise apartment blocks makes people feel lonely and unhappy, while others argue it has advantages. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Too many old historic buildings are in danger and destroyed in many countries. What are the main reasons? How to protect them?

Costumes

Nowadays, more and more people don’t wear their national clothes, and the clothes look almost the same all over the world. Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

In the past, people wore their traditional clothes and followed their culture. These days most people wear similar clothes and therefore look very similar to one another. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Advertisements

Advertising influences people to buy things such as clothes and shoes. What are the problems caused by that? What solutions can be given?

Nowadays, some people believe advertising is useful and informative. Others say it gives false information about the products and increases the price of goods. What is your opinion?

Advertisements for things like toys and food have effects on children and their families. Many people think this is negative. Do you agree or disagree?

Technology

Some people think mobile phones are most useful for their professional lives, others think mobile phones are most useful in their personal life. Discuss both of them and give your opinion.

Computers are increasingly popular these days. Many people think that the advantages the computer has brought outweigh the disadvantages. What is your opinion?

Give your reasons in your own experience. Some people argue that technology such as mobile phones destroys social interaction. Do you agree or disagree?

Random Questions

Some people prefer to live in a hot climate, while others like to live in a cold climate. Discuss both of the views and give your own opinions.

Nowadays, some people are changing their way of look through hair color, clothes, cosmetics even plastic operation. What are the reasons? Is this a good thing?

Wearing fashionable clothes is becoming important today. Is the attitude to wearing fashionable clothes leading to a positive development or negative development?

To what extent do you think governments should be held responsible when problems of homelessness and unemployment arise?

Some people believe that hobbies need to be difficult to be enjoyable. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people are making new friends by using socializing network websites and internet chat rooms. Some people say that this is a good thing. Other people say that people should make new friends by face-to-face chat. Discuss these views and give your own opinion.

Nowadays there is a trend of buying goods even when they are not necessary. Why do people tend to buy those? Is it a positive or negative trend regarding individuals and society?

Sending criminals to prison is not the best method of dealing with them. Education and job training are better ways to help them. Do you agree or disagree?

Parents, usually mothers, give up work, choose to stay home and look after families. Some people think the government should give them a salary, others disagree. Do you agree or disagree? Give the reasons from your own knowledge and experience.

Tobacco is a kind of drug. People have been free to use it. Some people think that it should be illegal to use it comparing with other drugs. To what extent do you agree or disagree? What is your opinion?

Nowadays, some people still prefer to ride bicycles. To what extent do you think this will help us in today’s life?

Many people are moving to big cities. Why is that? Do you think it is a good trend?

In some societies, more and more people choose to live on their own. What is the reason for this, and is it a positive or negative trend?

Some people say that it is impossible to live comfortably in big cities. What problems are faced by the people living in big cities? What solutions can be taken to solve those problems?

Some people believe the elderly said that life is better in the past. Do you agree or disagree?

There is an increasing number of people using credit cards which seems likely to replace the coins and notes in the future. Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Nowadays, people have a lot of pressure and stress. What are they? How to reduce them?

Some people think students in primary school / secondary school should be taught how to manage money because it is an important life skill. Do you agree or disagree?


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