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IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 6: Question Tasks and Topics in Writing


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Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.

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Today we'll look at question tasks and topics in the essay section of the IELTS test.

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Both IELTS tests - the academic and the general - require you to write a short essay.

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What are the questions likely to be about?

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Media: censorship; privacy;

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or the influence of advertising.

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Education: testing; computers;

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public and private education.

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Environment: eco-tourism; global warming;

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pollution.

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Health: obesity; alternative medicine; exercise;

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diet.

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Communication: the internet; mobile phones.

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Society: youth issues; juvenile delinquency;

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ageing populations.

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There are two parts to an essay question.

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First, there is the question topic, a statement like this:

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Internet access should be under government control to avoid any potential harm to children.

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And second, there is the question task, which will be something like:

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

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OR

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Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of government controlling Internet access.

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OR

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What are the reasons for government control? What other measures could be taken to deal

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with this problem?

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The purpose of the different question tasks is to test a range of writing skills.

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They can test your ability to identify causes and effects. You could be asked "What are

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the causes …" or "What are the effects …"

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Or they are designed to see how well you can present a solution to a problem. For example:

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What measures could be taken to deal with this problem?

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Here you would need to say what can be done to stop children being harmed by material

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on the internet, such as using software that prevents children accessing harmful sites

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or keeping computers out of children's bedrooms where they are not supervised by a parent.

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Often the question task tests whether you can present two sides of an issue, compare

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opinions and justify your view, such as these:

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

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OR

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