IELTS Writing Part 2: Problem-Solution Vs Idea-View

These are another question types in IELTS Writing Part 2, instead of having position, discuss both sides, giving opinion and proposing solutions, this version give us another side of comprehending Writing Task 2. Not based on the question sentence, yet based on understanding about what they asked for. These categories consist of two main streams: problems and topics. Each steam has two branches, either you should propose something to solve problem or you should give your critical thinking to evaluate a given solution towards a problem.

Propose one or more solutions to a problem. Besides what the ideas that you should provide to solve the problem, you also need to give the action about how to make it come true. You can have this kind of outline.

What can governments do to encourage children to eat a healthier diet?

Body What are the solutions What specific action to be performed What are the positive consequences What are the negative consequences
1 Regulate the food industry Require food procedure to enrich their products with certain vitamins The food is healthier than before, children are safe to consume This would increase the price of the food, so the buyers will decline
2 Regulate school meals Set a daily schedule and find trustworthy food suppliers to make sure the meals’ quality Children would have at least 1 healthy meal per day This would not stop children for bringing unhealthy packed lunches or going out for lunch to fast food outlets
3 Educate children about cooking a healthy food Require schools to provide chefs to teach children to cook healthy foods Children can take pride in their learning and transfer these skills to their families Schools may not have cooking equipment and enough budget to hold cooking class

Evaluate one or more solutions to a problem. This type of question already contained one or more solutions to conquer the problem. You may give another solution if you want to, but your main task is evaluating the given solutions. Here is the example of this type.

Should the government regulate the fast food industry in the same way that it regulates the drug, alcohol and tobacco industries?

Body What are the solutions What specific action to be performed What are the positive consequences What are the negative consequences
1 Given Solution:Regulate the fast food industry like drug, alcohol and tobacco industries Restrict opening hours, location (e.g. far from schools and nurseries) Send a clear signal that fast food as bad as drug, alcohol and tobacco industries This would not stop cooking activities at home
2 Proposed Solution:Public health campaign explaining the dangers of eating too much fast food Television advertising showing long-term consequences of unhealthy diet Help people change their eating habits fundamentally People could ignore the advertisement

Present your ideas about a topic. Usually, this type requires you to predict what will happen in the next step or explain about cause and effect in short or long-term. There is a little change in the fields of the outline table due to the unnecessary field about the action or how you can make it come true.

Dieting to lose weight has become increasingly prevalent in the developed world. Why do you think people nowadays are so concerned with body shape and size?

Body What are your ideas What is the evidence for What is the evidence against
1 Advertisements encourage people to value slim figures Advertisements often show desirable consumer products alongside slim models Advertisers would not use slim models unless the public already had a favorable view of them.
2 People associate slimness with positive character traits People who do not eat too much are seen as having good self-control People should consider that there is no correlation between eating habit with good personalities
3 Many knowledge reveals that serious illness are caused by obesity Huge amount of fats can trigger diabetes, heart failure or cancer. So, the paramedics suggest them to have a healthy and proportional diet If people concern too much and decide to have extreme diet, they may become malnourished

Evaluate an idea about a topic. Same with evaluating solution to a given problem, but it is not about problem and solution. You will be given an idea about something and you should consider the fact and evaluate it more. Again, you may reveal your own and different idea, but you have to evaluate the given idea first, before you proposing your idea.

The problem of obesity is mainly due to people’s lack of knowledge about healthy eating. To what extent do you agree with the statement above?

Body What are your ideas What is the evidence for What is the evidence against
1 Given idea:Obesity due to lack of knowledge about healthy eating Information about nutrition and healthy substances in outside wrapper of food may reduce the unhealthy eating habit Some people tend to ignore the knowledge given by nutrition information at the food wrapper
2 Propose possible idea:Hormonal disorder system since birth Many medical practices try to inject some certain hormone to balance the composition. As the result, the obesity level is declining. If they do not inject this hormone for long period then the obesity back to increase

Okay, let’s have some fun exercises!

In order to be truly employable, the educated person should be able to demonstrate not just knowledge but also the ability to work independently in teams. How can teamwork best be encouraged and assessed in educational settings?

Is there a problem? Yep. The problem to me is ‘in order to be truly employable’. So it is categorized as problem-solution cluster, but let us see is there any proposed or given solution towards this problem? At first sentence it seems that there is a given solutions in ‘should be able to demonstrate knowledge but also ability to work in teams’, but please do not stop reading the next sentence. The question word is ‘How’ teamwork best can be encouraged and assessed in educational matters. Even though, the introduction sentence already gave the solution, but please keep reminding that these monkeys are so tricky, your task is in the last sentence which require you to list your solutions to use teamwork before they can be employable which is in educational term or schools.

Hence, this question is categorized as ‘Propose one or more solutions to a problem’.

Many people believe that formal ‘pen and paper’ examinations are not the best method of assessing educational achievement. What is your view of examinations?

The given topic from this question is education assessing method, and it also clearly stated that an idea failed to be presented as good method for assessing students. If the question sentence asked why it is failed, then it is categorized as ‘Evaluate an idea about a topic’. But, surprisingly it is not, the question is ‘What is your view of examinations’. Thus, it is clearly stated that we are required to present some ideas about examinations. Eventually, this question belongs to ‘Present your ideas about a topic’ category.

New technologies and ways of buying and selling are transforming the lives of consumers. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

At a glance, this topic is about Information Technology (yay!) that is changing consumers’ way of life. There is a given opinion that the cause of this changing issue is new technologies. We are asked to assess how far this idea can fit the given topic, we can say it is not far (disagree) or quite far (agree) and may be not really that far (partly agree). Thus, this question belongs to ‘Evaluate an idea about a topic’.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Taken and modified from Writing for IELTS – Anneli Williams

The mystery of Yes/No/Not Given has been solved!

All lives will be given a definite task, whether it is a right one or the wrong one.

How about a dead one? They are no longer having a purpose or a function because they are no longer given a live by God.

Okay, enough typing unconsciously, it is about Yes/No/Not Given as the title in this post. Well, after six months we are dating with IELTS course, finally and hopefully it can be a right prediction about this mystery.

I usually misled by the question, not the True one because it is obviously given in the passage with variety of rephrase styles, it is definitely written in the passage. No bargain. Then, what if the question is slightly contain some phrases or understanding that implicitly given to the passage? Theoretically, it could be False/No or Not Given.

Implicitly? Yep, it requires our comprehending about what is written in the paragraph. Here is the example;

Quoting passage:

This is in sharp contrast to the model of management that applies elsewhere in Europe. The principles of business process re-engineering have never been fully accepted in France, Germany and the other major economies; while in some Eastern European economies, the attempt to apply them in the nineties brought the economy virtually to its knees, and created huge opportunities for corrupt middle managers and organized crime.

In the question is written:

The European model gives more freedom of action to junior managers.

For me personally, I would like to take some keywords and match it with some words in the passage. My keywords are: ‘junior managers’ and ‘freedom of action’. I match the ‘junior managers’ with ‘middle managers’ (doesn’t match) and ‘freedom of action’ with ‘huge opportunities for corrupt and crime’ (match). For some occasions, all you need is just praying, seriously you won’t know which one to match because the monkey was so smart (I intentionally use ‘was’). By reading the question, do not interpret as the way it is written and do not fully accept what does it means in the surfaces because it has been modified to fail you. Try to analyse it in another meaning, may be you can argue how come huge opportunity for corrupt is similar with freedom to action, all I can say is ‘practice makes perfect’, you will have the sixth sense to know what it means sometimes without a logical explanation.

Okay then I have to derive that question into two parts, I like to name it Head and Tail, instead, Subject and Object. Not without a reason, you can still alive without a Tail, but may be live wrongly (False/No). In addition, you can’t live without a Head even you have a Tail (Not Given).

Head: The European model gives more freedom of action

Tail: to junior managers

After doing matching, I will know which one that I have and I don’t have.

Head: ….freedom to action is matched with passage then I have my Head.

Tail: junior managers != middle managers then I don’t have my Tail

Please guess, am I still alive? I have my Head but I have no Tail. Yep, I am alive but live wrongly. It means the answer is No/False.

Let’s do another exercise.

Quoting Passage:

We have to be cooperative team members rather than work on our own. We have to accept that, in flattened and decentralized organizations, there are very limited career prospects. We are to be motivated by target-related rewards rather than a longer-term commitment to our employing organization.

In the question is written:

There are good opportunities for promotion within segmented companies.

Again, my keywords are ‘good opportunities for promotion’ and ‘segmented companies’ (you can have another keyword). I matched ‘good opportunities for promotion’ with ‘limited career prospects’, hmm how do you think? Is it match? No, it isn’t matched, they have a reverse meaning. Good opportunities for promotion is contradict with limited career prospects or something that have a good career prospects is easily get promoted. Let see another keyword, ‘segmented companies’ with ‘flattened and decentralized organizations’. Is it match? Segmented means focus in their own segment rather than central organizations, it has a contradict meaning with centralized organizations then. Wait, let us see once more to the passage, it is written ‘decentralized’ not ‘centralized’. So, ‘segmented companies’ is just another way to name ‘decentralized organizations’ and yes it is match. What do we have now?

Head: …segmented companies match with decentralized, and yes we have the Head.

Tail: …good opportunities for promotion… is not match with limited career prospects then we have no Tail.

Are we still alive? Yes, we still alive without a tail, then the answer is False/No.

Well, it is still my hypothesis that works correctly in four trials, not all the F/T/NG question types always need this treatment. It can be applied only for a heart-breaking question that makes you surrender to find the answer 😀

Another difficulty is the way we choose Head and Tail. It can be simply by looking which one is affecting the other. For example, the latest question, which one is make sense to you?

a)      Because they don’t have good opportunities for promotion then the organization type is segmented company.

b)      Because it is segmented company then they don’t have good opportunities for promotion.

It works for B, the ‘segmented company’ rule the ‘opportunities’, then you can simply put segmented company as your Head and the other one is your Tail and please never let the Tail rule your Head 🙂

Good Luck, everybody!

NB: These Head-Tail formula is found by having a deep conversations with my IELTS geek friends: Junita, Gum-Gum and Rokib 🙂

Time after time – Future Continues Tense

I will be doing your job, again.. (Alex Karev – Grey’s Anatomy Season 10)

You will be hearing from me.. (Jim Moriarty – Sherlock BBC Series – A Scandal in Belgravia)

I will be waiting time after time.. (Cyndi Lauper – Time after time song lyrics)

What kind of grammar is that?
How come ‘will’ join with ‘be + Ving’?
Is that active or passive form?

At the first time I heard those phrases, I immediately contacted my dearest friend Junita to translate what did it means? And shot her with those three questions above. I realized that nobody will enjoy to be asked like that, especially language experts. Whereas, for me it makes no sense because future is something that are going to happen and continues is ‘in the progress of doing’ which is means we can’t join future with something currently happen, unless, you are equipped with Grammar Old Book Dictionary. It is called Future Continues Grammar and it is in active form.

When I checked into this site about how to use it, I consider that so many changes nowadays. It is no longer used with the following or comparison activity to say this. Sadly but true, I couldn’t agree more with my tutor’s statement that Grammar is only a seasoning, the main dishes is still the context and meaning behind it. It won’t be anything good to eat if your dish only has seasoning but you can’t cook the meat perfectly.

What is the Future Continues Tense? What are the differences with I am going to [Complicated Present Continues Tense] or I will go to [Simple Future Tense]. Well I am not going to explain the fundamental theories behind them because it is not my expertise, but one that distinguishes three of them is the degree of certainty. The Future Continues has the highest degree of certainty among the other two.

I will be doing your job, again.. (Alex Karev – Grey’s Anatomy Season 10)

It means that Karev will surely do his friend’s job once more time in a short time from the time he speaks.

You will be hearing from me.. (Jim Moriarty – Sherlock BBC Series – A Scandal in Belgravia)

Jim Moriarty is warning Sherlock to be careful and be ready in every time because Jim will absolutely come again to dare Sherlock.

I will be waiting time after time.. (Cyndi Lauper – Time after time song lyrics)

Cyndi is always waiting for this guy forever, so sad but it is the actual meaning on its lyric.

🙂 you will be finding new things by listening English songs or watching movies, either you ignore or accept them, it is your choice 🙂

Question Types: IELTS Writing Part 2

This is the second time I posted Writing material in IELTS term. By reading several IELTS Writing materials in internet or books. Here are my resume about Writing question types.

– Asking us to write our position: Usually this question will begin by two counter-arguments which is sometimes both of them make sense to you *cry*. It is alright, there is no penalty of choosing one argument you can either choose agree/disagree or positive/negative or beneficial/detrimental. You can also choose partly agree which is you only agree of half statement of those arguments. From all of my books said that the examiner doesn’t care about your position, he/she is more paying attention to your sentence support and your balance ideas. Few books said that better if we write both side with different proportion. For example, I chose Agree and my supporting ideas should support why I chose Agree and add only few sentence about Disagree one just for showing that your mind is balance between two contradict statements. Books give the term to this writing type is Mature Writing.

Example of this type:

  • Although countries with long average working hours are economically successful, this often has some negative social consequences. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • Although tourism is a very profitable business, it can have a damaging effect on local communities.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • Being a father should be emphasized as much as being a mother. The idea that women are only responsible for deciding whether or not to have babies leads on to the idea that they are responsible for bringing the children up.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree?

– Asking us to discuss both side: Similar to previous type, this is usually started by two sentences that contradict each other. But the proportion of each position will exactly same, you may have a preference but you shouldn’t create a new paragraph to write your opinion. You still can write your feelings opinion in thesis statement or conclusion with minor attention because the biggest attention will be given to how you write equal proportion towards those two statements.

Example of this type:

  • Some people think that paying taxes is enough to contribute to society. Others argue that being a citizen involves more responsibilities. Discuss.
  • Many people nowadays leave their county to work abroad and take their family with them. What are the advantages and disadvantages in terms of family development?
  • Should arts-related entertainment venues such as museums and art galleries be free of charge for the general public, or should a charge apply for admittance? Discuss this issue.

– Asking us to propose solutions to the given problems: The question state the condition of the problem and then they ask your solution towards it. All of my tutors said that I shouldn’t think too much about it because my answer wouldn’t count as one point or be delivered into ministry to be implemented -even though I never think it too deep- >.<
The most difficult to this question type is making a thesis statement, because all of your writing is all your opinion and you have no choice to select or prefer. One source said that we can re-write the question and admit that the problem does exist, please be careful when you rephrase it because if you select the same words then your words will not be counted as a part of 250 minimum words.

Example of this type:

  • A recent survey has shown that people of all ages are losing the ability to perform basic practical tasks and processes at work. What do you think are the main causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?
  • Private car ownership has grown dramatically in recent years. This has led to a rise in traffic congestion. What could governments and individuals do to reduce congestion?
  • In some countries privately owned transport systems have a poor safety record. Yet it is governments who have the ultimate responsibility for public safety. How can governments ensure that private transport companies do not neglect safety regulations?

– The last category is miscellaneous :)) because sometimes there is a question that different from those three types above. The question that belong to this part is two-question, cause and effect, how far is the effect and every question that can not be precisely and simply categorized into the other three types. All you need to do is just answering the question as they asked to and organize it into paragraphs. Sounds so easy, but I know how hard it is to do 😀

Example of this type:

  • Many universities charge higher fees for foreign students. Why do they do this? Do you believe that it is fair? 
  • In some countries people pay different rates of tax depending on their salary, in other countries everyone pays the same rate. Which do you believe is the best system?
  • Do you believe that experimentation on animals for scientific purposes is justified? Are there any alternatives to animal experimentation?

For additional information, in the second part of writing, there are four sections will be graded and the most important portion is TR (Task Response). Despite of your excellence in Grammar, Vocabulary and Paragraph Structure, the precision of your Task Response is held the biggest percentage. It is quite different with speaking because there is no Task Response in speaking.

Anyway you still can find another opinion about how they categorized IELTS Writing Part 2,
Lets fight for it! Best luck wishes for you all who are going to take IELTS wherever you are 🙂

Writing IELTS Part 1

In general part 1 writing, you should allocate at least four paragraphs in your essay.

First paragraph contain the paraphrase of chart title or introductory sentence that explains the graph background.

Second paragraph, opens this paragraph with general trend or majority event that simply seen at the first look at the bar chart, for example: In five of the six disciplines, males outnumbered females. Follow this sentence with supporting evidences; complete your following sentences by mentioning the ordinate (vertical) and axis (horizontal) details.

Third paragraph, choose the smart comparison to this paragraph, because it cannot simply stated for finding the differences or similarity like in the second paragraph. Point out it in a smooth way so you don’t distract the focus of the chart and don’t trouble yourself which like I always did, trying to make an impressive writing but ended up awesomely in not well coordinated summary T.T.

Last paragraph, you can sum up your chart here and you definitely could state an opinion that not related to number or details anymore but more on cross categories opinion. For example, the axis categories are Physics, Geology, Astronomy, Biology, Medicine and Veterinary and focus is gender (male and female). In the last paragraph, you can give a conclusion that men are dominating science-related while women are dominating at life sciences. Even though, you can’t find any classifications of the subjects aforementioned in axis line.

Special notes:

  • Introductory paragraph is optional but it is better to have it in your writing, some books write that the examiner will not count this word because it just a rephrased sentence or contain as part of the question. So play safe by writing more and excluding the introductory paragraph from 150 words minimum.
  • Do not give information that is not illustrated by the graph. For example, the graph only comparing the gender with the subjects list, do not give an opinion about which one is better than the other one.
  • Always look carefully at what figures represent. If they represent percentages, you must use expressions such as “large/small/higher/lower percentage”. If the figures give numbers, you can write “many/more/most/few/fewer”.


Taken from book “Writing for IELTS” written by Anneli Williams.


As my promise, I am going to write more about quantifiers. I don’t know what the right term for it. I googled and some resources just simply called them determiners. Since I don’t want to determine something then let’s just call them quantifiers 😀

Quantifiers are the pointers for quantity of nouns. Of course it is related to the type of the noun whether it is an uncountable or countable one. But, in this post I just want to share the couple of contradictory quantifiers.

What for?

It can help us to ‘sense‘ the contrary statements in reading skill especially in False/True/Not Given type of questions.

Lets play with percentage of coverage of quantity then (taken from reference book).

100%: always, everyone, all, the entirety
50% – 100%: all but few, the majority, most, little doubt
+-50%: no particular emphasis, neither one way, sometimes, roughly half
20%-50%: a few, a minority, a small number, occasionally
< 20% – > 0%: rarely, negligible, an insignificant number, virtually nil
0%: nil, zero, nobody, absolutely none

Based on information above we can see the contrary word. If in the passage stated ‘the majority’ but then the questions stated ‘some of them’ we can conclude this to contrary statement.

One thing you should notice that the ‘contrary‘ is not like just taught in our mathematics or computing subject which is the majority only contrary with the minority. It is not really that clearly seen that the ‘contrary‘ always easily sensed.

Keep reminding yourself that IELTS deal with language not logic. It took long period for me to accept these deals 🙂

The IELTS Tutor

Since you can see my score below then you shouldn’t trust my capability in English 😀 moreover, I have no idea about English Literature or Linguistics or everything related to them.

My First IELTS Score

My First IELTS Score






Please trust the expertise just like this video..