Writing Task 2

Vocabulary Quiz 1

Knowing which words go together is important when selecting synonyms. Complete the sentences 1-6 with appropriate words.

The price was increased _______ to cover production costs.
We obtained                           a good result.
____________ flights have changed the way we travel.
The                         performance of several nations in the European Union has been overestimated.
My                       concern is that the authors have failed 
to draw any valid conclusions.
In                           this is not a problem; however, in practise it can lead to unintended racial discrimination.
A cup that conducts heat would be                           for drinking soft drinks with.
A                           mother is aware of her child’s behavior and can thus interpret it correctly.
The most                     way to resolve this issue would be increase taxation.

IELTS Reading – Matching Headings – Exercise 2

Do you Live in a Burglar-Friendly House?


A It’s the last thing you want to hear when you’ve just been burgled but the awful truth is that if you’ve been burgled once you’ll probably be burgled again. In fact it’s likely to happen another four or five times. Why? Because some of us have “burglar-friendly” houses.
B Burglars think that the bigger the house the richer the owners. “You can’t do much about the size of your house,” says Professor Pease of Huddersfield University, “but if it’s large, you need to be even more careful than if it’s small.”
C You should take a good look at your house – – not as you normally do, but as a burglar would. If you were a burglar, which home would you choose to rob, – a house with a shiny new car parked outside or one with an old vehicle? Anything which signals nice possessions and money will certainly catch the burglar’s eye.
D People may complain about their nosy neighbours, but there’s no better way of stopping burglars than having watchful neighbours around. If a house is far away from others, or hidden from the road, it is more attractive to burglars, who think they can get in and out without being noticed. So a burglar alarm is a good idea. And remember, you may get privacy from a tall hedge or a high wall – but so do burglars.
E Ian Stephen, who works with the Scottish prison service, believes that you’re more at risk if your house looks nice. “Window-boxes, nice curtains and beautifully painted walls all tell the burglar that you’re proud of your home and care about your possessions and are more likely to have nice things in your house,” he says. He advises people to try to make their homes look as plain as possible and not to draw attention to any new things they have bought by leaving the empty boxes next to the dustbin.
F People often leave a light on when they go out. “But be sensible,” advises Ian Stephen. “Don’t leave a light on in the hall as it never makes the burglars believe that you’re in. Have you ever heard of a family enjoying an evening at home in the hall? Leave it on in the living room.” An open window is also an open invitation to burglars. If you sometimes forget to shut and lock doors and windows, stick a note on the inside of the front door to remind you. And make sure any ladders are put away and not left outside where burglars can use them.
G By leaving newspapers and letters sticking out of the letter-box, or full milk bottles on the doorstep, you are giving burglars the green light to break into your home. Similarly, if you’re away from the house at regular times – out at work or doing the shopping – then your home is also in danger of being burgled. Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house at these times.
H It’s a good idea to take photos of your valuable possessions. By doing that, if you’re burgled, you’ll be able to identify stolen property, which could lead to the thief being put behind bars. It is also possible to label valuable items such as TVs and videos with your postcode. If they are stolen, this will make them easier to find. One more good idea is to ask for a crime prevention officer to visit your home and identify weak points in its security.


This quiz is for logged in users only.



IELTS Reading – Matching Headings – Exercise 1


A In Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Wrong Men, Manny Ballestero is a musician who lives in New York. Life isn’t easy for Manny. His wife is ill and he has bills to pay. Finally he is forced to cash in an insurance policy. When he goes to the local insurance office, the employees seem strangely nervous. Manny looks just like thief who robbed them the year before. While Manny is waiting, one of them makes a phone call. Several minutes later the police arrive. They arrest Manny and take him to prison.
B The film is a true story of mistaken identity, but with a happy ending. Manny is eventually released. However, what the story shows is that our memory of a face or an event is not always perfect, even in an extreme situation. So just how reliable is it?
C ‘Evidence suggests that our recall of a frightening event is stronger,’ says Professor Frank Turner. ‘But even in these situations our memory can be distorted by certain details. For example, if the crime involves a gun, a witness will probably focus on the weapon. As a result, other things are not easy to remember. Memories of a criminal’s face, what they say or do, or of other people present are less reliable.’
D Experiments have also shown that our ability to identify people often depends on how we saw them. For example, a three-quarter view of a face is much easier to remember than a profile. And then there is the amount of disguise. You’ll still have a good chance of identifying someone if they’re wearing glasses. But if they have a wig or a hat on, you’ll only have a 70% chance of recognition. If you then add or subtract a beard, it drops to 30%.
E In fact, all kinds of things can confuse our memory. In one famous case, a scientist was arrested after a woman in New York picked him out in an identity parade. She was convinced he was the man who had broken into her house. However, the scientist was released a few hours later. Why? He had a very good alibi. He was actually on a live television show while the crime was in progress. The woman was watching the show when the burglar attacked her. What this proves is that our memories are sometimes mixed up, making a victim’s account of a crime even less reliable. When it comes to identifying people, we will more likely choose the wrong person.

This quiz is for logged in users only.


IELTS Listening – Note Filling – Exercise 2

Listen and complete the notes with ONE WORD ONLY. Write down your answers in the comment section.

Plants that changed the world

Prehistory: flowering plants

  • arrived about 130 million years ago
  • became an essential source of 1 __________

2737 BC: tea

  • discovered in China, played a key role in USA, China & UK
  • led to financial problems in Britain – Chinese ruler insisted all tea was paid for with 2 _________, which had to be sourced from other countries.

202 BC: White Mulberry

  • in demand from 202 BC when it was essential in the production of 3 _____________
  • trade routes led to the spread of different 4 ______________ but also made more people ill and encouraged the exchange of dangerous products (e.g. 5 ____________)

16th century: the potato

  • originated in Central and South America, brought to Europe by the 6 ___________
  • it was rapidly accepted because it was cheap and contained lots of 7 ____________
  • helped prevent one specific 8 _____________
  • 1845 – 1849 – large-scale failure of potato crops led to a million deaths in Ireland and the
  • 9 _______________ of another million people.

IELTS Listening – Note Filling – Exercise 1

Listen to the recording and complete the summary below with ONE WORD ONLY. Write down your answers in the Comment section. 


Paul was interested in the 1 __________________ so took an ecology course at university. The course included a section on 2 _____________ and an interesting lecture caused him to quickly change his degree.

Paul says working in paleontology can be difficult and he describes the conditions as 3 ____________. However, the discovery of a 4 _______________ from an ancient animal made him realize he had made the right choice.


IELTS Listening – Matching Exercise

You are going to hear a group of students talking about their Natural Earth presentation. Listen and match the tasks 1-5 with the person who will do them (a-c). 

This quiz is for logged in users only.


IELTS Listening – Listen to Directions

You are going to hear two young people discussing what there is for university students to do in their town. Listen and write the names of the places 1-5 from the map.


This quiz is for logged in users only.


IELTS Listening – Multiple-Choices Exercise

Listen to the recording and choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

This quiz is for logged in users only.

Writing Task 2

Sample IELTS Essay – Food Trade

The following essay is written by Ms Quynh – IELTS tutor.

In some countries, it is now possible for people to buy a wide variety of foods transported from all over the world. To what extent do the benefits of this development outweigh the drawbacks?

The rapid development of new technology and global trade has made it increasingly easy to buy imported foods no matter where we are. Imported food consumption is, in fact, growing in popularity and it is claimed to be a positive trend. In this essay, however, I will argue that it causes more threats than benefits to the global market.

There may indeed be good arguments for encouraging importing foods from other countries as consumers would have a wide variety of food choice. It could also be argued that improving global food trade will boost the economies of developing countries. Some African countries’ economies, for example, rely heavily on exporting food to the European market.

However, local cuisine is an important aspect of local culture. Hence, protecting the competitive advantage of local foods is preserving traditional culture. It has been observed that Western food is becoming popular in Asian countries and young consumers are using more and more ingredients imported from the West in their recipes. It might come to a point where people use more imported foods and the local cuisine gradually disappear.

Moreover, as foods imported from Western countries have been engineered with new technologies, it may taste better than the local ones, therefore, become more favored on the market. If local foods from the developing countries lose the battle in their home market, local manufacturers and farmers are unlikely to have enough resources to continue their innovation efforts and export to other countries. This is probably why Asian countries, such as Vietnam, encourage local consumers to use domestic foods.

So in the end, if the goal is to ensure sustainable development all over the world, we must first focus on providing high quality foods to local markets and ensuring its advantages there. Only then would global food trade bring benefits to all parties.

(310 words)


IELTS Speaking – Sample Answers – Family

Before listening to my answers, you should try to answer these questions first. Note that there is no right or wrong answer in IELTS speaking. You may learn something from my answers, such as structure, cohesive devices, vocabulary, and ideas, but you should develop your own answers.

    1. How would you describe yourself?


    2. Are you similar or different from your mother or father?


    3. What do you do together as a family?


    4. Who are you closest to in your family?


    5. Is yours a typical family?


    6. Are there many different types of family in your country?


    7. Is it better to grow up in a small family or a large extended family?


    8. What role do grandparents play in a modern family?


    9. Which are more important: family or friends?


    10. What do you think about single parent families?


    11. Should people be more accepting of alternative family types?


    12. In what ways have families changed in the last hundred years?


    13. Should we rely heavily on our families or is it better to try to be independent?

Learn more:
IELTS Listening – Family 

IELTS Vocabulary – Family 

IELTS Reading – Family

IELTS Speaking – Describe your family members