IELTS Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Lesson (2023)

IELTS advantages and disadvantages questions normally give you a statement and ask you to comment on the advantages and disadvantages of that statement.

The problem is that there are 2 different types of advantages and disadvantages essay and they each require a different approach. If you answer them in a different way then you risk losing lots of easy marks.

This lesson will look at each of the three question types and suggest a standard sentence-by-sentence structure for each of them. There will also be samples answers for each of the three questions to help you compare and understand the two approaches.

Question 1

In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.

Question 2

Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary schools rather than secondary school.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Question 1 simply asks us to discuss the advantages and disadvantages. It does not ask for our opinion or say which side is better or worse, so we should not include this information in our answer.

This requires a simple structure in which the student will look at the advantages in one paragraph and the disadvantages in the other.

Question 2 is different because we have to say if the advantages are stronger than the disadvantages. Notice I didn’t say ‘if there are more advantages than disadvantages’. The question is not asking you to talk about numbers but comment on the overall weight of the advantages or disadvantages. For example, there are a huge number of advantages to travelling by private jet, but there is one huge disadvantage (the cost) that stops most people from flying that way and therefore the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

(Video) IELTS Writing task 2: Advantages and disadvantages essay

In this example, we will have to decide which side (advantages or disadvantages) is stronger and this will affect our structure. If you choose advantages then you will have to say why these are much stronger than the disadvantages and why the disadvantages don’t hold much weight. You would also have to make this clear in your thesis statement.

Structure for Essay 1


Sentence 1- Paraphrase question

Sentence 2- Outline sentence

Supporting Paragraph 1 (Advantages)

Sentence 3- Topic sentence (2 Advantages)

Sentence 4- Explain first advantage

Sentence 5- Explain second advantage

Sentence 6- Example of second advantage

Supporting Paragraph 2 (Disadvantages)

Sentence 6- Topic sentence (2 Disadvantages)

Sentence 7- Explain first disadvantage


Sentence 8- Explain second disadvantage

Sentence 9- Example of second disadvantage


Sentence 9- Summary of main points

Structure for Essay 2


Sentence 1- Paraphrase question

Sentence 2- Thesis statement (state which one outweighs the other)

Sentence 3- Outline sentence

Main Body Paragraph 1 (Stronger Side)

Sentence 4- Topic Sentence

Sentence 5- Explain why it is strong

Sentence 6- Example

(Video) IELTS Writing Task 2 – How To Write Advantages Disadvantages Essays

Sentence 7- Topic Sentence

Sentence 8- Explain why it is strong

Sentence 9- Example

Main Body Paragraph 2 (Weaker Side)

Sentence 10- Topic Sentence

Sentence 11- Explain why it is not strong

Sentence 12- Example


Sentence 13- Summary of main points and restate position.

Question 1 Sample Answer

In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.

Before embarking on college many young people are advised that a year working or travelling may be a good option. This essay will suggest that experience gained and money saved are the biggest advantages of this, but delaying careers and reducing motivation to study are the primary disadvantages.

(Video) IELTS Writing Task 2 - Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

The main advantages of a gap year are learning more about the world and earning money. For students who have just finished secondary school, working or travelling for a year will allow them to learn what life is like outside of the education system. Also, third level education is very expensive and a lot of students decide to work for 12 months and save up money before they begin their studies. The Times recently reported that the average student at a UK university requires over $12,000 per annum just to survive and many drop out because they cannot afford to stay.

Despite these advantages, students lose a year that could have been used to advance their future careers and they often get used to working or travelling and don’t want to return to a life of study. As job markets are very competitive, an extra year of experience can make a massive difference when applying for jobs, and those who took a gap year are at a disadvantage. Moreover, some decide to bypass university altogether and go straight into a job that is beneath their capabilities or may not offer the same prospects their future career might have done. For instance, a recent survey by the British Government found that 26% of students who take a gap-year never enter tertiary education.

In conclusion, taking a break from studies can be advantageous if it allows people to accumulate savings or learn more about the world. However, they should also be careful that it does not delay the start of their careers and lead to disillusionment with education.

(311 words)

Question 2 Sample Answer

Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary schools rather than secondary school.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Some authorities think that it is more favourable for pupils to begin studying languages at primary school instead of secondary school. This essay will argue that the advantages of this outweigh the drawbacks. The essay will first demonstrate that the earlier someone learns an additional language the more likely they are to master it and that it brings added cognitive benefits, followed by an analysis of how the primary disadvantage, namely confusion with their native tongue, is not valid.

The main reason to start kids off with foreign languages early is that this increases the likelihood they will achieve fluency in adulthood. That is to say that they will have far more years to perfect their skills and it will seem perfectly normal to speak bilingually. For example, in countries such as Holland and Norway where English is taught from a very young age, more than 95% of adults speak it at an advanced level. Learning a second language also helps to improve overall cognitive abilities. In other words, it benefits the overall development of a child’s brain. A recent survey by Cambridge University found that children who studied a new language before the age of 5 were significantly more likely to score higher in Mathematics and Science.

Those opposed to this say that it causes the child to become confused between their mother tongue and the other language. However, there is actually no evidence to support this view and children from bilingual families do just as well in both languages. My own son was brought up speaking both Vietnamese and English and outperforms most of his classmates in both.

On balance, the fact that early foreign language learning leads to higher fluency and improved brain function clearly outweighs the flawed argument that it impairs uptake of native languages.

(299 words)

Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Next Steps

Now that you are more confident about IELTS advantages and disadvantages essays you can practice and reach the level you need.

(Video) Band 9 Advantages Disadvantages Essay | IELTS Writing Task 2 | Part 25

Do you need me to correct your essays and give you feedback on them? Check out our essay correction service.

I hope this has been of help to you and please let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

IELTS Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Lesson (1)


What are the advantages and disadvantages of IELTS essay? ›

Advantage / Disadvantage Essay Tips
  1. spend time planning the benefits and drawbacks of the statement given.
  2. make sure you have relevant supporting points.
  3. put your advantages together in one body paragraph and the same with the disadvantages.
  4. follow a safe advantage disadvantage essay model.

How do you write do the advantages outweigh disadvantages essay IELTS? ›

To answer this type of IELTS essay question you must:
  1. brainstorm ideas supporting both sides first.
  2. this question is asking for your opinion.
  3. answer the question – do you think the advantages or the disadvantages are most important? ...
  4. put your answer to the question in the thesis statement in your introduction.

Do IELTS essay topics repeat? ›

Does the IELTS Essay Question Repeat in the IELTS Exam? Students often wonder whether the essay questions are repeated or not. The answer is No.

Is getting 7 in ielts writing easy? ›

Getting an IELTS band 7 in writing is very difficult for many students, and most do not know what the examiner is looking for. So the aim of this lesson is to look more generally at what is required to get a band 7 in the writing test.

Is 40 days enough for IELTS? ›

"We recommend that students spend a minimum of 6-8 weeks or 30 days preparing for the IELTS exam, focusing on grammar, reading, writing, listening & speaking. We also recommend test takers to spend about 3 to 4 hours every day improving their speed, test strategies and skills. "

Is 7 days enough for IELTS? ›

We recommend that students spend at least 6-8 weeks preparing for the IELTS exam, focusing on basic grammar, reading speed, test strategies and writing skills. Each part of the IELTS exam is different, so ensure you fully understand what is expected of you.

How do you explain advantages and disadvantages? ›

As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.

Can we write only advantages in outweigh essay? ›

Do not only write about the advantages. you will need to cover both sides for a higher score in task response. If you believe the advantage is stronger you must give your opinion on that in the thesis statement, but also make sure you show what a possible downside is.

Do advantages outweigh disadvantages Ielts Task 2? ›

“Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” means when you put the benefits of something on one plate of a weighing scale and the demerits on the other plate, which side weighs more. So for questions like this in IELTS, you need to think of several ideas both in favor and against the position.

Is it hard to get 6.5 in IELTS writing? ›

Scoring 5.5 or 6 may seem possible from 4.5 or 5 with a little more practice and preparation; however, reaching 6.5 is a little difficult but not impossible. It will require substantial practice on your part.

Can I retake IELTS writing only? ›

Can I retake only IELTS writing or reading when I re-apply for the test? A: No, you cannot retake just one module. Regardless of the number of attempts that you make, each time you must answer all the 4 modules of any standard IELTS exam [there are 2 writing tasks in IELTS general].

What happens if I go off-topic in IELTS writing? ›

It's 100% guaranteed. However, if you go completely off-topic, then you will also lose considerable points in your Vocabulary score, as none of your vocabulary is about the task. So, take an extra minute to read the question and underline key words in it.

Does anyone get 9 in IELTS writing? ›

Yes, getting an IELTS band score of 9 in the actual exam is very much possible. This is possible if you have met the expectations of the IELTS examiner and showcased the qualities of a competent user of the English language.

Is IELTS 7.5 enough? ›

Yes. A 7.5 IELTS score is an extremely good score to get selected in the university of your choice.

Can I get 7 in IELTS without preparation? ›

No, you can not get a good score on the IELTS test without studying for it. There are 2 reasons for it. The first point is strong English background, this thing gives the information about the English speaking which is very important for clear one module of the IELTS test.

Is 1 month enough to study for IELTS? ›

If you have one month or less than one month for the IELTS test, you will have to move in a more organized manner. You will have to pay more attention to what is important and then proceed with the same. Do not focus more on reading if you are just capable enough to read and comprehend well.

Is 2 weeks enough to study for IELTS? ›

How much time is required to prepare for the IELTS speaking section? The preparation time of one to two weeks for this section is adequate for most people. Taking mock tests for IELTS is a great way to prepare. The sooner you get started, the better your results will be!

In which month IELTS exam is easy? ›

Which month of the IELTS exam is easy? Ans. The questions for the exam tend to change every few months. So, there is no definitive answer to which month would be the easiest.

Can I get IELTS results in 3 days? ›

If you take IELTS on a computer, will get your results within 3 to 5 days of sitting your test. Or if you choose to sit an IELTS on paper test, your results will be available 13 days after your test.

Which part of IELTS is most difficult? ›

As per the surveys on IELTS modules, the writing section is considered the most challenging module of this exam. The scores in this section are highly uncertain.

Can I pass IELTS in one month? ›

As we discussed earlier, you can prepare for IELTS in 30 days. However, let's have a look at the one month study guide for IELTS.

How do you start disadvantages and advantages essay? ›

​Introduction:​ Paraphrase the question/topic and briefly mention some of the advantages and disadvantages you will discuss in the paper. ​Body Paragraph One:​ Introduce the main advantage. Give supporting details and examples. ​Body Paragraph Two:​ Introduce the main disadvantage.

What is the structure of an advantage and disadvantage essay? ›

Structure: Your Advantages and Disadvantages essay should contain an introduction, two main body paragraphs and a conclusion.

How do you write advantages and disadvantages in one word? ›

"Relative merits". Merits means the advantages, but the phrase "relative merits" is common and suggests a weighing up that would include disadvantages.

How do you avoid saying I will in an essay? ›

If you wanted to say “I will present”, or “I have described”, then the alternative will be “the essay will present”, or “as described in the essay.” Another method of replacing “I” in an essay is using appropriate wording like “this writer” if the verb's action is not within the text.

What is the golden rule of essay writing? ›

Rule 1: Answer the question that is asked. Rule 2: Write your answer in your own words. Rule 3: Think about the content of your essay, being sure to demonstrate good social scientific skills. Rule 4: Think about the structure of your essay, being sure to demonstrate good writing skills and observing any word limit.

Is it okay to write 400 words in IELTS writing Task 2? ›

IELTS Writing: Word Count Rules

IELTS have set a task of writing OVER 150 words for IELTS writing task 1 and 250 for writing task 2. However, there is no upper word limit.

What happens if you write 400 words in IELTS writing Task 2? ›

There is nothing in the IELTS marking rubric about writing too many words. Theoretically, you could write 1,000 words and you would not be penalized. As long as you have written more than 150 words for task 1 or 250 words for task 2, you should be ok.

What if IELTS essay is less than 250 words? ›

Writing a short essay which is under 250 words will definitely impact your score and not in a good way. The requirements of good band score are that you develop your ideas sufficiently. This means you must have enough words to develop your main points. A short essay doesn't do this.

Is 10 days enough for IELTS? ›

10 days is not enough to go from Band 6 to Band 9. In the IELTS exam, 4 skills are tested – listening, reading, writing, and speaking. So, the next 4 days must be dedicated to deciphering the structure and understanding the question pattern for each of these tests.

Is writing 6 enough in IELTS? ›

A band score of 6 indicates a certain level of proficiency in English – you may have written the exam several times and found that you have reached 6.5, but that doesn't fulfil the requirements of your employer or entrance into a university program.

How many bands need Canada? ›

The IELTS score requirement for Canadian immigration in 2021 would be CLB 7. That is at least 6.0 in every band for each of the four sections of the examination. The Canadian Language Benchmark standards set the immigration IELTS score requirement for all students applying to settle in Canada.

Can we copy paste in IELTS writing? ›

Pro: You do not need to count your words. The computer will show the word count. Pro: It is easier to edit your writing. You can cut, copy and paste.

Can I combine 2 IELTS results? ›

Combining IELTS test scores

You can achieve the required mark across two test sittings if: you sit the tests within six months of each other. you're tested in all four sections at the same time.

Who can skip IELTS exam? ›

2. When can you study in the UK without IELTS?
  • If English was the primary medium of instruction in your school. ...
  • If your university considers your X and XII English marks to assess your language skills. ...
  • If your university conducts its own interviews to assess your language skills.

What if I stop before 2 minutes in IELTS Speaking? ›

You can still get a high score if you only speak for 1.5 minutes but only if the quality of your talk is very good. The criterion of fluency accounts for 25% of your marks and is taken from your overall performance in all parts not only in part 2.

Can I retake IELTS if I fail? ›

You may take the IELTS test as many times as you like. You can use the result of the test you prefer. However, as the IELTS centre, we strongly recommend you do additional study before taking the test again. You can also improve your skills by using the IELTS Official Free Practice Materials and Preparation Book.

Can I skip a line in IELTS? ›

So, you can skip a line between paragraphs, or you can just indent the first line of each paragraph about 5 spaces. Another issue to consider is how you feel most confident writing essays, because that does improve your score.

Is IELTS 8 hard to get? ›

Very few IELTS candidates score an overall 8.0 in the IELTS test. It means that in both IELTS listening and IELTS reading you score at least 36 correct answers out of 40 and in speaking and writing your English is practically error-free.

Is 8.5 possible in IELTS? ›

Nilay scored 8.5 Overall in the IELTS Academic test this month. Below are his tips for his great score in IELTS.

What is the lowest score in ielts writing? ›

They are designed to be simple and easy to understand. They are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). All formats of IELTS use the same scoring system.

Can 5.5 bands go to USA? ›

USA Student Visa Process With 5.5 Band Scores

With an IELTS score of 5.5, it is quite possible that you can get into some 5.5 IELTS score university in USA. But for getting the Student Visa you must need to have at least a 6.0 score in the test.

Can I get 7.75 in IELTS? ›

For example, if you've received Listening 6, Reading 7, Writing 8, Speaking 7, your total score will be (6+7+8+7) / 4 = 7. Your score can be either a whole band or a band and a half – for example 7 or 7.5. No other fractions are allowed, for example no 7.25 or 7.75.

Is IELTS 6 accepted in USA? ›

Most of the US universities accept IELTS test scores of 6 to 6.5. However, for securing an admission to the top listed university in the USA, the student must have to score at least 7.0.

Is 1 week enough for IELTS? ›

We recommend that students spend at least 6-8 weeks preparing for the IELTS exam, focusing on basic grammar, reading speed, test strategies and writing skills. Each part of the IELTS exam is different, so ensure you fully understand what is expected of you.

Do IELTS essays repeat? ›

Does the IELTS Essay Question Repeat in the IELTS Exam? Students often wonder whether the essay questions are repeated or not. The answer is No. The essay questions never repeat, but the topic might.

Is 15 days enough for IELTS? ›

Since the time is short, you must understand how to attempt the test. The task is achievable, and with hard work and focus, you will be able to crack the IELTS in 15 days.

Are there more advantages or disadvantages IELTS? ›

First of all, there is NOTHING in the examiners' IELTS Assessment Criteria that says that test takers MUST write more than one advantage and more than one disadvantage.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of essay type test? ›

An essay test may give full freedom to the students to write any number of pages. The required response may vary in length. An essay type question requires the pupil to plan his own answer and to explain it in his own words. The pupil exercises considerable freedom to select, organise and present his ideas.

What are advantages of IELTS? ›

Taking the IELTS test can enhance your employment prospects

Excellent communication skills are essential these days as fifty-five countries have English as their first language. Demonstrating a good command of the language could open up options for you to pursue a career in a foreign country!

What are the disadvantages of essay writing? ›

Here are some possible disadvantages of essay writing: Writers need to have a clear organizational plan. Structure and placement are essential to the flow of the essay's points and topics. Writers will need to have a clear conclusion and thesis statement outlining the entire essay's topics and thoughts.

Which is the hardest test in IELTS? ›

According to several surveys on IELTS modules, the Writing module is the toughest among the four. The writing is considered as the most difficult module of any exam.

Is 7.5 IELTS good enough? ›

To be very honest, a score of 7.5 is good enough and consider as more than average and is eventually an acceptable score in countries like U.S and U.K.Therefore, we can say, that 7.5 IELTS Band Score is indeed a good score. Apart from this, one has to score a minimum of 6.0 in each module.

What are the 4 essay types? ›

There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

What is the most difficult type of essay to write? ›

A persuasive essay (also referred to as an argumentative essay) makes use of logical reasoning to influence the reader to adopt the writer's point of view. This essay type works harder compared to other essay types because the writer needs to convince the reader to espouse his position.

What are the disadvantages of a 5 paragraph essay? ›

The five paragraph essay encourages students to engage only on the surface level without attaining the level of cogency demanded by college writing. In its broad, overarching style, it has a tendency to encourage overly general thesis statements that lead to poorly developed and unfocused papers.

What is purpose of IELTS? ›

IELTS is developed to provide a fair and accurate assessment of English language proficiency. Test questions are developed by language specialists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. The test covers four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Why is IELTS most important? ›

Is IELTS very important? If you wish to study, live, or work in an English-speaking country, you'll need to take IELTS. Almost every program offered by universities would accept a score of 7 or higher. A good IELTS score can also help you get more points on the points exam and apply for different visas.

Which part of IELTS is most important? ›

The simple answer is that the 3 parts are not scored separately; the examiner rates the candidate's performance as a whole. In this sense, neither part is more important.

What is the main advantage of essay? ›

Advantages of Essay Questions:

Test takers can elaborate and provide detailed answers. Test takers are not able to guess and select an answer. Can review individualized responses from each user.


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