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IELTS Essay Questions 2021 Archive

Hey! This is an archive of all the reported IELTS Essay questions 2021. If you are looking for 50 questions from the most recent IELTS exams, then you should go to this page, which I update with new questions every month.

Click here to look at the most recent reported IELTS essay questions

Please remember that what you will find here are the questions that have been reported by exam-takers from IELTS exams around the world. Even though I have used my experience as a trained exam creator to edit the prompts so that they are as close to the original exam question as possible, I can never guarantee that they are 100% the same.

Therefore, if you find one of these topics in your exam, you MUST read the real question carefully to make sure that you address it properly – changing just one word may make a huge difference to the focus of the essay.

What patterns can be seen in IELTS essay questions 2021?

As you will see from questions below, there have been a lot of opinion questions (both Discuss Both Sides and To What Extent) in the Academic version of the test so far in 2021, but very few “new” topics.

In the General Training version, the test writers seem to making small changes to the wording of questions. These changes don’t actually affect what you are expected to do, but they may confuse some students. For example, in the past, you were always asked “Is this a positive or negative trend?” but recently the same question has been phrased as:

  1. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
  2. Do you think this is right or wrong?
  3. Do you think this this a good or bad use of public money?

If you enter the exam room and feel confused by the question, my advice is always to simply answer the question that you have been given.

In both versions of the test, I have seen a definite move towards 2-part essay questions. Test-takers can find these tricky as they may ask you to answer two questions that you have never seen together before in one essay  i.e. you may be asked to give a cause of a trend and then comment on whether it is positive or negative.

I don’t think that these essays are particular difficult once you know how to organise them and write the introductions and conclusions. Click here to find out how to do this.

Listen to two IELTS experts discuss SIX reported essay questions from 2021 

Academic IELTS Essay Questions 2021)

1. Some people believe that companies should manufacture products that last for a long time. Others feel that the emphasis should be placed on producing goods that are cheap. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

2. Some people think that when many imported films or TV programmes are shown in a country, it can improve the country’s culture. Others feel that it is better for a country to make and broadcast its own movies and TV shows. Discuss both sides and give your own view.

3. Some people believe that charities should help people in need no matter where those people are in the world. Others feel that these organisations should only serve the people living in the country where they are based. Discuss both sides and give your own view.

4. Some people believe that good teamwork is what makes companies successful. Others feel that it is more important to have a good leader. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

5. Some people think watching TV series and films makes children more creative. Others think that it can actually lower their creativity. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

6. Some people believe that visual images (such as photos and videos) provide enough evidence that a crime was committed. Others think that they are not enough on their own and other evidence is needed. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

7. Some scientists think that computers will soon become more intelligent than humans. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

8. Although there is a lot of software available today that can translate from one language to another, it is still necessary for people to learn a foreign language. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

9. In many countries, governments spend a lot of money celebrating national holidays and festivals. However, some people think that spending money on these celebrations is a waste. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view? 

10. When designing a building, the most important thing for architects to consider is the intended use of the building rather than its outward appearance. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

11. Some people think that dangerous extreme sports such as rock climbing and sky-diving should be banned. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?

12. Some people believe that countries should produce the food to feed their population themselves and import as little as possible. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

13. Some people think that it is a waste of time for school students to study nature. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

14. In recent years, television has contributed most to changing people’s quality of life. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

15. In the future it may be necessary for us to live on another planets. For this reason, some people believe that we should spend money now researching planets that could be a possible home, such as Mars. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Learn more about how IELTS essays are different to those that we write at school and university here:

17. Some cities create extra housing by building tall buildings. Other cities do this by building on wide areas of land. Which do you think is the best solution to the problem of housing? 

18. Many people continue to use cars and motorcycles even though they know that they are bad for the environment. Why is this? What can be done to reduce the use of these vehicles?

19. There are many female students who finish degrees in science and technology courses at university, but few move into the workplace after they graduate. Why is this? What measures can be taken to encourage them into work?

20. In many cities the construction of new houses and office buildings is not controlled. This leads to people building in whatever style they want without thinking about design. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?  

21. Young people are often influenced by their peers. Do the advantages of peer pressure outweigh the disadvantages? 

22. Many developing countries place a lot of importance on tourism. Why is this? Do you think that this is a positive or negative development?

23. In the modern world, it is possible to shop, work, and communicate online without any face-to-face contact with other people. Is this a positive or negative development?

24. In the future, there will be a higher proportion of older people than younger people in many countries. Why is this? Is this a positive or negative development?

25. Some people believe that if an individual behaves in an anti-social manner, such as committing a crime, then society is to blame. What are the causes of anti-social behaviour? Who do you think is responsible?

Click here to watch the first three lessons in our IELTS Writing Course to see the difference that genuine expertise can make to your preparation. 

You can feel the difference when you study with real experts at My IELTS Classroom

General Training IELTS Essay Questions 2021

1. Some people believe that celebrating personal events is a waste of money. Others feel that these celebrations play an important role in the lives of individuals and in society as a whole. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

2. Some people believe that traveling alone is the best way to experience a country or a culture. Others feel that it is better to travel with people you know. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

3. Some people feel the best way to reduce the number of accidents on the road is to further limit the speed of vehicles. Others think that there are better ways to tackle this issue. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

4. Some people think that older employees contribute most to the success of a company. Others think that younger people play a more vital role. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

5. Some people believe schoolchildren should help to create rules in their schools. Others say teachers alone should decide what the rules are. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

6. Some people think that students should learn a range of practical skills at school (such as car maintenance or managing money) alongside traditional subjects like maths and physics. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

7. In cities, space for housing should be created by knocking down historic buildings. What is your opinion?

8. Some people believe that only employees who have worked at a company for a long time deserve to be promoted to a higher position. What is your opinion about this?

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9. People’s behaviour (for example, their table manners and they way they dress) varies from country to country. When traveling to a different country, people should copy the behaviour and habits of the inhabitants of the country they  visit. Do you agree or disagree?

10. The best way to increase road safety is to make car drivers retake their driving test every year. Do you agree or disagree?

11. Some people believe that family is more important than friends. What do you think?

12. The Internet is the best place to find information. Do you agree or disagree?

13.  In many countries traditional customs are being lost. Why do you think this is? What can parents and schools do to keep traditional customs alive? 

14. People who are learning a foreign language can face a number of difficulties. What are some of these problems? In your opinion, what are the best ways to overcome these difficulties?

15. Young people today are often less polite and show less respect than previous generations. Why do you think this is? What can be done to solve this problem? 

16. Some people today struggle to use modern electronic technology such as smartphones and computers. Why do you think this is? What can be done to solve this problem? 

17. Nowadays, many people drive to work or school instead of walking, cycling or using public transport. Does this trend have more advantages or more disadvantages?

18. After finishing school, some students go travelling or work for a period of time instead of going directly to university. Do you think the advantages of gap years outweigh the disadvantages?

19. Nowadays some parents give money to their children if they perform well at school. Do you think this is good or bad trend? 

20. Most children want to watch the same TV programmes or play the same video games as their friends. Do you think parents should allow their children to do this?

21. Governments spend a large amount of money every year on works of art (for example, paintings & sculptures.) Do you think this this a good or bad use of public money?

22. Many people today spend most of their free time at home watching TV series or movies instead of going out. Do you think this is right or wrong?

23. People nowadays send text messages more frequently than they talk the phone. What are the reasons for this trend? Do the advantages of texting outweigh the disadvantages?

24. Children can learn many things from watching films or movies. What are some of the different things they can learn? Are these lessons always good for them?

25. Playing team sports at school can teach students a number of lessons that are useful outside of sport. What values can students learn from playing team sports? How can they apply these values in the future? 


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