Monthly Archives: November 2015

How to answer ‎‘To what extent do you agree or disagree?’ questions.

How should you answer ‪‎IELTS writing task 2 questions that ask ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree?’

A lot of people have asked me about this recently.  Here are two typical questions:

1) ‘When the writing task question says ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree?’ Do I have to discuss both of the views in the question? So, one body paragraph for ‘agree’ and other one for the ‘disagree’? Or can I choose to just either agree or disagree?’

2) ‘In “To what extent do you agree or disagree” type questions, will I lose marks if I write only the points in the body paragraphs that I agree or disagree?’

These questions are basically asking – ‘is it ok to only give only one opinion or do I have to mention both opinions?’

Let’s take a look at an authentic example of this type of writing task. It is very important that the writing tasks you use for practice are authentic and reflect the real IELTS test. I find that it is test questions that are NOT authentic (the ones that advertise themselves as ‘free!” or ‘cheaper than Cambridge!”) that often cause problems and confusion.

Here is an image showing an authentic writing task question that comes from Cambridge Practice Tests Book 9.  I’ve added notes to show how you should approach this type of question. Click on the image to see it larger.  If you have any questions or if this is not clear then please let me know – you can message me easily on my Facebook page.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 7.02.47 PM


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Apple version on iTunes

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Android version on Google play

If you want to improve your vocabulary for IELTS and improve your chances of scoring Band 7 and above, why not try my new vocabulary teaching app?   Click on image 1 to see it in iTunes and image 2 to see it in the google play store.


These videos will help you to understand how the IELTS test works and give you helpful tips about how to improve your score. 

Webinar: How to improve your IELTS Scorethis video looks at every part of the test. 

Webinar: How to score well in the IELTS writing Testthis video looks at the writing test

Video: How to score IELTS Band 7this video focuses in particular on the writing test

Video: How to manage your time in the IELTS reading test – this video looks at the reading test

Video: My Vocabulary teaching app – this video shows how my vocabulary app works

Video: Why is there so much confusion about True/False/Not Given? – This video explains the confusion and shows you how to answer these questions.