IELTS Writing Task 2: Advantage/Disadvantage Sample Essay

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In this post, we’re going to look at an IELTS Writing Task 2 advantages and disadvantages sample essay. In this type of Task 2 question, you will read a description of a common situation or practice. From there, you’ll describe the advantages and disadvantages of the idea you were presented with. For more background info and advice on this particular question type, you can go to my post on the Task 2 question types in IELTS Writing.

In this article, I’ll show you a sample advantage/disadvantage prompt and a model essay that responds to the prompt. The model essay is an example of band 9 level writing—this is the highest score you can get on the Writing section. I’ve patterned the essay after this IELTS Writing Task 2 template, which was created by Magoosh IELTS expert Rachel Kapelke-Dale.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Advantages and Disadvantages Sample Essay

Before we get started, you should of course first read the sample prompt.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Advantages and Disadvantages Sample Essay Question

With modern transportation, workers and students are increasingly mobile, and have more and more opportunities to study and work abroad. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this development. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Advantages and Disadvantages Model Essay (Band 9)

Nowadays, both work and study can easily take a person out of their home country. This can be good because people can explore new cultures now more than ever. At the same time, world travelers may become disconnected from their own home countries. In this essay, I will take a closer look at the aforementioned key advantage and key disadvantage.

To be sure, ordinary people now have unprecedented access to life abroad. It is easier than ever to work or study in a foreign land for months and even years. Many large international corporations offer overseas work to their employees, just as nearly all universities provide study abroad options at partner campuses overseas. Ultimately, nearly any adult anywhere in the world can potentially immerse themselves in another language or culture, with support from their bosses or teachers.

The problem is that international workers and students sometimes become unconcerned with the affairs in the nations they are from. This kind of apathy can prevent people from doing their civic duty. As one example, people from countries with compulsory military service may spend years abroad and even renounce their citizenship to avoid protecting their homeland. Even more commonly, people who go abroad may choose not to vote in elections back home, failing to make their voice heard on important matters. So modern mobility can undermine one’s ability or desire to make a difference back home.

Learning about other cultures by actually living abroad is a powerful tool for better intercultural understanding. However, as valuable as this is, sometimes going abroad can cause people to ignore the importance of their own culture and country. Not all students and workers should go abroad, and the ones that do should not forget their role in their country of origin.

Word count: 294

Scoring Rationale

This IELTS Writing Task 2 advantages and disadvantages sample essay is held to the same standards as any other Writing Task 2 essay. These standards are listed in the official rubric for IELTS Writing Task 2. If you read the level 9 description carefully and compare it to this essay, you should see the reasons it has a top score. But I’ve also included scorer commentary immediately below.

Scorer Commentary (Advantage/Disadvantage IELTS Essay Sample, Band 9)

The score report below is based on the official IELTS Writing Task 2 rubric. This report also looks very similar to the Magoosh IELTS essay scoring service.

Overall Band Score: 9

CATEGORYTask Achievement/ResponseCoherence and CohesionLexical ResourceGrammatical Range and Accuracy

What was done well in the essay:

  • This essay has over 250 words. This is a small but important way to avoid needlessly losing points due to the IELTS Writing word count penalty.
  • The essay does a good job of covering both the advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of easy access to foreign experiences is explored in the first body paragraph. The disadvantages of becoming too distant from one’s home community is similarly explored in the second paragraph.
  • Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence, followed by supporting details, examples, and a concluding sentence that wraps things up nicely.
  • Transitional phrases such as “to be sure” and “even more commonly” are used to clearly link ideas between paragraphs and within paragraphs.
  • Vocabulary and grammar are used very fluently; this essay is free of any serious errors in this aspect of English.

More IELTS Writing Task 2 Example Responses

If you found this example essay helpful, you’ll love the rest of them. Click the links below to access model responses for the other common Task 2 question types.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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