IELTS Writing Task 2
In many countries, people are now living longer than ever before

In many countries, people are now living longer than ever before. Some people say an ageing population creates problems for governments. Other people think there are benefits if society has more elderly people.
  • To what extent do the advantages of having an ageing population outweigh the disadvantages?
How to answer this essay?
  • Introduction:
  • Paraphrase the overall essay main topic.
  • Write a clear opinion.
  • 1st Body Paragraph
  • Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  • Explain your main idea.
  • Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  • 2nd Body Paragraph
  • Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea.
  • Explain your new main idea.
  • Include specific details and examples.
  • Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  • Conclusion:
  • Summarise your main ideas.
  • Include a final thought.

Model Answer | Marked as Band 8
Cohesive connecting words that improve coherence in writing . Useful less common words that boost fluency in writing .
  • The population in most parts of the world is ageing; people are living longer and there are fewer younger people in many places as birth rates fall. This phenomenon has pros and cons, but this essay will contend that, on balance, the advantages of having an older population outweigh the negatives.
  • The first issue that occurs to many people when considering the ageing population is the expense. If people live longer, they may have more than 30 years of retirement and may need to be supported financially by the government or their families. If they experience age-related illness, this impacts the health system and takes up resources needed by other people in society. What's more, when older people are financially independent, it might be hard for younger people if they have to compete to get a foot in the door of the housing market or gain employment.
  • That being said, older people have a lot to contribute in terms of wisdom, experience and skills. Many people are active and productive for longer than their counterparts were 50 years ago and are an asset to the economy and society well into their old age. They are able to work for longer and after retirement they contribute in many ways too, such as by doing charitable work, spending money as consumers and supporting their families. Grandparents often care for their young grandchildren, making it easier for both parents to work.
  • While it is true that an ageing population poses challenges for governments, it is clear that these are outweighed by the significant benefits that elderly people bring to society.
267 words

  • Here are some comments about the above essay:
  • This is a good response to the task. Both sides of the argument are presented, with the ideas extended for both. The essay makes their position clear from the beginning, that there are more advantages than disadvantages.
  • The second paragraph addresses the expense of looking after the elderly, the health system and the cost for governments. It also captures the challenge that older people take up houses and jobs so younger people cannot progress.
  • The third paragraph presents the advantages of the [wisdom, experience and skills] older people can bring: that they are more active and remain productive for longer, not only working, but also [doing charitable work, spending money as consumers, supporting their families and even grandchildren for the working parents].
  • This means that the conclusion is relevant and justified.
  • Ideas are organised and cohesion has good progression.
  • Vocabulary is skilfully used, with some high-level terms [phenomenon / age-related illness / impacts the health system] and some sophisticated examples [get a foot in the door / counterparts].
  • There are a range of complex grammatical structures, including several conditional structures [if]. The conditionals are used to emphasise the challenges presented and are without errors.
  • This is a high-level, fully developed response with ideas that are well supported, extended and engaging.
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