There are lots of different question ‘types’ in IELTS Task 2 but they ALL want you to do one thing – give your opinion.
So when the question says ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree?’ they are simply asking you to say if you agree or disagree.
And that’s what makes this question ‘easy’ – you can say whatever you like.
Other question types ask you to be more specific e.g.
- Discuss both views and give your opinion
- What causes this problem and how can it be solved?
But all you need to do for this one is give 2 or 3 clear reasons why you agree OR disagree with the question.
In this LIVE lesson on YouTube, I show you how to structure your answer to this question, and at the end we write a model in 10 minutes.
Watch the lesson here
Brainstorm some ideas
Look at the question below.
All children should be made to wear school uniform.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Quickly brainstorm a list of the pros and cons of school uniform e.g.
- looks smart and professional
- easy to wash/look after
- suitable for most classes
- easy to decide what to wear in the morning
- no peer pressure about buying designer labels
- helps students take pride in their appearance
- improves performance (students able to focus more on schoolwork)
- reduces bullying
- helps students feel part of a community
- prepares students for the world of work
- every child is treated equally
- sense of belonging
- students are unable to express their individuality
Model 'one-sided' essay
As you can see, I have far more reasons to argue in favour of uniforms.
So when the question says ‘to what extent do you agree or disagree’ I can choose to take a completely one-sided approach, saying that I 100% totally agree that uniforms are absolutely marvellous.
I do NOT need to mention the other point of view (though I can if I want to),
Many schools require their students to wear a school uniform, but recently this policy has been criticised as being old-fashioned and even oppressive. In my opinion, uniforms are an essential component of school life and should be maintained for both practical and pedagogical reasons.
The main reason for having a uniform policy is that every child can be treated equally. These days there is huge pressure, largely from social media, for young people to look good. Appearances matter to young people, and children may suffer from abuse and bullying if their clothes are perceived as ‘uncool’. A uniform ensures that even children from disadvantaged backgrounds look the same as everyone else. The fact that uniforms are generally inexpensive to buy helps in this regard.
A second argument in favour of uniforms is that they give the child a sense of identity and make young people feel that they are part of a close school community within which they can help each other. This sense of belonging is increasingly important in a world where people are becoming more and more isolated by technology.
Finally, there are practical reasons why the tradition of school uniforms should be maintained. Uniforms are a cheap and convenient way of making sure children dress smartly, relieving them of the pressure of deciding what to wear on a daily basis, so that they can focus their attention on their studies. While some clothes would be incompatible with certain school work, uniforms are designed for comfort and complement the kind of activities that school children are engaged in.
To conclude, I believe that school uniforms are essential for a number of reasons, both practical and psychological. If children want to express their individual style and taste through the way they dress, they have plenty of opportunities to do this in their free time.
Follow the YouTube Writing Sessions
This is the plan*:
Monday – Midday
Tuesday – 14.00
Wednesday – 1.00 pm
Thursday – 3.00 pm
Friday – 5.00 pm
I’m in the UK, so you can check your time zone here.
*If I’m working at that time, I’ll upload a recorded video.
For how long?
I have no idea. If people find it useful I’ll keep going.
If people don’t find it useful, I’ll try something else!
Post any questions you have in the comments below, and I will answer them in the workshop.
I will also post questions and ask you to write your answers in YouTube so I can give you feedback.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but I’m keen to get started.
Please comment below if you have any suggestions, requests or queries.