One of the types of questions that can appear in your IELTS writing task 2 is the agree/disagree type of question. In such questions, you will be asked whether you agree or disagree with a given statement or opinion. Agreeing to an opinion is not that difficult to be written or spoken about. The problem comes when you want to show disagreement or a partial agreement.
Many students are not able to express this disagreement or partial agreement clearly and lose out on a good band because of this. In this article, we will teach you how to do just that and not compromise on your potential for a higher band.
What Kind of Errors do Students Make?
In writing task 2 of the IELTS you will be asked questions like the following:
“ Many children these days have an unhealthy lifestyle. Both schools and parents are equally responsible for solving this problem.”
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
For such a question, you need to be clear about whether you agree or disagree with the given statement. Your opinion should come out clearly with the usage of the right kind of words.
For example, for the question asked above, here is a statement from two different sample answers:
- In my opinion, parents are more responsible for influencing a child’s lifestyle as they spend the most time with them.
- I disagree with this statement but also feel that parents and schools are both responsible for changing the unhealthy lifestyles of their children.
Which statement do you think brings out the writer’s disagreement?
It’s in the first statement that the disagreement is coming out clearly. The second statement is confusing and makes the disagreement ambiguous. If your answer has many such sentences, your band will go down considerably.
To make the essay to an agree/disagree question clear and complete, you need to word it appropriately. So, let’s learn the vocabulary for doing that.
Vocabulary for Disagreeing and Partial Agreement
Example Question :
“Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. The best side effect of this could be ineffectiveness but the worst could be life-threatening.
To what extent do you agree with this statement?”
Alternative medicine is not new. It is accepted that it predates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. I disagree that it is dangerous, and feel that both alternative and conventional medicine can be useful.
“With the development of its technology by a county, its traditional skills and ways of life die out. Some say that it is anyway pointless to try and keep them alive. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”
I don’t agree that the country in itself is responsible for the dying out of the traditional skills and way of life. There are other factors involved too. On top of the list would be the need of the hour and the fact that one needs to change with the changing times.
“Some people believe that exams are an inappropriate way of measuring students’ performance and should be replaced by continuous assessment. Do you agree or disagree with this view?”
Though this is in complete contradiction to the way our minds have been conditioned to look at examinations, it is high time that we change the way we measure students’ performance.
That’s Not Necessary / It’s Not Necessary
“Music is one of the most important art forms. What is it’s significance in the world today? Do you believe that more modern forms of music have superseded the more traditional forms of music?”
It is not necessary that the only reason for traditional forms of music dying out is the modern form of music. Other factors like not giving enough space or not creating a proper awareness amongst people are responsible for it too.
For Agreeing Partly
I Agree Up to a Point, But
“Some people argue that the amount of violence shown in films and on television has led to an increase in violent crimes in society. Do you agree with this argument? Should the government control what is shown on television and in the cinema?”
I agree with up to a point that films and television have an impact on the mindsets of people and especially children and young adults, but let’s not forget that the adults around these people are equally responsible for monitoring what kind of media their children are exposed to.
That’s Partly True, But
“Nowadays many jobs are more stressful and the working day is long. What are the reasons for this? What can employers do to help employees?”
It is partly true that the working day has become longer because of the amount of work and the stress of deadlines, but this is also because of the increasing competition. Employees have become increasingly dispensable because of easy availability of skilled labour in the market. Therefore, in the absence of job security, people have to give their best in terms of not only quality but quantity too.
That’s not Always True
“The education a child receives at home from having parents who are positive role models is more important than the academic education a child receives at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”
Several children, who receive homeschooling, become highly successful adults later on in their life. Though there is enough evidence to prove this, it doesn’t always hold true.
Vocabulary Exercise for IELTS Writing Task 2 Topics
Objective: Learning to use the appropriate phrase to agree/ disagree
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with appropriate agree/disagree vocabulary from the options given in the box.
|I don’t agree that’s only partly true I completely disagree
I agree that’s not always true
- It is often argued that it is more advantageous to choose a high paying job, even if it doesn’t appeal to you at all. _________ with this opinion and think that job satisfaction is much more important than salary.
- Although ________ that it is important to spend money on public services, ___________ that spending on the arts is a waste of money.
- Many college going students prefer spending time with their friends outside rather than attending the lectures. Though ___________________, research does show that more and more students are opting out of attending college lectures altogether.
- With the increase in sales of vehicles, the number of accidents happening every day has increased too. Some may say that _________________, there is enough evidence to prove otherwise.
Objective: Learning to disagree to a statement or argument
Use the phrases learnt ‘For Disagreeing’ to answer the following statements.
1. Credit cards are more harmful than debit cards.
2. Online piracy of music and movies is bad for the creative industry.
3. Video games containing violence are appropriate for children.
4. Advertising is a waste of resources.
Objective: learning to agree to a statement or argument
Directions: use the phrases learnt ‘For partly agreeing ’ to partly agree with the following statements.
1. Jobs should be subcontracted into developing countries.
2. It is appropriate for adolescents to be sentenced to life without parole.
3. MNCs are superior to domestic firms.
1. I completely disagree
2. I agree, I don’t agree
3. that’s not always true
4. that’s only partly true
1.Answer will vary
2.Answer will vary
3.Answer will vary
4.Answer will vary
1. Answer will vary
2. Answer will vary
3. Answer will vary
This article might have given you a clearer idea of how to answer IELTS agree/disagree questions. You must understand that each answer requires a different approach, so being unidirectional while attempting the writing section might cost you a good band. While answering an agree/ disagree essay, try to use the correct information rather than making up facts of your own. IELTS practice tests are always helpful and will help you understand the structure of agreeing/disagree essays. If you wish to know more about IELTS preparation you can visit the IELTS Ninja Website or click here.