The IELTS writing test is one of the most crucial sections of the IELTS exam and it is divided into two parts. During the IELTS general writing task 2, you will be given an argument, problem or point of view and you have to write an essay in response stating whether you agree or disagree with this point of view. The essay in response should be in formal style, should have a word limit of more than 250 words and should be answered in under 40 minutes.

When it comes to using the perfect tense in the IELTS writing task 2, you don’t have a choice. Your scores in the IELTS exam are determined by if you are using the correct tense or not? Continue reading this article to know more about perfect tense usage by going through various IELTS writing task 2 topics.

Also Read: Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2: What is Linking Words in IELTS?

When to Use the Present Simple Tense in the IELTS Exam?

You use the present simple tense while describing habits, giving generally true details, describing snapshots, pictures bar charts, graphs and tables if there is no date mentioned on it when you are writing advantages or disadvantages of a statement. Students often wonder how to write IELTS task 2, using present simple tense? Below is an example for your reference.

Example: A table describes TV watching statistics for different months, but does not provide a year for the information.

Sample Answer: The number of viewers rises in February.

For a table as mentioned above, the information is often true each year, hence this is what usually happens.

Example: What are the advantages of studying abroad?

Sample Answer: People learn about culture from the inside.

This is an example of IELTS Writing task 2. You are using present simple tense in the above sentence talking about the advantages of studying abroad.

When to Use the Present Perfect Tense in the IELTS Exam?

You generally use this tense to introduce a topic or an argument. You have to pay attention to the verb in question. If the question is in Present Perfect tense, begin your answer with the same tense. This tense often comes into play while answering the IELTS Writing Task 2.

Example: Should wealthy countries help poorer countries?

Sample Answer: Take Haiti, for instance. This nation has suffered from a multitude of natural disasters in recent years.

The Present perfect tense has been used to introduce the topic, and then you will use Present Simple or Past Simple Tense if you wish to go into details.

Also Read: IELTS Writing Task 2 with Model Answer to Score Band 8: Check this to Boost Your Writing Score

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample

Mobile Phones allows us to attend personal calls anytime. Does this have a positive or negative effect on society?

In recent years mobile phones and other similar devices have allowed anyone to easily contact another person regardless of location or time. I believe that this ability has vastly improved society and life for individual people in a variety of ways. This essay shall explore some of those reasons.

Firstly, one of the main benefits to society of this advance in technology is the fact that even people in developing countries or isolated places can gain expert advice or request help whenever they need it. For example, in the massive earthquake that shook Nepal in 2015 people who lived in isolated villages in the Khumbu region were able to contact authorities and tell them exactly where the most vulnerable people who needed help were located. Furthermore, families were able to reunite themselves with each other following the earthquake which helped to reduce the suffering of some people.

Allied to this, it can be said that individuals in long-distance relationships benefit tremendously from this instant form of communication. No longer do people have to suffer when they are apart from their loved ones. As well as being able to speak to other people via the phone, individuals can also talk to each other face to face using one of the many ‘apps’ designed for this very purpose. If this were not advantageous enough, members of the public can also sit and order food from wherever they happen to be and have the food of their choice delivered directly to them. For example, Foodpanda now does over 220,000 food orders direct to homes and offices in Thailand alone in just one month.

In conclusion, the mobile phone has bought with it an overwhelming number of positives such as the ability to gain expert advice quickly and easily as well as stay in touch with family and friends. I, therefore, remain of the opinion that the mobile phone offers a far greater number of positives that far outweigh any potential negatives.

  • Present Simple Tense is in italics
  • Present Perfect Tense is in bold
  • Past Simple Tense is in both bold and italics

Also Read: IELTS Essay in Writing Task 2: Here’s How to Organize it Well


You don’t have to intentionally use different tenses in your response since it can make your essay confusing and a bit unnatural while reading. If you don’t want to decrease your band score just use the appropriate tense according to the situation, which would generally mean that you are using the appropriate tenses for each situation. You need not worry about using different tenses, just use the right one according to each situation.

If you wish to know more about the IELTS speaking test, synonyms for the IELTS writing test, or how to write a conclusion in IELTS writing task 2 visit the IELTS Ninja website or click here.

Content Protection by