Task 2 Common Topics

Some topics come up again and again in the task 2 essay. We cover some of them here.

Hi there!

This is where you will find information about common writing question topics.

There are certain subjects which come up again and again in the IELTS writing section. It’s always handy to know what you may be asked in the exam, so you can prepare for them.


The diagram below shows 3 common task 2 topics:


This is obviously a huge topic, but a typical question may focus on health in developed & less developed countries, healthcare funding, occurrence of diseases, treatment of diseases, education and prevention of health-related problems.


You may get asked about the importance of education, the provision of education in different countries, education funding and the role of educators. Again, the list could go on, these are just examples.


In this age of ever-changing technology, it is common to see this topic on the IELTS. Think about current technology and how it improves our lives, the limitations and consequences of technological advances, the future, how it will connect people, the impact it may have on jobs and wages.

What can I do to prepare once I know the common topics?

Now that you have a common topic list, you should create a limited vocabulary list for each one. Don’t go crazy and attempt to learn every word in the dictionary. You should NOT do that. 

By gaining an understanding of the vocabulary used for a certain topic, you will be able to apply these words to your essay in the correct context, which will help you impress the examiner (if they are used in the correct way!) and help you achieve a higher band score.

For example, for the Health topic, these are some words you could include in the vocabulary list:

  • Epidemic
  • Immunisation
  • Disease
  • Diagnose
  • Treatment
  • Prognosis
  • Prevalence
  • Medicine
  • Infection

This list could include 1000’s of other words, but if you focus on 10-20 per topic, you will certainly be able to implement at least a few into most ‘health’ related tasks. Again, don’t over do it or you will forget them and use them in the wrong context.

Beware though! Simply putting a new word into a sentence doesn’t necessarily mean it the sentence is grammatically correct. The sentence form and word form must be correctly used for it to make sense.

There are a couple of ways you can practice using new words accurately.

1. Once you learn a new word, use Google to search for terms with the word in it. For example, the word ‘prevalence‘. 

You could search in Google for ‘ “Prevalence” in a sentence ‘. There will be a list of examples from reputable sources, such as online dictionaries.

2. Use the online live sentence correction service ‘Grammarly’ (www.grammarly.com). You will have to sign up (it’s free), but then you will be able to practice writing using the new words. Grammarly will highlight an area of a sentence if it doesn’t make sense. It is not 100% accurate, but it is a very good resource.


What else can you do to give yourself an advantage?

You certainly need to practice reading and listening to content related to the common topics. This could include reading newspaper and online articles, or listening to podcasts and the news.

For example,

For the ‘Health’ topic, you could look at the NHS UK website:  https://www.nhs.uk/news

This website is the official National Health Service (UK) page which contains a huge amount of health-related articles. It is updated regularly. The articles are targeted at the general population, so the terminology is not overly scientific, but you be able to broaden your vocabulary in the health topic this way.

Alternatively, you could have a go at answering our practice questions. You can devise a vocabulary list for each topic and elaborate on them to answer the specific questions.

As your confidence and knowledge grows around the common topics, you will have a bank of examples and ideas, which can be used to write a strong essay. 

 *** Remember this list is just 3 COMMON QUESTION TOPICS. It is NOT the only topics on the IELTS. You may be asked about anything!***

We cover the 10 most task 2 common topics in our Band 7+ Writing Study Guide eBooks, along with a huge amount of essential information to get you that elusive band 7+ score! So check them out if you want to give yourself the best chance in the IELTS!


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