IELTS Discussion Essay Model Answer

This IELTS discussion essay sample answer is estimated at band 9. See comments below the essay for advice and tips.

Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important.
Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

It is considered by some that being a university graduate is the key to securing a good job, while there are others who think that it is better to have experience and soft skills. In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs, while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.

On the one hand, many think it is easier for most people to find a good job if they are university graduates with a good degree. In other words, having tertiary education puts people one step ahead of others who do not and this can be the deciding factor in getting a good job. The competition to get in to universities and the increasing number of graduates show just how significant this level of education is for people’s future work opportunities.

On the other hand, having work experience and soft skills, such as leadership skills and other interpersonal skills, can also throw the balance in favour of the applicant, according to some. For many positions there are an overwhelming number of applicants and, therefore, it is often thought that having relevant experience in that line of work or having acquired useful soft skills that can be valuable to a company, can put one ahead of the game when applying for a position.

Finally, in my opinion, whether needing high level education or skills and experience, depends on the position being applied for. Take for example law, medicine or teaching, it is impossible to be considered for a position without the required educational background. In contrast, in business, it would be more important for a candidate to have soft skills and experience in that line of business so they can step into a position without further training and be of immediate benefit to the company.

In conclusion, getting a good job requires a relevant background either in experience or education depending on the type of work and field. People should make sure they attain the necessary skills or degrees before applying for a job in order to be sure of success.

Comments: This is a a band score 9  essay. It has over 300 words but all sentences are relevant, focused and well written. Band score 8.5 and 9 students can attempt long essays successfully but students from band 8 to band 6, should aim for around 270 to 290 words. Both sides are clearly discussed and the opinion is also clearly given. Linking devices are well used.



  1. Hi Liz, I have been posting many essays to get your feedback …Can you please give me your feedback. thanks a lot. 🙂

    To being with, many people think that the university education is important to get a decent job. Firstly, at universities, students learn and graduate in a desired specialization which is important to land up in a good job in that area. For example, if someone graduates as Chartered Accountant from a University, then they can get a good job in the Financial sector. Secondly, proponents of this theory believe that academics are important to carry out certain types of jobs which on the other hand cannot be done alone with gaining experience. For instance, doctors cannot perform surgeries without learning basic anatomy of the body which they learn though academics at Universities. Also, many universities offer internships programs in various companies which help the students to gain extra practical knowledge. This improves their chances to get a good job once they get graduated.

    On the other hand, others believe that jobs can be a carried out by acquiring experience and soft skills. However, this holds applicable and true in certain types of jobs only. For example, jobs like housekeeping and driving, only relevant experience and some soft skills are required. Also, they believe that more experience they gain, more efficiently they can carry out their jobs and in-turn they can be more productive.

    Hence, in conclusion, I believe that University education provides theoretical knowledge as well as hands-on practice through internships which tents to get a better job. I also agree that gaining experience and soft skills are equally important for getting a job in certain professions.

    • Sorry I do not offer this service. Please read the HOME page to learn more about how to use my site 🙂

  2. Hi liz,
    My question is, can we write information that is completely made up to support our ideas? For example, “A recent study done by University of Melbourne shows that men who eat at least 10 grams chocolate a day can run faster than those who do not eat it.”

    • Why would you choose to do that? It won’t help your score. You never need to state the source of information and you don’t need to present numbers in your task 2 essay. Just explain your idea in your own language.

  3. Dear mam,
    In opinion essay , when we give separate opinion on one side . Can we go both side in conclusion or should we have the same position in conclusion and opinion ? I am totally confuse in it. Please guide me. Thank you.

  4. Also, I tend to have occasional long sentences, is it ok to use a semi-colon? Or do we just stick to comma and full stop for this test?

    Thanks a bunch in advance!

    • Just stick to commas and full stops. To add information using clauses which are considered complex grammar features.

  5. Dear Liz,

    Thank you for the amazing model answers you provide, your website is really helpful! I finished watching your advanced video on the discussion essays and I have a question regarding writing them, since I want to follow your structure.

    If I agree with one side of the argument, I understand from your video that I should state my opinion in the introduction, right? Because a teacher told me that I shouldn’t write my opinion in the introduction (even if the question says give your opinion) but should instead explain it throughout the BP of the essays and the conclusion.
    So I want to make sure, it is okay if I paraphrase the question (people’s arguments) in a statement then express my opinion in the next statement “In my opinion, I believe that….” and agree with either side?

    Also coming to the BPs, I was told by that teacher that if I explain reasons for people’s arguments in BP1 and BP2 (even though I added “I agree” in the BP that I agree with) it will affect my CC and TR. They said that I should explain that I do not agree with one BP and giving reasons for the opinion of people that I don’t agree with would mess up my TR & CC. Is this true?
    In your video, you explained that it’s okay to explain reasons for both sides then simply add I agree in the BP you agree with. So I’m a little lost here, I wish you can tell me what is right in this point.

    Thanks in advance. I really appreciate all your efforts.

    • Has your teacher completed the IELTS examiner training course? Possibly not. It is 100% fine to put your opinion in the introduction – you are introducing your opinion. It is also 100% ok to state you agree with whichever body paragraph you agree with – in that paragraph you will state that you and other people agree (or disagree) and then give reasons. You only need a separate body paragraph when your opinion does not agree fully with either side (a specific opinion/partial agreement). Is your teacher telling you IELTS rules? No. Your teacher is giving you advice based on their own opinion of IELTS. Always differentiate between rules and advice when it comes to IELTS. Always ask your teacher if they are giving you fixed rules for IELTS or just their own personal advice. There is a lot of conflicting information about IELTS because of exactly that problem.

  6. Hi Liz thank you for your imformative website. I ‘ve got a question. Is the hook and general statement the same?
    Thank you

    • In the following link you will find a video lesson about writing an introduction. That lesson will explain about the hook and background statement:

      • jiyanda kaya says

        Hi Liz, I had Ielts computer based based exam today, in the writing 2 task I had written nearly about 270 words, but in conclusion part when I was writing my last sentences, time is up and the computer shuted down. I could not finish my last senteces and there was some unsense words. Is it a huge problem or not? Also, thank you sharing your information with us.

        • The most important thing is that you wrote a conclusion, even if you didn’t finish it. Having a conclusion is crucial. An incomplete conclusion will not affect things as much as an absent conclusion. Don’t worry too much about it.

  7. Hi Liz,

    I am planning to start this essay with “Few people believe that…..”
    can we paraphrase “some” with “few”

  8. Hi Liz,
    Many thanks to you for the service!

    My question is, if I start with one tense form, should I follow the same tense throughout the essay? Or can I use different tenses in the essay?

    Thanks in advance!

    • It isn’t possible to use one tense all the way through. You might need to use a perfect tense or a passive or a conditional statement. The tense will depend on what you want to say. It isn’t something you can decide beforehand. See my model essays and review how many different tenses are used:

  9. For Discussion Essays:
    Some books like IELTS Preparation & Practice, Reading & Writing Academic published by Oxfird suggest writing a 4 paragraph essay:
    intro+ first group+second group+conclusion(which restates the writes opinion).
    However you suggest a separate paragraph for the writer’s opinion(4th body paragraph).
    Does that mean that their style is wrong or could lead to a lower score?

    • It means that there are other options. There is no rule stating you must have 4 paragraphs in total. It is fine to have 5. You can get band 9 with either 4 or 5.

  10. Florence Owusu-Addo says

    Hello liz, i have read in many books that the opinion discussive essay, the opinion is only given in the conclusion unlike the opinion personal view point( the agree or disagree type). The books write, this essay will discuss both sides and give a concluding view and rather give the opinion in the conclusion. Can you please clarify that for me, thank you

    • Unfortunately, I am not able to control what is written in other books. The instructions from IELTS do NOT state to “discuss both sides and conclude your opinion”.

  11. Hullo Liz,
    Firstly I would like to thank you to help all of us selflessly…thanx to u.
    Today I gave my ielts in essay it was a discussion essay wherein I wrote my opinion in introduction as u say then main body paras
    Discussing both the sides but then I gave the conclusion n did not elaborate on my opinion…
    Will I lose marks?
    Plz tell…really worried.

    • I don’t understand. You said you gave your opinion in the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. At what point do you feel that you didn’t explain it?

  12. Kawalpreet Singh says

    Hi liz

    Everybody told me that examples are not cardinal for essay but in some great ielts experts point of view like you mam and jay sir shows examples are vital. Through this students get more brand. Mam help me to solve my query.


    Please mam help me my ielts exam on 17 August .

    Please mam🙁🙁

    • I have never said examples are vital or 100% essential to an IELTS essay. I’m not sure what you are referring to. Examples are one way to support and illustrate a main point – you choose whether to illustrate that way or not. I suggest you review my model essays.

  13. Hi Liz,
    From my observation of the given example, I understood that , in the conclusion especially for discussion essays, we have to give a brief of our view on the topic and we should not include anything from the other paragraphs. Is my understanding correct?

    Your reply here would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  14. in the salad days of millenium, the society polarised into two groups. first, some people have a say that passing from University provide best to way to grab a good profession while other opinion that it is a bad to acquire proficiency and soft skills the following paragraphs would shed the light on both the approaches before making notes
    To commence with the first notion, there are Myriad things to be shared in its favour, first and foremost, it is undeniable education is essential part of one’s life. the majority of individuals believe that getting a degree from University Open the doors of word class opportunities and student can obtain a fine occupation for their future. In the other words, tertiary education help the students to understand the various concept which is related to their career which they have chosen by them. with the help of education they enhence their creativity on particular subject which is significant for future work opportunities

    shifting towards the second school of thought, having experience of work and soft skills such as communication skills leadership skills and other interpersonal skills act as a boon for people to access a great livelihood. if individuals have a great proficiency in their skill which helps in getting a job as we all know more than half of companies prefer those employees who have a great experience in their work instead of University credentials. for instance if someone want to get a job in insurance company then they must be have a good communication skills for this job

    • Sorry, I don’t offer marking or comments on writing. However, I will say avoid learning phrases that you think will impress the examiner such as “in the salad days of millenium, the society polarised into two groups”. Such phrases damage your score. This is not creative writing. In a test, each sentence must be created by you in the test room. Also don’t use hook, it isn’t needed for IELTS essays and is a complete waste of time. Go to the main section for writing task 2 on this site and learn how to write an introduction for IELTS = click on the RED BAR at the top of the site. Or get my paid Advanced Lessons to learn more.

  15. Hi Liz,
    Thank you so very much for your helpful blogs. I am following only you for my IELTS GT preparation.
    I have one doubt, I am aiming to score 7.5 or 8 band in writing. Is it fine if I write approx 300 words of essay? Definitely related to demand of question.
    I always try to write around 270-280 words but I feel that there is still something missing which I should add on to make it more accurate. Kindly suggest.

    • If you are adding words to your introduction or conclusion, it won’t help your score. If you are adding more to your body paragraphs, think carefully if it is actually 100% vital. More words open you to the possibility of more errors or a less focused essay.

  16. It is considered by some people that finishing university education is the most effective way to get a decent job, however, have experience and developing soft skills are the keys for finding good jobs still thought by many people. In my opinion, although experience and developing soft skills are important for finding good jobs, I believe the completing university courses can improve the person’s knowledge and other skills in a very effective way as well as the best way for people to prepare their careers.

    Attending the university courses can let people gain knowledge effectively, most universities offer high-quality courses both online and offline, students can achieve professional theory knowledge from different aspects through interaction with their professors, once they have questions they can get feedback and answers quickly. On the other hand, universities offer many practical classes which allow students gain experience, students also have plenty opportunities to discuss in their groups and cooperate with other students from other majors which also cultivate their social skills. Both knowledge and practical skills, as well as social skills, are very essential for finding a good job.

    There is no doubt that work experience and developing soft skills or social skills are vital for finding jobs, the companies are more likely to employ the person who has job experience which people usually can find on job recruitments’ qualifications. When people find a job, he/she should be a good work player who is not only professional about her/his area but also should know how to communicate with others as well as cooperate with others. A report says that persons who have strong communication skills are much more welcomed in a work environment.

    In conclusion, although both experience and developing soft skills are vital factors for finding jobs, I still believe that attending the universities is the best way for people who prepare their careers because people can gain experience and social skills in the campus as well.

  17. hello ! thanks for your tips . And i have a question , is it okay to write ” in this following essay i will shed light on both views and state my own position” in last sentence ?

    • Never memorise a sentence to put in your essay. Each sentence should be entirely created by yourself in the test. If the instructions say “discuss both sides and give your opinion”, you do not need to repeat those instructions. The examiner knows what you are going to do – what the examiner doesn’t know is what ideas you will use. Use my model essays to guide you or get my Advanced lessons to learn in depth.

  18. Dear Liz,

    I just watched your advanced task 2 lesson and have couple questions on it.
    For the discussion essay, the balanced opinion seems more profound than one-sided opinion. Will I get lower band score if I choose to write one-sided opinion? Or will I get higher band if I choose to write balanced opinion. And can I choose one-sided opinion in any topics?

    Thank you! 🙂

    • The balanced opinion essay means the discussion essay with specific opinion. Sorry for that. 🙂

    • I taught both options so that you would have a choice. The choice will depend on the question and the ideas you have for it. Sometimes a one-sided approach isn’t always the easiest option. No, you don’t get a higher or lower score for one or the other. Your score is not based on your choice of one-sided or specific view point. It is based on how relevant your ideas are and if you addressed the task with a clear opinion.

  19. Jasmeet Kaur says

    Hi Liz,

    I am writing to seek your help with double views and opinion statement essay type.

    Here is the question prompt I am practicing:
    Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things that we rarely do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with?

    Here is the introductory paragraph I have written with my opinion:
    Aggressive product promotions are considered to be one of the efficient ways of attracting new customers. While some people believe that advertisements allures the buyers and instigates them to purchase the unnecessary items, the others consider it to be an effective method of promoting awareness about the latest trends – I second this thought.

    Please guide, is it write way of supporting an argument in a formal way? If not, please suggest how can I improve.

    Jasmeet Kaur

  20. Hi Liz,

    I’m struggling to reach a higher bandscore than 6.0 in writing. Therefore I bought your advanced writing lessons to spot some of my possible mistakes. Beside the fact that I have problems to structure my thoughts quickly, I’m sometimes confused by the question itself. After watching your lessons, I have tried to answer some essay questions and I came across with some I don’t know how I should organise them.

    Firstly, for example, the discussion essay about the death penalty on your website. This question only mentions that I have to discuss both side. So, I’m not sure if I have to write a balanced view or can I also write a one-sided view? Moreover, I think I should not give my opinion, however, a one-sided view seems to reflect my personal point of view. How would you organise your essay?

    Secondly, I’m really confused with the question “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” You said, it doesen’t matter whether there is a “do you think” include or not, because I have to make a choice which side outweigh the other…admittedly there are many official Model answer from IELTS books, which don’t give an opinion in terms of this question. Are there any differents I didn’t recognise?

    I would be really grateful if you could help me.

    Kind regards,

    • In my Advanced lesson for the Discussion Essay there is a model essay for a Discussion without an opinion. Please take a look at it. Any question that is asking you to choose options will require an opinion – there are many ways to voice an opinion.

      • Dear Liz.
        Your advanced lessons are so helpful and clear.

        Unfortunately I can’t say the same regarding the Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS which contains 8 full practice tests with sample answers for writing. I have to say that the sample answers for task 1 are very good but the ones for task 2 are so confusing. For instance, a discussion essay was turned into advantage disadvantage one.. the opinion is not mentioned in the introduction or in the BP, it is given in the conclusion… I wish I can send you a picture of it so you can mark it.

        Another issue that confuses me; can we use questions in the essay?
        In one example of adv. Outweigh Disadv. they ended up the introduction with a question: is this a development we should welcome? The opinion is also put in the conclusion only…
        Thanks in advance

        • IT is not the task of IELTS to make their test easy. That is the task of teachers and ex-examiners. We provide the easy to follow models, not IELTS. About your second query, you should present supporting points which are statements, not questions. There isn’t enough length in the essay to start creating questions which will then need addressing further. Just stick with statements.

  21. Chowdhury rafath kaniz says

    Hi liz
    In the introduction can I write “in this essay I will deliberately discuss the both views and formulate my opinion at the end of the essay ” instead answering directly in the introduction

    • Do not memorise sentences or phrases. You can learn words and linking devices. All sentences and phrases should be created by yourself. See my model essays.

  22. then what do you recommend? and how do
    they examine grammar?

    • Grammar is marked by using a range of tenses that are suitable and appropriate to the essay and the subject. You can’t push a future prefect into your essay because you think it will give you a higher score. All tenses must be used correctly. The examiner will also pay attention to sentence structures, so you need to pay attention to not being too repetitive. Furthermore, the examiner will look at the density of grammar errors, for example band 5 = frequent errors, band 6 = some errors, band 7 = few errors. So, you can see your aim is to produce a range of suitable grammar and also reduce the errors you make. At all times, you only use the grammar you are familiar with to reduce errors. I am currently putting together a grammar e-book which will explain all this in great detail.

  23. Hi Liz, thank you a lot for your useful advice and if it is possible, please give feedback, this is my first essay.

    Instruction is simply to discuss not to give opinion.

    In last decades, with the impact of growing globalization, it is noticed significant positive affects in the economy of the world, whereas this globe challenges brings some negative aspects with itself. Regarding the advantages of the globalization, a number of leading companies of the world gain more profits, while some affected countries are forced to lose their cultural values.

    On the one hand, there is a competition between huge international companies over the world. They compete to produce products in better quality and lower prices. As a result, this overseas rivalry helps to boost world economy, at the same time, people all over the world take advantages in connection with buying more qualitative and less expenses products. For instance, it is obviously seems that the products which are manufactured by Samsung, Apple, Huawei and some other main companies have wide functions and simultaneously they are sold in lower prices.

    On the other hand, there are some affected countries that people who live in these countries are obliged to get used to customs and traditions of the hegemon countries. In this manner, impacted society uses international languages, listens to singers who are famous all over the world and eats meals which are popular overseas and so on. To illustrate, McDonalds, KFC, Mado serve to people in more than half of the world countries, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Rihanna are listened by at least one of three people and English, German, Russian languages have been more important than their native languages.

    In conclusion, the monosemous acceptance of globalization is not proper approach. When this term is talked over, both sides should be taken into account.

  24. Mam, why your advanced writing task 2 lessons have only 1) opinion, 2) discussion and 3) adv/disadvantages type essays lessons? What about a) problems/solutions, b) two-part (direct question) and c) positive/negative development type essays? Kindly reply, because I want to learn structure of each type of IELTS (GT) essay. Thank you.

    • Because I became too sick to make more videos.

      • First of all, thank you for your prompt reply, Hope you are doing well now. I will pray for your health and speedy recovery. Can I expect video lessons on those missing type essays in near future? Or do you think it is sufficient enough to just go through your sample essays on those type of essays to get an idea of written structure?

        • The three Advanced lessons available teach you enough skills to be able to apply the same logical. However, you will need to review model essays and other tips. Did you see my free writing task 2 lessons? See this page: Yesterday I put up a lesson about a mixed task essay with tips: Just take a look around my site. It is unlikely I will make a new video soon. I’m still too sick for videos. But I post regular lessons on my site and am working on e-books “Ideas for IELTS Essays” and “Grammar for Writing Task 2”.

          • Yes, I already read the tips mentioned in the first link and just went through the second link now, both were so helpful. You are an indeed a blessing for students who are struggling with their IELTS score. Thank you for your help and tips. I am desperately waiting for your e-books. Best wishes and prayers for your health.

            • Thanks. I do plan to get back to making videos, but not until my health is completely recovered which might take a long time. As soon as I can, I’ll be making Advanced lessons for every single part of the IELTS test.

              • Hopefully you’ll be able to make more videos for your students very soon. Lot of respect and prayers for you mam.
                One of your students from other part of the world 🙂

  25. Jana Brits says

    Pleaaaase shed some light on the following: in the introduction of Task 2, what is the best waybto phrase that the X will be discussed in the essay. Do you say ‘This essay will discuss/This essay disagrees” or do you make use of pronouns such as ‘I’ “I agree that/ I will discuss X” . So confused as someone (online tutors) would say one thing, someone something different again. So now I don’t know which would be acceptable by an IELTS examiner.

    • You don’t need to use it at all. It is not required for IELTS. As you see, none of my model essays use that kind of sentence.

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