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Economic growth and development are usually considered to be beneficial both for individuals and for society as a whole.  Do the advantages of economic development outweigh the disadvantages?

Q: Economic growth and development are usually considered to be beneficial both for individuals and for society as a whole.  Do the advantages of economic development outweigh the disadvantages?

A: Economic growth is certainly good for both the individual as well as the society. There could be a few drawbacks as a result of rapid economic expansion. Let us look at both sides of the story.

First of all, poverty is a curse and no one should suffer from it. Economic growth pulls people out of poverty. The last few decades have seen unprecedented economic development in Asia resulting in millions enjoying a better standard of life. Notably, in China and India, both these countries have the largest “middle class” in the world. Economic development is so good that it can help entire societies prosper. People who could barely afford a bicycle can now buy the most luxurious cars due to consistent economic growth. More children go to school, older people get social benefits and there is overall happiness because of it.

Can there be a bad side to economic growth? Maybe, but these drawbacks are not particularly bad for people. The first disadvantage is a spike in consumption leading to greater increase in prices. For example, the Chinese have recently started importing large quantities of meat products, which is leading to upward movement in meat prices and other products.
Secondly, it can bring about more environmental damage due to higher emissions as a result of more vehicles being purchased. There are very few disadvantages of economic development.

I strongly believe that economic growth can only be good. Although one can come up with points to the contrary, it is reasonable to say that everyone benefits from development. It is good for the society as well. If an individual has made great economic progress, he would invariably contribute to his economy. As his consumption of goods and services increases, the society benefits from the sale of goods. It generates jobs indirectly. More chefs, drivers,barbers and cleaners would get hired and so on.

In conclusion, economic development is definitely good for individuals as well as the society. Individuals make the society, they consume and spend more, thereby generating opportunities for everyone in the society.

suggestion: Review the main points in this essay and think of more. Write an essay yourself. Use the worksheet below.

Prepare to write IELTS writing task 2. you may write a question or sample answer in the comments.

Describe your city IELTS speaking part 2

Chicago's famous street decoration called "the bean"

Describe your city sample answer IELTS speaking part 2 question

Describe you city
You should say
Where it is,
What it is known for,
What are the advantages and disadvantage of living there?
What are some of the problems your city faces?

Sample answer:

Audio sample answer by Kroo Scott

I live in Chicago, it is also called the windy city. It is located in the state of Illinois, USA. It is well known for many things, mainly pizza, Al Capone (gangsters), “the bean” and its big businesses. Chicago makes the best deep dish Pizza in the world. What makes Chicago outstanding is it’s people, it is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It has all the things the big apple has yet it has its own charm.

Chicago's famous street decoration called "the bean"

Chicago’s famous street decoration called “the bean”

Chicago has a really cold winters with lots of snow. The main advantage of living in Chicago is it’s numerous opportunities. It is easy to find work. It has some of the best restaurants in the country. The hot dogs are good too. Chicago metropolitan area has some of the largest corporations in the world. It is definitely a city that offers a complete range of options from arts to business. Natural beauty is in abundance too.

Some of the drawbacks of living in Chicago are the dangerous neighborhoods, violence on the streets and it is expensive. Compared to other major cities, Chicago does have a fair bit of shootouts, gun fights and street gun battles.It is also quite expensive to live in some of the better neighborhoods and suburbs.

some suggestions on how to speak about “my home town”

While you describe your city or talk about “my home town” you could broadly think of some points such as it’s location. size, population, it is well known for? etc. you can also describe the weather and attractions. Balance your answer and make sure you have covered all parts of the question.

You may want to look at other IELTS part 2 speaking topics too.

Grammar tips for IELTS – easy things you can do to improve your score

Grammar tips for IELTS

Top two things in grammar that you must be good at to get a good score in IELTS:
1. Prepositions
prepositions are important everywhere but in the IELTS context they are particularly important as a section of the listening module usually has a picture or map and the audio has a lot to do with prepositions.
2. Verb tense

Easy IELTS grammar tips that you can use instantly to improve your writing, speaking and even listening score. The biggest errors are in sentence structures. We’ll discuss one great solution to bad sentence structures here.
It is to see if your sentence follows certain pattern like S+V+O, verb tense agreement..

S = Subject (usually a noun, pronoun or a gerund)
V = Verb
O = object and everything else.

First check if your sentence has a subject. It could sometimes be more than just a word, here’s an example:

Wrong: Play football is good for health.
Correct: Playing football is good for health.

Wrong: School which is near my home.
Corect: School which is near my home is a big one.

“School which is near my home” is the subject here and the sentence needs to be complete, so add a verb.

Use this S+V+O and its variations like SSV, SVV, etc, you’ll be surprised by the number of errors you can identify. One of the reasons students don’t get a good score is because they are not able to identify errors.

Verb tense can totally change the meaning of your sentence – 2nd Grammar tips for IELTS

Be well versed with the usage of tenses. Broadly you need to know where to use what tense.

Important: learn how to use tenses and do the exercise at the end of this article.

Present simple: Use this tense when you talk about things in general, facts, states and repetitive actions.
Subject + base verb
Wrong: I working as a doctor.
Correct: I’m a doctor/I work as a doctor.

Present continuous: Use this when you are talking about a continuing action and now.
How to use present continuous tense: Subject + verb+ing
Wrong: At the moment I watch TV
Correct: At the moment I’m watching TV.

Present perfect: Use this when talking about a completed action related to the present and experiences.
How to use present perfect tense: Subject + have/has+ past participle.
Wrong: I go to New Zealand once.
Correct: I’ve visited New Zealand.

Present perfect continuous: Use this when talking about an action or a state that began in the past but may not have finished yet.
How to use present perfect continuous tense: Subject + have/has + been + verb+ing

Wrong: I have live in this city since 20 years
Correct: I have been living in this city since 1996.

Past simple: Use this to talk about past actions usually with a time reference.
How to use past simple tense: Subject + past veb

Wrong: I go shopping last week.
correct: I went shopping last week.

Past continuous: use this to talk about actions that were continuing in the past.
how to use past continuous tense: subject + was/were + verb+ING

How to write IELTS writing task 2 easy method

Simple Method to write an essay in IELTS writing task 2

You are expected to write about 250 words on a given topic. The topic is usually one of the types described here.
1. Nowadays most of the urgent problems can only be solved through international cooperation. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
2. With the increase in the use of the internet, books will soon become unnecessary.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement.

If you look at the given topic, you’ll see that it has a statement/opinion and then a question. Most students find it difficult to begin writing, to write an introduction, read the statement and paraphrase it in your own words. Find words that give the same meaning. Then you ask “what is it about?” use a definition or some relevant background to make 4 to 5 lines or 50-60 words. Let us use an example:

Nowadays most urgent problems can be solved through international cooperation.

Introduction: nowadays = These days, currently, In today’s world etc
most of = Many of, almost all, the majority of and so on…
urgent problems = immediate problems, concerns, challenges…
International cooperation = International coordination…

These days , the majority of immediate problems can be resolved through international coordination.
(expanding the first sentence to set the context) : The world is interdependent and no country can isolate itself and expect to solve its problems. It is also true for individuals and businesses. Natural disasters, defense/wars, food shortages and famines are some situations that can demonstrate the importance of international cooperation. This can happen at different levels, government to government, people to people and between organizations.

writing task 2 – Supporting reasons:

Due to the increase in access to information through the internet and better transport between countries, awareness of problems around the world has increased. Whenever there are natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, foreign assistance is immediately sent. Collective resources of the international community are far greater than any one region or country’s resources. One devastating problem of famine is tackled because of international aid. The number of deaths due to starvation and disease is greatly reduced. Organizations like the united nations, world bank and aid programs have contributed to solving many problems faced by humanity as a whole. Healthcare and availability of medicines from everywhere on Earth have helped in the reduction of deaths and in some cases eradicated some diseases altogether.

One example of how international cooperation solved the problem of hunger is the UN food program that supplies food to the most affected people on the planet. Burundi had a massive food shortage, with the help of the UN, they are able to provide school lunch in their schools. Another example is the USAID which give essential funding for many international development programs helping millions of people to access education, sanitation, and healthcare.

In conclusion, It is an undeniable fact that international cooperation helps in solving problems. If the world was isolated, many more people would have died. It is observed that the most isolated countries like North Korea have immense problems which can be solved easily. There can be no other way but cooperation as we all share the same planet.

The above example of Writing task 2 shows how you could write an IELTS essay.

1. Introduction – Definition/ background information +opinion
2. Give reasons to support your opinion.
3 write two examples
4. conclude with a summary

Read more IELTS sample essays for free practice.

Watch this video on how to write an essay in IELTS academic test – writing task 2

5 steps to improve IELTS listening score.

5 steps to improve IELTS listening score.

While there are many advisers giving suggestions on writing and speaking modules, few have actually spoken about realistic plans to improve comprehension (understanding) English.

There is a huge difference in the levels of comprehension among non-native speakers of English, candidates from south east asia, Korea and Japan are particularly lacking due to their lack of exposure to sounds of English while those from south Asia – India, Sri lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal tend to have an edge.

Step one: Identify important listening exercises to improve on understanding. Listen to weather reports, announcements and news. Try to repeat what was said and get sensitive to sounds. It is essential to listen, understand and repeat the sound (say what you heard).

Step two: Read out loud while listening to your own sounds, if it doesn’t sound acceptable then correct yourself and repeat this exercise till the sounds are acceptable.

Step three: Get familiar with sounds of English they are certainly different from your native language, use a Phoneme chart to do this, this should be the fundamental step to improve IELTS listening score.

Step four: Expand your vocabulary as well as varied sentence structures to express yourself. To do this the recommended exercise would be to go through various topics of general interest and related conversations such as Health-conversation with a doctor, health care facilities, health insurance etc.
Education- process of enrollment, conversations with a lecturer, finding accommodation, discussing exams etc.

Step five: Get conscious of the way you sound in terms of word/sentence stress, try to find a speaker of English and practice general conversation. These exercises involve both speaking and listening because they are closely related activities that cannot be independent of each other. In other words, if you can’t speak enough, you can’t comprehend what is being said.

The five step method can be used to improve listening skills faster, it works well for IELTS, TOEFL or other standard English tests although their format may be different.

Listening exercise for IELTS

Listen to the audio clip about Lake Eyre and answer these questions.

Listening section

Listening section exercise is for practicing for IELTS listening.

Animal habitats have been destroyed some animal species -IELTS essay

Animal habitats have been destroyed some animal species have become endangered.

Animal habitats have been destroyed some animal species(e.g. Tiger and the rhino) have become endangered. Why does this happen? What can be done to protect endangered animals?

Animals and Humans share this planet and as the number of humans increase, they would encroach on animal territory.
The most popular destroyed habitats are that of the tigers, rhinos and other animals that are endangered. It is common to see wild animals accidentally wander into cities and then they get killed. There are several reasons for their natural habitats to disappear. Deforestation, consumption of animal products, hunting and pollution are the main causes for habitats to vanish.

During the colonization of the Americas, many native species were endangered and hunted out to extinction. The colonists wanted land for agriculture and meat for food, so they cleared forests and shot the bison. This happened in south America as well where the Jaguar is now an endangered species. In Africa, Elephants were killed in large numbers for ivory, Tigers are killed in Asia for their skin and bones and also when tigers are a threat to local population. In order to preserve animal habitats and protect them, governments have established nature reserves and parks where human activity is banned. This has helped some endangered animals increase their population. Habitats in the sea are also facing similar threats from human activity. Whales are hunted by fishing vessels and sold in markets like Japan. many whale species are protected around the world.
Some important measures that can be taken to conserve and protect animals and their habitats are afforestation, setting up exclusive zones for animals and giving incentives to people who protect animals. The best way is to help people realize the value of animals and bio diversity through awareness programs. Every animal on this planet plays a role in keeping a healthy environment. There would be devastating consequences if the destruction continues.

Important points for this essay – Animal habitats have been destroyed some animal species(e.g. Tiger and the rhino) have become endangered. Why does this happen? What can be done to protect endangered animals?

Vocabulary :
Conservation -preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife.
Habitat -the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.
Endangered species – a species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction.
Extinction -the state or process of a species, family, or larger group being or becoming extinct.

Reasons for Habitat destruction

1. Deforestation – cutting forests to clear land for agriculture or for wood destroys the habitat of animals living in forests. As a consequence, animals are forced to relocate and sometimes they get into human habitats.
2. Pollution – polluting water by releasing harmful substances like toxic industrial wastes can wipe out habitats of fish. As a result many fishermen become unemployed and both the fish population and human population suffers.
3. Hunting – Animals are hunted for their skins, meat and body parts. As the demand for these products grow, more animals are killed resulting in many species becoming endangered.

Solutions for Habitat destruction and protecting animals.

1- Conservation – designate natural habitats as protected areas.
2- Animals are important – Help people realize that animals are very important for the environment and for the survival of mankind.
3- Give incentives – Animals can become a source of revenue for communities near protected habitats. Money earned by tourism should be shared with communities. This can result in them taking ownership of protecting the animals. They would view the habitats and the animal as assets.

Water is a valuable resource, governments should – IELTS essay

Water is a valuable finite resource, governments all over the world should control how much water their citizens use.

to what extent do you agree or disagree.

Water is the most vital resource needed for life. It is a natural resource and is limited in supply. As the world’s population increases there is increasing pressure on this resource, however, water should always be free as nature intended it to be. Most water resources are controlled by governments around the world. There is sufficient water for all life on Earth in spite of the growing population. Two thirds of Earth is water. The real problem is management and distribution of water. Governments can improve water supply where it is deficient. Currently, governments control all supply of water. They should not set a limit to the amount of water an individual can use because there is technology available to solve all water shortage, anywhere.
There is an urgent need in many parts of the world where people suffer without water. In Saharan Africa and India, people have to walk miles to get their supply of water. There are countries in the middle-east where water is truly scarce yet they don’t have a shortage of it. It is a matter of the governments to take a few steps to solve this simple problem forever. Governments should allocate more water by linking up rivers and diverting flood water to the needy areas and they can set up desalinization plants to convert sea-water to fresh water. If the government cuts the supply of water as is the case in many Indian cities, there would only be more suffering. Water is nature’s gift to humanity and it was intended to be free of control and costs.

In conclusion, governments have no right to limit water supply, on the other hand, they should increase water supply by forecasting consumption and finding ways to plug the gap between supply and demand of water. Water should always be free it should not become a commodity.

How to write an essay on water in IELTS?

Here are some points you could use while writing an essay on water.
Some people may say that water is a finite resource. Others could have the opinion that water is finite but is still abundantly available for human consumption.

1- Water is scarce (limited), few countries in the world have real deficit in availability of water.
2- Truth is most countries don’t manage water resources well and that is reason for all the water problems of the world.
3- Water can be made available free of cost to everyone as it becomes the social responsibility and moral obligation of the authorities.
4- Charging money for water consumption would be similar to charging money for the air we breathe.

Examples for this IELTS essay.

– Middle-east is naturally water deficient, however use of technology has enabled them to fulfill their domestic demand for water.
– Israel is another example of a country that has done well with water resources.
– In India, every year there are floods and yet some places have a drought. This can be addressed easily if water resources such as rivers are managed well.

list of IELTS speaking part 2 cue cards

list of IELTS speaking part 2 cue cards speaking topics

IELTS speaking topics

More topics for IELTS Speaking part 2 and cue cards

What activity do you do to stay fit?
Where do you do it?
What is the benefit of that activity?
how has this activity improved your fitness?

What food is Junk food?
Why is it called junk food?
Does it have any impact on one’s health?
Why do people continue to eat junk food?

Describe a healthy habit
What habits should people have to stay healthy?
Is your healthy habit good for everyone?

Is regular exercise essential to stay healthy?
What exercise do you do?
How often do you do it?
Explain why you enjoy doing it?

What was your favorite subject at school?
When did you first start studying that subject?
How often do you study it?
Explain why you like studying this subject?

Describe a school you’ve attended.
Where was it?
What did you study there?
How long have you studied there?

Describe an activity you do regularly.
When do you do it?
why do you it?
How has it changed your life?

Describe a place you often visit.
Where is it?
What do you do there?
who do you go there with?
Explain why you enjoy going there?

Describe a journey you went on.
What did you do during the journey?
How did you undertake this journey?
why did you enjoy this journey?

Describe a movie you did not enjoy watching.
why did you not enjoy it.
What was the worst part?
What was it about?

Describe your favorite color.
What is it?
Why do you like it?
how often do you see this color?

Describe a wedding you’ve attended.
What were the costumes people were wearing?
What was special about this wedding?
How was the wedding ceremony?

Describe a season you like
What do you do in this season?
what do you do to protect yourself from the weather in this season?
Why do you like this season?

Describe a sports event you have attended.
Where was it?
Who won it?
Who did you go with to this sports event?

Describe a thing that you couldn’t live without.
how did you get it?
Why is it important to you?
What would you do if you didn’t have it?

What is your favorite free time activity?
How often do you do it?
Why do you do it?
What other activities do you do in your free time?

What is your favorite restaurant?
how often do you go there?
What is the specialty of this restaurant?
What do you most enjoy about this restaurant?

Describe your shoes.
What are they made of?
what type of shoes would you wear for different occasions?
Why do you wear shoes?

Describe a video you have recently seen.
What was it about?
Why did you watch it?
Explain why you enjoy watching videos.

Describe a photograph or a picture that you remember.
where did you see it?
Who took it?/who painted it?
What is in this photo or picture?
Explain why do you remember it?

Describe an important letter you’ve received.
when did you receive it?
What was it about?
how did you feel about it?
explain why was it important?

Describe an important decision you have made.
What was the decision?
Who helped you make this decision
What were the results of this decision
explain why it was important to you?

Describe someone who influenced you when you were a child.
Who was the person?
What kind of person he/she was?
What was your relationship like?
Explain how he/she influenced you?

Describe your favorite TV program.
You should say
The name of the program and where it is set?
What kind of program it is.
What it is about.
Explain why you enjoy it.

Describe a typical day in your life when you were a teenager.
you should say
What you did
Who you spent time with
How you felt about the things you had to do
explain what was the best and the worst part of the day for you.

Describe somebody famous who has achieved great success.
you should say
who they are and what they do
where they come from their background
how they became successful
Explain why you admire this person

Describe a place that has special meaning to you.
you should say
What kind of place it is and where it is
what it looks like
what sounds you associate with it
Explain why you particularly like this place.

Some educationalists argue that non-exam, art based subjects should be compulsory

art based subject compulsory education ielts

Some educationalists argue that non-exam, art based subjects such music, drama, and art should be compulsory in secondary school curriculum. They believe that activities such as these can improve overall academic performance.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Topic: Some educationalists argue that non-exam, art based subjects such music, drama, and art should be compulsory in secondary school curriculum. They believe that activities such as these can improve overall academic performance.

Education should be well balanced and should have non-exam based subjects such as music, drama and art in secondary school curriculum. This is necessary to give a boost to the varied inherent skills that students have. Some of them can pick up these subjects for a career later. The subjects other than math, languages and science would provide a more of a choice. Compulsory subject should also include these. They learn other skills and in ways that is not just job oriented stuff. Education at the secondary level is more about exposure and early impressions than skill development and therefore must include the arts. All these subjects help in acquiring a higher skill of creativity. That is the sought after trait in any profession and would greatly enhance the prospects of any youngster. Cold calculations to joyful expressions of emotion is what needs to be taught at school.
The world needs more inventors, artists, painters, performers and musicians as much as doctors and engineers.Often these subjects are pushed to the periphery and not thought of as important. Students who study in schools which do not have such subjects tend to develop a narrow view of the world. On the other hand students who are exposed to arts tend to have a broader view of the world. There is a perception that studying art would not lead to a meaningful career and could quite possibly land the art graduate into unemployment. Many parents do not encourage their children to focus on music or drama as these subjects cant get their children jobs in the future. While this feeling of insecurity and baseless perception finds logic in number of successful artists, there is need to understand the issue differently. These are essential skills and can be useful for architects, designers, scientists and surgeons, all of them need to use sound, visuals and creative representation of their ideas in whatever field they are in.
To sum up, art based educations must be compulsory and can greatly add value to secondary education as well as career prospects of young graduates.

In surveys Mason city residents rank water sports – GRE argument analysis

In surveys Mason city residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, fising) among their favorite recreational activities. The mason river flowing through this city is rarely used for these pursuits, however and the city devotes less of its budget to maintaining the recreational facilities

For years there have been complaints from residence about the quality of the river’s water and the river’s smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason river. Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions. What implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

Model answer to GRE argument analysis question

Mason city residents are prone to take to water sports, however they also know that the Mason river smells bad and doesn’t have well maintained recreational facilities near the river. Therefore it would be necessary to clean up the water as well as the image of the river as a dirty river not clean enough to swim or fish. Perceptions can stay longer than changed reality. If the city administration cleans up the river and improves the riverside recreation, there may be some improvement in the use of the river for water sports.This assumption needs to be carefully evaluated, although it appears perfectly logical, there could be good reasons for not achieving the end result. Since the river is in a bad shape and the surveys state that city residents rank water sports as one of their favorite sports, it is necessary to check how the city dwellers indulge in their favorite waters sports. Do they use alternative facilities such as pools? Do they travel to other places? These questions are vital in understanding the behavior of the residents to determine if they’ll take to the Mason river for water sports.
Essentially, devoting more money without being reasonably sure of the outcome could result in wasteful public expenditure. Even if the answers to the above questions is an affirmative, what is the incentive for them to use the Mason river all of a sudden? That is the critical question that needs answering. A survey with relevant questions about the future usage of the Mason river recreational facilities must be done. The information from that survey should then be evaluated in lieu of the proposed plans to improve the waters sports facilities on the Mason river.

If the city government presumes that the usage of the riverside sports facilities would improve simply because the city residents in surveys said they rank water sports as one of the favorites, then it may not be really listening to its population carefully. If the surveys were right then there would have been some cleanup demands or some real indicators that show that. Surely, nobody would object to cleaning up the river but they may view expenditure on riverside recreational facilities as unnecessary. Particularly if there were other pressing needs in the city that could use some funding.

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