How should you answer IELTS writing task 2 questions that ask ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree?’
A lot of people have asked me about this recently. Here are two typical questions:
1) ‘When the writing task question says ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree?’ Do I have to discuss both of the views in the question? So, one body paragraph for ‘agree’ and other one for the ‘disagree’? Or can I choose to just either agree or disagree?’
2) ‘In “To what extent do you agree or disagree” type questions, will I lose marks if I write only the points in the body paragraphs that I agree or disagree?’
These questions are basically asking – ‘is it ok to only give only one opinion or do I have to mention both opinions?’
Let’s take a look at an authentic example of this type of writing task. It is very important that the writing tasks you use for practice are authentic and reflect the real IELTS test. I find that it is test questions that are NOT authentic (the ones that advertise themselves as ‘free!” or ‘cheaper than Cambridge!”) that often cause problems and confusion.
Here is an image showing an authentic writing task question that comes from Cambridge Practice Tests Book 9. I’ve added notes to show how you should approach this type of question.
To understand more about planning your answer, and how to approach this type of question, read this post: How to quickly plan your answer