This is the third of four IELTS training videos in this lesson.
Throughout this course, we will show you the steps needed to get the correct answer for each question type. However, it is assumed that you will have already skimmed the text at least once. To complete headings style questions, there are six steps you need to complete.
In step 1, you need to look at the questions and make sure you know which paragraphs you need to find headings for. Do not assume that you will always start with the first paragraph. When you know which paragraph you are starting with, you should skim a second time. You are aiming to get a general idea of the main message of the paragraph. You should then look back at the list of headings.
Reading through, you should reject any that are not relevant or refer only to supporting information. You should then select the most suitable. If you are not sure of the answer and think two or more headings could be suitable, then you should write all the possible answers on your question paper. For example, you might be confident that the answer to Paragraph A is heading 5. However, for paragraph B, the answer could be either heading 2 or heading 4. At this point, mark both headings and move on. As you complete the rest of the questions, you might be able to logically work out the correct answer for paragraph B because one of the options you had selected fits better with another question. Remember that you are not penalised for wrong answers so if you are still not sure by the end of the test then you should write down your best guess – there’s no point in leaving any blank spaces on the answer sheet.
This is one of many model and sample answers in the course.
NOTE: The audio starts after 17 seconds.
Well the thing I probably enjoyed doing more than anything else as a child, or at least from when I was about 6, was riding bikes. I had a new or secondhand bike every year or so and they always got faster and bigger as I grew. I remember my first bike had training wheels on the side so I didn’t fall over while I was learning!
As I got a little older – about 10 or so – I used to go out on my bike with some friends most weekends and evenings. I used to get to school on my bike as well, and we would call in at each others houses and ride in a group to school. The most exciting time was when I was 14, when three of my closest friends and I all went away overnight cycling with a tent on the back of the bicycles. It seemed like such an adventure, and we must have cycled over 60 kilometres that weekend! We had a great time just cycling around and then we set up the tent in the field and spent the night. The only problem was my friend had an accident and destroyed his bike, so his parents had to come and pick him up.
For my 15th birthday I had a bike with 15 gears, which, at the time, was very unusual. It was much faster than any of my friends’ bikes so I started to go out a lot on my own and later on I got a job delivering newspapers where again I used my bike a lot.
I stopped cycling when I was about 18 and I haven’t really gone back to it although I probably should. It’s very good for health and fitness. The only problem is the other road users don’t always watch out for bikes and it can be a little dangerous especially on busy roads. I’m not sure it would be so easy to have fun with a bicycle now as it was when I was a child because of the traffic on the roads these days.
Mostly I enjoyed it because it was a chance for me to get out of the house and be a little bit independent. It was a lot of fun playing with friends who also had bikes, so there was a very social side to it as well.
This is the seventh of eight IELTS training videos in this lesson.
These are the 5 ideas we have brainstormed already. We may not use all of the ideas we brainstorm in our essay so we need to choose the ideas that we can write the best essay about. Now we need to look at which ideas we can best expand by developing, supporting and adding examples. First let’s look at the points that disagree with the question. For the first point, you could talk about older people being more mature and having a wider range of first hand experience. This experience could make them more patient than their younger colleagues. As a result, some clients may prefer to work with more senior people in a company. An example of this could be accountants, real estate agents or surveyors – an older accountant is more likely to offer the best advice as they have their experience to draw on.
For the second point we could talk about the problems of supporting older people if they were required to retire. The result of this would be higher taxes for younger people. This may lead to a feeling of resentment, and in some cases younger people may opt not to work at all in countries with unemployment benefits paid by the state.
For the third point we need to consider the effect of an increasingly ageing population. Maybe this will make the problem of supporting over 50s worse as numbers increase. Now let’s consider the points that agree with question. For the first point, it is possible that by allowing people over 50 to continue working, younger people do not have the same access to opportunities. The second point is that forcing people to retire could be good because savings can be made on higher salaries, thus allowing more money to be spent on employing new staff, research and development or simply on increasing profits.
Now we need to organise how to present our ideas. As this is a give opinions / challenge a point of view type essay, we would use this paragraph structure. We will need three solid points to present, so because we have more to say about the arguments against the question, this is the position we would take when writing the essay. It is important to bear in mind that the opinion you present in Task II is based on what is easier to write, which may not necessarily be your personal opinion.
We would start the essay with the strongest point; that people over 50 have the most experience. The second paragraph would focus mainly on supporting people over 50 if they weren’t earning an income. Since the increasing ageing world population relates to this, we could also consider putting this into paragraph two, but remember at this stage, you may decide not to include some of your ideas if you have not thought of enough support or relevant examples. Remember your main focus should be developing three strong ideas for three paragraphs. In the final paragraph, the concession, we could consider putting these two ideas together.
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