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IELTS Academic – Writing Practise Test

Task 1 – You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.


The bar chart below gives information about the percentage of the population living in urban areas in different parts of the world.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.



The graph compares the growth in the percentage of the population living in urban areas in six different regions of the world.

According to the chart, between 1950 and 2007 the percentage of the population living in cities in Latin America and the Caribbean almost doubled, from 42% to 76%, whereas in Europe it only increased by 21%. However, in Europe over half the people already lived in cities in 1950.

When we compare the projected increases in Asia and Europe by 2050 we see that in Asia the percentage will continue to grow at the same speed, with a further increase of 25%, whereas in Europe the change will be slower than before, increasing by only 12%. By 2050, the vast majority (around 90%) of people in Latin America, the Caribbean and North America will live in cities. Even in Africa, more than half the population (62%) will live in urban areas by then.

(155 words)



Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In the past, shopping was a routine domestic task. Many people nowadays regard it as a hobby.

To what extent do you think this is a positive trend?


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.



Going shopping used to be a chore, but recently it has become a leisure activity or a pleasant outing. To my mind, it is debatable whether this can be regarded as a wholly positive development.

For earlier generations, buying food or consumer products involved visiting several shops, each with the same limited range on offer. Customers had less money and credit was not widely available. By contrast, shoppers nowadays can find almost anything in the supermarket or shopping mall. The comfortable environment, the variety of goods and attractions such as cafés and cinemas make spending money enjoyable.

Nowadays, with many parents working full-time, families have little time together. In my experience, it is normal to see families in the local shopping mall at weekends. Undoubtedly, one of the benefits of this is that they are together as a family. Nevertheless, this is not ideal, especially if it leaves no time for other activities, such as sport.

Another negative result of this change in attitudes is the effect it has on young people all over the world, who spend time in shopping malls. The reasons for this are the influence of advertising and the availability of credit cards. On the one hand, they are with friends in a safe environment, but on the other, it can tempt them to buy things they do not really need and may cause them to get into debt. Moreover, it would be better for their health if they met friends to go swimming.

In conclusion I would like to suggest that although shopping now is less tedious, this is not necessarily a positive trend. It may be good for the retailers, but not for consumers if it replaces other, healthier activities.

(286 words)


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