25 August | IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer – Band 8

Question: “The best way to reduce poverty in developing countries is by giving up to six years of free education, so that they can at least read, write and use numbers.”


The issue of poverty in developing nations has been a pressing concern for many decades, with numerous strategies being proposed and implemented to tackle it. One prominent suggestion is to provide up to six years of free education, enabling citizens to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills. While I strongly believe that education is a powerful tool for reducing poverty, I also argue that it should be part of a multifaceted approach, encompassing various other initiatives.

Undoubtedly, education forms the bedrock for personal and societal advancement. When individuals are equipped with the ability to read, write, and perform basic arithmetic operations, they become more competitive in the job market, especially in sectors that require basic literacy. For instance, a person who can read is more likely to land a clerical job than someone who is illiterate. Moreover, with these foundational skills, they also possess the potential to further their studies, either formally or informally, which can open up even more employment opportunities.

Beyond mere employability, a basic education often leads to increased awareness about health, rights, and civic responsibilities. For example, a literate mother is more likely to understand the importance of vaccinations or clean water for her children. This can significantly decrease child mortality rates, which are often high in impoverished areas.

However, while education plays an indispensable role, it is not a panacea for poverty reduction. Many developing countries grapple with systemic issues such as corruption, lack of infrastructure, and limited access to healthcare. Even if a person is educated, the lack of job opportunities and economic stability can stifle their ability to uplift themselves from poverty. Hence, alongside education, there needs to be a concerted effort to stimulate economic growth, develop infrastructure, and ensure good governance.

Moreover, for the education strategy to be truly effective, the quality of education should not be compromised. Simply offering free education without ensuring its quality might not yield the desired results. Teachers need to be well-trained, curricula should be relevant, and learning environments need to be conducive.

In conclusion, offering six years of free education in developing countries is undoubtedly a commendable step towards alleviating poverty. However, for a holistic and lasting solution, this initiative needs to be complemented by broader socio-economic reforms and a relentless focus on the quality of education imparted.

Let’s analyze the essay against the four assessment criteria for IELTS Writing Task 2 to understand why it could achieve a band 8:

Task Achievement:

  • Band 8 Criteria: Addresses all parts of the task, presents a clear position, and supports the main points with well-developed explanations.
  • In the Essay: The essay clearly addresses the topic by acknowledging the role of free education in reducing poverty. It presents a clear position that while education is important, it is not the only solution. The essay supports this stance with explanations about employability, increased awareness, and systemic issues in developing countries.

Coherence and Cohesion:

  • Band 8 Criteria: Sequences information and ideas logically, manages all aspects of cohesion well, and uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately.
  • In the Essay: The essay is well-organized with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Ideas flow logically, with each paragraph focusing on a specific aspect of the argument. Transitions (“Undoubtedly”, “However”, “Moreover”, “In conclusion”) are used effectively to guide the reader.

Lexical Resource:

  • Band 8 Criteria: Uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings, uses less common lexical items with skill, and rarely makes vocabulary errors.
  • In the Essay: The essay showcases a varied vocabulary with terms like “bedrock”, “employability”, “panacea”, “conducive”, and “holistic”. These terms are not only apt but also enhance the sophistication of the argument.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

  • Band 8 Criteria: Uses a wide range of structures, produces majority of sentences with full accuracy, and makes only occasional errors.
  • In the Essay: A variety of sentence structures are employed, from simple to compound and complex. For instance: “While I strongly believe that education is a powerful tool for reducing poverty, I also argue that it should be part of a multifaceted approach, encompassing various other initiatives.” There are minimal to no grammatical errors, and the essay maintains a high level of accuracy throughout.

Overall, this essay displays the qualities expected of a Band 8 response. It is well-structured, presents a clear and nuanced argument, and is written with a strong command of English in terms of both vocabulary and grammar.

To upgrade the essay to a Band 9, we must ensure it meets the highest standards of the IELTS assessment criteria. Band 9 signifies full expertise in the language. Here’s how we can refine the essay:

Task Achievement:

  • Band 9 Criteria: Fully addresses all parts of the task with very well-developed ideas.

Coherence and Cohesion:

  • Band 9 Criteria: Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention, and skillfully manages paragraphing.

Lexical Resource:

  • Band 9 Criteria: Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

  • Band 9 Criteria: Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur as ‘slips’.

Revised Essay for Band 9:

The persistent issue of poverty in developing nations has long been under global scrutiny, inviting myriad solutions. One particularly compelling proposition is the provision of six years of gratuitous education, enabling citizens to harness the power of literacy and numeracy. While I unreservedly champion the transformative potential of education, I contend that it should be woven into a tapestry of comprehensive strategies.

The foundational role of education in personal and societal elevation is irrefutable. An individual proficient in reading, writing, and basic arithmetic is not merely more viable in the job market but becomes an embodiment of potential, ripe for further academic and vocational enrichment. Consider, for instance, a literate individual’s edge in securing administrative roles over their illiterate counterparts. Furthermore, this foundational education often metamorphoses into heightened awareness of health, civic responsibilities, and individual rights, marking a direct correlation between literacy and reduced child mortality rates, as the literate mother, informed and empowered, ensures the welfare of her offspring.

However, to perceive education as the sole antidote to poverty would be myopic. Developing nations are often enmeshed in intricate webs of systemic issues – from pervasive corruption to crumbling infrastructure and inadequate healthcare. A literate individual, in the absence of tangible employment avenues and economic equilibrium, remains shackled by these overarching socio-economic challenges. Thus, in tandem with educational outreach, there’s an imperative for robust economic reforms, infrastructural revamps, and unyielding governance integrity.

Furthermore, the essence of this educational strategy lies not just in its availability but predominantly in its quality. Mere tokenistic educational offerings, devoid of substance, can be counterproductive. The onus, therefore, lies in ensuring pedagogical excellence, with educators undergoing rigorous training and curricula reflecting contemporary relevance.

In summation, while the free provision of education stands as an exemplary stride towards obliterating poverty, its true efficacy will only be realized when seamlessly integrated with a broader gamut of socio-economic overhauls, always with an unwavering gaze on pedagogical quality.

In this revised essay, the language is more sophisticated, and there’s a deeper exploration of ideas with a broader range of vocabulary and more complex sentence structures.

Let’s highlight the major modifications from the Band 8 version to the Band 9 revision:

Task Achievement:

  • Enhanced depth and sophistication of ideas.
  • Introduced more detailed explanations and examples for clarity.

Coherence and Cohesion:

  • Enhanced transitions and flow, ensuring ideas connect seamlessly.
  • Made use of more sophisticated connectors (“Furthermore”, “Thus”, “In tandem with”, “In summation”).

Lexical Resource:

  • Introduced more advanced vocabulary: “gratuitous”, “harness”, “unreservedly”, “tapestry”, “irrefutable”, “metamorphoses”, “myopic”, “enmeshed”, “tokenistic”, “pedagogical”, “obliterating”, “efficacy”, “gamut”.
  • Used idiomatic language: “woven into a tapestry”, “shackled by these overarching socio-economic challenges”.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

  • Incorporated a wider variety of complex sentence structures.
  • Ensured full flexibility in the use of structures, making certain that every sentence is well-formed and accurate.

Specific Examples from the Revised Essay:


  • “Persistent issue of poverty” → Provides a sense of ongoing challenge.
  • “Woven into a tapestry of comprehensive strategies” → A sophisticated metaphor indicating integration of various strategies.

Body Paragraphs:

  • “embodiment of potential, ripe for further academic and vocational enrichment” → A rich, descriptive way to express the idea of untapped potential.
  • “metamorphoses into heightened awareness” → Uses a transformative verb to illustrate the change education brings.
  • “enmeshed in intricate webs of systemic issues” → Descriptive and evocative imagery showing the complexity of the problem.


  • “seamlessly integrated with a broader gamut of socio-economic overhauls” → An elaborate way of emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach.
  • “unwavering gaze on pedagogical quality” → A powerful ending highlighting the focus on education quality.

The enhancements in the revised essay elevate its language and depth of thought, making it closer to a Band 9 response.

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By |2023-08-26T12:12:36+07:00August 26th, 2023|0 Comments

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