How to Criticise in IELTS

In IELTS Writing Task 2, or in the IELTS Speaking Test, you might want to politely criticize somebody or something. Here are some examples of complex language you can use:

a) I am of the opinion that the approach of preventing children from using the internet is deeply flawed. Although we need to recognize that youngsters can find inappropriate and disturbing content online, they need to work out for themselves that this material is harmful. Preventing them from seeing it will only make them keener to view it.

b) It would be a step in the wrong direction to increase the speed limit on our roads. Although motorists would reach their destination more quickly, the effect on the environment would be negative and there would be more serious and fatal accidents on the roads.

c) The policy of allowing children from privileged backgrounds to attend top-quality private schools whilst everyone else has to put up with sub-standard state education is, as far as I am concerned, misguided.

d) Reducing the age at which citizens can vote from eighteen to sixteen would, from my perspective, be a retrograde step. Younger voters are less likely to have the mental capacity and basic knowledge to make a mature and well-informed choice at the ballot-box.


To be flawed = to be wrong; to contain mistakes A step in the wrong direction = an action, approach, policy etc. which makes it less likely that the best solution will be reached To be misguided = to be based on bad ideas A retrograde step = an action, approach, policy etc. which makes the situation worse