IELTS Writing Task 2 - Model Answer

All of the language highlighted in bold will impress the IELTS examiner and convince her or him to give you a high grade for Lexical Resource.

In many developing countries, the standard of living in cities is much higher than in the countryside. What difficulties might a country face because of this situation? How can these difficulties be solved?

There is little doubt that economic growth has led to a surge in living standards and levels of prosperity, particularly in urban areas. Millions of villagers have flooded into the world’s major mega-cities. The gap between the wealthier urban areas and poorer rural areas can be problematic. It is absolutely essential that governments address this gap and implement policies which will reduce it. Otherwise, we are likely to face a crisis in the near future.

One of the most serious consequences of urban growth and rural stagnation is social and demographic instability. Those living in villages and areas of low population density probably work in the farming sector and experience low wages and poverty. They may be attracted to migrate to large metropolitan areas. As a result, cities will become overcrowded and the countryside will be sparsely populated. This could lead to high levels of unemployment and dissatisfaction in the cities and a countryside without enough manual workers to maintain the agricultural sector. It is, of course, agriculture which feeds the entire population.

There are a number of policies which governments and those in authority can bring in to counteract this problem. Incentives can be offered to those living in the countryside. Agricultural workers ought to be paid to remain in their villages and the farming sector can be subsidised. If new employment opportunities can be generated in rural areas, young people in particular are less likely to want to relocate.

In addition, governments can try to educate inhabitants of the countryside about the perils of moving to centres of mass population. Citizens living in villages often have an unrealistic perception of life in the city, believing that the streets are paved with gold, that there are ample employment opportunities and that they will flourish and thrive. This view often differs markedly from the reality.

Overall, the issue of the huge disparity between urban and rural areas needs addressing. Unless action is taken, social and political instability is quite likely. It would be wise for all governments to take this issue seriously and try to come up with proposals to improve the situation.


stagnation = lack of activity, growth, or development

counteract = act against (something) in order to reduce its force or neutralize it

ample = many

disparity = a great difference

thrive = prosper, flourish

Make sure that you avoid using the word 'people' over and over again in your answers. Note how many different ways it has been expressed in this essay: manual workers; those living in villages; villagers; agricultural workers; citizens...