IELTS Writing: examine and consider an IELTS question

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When you write an IELTS essay during your exam, you need to read the question(s) very carefully. IELTS Writing questions are always a bit different from one to another. Look at the following question:

In many countries, the proportion of older people is steadily increasing. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this trend?

If you treat this question as “what are the positive and negatives effects that old people bring to us?”, then it would be hard for you to fully respond the task.

Do you notice the difference?

Here are some ideas about negatives effects of increasing number of older people:

 • More senior citizens means that governments have to arrange more money for their pensions.
 • Local governments have to support them, for example, by giving them discounts for electricity bills, water bills and transportation.
 • This assistance comes in the form of welfare payments, which are collected from tax payers.
 • An increasing number of older people will mean more tax must be collected in order to support .
 • Health authorities could face serious challenges if the number of old aged people increases in the future.
 • Hospital admissions might be higher and waiting lists could be longer for some treatments and operations.

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