IELTS Writing Task 2 essay with model answer

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic

People spend too much on family celebrations such as birthdays and weddings. What are the importance of these celebrations? Do you think people really spend too much?

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

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

A growing trend observed in recent times is ostentatious family celebrations, such as birthdays and weddings. In the essay below, I will set out the importance of these family occasions, and explain why I firmly believe that the current generation is spending excessively on these parties.  

Key occasions such as birthdays and weddings are cause for celebration as they are happy events that bring the family closer. Meeting family members during such occasions, especially if they are regular such as birthday parties, is certain to build familial ties and bonds. In addition, certain family celebrations such as those to honour a recent graduate may also spur and inspire other family members to reach similar heights of achievement.

However, in recent times, lavish amounts of money are being spent during these celebrations. In my mind, the extravagance is not warranted, as the sheer amount of money spent detracts from the key reason of having the celebration, which is to enjoy the company of family members, and to share in the joy of the occasion.  A typical wedding dinner in my country, Malaysia, is now held in luxurious hotels, and the cost of such dinners goes into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and frequently lands the newly-weds into debt. Guests at the wedding also feel uncomfortable attending such lavish dinners, as they feel obliged to contribute large sums to attend. Some young couples even make the drastic decision to postpone their marriage due to peer pressure to spend similar amounts. Indeed, a family can still enjoy a family celebration for reasonable amounts of money by organising parties such as pot-luck dinners, where all those present will bring a dish to be shared, thereby lessening the burden on the celebrant.

Having considered the points above, I believe that family celebrations allow relatives to cherish the important moments in each other’s lives. I do agree that nowadays people spend too much on these occasions.  I am firmly in favour of celebrating family occasions only in a modest manner. This would ensure these celebrations would not pose a burden to all present, and would keep the focus on the joyous occasion.

Total Words: 338

Task Achievement: 8

Coherence & Cohesion: 8

Lexical resources: 8

Grammar: 9

Overall Score: Band 8

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  1. Sharan 5 years ago


    I got the same essay in IELTS GT on 11.03.2018, but unfortunately I received 6.5 band. However, in my earlier IELTS GT attempt, I got 8.5 band score in Writing. Therefore, I did not feel good after seeing 6.5 in my latest attempt. I wrote this essay with the same technique which I used in my earlier attempt where I got 8.5 in Writing.

    I do not recall what exactly I wrote but I remember the overall structure. Below is what I wrote:

    Introduction: I paraphrased most of the essay question. Also, I mentioned that “In my opinion, I agree that individuals spend too much money on personal events because of the strong financial stability”. (It is not accurate word to word, but may be 95% same)

    Body Passage 1: Here I mentioned that the personal events such as weddings, birthdays, graduations are very important for all of us. Personal events give us opportunities to meet our all the family members and this helps us to get strong bonds with them. Also, I mentioned that these events give us life long memories. Then I gave some relevant example that XYZ survey confirmed that people who attend or host some personal events, have stronger family ties.

    Body Passage 2: Here I mentioned that Yes I agree that people spend lot of money on their personal events; It is happening because now people are financially stronger than before, as we have many businesses/companies which have many professional opportunities. Then I gave relevant example.

    Conclusion: Here I mentioned that ‘In conclusion, personal events are very important to everyone as they helps us to make our bonds stronger with our relatives and gives us lifetime memories. Also, I mentioned that people tend to spend a lot on these events as they have more financial capabilities than before’.

    I am sure I wrote more than 250 words.

    Here, my doubt is, in 2nd body paragraph, I mentioned the reason why I think that people spend a lot of money on their private events (which is because of strong job and business economy); do you think this is not what examiner was looking for?

    Could you please give your input on this? I am thinking to go for EOR for Writing Module; but before I am looking for your advice on the structure and the ideas mentioned in this essay.

    • IELTS Online Practice 5 years ago

      Dear Sharan,

      The last part of the topic is a bit tricky. After you answer yes or no, you can either give an opinion on whether this is a good trend or a bad trend (the way the model answer does above) or you could give reasons why people are spending more money at these events.

      In your 2nd body paragraph , you did mention that people spend more money on these events because they are financially better off now. However the part about “more businesses and professional services available” could’ve confused the examiner .. you could’ve also said that today’s society is more ostentatious and people feel the peer pressure to keep up with their neighbours or relatives.

      In any case, it does not look like a major flaw and if you did not make too many grammar or spelling mistakes then you should’ve scored at least Band 7.

      Remarking rarely results in a better score, although I have seen some exceptions. It also costs a lot of money so it might be better to just go for a full exam. I’ll let you make that call.

      Hope this helps.

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