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Essay Problem Solution Ielts Test

Below is an IELTS model answer for the IELTS problem solution essay in writing task 2. There are five types of essays in IELTS writing task 2 and the “solution” type essay is a common one. However, make sure you follow the instructions. You need to know the difference between “what are the causes?” and “what problems does this cause?”.  The first requires causes and the second requires problems.

Problem Solution Essay Instructions

The instructions for problem solution questions are often paraphrased in different ways. Below you can see a few examples:

  1. What are the problems to this and how can it be solved?
  2. What problems are caused by this? What solutions would you recommend?
  3. What problems arise from this situation? What measures can be taken to deal with it?
  4. What problems does this cause? What can be done to deal with this situation?

You can find some essay questions for solution essays and problem solution essays on this page: Solution Essay Questions and you can find over 100 essay questions to practice: 100 Essay Questions for IELTS

IELTS Problem Solution Essay Question

An increasing number of professionals, such as doctors and teachers, are leaving their own poorer countries to work in developed countries. What problems does this cause? What can be done to deal with this situation?

Model IELTS Essay: Problems and Solutions

More and more professionals from developing or underdeveloped countries are choosing to live and work in richer countries. As a result, poorer countries will struggle to develop but this can be tackled by offering more incentives to stay and better living conditions.

The main problem faced by poorer countries due to the brain-drain, in fields such as medicine and education, is that they will struggle to develop and find it difficult to improve their economy as well as living conditions. One of the main ways that a developing country can better themselves is through the skills and dedication of their professionals which is negated when they choose to take their skills to benefit another country. Consequently, less developed countries will not be able to offer their citizens high levels of education or health care, and this in turn will hinder their ability to compete on a global scale, to entice investors and ultimately to stop the poverty cycle.

One effective solution to deal with professionals leaving their country is for their government to encourage them to stay by offering better work conditions. This can be done by increasing wages and investing in state-of-the-art equipment and training to tempt doctors and teachers to continue working there. Another possible answer is for  poorer countries to offer better standards of living, more tolerance and a positive future as a way to entice their professionals back to their own country after they have completed their training abroad. However, these solutions are financially demanding which means poorer governments may have to look to developed countries for aid in order to implement these changes.

In conclusion, poorer countries are unable to develop due to the brain-drain which can only be tackled by enticing professionals to remain in their country of origin through better conditions.


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IELTS causes and solutions essay - band 9 guide

In this lesson you will learn how to write a high-scoring causes & solutions essay in IELTS Writing. As an example, the model essay will be about loss of bio-diversity. Basically, causes & solutions essay is one of the most common question types in IELTS writing task 2. This question asks you to describe causes and propose solutions for a given problem.

In this lesson you will see:

  • question sample + model answer
  • band 9 answer structure for causes & solutions essay
  • effective strategies to produce ideas for your answer

IELTS problems & solutions question sample

For example, this is the question you’ve got for IELTS writing task 2:

Of course, the topics for causes & solutions essay may vary, but the answering strategy is pretty much the same for all essays of causes/solutions type.

Producing ideas

As you know, it’s recommended to spend about 40 minutes on IELTS Writing task 2. But before starting to write your essay, it’s a good idea to dedicate 2-4 minutes to producing some ideas for your essay. This way you’ll know what to write about and your essay will be more structured.

To produce ideas for causes and solutions essay, you have to determine 3 things:

  • Problem
  • Causes of this problem
  • Solutions to this problem

The problem is already given: loss of bio-diversity (in other words, some animals and plants are dying out).

Now let’s think about its causes and solutions. Don’t be afraid of simple ideas! Remember: getting a high score means writing simple things well. Here are some ideas that may come to your mind:


  • change of the natural habitats

    When humans artificially transform the environment (build roads, houses etc.), they destroy animals’ natural habitat.

  • pollution

    Pollution negatively changes the flow of energy, the chemical constitution of the environment and the climate in general, so a lot of species cannot live under such conditions and die out.

  • overexploitation of resources

    When the activities connected with capturing and harvesting a natural resource are too intense in a particular area, the resource becomes exhausted. Example: too intense farming exhausts the soil; too frequent fishing, which doesn’t leave enough time for fish to reproduce, makes fish disappear.

After you’ve though of the possible causes, you can use them in your writing. You can invent more reasons of this problem, but usually, it’s enough to give 1-2 causes in your writing.

Possible solutions:

  • protect areas
  • Protecting areas where human activity is limited and avoiding overexploitation of resources are the best ways to save the environment and prevent species from dying out.

  • promote awareness

    Informing the general population about the disadvantages of loss of biodiversity will encourage people to be more conscious of the environment.

1-2 solutions are enough for a good essay. Now, after we’ve collected some ideas, it’s time to structure our thoughts into an essay.

Band 9 answer structure for causes & solutions essay

There may be many possible answering strategies, but we’ll use this good and time-tested essay structure:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body paragraph 1 – causes
  3. Body paragraph 2 – solutions
  4. Conclusion


Write the introduction in 2 sentences:

  • Sentence 1 - paraphrase the question (restate the problem):
  • Sentence 2 - tell the examiner what you’re going to describe in your essay:

Body paragraph 1 - causes

  • Sentence 1 - state 2 main causes:
  • Sentences 2-4 - explain the first cause + give an example:
  • Sentences 5-7 - explain the second cause + give an example:
  • The last sentence - give a short summary (if needed)

Body paragraph 2 - solutions

  • Sentence 1 - give 1-2 possible solutions
  • Sentences 2-4 - explain how each of the solutions solves the problem (you may give an example if you wish)


  • Sentence 1 - restate the causes of the problem
  • Sentence 2 - remind the reader of possible solutions

Model essay for IELTS Writing causes/solutions question

The model band-9 essay for this question will look as follows:

Despite knowing about biodiversity’s importance for a long time, human activity has been causing massive extinctions of different species. This essay will examine the main causes of loss of biodiversity and possible solutions of this problem.

The two main causes of species extinction are change of their habitats and overexploitation of natural resources. When humans artificially transform the environment, they destroy vegetation and animals’ natural habitat. For instance, to build new roads people are cutting down the trees and cementing the soil, altering the environment. Because of that, a lot of species are dying out. Also, when the activities connected with capturing and harvesting a natural resource are too intense in a particular area, the resource becomes exhausted. For example, too frequent fishing doesn’t leave enough time for fish to reproduce and makes them disappear. In other words, human activities often deplete local flora and fauna and cause loss of bio-diversity.

Some possible solutions to this problem are protecting natural areas and promoting awareness among people. By protecting areas where human activity is limited and avoiding overexploitation of its resources, we can save the untouched environment and prevent species from dying out. Moreover, the next step in fighting bio-diversity loss is informing the general population about the dangers of this problem. This way, people will be more conscious of the environment and won’t overuse or destroy its resources.

To conclude, people’s activities that change the environment have negative impact on the world's ecosystem. However, we can significantly lessen the extinction of species by protecting natural areas and enlightening people as to this problem.

(263 words)