Write Essay Questions in PTE Writing

Learn how to answer Write essay questions in PTE writing with an overview, recommended approach and practice questions.

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Overview

Write essay questions test your ability to write a persuasive or argumentative essay.

Here are some key points about Write essay questions:

  • They assess your writing skills, as well as your grammar, vocabulary, spelling and written discourse.
  • You’ll be presented with an essay question and have 20 minutes to write your essay.
  • You need to write between 200 and 300 words.
  • You’ll answer 1–2 Write essay questions in the writing test.

Example question

Here’s an example Write essay question.

You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.

‘Governments should provide everyone with free healthcare.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement? Provide reasons and/or examples to support your ideas.

This particular question is asking the extent to which you agree with the statement given. According to the official information about the PTE, in Write essay questions, you could be asked to:

  • agree or disagree with a statement;
  • argue for or against an opinion;
  • discuss advantages and/or disadvantages; or
  • discuss problems and solutions.

However, this isn’t exactly an official list of Write essay question types, so you need to be prepared to answer any question you may be asked on test day.

Scoring criteria

There are seven scoring criteria for Write essay questions.

Criterion What does this mean?
Content Does your essay answer the question?
Development, structure and coherence Is your essay logically organised with good development of ideas?
Form Is your essay between 200 and 300 words?
General linguistic range Does the language you've used in your essay help you to express your ideas accurately?
Grammar usage and mechanics Have you used grammar correctly?
Vocabulary range Do you use a wide range of vocabulary appropriately?
Spelling Do you use a single spelling convention (e.g. UK English) correctly and consistently in your essay?

NOTE: US, UK, Canadian and Australian spelling conventions are all recognised, but you need to use your chosen convention consistently in your response.

Practice questions

Now it’s your turn to practise. Try the Write essay questions below using the approach outlined above.

Question 1

You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.

‘There should be a special tax on sugary drinks to make them more expensive and discourage people from consuming them.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement? Provide reasons and/or examples to support your ideas.

This question is asking the extent to which you agree with the statement given. The easiest way to write an essay in response to this question is to choose a side (i.e. either agree or disagree) and think of two reasons for holding this view. Give your first reason in the first body paragraph and your second reason in the second body paragraph.

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Click below for a sample answer.

Some people believe that sugary drinks should be subject to a special tax in order to reduce their consumption. I agree with this approach because it would improve health outcomes and generate additional revenue, which could then be spent on health-related initiatives.

Firstly, implementing a special tax on sugary drinks would benefit the health of the general population. High sugar intake from these drinks has been unequivocally linked to health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental problems. By raising the cost of these beverages through taxation, consumption and therefore sugar intake would decrease. Over time, this reduced consumption would lower the prevalence of chronic health conditions in the population. This would of course benefit individuals, but it would also gradually reduce the cost of the healthcare system as fewer and fewer people would require ongoing care for such conditions.

Not only would a special tax on sugary drinks lead to health benefits at the individual and population levels, but it would also generate additional revenue for the government. This newfound revenue could be used for a range purposes, including to upgrade hospital facilities and improve healthcare systems more generally. It could also be used to fund health promotion campaigns. For example, with the revenue raised from sugary drinks, the government could develop advertisements for television and social media to inform the public about the detrimental health effects of excessive sugar consumption.

In conclusion, I fully support a special tax on sugary drinks. It would improve the health of the community and would give the government an additional revenue stream, allowing it to support people’s health in other ways.

Question 2

You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.

Some people believe that homework is an important part of children’s education. Others say that children should not be given homework. Explain where your opinion lies between these points of view, giving reasons and/or examples as justification.

This question is asking which point of view you agree with. The easiest way to write an essay in response to this question is to choose one of the positions given (i.e. either that homework is important or that children shouldn’t be given homework) and think of two reasons for holding this view. Give your first reason in the first body paragraph and your second reason in the second body paragraph.

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Click below for a sample answer.

Despite homework being a common component of children’s education, not everyone agrees on its value. While some people believe that children should not be required to do homework, I generally side with those who support its use because it reinforces classroom learning and teaches children discipline.

Firstly, homework serves as a crucial extension of classroom learning, offering children the opportunity to reinforce and apply the knowledge acquired at school. Through the completion of homework assignments, children can actively engage with academic material, turning theoretical concepts into practical understanding. For example, if they have been introduced to a scientific concept in class, their homework might involve conducting a hands-on experiment at home. This not only cements their comprehension of the subject matter, but also fosters a deeper connection with the material, creating a more holistic learning experience.

Regular completion of homework also helps instil discipline. As children learn to manage their time effectively and meet deadlines, they develop key skills that can be applied later in life. The discipline cultivated through consistent homework completion not only prepares children for the rigorous demands of future studies, but also equips them with a strong work ethic that will prove beneficial in their future careers. In this way, homework serves as a training ground for the responsibilities and expectations that they will encounter beyond the classroom.

In conclusion, as long as the homework given to children is meaningful, I believe it should form part of their education because it strengthens their understanding of what they learn in class and also helps them develop discipline.

Question 3

You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.

Some people choose to be self-employed rather than work for an employer. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed?

This question is asking you to give the advantages AND disadvantages of being self-employed, so you need to write about both. Also, because the plural forms are used, you should include more than one advantage and more than one disadvantage. The easiest way to structure an essay in response to this question is to put the advantages in the first body paragraph and the disadvantages in the second body paragraph. In the conclusion, I’d recommend including a statement about whether you think there are more advantages or more disadvantages.

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Click below for a sample answer.

The vast majority of people work as employees in a company, but a growing number of people are making the decision to work for themselves. While being self-employed has its benefits, there are also significant drawbacks.

There are clear advantages to being self-employed. First of all, those who run their own businesses are usually free to set their own schedules. Unlike employees, there is no requirement for them to work 9 to 5, so those who are more productive in the afternoon, for example, can simply start their workday later. In addition, the self-employed can pick and choose the projects they want to work on and the clients they want to work with. For instance, if a client is fussy or otherwise difficult to work with, business owners can opt not to work with them again. This can give self-employed people a sense of control over their work lives.

However, the disadvantages cannot be ignored. A significant drawback is the fact that people who work for themselves tend to have irregular income. This can have a detrimental impact on many aspects of their lives, including their ability to make long-term plans and apply for a mortgage. In addition, those who run their own businesses are not entitled to annual leave and sick pay. Even though self-employed people can take time off if they wish to, in practice they rarely do because of fear of losing clients and income. This situation can negatively impact their physical and mental well-being.

In conclusion, even though there are no doubt advantages of being self-employed, I believe that the significant disadvantages make traditional employment the right choice for most people.

Question 4

You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.

In many countries, it has become difficult for young people to afford to buy their own home. Why is this the case and what can be done about this problem?

This question is asking you to explain why young people in many countries find it hard to afford their own home, and also to suggest some solutions to the problem. The easiest way to structure an essay in response to this question is to put the causes of the problem in the first body paragraph and the solutions in the second body paragraph.

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Click below for a sample answer.

In many parts of the world, it has become very challenging for younger generations to be able to purchase a home of their own. There is a variety of reasons for this, but steps can certainly be taken to tackle the issue.

Several factors are to blame for the financial difficulty young people face when trying to buy a home. Firstly, population growth in many countries has led to greater competition among buyers, which drives up prices. In parallel, there is often too little construction taking place, which makes the situation worse as supply cannot keep up with demand. As prices have increased, it has become increasingly difficult for younger buyers to save for a deposit, which effectively locks them out of the housing market.

There are ways that this issue could be addressed. One solution is for governments to offer young people grants to help them afford their first home. Governments could place conditions on any such grant. For example, they could require that the property be a newly constructed one or that the money only be used to purchase a property in a regional area. Another way to deal with this issue is for governments to release more land for residential construction and offer builders financial incentives. This would help with the supply side of the equation. If there were more properties available, prices would inevitably come down.

In conclusion, young people find it difficult to afford their own home primarily due to supply and demand factors. Unless governments take action by offering grants to young buyers or by releasing more land for new homes, the problem is unlikely to go away.