IELTS WRITING TASK # 2016 Rio Olympic

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The table below shows the number of medals won by the top ten countries in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.

2016 Rio Olympic Games Medal Table

1United states463738121
2Great Britain27231767
4Russian Federation19181956
8Republic of Korea93921
Source: Rio Olympics website
Sample Answer:

The table provides information about the medal standings of the top ten nations in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Looking at the details, the USA topped the list with a total of 121 medals. This comprised of 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze medals. Notably, these figures were the highest as compared to any other country for all the three categories of medals. The medal haul of the second place holder, Great Britain, was significantly smaller than that of America, only 67.
China, on the other hand, won total 70 medals, three more than the GB. However, it slipped to the third place since it had fewer gold medals in comparison to the GB. The fourth position was grabbed by the Russian Federation with 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze medals. Interestingly, no other country had the privilege of winning almost equal number of medals in each category.
But, there are nations whose total medal tallies were almost equal. The fifth, sixth and seventh place holders, Germany, Japan and France had roughly the same total, 42, 41 and 42 respectively. Whilst, the summative figures were quite different for the eighth, ninth and tenth rankers (21, 28 and 29 in the order).
Overall, it is clear that the USA was the highest achiever in the 2016 Olympics, followed by the Great Britain and China. The differences in the type of medals won by the listed countries changed their rankings.


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IELTS Essay Sample Answer # Space Exploration

You should spend 40 minutes on this task.
Space exploration is very expensive and the money should be spent on other more important things.
Give your opinion in this essay.


Space exploration requires the best of technology, technicians and lot of effort, making it one of the most expensive things that human beings collectively do. Although, some people are of the opinion, that the money spent on space exploration should be saved and spent on other essential things required, I tend to differ.

Technology is the one thing that makes our lives easier and most of technology that we are using in present time is a result of space research. Like, satellite technology on which we depend for broadcasting and weather forecasting. Without satellites, it would not be possible to give warnings of an approaching storm! Even more, space research has also led to the development of lightweight materials that offer us heat protection and enable food preservation.

Environment destruction has begun and it has grasped the attention of the entire human race. No matter how far we have reached, we are dependent on our nature. Some believe that if in near future Earth diminishes or breaks down, we humans should have a place to live.

Overall, it cannot be denied that we are facing enormous issues on our planet, from poverty to wars to health issues, but in my opinion space research is one aspect that allows us to look towards our future. Spending entire money only on space research might make us broke, but completely avoiding it might just lead us no where.

Space Exploration


When an examiner checks your answer, there are few things that he or she mainly marks you on. They are-

1. Task Response

The introduction should perfectly paraphrase the question and give a clear opinion of the writer. This opinion needs to be supported in the body of the essay. You need to give concrete examples and ensure that the conclusion restate the writer’s opinion.

2. Coherence and Cohesion

The model answer should contain clearly divided paragraphs and their should be a perfect link between the different paragraphs.

3. Lexical Paraphrase

You need to make sure that the key concept is paraphrased several times. So, if the question is on computers, don’t use computers every time, you can find out other words to express the same thing. This is how your vocabulary is checked in the writing section.

4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Make sure that the answer is free from any grammatical errors. It should be a perfect balance of simple and complex sentences. You can use different voices, verbs and other grammatical devices such as conditional modals.

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Kolkata Guide # Improve Vocabulary

Kolkata is swaddled in multiple histories—19th century colonial grandeur, glamorous swinging sixties, violent Naxalite years, communist decades, and the slow arrival of 21st century glitter. It is a city of migrants and each community has imprinted its own culture onto a particular corner. Begin the weekend with a walk to understand the city’s multicultural past. Calcutta Walks offers a tour through old neighbourhoods of Central Kolkata inhabited by Chinese, Anglo Indians, Parsis, Jews, and Armenians respectively. One of the highlights of this walk is the hearty Chinese breakfast at Tiretta Bazaar, one of the stops along the tour. This is a true breakfast of champions as stalls offer assorted treats including fish ball soup and pork dumplings cooked by old Chinese mamas.

Old Guard

After this sampler, focus your attention on central Kolkata. No visit to the city is complete without a jaunt through Chowringhee, the erstwhile White Town of the British Raj. It’s also the name of an arterial road passing through the city centre, skirted by the sprawling green area called the Maidan on one side and magnificent colonial-era buildings on the other. Adorned in stucco-covered brick, many of these grand structures were residences of English officials and earned Kolkata the sobriquet of “City of Palaces.” A good point to begin any walk through Chowringhee is at the Esplanade Metro Station. It opens out into the hustle and bustle of shops lining the arcade leading up to The Oberoi Grand hotel or simply The Grand, the undisputed Grande Dame of the neighbourhood. Walk in through its gates to admire its elegant interiors and have a cup of tea or a glass of bubbly at their stylish coffee shop La Terrasse (15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road; 033 2249 2323; glass of wine from ₹700).

Shop Hop

Chaotic and colourful New Market is a five-minute walk southeast of The Grand. Officially named Sir Stuart Hogg Market, it was “new” over a century ago when it opened in 1874, but the name has stuck around. It is possible to find the most obscure things within the profusion of shops inside the market’s cheerful red Gothic-era facade. There are some items that every traveller must buy and these include silver jewellery from Tibetan-owned Chamba Lama, dense plum cake and chocolate brownies from legendary Jewish bakery Nahoum & Sons, and exquisite shawls from Pumposh Kashmir Shawl Emporium.


Eclectic Mix

From here, continue east for half a kilometre to Mirza Ghalib Street, also known as Free School Street, a place with a character as diverse as the people who live here. Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray was born here, in 1811, at house number 56B. Since 1884, the building has housed the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy, founded to educate the children of Armenians who settled in the city. Historical value aside, Mirza Ghalib Street is a hub for budget travellers to the city with a higgledy-piggledy assortment of backpacker hotels, cheap lunch homes, and shops festooned with Christmas tinsel all year round. It has a myriad biryani joints including the absolutely unmissable Arsalan (119A, Intersection of Ripon Street and Mirza Ghalib Street; 033-30990567; special mutton biryani costs ₹260). The street is lined with second-hand book shops and roadside stalls with an eclectic collection. There are rare editions or personal notes, bookends, and inscriptions that make each book a collector’s item.

Music Masala

Mirza Ghalib Street is also great hunting ground for music lovers and collectors, with rare cassette tapes and piles of vinyl hoarded in street stalls. The records may not always be in mint condition, but it is thrilling to go through boxes and discover rare singles by Jimi Hendrix, bootlegs of Grateful Dead, or albums by the Allman Brothers Band. The key to a good bargain here is the ability to haggle. Among the many makeshift shops, Record Prince near Lindsay Street is a good place to dig up treasures. For those who want to do more than just listen, stroll into Braganza & Co. (56C, Mirza Ghalib Street) or J. Reynold & Co. (15, Mirza Ghalib Street). These music shops stock an enviable collection of guitars, drums, electric pianos, and more. Friendly, knowledgeable shop attendants can suggest an instrument that fits your level and encourage you to try them out. If you are lucky you might witness an impromptu jam session by musicians testing out the equipment.

Food Head

At the head of the street, where Mirza Ghalib meets Park Street, is the atmospheric restaurant Mocambo, once a cabaret and jazz venue. Today it is a charming family joint, still serving up mean European fare like devilled crab, fish Florentine, and baked Alaska. (25B, Park Street; 033-22654300; meal for two ₹1,600 approx).

Park Street is Kolkata’s approximation of downtown and there’s much to explore here. Smoky kathi roll shops like Kusum Snack Bar churn out an unbeatable combination of egg, chicken, and mutton kebabs rolled in flaky parathas (21, Karnani Mansion, 033-30280478, rolls start at ₹30). It stands cheek by jowl with old-school fine dining restaurants like Kwality that have been making a mean saag meat and pindi chhole for many decades (17, Park Street, 033-30990567, meal for two ₹900). Legendary dive bars like Olypub and Moulin Rouge jostle for space with a lodge for the Freemasons. The 18th-century South Park Street Cemeterywith elaborate cenotaphs dedicated to British soldiers and government officers who died here is right next to St Xavier’s Collegiate School for Boys and the adjoining college, among the city’s premier educational institutions. Books bought from Oxford Bookstore’s well-curated collection are best browsed across the road at Flurys, a European tea room and iconic Park Street landmark.

Park Present

While there are malls and modern bars aplenty in the city, there is nothing more atmospheric than a night out at Park Street where the cult of music reigns supreme. In the swinging sixties and seventies, Park Street was regarded a Mecca of western music in India and stars like Pam Craine, Louis Banks, and Usha Uthup set the stage on fire. One of the popular spots is Trincas, a quieter version of its former self. Yet, it continues to draw old-timers and travellers alike with occasional pub quizzes, comedy evenings, and jazz afternoons. It offers good quality continental and tandoori fare and plenty of cheap chilled beer (17, Park Street, 033-22297825; meal for two ₹1,200). Right next door, is the swish The Park hotel. Its tiny English pub, Someplace Else, is a beacon to live music in the city. There is a fabulous band playing here on any given day of the week, filling the air with riffs of rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and blues.

End the night with a walk past Park Street’s shuttered shops, the road lined with yellow taxis waiting to take the last revellers home. Even in the late hours, the neon signs, fairy lights, and street lamps shine on. I don’t know if Kolkata is as charming as Ernest Hemingway’s Paris but, much like that city, it has a habit of staying with those who come here and remains “a moveable feast.”

swaddledwrap (someone, especially a baby) in garments or cloth.
grandeursplendor and impressiveness, especially of appearance or style.;high rank or social importance.
Naxalitea member of an armed revolutionary group advocating Maoist communism.
communista person who supports or believes in the principles of communism.
glittershine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light.
migrantsa worker who moves from place to place to do seasonal work.
imprintedimpress or stamp (a mark or outline) on a surface or body.
assortedof various sorts put together; miscellaneous.
dumplingsa small savory ball of dough (usually made with suet) that may be boiled, fried, or baked in a casserole.;a pudding consisting of apples or other fruit enclosed in a sweet dough and baked.
jaunta short excursion or journey for pleasure.
arteriala through road.
skirtedgo around or past the edge of.;be situated along or around the edge of.
sprawlingsit, lie, or fall with one's arms and legs spread out in an ungainly or awkward way.; spread out over a large area in an untidy or irregular way.
residencesa person's home; the place where someone lives.
sobriqueta person's nickname.
hustle and bustleA large amount of activity and work, usually in a noisy surrounding.
arcadea covered passageway with arches along one or both sides.
undisputednot disputed or called into question; accepted.
elegantpleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.
obscurenot discovered or known about; uncertain.
profusionan abundance or large quantity of something.
facadethe face of a building, especially the principal front that looks onto a street or open space.
exquisiteextremely beautiful and, typically, delicate.
higgledy-piggledyin confusion or disorder.
assortmenta miscellaneous collection of things or people.
festoonedadorn (a place) with ribbons, garlands, or other decorations.
tinsela form of decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil.; showy or superficial attractiveness or glamour.
myriada countless or extremely great number.
eclecticderiving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.
vinylsynthetic resin or plastic consisting of polyvinyl chloride or a related polymer, used especially for wallpapers and other covering materials and for phonograph records.
bargainan agreement between two or more parties as to what each party will do for the other.
haggledispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something.
strollwalk in a leisurely way.
enviablearousing or likely to arouse envy.
impromptudone without being planned, organized, or rehearsed.
cabaretentertainment held in a nightclub or restaurant while the audience eats or drinks at tables.
devilledact as a junior assistant for a lawyer or other professional.
approximationa value or quantity that is nearly but not exactly correct.
exploretravel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it.
culta system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.;a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
continentalforming or belonging to a continent.;coming from or characteristic of mainland Europe.
revellersa person who is enjoying themselves in a lively and noisy way.

Darjeeling # Improve Vocabulary


Toy trains, excellent tea, and impressive views of four of the world’s highest peaks. Darjeeling’s trademark charms are surpassed only by the niceness of its people, found wildlife photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee and Bollywood composer Shantanu Moitra on the West Bengal leg of their #100DaysInHimalayas project. Between February and December 2016, the duo will make a series of trips in the Himalayas covering reaches running from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, and into the neighbouring foothills of Nepal and Bhutan—and they’re taking National Geographic Traveller India along for the ride. Their latest dispatch is from Darjeeling. For centuries, the cool hill station at the foothills of the Himalayas, has been favoured as a health resort for its brisk weather, first by the British, and then by tourists across India and the world. It’s predictably lovely and laid-back, except on some days as this twosome found out.

Ice, Ice, Baby


When Moitra and Mukherjee visited, Darjeeling was reeling from an unexpected hailstorm that caused an hours-long traffic jam. “It was white, covered in 3-inch ice,” said Moitra. As soon as they checked into the hotel, Moitra recalled, “Dhritiman said it’s time to take photos now.” The hail had dented cars and smashed holes in roofs and windows. “That’s the difference between us,” Moitra says. “I say, ‘There’s chaos outside, let’s stay in.’”

Outside, they found a town making the most of the bizarre weather. Life was at a standstill and people were playing with the ice in the streets. It was lovely but Dhritiman was surprised with the number of international food-chain outlets. “The Mall Road now has CCD and KFC,” he said. At the very least, they should “blend with local culture; use Lepcha- or Gurkha-style design for the interiors.”

Hitting The Right Note

For Moitra, each place they visited came alive with the locals they encountered, and the stories they had to tell. At their colonial-era stay Cochrane Place in Kurseong—famous for birding and tea estates such as Makaibari—Moitra discovered that the hotel’s singer honed his craft on the road. A taxi driver by day with dreams of being a musician, the singer picked up playing the guitar from his church group, bought his instrument at a pawnshop, and expanded his repertoire by asking the Indian and international tourists he ferried daily to play their songs off the car speaker. “I suddenly remembered my college days, when I was not trained in music but I just enjoyed singing,” said Moitra. He was so impressed that he made a recording of the musician before leaving.

A World Without Pandas

En route to Sandakphu, West Bengal’s highest point, they met a tea-stall owner in his early 30s, who was involved in conservation efforts for the endangered red panda, native to the Himalayan forests of this region. The high school graduate had moved to Dubai to fund his kid’s education but returned two years later when he “realised that family is more important than money,” Moitra said. Deciding that he could just as easily put in the taxing 16-hour work days to develop his village, he started conservation work and joined in community initiatives such as coaxing locals to keep off alcohol and save up for solar panels to help their kids study at night.

Mountain Lessons

On their return from Sandakphu, Moitra and Mukherjee shared their jeep with a father and his sick child whose smiles and conversation showed no sign of the gruelling ride and the desperation at the remote access to a hospital. “The Himalayas have a really surprising happiness quotient,” Moitra said, who puts it down to the local philosophy: not to fight the elements but accept life as it comes. “The Himalayas teach me to stop complaining, and life will be better.”

Keep posted for updates from Mukherjee and Moitra, as this mountain bromance yields stunning photos of the Himalayas’ stark beauty, and stories of its charming people.

1ExcellentExtremely good; outstandingAccomplished, admirable, attractive, distinguished, exceptional, exemplary, exquisite, fine, finest, first-rate, good, great, magnificent, outstanding, skillful, sterling, superb, superlative
2ImpressiveEvoking admiration through size, quality or skill; grand, imposing or awesome.Dramatic, exciting, extraordinary, important, imposing, intense, massive, monumental, notable, profound, remarkable, splendid, superb, thrilling
3SurpassedExceed; be greater thanBeat, eclipse, exceed, outpace, outperform, outstrip, outweigh, pass, rank, top, best, better, cap, excel, outdistance, outgo, outmatch, outrank, outrival, outrun, outshine, override, overshadow, overstep, surmount, tower, transcend, trump
4dispatchSend off to a destination or for a purposeAlacrity, celerity, expedition, expeditiousness, haste, hurry, hustle, precipitateness, promptitude, promptness, quickness, rapidity, rustle, speediness, swiftness
5briskActive and energeticEnergetic, lively, quick, speedy, spry, vigorous, alert, animated, bustling, busy, adroit, agile, nimble, sprightly, vivacious, zippy
6predictablyAnything that you can see or know before it happensCertain, anticipated, calculable, expected, foreseeable, foreseen, likely, prepared, sure, sure-fire
7reelingWind something on to a reel by turning the reel.Addled, befuddled, bemused, bewildered, blind, blinded, dazed, dazzled, distracted, disturbed, dumbfounded, faint, light, muddled, puzzled, staggered, swimming, upset, whirling
8hailstormA storm of heavy hailBarrage, bombardment, rain, salvo, shower, storm, volley, broadside, cannonade, pelting
9bizarreVery strange or unusualComical, curious, extraordinary, fantastic, freakish, grotesque, ludicrous, odd, offbeat, outlandish, peculiar, ridiculous, unusual, weird
10outletsA pipe or hole through which water or gas may escape. OR A point from which goods are sold or distributed.Channel, aperture, avenue, break, crack, duct, egress, escape, exit, hole, nozzle, opening, orifice, porthole, release, spout, tear, vent, safety valve, way out
11encounteredUnexpectedly be faced with or experience; meet someone unexpectedlyBear, bump into, come across, come upon, confront, detect, experience, face, find, meet, run into, suffer, turn up, close, descry, espy, front, sustain, undergo
12estatesAn area or amount of land or property, in particularArea, farm, parcel, plantation, ranch, residence, acreage, demesne, domain, dominion, freehold, grounds, holdings, territory, villa
13repertoireA stock of plays, dances, or items that a company or a performer knows or is prepared to performRepertory, range, repository, reserve, stock, stockpile, store, supply
14ferriedConvey in a ferry or other ship or boat, especially across a short stretch of waterCarry, chauffeur, lug, send, ship, shuttle, tote, transport, bear, buck ,convey, pack, run, move across, schlepp
15musicianA person who plays a musical instrument, especially as a profession, or is musically talented.Artist, composer, conductor, entertainer, instrumentalist, performer, player, soloist, virtuoso, vocalist, artiste, diva, session player
16enrouteDuring the course of a journey; on the wayAdvancing, along the way, bound, driving, en voyage, entrained, flying, heading toward, in passage, in transit, making headway, midway, on the road, pressing on, progressing, traveling
17conservationThe act of conserving something, in particularCare, conservancy, control, maintenance, management, protection, supervision, attention, custody, economy, governing, guardianship, keeping, safe keeping, salvation, saving, stewardship, storage, supervising, sustentation, upkeep
18endangeredSeriously at a risk of extinctionThreatened, at risk, facing extinction, in danger
19nativeA person born in a specified place or associated with a place by birth, whether subsequently resident there or not.Endemic, indigenous, natural, constitutional, essential, fundamental, natal, original, real, wild
20graduateA person who has successfully completed a course of study or training, especially a person who has been awarded and undergraduate or first academic degreeAlum, alumnus, doctor, grad, recipient, baccalaureate, bachelor, collegian, diplomat, holder, licentiate, master, Ph.D, product, former student
21initiativesThe ability to assess and initiate things independently ; The power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.Action, drive, leadership, push, ambition, dynamism, energy, enterprise, enthusiasm, get-up-and-go, gumption, inventiveness, moxie, originality, punch, resource, spunk, steam, vigor
22coaxingPersuade gradually or gently to do somethingCajole, entice, induce, tease, tempt, wheedle, allure, barter, beguile, blandish, blarney, con, decoy, flatter, get, hook, importune, influence, inveigle, jawbone, lure, pester, plague, press, soft-soap, soothe, sweet-talk, urge, wangle, worm
23gruelingExtremely tiring and demandingArduous, backbreaking, brutal, demanding, excruciating, exhausting, fierce, laborious, punishing, strenuous, tiring, torturous, trying
24desperationA state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behaviorAgony, anguish, anxiety, desolation, despair, discomfort, fear, gloom, grief, heartache, melancholy, misery, pain, sorrow, unhappiness
25philosophyThe study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence, especially when considered as an academic disciplineAttitude, doctrine, idea, ideology, logic, outlook, reasoning, system, tenet, theory, thinking, thought, truth, view, viewpoint, wisdom, aesthetics, axiom, beliefs, conception, convictions, metaphysics, ontology, rationalism, reason, values
26complainingExpress dissatisfaction or annoyance about somethingGrumbling, protesting, whining, accusing, bellyaching, bewailing, charging, deploring, disapproving, discontented, dissenting, fretting, lamenting, moaning, mourning, murmuring, regretting, repining, weeping
27bromanceA close but non-sexual relationship between two men
28charmingVery pleasant or attractiveAbsorbing, alluring, amiable, appealing, attractive, charismatic, cute, delightful, elegant, engaging, engrossing, fascinating, glamorous, graceful, inviting, likable lovable, lovely ,pleasant, provocative, sweet, bewitching, electrifying, enamoring, enthralling, entrancing, fetching, infatuating, magnetizing, pleasing, ravishing, seducing, tantalizing, tempting, titillating, winning

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