IELTS Challenge #1 | The Environment in 30 minutes | IELTS Skills Building Exercises

IELTS Challenge #1

IELTS challenges are designed to help you practise/learn using vocabulary and grammar closely associated with topics and skills require in the IELTS test. They are designed to help you think faster, develop wider vocabulary and variety in expressing your ideas and to make you more creative when tackling IELTS topics, especially in the speaking and writing sections.

You should be able to complete this WOD in around 30 minutes. If it takes you more time, don't worry, just keep practising and you will get faster, better and more confident.

Good Luck!

IELTS Challenge #1 | The Environment

  1. Write down 20 words associated with the environment.
  2. Identify at least 3 environmental problems.
  3. Identify a minimum of 3 causes of pollution.
  4. Describe a solution for one of the above (an environmental problem or cause of pollution)in no more than three sentences.
  5. Rewrite the following sentence in as many different ways as you can in 1 minute:
    The threat of climate change is perhaps the biggest environmental problem facing the world.
  6. Complete the following 5 conditional sentences related to the environment:
      If we continue to create more pollution, ...
      If we recycled more, ...
      If more people used electric cars, ...
      If we started to consume less, ...
      We will only be able to stop using fossil fuels for our energy needs if ...
  7. Write down 5 examples of phrasal verbs and how you could use them in relation to the environment.
  8. Write down 5 examples of adjectives and their opposites which are related to the environment.
  9. Rewrite the following comparative sentence 5 different ways (Do not change the meaning!):
    New York has much more pollution than London.
  10. Give 3 examples of environmentally friendly policies/activities/schemes in your own country/city/school/workplace.


  • 1.
    1. pollution, 2. landscape, 3. climate, 4. urbanization, 5. rural, 6. green policy, 7. renewable energy, 8. global warming, 9. green belt, 10. ecosystem, 11. fossil fueled,
    12. acid rain, 13. greenhouse, 14. contaminated, 15. emissions, 16. gases, 17. poaching, 18. waste management, 19. endangered species, 20. carbon dioxide:
    and some additional bonus words...
    recycle, biodegradable, genetically modified, organic, unleaded petrol, environmentalists, degradation, legislation, overfishing, greenhouse effect, ozone layer, destruction, waste disposal, overpopulation, bottle bank, carbon dioxide, climatic change, sea level, re-use, energy efficiency, radioactive waste, toxic waste, CFC gases.
  • 2. climate change, pollution, rising sea levels, floods, droughts
  • 3. industrial pollution, emissions from transport, waste disposal methods
  • 4.
    Waste disposal methods:
    Ensure that as much waste as possible is recycled initially to avoid burning or burying excessive amounts of waste which then cause emissions, such as methane, into the atmosphere and in the case of landfill sites, also occupy valuable space.
  • 5.
    (a) The gravest problem the world faces is probably that of climate change.
    (b) Climate change poses the most serious threat to the world.
    (c) The world faces various problems; the most serious of them being climate change.
    (d) Of all the problems the world is faced with, climate change is the most threatening one.
  • 6.
    If we continue to create more pollution, the problem will only become worse.
    If we recycled more, there will be less waste which needs to be sent to landfill sites.
    If more people used electric cars, there would be lower emissions from private transport.
    If we started to consume less, factories would produce less, there would be less international transport required, and there would be less pollution.
    We will only be able to stop using fossil fuels for our energy needs if we fully develop our renewable energy capabilities and resources.
  • 7.
    1. set up – Local communities should set up better recycling schemes.
    2. opt out – Countries should not be allowed to opt out of international climate change policies.
    3. break down – It requires an extremely long time for plastic to break down once it is buried in the ground.
    4. get onboard – It’s essential that everyone gets onboard with environmental policy in order to ensure its success.
    5. phase in – Environmental solutions can’t just be implemented overnight, they need to be phased in over a period of time.
  • 8.
    organic / inorganic
    environmentally-friendly / environmentally-unfriendly
    healthy- unhealthy
    contaminated / decontaminated/uncontaminated
    renewable / non-renewable
  • 9.
    New York has much more pollution than London.
    London has much less pollution than New York.
    New York is much more polluted than London.
    London is much less polluted than New York.
    The level of pollution in New York is far greater than that in London.
    The degree of pollution in London is considerably less than that in New York.
  • 10.
    Community: A community recycling scheme where residents can deposit glass, plastic, paper and aluminum in recycling bins which are then later collected and taken away to be sorted, processed and recycled.

    Workplace: all plastic packaging used in the warehouse is recycled by an outsourcing company and then reused by the company. All waste paper is also collected and sent for recycling. Internal office printing is done using recycled paper.

    National: The government offers subsidies to homeowners who adopt renewable energy production, such as solar panels. The subsidies cover some of the installation costs and there is also a scheme to buy back excess electricity generated by homeowners.

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IELTS Challenge #2