CELPIP Writing Survey Response

Opinion Essay Format

When you complete your CELPIP writing survey response, you should use the opinion essay format. It includes:

1) Introduction

The introduction does three things. It:

  • Paraphrases the question so that your reader immediately knows what you’re talking about without looking at the question.
  • Offers your opinion
  • Provides a high-level outline of
    your 2 main reasons so that your reader knows what to expect

2) Paragraph 1

Start the first paragraph by stating your first main reason, explaining it, and then providing an example

3) Paragraph 2

Your second paragraph starts with a statement of your second main reason and then goes on to explain it and provide an example.

4) Conclusion

Your conclusion restates your two reasons and your opinion.

Why are there two CELPIP Writing Tasks

The reason that the CELPIP test asks for two pieces of writing is because they want to see that you are comfortable with both ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ communication. Therefore, for those higher scores, test-takers must show that they can express themselves about both.

Concrete communication

When we use the term ‘Concrete’, we mean something that has a physical form. In other words, you can see, smell, hear, taste, or touch it. For example, we would say that a ball, house, and shoe are all concrete objects.

Abstract Communication

When we use the term ‘Abstract’, we’re talking something that doesn’t have a solid form; for example, an emotion like fear, happiness, or danger. In order to describe these abstract things, you need to have a much higher level of English.

Should I write my Survey Response as a Letter or Essay?

You can write your survey response as a letter or as a survey, but whichever one you choose, make sure your format is consistent.

Whether you decide to write your response as letter or an essay, you should follow the opinion essay structure, avoid using contractions, and use the formal alternative of any words and phrases.

Always remember that this essay is not about you. It is about people in general. So, in other words, when you get to your example, it’s better to say ‘children’ and ‘siblings’ rather than ‘my children’ or ‘my sister’. For a compromise, you can do what I’ve done in this essay and say ‘many people, including my children…’

Letter format for your survey response.

If you decide to write your survey response as a letter, then you must write ‘Dear Sir’, or ‘Dear Mr. Jones’ at the beginning, ‘Regards’ at the end, and your full name to sign off.

You’ll lose points for formatting if you chose to write the survey response as a letter and forget to write your name!

Essay format for your survey response

If you decide to write your response as an essay, it’s really important that you don’t add a signature or salutation when you get to the end.

If your survey isn’t a letter to anyone, then there’s no-one to thank for anything. Therefore, you shouldn’t end your essay by saying that “whatever they decide will have your support“. You only need that personal phrasing in a letter. In an essay, your goal should be to be less personal.

“…When I started class with Angela, I was so confused. I understand much better now…”

How to complete a CELPIP Writing Survey Response

When you prepare your CELPIP writing survey response, your focus should be on writing well, expressing yourself efficiently, and ticking the examiner’s boxes.

Your examiner will be looking at your organization, vocabulary, phrasing, sentence variety, grammar, punctuation, and depth.

Below, you’ll find some tips on how to write a Survey Response, but if you need more help, please talk to us about tutoring.

Read and Understand the Question

Before you start writing your CELPIP Writing Survey Response, make sure that you understand the question. The question provides you with a situation and tells you to give your opinion about one of two options.

The question does not ask you to discuss the options. It doesn’t ask you to compare the options. The question simply asks you to give your opinion about one of the options and explain why you think the way you do.

It doesn’t matter which option you choose, but it helps if you can quickly choose the option you can justify best. For example, in the question below, I could quickly think of two reasons why I would prefer dragonflies, but I couldn’t think of a single one to justify choosing the chemical option; therefore, I chose the dragonfly option.

A typical survey response question looks like this:

How Long Should my CELPIP Writing Survey Response Be?

You have about 30 minutes to write your response, and it should be between 150 – 200 words. It’s best to say 25 minutes because that leaves you with five minutes at the end for correcting any mistakes.

Try to keep your word count to between 150 to 200 words because being able to express yourself efficiently is part of the test. In other words, if you can’t say everything with 200 words, then your English isn’t at a level, yet, where you can express yourself efficiently. On the other hand, the examiner won’t penalize you for using a few more words to make your point, but there may be a penalty for writing 250+ words because that shows the examiner that your writing is inefficient.

How to Start a Survey Response – The Introduction

When preparing your survey response, make sure you follow the opinion essay format. This format is what the examiner is expecting to see, but it also makes everything a lot easier for you if you practice this format over and over before going into the test. In the basic opinion essay format, you start with an introduction where you:

  • paraphrase the question
  • identify your two main reasons
  • offer your opinion.

For example, your introduction might look like this:

Here you can see:

  • A Paraphrase“Having lots of large fearless mosquitoes all over our city during the summer is causing many of our residents to stay at home.”
  • Two reasons – (a)“causing many of our residents to stay at home.” (b) “contaminating the environment is an unacceptable side effect.”
  • An Opinion – “I think that releasing dragonflies would be the most environmentally friendly solution as they would efficiently cull the mosquito population without adding chemicals.”

How to Write your First Paragraph

When you write your first paragraph, the goal is to quickly and efficiently introduce and develop your first reason. You’re trying to expand on the first of your reasons by explaining what you mean and then giving an example that proves what you mean. If you can get yourself into the habit of developing your statement with an explanation and then illustrating your point with an example, you should find that your essay comes together quite quickly.

It’s really important that you stay focused, so try not to add any extra details that aren’t related to the first reason that you support the option you’ve chosen. You should only talk about one reason in the whole paragraph.

For example, your first paragraph might look like this:

Here you can see:

  • A statement that identifies what the paragraph is about – “…have assumed unhealthy sedentary lifestyles…”
  • The explanation that elaborates on the statement“…rather than the active healthy lives typically associated with the summer months.”
  • An example that provides supporting details The fear of being bitten by jumbo-sized mosquitoes keeps them inside sitting motionless in front of movies and computer games.”

How to Write your Second Paragraph

When you write your second paragraph, the goal is still to quickly and efficiently introduce, and develop your second reason.

Here too, the easiest pattern is to follow your statement with an explanation and then provide an example.

Ultimately, your second paragraph might look like this:

Here you can see that:

  • The statement identifies what the paragraph is about – “We have tried several natural mosquito repellents… but nothing has worked.”
  • Your explanation elaborates on your statementAlthough a more drastic solution is required, using chemicals could potentially contaminate our water sources and adversely affect both the community and the environment.”
  • The example provides details that support your statement“…including spraying the liquid from boiled garlic, growing lavender, and emptying standing water.”

How to Write your Conclusion?

In your conclusion, restate your two main ideas and your opinion.

For example, Your conclusion might look like this:

Here you can see:

  • A Restatement for reason 1 – “…serious consequences of chemicals and the advantages of using dragonflies for residents…” 
  • A Restatement for reason 2 – “…the serious consequences of chemicals and the advantages of using dragonflies for the environment…”
  • An Opinion –Hopefully…  you will decide to use dragonflies to resolve our mosquito issue.”

Your final CELPIP Writing Survey Response might look like this:

This video provides more tips for How to prepare a CELPIP Writing Survey Response.

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To get an idea of your score, please paste your essay into the comments box below.

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14 thoughts on “CELPIP Writing Survey Response”

  1. Your local newspaper has sent you a survey to find out whether its readers would prefer more news or more discounts and offers. Respond to the survey identifying and explaining your preference for option a or option b.
    A. The newspaper should focus on local and international news.
    B. The newspaper should focus on discount coupons.

    In today’s modern world, information travels at a lightning speed. Despite this, the role of traditional newspapers is still crucial. I strongly believe that local newspapers need to keep the limelight on sharing the daily news to our society due to their informational value and their reliability.

    Firstly, we live in the age where false information can reach the public rapidly through social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok. This further strengthens the position of local newspapers as the sources used are generally believed to be authentic. Information published in the daily news are likely to be the product of a high degree of scrutiny and therefore less subject to false rumours or inaccurate information.

    Secondly, a large fraction of our public still relies on local newspapers as their main source of credible information. As such, reading the papers makes us more informed. Newspapers also act as a powerful tool to improve the writing and critical thinking abilities of the readers. Students and adults alike rely on newspapers for the diverse perspectives and sources of information.

    For both the above-mentioned reasons, I am of the opinion that local newspapers should stick to reporting local and international news. The informational benefits of these are beyond what any other platform can provide.

  2. Students should be asked to complete a research project to pass the course as this requires them to demonstrate strong analytical, problem-solving skills, and time management. Those abilities are more essential than getting a good score on the final exam.

    According to the latest study by The Times, students who are good at writing research projects tend to have a better career. The reason is mainly they need to harness strong analytical and problem-solving skills to provide insightful findings based on unstructured data. Students would be facing a lot of challenges when gathering data, they need to utilize their problem-solving skills to complete a project.

    For the sake of playing devil’s advocate, students who score well in the final exam may also demonstrate how well they deal with pressure and what a strong memory they possess. Nonetheless, the pressure students need to face when working on a research project could even be more, as they usually have a tight deadline. Managing their time wisely is another challenge they need to face and resolve.

    In short, students who score well on a research project has proven that they will be able to utilize all the knowledge they learnt from the university.

  3. Your manager is surveying your opinion about a scent-free workplace where perfumes and strong smells are not allowed. Many other workplaces in the city already have this policy.
    Choose the option that you prefer. Why do you prefer your choice? Explain the reasons for your choice. Write about 150–200 words.
    Option A: The workplace should have a scent-free policy.
    Option B: The workplace should allow people to wear scents.

    A scent-free policy provides a better working environment for all workers as perfumes and strong smells may distract employees in a negative way. The chemicals released by perfumes may also pose risks to people who have strong allergy reactions. Not only does a scent-free workplace harmonize the work relationship, but it also boosts job productivity.

    We are no strangers to a workplace that contains a myriad of scents. It is easy to find people wearing strong perfume, and eating food with strong spices and herbs. All these make the workplace an unpleasant place to work in. Scientific study shows that strong scents affect and distract employees negatively in a workplace. Imagine how a person concentrates on his work when he is working in an environment that is filled with scents like curry and fragrance.

    For the sake of being a devil’s advocate, this could be their right to wear perfume and eat food that has a strong smell. Nonetheless, we could not neglect the fact that some employees could have allergy reactions to scents, which may result in coughing, sneezing and an itchy throat. To foster a safe working environment for all employees, a scent-free policy seems to be necessary.

    As a result, everyone could enjoy a better work environment and improve the work relationship once a scent-free policy is implemented.

  4. Dear Mr. Ferro,

    I am writing to strongly support the idea of getting rid of our printers at the office. In this modern world, everyone seems to rely heavily on computers and digital devices to get access to the internet to stay on top of the latest industry trends. Once in a blue moon, you will see someone printing or making a hard copy.

    Having said this, there are myriads of perks of letting go of our printers. In support of the sustainable environment, we will not be consuming any paper and ink once we start making fundamental steps to go paperless. As such, we would be able to save more costs and reallocate those to our employees for other digital devices that may assist their day-to-day work.

    Moments we realized the papers being jammed at printers will be out of the picture. We no longer require support from the printer companies to get it fixed, so long as we decide to have all our printers removed.

    There could still be a few occasions that our employees will need to print something in hard copy. They are advised to find a nearby library or store that offers printing services to get it done. However, employees are encouraged to embrace our upcoming digital transformation.

    Best Regards,
    Belle

  5. Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am writing to express my interest in applying for the Tuition Program Award the school is planning to offer to an outstanding student. I have always aspired to become a journalist since I was little, as I believe that in many ways, journalism serves as a balance of power in a democracy and makes the voices of the less-privileged heard.

    Academically, I have been one of the top students in our class last semester, with a 3.8 cumulative GPA. One of my biggest achievements is that my story about the unfair wage system to less-privileged households has represented our school in a competition for young journalists. This golden opportunity enabled me to show my talent and apply my skills professionally.

    While the free press is an integral part of a democracy, I will continue to advance my career in this industry. To achieve my goal, I am planning to secure an internship position at one of the most reputable agencies in town and get a return job offer after I graduate from school.

    Yours sincerely,
    Belle

  6. Your city is planning to ban public smoking. The city has sent out an opinion survey to see what residents think about it.
    Option A: Smoking should be banned in public places.
    Option B: Smoking should not be banned in public places.

    The city’s plan to ban public smoking will not improve the city’s image but only worsen the situation. Smokers are anticipated to gather around in alleys or parking lots and likely throw away their cigarette butts on the floor without trash bins with built-in ashtrays. This will result in an unfavorable city image and a possibility that promotes the spread of respiratory viruses when more people have close contact.

    Smokers will not give up smoking even if a new ban on public smoking becomes effective. People will find new spots to gather around and avoid inspections. This will, however, create an unfavorable image, as people may find areas, like alleys or parking lots, shady and feel unsafe when they need to get through it.

    Large crowd gatherings will also pose a risk of Covid-19 spread, as smokers have close contact without their masks on all the time. This will potentially lead to a surge in new cases and present an unprecedented challenge to our health system.

    In short, we should not ban public smoking which will certainly do more harm than good.

  7. Smoking in public spaces could be aggravating, and it is true that exposure to secondhand smoke may cause harm to our health. However, banning people from smoking in public areas will only worsen the situation. Smokers likely gathering around in alleys or parking lots may further promote the spread of viruses. An increase in enforcement that follows may imply extra costs that will burden our embattled government.

    It is likely that smokers will prefer gathering around to smoke in shady areas, like alleys or parking lots to avoid regular inspection, however, this may increase the risk of spreading other respiratory viruses, such as Covid-19. With the drop in daily cases, the last thing we would like to see is another new wave of a surge in infections which will lead to a dramatic loss of human life.

    An increase in enforcement needs to follow once the policy becomes effective, and the extra cost will burden our embattled government that struggled with its budget. Resources could be allocated to other areas, like educating smokers about the adverse effects smoking brings to their health, to resolve the issue in the long run.

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