Unit 3. Health & Diet.

Practice Test 3.  Care Homes for the Elderly.

This practice test is an advantage / disadvantage essay (similar to the focus question). Using the focus question as guidance, complete an answer to the practice test, then get your writing corrected with feedback from the Essay Marking and Feedback Service.

Download the free PDF Practice Test (including answer sheet) 

Please note. To send your essays to the marking and feedback service, only Microsoft Word and WPS Word documents can be accepted (or files that can be copied into word documents) 

Advantages & Disadvantages Essay
Care Homes for Old People
Adobe Acrobat Document 204.8 KB

Recommended Approach for this question.

Suggested Outline for an Advantage / Disadvantage Essay.



- Read the question carefully and work out what type of question it is

- Brainstorm some new vocabulary from the question


See my free video for STEP 1 to see how I complete this important first step for the focus question. 


RememberNEVER just start writing without first planning your essay (you will write a better essay if you plan it first).


Brainstorm Ideas for Body Paragraphs

Because this is an advantage / disadvantage essay, you need to brainstorm 4 or 5 ideas for each body paragraph (you don't have to use all your ideas and some ideas will be better for developing than others, so it's always good to brainstorm as many as you can in about 2 minutes)



- Paraphrase the essay title using synonymous vocabulary, AND …

- Write a contrasting sentence in the introduction stating that you will write about the advantages and disadvantages in the body paragraphs. This will link to the body paragraphs.


See the free video for the focus question about A Free Health Service (STEP 2) to see how I do this.



- Write about the advantages or the disadvantages of providing health care for free. When you write about advantages, you will indirectly write about disadvantages as well, but it must be clear that you are highlighting advantages (and vice versa)

- Make sure you write a clear main idea.

- Try to write complex sentences and give examples to support your ideas.

- Write a summary sentence (optional)



-- In this second body paragraph, you should write about the opposite of what you wrote about in body paragraph 1 (advantages or disadvantages)Make sure again that it is obvious which viewpoint you are arguing or you may lose marks.

- Make sure you write a clear main idea.

- Try to write complex sentences and give examples to support your ideas.

- Do NOT write a summary sentence (because the summary conclusion is next)



- Write a contrasting complex (summary, not detailed) sentence that connects the advantages and disadvantages. Do not introduce new ideas in this paragraph. Make sure you give your opinion of whether there are more advantages than disadvantages. Not all questions require your opinion, but you can still infer your opinion even when the question does not ask for it. Watch my videos to see how to do this.


1) Make sure you use a transition signal.

  • To sum up / Overall / On the whole / On balance / In conclusion

2) Make sure you express your opinion.

  • ... in my opinion,  in my view,  I think 

3) Write a conditional or contrasting complex (summary, not detailed) sentence that expresses your point of view as the strongest idea. Do not introduce new ideas in this paragraph. 

  • ... although there are a number of advantages ... there are far more drawbacks ...

Now read and check your work for any mistakes. 


To see how I write a band 9 answer using this structure, refer to the video lessons

for the advantage / disadvantage focus question.

(The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Free Health Service)


You can also download the free e-book to see how I structure these steps in

more detail. 

Links for Unit 3. Health & Diet.