I read a lot of academic IELTS essays but it’s quite rare that I see any form of conditional used. The use of these constructions sends a signal to the examiner. Second and third conditionals are a sign of B1users of the language and mixed conditionals are B2/C1.

You need to be incorporating a range of structures in your essays so be sure to consider conditionals. There are almost always opportunities for this in part two essays. Here are some examples in response to this question:

“Governments should spend more money on railways then roads. Do you agree with this statement or not?”

“If governments spend more money on rail travel, then it is likely that congestion on the roads will decrease.” (first conditional)

“If people travelled by rail for long journeys instead of driving, carbon emissions would decrease.” (second conditional)

“If the government had invested heavily in public transportation, the general public would have stopped using private vehicles for routine journeys.” (third conditional)

“If high-speed rail links between major cities had been constructed, there would now be economic benefits.” (mixed conditional)