IELTS Band Nine Essay: Is ambition a positive character trait?

Our band nine sample essays give you the opportunity to learn from successful essays that show off the best structure, vocabulary and grammar. This IELTS essay on ambition looks at if this is a positive or a negative character trait. Scroll down for why this essay scores a band nine.

Is ambition good? Band nine essay sample

This is my band nine model answer. Pay attention to the structure, grammar, vocabulary and general way I’ve answered the question.

Some people believe that ambition is a positive character trait. What is your opinion?

It is a common belief that being ambitious is something people should aspire to. In this essay, I will argue that this view is incorrect. First, because ambition leads people to be focused on the wrong thing. Second, because ambitious people can be unsatisfied.

First, if people are very ambitious, it can focus them on things that will not bring contentment. While ambition is important for a high-flying career, being too driven can lead to working overtime and spending less time with friends and family. Ultimately, as having strong relationships with others is more likely to lead to happiness, it is not good to be so ambitious in your career that you do not spend quality time with your loved ones. Similarly, when someone is too focused on achieving their ambitions, they can ignore exercise and hobbies which are also important for a good life.

Second, overly ambitious people can be insatiable. When someone who is highly ambitious achieves a goal, they may be satisfied for a short time. However, because ambitious people always want to be working towards a goal, they will soon replace their original goal with a new one and become dissatisfied again. For instance, someone whose goal is to be a millionaire may once they achieve their goal, quickly want to a multi-millionaire.

To conclude, ambition distracts people from what is truly important in life and causes them to never be satisfied with what they have. As a result, I believe that it is better to not be ambitious.

Why is this essay band nine?


In this section, I’ll explore all the vocabulary I think is useful or interesting from this essay. I’ve organised the words in the same order they appear in the essay

Aspire to

If you aspire to something, it means that you want to achieve it.


Contentment is a word for the state of feeling content. If you are content you feel satisfied.

High-flying career

A high-flying career is one where you are very successful.


A driven individual is someone who has lots of motivation.

Quality time

Quality time is time spent with someone where you give them your full attention and which brings you happiness.


If someone is insatiable, they are never satisfied with what they have.


A millionaire is someone with a million pounds, dollars or another currency. If you are a multi-millionaire, you have multiple millions. In other words, you have more than two million.


This essay question is an opinion-type essay. For this essay type, you want to present your opinion in the introduction. Then, you should give two reasons for your opinion in your two body paragraphs before answering once again with your opinion in the conclusion. This essay follows this format well. Another aspect of the essay structure worth paying attention to is how it outlines what the main points will be in the introduction and then recaps what they were in the conclusion.

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