IELTS Practice Tests

How to write IELTS Essay. Examples and redundant words. Examples 101 – 110

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How to write IELTS Essay. Examples and redundant words. Examples 101 – 110

Topic 101: The children who grow up in a family short of money are more capable of dealing with problems in adult life than children who are brought up by wealthy parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Of those elements that bear a considerable influence on children’s personal development, one of the most influential is family background. There is a perception that the children who grow up in an impoverished family are more capable of solving problems than those from an affluent family. In my opinion, it might not always be the case.

One’s problem-solving abilities are mainly derived from the knowledge and experience obtained during his or her adolescence. Not surprisingly, children from poor families are less likely to maximise their education. First of all, their parents are unwilling to select a reputable school for them, as tuition fees can take up a large proportion of family income. Another reason is that education, in general, requires devoted time and energy, but many children have to work from an early age in order to supplement their parents’ income. Because of their poor educational background, they do not have specialised knowledge in solving problems as required in a specific area of work. They are thus at a severe disadvantage in problem-solving in a working environment.

Another problem that plagues the children from less advantaged backgrounds is their limited access to financial support and expert guidance. Children with highly-educated and rich parents are more likely to be better off economically, not only because they have sufficient financial backup but also because they can easily seek the support from others, for example, the friends of their parents, professionals in different occupations. It is true that compared with disadvantaged children, children from medium or high class families have many more opportunities to attend social functions like balls,banquets, and so forth, where they improve social skills, learn professional etiquettes and consolidate their social network. With a larger social network, they are at an advantage in problem-solving.

As discussed above, while children from a poor background are normally socially inept and less knowledgeable, those from middle or upper class families have easy access to resources. These distinctions corroborate the assertion that family background hasundisputed impacts on children’s problem solving abilities.

  1. impoverished = poor = indigent = destitute = disadvantaged
  2. affluent = wealthy = well-off = financially comfortable
  3. adolescence = teens = teenage years = youth
  4. at a disadvantage-in a weak position = vulnerable = disadvantaged
  5. plague = afflict = trouble = bother = beleaguer = harass
  6. function = gathering = social occasion
  7. banquet = feast = formal meal
  8. social network = social circle
  9. at an advantage = in a strong position = get the upper hand
  10. inept = incompetent = unskilled
  11. corroborate = support = substantiate = back up = uphold
  12. undisputed = undeniable = unquestionable

 

Topic 102: One’s character traits are strongly influenced by the place where he or she grew up. Discuss the impacts of an urban environment and those of a rural environment on a child’s character development

It is well acknowledged that healthy growth conditions in early life are the prerequisite of a child’s positive growth patterns. For this reason, some people are concerned about the impacts of living in rural or urban areas on a child’s character development. Below is an outline of the potential impacts of a rural or urban environment on a child’s personality and behaviour.

Poverty is one of the main problems in the countryside, eitherentrenched or escalating, leading directly to poor living standards. Because of parents’ limited disposable income, children in rural areas are less likely to receive adequate child care or comfortable housing than their urban counterparts. These conditions are crucial to children’s physical health and emotional well-being. Likewise, the soaring abuse and neglect rates in rural families negatively influence children’s character building. Children in rural areas are ready outlets for their parents, who feel frustrated and depressed in maintaining a standard of living. Raised in an environment where violence is normal and consequences of violence are ignored, children might grow up to be individuals who are less conscious of the rights of others (including family members and friends) and more likely to use violence.

Another problem is literacy. Low standards of education, which seem to be a defining characteristic of rural areas, are attributed to a mixture of factors—lack of public schools, children’s early involvement in income-generating activities and inadequate awareness of education. It is quite clear that income disparity between urban and rural families leads to the difference in the access to education, which has a bearing on children’s characters. While a well-educated child is confident, broad-minded, creative and cultivated, a poorly-educated child is inhibited, narrow-minded or even boorish.

In spite of the fact that urban children are able to receive an excellent education, it does not automatically mean that they will grow up without character flaws. In fact, it seems that they are more susceptible to bad habits and social evils. Illegal substances are more common among urban juveniles than among rural adolescents.Uniformity and lifelessness of outdoor environments is another problem. Garden settings, which are believed to have a healingpower for people living under great pressure, are rare in ametropolitan area. By comparison, children living in the country are more likely to access outdoor play, a recreation activity that can improve moods and prevent feelings of isolation.

Based on the points outlined above, I believe that environment has a direct bearing on children’s character development. Poverty and illiteracy are two common features of rural areas and can contribute to children’s negative characters. By contrast, children from urban areas are more likely to feel pressured and isolated, which can trigger erratic behaviour.

  1. entrenched = well-established = ingrained = deep-rooted
  2. escalating = rising = swelling = getting bigger
  3. disposable = used at will
  4. disparity = difference discrepancy
  5. bearing = influence = effect = impact = relevance
  6. broad-minded = tolerant = open-minded
  7. narrow-minded = bigoted = prejudiced
  8. boorish = ill-mannered = impolite = loutish = coarse = crude = vulgar
  9. uniformity = sameness
  10. lifelessness = dullness = insipidness = dreariness
  11. healing = curative = remedial therapeutic
  12. metropolitan = urban = municipal

 

Topic 103: Do you think it is good to push students to study hard in their youth?

High expectations for children are nothing new in today’s society. It leads to the tendency to push children to study harder and harder. In my opinion, the connection between effort and achievement is quite obvious and should not be denied.

As children grow older, they are more capable of learning more and the amount of time they spend in studying should increase correspondingly. Hard work can raise the odds of success by increasing their knowledge (both general and specialised), improving their abilities and expanding their skill set. All are essential to their success later in life. Without the full commitment to schoolwork, students might end up with struggling with Jailing school performance and even dropping out of the school.

Full engagement in schooling also matches the trends of a modern society. To succeed in today’s challenging economy, young people need advanced skills in core subjects like English, math and science, as well as the ability to use computers, solve problems effectively, think critically and work in teams. It appears that most students lack motivation to study and their attention can be diverted easily by such distractions as video games. Without an unmistakablemessage delivered to them that academic achievement is what makes them survive in this competitive world, they will not learn as much as their ability and effort permits.

Despite the great value of hardworking, one should bear in mind the fact that students of all ages need time to play and relax. They should be given freedom to develop their hobbies and encouraged to dabble in different activities, so they can learn in depth about the world, explore ideas and soothe themselves. Children’s tolerance for stress is another noteworthy issue. Failing to cope with stress might disable students from maintaining their interest in studying. A prolonged period of learning is disruptive to children’s learning outcomes, distancing students from critical thinking and turning them into rote learners.

From what has been discussed, studying hard is critical to a student’s success, helping him or her acquire more knowledge in his or her youth and leading him or her to focus on schoolwork. However, the balance between work and relaxation should be considered in equal measure. Parents and teachers are advised to help children design their timetables scientifically in case that they are fed up withstudying.

  1. connection = correlation = relationship = link
  2. odds = chance = probability = likelihood
  3. specialised = particular = specific = focused
  4. commitment = dedication = devotion
  5. distraction = diversion
  6. unmistakable = clear = unambiguous = clear-cut
  7. soothe = comfort = appease = pacify
  8. tolerance = forbearance = acceptance
  9. rote learner = learner who learns things by repeating them
  10. fed up with = tired of = bored with

 

Topic 104: Some people argue that it is good for children to stay away from their families and go to a boarding school. Others suggest that children live with their families and attend a day school. What is your opinion?

Many parents expect their children to live at home until college. However, there are occasions on which parents have to send their children to a boarding school, an educational institution not only giving educational instruction but also providing food and lodging. A boarding school, as an alternative to a day school, has its advantages and disadvantages, as outlined below.

The boarding school option means early separation from parents. For this reason, a student’s self-reliance and independence are bothbolstered. Living away from home, students have to make most of daily decisions by themselves. They have to adjust to another set of new circumstances and surroundings, which is a good opportunity for them to exercise a variety of skills, such as social skills. Rather than depending on their parents, students have to do the laundry themselves, manage their diets, and keep their bedrooms clean and tidy. They are more self-disciplined than those who attend day schools.

In addition, there is no denying that to many parents, a boarding school provides a choice that merits particular attention, and sometimes, the sole option. Geographic relocation, for example, presents a problem of educational continuity. Because of their career, parents might have to resettle in a neighbourhood where schooling facilities are inadequate. A boarding school is the best option to them, as it protects children from the influence of frequent relocations. It also suits those families where parents are so devoted to their work that they fail to bear care responsibilities.

Although boarding schools succeed in satisfying the needs of some families, opponents are concerned about their mixed impacts on children’s development. For example, their intervention on children’s academic years appears to be excessive. Extracurricular programmes occupy children’s free time and children are required to obey a large number of rules, most of which are stringent and redundant. Any minor mistake can engender punishment or even expulsion.Without permission, students cannot go outside defined school bounds It is no exaggeration to say that children are virtually living in an isolated world.

From what has been discussed, one can observe that a boarding school has its position in a fast-paced society, assisting children to enhance their independence and undertaking care responsibilities as areplacement of parents, although students might have to face limited contact with their families, communities and the loss of freedom.

  1. lodging = accommodation = temporary housing
  2. bolster = boost
  3. self-disciplined = temperate = moderate
  4. merit = deserve
  5. relocation = repositioning = moving = resettlement
  6. continuity = stability
  7. stringent = strict = rigorous = rigid = inflexible
  8. engender = provoke = cause = bring out
  9. expulsion = exclusion = discharge = kicking out
  10. without permission = without authorisation

 

Topic 105: People tend to believe that all young adults should undertake a period of unpaid work for the good of the community. Do you agree or disagree?

In recent years, it has become more and more common for societies to encourage and organise young people to work as volunteers for non-profit organisations and the community. Community service has even been proposed as a requirement for graduation in some middle schools. There is a lot of opposition to “mandatory” volunteer work, a term which seems to be self-contradictory. I agree that the voluntary participation of youths is required, but volunteerism is a preferred option to most youngsters in today’s world.

A fact to support volunteerism is that it allows young people to gain experience and exercise skills, which are beneficial for their performance in the future workplace. Most of the young workers that are volunteering have little social experience, as they spend much of their time at school. Working with others and interacting with people from all social backgrounds, they can enhance their abilities of problem solving, communication and teamwork. They are thus better prepared for the public life in the future.

Another benefit of volunteerism is the development of a young worker’s motivation to help others and serve the interest of otherswithout reward, a spirited fightback against individualism and egoism. A worrying trend in today’s society is that a young adult’s motivation is sourced more from individual interest than from the interest of others. Organising volunteer service on a large scale, especially among youngsters, can counteract the corrosive effect of this trend. Youngsters are directed to look after the good of others and help others without asking for payment or reward. In the long term, it upholds a sense of community, rebuilds the cohesion among members of community, and reduces distrust that is escalatingbetween people.

Despite those merits of organised volunteer work, participants’ entire willingness should be guaranteed. Otherwise, they would be less willing or likely to commit to their work. Instead of enforcing a policy without consulting young people in advance, schools can take another approach, showing youngsters the meaningfulness of their commitment to the local community. If possible, young adults can be given a range of options so they can choose one that is most helpful for their skill enhancement.

It seems from the above discussion that youngsters should be encouraged to participate in volunteer work, increasing both skills and their awareness of the long-run interest of the community in which they live. If administered well, volunteer work has benefits to both individual workers and the society as a whole.

  1. without reward = without payment = free of charge = voluntarily
  2. counteract = counter = offset = neutralise
  3. good = interest = benefit
  4. cohesion = unity = solidarity
  5. distrust = disbelief = suspicion
  6. escalate = worsen = intensify
  7. consult = discuss with = seek advice from
  8. meaningfulness = significance
  9. enhancement = improvement

 

Topic 106: Some people think that students benefit greatly from going to private secondary schools, but others assert that private secondary schools have a negative impact on the young generation and the society alike. Discuss both views.

Parents seem to have ongoing preference for a private secondary school, although they have to pay extremely high tuitions for their children. Despite the fact that a private school is very often associated with quality service, professional teaching staff, competitive courses, and excellent facilities, critics are concerned about the harmful effects of private schools on society. The merits and demerits of this argument will be explored below.

Unarguably, private schools outperform public schools based on their more flexible and advanced academic and extracurricular programmes. With this distinguishing advantage, private schools are capable of adjusting their programmes for students of different levels and assisting them to attain their objectives individually. Another remarkable quality of a private school is its proficiency informulating and promoting different non-academic programmes, such as group sports and outings to foster students’ physical, emotional and social well-being.

Private schools are also acclaimed as experts in addressing students’ discipline problems. Keen to consolidate its image as an excellent quality provider, a private school focuses not only on a student’s academic performance but also on their demeanour. For this reason, physical fights, drug use, bullying and other behaviour problems are less likely to be seen in private schools. On the other hand, private schools have high entrance requirements and tuition standards, resulting in relative homogeneity of students’ family background. Students are mainly from medium or high income families. Upbringing and strict school discipline jointly contribute to better behaviour of students. It is no wonder that most of private school students aregood-mannered and have a positive self-image.

Although the position of a private school as a well-qualified education provider is prominent, it benefits some sections of school-age populations only. Because of tuition fees, a private school is accessible only to those who are able to pay, rather than those who are able to learn. It has denied most students’ access to quality education, potentially causing the gap between rich and poor to widen.

The arguments presented above have created a dilemma when people evaluate the effects of a private school on society. On the one hand, the private school is better than the public school in many aspects, such as teaching staff, learning environment and facilities. On the other, it tends to discriminate against students from low income families by maintaining high tuition fees. While teenagers from high income families continue to benefit from their social status, those of a lower class suffer enormously from lack of educational opportunities.

  1. demerit = bad quality
  2. outperform = perform better than = surpass
  3. distinguishing = distinctive = unique
  4. formulate = devise = invent
  5. consolidate = strengthen = secure
  6. homogeneity = sameness
  7. good-mannered = courteous = polite = cultivated = refined = educated
  8. deny = reject = decline = turn down
  9. dilemma = quandary = predicament = impasse

 

Topic 107: Some people believe that students who graduate from high school should have one year’s time to obtain work experience before going to university. Do you agree or disagree?

Schooling plays an integral part in individual’s life. At the end of high school, students who wish to continue with their education face two probable choices — either suspend their study for a year to obtain work experience, or go straight into university. The second choice appears to be more sensible.

Coming fresh out of high school, students do not have a clear understanding of the harsh realities of the world. Either in academic background or in work experience, they are not in a strong position to undertake early employment. Exposure to an unpredictable anddaunting world will easily cause a sense of frustration and shake their confidence, both having a devastating effect on their development later in life.

Another problem of early employment is that most young people are not able to make a correct career decision. Choosing a career requires sufficient knowledge of one’s own strengths, aptitudes and the trends in the job market. Most young adults, unfortunately, lack such knowledge. Their initial experience in a job might lead them to jump on a conclusion and devote themselves to a career without careful consideration. So fast is their fondness for this job that theiraffinity to the job is mostly ephemeral. It can ruin their entire working lives.

Another noteworthy problem of working is that it might divert a young adult’s attention from his or her previous academic objectives. If students give up the opportunity of being educated and pursueother ventures, they will lose their abilities and willpower to learn something carefully and patiently. The side effect ofdisengagement from schooling might not be significant in the first several years, but with age, it will surely disadvantage them a lot. Before long, disillusioned with early employment, young people might resolve to resume study but soon discover that they are not suitable for a learning environment any more.

It is therefore clear that students should not attempt a career life once they finish high school’s study. Instead they should go to college directly, and ensure that their future is built on solid foundations, before exploring what else life has to offer.

  1. schooling = education
  2. integral = vital = central = fundamental
  3. suspend = defer = postpone
  4. sensible = rational = reasonable
  5. harsh = cruel = ruthless
  6. daunting = intimidating = demoralising = discouraging
  7. fondness = affection
  8. affinity = liking
  9. ephemeral = short-lived = transient = fleeting = brief
  10. pursue = practice = engage in
  11. venture = undertaking
  12. disengagement = disconnection = severance
  13. disillusioned = disenchanted = disappointed = disheartened
  14. resolve to = decide to = be determined to
  15. resume = recommence-restart

 

Topic 108: In order to improve the quality of education, high school students should be encouraged to evaluate and criticise their teachers, but others think it will result in loss of respect and discipline in classroom. What is your opinion?

Teacher appraisal is not a new instrument in improving teaching performance or developing teacher training. However, when it comes to inviting the input of students and seeking their comments on teachers’ performance, there is disagreement. Some people object tothis practice, saying that it leads to the loss of respect and discipline. In my opinion, students’ participation in teacher appraisal is definitely helpful, but it should be administrated properly.

A strong argument for using student ratings to evaluate teachers is that students’ judgement is reliable and impartial. Because of their ongoing interaction with teachers throughout the semester, students have the authority to measure the performance and competence of a teacher, with the knowledge they have obtained from learning and the stance they have adopted toward the subject taught A critical analysis of students’ feedback enables teachers to enhance their competence and adjust teaching aims and methods for better attainment of students’ learning objectives.

Students are also concerned about whether the teacher is fullycommitted to his or her job. The value of a teacher is determined as much by competence as by commitment. The school can therefore assess the performance of a teacher by collecting students’ feedback on some observable facts, such as a teacher’s punctuality and thelegibility of his or her writing on the board. Teachers who perform poorly are advised to reflect deeply on their teaching practice, the drawbacks in particular, which is the key to the improvement of their performance.

Despite those overt advantages of encouraging students’ input, analysis of their input is important and should be handled carefully. Misinterpretation of students’ opinions might leave teachers aninaccurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses and lead them into a poor judgement about what they can do to satisfy the needs of their students. It is also important to guide teachers to perceive the feedback sensibly; otherwise, they might have feelingspowerlessness.

What has been discussed is to support a notion that students’ input provides an important source of data for evaluating teachers, helping teachers not only to discover their disadvantages but also to make an improvement.

  1. object to = disapprove of
  2. argument = reason justification
  3. impartial = objective = unbiased = unprejudiced
  4. stance = attitude = position
  5. committed = devoted
  6. commitment = dedication = devotion
  7. observable = apparent
  8. punctuality-timekeeping
  9. legibility = readability
  10. reflect on = meditate on = think over
  11. inaccurate = imprecise = erroneous = incorrect
  12. sensibly = wisely = prudently
  13. powerlessness = lack of authority

 

Topic 109: Schools should teach children the academic subjects which have a close relationship with their future careers, so other subjects like music and sports are not important. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

There are many indications that schools have become increasingly vocation-oriented in recent years, with integrating many work-based courses in curriculum. Some academics advocate that sport and music classes should be cancelled in exchange for more academic classes, in an effort to help students beat other jobseekers. This argument has several strong elements that deserve attention.

The first is that few employers are interested in a job applicant’s performance as music lover or sports fan. Instead, they are keen to assess candidates’ academic records and professional skills. At a time when business grows complex and skill-based, the evidence that candidates have sufficient knowledge relating to their job profession is more capable to attract the eye of recruiters. A student excelling in a subject is far more marketable in the job market than one playing a music instrument adeptly, or displaying talents in a sport.

Another reason is that students, in most cases, engage themselves in sports or music spontaneously. There is no need to formalise their pastimes, when the amount of time they spend in academic activities is desperately inadequate. Teenagers and young adults have plenty of energy to expend daily. Even when heavily loaded with learning tasks, they exert themselves for outdoors and group activities. They gather for sport activities and concerts, but seldom review their textbooks after school. Given these elements, the top priority for educators is to maximise students’ contact with academic classes at school and to recommend sports and music as extracurricular activities only.

The above discussion favours a conclusion that sport and music classes should be cancelled so students are more likely to commit themselves to academic courses, which are more important to their future employability.

  1. excel in = do well in = be skilful in
  2. adeptly = adroitly = dexterously = skilfully
  3. spontaneously = impulsively = instinctly
  4. desperately = extremely
  5. expend = release = consume = use = use up
  6. loaded = laden = burdened
  7. exert oneself = work very hard

 

Topic 110: Today, more school leavers are unable to find jobs. Discuss the causes of rising unemployment among young adults and suggest any solutions.

Unemployment is one of the greatest social problems of our time. The young adults’ unemployment is, in particular, a troubling issuepreoccupying many governments across the world. Economic recession or volatility is very often presumed to be the main reason, but there are some other forces that foster the consistency of young adults’ unemployment, which can be analysed and tackled separately. This essay will present an overall view of these causes and potential solutions.

The biggest single cause of rising unemployment among young people is their lack of work experience and qualifications. Fresh from high school or college, young jobseekers generally have little, if any, practical experience. Besides, most of the knowledge they have acquired is from text, which is not satisfactorily consistent with the general practice in the workplace. This weakness can be fatal at a time when the market has a strong preference on skilled and experienced applicants, who are ready to fill vacancies without requiring any job training. It is also the reason why employers tend to believe that young candidates possess less value than do those already in the workforce.

Another cause of high unemployment is placed at the feet of the youth themselves. Before they reach the working age, young people have little interaction with the world outside the classroom, and, as a consequence, they know little of the situation of the labour market. By the time they graduate, they have an inaccurate picture of the world. It leads to their exceedingly high occupational and wage aspiration. In addition to remuneration and financial incentives, young applicants might have other requirements, such as working environment. It causes them to lose many opportunities to join the workforce immediately.

Tackling youth unemployment requires the commitment of both society and youngsters themselves. The government can provide employers with taxation incentives for recruiting young workers. Low-cost courses, especially job training courses, should be made available for the young unemployed. Consultancy services can be provided free of charge, giving youngsters instruction on job-seeking and helping them make proper adjustment from school to work.

As suggested above, lack of work experience and inappropriate attitudes toward employment are two main reasons that account for youngsters’ unemployment. For young people, possibly nothing can be more abrupt than the transition from school to work. In reducing unemployment, the government should play an active role and take a number of measures, with the emphasis placed on improving young people’s skills and adjusting their job attitudes.

  1. troubling = worrying = disturbing
  2. preoccupy = obsess = possess = fixate
  3. presume = assume = believe
  4. jobseeker = job applicant = job candidate
  5. fatal = deadly = lethal
  6. skilled = skilful = experienced = competent = :proficient = well-trained
  7. free of charge = at no cost = without charge
  8. adjustment = alteration
  9. abrupt = sudden = unexpected

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