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Some people believe that anyone can create art such as painting,

poetry, music and so on. Others think that a person should have
special abilities to create art. Discuss both views and give your
opinion.
Band 9.o Model Essay:

Art is a diverse range of creative activities that express the creator’s


imaginations. Naturally one can assume, to create art all you need is a good
imagination. However, some others believe that you need to learn special
skills to become an artist. This essay shall discuss both the views in detail.

Any person with a creative vision and ingenuity can create art forms such
as writing poetry, painting, or composing a song or two. Drawing up a
mental picture of your feelings and expressing them effectively on paper
will make you an artist. For example some people are sometimes driven by
longing or grief for someone, which makes them spill their feelings out in a
song or a painting. This is why people feel that creating art is not that hard
and can be attempted easily.

On the contrary, there are people who firmly opine that without learning
how to express creatively, imagination alone cannot help one become an
artist. It requires years of training for people to become great artists. To
become a musician for instance, one needs to learn all the fundamentals of
rhythms and melodies; to play a guitar one needs to learn all the right
chords. It doesn’t help if your imagination is vivid; you need to know the
correct technique of expressing the same to distinguish your creation from
the ordinary mediocrities.

To conclude, I’d like to say that as easy as it sounds, creating art is


definitely not a piece of cake. Sure, one might be innate in some art forms,
but enhancing that skill is very important to create masterpieces.

(266 words, written by Devanshi Shah) 

1
People living in large cities today face many problems in

their everyday life. What are these problems? Should

governments encourage people to move to smaller

regional towns?

It is true that people in major cities are confronting a number of problems


in their routine life. This essay will discuss some of these problems and
explain the writer’s view that citizens should be encouraged to relocate to
the countryside or regional towns.
The urban population is grappling against two main problems out of many.
The first issue is the lower quality of life due to the increasingly heavier
burden on the existing urban infrastructure. This is because rural
immigrants in pursuit of employment opportunities keep inundating the
downtown areas of most major cities. For example, most schools and
hospitals located in XYZ city are frequently overloaded, making these
services inaccessible to the majority of people of lower classes. The second
issue is the traffic jam due to the burgeoning car ownership. Arguably, cars
take up more space than a motorbike while its capacity to accommodate
passengers is far inferior to that of a bus. This weakness results in bumper-
to-bumper traffic, particularly in downtown areas where many drivers have
to inch along to get away from the terrible traffic.

I think government should encourage citizens to move away from major


cities. This is due to the fact that this would relieve the current pressure on
the infrastructure. Fewer people would need public services such as
hospitals or schools and the roads would be more spacious, ensuring a
smooth traffic flow with its resultant fewer accidents for city dwellers. In
addition, the resources in the countryside or other less developed regions
would be better exploited as there might be available workforce there. For
instance, there would be more laborers during harvesting time in the
countryside, or skilled or knowledgeable people would help with the
construction work in smaller regions, spurring the growth of the local area
as well as the nation as a whole.

In conclusion, there are many problems that people in cities are facing, and
it is advisable that government encourage the residents to consider
relocation to smaller regional areas with a view to solving these issues.

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Scientist agree that people are damaging their health by eating
too much junk food. Some people think that the answer to this
problem is to educate people. Others think education will not
work. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Band 9.0 Sample:

Scientific findings have clearly indicated that the excessive consumption of


fast food is leading the health of people to deterioration. According to some
people, this unhealthy practice can be stopped by means of education;
however, some others have little faith in this solution. As the supporters of
each view have their own justifications, whether education is effective
remains to be seen in this essay.

On the one hand, raising the awareness of people towards the dangers of
unhealthy food can certainly yield some promising outcomes. Firstly, many
fast food products provide very little or no information on the nutritional
content in them, deterring the consumers from knowing the amount of fat,
sodium or cholesterol which they take in. By being informed of how much
of these harmful substances is contained in their favourite hamburgers or
chips, as well as being shown the likely consequences of over-eating these
foods, consumers can be more cautious the next time they choose their
food. Secondly, education at schools can help to form healthy eating habits
for children and parents. For instance, schools can hold some
extracurricular activities such as growing and selling vegetables with the
attendance of both students and parents, in order to promote the benefits
of healthy diets and warn against the potential risks of junk food.

On the other hand, some people doubt the effectiveness of education for
certain reasons. To begin with, despite being aware of the negative effects of
fast food, many people who are too busy persist to eat it due to its being
convenient and time-saving. In this case, education hardly makes a
difference as they have made a choice. In addition, compared with the wide
range and availability of fast food stores and menus, healthy food is
seriously limited. Furthermore, healthy food is commonly inferior to fast
food in terms of taste and prices as a matter of fact. As a result, however
convincing education is, it is almost impossible for people to change their
eating habit without a ready alternative to their unhealthy food choices.

In conclusion, people have different opinions about whether to support


education so as to reduce people’s consumption of fast food. In my opinion,

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education can be a viable measure with careful consideration of other
impediments. 

 faith: trust in somebody’s ability or knowledge; trust that


somebody/something will do what has been promised ( 
==>He has blind faith (= unreasonable trust) in doctors’ ability to find a
cure.
 To deter somebody from doing something
==>The high price of the service could deter people from seeking advice.
 Extracurricular: not part of the usual course of work or studies at a
school or college 
==>She is involved in many extra-curricular activities.
 Inferior: not good or not as good as somebody/something else 
==>Modern music is often considered inferior to that of the past.
 Impediment: something that delays or stops the progress of
something 
==>The level of inflation is a serious impediment to economic recovery.

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Some people believe that international trade and
communication with other countries is a positive trend, while
others think it is harmful to nations and they might lose their
identities. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this
statement? Give your own opinion and relevant examples.
Global communication and trade, at the turn of the 21st century, have
brought about many effects. On one hand, they’re blurring technological,
economic, political, and cultural boundaries, however on the other they’re
said to be crushing a country’s individuality. I personally believe in the
former opinion more, which shall be reasoned out further in this essay.

Outsourcing is one of the negative impacts of world trade, where a country


loses majority of its jobs to workers in foreign; a stark example is the
outsourcing of companies from the US to Indian BPO (Business Process
Outsourcing) units. Another, is the increasing reliance on foreign brands
compared to local equivalents, for example imported chocolate cookies
have more consumption rates than the ones produced by local companies.
A large blame is to be put on social communications for creating an
overhyped necessity for foreign brands in one’s lifestyle. Such factors are
considered to be a significant blow to a country’s own economy and morale
of its producers thereby giving rise to the statement in the question.

Looking at the pace international trade is increasing tells us a different


story though. In contrast to the ill-effects mentioned above, a number of
advantages are put forward by people beckoning world trade to boom.
International trade is beneficial to world economy. It adds to the money
coffers of the world at large. Every country can benefit monetarily if it is
able to dispose off its surplus goods after meeting the requirements of the
local people. Consequently the wages and lifestyles of the people
automatically start climbing. There’s no stopping globalization so as to
consider it; a practical approach would be to take on its positive aspects and
work in an according direction to prevent this phenomenon from becoming
harmful.

Concluding this topic as a positive trend for the world economies, I would
like to say that countries cannot live in isolation. They have to mutually
share their prosperity, technical know-how and undertake trade in order to

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sell their surplus products. The world economy is inter-dependent.
Economic progress of a nation would depend upon its ties with other
countries.

                                                                                                                    (351 words)

Some people say that when children under 18 are committing a


crime they should be punished, while others believe they should
be educated. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this
statement? Give your own opinion.

Band 9.0 Model Essay:

Cases of juveniles committing crimes are on the rise lately. While it is


absolutely necessary to punish those guilty of committing crimes, an
argument put forward in this case suggests underage criminals should be
made aware about their actions rather than being punished straightaway.
This essay shall discuss the extent of feasibility of both solutions in the
interest of the society.

Over the last few years, there has been a worrying increase in the numbers
of young offenders being reported, where many of them are involved in
instances of burglaries, robberies, shoplifting and even street muggings. In
the hostile environment that we live in, it becomes necessary to nip such
problems in the bud, lest the youngsters become full-fledged criminals
when they grow up. Many believe that the children of today’s generation are
very much aware and intelligent, than the ones 30 years ago, to
comprehend the actions around them. Many a times they aren’t even
remorseful for their actions. Therefore, they should be tried in courts as
adults and punished according to the severity of the offence regardless of
them being underage.

In contrast, a lot of people also believe that such treatment of teenage


offenders might not be the best solution. Knowing the reason behind the
crime committed is an essential factor in deciding the punishment to be
given. The environment during the upbringing of a child too influences his
mentality to a great extent. Most of the research cases in this matter have
indicated that children who commit crimes, mostly do so because of
some trauma they have themselves suffered from in the past. It is only
logical that the judgement of right and wrong of such children becomes
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impaired; therefore they should be educated about the same, and not
punished. Rehabilitating them and flushing all aggression from their minds
is giving them a deserved chance to live a better life, as they still have a lot
of growing up to do.

To conclude, this being a sensitive and debatable issue, in my opinion, I feel


the primary course of action for underage criminals is to provide them
guidance regarding the consequences of their actions. I don’t fully agree
with not punishing them at all; the extent of the punishment should be
decided by the circumstances and the attitude of the offender, whether he
ispenitent or not.

(391 words)

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Topic (16 June, 2016): Most large companies

nowadays operate multi-nationally. To what extent multinational

companies have responsibility toward local communities in

which they operate?

Today it is not uncommon to see many large-sized enterprises often base


their offices in numerous countries. Coca Cola, Samsung or Google, to
name but a few, are typical examples of these multinational corporations
which arc present in almost all comers of  the world. It is suggested that
such companies should have social responsibility, especially to the local
communities.

One social obligation that owners and managers have is to create job
opportunities to the locals and treat them well, rather than ¡exploiting
them. For example, they could pay a ‘living wage” to ensure that the local w
orkers have a good quality of life. I also like the idea that businesses could
use a proportion of their profits to Support local charities environmental
projects or education initiatives. Finally, instead of trying to minimise their
tax payments by using accounting loopholes. I believe that company bosses
should be happy to contribute to society through the tax system.

On the one hand, the degree of responsibility should be limited because


businesses must make money in order to survive in a competitive world. If
a company is unable to pay its bills or meet the changing needs of
customers, any concerns about social responsibilities become irrelevant. In
other words, a company can only make a positive contribution to society if
it is in good financial health. Therefore, it must guarantee its work
productivity first. This would mean that the local workers have to meet a
certain standard like graduating from secondary school to be given a job.
Another point is that not all large companies are well-known or financially

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successful, so it is not reasonable to expect a huge economic incentive from
them. They have need to invest in improvements and innovations if they
wish to remain competitive.

In conclusion, multinational companies with good reputation and high


revenues should make their contribution as much as possible, whereas it
unreasonable to force other less successful or well-known ones fulfill this
responsibility.

Some believe buildings should be built in a way that serves their


purpose rather than just look beautiful. Others, however, say
buildings should represent art too. Discuss both views and give
your own opinion.

IELTS Band 8.5 Essay

Constructing buildings is a complex process that needs to cater to the


primary purpose of the construction as well as the requirement of looking
distinguished. While some buildings successfully integrate both, some
however are inclined towards only one of the two factors. This essay shall
discuss the relevant conditions for constructing a building.

There are a lot of examples in the world regarding buildings that are
artistically rich as well as sturdy in their construction. The Florence
Cathedral in Italy, the Taj Mahal in India, the palace of Westminster in
England are renowned examples of cultural symbols and works of art in the
field of architecture, along with being sufficiently equipped to serve the
primary cause of their establishment. These buildings are many decades old
but are still standing strong and for this reason they are famous worldwide.
Therefore we can say that building any structure with both purpose and art
is not rare.

On the contrary, the world has also seen many architectural disasters that
were caused due to poor planning and construction, even though they were
intended to be assembly of artwork. A near-accurate guess can be that the
architects put so much emphasis on the appearance of the building that
they neglected the other important features that need to be well thought-
out as well. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a stark example of how the
foundations of the building weren’t paid adequate attention, resulting that
the building couldn’t hold up its own weight.  Many such buildings have
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suffered collapses due to serious miscalculations in the architectural
planning. These illustrations make us wonder whether appearance should
totally be sidelined for structural stability of any building.

In my view, I feel a building should be a combination of style and stability.


The primary purpose of a building and the appearance both should be kept
in mind while planning and equal weight age should be given to both.

(318 words, written by IELTS blogger Devanshi Shah)

Some people think that governments must insist on preserving


traditional appearance of old buildings undergoing renovation
or redevelopment. To what extent do you agree or disagree with
the statement?

Band 8.0 Model Essay

Preserving historic buildings is vital to understanding our nation’s heritage.


In the process of restoring them, some people believe that the authorities
should not compensate on any changes done in their original appearance,
and that the buildings should be restored as they were. This essay shall
advocate a practical approach to this scenario.

Restoration is said as the process of accurately depicting the form, features,


and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time by
reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period.  All around
the world, there are many active redevelopment projects undertaken by the
government to preserve the sanctity of these ancient treasures. However, it
is not reasonably possible to restore each and every detail of these buildings
as it was.

Primarily, the construction of these century-old buildings begins to wear in


time. In such cases, some parts of the buildings might not be in a
recoverable condition. Here, the architects need to reconstruct that
particular part to give a complete look to the puzzle of these primeval
structures. Therefore, it is unaccommodating for the government to
demand accurate traditional appearance of the buildings. Sometimes, a few
relevant contemporary touches need to be added to make the older
buildings appeasing enough.

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In closing we can safely say the government should not be insistent on
minute preservation of traditional appearance of old buildings. Minor
modifications can definitely be made to adapt existing buildings to
compatible new uses. This not only makes good economic sense, but
preserves our legacy also.

It is now possible for scientists and tourists to travel to remote


natural environment, such as the South Pole. Do the
advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Sample 01:

As technology has developed, people can now travel to remote natural


areas. While this trend is beneficial to some extent, I would argue that its
disadvantages are more significant.

On the one hand, visiting isolated natural places has some benefits. Firstly,
this is a newer and more interesting type of travelling. Since going to other
cities or countries has been too common for most people, it might be more
exciting for them to explore new places such as the South Pole or the
Amazon rainforest. This gives them valuable experiences and unforgettable
memories. Secondly, when visiting remote areas, people, especially
scientists, might acquire more knowledge about the natural habitat. For
example, when coming to the North Pole, scientists can learn about the life
of polar bears which live far away from humans.

On the other hand, I believe this development has far more drawbacks. The
first one is that travelling to remote natural areas can be risky if the
travellers are not sufficiently prepared. For instance, the temperature at the
South Pole is usually very low, which adversely affects people’s health.
Travelling to forests can also be dangerous as people have to face the risk of
being attacked by animals. Also, since visiting isolated places often requires
a large amount of investment in researching and ensuring the safety of
travellers, the costs of travelling tend to be high. Therefore, it seems like

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only scientists and rich people can afford this activity, so this development
is likely to benefit only a small group of individuals.

In conclusion, I believe the disadvantages of people being able to travel to


remote areas outweigh its advantages.

(272 words, written by IELTS Teacher)

 isolated: far away from any others ==>isolated rural areas


 common: happening often, existing in large numbers or in many
places ==>Jackson is a common English name.
 adverse: negative and unpleasant==> Lack of money will have an
adverse effect on our research program.
 ensure: to make sure that something happens or is definite ==>The
book ensured his success.

It is true that humans can now set foot in wild regions far away from
civilisation. While I accept that this development can have certain benefits
for the human race, I believe that it is likely to have a harmful impact on
nature.

On the one hand, undertaking expeditions to the wilderness can be valuable


in terms of both science and recreation. There are a considerable number of
undiscovered secrets that can be tremendously useful for researchers to
conduct their studies. For instance, environmental scientists can analyse
the data about the thickness of ice layers over millions of years in both
hemispheres to predict the possible changes in global temperatures. Such
findings are crucial for the governments to develop appropriate plans to
alleviate global warming. Furthermore, the untouched beauty of these areas
is usually appealing to travellers, providing people with an attractive option
of holiday destination or excursion.

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However, I would argue that these positive aspects are outweighed by the
drawbacks. When people are given full and easy access to the distant and
unpopulated areas, there are likely to be more moving there to reside or
start their business. It has been shown that substantial damage has been
done to nature such as massive deforestation or water contamination due to
humans’ lack of environmental awareness. If there is inadequate protection
of the environment from this type of action, wild regions in the world will
no longer exist, unspeakably affecting not only the overall ecology but also
the lives of other people.

In conclusion, it seems to me that the potential dangers of travelling to wild


environments are more significant than the possible benefits for the
mentioned reasons.

Useful Expressions:

 Appealing (adj): attractive or interesting  ==>Overseas students


who are offered an appealing salary and position in a foreign company
are usually unable to resist the offer and choose to remain in the country
instead of returning to their native land.
 Distant (adj): far away ==>The application of technology in the
form of electric household appliances has facilitate the enjoyment of
people’s life to a great extent..
 Unpopulated (adj): having no inhabitants
 Reside (v): to live, have your home, or stay in a place ==>The huge
waves of immigrants from poorer countries flocking to wealthier nations
can threaten to take the jobs of those who have resided in their countries
for a long time by accepting to work for a much lower pay.
 Substantial (adj): large in size, value or importance ==>By
respecting the substantial differences between the older and the younger
generations, the mutual understanding between them can be greatly
enhanced.
 Massive deforestation (noun phrase): the destruction of forests
by people on a large scale ==>Massive deforestation is largely attributable
to massive deforestation because there are not enough trees to help to hold
the flood water.
 Contamination (n): the action of making something less pure or
poisonous. ==>In many rural villages in China and Vietnam, the supply
of underground water which has been in use for hundreds of years is now
incapable of meeting the growing demand of the expanding population,
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threatening the health of the people with using water which has not been
tested for contamination.
 Environmental awareness (noun phrase): the understanding
that the environment needs to be protected (ý thứ c bả o vệ môi trườ ng). Ví
dụ: The first step to environmental protection is concerned with raising
the environmental awareness of individuals.
 Ecology (n): the relationships between the air, land, water, animals,
etc ==>Oil spills cause terrible damage to the fragile ecology of the sea.
Main IELTS Pages:

Nowadays, some buildings such as offices have open-space


design instead of separate rooms. What are the advantages and
disadvantages of this trend?

Outline:

Advantage:

– Staff Advantages

A lack of walls or other physical barriers in offices makes it easier for


employees to interact with each other on a regular basis. The
constant intermingling not only generates a sense of
camaraderie among personnel, it also enhances the flow of
information and teamwork. Colleagues can turn to each other for
advice or assistance without having to knock on doors or schedule a
formal meeting. Interactions in an open-plan office space generally are
more frequent and informal than in closed environments where everyone
has a separate office space.

– Business Advantages

The increased collaboration resulting from an open-plan work space can


lead to business innovation and advancement. At the same time, an

14
open-plan layout can benefit the business economically by reducing costs
tied to construction, utilities and office equipment. For example,
fewer walls mean less time and materials required to create the office space.
Having a single work space also may reduce heating/cooling and electricity
expenses thanks to improved flow of air and light. Businesses can save
on equipment investmentas well, since communal
spaces promote shared use of resources, such as printers, copiers and
staplers. An open-plan space also provides greater flexibility to
accommodate evolving personnel needs.

Disadvantage

– Staff Disadvantages

On the downside, the high level of everyday interaction that takes place in
an undivided work space may lead to noise and distractions that make it
difficult for employees to focus on their work and conduct business. Lack of
privacy is another potential problem with open-plan office spaces, where
computer screens are easily visible by those walking by and telephone
conversations are likely to be overheard. Open-plan
layouts also facilitate the spread of disease, so if a colleague comes to
work with a cold, it can affect the health of the entire staff.

– Business Disadvantages

Most of the factors that are disadvantages for personnel also


are detrimental to the business as a whole. For example, the
distractions caused by frequent interactions among staff members
and high levels of noise can result in decreased productivity.
Business output also may be reduced by the higher rate
of absenteeism associated with open-plan environments in which disease
spreads more easily. In addition, the lack of privacy inherent in open-
plan designs may give rise to legal or ethical issues stemming
from compromised confidentiality in regard to clients or colleagues.

 Ideas from  smallbusiness.chron.com

 Ideas from  smallbusiness.chron.com

15
Useful Vocabulary & Expressions

Interact with (verb) to converse with and exchange ideas with someone

on a regular basis (phrase) regularly

Intermingle (verb) if people intermingle, they spend time together and


get to know each other

Camaraderie (noun) friendship and trust between people in a group

Open-plan (adj) an open-plan office, house, flat etc has few walls and a
lot of open space

Communal (adj) owned or used by everyone in a group

Facilitate (verb) to make it possible or easier for something to happen

Detrimental to (adj) harmful to something/someone

As a whole (phrase) in general

Absenteeism (noun) the habit of not being at school or work when you


should be, usually without a good reason

Give a rise to something (phrase)

Stem from something (verb)  to be caused by something

Confidentiality (noun) a situation in which important information must


be kept secret

16
Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin
learning a foreign language at primary school rather than
secondary school. Do the advantages of this outweigh the
disadvantages?

Essay Structure  2
Introduction

Sentence 1- Paraphrase question

Sentence 2- Outline sentence

Supporting Paragraph 1 (Advantages)

Sentence 3- Topic sentence (Advantage 1)

Sentence 4- Explain

Sentence 5- Example

Supporting Paragraph 2 (Disadvantages)

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Sentence 6- Topic sentence (Disadvantage 1)

Sentence 7- Explain how this is a disadvantage

Sentence 8- Example

Conclusion

Sentence 9- Summarize and restate your opinion

Band 8.0 Sample Answer 


Traditionally, children have begun studying foreign languages at secondary
school, but introducing them earlier is recommended by some
educationalists. This policy has been adopted by some educational
authorities or individual schools, with both positive and negative outcomes.

The obvious argument in its favour is that young children pick up


languages much more easily than teenagers. Their brains are still
programmed to acquire their mother tongue, which facilitates learning
another language, and unlike adolescents, they are not inhibited by self-
consciousness.

The greater flexibility of the primary timetable allows for more frequent,


shorter sessions and for a play-centred approach, thus maintaining
learners’ enthusiasm and progress. Their command of the language in later
life will benefit from this early exposure while learning other languages
subsequently will be easier for them. They may also gain a better
understanding of other cultures.

There are, however, some disadvantages. Primary schools teachers are


generalists, and may not have the necessary skill themselves. If specialists
have to be brought in to deliver these sessions, the flexibility referred to
above is diminished. If primary language teaching is not standardised,
secondary schools could be faced with a great variety of levels in different
languages within their intake, resulting in a classroom experience

18
which undoes the earlier gains. There is no advantage if enthusiastic
primary pupils become demotivated as soon as they change schools.
However, these issues can be addressed strategically within the policy
adopted.

Anything which encourages language learning benefits society culturally


and economically, and early exposure to language learning contributes
to this. Young children’s innate abilitiesshould be harnessed to make
these benefits more achievable.

You can also follow this outline for a 4-paragraph essay:

1. Introduction: Topic = best age to learn a foreign language. Our


opinion = better to learn at primary school age.
2. Disadvantages of learning languages at primary age:
-Learning a new language is confusing and wastes time, could delay
development of child’s first language.
-Other subjects are more important at that age (maths, mother tongue
language, science)
3. Advantages of learning languages at primary age:
-Young children learn faster
-They are less self-conscious or shy
-They pick up the pronunciation better
-Nowadays languages are just as important as maths
4. Conclusion: repeat / summarise our answer.

19
Studies have suggested that nowadays children watch much
more television than they did in the past and spend less time on
active or creative things. What are the reasons and what
measures should be taken to encourage children to spend more
time on active or creative things?

Band 8.0 Sample Essay 

There has been a worrying trend that children watch an excessive amount
of television and do not engage much in active or creative activities. This
trend can be ascribed to a number of reasons and it must be addressed by
definite actions.

Reasons for the trend vary. The primary reason is that children’s television
programmes are being broadcast all day with addictive contents, such as
vivid and colourful animations. Cartoon Network and Disney Channel with
their all-day-long series of animation shows are an evident example of this.
Another clear reason is that parents nowadays are busy with their work, so
they want children to focus on an activity that does not require much of
their attention such as watching television. These two reasons make
children spend more time in front of the television screen; this sedentary
lifestyle prevents them from participating in active or creative activities.

A number of strong measures must be implemented to tackle the issue. The


first solution is limiting the amount of time that a child can watch
television. This could be done by activating the parental control mode and
20
setting a fixed operating time limit on their television set. Another feasible
solution is that parents must spend more time with their children and
together they could engage in outdoor or creative activities. For example,
parents could form a family sport team that practices on a regular basis,
which may appeal to children more than television.

To conclude, there are obvious reasons why children watch too much
television and spend little time on active and creative activities. This
negative trend could be tackled by a number of remedies, such as activating
the parental control mode on television sets.

(286 words, written by Tu Pham, Head teacher at IPP IELTS)

Useful Expressions

 Excessive (a): If you describe the amount or level of something as


excessive, you disapprove of it because it is more or higher than is
necessary or reasonable. Example: The government says that local
authority spending is excessive.
 Additive (a): Something that is addictive is so enjoyable that it
makes you want to do it or have it a lot. Example: Video movie-making can
quickly become addictive.
 Sedentary (a): Someone who has a sedentary lifestyle or job sits
down a lot of the time and does not take much exercise. Example: Obesity
and a sedentary lifestyle has been linked with an increased risk of heart
disease.
 Activate (v): If a device or process is activated, something causes it
to start working. Example: Video cameras with night vision can be
activated by movement.
 Parental (a): Parental is used to describe something that relates to
parents in general, or to one or both of the parents of a particular child.
Example: Medical treatment was sometimes given to children without
parental consent.
 To appeal to (v): If something appeals to you, you find it attractive
or interesting. Example: On the other hand, the idea appealed to him.
 Remedy (n): A remedy is a successful way of dealing with a problem.
Example: The remedy lies in the hands of the government.

21
TOPIC: In recent years, the family structure and the role of its

members are gradually changing. What kinds of changes can

occur? Do you think these changes are positive and negative?

It is true that these days the family structure has considerably shifted, and
the changing roles of men and women in the family has become
increasingly similar. There are several new forms of family composition,
and in my opinion, these developments are not always desirable.

In the past, nuclear families where parents and their offspring living
together under one roof used to be prevalent. However, there is now a huge
trend towards single-parent families due to more marriages ending in
divorce, while the increase in cohabiting couple families and stepfamilies is
probably a result of cohabitation and remarriage becoming much more
acceptable. In addition, the number of single-mother families has increased
as many mothers want to have children without getting married. In terms
of changing parental roles in a family, there has been a rise in the number
of stay-at-home dads in recent years when it has become normal for women
to gain qualifications and pursue their own career path. This is in sharp
contrast to about half a decade ago when men were breadwinners and
women were in charge of household chores in their families.

In my view, the changes described above could have both positive and
negative consequences. On the one hand, due to the lack of emotional
22
attachment and legal binding, non-traditional households such as
stepfamilies and cohabiting parents are more prone to breaking down.
Consequently, children of these families are more likely to be involved in
antisocial behaviors while their parent may experience feelings of
loneliness and worry. On the other hand, the changes in the roles of
members in the family could be seen as progress because women are not
put under pressure to sacrifice their own careers to assume childcare and
domestic responsibilities.

In conclusion, I believe that the changes in the roles of family members and
the family structure are both positive and negative.  

308 words, Band 8.5

IELTS Examiner’s comment:

This is one of the best essays I have seen. It’s amazing! I don’t know what
to suggest to improve this apart from minor improvements to the
introduction and the conclusion, which is very short & unclear (positive &
negative). All IELTS band scores would be 9 apart from Task Response,
which would be 8.0. Overall – 8.5. Did you write this in 40 mins with no
help/guidance?
                                                            
John Marks
Band 8.5 Model Answer 2:

The changes of family structure and family roles have become a major topic
of concern in modem society. Some of the main changes will be identified,
before an evaluation on whether this is a positive or negative trend is made.

A few drastic changes could be observed in families today. The most


obvious one is the decreased size of an average family in society. In
Vietnam, for example, a majority of extended families of three generations
or more living under the same roof have been transformed into nuclear
families with only parents and children. In addition, there is also a
significant change in terms of the roles of the father and the mother in a
family. The responsibility of males as the sole breadwinner of the family has
now been shared with their partners, and now women have equal working

23
opportunities compared with their male counterparts. Accordingly,
household duties are also shared equally between the two sexes.

I contend that this new family structure is without doubt beneficial for all
families. As regards the smaller family size, each family member could
benefit from an increased sense of freedom. For instance, parents have
more time for themselves now, compared with the situation in the past
when they had to bear the responsibility of taking care of both grandparents
and children. With respect to the change in family roles, women may reap
the benefit of having their own career and thus financial freedom. Men also
gain from this change since they have been freed from the financial
pressure of being the only source of income in the family.

To conclude, the most apparent changes in today’s families include a


decreased family size and a shared financial and household responsibility of
men and women. All the existing data has provided a concrete foundation
that these changes are beneficial for all members of the family.  

                                                                                                        Prepared by Mr
Tu Pham (8.5 IELTS) – Head Teacher at IPP IELTS

Model Essay 3

It is true that there have been significant changes in not only the family
structure but also family roles. In my opinion, these changes should be
regarded as a positive tendency.

To begin with, the structure of a family is relatively different from that of


some decades ago. In the past, it was likely that extended families became
prevalent among societies when many generations including children,
parents and grandparents lived in the same roof. In contrast, these days are
witnessing the domination of nuclear families which have only parents and
their offspring. Regarding parental roles, in earlier periods, men and
women were supposed to be breadwinners and homemakers respectively as
fathers tended to earn a living while mothers were supposed to stay at
home to fulfill household duties as well as looking after children. However,
both men and women currently go to work to support the whole family,
whereas household tasks are often divided.

I am of the opinion that these changes would have beneficial effects on


family life. First of all, if fewer generations reside together, people seem to
have more freedom and privacy to do anything they have interest in without
24
disturbing other members. For instance, in extended families juveniles
adoring pop music might have to stop listening to it because their
grandparents could find it annoying and noisy. Furthermore, pursuing their
own careers can allow women to become financially independent from men
and this also provides families with another income to have a higher
standard of living. Another benefit when husbands assist their wives with
household chores is that women would ease the burden of housework and
have more time for themselves which can be spent on recreational
activities.

In conclusion, I hold the view that several changes in family pattern and the
role of member such as the fact that extended families are gradually
replaced by nuclear ones and the fair division of household duties is a
positive development.

IELTS Examiner’s Comment:

Criteria Grade Assessment

–  323 words

–  addresses all parts of the task


Task
7.5
Achievement
–  presents a clear position throughout the response

–  presents, extends and supports main ideas

–  logically organises information and ideas; there is


clear progression throughout
Coherent &
8
Cohesion –  uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately

–  presents a clear central topic within each paragraph

25
–  uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task

Lexical –  attempts to use less common vocabulary


7.5
Resources
–  makes some errors in spelling and/or word
formation, but they do not impede communication

Grammar –  uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms


Range & 8
Accuracy –  produces frequent error-free sentences

Overall 7.5
 

Many people believe that schools should teach children to


become good citizens and workers rather than independent
individuals. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give your
own opinion and relevant examples.
Band 8.0 Model Essay

Educational institutions like schools and colleges have a duty to mold


students into law abiding citizens and hardworking employees. However, I
don’t think that this should be at the cost of their individuality.

Individuality helps people stand out in a crowd. Independent thinking fuels


their creativity and helps them become good writers, thinkers and artists.
Their creative pursuits will bring glory to the nation and give patriots even
more reasons to be proud of their country.

Children spend a great deal of time in schools. The text books, the teachers
and the general atmosphere at school have a major impact on their
impressionable minds. If schools don’t encourage creativity and
independent thinking, the nation will suffer.

26
Just because someone thinks independently, it doesn’t mean that they can’t
become good citizens or good employees. I can’t understand how
independent thinking will make a person anti-national or anti-social. Some
of the greatest patriots we have seen were highly creative people who
thought independently. There are numerous examples of such men and
women in the annals of World history.

A nation needs great thinkers, writers, artists, scientists and philosophers


to take its culture and legacy forward. We can’t accomplish much by being
mechanized patriots and workers.

To conclude, I don’t agree with the argument that schools should only teach
students to become good citizens and workers. Yes, these institutions
should teach these values, but they should also encourage independent
thinking. A person can be an independent thinker and a patriot at the same
time. If one studies world history one can find several examples of thinkers
who were also great patriots and citizens. Since students spend a great deal
of their time at school, it is the right place to learn all of these values.

Some people say that computer games are bad for children by all

means, others believe that these games are contributing to

children’s development. Discuss both views and give your own

opinion.

Band 9.0 Model Essay

Children nowadays spend several hours playing video games; since the last
few years these games have become increasingly popular. While some
experts think that these games corrupt the brain, some others also feel that
computer games may actually teach kids high-level thinking skills for their
future. This essay shall consider both perspectives and end at a personal
approach.

Parents usually complain of their child being addicted to video games, like
playing for 2 hours at a stretch, but practically but the time issue is a red
herring. This is a normal time for a child to play – video game or otherwise.
Another issue is of these games being too violent. Although there’s no

27
concrete research linking violent games to violence in real life, common
sense says we should limit a child’s exposure as such games
glamorize violence and are not realistic. Playing video games can be
considered to be an addiction or detrimental if it disrupts or compromises
other important things in children’s life, for instance if they can’t
concentrate on their homework because of gaming or have no friendships.

When a child plays video games, it gives his brain a real workout.  In many
video games, the skills required to win involve abstract and high level
thinking. In shooting games, the character may be running and shooting at
the same time, which develops hand-eye coordination, fine motor
and spatial skills. In strategy games, for example, while developing a city,
an unexpected surprise like an enemy attack might emerge.  This forces the
player to be flexible and quickly change tactics enabling quick thinking and
making fast analysis. Because of all these factors, video games are deemed
to be more constructive than harming.

In closing, I’d say computer games are contributing to children’s


development, though in an unconventional sort of way. We cannot deny
that we are now living in a high-tech, sophisticated world so an all-out
negative attitude towards computer gaming is not reasonable. Level-
headedness in such matters can help curb the damaging effects.
Traffic and accommodation problems are increasing and
government should encourage businesses to move from cities to
rural areas. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Band 8.5 Sample Essay

In the past, factories were often built in close proximity to city areas as the
lack of transportation forbade people to do otherwise. However, this is not
exactly the case today, when industries and businesses are moving from
municipal and into countryside areas in flocks. This essay will elaborate on
both positive and negative effects of this trend.

On the positive side, firstly, this movement makes perfect environmental


sense. Due to industrial activities, residents of many cities around the world
are still breathing in air and consume water dirty enough to cause
numerous health diseases. Therefore, moving businesses out of the cities
will rid human and other species of pollution. A further advantage of this
trend is reducing the gap between the rich and the poor in a country, as
countryside dwellers can opt to work in factories with higher pay, rather

28
than agricultural work. This will eventually bring about peace and harmony
to society.

On the negative side, doing business in the countryside also represents


some notable drawbacks. To begin with, skilled workers are a rarity in rural
areas. Most of people living in small towns and villages do not receive
sufficient education to undertake intellectual jobs. What is also
disadvantageous is based in regional areas, companies risk distancing
themselves further from their customers, their suppliers and other partners
in their business transactions, which can weaken their profitability.

In conclusion, moving business from cities to rural areas can be a smart


decision. However, there are disadvantages that should be weighed
carefully against the advantages.

Useful words and expressions:

Be in close proximity to: be close to

A flock of: a lot of

To elaborate (v.) to explain further

In flocks: a lot of them.

Rid human and other species of pollution: to make them free of


pollution.

To make environmental sense: to be good for the environment

29
To rid somebody of something: remove that thing from someone.

To undertake: To bear the responsibility of, to carry out

Intellectual jobs (n.) jobs that require mental skills.

Weaken their profitability: make it less profitable

Distance yourself from: to stay away from

Some people believe government should spend money on


building train and subway lines to reduce traffic congestion.
Others think that building more and wider roads is the better
way to reduce traffic congestion. Discuss both views and give
your opinion.
Band 8.5 Sample Essay 1: 

Traffic congestion has become the bane of citizens in many parts of the
world. In order to mitigate this problem, some suggest that public
transportation, such as trains and subway lines should be constructed.
Meanwhile, others are firm in their belief that building wider roads makes
more sense. Both of these methods will be analysed below.

On the one hand, building trains is an effective method to improve traffic


condition. There are compelling evidences to support the investment in

30
public transportation. In countries where subway systems are up to
standard, the number of private vehicles that participate in traffic is small,
city dwellers can save hours of delay and also thousands of dollars on
traveling expenses. That is not to mention a significant number of gallons
of fuel saved, which means slowing down the exploitation of natural
resources.

There are, however, others who express doubts on this approach. Their
suggestion is that a better way to alleviate traffic jam is to make bigger road
systems. The undeniable fact is that in many developing countries today,
roads are narrow and in a desperate state of disrepair, which greatly
obstruct the travels to their destinations. Someone’s small accidents, a flat
tyre for example, can bring traffic to a halt, which is a commonly-seen
problem in roads that have only two lanes.

To conclude, both methods discussed above provide sustained relief on our


roadways; however, it is my opinion that the method to build trains and
subway makes more sense in terms of environmental protection.

252 words, written by Bao Huyen (IELTS Teacher)

Band 8.0 Model Essay 2:

The high volume of traffic is a huge problem for many big cities. Therefore,
there is a widely held view among a number of people that governmental
bodies should pour money in building such public transport systems as
train and subway lines. Others, however, argue that road expansion is the
more proper way. To my mind, though widening streets benefits us, this
can not alleviate traffic congestion.

31
It is not by chance that developing public vehicles is considered one of the common
approaches to reduce traffic jams. To day, people have indeed used too many private
vehicles whose disadvantages can be listed. The long line of cars at peak hours is a
typical example, which may lead to lengthy delays. This can also cause other serious
consequences such as traffic accidents. Accordingly, it is widely believed that
building underground tunnels can solve heavy traffic jams due to empty spaces
beneath the ground.

However, according to others, road extension is a better alternative because this


solution does not demand more efforts. Also, extending road does not seem as costly
as developing underground transport systems. Another reason for this is that bigger
roads will create more spaces for vehicle owners, helping them to circulate easily
during peak hours. By doing so, traffic congestion can be alleviated.

In my opinion, road expansion is not a long-term measure because people tend to


drive their vehicles regularly on newly widened streets. In other words, traffic jams
might continue to occur. Therefore, government should take other solutions into
consideration for safer transportation.

Cycling is more environmentally friendly than other forms of


transport. Why is it not popular in many places? And how to
increase its popularity?

Band 8.0 Sample Essay 1

Although riding a bicycle is clearly a better way to protect the environment


than using other types of vehicles, not many people around the world prefer
this means of transport. There are several causes of this unpopularity, and
some solutions could be proposed to promote the usage of bicycles.

32
To begin with, there are several reasons why few people use bicycles to
travel on a regular basis. Firstly, since modern life is getting much busier
than in the past, individuals nowadays want to spend as little time on
transport as possible. Therefore, they prefer to use other types of vehicles
such as motorbikes or cars which would take less time. Secondly, cycling is
more physically demanding than riding a motorbike or driving a car. This
tends to discourage people from choosing this method, especially on a hot
and sunny day or when they have to travel a long distance.

Several actions can be taken to increase the popularity of bicycles. The first
solution would be to make it more costly to own a motorbike or a car. This
can be done by increasing the price of petrol or raising tax on these
vehicles. As a result, more people would choose bicycles as their primary
means of transport. Additionally, more lanes should be built to serve only
cyclists, which would make it much faster to travel with bicycles. The final
solution is to launch campaigns to raise citizens’ awareness of the harmful
effects of motorbikes and cars on the environment, and this could
encourage people to cycle more often.

In conclusion, there are some reasons why bicycles are becoming less
common in today’s world, and solutions should be produced early to
promote this environmentally friendly means of transport.

(287 words, by Quang Thang)

Useful Expressions
 unpopularity: not liked or enjoyed by a person, a group of people in
general
 physically demanding ==> Example: mountain climbing is very
physically demanding
 primary: main; most important; basic
 cyclist: a person who rides a bicycle

Band 8.0 Sample Essay 2

The unpopularity of using bicycle in numerous places has been brought into
question although there is little doubt about its friendly effects on the
environment compared to cars or airplanes. The reasons for this are varied
and several feasible solutions would be proposed in the essay below.

33
There are two main underlying explanations for the uncommon use of
bicycles. Firstly, it would consume a considerable amount of time to travel
by this means of transport, which, according to many, justifies the price of
potential environmental damage caused by other types of vehicles. This is
because it fails to benefit dwellers of major cities in
particular when their pace of working life would eclipse the values of
using bicycles to the environment. Secondly, modern people are
becoming less concerned about the negative impact that their daily use of
cars and public transportation would inflict on their surroundings.
Therefore, it is rather impractical to expect cycling in cities, or even
the countryside.

The government play a vital role in encouraging the use of this


environmentally friendly vehicle. They could conduct monthly
green days that by law require citizens to cycle to work to get people
involved in protecting their environment. In the long term, such an
initiative would help to gradually form a habit of cycling among
occupied individuals. More importantly, propagation via various means of
media along with optional courses about the advantages of cycling to the
environment at schools seem imperative to heighten social awareness of
this matter.

In conclusion, cycling, regardless of its positive influences on the


environment, has become a rare picture in the modern world for a number
of reasons; and the government should take immediate actions to improve
this situation.

Useful vocabulary and structures:


– The uncommon use of bicycles 
– To fail to benefit major city dwellers in particular 
– To eclipse the values of using bicycles to the environment 
– To be rather impractical to expect cycling 
– The use of this environmentally friendly vehicle 
– Monthly green days 
– Form a habit of cycling
34
Some students take a year off between school and university, to
work or to travel. Do the advantages of this outweigh the
disadvantages?
Band 9.0 Model Essay:

It is true these days that many high school leavers choose to start their work
or take a trip before going to university. While a gap year can bring some
immediate drawbacks, I am convinced that it is more likely to have long-
term benefits for their lives.

35
On the one hand, young students are very likely to encounter several
difficulties when delaying their university study. One of these problems is
the delay in academic progress caused by spending one year off school. It is
understandably almost impossible for young people to enjoy their
experiences in doing a job or travelling to a new place but still arrange a
certain amount of time for revision. As a result, gap-year takers may have to
face the challenge of becoming familiar with the knowledge at school again,
receiving more pressure of catching up with their peers. Besides, the life out
of university campus may prove to be mentally and physically
overwhelming for inexperienced school leavers. They, for instance, may be
at risk of being exploited in an exhausting job or face potential dangers on
their trips to a new country. If not well prepared for such possible obstacles,
young high school graduates can suffer from unintended consequences.

On the other hand, I would argue that these disadvantages are outweighed
by the positive effects. A gap year is an ideal opportunity for students to
learn about what is not taught at university. Working with other people who
are experts in a particular field can give these newcomers not only
understanding of the job but also valuable practical lessons to help them
become more mature. When it comes to applying for a position in a
company, employers tend to favourably consider applicants who possess
extensive experience in life and the occupation. Furthermore, in terms of
recreation, having a year to relax can be advantageous as students can have
a chance to relieve stress in study. With a comfortable and willing attitude,
undergraduates can acquire knowledge more effectively in comparison with
those who go to university straightaway.

In conclusion, despite some negative aspects, it seems to me that the


benefits of a gap year are more significant for the reasons mentioned.

(By 365 words – by Bao Nguyen)

Useful Expressions

 Long-term (adj): continuing for a long time into the future 


==>The long-term effect of education should not be neglected.
 To encounter sth (v): to experience something, especially
something unpleasant 
==>Young graduates commonly have to encounter great difficulty in
seeking employment.
 Progress (n): movement to an improved or more developed state 
==>By adequately rewarding the students who have made significant

36
progress in study, the school administration can recognise the
achievements of these diligent students to others, encouraging many more
students to devote more effort to study to obtain similar rewards.
 Peer (n): a person who is the same age, or has the same social
position or the same abilities as other people in a group. 
==>In some developing Asian countries such as Vietnam, baby girls are
usually less appreciated than their peers due to the remnants of feudalism
that favoured men more than women.
 Overwhelming (adj): too great or large for somebody 
==>High school students in Vietnam, ranging from primary to high
school ones, are obliged to learn an overwhelming amount of knowledge
at school, not to mention loads of homework and other extra classes.
 Inexperienced (adj): having little knowledge or experience 
==>Many companies, for fear of arising expenses on training
inexperienced new employees, tend to refuse the applicants who have just
graduated.
 Extensive (adj): having a great range 
==>Society certainly benefits from the intellectual workforce who possess
extensive knowledge in scientific areas.
 Occupation (n): a person’s job 
==>On the other hand, manual occupations are of fundamental
importance to society.
 Advantageous (adj): giving advantages or helping to make you
more successful 
==>The ability to speak foreign languages fluently can prove to be very
advantageous for job seekers in the competitive job market.

Many people argue that in order to improve educational


quality, high school students are encouraged to make
comments or even criticism on their teachers. Others think it
will lead to loss of respect and discipline in the classroom.
Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Band 9.0 Model Answer:

Finding ways to improve educational quality is often one of the top


priorities in every education system. In some cultures, high school students

37
are encouraged to give their opinions about teachers, but I believe that this
can also give rise to lack of respect and discipline in the classroom.

On the one hand, it is true that feedback from learners may contribute to an
improvement in educational quality. In many cases, the level of
comprehension of students relies very much not on the content of the
lesson but on the way teachers conduct it. If, for example, the class is slow,
it will be ineffective for teachers to teach too fast so that most students fail
to retain the information. Without the comments of students, it would be
difficult to know whether the speed of the lesson is appropriate for the
class, which may eventually impair the quality of the lesson.

However, there are several drawbacks of allowing students to make


comments and criticism on their teachers. Firstly, teachers can be
vulnerable to the negative words of students. Many will feel that their
efforts in delivering the lesson deserve praise rather than criticism or any
form of feedback. This idea is commonly shared by teachers in the
education systems of many Asian countries. Secondly, the classroom may
be in chaos due to massive numbers of comments. Opinions vary from
students to students, and it would be impractical for teachers to work out a
way of teaching that can satisfy all students.

In conclusion, it seems to me that encouraging high school students to


comment about their teachers does not necessarily mean an improvement
in education quality.

(277 words – written by ielts.vinh@gmail.com)

Useful Expressions:

 to retain smth: to keep something; to continue to have something 


==>She has a good memory and finds it easy to retain facts.
 To impair smth: to damage something or make something worse. 
==>His age impaired his chances of finding a new job.
 To be vulnerable to smth: weak and easily hurt physically or
emotionally 
==>Old people are particularly vulnerable to the flu.

38
 chaos: a state of complete confusion and lack of order 
==>The house was in chaos after the party. 

Too much emphasis is placed on going university for academic


study. People should be encouraged to do vocational training,
because there is a lack of qualified tradespeople such as
electricians or plumbers. To what extent do you agree or
disagree?
Band 9.0 Sample:

39
It goes without saying that society always needs a skilled workforce to
function. Employees of different professions contribute differently to the
thriving of the community, and therefore I disagree with the statement that
vocational courses should be given any more weight than before.

The fact that many people deem it more important to take tertiary
education than a vocational training program has resulted in a shortage of
qualified workers. It is universally accepted that knowledge and
qualifications gained from university can help one to have a head start over
other candidates when it comes to job hunting. In Vietnam, for instance, a
majority of high school graduates are content to spend four to five years
more studying at a university with the hope for a bright career ahead. This
results in a lack of skilled manual workers such as plumbers and
electricians in society.

However, if we encourage more people to become blue-collar workers, then


there will be a shortage of while-collar workers who may otherwise create
more wealth for society. For example, fewer engineers would mean lower
productivity; a dearth of scientists may inhibit scientific discoveries which
can provide us with a better life in the future. In contrast, those doing blue-
collar jobs may face redundancy when too many applicants compete for the
same position. An unbalanced workforce might, therefore, hold society
back from development in the long term.

In conclusion, the workforce will adjust itself to cater for the need of the
community, so there is no need to direct young people to follow a particular
career path.

(260 words – ielts.vinh@gmail.com)

 Vocational: connected with the skills, knowledge, etc. that you need
to have in order to do a particular job. 
==>vocational education/qualifications/training
 Tertiary: relating to education in colleges and universities 
 A head start over somebody: an advantage that somebody
already has before they start doing something 

40
==>Being able to speak French gave her a head start over the other
candidates.
 Inhibit: to prevent something from happening or make it happen
more slowly or less frequently than normal 
==>A lack of oxygen may inhibit brain development in the unborn child.
 While-collar: working in an office, rather than in a factory, etc.;
connected with work in offices 
==>white-collar workers.
 To cater for something:to provide the things that a particular
person or situation needs or wants 

Some people think that young people should be required to do


unpaid work helping people in the community. Are
disadvantages of this requirement greater than the benefits for
the community and individuals?

41
Band 8.0 Sample Essay
Every year when summer comes around, volunteer students in their
conspicuous blue shirts are ubiquitous. They can be spotted in the streets
delivering free food to the less fortunate, at waiting tables in front of the
school gates providing information to students or on the beach collecting
trash under the sizzling weather. However, it still remains a topic of debate
whether these activities are wholly beneficial for students.

On the one side of the argument, there are a number of benefits for
students who are involved in community service. In the technologically-
advanced world, it is a common problem that people show scant concern
about others’ affairs. This activities certainly help them gain insight into the
lives of the underprivileged, realise how fortunate they are and therefore
inspire in them higher sense of responsibility with the community. Besides,
participating in volunteer programs is also a very effective way for students
to combat stress and hone various crucial life skills such as communication,
teamwork or time-management. 

Despite the multiple merits of volunteer activities, there are still a lot of
raised eyebrows. Firstly, making unpaid work obligatory to all students
without any exception will certainly cause resentment among themselves or
their families. In addition, students’ studies at school can be sabotaged as
they are always short of time to complete their homework or revise their
lessons. The other more profound consequence that can ensue from
constant poor academic performance is the bleak career prospects that the
future hold for them.   

To conclude, the importance of community service should be fully realised,


however, it should not be made compulsory for all students.

Useful expressions:

 Show scant concern about…: Pay no interest to…


 The underprivileged: Those who don’t have much money,
possessions…
 The sizzling weather: extremely hot weather.
 Inspire in them higher sense of responsibility: to make them
become more responsible.
 Hone various crucial life skills: improve those skills.
 Multiple merits: a lot of benefits.

42
 There are still a lot of raised eyebrows: There are more things to be
considered.
 To be short of time: do not have enough time.
 To cause resentment: cause anger, disagreement.
 To sabotage (v.) to damage, destroy.
 Ensue (v.) happen.
 Bleak career prospects: low chance of getting a good job.

More and more young people from wealthy countries are


spending a short time doing unpaid work such as teaching and
building houses for communities in poorer countries. What are
43
the reasons for this? Who benefits more from this, the
communities or these young people?
Band 8.5 Model Essay

There has been an ongoing trend of many young people from prosperous


nations deciding to spend their time doing voluntary work in
underprivileged countries. Some of the prominent reasons for this
phenomenon will be discussed, before the benefits of both individuals and
developing countries are analysed.

There are several convincing reasons associated with this practice. The
most significant factor is that doing such unpaid work in poor countries
would be a comparative advantage for the young when applying for a job in
the future. In other words, in this fierce and competitive job market, a
candidate possessing an application file accompanied by only great scores
could not be the ideal one that a recruiter is finding; therefore, he or she
needs outstanding volunteering experience to be able to compete with other
rivals. Another reason that is worth mentioning is that young generations
could engender the feeling of community when participating in unpaid
work. Their voluntary efforts help to give prominence to the value of
sharing and the sense of social responsibility to secure improved humanity
and international awareness about disadvantaged places.

It is undoubted that both the young volunteers and underdeveloped or


developing countries could equally gain from this phenomenon.
Regarding the young, it is apparent that the aforementioned meaningful
work not only brings the volunteers unforgettable life lessons, gives them
hands – on experience but also helps expand their network of relationships.
As a result, they gradually grow more mature and confident, realizing the
diversity of life by getting to know many walks of people. In regard to
poorer countries, they may have a chance to raise the living standards of
their dwellers. For instance, knowledge related to environment protection
or health care which they have acquired from overseas volunteers possibly
improves their living conditions afterwards.

To sum up, the requirement of more competitive profile and the


determination to support financially disadvantaged countries are the two
principal elements that make young people join a wide range of voluntary
activities. I would contend that both the volunteers and the community are
the beneficiaries of the practice above.    

44
(343 words – written by Band 8.5 IELTS Test-taker)

More money should be poured into teaching science

rather than other subjects. Do you agree or disagree?

45
Band 8.5 Sample Answer
People’s interest in science grows increasingly popular in our today”s
world. The belief is that science is the key to all problems in our life while
others view it as equal as other fields and claim that such a great amount of
investment in teaching science would be unfair for other subjects. I totally
agree with the latter view.
First, proponents of favoring science teaching over others contend that
such significant allocation for it is greatly conducive to economic
development of a country. Take America as an example. With billions of
dollars consumed to sponsor scientific researches and other activities of
teaching at school, greater economic alternatives, based on the application
of this subject, have been found to revolutionize the world and enrich this
country in no time, despite its late historical formation. However, would
our nation really progress without the support of other equally key
industries, for example, health-care, sports and arts? Only after people are
well taught the way to take care of themselves by following a good diet and
nurture their love for arts can they have enough stamina to turn their
artistic minds into wonderful creations. Facts have also indicated that as a
result of higher living standards, people’s concern about arts and their well-
being is also more demanding, which urges government to equitably
address these needs as well. The appearance of design schools, instead of
only science ones in the academic world, are typical examples that show
their crucial roles. Another problem is that teachers of other subjects would
feel despised and de-motivated when governments suddenly make light of
the importance of their subjects, while science teachers become centers of
the world.

Second, more people will fall in love with science, by dint of this policy, and
more genius were born. It might be true that science used to be seen as a
prosaic subject, and now thanks to more flows of cash given to it, people
have more motivation to pursue this field. Nevertheless, growing
investment in it does not mean that it has more financial privileges than
other subjects. In fact, the over-emphasis on science is more likely to
discourage other children who are, unfortunately, born not to be encoded
with a genetic flair for science, but for other fields. Hence, despite
government’s significant investment in this subject and relentless endeavor
to inculcate in their mind the love for it, these children see this counter-
productive, possibly resulting in a huge waste of finance and turning their
beloved schools into military base where they are coerced to follow, instead
of f listening to their inner desire. The outcome of this scenario is that the
world would, for sure, be devoid of creative artists who give birth to
spontaneous poets, but full of machine-like children. Besides, seeing

46
science as a money-making field and promising aids by government,
people, including students and teachers, move to this area, not out of their
true passion. Also, as there goes a saving “necessity is the mother of
invention”, scientists such as Newton, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison
could still give birth to ever-lasting inventions, despite their deep poverty.
In a word, it is not more money that the society would progress, but rather
passion and other factors.

In the final analysis, I totally disagree with this policy for its negative
impacts on teachers, students, the true meaning of science subject, and
long-term growth of a nation.

47
Students today can easily access information online, so libraries

are no longer necessary. To what extent do you agree or

disagree?

Today, concerns are high about how the digital age will change the libraries.
Some argue that libraries soon will sink into oblivion as nowadays
information of any field is readily available on the Internet. To the best of
my knowledge, this idea should be rejected as one can see quite a few facts
in favour of why libraries are still of relevance in modern days.

Generally speaking, students today are learning in conditions which are not
conducive to their education. At home, they are attacked with all kinds of
noise coming from next door. It is not a rare occasion when a party is
organised or a karaoke session is held. In school, vehicle horns, the sound
of motorbike engines or from construction sites continue to wreak havoc on
students’ concentration. In such situations, libraries are no less than oases
in the desert for the students. They are places where it is invariably quiet
anytime they visit, where they have their work done effectively.

Some hold the belief that libraries are no longer necessary in this day and
age, when knowledge and information is freely up for grabs for students.
From my perspective, this view is flawed. What this argument fails to take
into account is the fact that a significant amount of information on the
Internet nowadays has never been verified and therefore it is prejudiced,
inaccurate or even misleading. Such information can potentially warp
students’ perception on many life issues, which can cause devastating
effects on both their professional careers and private lives later down the
road. Books, on the other hands, are always censored before being
published. Hence, it is much better for students to gain wisdom from books
than from materials circulating the Internet.

These foregoing points have brought me to the conclusion that the


importance of libraries should not be downplayed despite many
advancements made in the technological era.

Useful expressions:

 To sink into oblivion: to be forgotten


 To be of relevance: should be considered

48
 To wreak havoc on something: to cause trouble
 To be no less than oases in the desert: to be rare
 Information is freely up for grabs: Information is available.
 Gain wisdom: learn more
 Circulate (v.) be available
 Downplay the importance of…: make something seem less
important
 Foregoing (adj.) what has been mentioned
 The technological era: the time when technology reins

49
In developing countries, children in rural communities have less
access to education. Some people believe that the problem can be
solved by providing more schools and teachers, while others
think that the problem can be solved by providing computers and
Internet access. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Band 8.0 Sample Essay 1

Limited access to education has led children in remote locations to live


under poor conditions. Schools and teachers, accordingly, are believed to a
long-term solution, which will guarantee a better life for disadvantaged
children. However, others argue that technology is the master key to this
issue. In this essay, I will discuss both these views before giving my own
opinion.

There is not any difficulty to understand why the role of schools and
teachers is highly acclaimed. Unlike developed nations, many rural areas
have faced a severe teacher and school shortage, leading to illiteracy among
children. Therefore, erecting more schools would help rural pupils acquire
new knowledge as well as social skills more easily, all of which are
conducive to their mental and physical development at early age. Apart
from this, rural communities can gradually escape from poverty through
far-reaching changes in education.

On the other hand, without the help of technology, children in remote


villages will have many difficulties in access to education. The reason is due
to geographic barriers. Since the distance from their home to school is far
and they often go to school on foot, dropping out often occurs. Therefore,
by equipping young children with online lessons or programmes, they can
self-study at home without having to go to class or being completely
dependent on teachers. Also, this is a good chance for them to familiarize
themselves with online education – a state of the art educational mode.

In my view, schools and technology play an equally important role in rural


and remote education because both have their own values. The concerted
action between these factors, therefore, will promise disadvantaged
children a better studying condition

50
Band 8.0 Sample Essay 2

It is true that rural children are significantly less likely than urban children
to receive adequate education opportunities and resources in developing
nations. While some argue that the issue could be fully addressed by
providing computers and Internet access, I personally believe that building
more schools and recruiting competent teachers would be a more practical
solution.

On the one hand, some individuals’ main mottos for dealing with the
problem are to spread computer literacy in rural regions. Firstly, mastering
computer use allows children from remote areas to compete against other
candidates in the race for decent future jobs. It is mainly because a modern
job will require employees to be familiar with at least some computer
applications to boost their productivity at work. Secondly, the main
attribute of E-learning is to offer the youth a wide range of knowledge and
also the flexibility of accessing information and resources. For example,
utilizing free search engines could supply users valuable and up-to-date
information within few minutes. Studying via Internet also have the
capacity to support children’s language development as there are numerous
websites aiding in learning foreign languages.

On the other hand, children could not access a well-rounded education


without dedicated teachers and renowned schools. The first reason is that
spending prolonged periods in front of faceless computers screens could
take away critical human interaction which is beneficial to our children.
Moreover, children could be easily distracted and exposed to largely
unregulated material in an unsafe environment. Secondly, it is the trust and
bond between teachers and learners that creates the learning environment
while virtual learning simply cannot do that. Good teachers apparently
inspire our young people, promote their enthusiasm and build their self-
esteem to succeed in their educational goals.

In conclusion, although computers have been helping several children to


progress more quickly compared to traditional methods, teachers still have
a pivotal role to play in education development.

51
Band 9.0 Sample Essay

It is true that a proper education is still out of reach for the children born in
rural parts of developing countries. While some people suggest building
more schools and sending more teachers to these areas, others would
propose the provision of computers and Internet access. In my personal
view, the latter seems more feasible.

On the one hand, schools and teachers are still fundamental to the objective
of making education accessible to countryside students. Firstly, schools
serve a number of purposes other than providing places for classes. More
importantly, schools also function as meeting places for students to learn
the importance of collaborating and socialising with other people, provide
an ideal learning environment for further study and maintain the discipline
of students through regular attendance. Secondly, owing to poor access to a
systematic and constant education in the first place, students in remote
areas are unlikely to study by themselves effectively. In other words,
teachers are required in the learning process because they can acknowledge
these students’ deficiencies and help them to solve their problems by
repeating the same explanation, giving suitable exercises or even tutoring
them privately.

On the other hand, I believe there are good reasons to supply these rural
students with computers and Internet connection. The first reason is that
these devices enable the students to pursue study programmes despite the
fact that these students live in distant areas. For example, students can use
the computer and the Internet to participate in webinars from universities
or work with the teachers through emails. This idea would seem more
feasible than sending teachers to remote regions to teach. Another reason is
that the computer can be a useful learning tool with educational softwares.
There are many computer programmes which contain a comprehensive
course of self-study these days, so that the students can use these software
applications without travelling out of their hometowns.

In conclusion, as people have their own views in how to provide education


for rural students, I think that technology would offer a more plausible
solution for the reasons mentioned.

52
(343 words – by Bả o Nguyễn)

Useful Expressions
 To be out of reach for sb (preposition phrase)
 To be fundamental to st(adjective)
 Accessible (adjective)
 Other than st (conjunction)
 Function as st (verb)
 Collaborate with sb (verb)
 Socialise with sb (verb)
 Discipline (noun)
 Attendance (noun)
 Systematic (adjective)
 Acknowledge (verb)
 Deficiency (noun)
 Tutor sb(verb)
 Distant (adjective)
 Webinar (noun)
 Feasible = Plausible (Adjective)
 Learning tool (noun phrase)
 Comprehensive (adjective)

53
In schools and universities, girls tend to choose arts while boys
like science. What are the reasons for this trend and do you
think this tendency should be changed?
Band 8 Sample

There has been a difference in subject preferences between girls who often
enroll in art classes and boys who tend to study science. This could be
explained by several elements, and I think that it is best not to apply any
changes to this tendency.

The aforementioned situation can be attributable to gender-specific


personalities and competence. First, female students are usually
attracted to subjects that require tremendous self-discipline and patience
like language classes while male students share a common interest in
several fields that need considerable analytical abilities to excel at, for
example physics or math. Second, it has been proven that each of the two
sexes shows distinct competence and excellence at their favored
types of subjects. And students certainly choose to participate in classes
that they are best at, which is why boys and girls choose different courses to
study.

In my view, it is rather unnecessary to make changes to this trend. Initially,


students choose the environment where they can best cultivate their
aptitudes. Therefore, if they were forced to take part in unwanted classes,
it would produce undesirable outcomes, especially resentment or
negative attitudes toward study at school. Furthermore, students,
regardless of gender, should have their freedom of choice. In other words,
they should be at liberty to decide what courses they can attend so that they
would feel that they are respected and listened to.

In conclusion, distinct characteristics and competence between males and


females are the causes for the two tendencies toward choosing preferable
courses to study at schools or universities, and students should be entitled
to participation in any class they find suitable.

54
270 words – By ZIM IELTS INSTITUTE

Students in schools and universities learn more from their


teachers than through other means such as the Internet,
libraries and TV. To what extent you agree or disagree?
Band 8.5 Essay

There are many who prefer supplementary methods such as the TV,
internet and books for enhancing their learning. However, teachers have,
and always will be an inseparable part of the classroom. This essay shall
advocate how the teachers provide more than just academic learning.

Graphical representation of the academic content always helps the students


to grasp better. For example, learning about Geography and History from
the Discovery channel, or reading articles about tricks to solve math
problems on the internet, makes students more interested to study. There
are also many students who prefer a background or in-depth knowledge of
certain concepts, so they prefer to read books on that particular subject
outside of their academic curriculum. We can say all these things assist
students to self-learn, but somewhere without a teacher, this method may
go haphazard.

There is a flood of information on the internet and thousands of books


published on a single subject. What content is authentic on the internet or
what books are relevant for reading, is supposed to be guided by the
teachers. Teachers know the content and know how to explain it. They
motivate the students for high levels of performances. Good teachers are
great performers and storytellers that rivet their students’ attention. Apart
from academic learning, teachers teach the students about the techniques
of amplifying information, and when to execute the knowledge they
have. These are life lessons that the students won’t know about unless
taught to them by an experienced professional.

Therefore, in closing I’d say that more than the books, TV and internet,
teachers are more of our mentors. Teachers don’t teach the school or
university subjects, they teach how to learn them on your own. Teachers

55
engineer learning experiences that maneuver the students into the driver’s
seat and then step aside.

(299 words, written by Devanshi Shah)

Nowadays university education is very expensive. Some people


say that universities should reduce their fees, especially for the
less fortunate students or those coming from rural areas. To
what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Band 8.5 Sample Essay:

There has been a significant increase in the university fees in the recent
years, making it difficult for people of limited means to consider getting
educated. This essay shall explain the fee rise in the universities along with
offering solutions in the advantage of poorer students.

As the requirements of the world have become dynamic, so has the


education industry in terms of curriculum and facilities. Renowned
universities now provide far more diverse courses with many advanced
facilities to aid students. This encourages student migration; therefore the
universities have to add the tuition fees and accommodation charges in the
fee structure. Naturally, the university fees will rise. With more and more
students taking admissions every year, this hike in fees seems unlikely to go
down.

However, this is not a very beneficial situation for the less privileged
students. Most students who opt for university studies do so in hopes of
getting good jobs, so as to be able to recover their study expenses. But high
fees make it incredibly expensive and burdensome for these students to
pursue higher education from the start. One solution can be of getting
student loans, but in many cases it is observed that students’ parents simply
don’t have the collateral to get loans.

Some alternatives in favour of reducing university fees for students can be


to raise income from third party sources; this can be comparatively easy for
top universities. Getting government funding is another option. Also,
instead of a blanket reduction in fees, if possible, a nominal hike can be

56
made in the general fee structure, excluding the poor students, for their
better targeted support.

To conclude, I’d say the cost of a degree is an important determinant of the


decision to apply to university. In order to grow their talent pools and
attract the best talent, rich or poor, universities should provide a
consideration for students that cannot take admissions due to financial
constraints, but could’ve otherwise performed remarkably.

Some people think that work is the most


important thing of people’s life. Without
the success of career, life become
meaningless. To what extent do you agree
or disagree?
While it is argued that a distinguished career is regarded as the
most pivotalthing in a person’s life, I strongly believe that there are other
factors which can make people’s lifetime become meaningful.
On the one hand, it cannot be denied that working plays an important
role in one’s life. According to an annual survey carried out in the UK, a
person spends about 25 or 30 years on their occupation, hence working
time accounts for nearly one third of a person’s life. So if people obtain
a worthwhile job that blooms, their lifetime is likely to be filled
with human well-being. Additionally, the state of being stuck in an
unsuccessful career might have a destructive influence on people’s
spirits. Those with turbulent career or experience of job
dissatisfaction could suffer from chronic stress and discouragement,
which affects adversely their mental and physical health, as well as
making them have a negative outlook on their lives.

On the other hand, I contend that there are more desirable goals rather
than a successful career to attain in our life. A vast majority of
people perceive a meaningful life as helping others living in poor
and underprivileged conditions. They spend most of their
lifetime devoting tocharity work. Furthermore, there are other people
who do not enter workforce but seem satisfied with their lives. In
some Asian countries such as Japan, dual-income families are not as
common as that in Western nations. Take Japan as a telling example,
men are often the breadwinners while women stay at home, take over
57
the responsibilities related to household chores and childcare, which
make they feel content as a well-establishedtradition.

In conclusion, while undoubtedly people can benefit enormously from


a glittering career, there are still a lot of significant factors which might
enable them to lead a happy life. 

VOCABULARY

Lifetime (noun) the period of time when someone is alive

Distinguished career (phrase) successful career

Carry out (phrasal verb) conduct

Account for (phrasal verb)  supply or make up a specified amount or


proportion of

Human Well-being (phrase) is understood as a a state of health,


happiness and/or prosperity

A dual–income family (phrase) a family that gets money from two


separate incomes

Take something/someone as a telling example (phrase) Consider


something/someone as a strong, important example

58
The world natural resources are consumed at an ever-increased
rate. What are the dangers of this situation? What should we
do?

Essay 01:

It is true that there is the growing consumption of natural resources in


many parts of the world. This has potential problems, and we need to take
actions to combat the issue.

The over exploitation of natural resources results in a number of negative


effects. Chief among them is a greater level of environmental
contamination. In recent years, emissions from traffic have increased
significantly due to the growing demand for fossil fuels in the world. This
impairs the quality of life and decreases life expectancy of people. In
Vietnam, for example, a growing number of people are suffering from
respiratory problems as a result of the deterioration in the air quality.
Another consequence is that the natural resources will be dwindling shortly
in near future. A possible scenario of this is that countries may fall into a
fuel war, which threatens mankind as a whole.

The situation calls for prompt actions. One measure would be that
campaigns should be continued to raise public awareness about saving
energy. We can, for example, opt for public transport whenever possible
rather than relying on our private vehicles. This will contribute to a
reduction in the level of exhaust emissions released into the environment,
slowing down the progress of global warming. The second remedy is that
alternative sources of energy should be developed to reduce our
dependence on fossil fuels. Solar power, wind power and nuclear energy
ought to be invested in to make them viable for public use in the coming
years.
59
In conclusion, an increase in the world’s demand for natural resources is
posing a number of threats to society. However, this can be handled by
adopting above mentioned suggestions. 

Useful Expressions:

 exploitation: the use of land, oil, minerals, etc. ==>commercial


exploitation of the mineral resources in Antarctica.
 Dwindle: to become gradually less or smaller. ==>Supplies of coal
are dwindling fast.
 To opt for something: to choose to take or not to take a particular
course of action. ==>After graduating she opted for a career in music. 
 To reduce dependence on something
 

Essay 02:

The overconsumption of natural resources has evolved has a major topic of


concern in recent years. This alarming trend poses a number of serious
threats to the world, and must be addressed with a number of definite
actions.

The increasingly high level of natural resources exploitation can be


hazardous in many ways. The most obvious threat is that once the resources
come to the verge of depletion, humans would have to face the scarcity of
fuels and materials. When oil becomes scarce and more expensive,
transport and heating would become less accessible and affordable to most
people. The shortage of resources also leads to stagnation in other
industries, for example, there would not be enough wood for furniture
production and not enough seafood for food processing. This would
threaten the business of thousands of companies, as well as the
employment of millions of workers in these fields.

Some measures can be taken to mitigate the problem of over-consuming


natural resources. The most practical measure is to lower the demand for
energy in every household. This can be done by mass-producing energy-
efficient household appliances and selling them at a low price. Energy
demand may also be cut by making saving energy the focus in propaganda
campaigns in various media channels. Another sustainable solution is to
promote environmentally-friendly technology. For instance, solar cells are
now sold in a small quantity and at a relative high price; they should be

60
made readier and cheaper for the public. Finally, the conservation and
recovery of natural resources, including seafood and forests, must be
regulated by law.

To conclude, the overexploitation of the world’s resources may result in


severe consequences, threatening many industries and people’s life. Strong
measures, such as reducing energy use and resource conservation and
recovery laws, must be implemented to tackle this situation.

(300 words, written by IELTS Teacher, Tu Pham)

Useful words/ phrases:

 Overconsumption is a situation where resource use has outpaced


the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem. 
==>A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to inevitable
environmental degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases
 Scarcity: if there is a scarcity of something, there is not enough of it
and it is difficult to obtain it. 
==>a time of scarcity / a scarcity of resources
 On the verge of: very near to the moment when somebody does
something or something happens. 
==>These measures brought the republic to the verge of economic
collapse.
 Stagnation: the fact of no longer developing or making progress.  
==>a period of economic stagnation
 

61
Some people think international car-free days are an effective
way of reducing air pollution, others think there are some other
ways. Discuss both views and give your own opinion
Sample Answer

It is true that humankind have been encountering the unprecedented global


air pollution. While many individuals argue that curbing air pollution by
introducing international car-free days is promising, I believe that other
more effective methods should be taken into considerations.

On the one hand, there are various reasons why many people agree that the
former approach is conducive to reduce air pollution. It stands to reason
that the number the number of private cars has been increasing
significantly in the new era as the result of the advent of state-of-the-art
technology in car industry as well as high standard of living. Consequently,
the more cars consumed, the more exhaust emissions emitted, resulting in
air pollution. International car-free days, therefore, would reduce to some
extent the amount of emissions stemming from this mean of transportation
and obviously contribute to environmental protection in the long run.

On the other hand, I would advocate with those who contend that there are
numerous approaches besides this above-mentioned one that would be
more effectively. Firstly, it is fair to say that air pollution is attributable to
not only the increasing car comsumption but also other resources such as
emissions from industrial areas. State government, thereafter, should
interfere in this field by enacting environmental laws which restrict the
amount of emissions of factories. Moreover, residents could be raised
awareness by encouraging them to be involved in eco-friendly activites like

62
planting trees, using public transportation or car-pooling system, which
curb a large number of vehicles in street including private cars. By doing so,
not only could it tackle this problem, it but also save national budget.

In conclusion, it seems to me that applying other methods would be highly


advantageous, although international car-free days could be promising to
some extent.

Young people who commit crimes should be treated in the same


as as adults who commit crimes. To what extent do you agree
or disagree?
Band 9.0 Sample:

There is an opinion that young offenders should be held accountable for


their actions just as adults. While I find this viewpoint of some people
justifiable to some extent, I also argue that treating both young and mature
lawbreakers equally may prove to have adverse effects.

On the one hand, I can understand why young age should be no deterrent
to the way of dealing with criminals. If these juvenile delinquents were
easily pardoned in place of receiving strict punishments as adults, they
would not become fully aware of the serious consequences of their crimes.
Therefore imposing appropriate punishments could prevent them from
conducting illegal actions in the future. Besides, young perpetrators usually
receive lighter sentences that they deserve, which is apparently an injustice
to the victims. In Vietnam, there was a well-known case in which a teenager
murdered almost every member of a family deliberately, escaping the death
sentence due to being a few months under the responsible age.

On the other hand, I am convinced that it is better for juvenile criminals to


be tried in a different court from that for adults. Firstly, children are proven
not to have sufficient intellectual or moral capacity to understand the
outcomes of their misdeeds, so they lack the necessary conditions to be trial
defendants as grown-up people. Secondly, when given a second chance,
these underage convicts can have an opportunity to successfully rehabilitate
and learn a valuable lesson. Thirdly, children can be negatively influenced

63
by some bad role models, which should also be taken into consideration to
give them a fair trial.

In conclusion, breakers of laws should not be spared of punishments, but I


believe young offenders should be dealt with differently from adults.

(276 words – by IELTS Teacher, Bao Nguyen)

Useful Expressions:

 Accountable: responsible for your decisions or actions and


expected to explain them when you are asked
==>The state spends taxpayers’ money and should be held accountable.
 Deterrent to something: a thing that makes somebody less likely
to do something 
==> There is no effective deterrent for these young criminals.
 Perpetrator: a person who commits a crime or does something that
is wrong or evil 
==>We will do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to
justice.
 Deliberately: done in a way that was planned, not by chance 
==>I suspected that he was being deliberately ambiguous.
 juvenile criminals: a criminal who is under 19
==> Finding ways to deal with juvenile criminals is a perplexing problem.

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People today do not feel safe either at home or when they are

out. What are the causes? What are the solutions?

In modern days, there has been a higher and higher percentage of those
who reported not feeling safe in their communities. What has been
disclosed in recent surveys has highlighted the need to increase safety not
only on the streets but also at home. The goal of this essay is to outline why
this has happened and put forward appropriate solutions. 

In countries rich and poor alike, much concern has been raised about safety
issue both on the street and at home, and their concern is justified. In the
first place, individuals has been bombarded with tragic crime reports of
murder, rape or house robbery almost every day. This is a particular issue
in developing countries where people are desperate enough to rely on
committing crimes for food, money or survival. Besides, road fatalities have
been rising on an unprecedented scale, no matter what means of
transportation taken.   

This problem can be firstly remedied by increasing the penalty for street
crime. In view of the damaging consequences it can caused to victims, the
several-month prison sentence that is imposed to this kind of criminals is
too lenient and therefore should be made longer. In addition to this, many
methods can be adopted to put the brakes on the death rates on the road.
For example, the government can upgrade the infrastructure and also the
road condition. 

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To conclude, street crime and road accidents can be identified as two most
common reasons why more and more people do not feel safe today. It is
hoped that this issue be resolved before it gets out of hand.

Useful words and expressions:

 Road fatality: mortal accidents


 To remedy something: solve something.
 Put the brakes on something: Make it go slowly.
 Be bombarded with something: receive a lot of it, often without
wanting.
 Tragic crime: horrendous crime, something that is shocking,
unacceptable.
 Damaging consequences: bad consequences.
 On an unprecedented scale: on a scale that no one has ever set.
 Get out of hand: to go uncontrollable

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Studies show that many criminals have a low level of education.
For this reason, people believe that the best way to reduce crime
is to educate people in prison so they can get a job when leave
prison. Do you agree or disagree?
Band 8.5 Model Answer

Recently, crime has been increasing out of control. Some hold the idea that
in order to deter crimes, criminals should be given proper education while
in prison. Personally, I partly share the same view with this.

It is my belief that nurture, not nature, is responsible for malignant and


antisocial behaviours. That is to say, everybody is born with good
personalities and what turns some into criminals is parental neglect and
lack of education. Many studies have shown that children who are not
supervised by their parents on a regular basis are many times more likely to
go off the rails, commit acts of selfishness or to behave aggressively against
others. This rationalizes why I think a good number of prisoners after being
released will not repeat their offences if they are given education.

In addition, while being in jail, inmates have plenty of time which can be
misspent. For example, some of them spend their time on gambling with
their cellmates or accessing materials with objectionable contents. Thus,
giving them the opportunity to be educated translates to the reduction of
time which can be potentially frittered away or used for malicious purposes.

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Nevertheless, there are objections to this perspective. Those who oppose
claim that the potential program of giving education to criminals can cost a
huge amount of money from the Government budget. However,
considering the result it can deliver in the long run as far as societal
stability is concerned, this program is not a waste of taxpayers’ money.

What has been discussed above has effectively corroborated my view that
education can reduce participation in criminal activities and inmates
should receive education while serving time.

 To deter crimes: prevent criminal acts.


 To have antisocial behaviour: A behaviour that is harmful to
society.
 Parental neglect: not enough care from parents.
 Supervise (v.) control.
 Go off the rails: start behaving in a unacceptable way.
 Objectionable (adj.) unpleasant, wrong
 Inmate (v.) those who are imprisoned
 Societal stability.
 To fritter away time: misspend time.
 Malicious (adj.) intended to harm others
 To translate to: change something into something
 To corroborate something: add proof to it.
 To serve time: to be put into prison.

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Many people are afraid to leave their homes because of the fear
of crime. Some believe that more actions should be taken to
prevent crime. Others feel that little can be done. Discuss both
views and give your opinion.
Band 9.0 Sample:

The popularity of crime today has made people stay indoors for self-
protection. While it is a common belief that reducing the crime rate is a
nearly impossible mission, I hold the view that there are certain measures
which can convert the world into a safer place to live in.

On the one hand, many people argue that in such current era of moral
decadence, any attempts to prevent crime would turn out to be a failure.
Poverty and unemployment are considered chief precursors to law
violation, and only when these two social issues are eliminated will crime
disappear. However, it is true that a society can only provide a limited
number of jobs for its residents, and those who are not lucky enough to
receive good education from childhood would find it difficult to pursue a
career to make ends meet. Such individuals are lack of both skills and
orientation, and from their perspective, becoming a thief might be a better
way to survive compared to unstably living on governmental subsidies or
performing menial work. It seems that the root of this problem cannot be
solved completely, and this is why how to halt law-breaking may remain as
an insurmountable question for the government.

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On the other hand, I am of the opinion that there are still solutions to
maintain criminal justice. Firstly, stricter sets of laws are required, and the
penalties should be corresponding to the severity of the wrongdoings. In a
variety of countries, such as the United Kingdom or Italy, the capital
punishment has been abandoned; but I believe it should be reintroduced as
the fear of death may deter the potential offenders and stop them from
committing serious crime. Secondly, the government should encourage
companies and organizations to expand and run more projects. These
actions create jobs; therefore, those who live under the poverty line not only
do not have to become pickpockets or burglars for survival but also stand a
chance to earn a living with their own clean money.

In conclusion, I believe that the aforementioned measures can create more


peaceful communities and ensure the safety of the residents.

(355 words – Thanh Nguyen IELTS)

Useful Expressions:

 Crime rate: A measure of the number of crimes recorded in a


particular area, over a given period of time, etc. 
==>The crime rate in the UK has reduced in recent years
 Measure: a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular
purpose 
==>There are certain cost-cutting measures to this issue
 Convert: cause to change in form, character, or function 
==>The industry has come up with production processes that converted
raw material into useful forms.
 Decadence: moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive
indulgence in pleasure or luxury. 
==>He denounced Western decadence.
 Precursor: a person or thing that comes before another of the same
kind; a forerunner. 
==>A high population density is the precursor to traffic congestion.
 Violation: the action of violating someone or something 
==>the aircraft were in violation of UN resolutions.
 Eliminate: completely remove or get rid of (something) 
==>The new policy would eliminate inflation.
 Subsidy: a sum of money granted by the government or a public
body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or
service may remain low or competitive.

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==>Poor families rely on the governmental subsidies to satisfy their basic
demands, such as eating or maintaining the domestic costs.

 Menial: (of work) not requiring much skill and lacking prestige 
==>Most menial works do not require expertise or intricate skills.
 Insurmountable: too great to be overcome 
==>Environmental pollution has remained as an insurmountable
problem for governments for the last few years.
 Justice: a judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the supreme
court of a country or state. 
==>It is, therefore, a matter of public interest who becomes judges of the
lower courts and justices of the Supreme Court.
 Corresponding: similar in character, form, or function 
==>We discussed our corresponding viewpoints.
 Capital punishment: the legally authorized killing of someone as
punishment for a crime
==>The fact that the International Covenant sanctions capital
punishment must be seen in this context.

Some people think that schools should reward students who


show the best academic results, while others believe that it is
more important to reward students who show improvements.
Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Band 9.0 Sample:

Giving encouragement is a necessary practice in every education system. In


some countries, a form of awards is often given to those who achieve the
highest level of academic attainment, but this is not the most desirable
solution, as will now be discussed.

There are those who argue that students with the best academic results
should be rewarded. The core of this argument is that this may encourage
students to study hard for the best grade, and that those who excel at
academic performances should be praised for their efforts. However, only
some students who are very smart can be able to come top in formal exams
while normal students may think that they are incapable of competing with
more intelligent students at all. Therefore, slow students might feel
reluctant to bury themselves in study to achieve higher scores.

However, I side with those who believe that schools should reward those
who endeavour to study and make great improvements in the educational

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environment. For example, when I was a child, I often received a small gift
from my parents once I scored higher than I did in the previous exam. I still
remember that this did make significant contributions to my study and
helped me to progress fast in the classroom. Thus, it is suggested that
schools take the same action to encourage students to learn. For instance,
teachers can simply pay a compliment as the recognition of the efforts that
students make during the semester.

In conclusion, it seems to me that schools should reward those who make


academic improvements rather than those who score highest in the exam.

Useful Vocabulary & Expressions:

 Attainment: something that you achieved  ==>a young woman of


impressive educational attainments.
 To excel at smth: to be very good at doing something  ==>She has
always excelled in foreign languages.
 To be incapable of doing smth
 To endeavour: to try very hard to do something  ==>The buyer
should always endeavour to negotiate terms. 
  To pay a compliment: compliment on somebody/something

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