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This is another IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 13 and I am a former British Council examiner – what else do you need to know?

The question for this one is related to education and history – both really common topics on all parts of IELTS.

There is analysis of how to write your IELTS Writing Task 2 and exercises for vocabulary below that – don’t miss out!

(And here are my other sample answers.)

History and IELTS

History and IELTS

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 13: History (by Dave)

Some people say history is one the most important school subjects. Other people think that, in today’s world, subjects like science and technology are more important than history. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. Write at least 250 words.

There are many people who have called into question the importance in today’s world of subjects like history, which do not have an immediately discernible impact on most future careers. While I think that history should still be mandatory, more practical subjects related to technology and the arts are more needed in our evolving world.

The main reason that students should study some history in school is that it provides crucial insights into nations around the world that serve as springboards for later political beliefs. In America, students learn about the American Revolution, the constitution and the founding fathers periodically from elementary to high school. They learn about why the war started (so that the colonies could tax and govern themselves) as well as the great figures from history like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Some of the principles students learn include the ideas of American exceptionalism, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the responsibility of citizens to vote in a representative democracy. Later in life, most people will lean liberal or conservative but still hold the same basic convictions about individual liberty and responsibility. By knowing the context in which these ideas emerged students can become adults with well-informed political beliefs and it will be more difficult for unscrupulous politicians to make false assertions about the past.

Although history should still be taught, the practical sciences and arts should be prioritised because these are more likely to have an impact on a person’s future career. Very few students will end up with careers in history, as historians or professors, but a large percentage will work in the arts and especially the sciences. For example, in Vietnam the most popular university majors are engineering, finance, and graphic design. If schools emphasise maths at school then this will better prepare them to make calculations in complex engineering projects or when working at a bank or accountancy firm. Even learning how to draw and use colors in art class is more useful for students because of the high demand for graphic designers on websites and advertisements. Countries that devote more of their educational budget towards these practical subjects will give students a head start on a potential future career and increase their chances of having a higher standard of living.

It is clear that in this case a moderate approach is best. School administrators should not remove history from the timetable but in my opinion they should devote more time and resources to the teaching of subjects related to technology and the arts. This will become ever more important as the tech industry continues to dominate the future job market.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. There are many people who have called into question the importance in today’s world of subjects like history, which do not have an immediately discernible impact on most future careers. 2. While I think that history should still be mandatory, more practical subjects related to technology and the arts are more needed in our evolving world.

1. The first sentence simply rephrases the topic – write this sentence as fast as you can because it doesn’t really matter much!

2. My second sentence makes my opinion clear and hints at my main reason.

 

1. The main reason that students should study some history in school is that it provides crucial insights into nations around the world that serve as springboards for later political beliefs. 2. In America, students learn about the American Revolution, the constitution and the founding fathers periodically from elementary to high school. 3. They learn about why the war started (so that the colonies could tax and govern themselves) as well as the great figures from history like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. 4. Some of the principles students learn include the ideas of American exceptionalism, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the responsibility of citizens to vote in a representative democracy. 5. Later in life, most people will lean liberal or conservative but still hold the same basic convictions about individual liberty and responsibility. 6. By knowing the context in which these ideas emerged students can become adults with well-informed political beliefs and it will be more difficult for unscrupulous politicians to make false assertions about the past.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence, explaining the main idea of paragraph – history is important for later political views.

2. The second sentence develops this with a specific example that I know well from my own country – use your country to write your example because you will be able to better develop it!

3. My third sentence develops my example with more detail.

4. My fourth sentence continues to add more detail to the example.

5. The fifth sentence adds more detail and ties it back to the main idea.

6. My sixth sentence further develops the example and the main idea and summarises the paragraph.

 

 

1. Although history should still be taught, the practical sciences and arts should be prioritised because these are more likely to have an impact on a person’s future career. 2. Very few students will end up with careers in history, as historians or professors, but a large percentage will work in the arts and especially the sciences. 3. For example, in Vietnam the most popular university majors are engineering, finance, and graphic design. 4. If schools emphasise maths at school then this will better prepare them to make calculations in complex engineering projects or when working at a bank or accountancy firm. 5. Even learning how to draw and use colors in art class is more useful for students because of the high demand for graphic designers on websites and advertisements. 6. Countries that devote more of their educational budget towards these practical subjects will give students a head start on a potential future career and increase their chances of having a higher standard of living.

1. The first sentence is another topic sentence with a clear main idea: arts and sciences are more useful for students’ future careers.

2. My second sentence explains my main idea.

3. My third sentence begins an example that will last the rest of the paragraph. Get started on your examples as fast as you can!

4. My fourth sentence continues to focus on that example – don’t run away from your examples!

5. The fifth sentence also develops the same example…

6. My sixth sentence relates it back to the main idea and concludes the paragraph. 

 

1. It is clear that in this case a moderate approach is best. 2. School administrators should not remove history from the timetable but in my opinion they should devote more time and resources to the teaching of subjects related to technology and the arts. 3. This will become ever more important as the tech industry continues to dominate the future job market.

1. The first sentence says that my opinion is going to be moderate – not strong. I am not sitting in the middle but my opinion is reasonable.

2. My second sentence explains what my opinion is – make this very, very clear!

3. My third sentence adds an extra, new detail – make sure you have this sentence or some examiners will not gie you above band 7 for task achievement!

 

 

 

 

Sample Answer Vocabulary

Don’t just read the words below – do some practice! Write a new sentence with each one even if you don’t know exactly what it means. Then read the definitions and fix your sentence if it is incorrect! Who needs a teacher?

There are many people who have called into question the importance in today’s world of subjects like history, which do not have an immediately discernible impact on most future careers. While I think that history should still be mandatory, more practical subjects related to technology and the arts are more needed in our evolving world.

The main reason that students should study some history in school is that it provides crucial insights into nations around the world that serve as springboards for later political beliefs. In America, students learn about the American Revolution, the constitution and the founding fathers periodically from elementary to high school. They learn about why the war started (so that the colonies could tax and govern themselves) as well as the great figures from history like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Some of the principles students learn include the ideas of American exceptionalism, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the responsibility of citizens to vote in a representative democracy. Later in life, most people will lean liberal or conservative but still hold the same basic convictions about individual liberty and responsibility. By knowing the context in which these ideas emerged students can become adults with well-informed political beliefs and it will be more difficult for unscrupulous politicians to make false assertions about the past.

Although history should still be taught, the practical sciences and arts should be prioritised because these are more likely to have an impact on a person’s future career. Very few students will end up with careers in history, as historians or professors, but a large percentage will work in the arts and especially the sciences. For example, in Vietnam the most popular university majors are engineering, finance, and graphic design. If schools emphasise maths at school then this will better prepare them to make calculations in complex engineering projects or when working at a bank or accountancy firm. Even learning how to draw and use colors in art class is more useful for students because of the high demand for graphic designers on websites and advertisements. Countries that devote more of their educational budget towards these practical subjects will give students a head start on a potential future career and increase their chances of having a higher standard of living.

It is clear that in this case a moderate approach is best. School administrators should not remove history from the timetable but in my opinion they should devote more time and resources to the teaching of subjects related to technology and the arts. This will become ever more important as the tech industry continues to dominate the future job market.

 

Answers:

called into question: up for debate, not everyone agrees on it

immediately discernible impact: clear effect that you can see

mandatory: you have to do it

evolving world: changing, modern world

provides crucial insights: gives important conclusions/lessons

springboards: originates in

periodically: regularly

govern: control or be in charge of

great figures: important people

American exceptionalism: the idea that America is different and special and can do whatever it wants

representative democracy: government where you elect people to vote for you, like senators and congressmen

lean liberal or conservative: have left-wing or right-wing (conservative) views

basic convictions: fundamental beliefs

well-informed political beliefs: educated opinions about politics

unscrupulous politicians: politicians who will lie, cheat, steal, etc to get what they want

false assertions: lies

prioritised: make more important

especially: particularly

better prepare: good preparation

high demand: lots of people want it

devote: dedicate or give

head start: begin with an advantage

moderate approach: not an extreme way of doing something, safer

timetable: schedule

job market: employment in a variety of industries

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

There are many people who have ____________________ the importance in today’s world of subjects like history, which do not have an __________________ on most future careers. While I think that history should still be __________________, more practical subjects related to technology and the arts are more needed in our __________________.

The main reason that students should study some history in school is that it __________________ into nations around the world that serve as __________________ for later political beliefs. In America, students learn about the American Revolution, the constitution and the founding fathers __________________ from elementary to high school. They learn about why the war started (so that the colonies could tax and __________________ themselves) as well as the __________________ from history like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Some of the principles students learn include the ideas of __________________, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the responsibility of citizens to vote in a __________________. Later in life, most people will __________________ but still hold the same __________________ about individual liberty and responsibility. By knowing the context in which these ideas emerged students can become adults with __________________ and it will be more difficult for __________________ to make __________________ about the past.

Although history should still be taught, the practical sciences and arts should be __________________because these are more likely to have an impact on a person’s future career. Very few students will end up with careers in history, as historians or professors, but a large percentage will work in the arts and __________________ the sciences. For example, in Vietnam the most popular university majors are engineering, finance, and graphic design. If schools emphasise maths at school then this will __________________ them to make calculations in complex engineering projects or when working at a bank or accountancy firm. Even learning how to draw and use colors in art class is more useful for students because of the __________________ for graphic designers on websites and advertisements. Countries that __________________more of their educational budget towards these practical subjects will give students a __________________ on a potential future career and increase their chances of having a higher standard of living.

It is clear that in this case a __________________ is best. School administrators should not remove history from the __________________ but in my opinion they should devote more time and resources to the teaching of subjects related to technology and the arts. This will become ever more important as the tech industry continues to dominate the future __________________.

 

IELTS Speaking Part 2 – History (Band 8)

Here is an example of a IELTS Speaking Part 2 on the topic of an important figure from history, done by Nguyen!

You can read the full post with analysis of her band score here.

 

 

Here is the full transcript with a couple of corrections:

Ok so a person from history I’m going to talk about today is Leonardo DaVinci. Leonardo DaVinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath whose areas of interest included invention architecture, sculpting, science and there are so many more that I can’t remember them all right now. But in general he was a multi-talented man. Um … and he’s also considered one of the greatest painters of all time. And many historians and scholars regard Leonardo DaVinci as a universal genius or a Renaissance man. And among his works the Mona Lisa is the most famous and duplicated portrait with ‘The Last Supper’ being the most reproduced religious painting of all time. And I think one – there was a historian – that I can’t remember the name – once said that “Leonardo DaVinci went beyond his time” – that he could – he could think of inventions that were so advanced that most of his work and designsweren’t feasible during his lifetime, and most of his designs weren’t recognised or realised until 100 years later. And during his time, which was like 500 years ago, he was able to conceptualise the flying machine, armored fighting vehicle and even concentrated solar power. The reason why I admire him is because I think that he – I agree with all other historians and scholars that he was one of the greatest paintersof all time and somehow I think his personality and – his personality was quite mysterious and remote in a way that it has made me more curious to learn more about him.

 

 

 

Links from TedEd

I really love the TedEd videos because they are really high-quality and the visuals help second language learners. Read more about how to practice while watching here.

The history of the world according to cats

A brie(f) history of cheese

History vs. Christopher Columbus

A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome

 

 

Comment below – who is the most important person in the history of your country?

I’d have to say that’s…

Most people would agree that…

Not everyone shares my view, but I think…

There’s no history in my country – we only have the present and the future!

 


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