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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer related to changing jobs from the real IELTS exam.

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!

I was lucky with this question because I just read a book on this topic a few weeks ago!

That is probably not going to happen for you on the test – but sometimes you might know a book or documentary on the topic in question.

You can read on to see how I dealt with summarising a book as my main argument.

Or… you can watch this video with the full answer and analysis.

I recommend that you write about the question yourself and then compare your answer with mine (in terms of grammar, vocabulary, and your ideas, especially):

You can read my other samples here by the way!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Changing Jobs (Real Test)

The job market today is very competitive and it is best to choose a career or field of study early in order to get a good job later in life.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real IELTS Exam

Today’s hyper-competitive job market encourages parents and educators to push specialization at increasingly earlier ages. Although choosing a career early on is a safe option, it will not produce the best results in my opinion.

The reason that opting in to a career from an early age has become so prevalent is that it affords people a sense of security that is at least somewhat justified. In Vietnam, the vast majority of High School graduates are pushed early by their parents into safe fields like finance and the sciences. There are a number of hard skills required for these fields such as good mathematical acumen, industriousness, and logical thinking. If students start to learn these skills at a very young age or beginning in High School then they will have a head start on their peers that can continue through university into the job market. This is the theory that guides specialization.

It is difficult to dispute the above logic, however, recent research has shown that having a breadth of knowledge and experience is a much better predictor of future success. A recent book by David Epstein titled ‘Range’ debunked the commonly held belief that early specialization is safer. In fact, the majority of leaders in their fields experimented with a large number of subject areas and professions before settling on one. The early specialisers were the exceptions and are therefore a poor model to imitate. The core argument of that book is that experience in multiple fields helps you to make connections and learn a diverse range of skills that you can later bring to bear on your chosen profession.

In conclusion, having a range of experience is more important than locking yourself into a field of study early in order to enhance later career options. Universities ought to make a shift to adopt some of the principles of liberal arts schools to better prepare graduates for an uncertain future world economy.

Word Count: 323

Analysis

1. Today’s hyper-competitive job market encourages parents and educators to push specialization at increasingly earlier ages. 2. Although choosing a career early on is a safe option, it will not produce the best results in my opinion.

  1. The first sentence simply paraphrases the topic for the essay – write this sentence quickly to get on to the more important ones!
  2. My second sentence is my opinion. Be sure to have a clear opinion – don’t sit in the middle. (I include my main idea for one paragraph, but you don’t have to.)

1. The reason that opting in to a career from an early age has become so prevalent is that it affords people a sense of security that is at least somewhat justified. 2. In Vietnam, the vast majority of High School graduates are pushed early by their parents into safe fields like finance and the sciences. 3. There are a number of hard skills required for these fields such as good mathematical acumen, industriousness, and logical thinking. 4. If students start to learn these skills at a very young age or beginning in High School then they will have a head start on their peers that can continue through university into the job market. 5. This is the theory that guides specialization.

  1. This is a topic sentence with my main idea for the paragraph – specialising early is a safe bet.
  2. In my second sentence I focus on the example right away – don’t waste time, be specific and detailed!
  3. The third sentence further develops my example with the specific skills you can learn.
  4. My fourth sentnence relates this back to the job market. If you start to stray from the main question, be sure to relate your example back to it.
  5. The last sentence concludes the paragraph. This sentence is not totally necessary and if you are worried about time, don’t write it!

1. It is difficult to dispute the above logic, however, recent research has shown that having a breadth of knowledge and experience is a much better predictor of future success. 2. A recent book by David Epstein titled ‘Range’ debunked the commonly held belief that early specialization is safer. 3. In fact, the majority of leaders in their fields experimented with a large number of subject areas and professions before settling on one. 4. The early specialisers were the exceptions and are therefore a poor model to imitate. 5. The core argument of that book is that experience in multiple fields helps you to make connections and learn a diverse range of skills that you can later bring to bear on your chosen profession.

  1. My first sentence is another topic sentence with my main idea for the paragraph – have a range of skills is more important for success.
  2. The second sentence begins my main example which comes from a book called ‘Range.’
  3. My third sentence continues to talk about the book – develop your examples fully!
  4. The fourth sentence also further develops the same example – stick to one, fully developed example!
  5. The final sentence concludes the argument from the book and my paragraph.

1. In conclusion, having a range of experience is more important than locking yourself into a field of study early in order to enhance later career options. 2. Universities ought to make a shift to adopt some of the principles of liberal arts schools to better prepare graduates for an uncertain future world economy.

  1. My first sentence summarises my opinion – make sure that you have a clear opinion – don’t sit in the middle!
  2. The final sentence adds an extra detail/piece of support that a lot of examiners will require for band 7+ for task achievement.

Word Count: 323 (Try to keep your writing to 275-300 words)

Vocabulary

Try to figure out or think of a synonym for the vocabulary in bold below:

Today’s hyper-competitive job market encourages parents and educators to push specialization at increasingly earlier ages. Although choosing a career early on is a safe option, it will not produce the best results in my opinion.

The reason that opting in to a career from an early age has become so prevalent is that it affords people a sense of security that is at least somewhat justified. In Vietnam, the vast majority of High School graduates are pushed early by their parents into safe fields like finance and the sciences. There are a number of hard skills required for these fields such as good mathematical acumen, industriousness, and logical thinking. If students start to learn these skills at a very young age or beginning in High School then they will have a head start on their peers that can continue through university into the job market. This is the theory that guides specialization.

It is difficult to dispute the above logic, however, recent research has shown that having a breadth of knowledge and experience is a much better predictor of future success. A recent book by David Epstein titled ‘Range’ debunked the commonly held belief that early specialization is safer. In fact, the majority of leaders in their fields experimented with a large number of subject areas and professions before settling on one. The early specialisers were the exceptions and are therefore a poor model to imitate. The core argument of that book is that experience in multiple fields helps you to make connections and learn a diverse range of skills that you can later bring to bear on your chosen profession.

In conclusion, having a range of experience is more important than locking yourself into a field of study early in order to enhance later career options. Universities ought to make a shift to adopt some of the principles of liberal arts schools to better prepare graduates for an uncertain future world economy.

Word Count: 323

Answers

hyper-competitive job market: very difficult to get a job

push specialization: encourage kids to focus on one area

early on: from a young age

safe option: choice most likely to result in a good job

best results: good outcome

opting in: signing up for

prevalent: common

affords: allows for

sense of security: feeling safe

somewhat justified: some good reason for it

vast majority: most people

safe fields: less risky occupations

the sciences: chemistry, biology, computer sciences, etc.

hard skills: discrete skills

mathematical acumen: good mathematical ability

industriousness: hard-working

head start: more advanced than others

peers: classmates/coworkers

guides: underpins

dispute: argue with

breadth of knowledge: wide range of areas you know about

predictor: indicates/predicts

debunked: disproven

commonly held belief: unquestioned belief

early specialization: focusing on one area from a young age

experimented: tried out

subject areas: fields of study

settling on: deciding on

exceptions: different cases

poor model: bad example

imitate: copy

core argument: crux of their position

connections: links

diverse range: lots of different areas

bring to bear: able to call on

chosen profession: chosen field

locking yourself into: getting stuck with

enhance later career options: have a better job in the future

shift: change/alter

adopt: start using

liberal arts schools: schools where you study a range of subjects

better prepare: more ready for

uncertain future world economy: uncertain future job market

Pronunciation

ˈhaɪpə-kəmˈpɛtɪtɪv ʤɒb ˈmɑːkɪt 
pʊʃ ˌspɛʃəlaɪˈzeɪʃən 
ˈɜːli ɒn 
seɪf ˈɒpʃən
bɛst rɪˈzʌlts 
ˈɒptɪŋ ɪn 
ˈprɛvələnt 
əˈfɔːdz 
sɛns ɒv sɪˈkjʊərɪti 
ˈsʌmwɒt ˈʤʌstɪfaɪd
vɑːst məˈʤɒrɪti 
seɪf fiːldz 
ðə ˈsaɪənsɪz
hɑːd skɪlz 
ˌmæθɪˈmætɪkəl əˈkjuːmɛn
ɪnˈdʌstrɪəsnəs
hɛd stɑːt 
pɪəz 
gaɪdz 
dɪsˈpjuːt 
brɛdθ ɒv ˈnɒlɪʤ 
prɪˈdɪktə 
ˌdiːˈbʌŋkt 
ˈkɒmənli hɛld bɪˈliːf 
ˈɜːli ˌspɛʃəlaɪˈzeɪʃən 
ɪksˈpɛrɪmɛntɪd 
ˈsʌbʤɪkt ˈeərɪəz 
ˈsɛtlɪŋ ɒn 
ɪkˈsɛpʃənz 
pʊə ˈmɒdl 

ˈɪmɪteɪt
kɔːr ˈɑːgjʊmənt
kəˈnɛkʃənz
daɪˈvɜːs reɪnʤ
brɪŋ tuː beə
ˈʧəʊzn prəˈfɛʃən
ˈlɒkɪŋ jɔːˈsɛlf ˈɪntuː
ɪnˈhɑːns ˈleɪtə kəˈrɪər ˈɒpʃənz
ʃɪft
əˈdɒpt
ˈlɪbərəl ɑːts skuːlz
ˈbɛtə prɪˈpeə
ʌnˈsɜːtn ˈfjuːʧə wɜːld i(ː)ˈkɒnəmi

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Fill in the blanks:

Today’s _________________ encourages parents and educators to push _________________ at increasingly earlier ages. Although choosing a career early _________________ is a safe _________________, it will not produce the best _________________ in my opinion.

The reason that opting _________________ to a career from an early age has become so _________________ is that it _________________ people a sense of _________________ that is at least somewhat _________________. In Vietnam, the vast _________________ of High School graduates are pushed early by their parents into safe _________________ like finance and the _________________. There are a number of hard _________________ required for these fields such as good mathematical _________________, _________________, and logical thinking. If students start to learn these skills at a very young age or beginning in High School then they will have a head _________________ on their _________________ that can continue through university into the job market. This is the theory that _________________ specialization.

It is difficult to _________________ the above logic, however, recent research has shown that having a breadth of _________________ and experience is a much better _________________ of future success. A recent book by David Epstein titled ‘Range’ _________________ the commonly held _________________ that early _________________ is safer. In fact, the majority of leaders in their fields _________________ with a large number of subject _________________ and professions before settling _________________ one. The early specialisers were the _________________ and are therefore a poor _________________ to _________________. The core _________________ of that book is that experience in multiple fields helps you to make _________________ and learn a diverse _________________ of skills that you can later bring to _________________ on your chosen _________________.

In conclusion, having a range of experience is more important than locking yourself _________________ a field of study early in order to enhance later career _________________. Universities ought to make a _________________ to _________________ some of the principles of liberal arts _________________ to better _________________ graduates for an uncertain future world _________________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Reading Practice

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/28/books/review/david-epstein-range.html

Speaking Practice:

Answer the following questions related to changing jobs. You can use the activities here if you don’t have a speaking partner.

Do you think that it is risky to change jobs a lot?

How important is it to work or study in a number of different fields?

How did you choose your major or career?

Sample IELTS Speaking Questions

Learn more about my online courses here.

Comment any questions or comments that you have below!


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