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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer based on a question from the IELTS Cambridge 12 book of previous practice tests.

That means this a real question from IELTS and I am a real former examiner – what more could you want!

Well you might want some more sample answers that I wrote.

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer from Cambridge 12: Young People (by Dave)

At the present time, the population of some countries includes a relatively large number of young adults, compared with the number of older people.

Do the advantage of this situation outweigh the disadvantages?

The average age of the population for many nations around the world has been in decline in recent decades creating a situation where young people have become the world’s largest demographic, particularly in developing nations. Although there are decided drawbacks to this phenomenon related to expertise in the workforce, it is still a positive development because it will lead to booming economies in the coming years.

The most frequently cited drawback to having a predominately young population is the lack of skilled workers in many important industries. A great example of this can be seen in Vietnam, which has one of the youngest populations in the world. Vietnam currently has very few leaders in important areas like engineering and technology. When it came time for Ho Chi Minh city to build a subway system, there were not enough skilled engineers to accomplish the feat. They had to hire a huge number of specialists from Japan and Thailand to ensure the quality of the project. The potential engineers for this project are still in school in Vietnam or studying abroad and it may be another decade before they are ready to design and execute large, complex infrastructure. It is not uncommon for developing countries with young populations to require outside assistance for national projects to the detriment of their own workers.

Despite this drawback, the advantage of a young population is that it brings many future benefits to a country and is a key indicator of future economic prosperity. Japan famously has one of the oldest populations in the world and this has led them into a deep economic recession over the last 20 years as it becomes increasingly apparent that the nation will have to assume responsibilities related to healthcare and a dwindling workforce. Contrast this with the so-called ‘Tiger Economies’ of Southeast Asia that include Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. These countries have some of the youngest populations in the world, which, coupled with a growing middle class and better education, means that they will enjoy upward economic growth for decades to come. The middle class will expand because well-educated graduates will be able to get good jobs and this middle class will become a consumer class that feeds the economy. Overall, this is why having a young population is desirable for any nation.

In conclusion, I fully believe that a younger population indicates a country is going to be successful in the future. The key element for all young populations is education and governments should focus on this in order to fully exploit the benefits of their demographics.

 

 

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

The average age of the population for many nations around the world has been in decline in recent decades creating a situation where young people have become the world’s largest demographic, particularly in developing nations. Although there are decided drawbacks to this phenomenon related to expertise in the workforce, it is still a positive development because it will lead to booming economies in the coming years.

  • My first sentence simply rephrases the question and topic. Write this sentence quickly as it is not that important.

  • My second sentence gives my opinion and includes the main reason why (economic benefits).

The most frequently cited drawback to having a predominately young population is the lack of skilled workers in many important industries. A great example of this can be seen in Vietnam, which has one of the youngest populations in the world. Vietnam currently has very few leaders in important areas like engineering and technology. When it came time for Ho Chi Minh city to build a subway system, there were not enough skilled engineers to accomplish the feat. They had to hire a huge number of specialists from Japan and Thailand to ensure the quality of the project. The potential engineers for this project are still in school in Vietnam or studying abroad and it may be another decade before they are ready to design and execute large, complex infrastructure. It is not uncommon for developing countries with young populations to require outside assistance for national projects to the detriment of their own workers.

  • My first sentence is a topic sentence that explains the main idea for the paragraph (lack of skilled workers in younger populations).

  • My second sentence uses the example of Vietnam (where I live!).

  • My third sentence expands on the example.

  • My fourth sentence continues the examples.

  • My fifth sentence also continues the example.

  • My sixth sentence makes the example more general by talking about other developing countries.

Despite this drawback, the advantage of a young population is that it brings many future benefits to a country and is a key indicator of future economic prosperity. Japan famously has one of the oldest populations in the world and this has led them into a deep economic recession over the last 20 years as it becomes increasingly apparent that the nation will have to assume responsibilities related to healthcare and a dwindling workforce. Contrast this with the so-called ‘Tiger Economies’ of Southeast Asia that include Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. These countries have some of the youngest populations in the world, which, coupled with a growing middle class and better education, means that they will enjoy upward economic growth for decades to come. The middle class will expand because well-educated graduates will be able to get good jobs and this middle class will become a consumer class that feeds the economy. Overall, this is why having a young population is desirable for any nation.

  • My first sentence is a topic sentence saying that having a younger population is good for the economy.

  • My second sentence gives the examples of Japan.

  • My third sentence continues the examples by contrasting with countries in Southeast Asia.

  • My fourth sentence continues the example.

  • My fifth sentence gives more detail in the example.

  • My sixth sentence is general and explains why every country should want a young population.

In conclusion, I fully believe that a younger population indicates a country is going to be successful in the future. The key element for all young populations is education and governments should focus on this in order to full exploit the benefits of their demographics.

  • My first sentence repeats my opinion. Do this or get IELTS band 5 for task achievement!

  • My second sentence adds an extra detail that is not summary because some IELTS examiners require this for band 7+.

 

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the phrases highlighted below mean in your own words? Is there a translation in your language?

The average age of the population for many nations around the world has been in decline in recent decades creating a situation where young people have become the world’s largest demographic, particularly in developing nations. Although there are decided drawbacks to this phenomenon related to expertise in the workforce, it is still a positive development because it will lead to booming economies in the coming years.

The most frequently cited drawback to having a predominately young population is the lack of skilled workers in many important industries. A great example of this can be seen in Vietnam, which has one of the youngest populations in the world. Vietnam currently has very few leaders in important areas like engineering and technology. When it came time for Ho Chi Minh city to build a subway system, there were not enough skilled engineers to accomplish the feat. They had to hire a huge number of specialists from Japan and Thailand to ensure the quality of the project. The potential engineers for this project are still in school in Vietnam or studying abroad and it may be another decade before they are ready to design and execute large, complex infrastructure. It is not uncommon for developing countries with young populations to require outside assistance for national projects to the detriment of their own workers.

Despite this drawback, the advantage of a young population is that it brings many future benefits to a country and is a key indicator of future economic prosperity. Japan famously has one of the oldest populations in the world and this has led them into a deep economic recession over the last 20 years as it becomes increasingly apparent that the nation will have to assume responsibilities related to healthcare and a dwindling workforce. Contrast this with the so-called ‘Tiger Economies’ of Southeast Asia that include Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. These countries have some of the youngest populations in the world, which, coupled with a growing middle class and better education, means that they will enjoy upward economic growth for decades to come. The middle class will expand because well-educated graduates will be able to get good jobs and this middle class will become a consumer class that feeds the economy. Overall, this is why having a young population is desirable for any nation.

In conclusion, I fully believe that a younger population indicates a country is going to be successful in the future. The key element for all young populations is education and governments should focus on this in order to fully exploit the benefits of their demographics.

 

Answers:

in decline: getting worse

demographic: the type of people living in a place (men, women, young, old, race, etc.)

decided drawbacks: clear disadvantages

expertise: knowledge or skill in an area

workforce: the working people in a country

booming economies: economies that are doing very well

predominately: mostly

came time for: when something is needed/desired

accomplish the feat: do/finish something

specialists: people with expertise

ensure: make sure

execute: do

not uncommon: common

outside assistance: help from other people

to the detriment of: to the disadvantage of

future benefits: will get something back later

key indicator: a signal that gives information/makes something clear

economic prosperity: the economy doing well

recession: the economy of a country shrinking slightly

increasingly apparent: more and more clear

assume responsibilities: take responsibility

dwindling workforce: number of workers getting smaller

contrast this with: compare this to

coupled with: combined with

desirable: wanted

fully exploit: take full/complete advantage of

 

Vocabulary Practice

The average age of the population for many nations around the world has been ____________________ in recent decades creating a situation where young people have become the world’s largest ____________________, particularly in developing nations. Although there are__________________ to this phenomenon related to __________________ in the __________________, it is still a positive development because it will lead to __________________ in the coming years.

The most frequently cited drawback to having a __________________ young population is the lack of skilled workers in many important industries. A great example of this can be seen in Vietnam, which has one of the youngest populations in the world. Vietnam currently has very few leaders in important areas like engineering and technology. When it __________________ Ho Chi Minh city to build a subway system, there were not enough skilled engineers to __________________ . They had to hire a huge number of __________________ from Japan and Thailand to __________________ the quality of the project. The potential engineers for this project are still in school in Vietnam or studying abroad and it may be another decade before they are ready to design and __________________ large, complex infrastructure. It is __________________ for developing countries with young populations to require __________________ for national projects __________________ their own workers.

Despite this drawback, the advantage of a young population is that it brings many __________________ to a country and is a __________________ of future __________________. Japan famously has one of the oldest populations in the world and this has led them into a deep economic __________________ over the last 20 years as it becomes __________________ that the nation will have to __________________ related to healthcare and a __________________. __________________ the so-called ‘Tiger Economies’ of Southeast Asia that include Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. These countries have some of the youngest populations in the world, which, __________________ a growing middle class and better education, means that they will enjoy upward economic growth for decades to come. The middle class will expand because well-educated graduates will be able to get good jobs and this middle class will become a consumer class that feeds the economy. Overall, this is why having a young population is __________________ for any nation.

In conclusion, I fully believe that a younger population indicates a country is going to be successful in the future. The key element for all young populations is education and governments should focus on this in order to __________________ the benefits of their demographics.

 

Links

How an Ageing Population Will Change the World

Ageing Population Animation

How is Japan Dealing with its Rapidly Ageing Population

What the Rising Youth Population Means for the World

Here are some activities you can use to improve your listening while watching the videos: Improve your Listening.

 

Comment below – does your country have an old or young population?

Well, where I’m living…

It’s kind of of a mix actually in …

Honestly, it’s a giant problem in …

Truth be told, we don’t really have to deal with this problem much in ….


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