IELTS Essay: Focus at School

IELTS Essay: Focus at School

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of focus at school and the reasons why it is hard these days from the real IELTS exam.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Focus at School

Many students find it difficult to focus or pay attention at school nowadays.

What are the reasons for this?

What can be done to solve this problem?

Recently, it is has become notoriously difficult for students to focus on their lessons. In my opinion, this is a partly natural phenomenon that has been exacerbated by technology and the solutions lie in strict restriction and supervision.

The causes of a lack of concentration at school are both the pervasiveness of technology and human nature. Firstly, people have always struggled to focus. Very few students enjoy concentrating on tedious lessons and completing endless assignments at school. However, this has become worse as corporations exploit fundamental human characteristics. Research has shown that the number of hours one spends on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet has a direct correlation with a shorter attention span. The reason for this is that technology supplies passive, immediate gratification. Therefore, students cannot focus because of a combination of human susceptibility and predatory consumer electronics companies.

The most feasible solutions are for parents and schools to monitor students strictly. This begins with parents. They must either approve or purchase a child their first smartphone or tablet and manage their early interactions with technology. Many parents consciously gift young children these devices to help them learn how to use technology and aid their cognitive development. By waiting until later in life to approve a smartphone or limiting daily screen time, this issue can be greatly mitigated from the onset. Schools also have a role to play as they must enforce strict rules banning the use of smartphones at school. For example, in many Asian countries, students’ phones are confiscated if they are found using them during, or even between, classes.

In conclusion, a lack of focus at school is driven by human nature and modern technology and parents and schools must work together to curb the worst excesses. Government regulation would also help but should not be expected.

Analysis

1. Recently, it is has become notoriously difficult for students to focus on their lessons. 2. In my opinion, this is a partly natural phenomenon that has been exacerbated by technology and the solutions lie in strict restriction and supervision.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The causes of a lack of concentration at school are both the pervasiveness of technology and human nature. 2. Firstly, people have always struggled to focus. 3. Very few students enjoy concentrating on tedious lessons and completing endless assignments at school. 4. However, this has become worse as corporations exploit fundamental human characteristics. 5. Research has shown that the number of hours one spends on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet has a direct correlation with a shorter attention span. 6. The reason for this is that technology supplies passive, immediate gratification. 7. Therefore, students cannot focus because of a combination of human susceptibility and predatory consumer electronics companies.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. You can have some long sentences like this to really argue your point.
  6. State the fullest possible result.
  7. Relate back to the overall topic.

1. The most feasible solutions are for parents and schools to monitor students strictly. 2. This begins with parents. 3. They must either approve or purchase a child their first smartphone or tablet and manage their early interactions with technology. 4. Many parents consciously gift young children these devices to help them learn how to use technology and aid their cognitive development. 5. By waiting until later in life to approve a smartphone or limiting daily screen time, this issue can be greatly mitigated from the onset. 6. Schools also have a role to play as they must enforce strict rules banning the use of smartphones at school. 7. For example, in many Asian countries, students’ phones are confiscated if they are found using them during, or even between, classes.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Switch on to a related solution.
  7. And develop that one too.

1. In conclusion, a lack of focus at school is driven by human nature and modern technology and parents and schools must work together to curb the worst excesses. 2. Government regulation would also help but should not be expected.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Recently, it is has become notoriously difficult for students to focus on their lessons. In my opinion, this is a partly natural phenomenon that has been exacerbated by technology and the solutions lie in strict restriction and supervision.

The causes of a lack of concentration at school are both the pervasiveness of technology and human nature. Firstly, people have always struggled to focus. Very few students enjoy concentrating on tedious lessons and completing endless assignments at school. However, this has become worse as corporations exploit fundamental human characteristics. Research has shown that the number of hours one spends on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet has a direct correlation with a shorter attention span. The reason for this is that technology supplies passive, immediate gratification. Therefore, students cannot focus because of a combination of human susceptibility and predatory consumer electronics companies.

The most feasible solutions are for parents and schools to monitor students strictly. This begins with parents. They must either approve or purchase a child their first smartphone or tablet and manage their early interactions with technology. Many parents consciously gift young children these devices to help them learn how to use technology and aid their cognitive development. By waiting until later in life to approve a smartphone or limiting daily screen time, this issue can be greatly mitigated from the onset. Schools also have a role to play as they must enforce strict rules banning the use of smartphones at school. For example, in many Asian countries, students’ phones are confiscated if they are found using them during, or even between, classes.

In conclusion, a lack of focus at school is driven by human nature and modern technology and parents and schools must work together to curb the worst excesses. Government regulation would also help but should not be expected.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

notoriously difficult famously hard

focus on concentrate on

partly natural phenomenon mostly normal

exacerbated made worse by

solutions fixes

supervision monitoring

causes results in

lack not having

concentration focus

pervasiveness ubiquity

human nature how people are

struggled had a tough time

enjoy concentrating like focusing

tedious boring

completing endless assignments finshing work over and over again

worse not getting better

corporations companies

exploit take advantage of

fundamental human characteristics basic traits of people

research has shown that studies illustrate

direct correlation clear link

shorter attention span can’t focus for long

supplies passive gives not active

immediate gratification instant pleasure

therefore thus

combination together

human susceptibility people being vulnerable

predatory consumer electronics companies corporations that prey on human weaknesses

most feasible solutions most likely fixes

monitor students strictly watch students very carefully

begins starts

approve allow

purchase buy

manage watch over

interactions engaging with

consciously gift deliberately give

devices phones, laptops, tablets, etc.

aid help

cognitive development becoming smarter

by waiting until later in life holding on until they are older

approve let them use it

limiting daily screen time not using devices that much

greatly mitigated impact lessened

onset beginning of

role to play important part

enforce make sure it is done

confiscated taken away

during while

between space in the middle

driven by caused by

curb limit

worst excesses most extreme parts

government regulation the government making laws

expected predicted

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli ˈdɪfɪkəlt 
ˈfəʊkəs ɒn 
ˈpɑːtli ˈnæʧrəl fɪˈnɒmɪnən 
ɛksˈæsə(ː)beɪtɪd 
səˈluːʃənz 
ˌsjuːpəˈvɪʒən
ˈkɔːzɪz 
læk 
ˌkɒnsənˈtreɪʃən 
pɜːˈveɪsɪvnəs 
ˈhjuːmən ˈneɪʧə
ˈstrʌgld 
ɪnˈʤɔɪ ˈkɒnsəntreɪtɪŋ 
ˈtiːdiəs 
kəmˈpliːtɪŋ ˈɛndlɪs əˈsaɪnmənts 
wɜːs 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
ˈɛksplɔɪt 
ˌfʌndəˈmɛntl ˈhjuːmən ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪks
rɪˈsɜːʧ hæz ʃəʊn ðæt 
dɪˈrɛkt ˌkɒrɪˈleɪʃən 
ˈʃɔːtər əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n spæn
səˈplaɪz ˈpæsɪv
ɪˈmiːdiət ˌgrætɪfɪˈkeɪʃən
ˈðeəfɔː
ˌkɒmbɪˈneɪʃən 
ˈhjuːmən səˌsɛptəˈbɪlɪti 
ˈprɛdətəri kənˈsjuːmər ɪlɛkˈtrɒnɪks ˈkʌmpəniz
məʊst ˈfiːzəbl səˈluːʃənz 
ˈmɒnɪtə ˈstjuːdənts ˈstrɪktli
bɪˈgɪnz 
əˈpruːv 
ˈpɜːʧəs 
ˈmænɪʤ 
ˌɪntərˈækʃənz 
ˈkɒnʃəsli gɪft 
dɪˈvaɪsɪz 
eɪd 
ˈkɒgnɪtɪv dɪˈvɛləpmənt
baɪ ˈweɪtɪŋ ənˈtɪl ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf 
əˈpruːv 
ˈlɪmɪtɪŋ ˈdeɪli skriːn taɪm
ˈgreɪtli ˈmɪtɪgeɪtɪd 
ˈɒnsɛt
rəʊl tuː pleɪ 
ɪnˈfɔːs 
ˈkɒnfɪskeɪtɪd 
ˈdjʊərɪŋ
bɪˈtwiːn
ˈdrɪvn baɪ 
kɜːb 
wɜːst ɪkˈsɛsɪz
ˈgʌvnmənt ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən 
ɪksˈpɛktɪd

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Recently, it is has become n____________________t for students to f_________n their lessons. In my opinion, this is a p______________________________n that has been e_____________________d by technology and the s____________s lie in strict restriction and s_______________n.

The c__________s of a l_______k of c__________________n at school are both the p_____________________s of technology and h________________e. Firstly, people have always s___________d to focus. Very few students e__________________g on t__________s lessons and c______________________________s at school. However, this has become w_________e as c_______________s e__________t f____________________________________s. R________________________t the number of hours one spends on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet has a d_____________________n with a s_______________________n. The reason for this is that technology s_____________________e, i___________________________n. T______________e, students cannot focus because of a c________________n of h____________________y and p__________________________________________s.

The m___________________s are for parents and schools to m________________________y. This b_______s with parents. They must either a_________e or p___________e a child their first smartphone or tablet and m_________e their early i______________s with technology. Many parents c___________________t young children these d_____________s to help them learn how to use technology and a___d their c_________________________t. B___________________________e to a__________e a smartphone or l___________________________e, this issue can be g________________d from the o________t. Schools also have a r_____________y as they must e__________e strict rules banning the use of smartphones at school. For example, in many Asian countries, students’ phones are c______________d if they are found using them d________g, or even b__________n, classes.

In conclusion, a lack of focus at school is d_______________y human nature and modern technology and parents and schools must work together to c_____b the w__________________s. G______________________n would also help but should not be e__________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-to-stay-focused

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Concentration

  1. Do you find it hard to concentrate?
  2. What do you do to concentrate better?
  3. Did you concentrate on your studies a lot when you were younger?
  4. Is concentration a problem for students in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the very closely related IELTS essay topic below:

Many students find it is harder to study at university or college compared to when they were in grade school.

Why is this?

What are some possible solutions for this problem?

IELTS Essay: Floor Plan of a Home

IELTS Essay: Floor Plan of a Home

This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of a floor plan/map of a home/house now and in the future.

Please consider supporting my efforts to creative high quality IELTS materials for students around the world by signing up for my Patreon (and so you won’t miss out on any of my exclusive IELTS Ebooks)!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Floor Plan of a Home

The plans below shows a home and plans for its redevelopment.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and making comparisons where relevant.

The floor plans detail a home at present and planned renovations. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the interior will expand slightly to include additional living areas and rooms, with a new parking area outside.

The home presently contains a single abutting study/bedroom on the left side that will be doubled in the future. In the main home itself, the current set-up includes an entranceway opening into a large hall, next to a bathroom to one’s immediate left, a long living room, a study/bedroom, a kitchen and another study/bedroom on the right side directly across from the entrance.

In the future, the bathroom will reduce in size slightly and an ensuite bathroom will be added to the hall. The living room will be replaced by a large study/bedroom and a smaller study/bedroom in the top left corner. On the right side, the kitchen will be extended sideways allowing for a social area and the study/bedroom in the bottom right corner is projected to be unaltered. Outside the home, the garden to the top will remain unchanged but the lower one will be removed in favor of a parking area.

Analysis

1. The floor plans detail a home at present and planned renovations. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the interior will expand slightly to include additional living areas and rooms, with a new parking area outside.

  1. Paraphrase what the map or floorplan shows.
  2. Write a clear overview summarising the major trends and differences.

1. The home presently contains a single abutting study/bedroom on the left side that will be doubled in the future. 2. In the main home itself, the current set-up includes an entranceway opening into a large hall, next to a bathroom to one’s immediate left, a long living room, a study/bedroom, a kitchen and another study/bedroom on the right side directly across from the entrance.

  1. Begin writing about the changes.
  2. Write about everything.

1. In the future, the bathroom will reduce in size slightly and an ensuite bathroom will be added to the hall. 2. The living room will be replaced by a large study/bedroom and a smaller study/bedroom in the top left corner. 3. On the right side, the kitchen will be extended sideways allowing for a social area and the study/bedroom in the bottom right corner is projected to be unaltered. 4. Outside the home, the garden to the top will remain unchanged but the lower one will be removed in favor of a parking area.

  1. Write about the rest of the floorplan.
  2. Make sure you have detailed all the information, even what has not changed.
  3. The more comparison, the better.
  4. Don’t miss out on anything!

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

The floor plans detail a home at present and planned renovations. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the interior will expand slightly to include additional living areas and rooms, with a new parking area outside.

The home presently contains a single abutting study/bedroom on the left side that will be doubled in the future. In the main home itself, the current set-up includes an entranceway opening into a large hall, next to a bathroom to one’s immediate left, a long living room, a study/bedroom, a kitchen and another study/bedroom on the right side directly across from the entrance.

In the future, the bathroom will reduce in size slightly and an ensuite bathroom will be added to the hall. The living room will be replaced by a large study/bedroom and a smaller study/bedroom in the top left corner. On the right side, the kitchen will be extended sideways allowing for a social area and the study/bedroom in the bottom right corner is projected to be unaltered. Outside the home, the garden to the top will remain unchanged but the lower one will be removed in favor of a parking area.

Answers

Write the words below on a piece of paper to improve your memory of them:

floor plans blueprints

detail show

at present right not

planned renovations plans for the future

Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that overall

interior inside

expand slightly a little bigger

include additional also have added

outside opposite of inside

presently contains right now has

abutting next to

side part

doubled increased by 200%

in the main home itself the actual house

current set-up how it looks right now

entranceway opening into doors going into

hall main area connecting the rooms

next to beside

to one’s immediate left right on the left when you enter

another and additional

on the right side to the right section

directly across from straight on the opposite side

in the future later

reduce made smaller

slightly a little

added included

replaced by removed in favor of

extended sideways lengthened the long way

social area place to hang out

projected predicted

unaltered no change

remain stay the same

removed in favor of displaced to make room for

Pronunciation

Practice saying the words below with this tip about Google voice search:

flɔː plænz 
ˈdiːteɪl 
æt ˈprɛznt 
plænd ˌrɛnəʊˈveɪʃənz
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt 
ɪnˈtɪərɪə 
ɪksˈpænd ˈslaɪtli 
ɪnˈkluːd əˈdɪʃənl 
ˌaʊtˈsaɪd
ˈprɛzntli kənˈteɪnz 
əˈbʌtɪŋ 
saɪd 
ˈdʌbld 
ɪn ðə meɪn həʊm ɪtˈsɛlf
ˈkʌrənt ˈsɛtʌp 
ˈɛntrəns weɪ ˈəʊpnɪŋ ˈɪntuː 
hɔːl
nɛkst tuː 
tuː wʌnz ɪˈmiːdiət lɛft
əˈnʌðə 
ɒn ðə raɪt saɪd 
dɪˈrɛktli əˈkrɒs frɒm 
ɪn ðə ˈfjuːʧə
rɪˈdjuːs 
ˈslaɪtli 
ˈædɪd 
rɪˈpleɪst baɪ 
ɪksˈtɛndɪd ˈsaɪdweɪz 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈeərɪə 
prəˈʤɛktɪd 
ʌnˈɔːltəd
rɪˈmeɪn 
rɪˈmuːvd ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The f_________________s d________l a home a____________t and p__________________s. L_____________________________________________________t the i___________r will e________________y to i________________l living areas and rooms, with a new parking area o_________e.

The home p___________________s a single a__________g study/bedroom on the left s____e that will be d_________d in the future. I________________________f, the c_______________p includes an e_________________________o a large h_____l, n________o a bathroom t______________________t, a long living room, a study/bedroom, a kitchen and a_________r study/bedroom o________________e d__________________________m the entrance.

I__________________e, the bathroom will r_________e in size s___________y and an ensuite bathroom will be a________d to the hall. The living room will be r_______________y a large study/bedroom and a smaller study/bedroom in the top left corner. On the right side, the kitchen will be e___________________s allowing for a s_________________a and the study/bedroom in the bottom right corner is p_______________d to be u______________d. Outside the home, the garden to the top will r_________n unchanged but the lower one will be r_____________________________f a parking area.

Listening Practice

Listen to the related topic below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.dwell.com/article/mit-chit-house-looklen-architects-ae336203

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following related questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Where you Live

  1. Did you like the house you grew up in?
  2. What was your favourite area of the house you grew up in?
  3. Where do you want to live in the future?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related map below and then check with my sample answer:

IELTS Task 1: Floorplan of a Theatre
IELTS Essay General Training: Children and Sports

IELTS Essay General Training: Children and Sports

This is an IELTS writign task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam on the topic of whether or not children should do sports in order to grow up as healthy adults.

Be sure to check out my Patreon for my exclusive IELTS Ebooks!

Dave

IELTS Essay General Training: Children and Sports

Some people believe that children should do sports so that they will grow up as healthy adults, but others feel sports are just about enjoying yourself.

Discuss these both views and give your own opinion.

Some feel that the primary reason young students should participate in sports is to establish healthy habits for adulthood, while others feel they are simply for fun. In my opinion, the later health benefits are an added bonus and sports are mainly an enjoyable pastime.

Administrators who argue sports are a means of ensuring healthy future habits believe school must be efficient. Sports are therefore no different from normal subjects such as the sciences and humanities in that they offer potential future benefit. While athletics are unlikely to become a career, they can at least form the basis of a lasting passion for and understanding of physical fitness. Such fitness not only guarantees higher quality of life but will also likely have a concomitant effect on healthcare, allowing governments to redeploy finite resources into other vital sectors.

Those who claim sports are simply for enjoyment argue that future aims should not be subordinate to the present moment. The entire purpose of education is to guarantee a higher standard of living and thus happiness. For most, playing sports achieves that goal on its own. Children enjoy playing a sport far more than most adults will savor any aspect of a comfortable life later on. If a school must choose between offering fun sports during P.E. lessons and educating children about physical fitness, it is counter-productive to choose the less enjoyable latter option. This desire to sacrifice current happiness for an often elusive future goal betrays an inflexible valuation of social stability above the desires of the individual.

In conclusion, despite the long-term advantages of sports, their inclusion in the curriculum can be justified purely for the enjoyment they engender. It is unnecessary for every single subject to have a clear future goal.

Analysis

1. Some feel that the primary reason young students should participate in sports is to establish healthy habits for adulthood, while others feel they are simply for fun. 2. In my opinion, the later health benefits are an added bonus and sports are mainly an enjoyable pastime.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Administrators who argue sports are a means of ensuring healthy future habits believe school must be efficient. 2. Sports are therefore no different from normal subjects such as the sciences and humanities in that they offer potential future benefit. 3. While athletics are unlikely to become a career, they can at least form the basis of a lasting passion for and understanding of physical fitness. 4. Such fitness not only guarantees higher quality of life but will also likely have a concomitant effect on healthcare, allowing governments to redeploy finite resources into other vital sectors.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.

1. Those who claim sports are simply for enjoyment argue that future aims should not be subordinate to the present moment. 2. The entire purpose of education is to guarantee a higher standard of living and thus happiness. 3. For most, playing sports achieves that goal on its own. 4. Children enjoy playing a sport far more than most adults will savor any aspect of a comfortable life later on. 5. If a school must choose between offering fun sports during P.E. lessons and educating children about physical fitness, it is counter-productive to choose the less enjoyable latter option. 6. This desire to sacrifice current happiness for an often elusive future goal betrays an inflexible valuation of social stability above the desires of the individual.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. This paragraph should be slightly longer.

1. In conclusion, despite the long-term advantages of sports, their inclusion in the curriculum can be justified purely for the enjoyment they engender. 2. It is unnecessary for every single subject to have a clear future goal.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Some feel that the primary reason young students should participate in sports is to establish healthy habits for adulthood, while others feel they are simply for fun. In my opinion, the later health benefits are an added bonus and sports are mainly an enjoyable pastime.

Administrators who argue sports are a means of ensuring healthy future habits believe school must be efficient. Sports are therefore no different from normal subjects such as the sciences and humanities in that they offer potential future benefit. While athletics are unlikely to become a career, they can at least form the basis of a lasting passion for and understanding of physical fitness. Such fitness not only guarantees higher quality of life but will also likely have a concomitant effect on healthcare, allowing governments to redeploy finite resources into other vital sectors.

Those who claim sports are simply for enjoyment argue that future aims should not be subordinate to the present moment. The entire purpose of education is to guarantee a higher standard of living and thus happiness. For most, playing sports achieves that goal on its own. Children enjoy playing a sport far more than most adults will savor any aspect of a comfortable life later on. If a school must choose between offering fun sports during P.E. lessons and educating children about physical fitness, it is counter-productive to choose the less enjoyable latter option. This desire to sacrifice current happiness for an often elusive future goal betrays an inflexible valuation of social stability above the desires of the individual.

In conclusion, despite the long-term advantages of sports, their inclusion in the curriculum can be justified purely for the enjoyment they engender. It is unnecessary for every single subject to have a clear future goal.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

primary reason main cause

participate in sports take part in games

establish healthy habits start living a healthy lifestyle

adulthood being an adult

while others feel different people believe

simply merely

fun enjoyment

later health benefits future advantages for fitness

added bonus additional benefit

mainly mostly

enjoyable pastime fun hobby

administrators people in charge

means methods

ensuring guaranteeing

efficient not wasting time

therefore thus

no different from the same as

normal subjects academic areas

the sciences physics, chemistry, etc.

humanities literature, history, etc.

in that they offer because they allow for

potential possibility

unlikely probably will not happen

career job

at least at the minimum

form the basis of be the foundation of

a lasting passion for loving for a long time

understanding of knowing about

physical fitness being in shape

guarantees makes sure of

higher quality of life better standard of living

likely probably

concomitant also caused by

healthcare hospitals, medicine, etc.

allowing governments to redeploy finite resources into makes it possible for countries to put more money into other areas

vital sectors important areas

claim state

argue make the argument

should not be subordinate to should not be lower than

present moment right now

entire purpose whole reason

guarantee ensure

higher standard of living better life

thus therefore

achieves accomplishes

on its own by itself

far more a lot more

savor enjoy

any aspect of all parts of

later on in the future

offering allowing for

P.E. lessons gym lessons

physical fitness how good shape you are in

counter-productive works against your interests

latter option second stated choice

desire wanting something

sacrifice current happiness give up on being happy now

often elusive future goal probably won’t ever happen later

betrays shows/illustrates

inflexible valuation static opinions

social stability the health of society

desires of the individual interests of the average person

despite regardless of

long-term advantages benefits in the future

inclusion being included in

curriculum what you study in school

justified purely gives a good reason on its own

engender creates

unnecessary not needed

clear future goal definite aim later on

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈpraɪməri ˈriːzn 
pɑːˈtɪsɪpeɪt ɪn spɔːts 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ ˈhɛlθi ˈhæbɪts 
əˈdʌlthʊd
waɪl ˈʌðəz fiːl 
ˈsɪmpli 
fʌn
ˈleɪtə hɛlθ ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
ˈædɪd ˈbəʊnəs 
ˈmeɪnli 
ɪnˈʤɔɪəbl ˈpɑːstaɪm
ədˈmɪnɪstreɪtəz 
miːnz 
ɪnˈʃʊərɪŋ 
ɪˈfɪʃənt
ˈðeəfɔː 
nəʊ ˈdɪfrənt frɒm 
ˈnɔːməl ˈsʌbʤɪkts 
ðə ˈsaɪənsɪz 
hju(ː)ˈmænɪtiz 
ɪn ðæt ðeɪ ˈɒfə 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl 
ʌnˈlaɪkli 
kəˈrɪə
æt liːst 
fɔːm ðə ˈbeɪsɪs ɒv 
ə ˈlɑːstɪŋ ˈpæʃən fɔː 
ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ ɒv 
ˈfɪzɪkəl ˈfɪtnɪs
ˌgærənˈtiːz 
ˈhaɪə ˈkwɒlɪti ɒv laɪf 
ˈlaɪkli 
kənˈkɒmɪtənt 
ˈhɛlθkeə
əˈlaʊɪŋ ˈgʌvnmənts tuː ˌriːdɪˈplɔɪ ˈfaɪnaɪt rɪˈsɔːsɪz ˈɪntuː 
ˈvaɪtl ˈsɛktəz
kleɪm 
ˈɑːgjuː 
ʃʊd nɒt biː səˈbɔːdnɪt tuː 
ˈprɛznt ˈməʊmənt
ɪnˈtaɪə ˈpɜːpəs 
ˌgærənˈtiː 
ˈhaɪə ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ðʌs 
əˈʧiːvz 
ɒn ɪts əʊn
fɑː mɔː 
ˈseɪvə 
ˈɛni ˈæspɛkt ɒv 
ˈleɪtər ɒn
ˈɒfərɪŋ 
piː.ˈlɛsnz 
ˈfɪzɪkəl ˈfɪtnɪs
ˈkaʊntə-prəˈdʌktɪv 
ˈlætər ˈɒpʃən
dɪˈzaɪə 
ˈsækrɪfaɪs ˈkʌrənt ˈhæpɪnɪs 
ˈɒf(ə)n ɪˈluːsɪv ˈfjuːʧə gəʊl 
bɪˈtreɪz 
ɪnˈflɛksəbl ˌvæljʊˈeɪʃən 
ˈsəʊʃəl stəˈbɪlɪti 
dɪˈzaɪəz ɒv ði ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm ədˈvɑːntɪʤɪz 
ɪnˈkluːʒən 
kəˈrɪkjʊləm 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪd ˈpjʊəli 
ɪnˈʤɛndə
ʌnˈnɛsɪsəri 
klɪə ˈfjuːʧə gəʊl

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Some feel that the p______________n young students should p_____________________s is to e_____________________s for a___________d, w_______________________l they are s________y for f___n. In my opinion, the l______________________s are an a________________s and sports are m_______y an e_________________e.

A_________________s who argue sports are a m________s of e___________g healthy future habits believe school must be e__________t. Sports are t____________e n___________________m n__________________s such as t_______________s and h______________s i___________________r p___________l future benefit. While athletics are u___________y to become a c_______r, they can a______________________________________________r and u__________________f p___________________s. Such fitness not only g______________________________e but will also l__________y have a c__________________t effect on h_____________e, a__________________________________________________o other v______________s.

Those who c_______m sports are simply for enjoyment a__________e that future aims s________________________________o the p________________t. The e_________________e of education is to g______________e a h______________________________g and t______s happiness. For most, playing sports a___________s that goal o_____________n. Children enjoy playing a sport f_____________e than most adults will s_________r a______________f a comfortable life l___________n. If a school must choose between o_________g fun sports during P_______________s and educating children about p_______________s, it is c____________________e to choose the less enjoyable l________________n. This d________e to s_____________________________s for an o__________________________l b___________s an i_________________________n of s__________________________y above the d_____________________________l.

In conclusion, d__________e the l________________________s of sports, their i______________n in the c_____________m can be j__________________y for the enjoyment they e______________r. It is u________________y for every single subject to have a c__________________l.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.insider.com/youngest-and-oldest-athletes-competing-in-tokyo-olympics-2020

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Sports

  1. Which sport do you like to play?
  2. Have you ever been on a sports team?
  3. Do you like watching sports on TV?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Extreme sports such as sky diving and skiing are very dangerous and should be banned.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?

IELTS Essay: Declining Animals

IELTS Essay: Declining Animals

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the number of animals and plants declining and the causes and solutions from the real IELTS exam.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Declining Animals

In many countries, the number of animals and plants is declining.

Why do you think this is happening?

How can this issue be solved?

There is widespread concern over recent declines in global biodiversity. In my opinion, the clearest causes relate to human overpopulation and the solutions are for governments to prioritize conservation reforms.

The primary catalyst for these declining numbers is the growth of human population figures. The global population increases yearly and this has a number of ramifications for the natural environment. Most directly, residents require homes and that necessitates intrusions, as evidenced by the uncontrollable urban sprawl around major metropolitan areas. This means plants and animals lose their natural habitats. A more significant consequence concerns industry. In order to provide food and various products and services for a large human population, corporations have razed entire forests, drilled for oil in pristine natural environments, and greatly exploited the natural world at the expense of wildlife.

This problem can only be effectively tackled by governments. Governments must establish clear regulations concerning the habitats of various plant and animal life. A good example of this would be the numerous national parks established in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, industry was threatening to corrupt the majority of usable land and so the government and visionary reformists acted decisively out of a spirit of conservation. Other countries that take similar steps will also be able to curb the relentless, and often thoughtless, progress of humanity.

In conclusion, plant and animal life is at risk due to growing human populations and governments can best mitigate this threat. Individuals should also play a small role by reducing their consumption.

Analysis

1. There is widespread concern over recent declines in global biodiversity. 2. In my opinion, the clearest causes relate to human overpopulation and the solutions are for governments to prioritize conservation reforms.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The primary catalyst for these declining numbers is the growth of human population figures. 2. The global population increases yearly and this has a number of ramifications for the natural environment. 3. Most directly, residents require homes and that necessitates intrusions, as evidenced by the uncontrollable urban sprawl around major metropolitan areas. 4. This means plants and animals lose their natural habitats. 5. A more significant consequence concerns industry. 6. In order to provide food and various products and services for a large human population, corporations have razed entire forests, drilled for oil in pristine natural environments, and greatly exploited the natural world at the expense of wildlife.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. You can have some long sentences like this to really argue your point.
  6. State the fullest possible result.

1. This problem can only be effectively tackled by governments. 2. Governments must establish clear regulations concerning the habitats of various plant and animal life. 3. A good example of this would be the numerous national parks established in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. 4. At that time, industry was threatening to corrupt the majority of usable land and so the government and visionary reformists acted decisively out of a spirit of conservation. 5. Other countries that take similar steps will also be able to curb the relentless, and often thoughtless, progress of humanity.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, plant and animal life is at risk due to growing human populations and governments can best mitigate this threat. 2. Individuals should also play a small role by reducing their consumption.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

There is widespread concern over recent declines in global biodiversity. In my opinion, the clearest causes relate to human overpopulation and the solutions are for governments to prioritize conservation reforms.

The primary catalyst for these declining numbers is the growth of human population figures. The global population increases yearly and this has a number of ramifications for the natural environment. Most directly, residents require homes and that necessitates intrusions, as evidenced by the uncontrollable urban sprawl around major metropolitan areas. This means plants and animals lose their natural habitats. A more significant consequence concerns industry. In order to provide food and various products and services for a large human population, corporations have razed entire forests, drilled for oil in pristine natural environments, and greatly exploited the natural world at the expense of wildlife.

This problem can only be effectively tackled by governments. Governments must establish clear regulations concerning the habitats of various plant and animal life. A good example of this would be the numerous national parks established in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, industry was threatening to corrupt the majority of usable land and so the government and visionary reformists acted decisively out of a spirit of conservation. Other countries that take similar steps will also be able to curb the relentless, and often thoughtless, progress of humanity.

In conclusion, plant and animal life is at risk due to growing human populations and governments can best mitigate this threat. Individuals should also play a small role by reducing their consumption.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

widespread concern lots of worry

recent declines happened in the last few years decreases

global biodiversity around the world different types of animals, plants

clearest causes most direct source

relate to concern

overpopulation too many people

prioritize conservation reforms focus on protecting the environment

primary catalyst main cause

declining numbers decreasing figures

growth rise

population figures number of people

yearly each year, annually

a number of ramifications many results

natural environment nature

most directly clearest source

residents require homes people need places to live

necessitates intrusions requires cuts into

evidenced by shown by

uncontrollable urban sprawl cities growing into the nearby land

major metropolitan areas big cities

lose their natural habitats forests, land being taken over where animals live

significant consequence big result

concerns has to do with

industry companies, producing things

in order to so that

products items

services delivery, streaming services, etc.

corporations companies

razed entire forests burnt down trees

drilled going keep into the ground

oil a fossil fuel that you use to power cars

pristine natural environments untouched nature

greatly exploited taken advantage of a lot

at the expense of wildlife taking away from animals, plants

effectively tackled good solution

establish clear regulations enact good laws

concerning having to do with

various many different kinds

numerous national parks many conservation areas

established in built

beginning of the 20th century early 1900s

at that time back then

threatening putting at risk

corrupt hurt

majority most of

usable land land that can be used

visionary reformists forward-looking individuals

acted decisively took steps confidently

out of from

spirit of conservation wanting to safeguard

take similar steps do the same

curb slow

relentless unstoppable

thoughtless without a thought

progress moving forward

at risk threatened

due to because of

mitigate lessen the impact

threat risk

play a small role help out a little

reducing cutting down on

consumption using stuff

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈwaɪdsprɛd kənˈsɜːn 
ˈriːsnt dɪˈklaɪnz 
ˈgləʊbəl ˌbaɪəʊdaɪˈvɜːsɪti
ˈklɪərɪst ˈkɔːzɪz 
rɪˈleɪt tuː 
ˌəʊvəˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən ˌriːˈfɔːmz
ˈpraɪməri ˈkætəlɪst 
dɪˈklaɪnɪŋ ˈnʌmbəz 
grəʊθ 
ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən ˈfɪgəz
ˈjɪəli 
ə ˈnʌmbər ɒv ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈnæʧrəl ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt
məʊst dɪˈrɛktli
ˈrɛzɪdənts rɪˈkwaɪə həʊmz 
nɪˈsɛsɪteɪts ɪnˈtruːʒənz
ˈɛvɪdənst baɪ 
ˌʌnkənˈtrəʊləbl ˈɜːbən sprɔːl 
ˈmeɪʤə ˌmɛtrəˈpɒlɪtən ˈeərɪəz
luːz ðeə ˈnæʧrəl ˈhæbɪtæts
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt ˈkɒnsɪkwəns 
kənˈsɜːnz 
ˈɪndəstri
ɪn ˈɔːdə tuː 
ˈprɒdʌkts 
ˈsɜːvɪsɪz 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
reɪzd ɪnˈtaɪə ˈfɒrɪsts
drɪld 
ɔɪl 
ˈprɪstiːn ˈnæʧrəl ɪnˈvaɪərənmənts
ˈgreɪtli ɪksˈplɔɪtɪd 
æt ði ɪksˈpɛns ɒv ˈwaɪldlaɪf
ɪˈfɛktɪvli ˈtækld 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ klɪə ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ˈveərɪəs 
ˈnjuːmərəs ˈnæʃənl pɑːks 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃt ɪn 
bɪˈgɪnɪŋ ɒv ðə ˈtwɛntɪəθ ˈsɛnʧʊri
æt ðæt taɪm
ˈθrɛtnɪŋ 
kəˈrʌpt 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈjuːzəbl lænd 
ˈvɪʒnəri rɪˈfɔːmɪsts 
ˈæktɪd dɪˈsaɪsɪvli 
aʊt ɒv 
ˈspɪrɪt ɒv ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən
teɪk ˈsɪmɪlə stɛps 
kɜːb 
rɪˈlɛntlɪs
ˈθɔːtlɪs
ˈprəʊgrəs 
æt rɪsk 
djuː tuː 
ˈmɪtɪgeɪt 
θrɛt
pleɪ ə smɔːl rəʊl 
rɪˈdjuːsɪŋ 
kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

There is w______________________n over r__________________s in g_______________________y. In my opinion, the c_______________s r______________o human o___________________n and the solutions are for governments to p_________________________________s.

The p___________________t for these d___________________s is the g___________h of human p____________________s. The global population increases y________y and this has a_____________________________s for the n______________________t. M______________y, r_________________________s and that n_________________________s, as e____________________y the u___________________________l around m___________________________s. This means plants and animals l____________________________s. A more s_______________________e c____________s i____________y. I____________o provide food and various p____________s and s__________s for a large human population, c_________________s have r______________________s, d________d for o__l in p__________________________________s, and g_____________________d the natural world a____________________________e.

This problem can only be e______________________d by governments. Governments must e____________________________s c______________g the habitats of v_________s plant and animal life. A good example of this would be the n_________________________s e_________________n the United States at the b_________________________y. A____________e, industry was t______________g to c___________t the m__________y of u____________d and so the government and v______________________s a__________________y o_____f a s_______________________n. Other countries that t_____________________s will also be able to c____b the r___________s, and often t______________s, p__________s of humanity.

In conclusion, plant and animal life is a_______k d_______o growing human populations and governments can best m___________e this t_________t. Individuals should also p__________________e by r___________g their c______________n.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.ft.com/content/a0a3db97-0d5b-405a-8272-28cf217ca2e1

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Wildlife

  1. Have you ever seen a wild animal?
  2. What is your favourite wild animal?
  3. How do you feel when you see animals at the zoo?
  4. What is the importance of animals to children?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

It is a natural process for animal species to become extinct (e.g. dinosaurs, dodos, etc.). There is no reason why people should try to prevent this from happening.

Do you agree or disagree?

100 Real IELTS Essay Questions and Topics

100 Real IELTS Essay Questions and Topics

If you’re interested in real IELTS writing essay questions and topics, you have found the perfect place!

Scroll down to see the IELTS questions – I have included 4 of each.

Enjoy your practice!

Dave

Art

In some countries, there are fewer young people who listen to or play classical music these days.

Why is this?

Should young people be encouraged to play or perform classical music?

Sample Essay

Some people think that it is a waste of time for high school students to study literature, such as novels and poems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some people believe that the government should spend more money putting in more works of art like paintings and statues in cities to make them better places to live in.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some think that quality art can be made by anyone while others think that it requires special talent and ability.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Sample Essay

Business and Companies

Large companies should pay higher salaries to CEOs and executives compared to other workers.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

If a product is good and meets customer needs, then people will buy it and advertising is unnecessary.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

The growth of multinational companies and the resulting rise of globalization creates positive effects for all.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

To succeed in a business, one needs to know maths.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Cities

Today, many people do not know their neighbors in large cities.

What problems does this cause?

What can be done about this?

Sample Essay

Some people say it is more important to plant trees in the open spaces in towns and cities than to build more housing.

To what extant do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some believe it is important for cities and towns to invest heavily in building large outdoor public spaces.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Many people living in cities these days do not get enough physical exercise.

What are the causes of this?

What are some possible solutions?

Sample Essay

Climate Change

Some believe that people should make efforts to fight climate change while others think it is better to learn to live with it.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Sample Essay

Some think that climate change reforms will negatively affect business. Others feel they are an opportunity for businesses.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Sample Essay

Climate change is a phenomenon that affects countries all over the world. Many people strongly believe that it is the responsibility of individuals, rather than corporations and governments, to deal with this problem.

To what extent do you agree?

Sample Essay

Developing the economy will always damage the environment.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Answer

Crime

In many countries, crimes rates amongst younger people has been rising.

Discuss the causes and solutions for this problem.

Sample Essay

Studies show that crime rates are lower among those with educational degrees. Therefore, the best way to reduce the crime rate is to educate criminals while they are still in prison.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Many researchers believe that we can now study the behaviour of children to see if they will grow up to be criminals, while others disagree.

To what extent do you think crime is determined by genetics?

Sample Essay

Watching TV shows and movies about crime is becoming more and more popular.

Why is this?

What effect does that have on society?

Sample Essay

Education

Some feel that schools should be mixed with both girls and boys attending while others feel the genders ought to be separated.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Sample Essay

Many students find it is harder to study at university or college compared to when they were in grade school.

Why is this?

What are some possible solutions for this problem?

Sample Essay

Instead of requiring primary school students to do experiments themselves, schools should only alllow them to watch experiments demonstrated by teachers.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Many students find it difficult to pay attention at school.

What are the reasons for this?

What could be done to solve this problem?

Sample Essay

Entertainment

People these days watch TV, films and other programmes alone rather than with other people.

Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Sample Essay

Some feel that good entertainers are as important to society as scientists.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some people say that all popular TV entertainment programmes should aim to educate viewers about important social issues.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Sample Essay

Computer games are very popular for all ages and nationalities. Parents think this has little educational value and it will be harmful for children.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Environment and Nature

It is a natural process for animal species to become extinct (e.g. dinosaurs, dodos, etc.). There is no reason why people should try to prevent this from happening.

Do you agree or disagree?

Sample Answer

It is now possible for scientists and tourists to travel to remote natural environments, such as the South Pole.

Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Sample Essay

Some think the current generation should take steps to protect the environment for the next generation.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

The global demand for oil and gas is increasing. Some believe that we should therefore encourage the exploitation of remote areas.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Sample Essay

Family and Children

People nowadays tend to have children at older ages.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Sample Essay

Some people spend a lot of money celebrating personal family events, such as weddings and birthdays.

How important is it to celebrate such events?

Do you think people spend too much money on these events?

Sample Essay

These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work.

What could be the reasons for this?

Is it a positive or negative development?

Sample Essay

It is better for children if the whole family including aunts, uncles and so on are involved in a child’s upbringing, rather than just their parents.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Globalization and Consumerism

The increase in the production of consumer goods results in damage to the natural environment.

What are the causes of this?

What can be done to solve this problem?

Sample Essay

Many today feel that most urgent problems can only be solved by international cooperation.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some feel that countries should produce most of the food that is eaten in their country and import as little as possible.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

One good way to promote world peace is through international sporting events.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Government

It is impossible to help all people around the world in need so governments should focus on people from their own country.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Governments should spend more money on medical research and less on researching the environment.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Research into medical treatments are essential to improve health and fight disease.

Who do you think should fund this research: individuals, private companies or governments?

Sample Essay

Throughout history, male leaders have led us into violence and conflict. If a society is governed by female leaders it will be more peaceful.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Sample Essay

Health

Some feel governments, rather than private companies, should be in charge of medical services.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some people today prefer to get advice for medical problems and do not want to visit a doctor.

Why is this?

Is this a positive or a negative development?

Sample Essay

Even though doctors advise old people to get more exercise, many old people do not get enough.

What are the reasons for this?

What are some possible solutions for this?

Sample Essay

Many psychologists recommend that the best way to relieve stress is to do nothing at all for a period of time during the day.

Do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

History

It is better to learn the way people lived in the past through films and video records than written documents.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Some believe that history has little to teach us about today while others think that the study of the past helps us to understand the present.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Sample Essay

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.

Sample Essay

Museums and art galleries should focus on works that show the history and culture of their own country rather than works of other parts of the world.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Essay

Housing

Some people think the newly built houses should be the same as the old housing styles in local areas. Others argue that local authorities should allow people to build houses in their own style.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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There are severe social consequences to housing shortages in cities and only the government can solve these problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Too much money is wasted on repairing old buildings that should be used to knock them down and build new ones.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Some believe that because everyone needs a place to live, governments should provide houses for those who are too poor to afford their own.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Internet

Many people put their personal information online (address, telephone number, and so on) for purposes such as signing up for social networks or online banking.

Is this a positive or negative development?

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In the past, knowledge was contained in books. Nowadays, knowledge is uploaded to the internet.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

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In many workplaces, online communication is now more common than face-to-face meetings.

Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?

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Some today argue that schools are no longer necessary because children can learn so much from the internet and be educated at home.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Language

Some feel governments should invest in preserving minority languages, while others feel this is not a good use of resources.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

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Some believe that we should invent a new language for international communication.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

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Some people believe that smartphones are destroying social interaction today.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Living in a country where you have to speak a foreign language can cause serious social problems, as well as practical problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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Media and Advertising

Some people think that there should be a complete ban on all forms of advertising.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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People are annoyed or entertained by advertising but they are not affected by advertisements when making shopping decisions.

To what extent you agree or disagree?

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More and more people no longer read newspapers or watch TV programmes to get their news and instead read online.

Is this a positive or negative development?

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Some feel that the effects of advertising are positive for individuals and businesses, while others think they are negative.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

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Psychology

In recent times, economic growth has helped many become richer, both in developed and developing countries. However, those in developed countries are not as happy as they were in the past.

Why is this?

What can be learned from this?

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Some people work harder than other.

Why is this?

Is this a positive or negative habit?

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Some people believe that the experiences children have before they go to school will have the greatest effect on their future life. Others argue that experiences gained when they are teenagers have a bigger influence.

Discuss both views and give your own opinions.

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Although families have influence on a children’s development, factors outside the home play a bigger part in their lives nowadays.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Science

Some people think students should study the science of food and how to prepare it. Others think students should spend time on important subjects.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

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The first man to walk on the moon claimed it was a step forward for mankind. However, it has made little difference in most people’s lives.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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More and more students at university today are not choosing to study science.

Why is this happening?

What are the effects of this?

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Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business, and the academic world. Others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

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Society

Some people think young people should follow the traditions of their society. Others think that they should be free to behave as individuals.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Society is based on rules and laws. It could not function if individuals were free to do whatever they wanted to do.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Whether or not a person achieves their aims in life is mostly related to luck.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Nowadays people live longer after they retire.

How does this affect individuals and society?

What can be done about this?

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Sports and Exercise

Large companies use sports events to promote their products. Some people think this has a negative impact on sports.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Some people think that sports play an important role in society. Others think they are nothing more than a leisure activity.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Some believe that the Olympic games help bring people from different nations together, while others claim that holding the Olympics wastes money which could be used for important issues.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

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Some think that it is more important for children to engage in outdoor activities instead of playing videogames.

To what extent to you agree or disagree?

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Technology

Today different types of robots are being developed which can serve as companions and workers to help at work and at home.

Is this a positive or negative development?

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Some think scientists should be allowed to send messages into space to communicate with other life forms while others believe this is too dangerous.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

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Many people think technological devices such as smart phones, tablets and mobile phones bring more disadvantages than advantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Some scientists believe that in the future computers will be more intelligent than human beings. While some see this as a positive development others worry about the negative consequences.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Transportation

Some people think that the best way to increase road safety is to increase the minimum legal age for driving cars and riding motorbikes.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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The manufacturing and use of cars damages the environment but their popularity is increasing.

Why is this?

How could this be controlled?

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When cars and cyclists use the same roads, there are often problems.

Why is this the case?

What are the solutions?

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Some people think that governments should invest mainly in making public transportation faster while other think there are more important priorities (cost, the environment).

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

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Travel and Tourism

Some think that students must travel to another country in order to learn its language and customs.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Many people today are choosing to travel to other countries.

Why is this happening?

Is this a positive or negative development?

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After graduation many students take a year to travel. Some think that it would be more useful to work for a year.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Some believe that tourism does more to create tension between countries rather than helping individuals better understand other cultures.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Work

Some countries have introduced laws to limit working hours for employees.

Why are these laws introduced?

Do you think they are a positive or negative development?

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In the past, most people worked for small businesses, while more people now work for large businesses.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working for large businesses?

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Some people argue that job satisfaction is more important than job security, while others believe that they cannot always expect job satisfaction and a permanent job is more important.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

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Some think that governments should support retired people financially while others believe they should take care of themselves.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

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