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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay related to the topic of educational institutions and the importance of science subjects.

It is a question that has come up on IELTS several times before.

Learn more about my sample PDFs for IELTS on Patreon here, my online courses here, and my writing corrections here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Educational Institutions

Many educational institutions give greater importance to subjects related to science and ignore subjects such as drama and literature.

Why is this?

Is this a positive or negative development?

It is becoming increasingly common for schools around the world to emphasise STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to the detriment of the humanities. This is a logically motivated decision and is negative overall.

The main reason for this shift is a realisation of the value of jobs in scientific fields. New inventions and medicines push forward human progress and generate billions of dollars in revenue across a wide spectrum of industries. It therefore follows there are high-paying jobs available in private and public sectors for engineers, researchers, scientists, and mathematicians. At the very least, someone who majors in a STEM related subject will be able to find a quality teaching position. This guarantees of a minimum level of success and the possibility of a much greater career motivates parents, institutions and students themselves to prioritise and pursue scientific careers.

This over-emphasis on science will translate to less art in the world. It is true that from a strictly utilitarian point of view, resources ought to be allocated to fields with the most economic value. Life is, however, more than the sum of everyone’s earning potential. If the proportion of humanities majors falls, there will be fewer painters, sculptors, filmmakers, writers, and musicians. Science may create modern conveniences but the arts are more important for a fulfilling and enjoyable life. The results of this decline might not become apparent for generations, but if funding is slashed for arts programs, the world will become culturally poorer and the art that has enriched and elevated humanity will give way to a tranquil, technocratic future.

In conclusion, the jobs available to science majors explain their dominance but taken as a whole this trend will result in a world bereft of great artists. It is therefore important to balance funding to a defensible degree.

Analysis

1. It is becoming increasingly common for schools around the world to emphasise STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to the detriment of the humanities. 2. This is a logically motivated decision and is negative overall.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay.
  2. Answer each question directly. Read more about introductions here.

1. The main reason for this shift is a realisation of the value of jobs in scientific fields. 2. New inventions and medicines push forward human progress and generate billions of dollars in revenue across a wide spectrum of industries. 3. It therefore follows there are high-paying jobs available in private and public sectors for engineers, researchers, scientists, and mathematicians. 4. At the very least, someone who majors in a STEM related subject will be able to find a quality teaching position. 5. This guarantees of a minimum level of success and the possibility of a much greater career motivates parents, institutions and students themselves to prioritise and pursue scientific careers.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it.
  4. Continue to develop the same main idea.
  5. State the furthest possible result.

1. This over-emphasis on science will translate to less art in the world. 2. It is true that from a strictly utilitarian point of view, resources ought to be allocated to fields with the most economic value. 3. Life is, however, more than the sum of everyone’s earning potential. 4. If the proportion of humanities majors falls, there will be fewer painters, sculptors, filmmakers, writers, and musicians. 5. Science may create modern conveniences but the arts are more important for a fulfilling and enjoyable life. 6. The results of this decline might not become apparent for generations, but if funding is slashed for arts programs, the world will become culturally poorer and the art that has enriched and elevated humanity will give way to a tranquil, technocratic future.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with another main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. State any exceptions.
  4. Develop your main idea with specific instances.
  5. Continue developing.
  6. Vary long and short sentences.

1. In conclusion, the jobs available to science majors explain their dominance but taken as a whole this trend will result in a world bereft of great artists. 2. It is therefore important to balance funding to a defensible degree.

  1. Repeat your answers and summarise your ideas.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

It is becoming increasingly common for schools around the world to emphasise STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to the detriment of the humanities. This is a logically motivated decision and is negative overall.

The main reason for this shift is a realisation of the value of jobs in scientific fields. New inventions and medicines push forward human progress and generate billions of dollars in revenue across a wide spectrum of industries. It therefore follows there are high-paying jobs available in private and public sectors for engineers, researchers, scientists, and mathematicians. At the very least, someone who majors in a STEM related subject will be able to find a quality teaching position. This guarantees of a minimum level of success and the possibility of a much greater career motivates parents, institutions and students themselves to prioritise and pursue scientific careers.

This over-emphasis on science will translate to less art in the world. It is true that from a strictly utilitarian point of view, resources ought to be allocated to fields with the most economic value. Life is, however, more than the sum of everyone’s earning potential. If the proportion of humanities majors falls, there will be fewer painters, sculptors, filmmakers, writers, and musicians. Science may create modern conveniences but the arts are more important for a fulfilling and enjoyable life. The results of this decline might not become apparent for generations, but if funding is slashed for arts programs, the world will become culturally poorer and the art that has enriched and elevated humanity will give way to a tranquil, technocratic future.

In conclusion, the jobs available to science majors explain their dominance but taken as a whole this trend will result in a world bereft of great artists. It is therefore important to balance funding to a defensible degree.

Answers

increasingly common ubiquitous

emphasise focus on

to the detriment of hurting

humanities arts

logically motivated decision makes sense

main reason chief justification

shift change

realisation know

value importance

scientific fields engineering, chemistry, math, etc.

push forward drive

human progress advances in civilisation

generate make

revenue money

across a wide spectrum of industries in many fields

follows naturally, logically

high-paying jobs available jobs with good salaries

private and public sectors companies and governments

at the very least at the minimum

majors fields to study

STEM related subject related to science, technology, engineering and math

quality teaching position good job as a teacher

guarantees makes sure of

minimum level lowest amount

possibility chance

much greater career better job

motivates encourages

institutions schools

prioritise focus on

pursue scientific careers get a job in science

over-emphasis focus too much on

translate to means

strictly utilitarian point of view only caring about the end value of

allocated to given to

most economic value helps make the most money

sum total

earning potential how much money you can make

proportion ratio

modern conveniences phones, computers, TVs, etc.

fulfilling satisfying

decline decrease

apparent appears to be

generations many years

funding money, resources

slashed cut

culturally poorer weak in terms of the arts

enriched made stronger

elevated lifted up

give way sacrifice for

tranquil calm

technocratic future controlled by technology, efficiency

jobs available to jobs you can get

explain justify

dominance being in control

taken as a whole overall

trend pattern

result in consequence

bereft lacking

balance funding give equal resources

defensible degree justifiable extent

Pronunciation

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈkɒmən 
ˈɛmfəsaɪz 
tuː ðə ˈdɛtrɪmənt ɒv 
hju(ː)ˈmænɪtiz
ˈlɒʤɪkəli ˈməʊtɪveɪtɪd dɪˈsɪʒən 
meɪn ˈriːzn 
ʃɪft 
ˌrɪəlaɪˈzeɪʃən 
ˈvæljuː 
ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk fiːldz
pʊʃ ˈfɔːwəd 
ˈhjuːmən ˈprəʊgrəs 
ˈʤɛnəreɪt 
ˈrɛvɪnjuː 
əˈkrɒs ə waɪd ˈspɛktrəm ɒv ˈɪndəstriz
ˈfɒləʊz 
haɪ-ˈpeɪɪŋ ʤɒbz əˈveɪləbl 
ˈpraɪvɪt ænd ˈpʌblɪk ˈsɛktəz 
æt ðə ˈvɛri liːst
ˈmeɪʤəz 
stɛm rɪˈleɪtɪd ˈsʌbʤɪkt 
ˈkwɒlɪti ˈtiːʧɪŋ pəˈzɪʃən
ˌgærənˈtiːz 
ˈmɪnɪməm ˈlɛvl 
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
mʌʧ ˈgreɪtə kəˈrɪə 
ˈməʊtɪveɪts 
ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃənz 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
pəˈsjuː ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk kəˈrɪəz
ˈəʊvər-ˈɛmfəsɪs 
trænsˈleɪt tuː 
ˈstrɪktli ˌjuːtɪlɪˈteərɪən pɔɪnt ɒv vjuː
ˈæləʊkeɪtɪd tuː 
məʊst ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈvæljuː
sʌm 
ˈɜːnɪŋ pəʊˈtɛnʃəl
prəˈpɔːʃən 
ˈmɒdən kənˈviːniənsɪz 
fʊlˈfɪlɪŋ 
dɪˈklaɪn 
əˈpærənt 
ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃənz
ˈfʌndɪŋ 
slæʃt 
ˈkʌlʧərəli ˈpʊərə 
ɪnˈrɪʧt 
ˈɛlɪveɪtɪd 
gɪv weɪ 
ˈtræŋkwɪl
tɛkˈnɒkrætɪt ˈfjuːʧə
ʤɒbz əˈveɪləbl tuː 
ɪksˈpleɪn 
ˈdɒmɪnəns 
ˈteɪkən æz ə həʊl 
trɛnd 
rɪˈzʌlt ɪn 
bɪˈrɛft 
ˈbæləns ˈfʌndɪŋ

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It is becoming increasingly common for schools around the world to emphasise STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to the detriment of the humanities. This is a logically motivated decision and is negative overall.

The main reason for this shift is a realisation of the value of jobs in scientific fields. New inventions and medicines push forward human progress and generate billions of dollars in revenue across a wide spectrum of industries. It therefore follows there are high-paying jobs available in private and public sectors for engineers, researchers, scientists, and mathematicians. At the very least, someone who majors in a STEM related subject will be able to find a quality teaching position. This guarantees of a minimum level of success and the possibility of a much greater career motivates parents, institutions and students themselves to prioritise and pursue scientific careers.

This over-emphasis on science will translate to less art in the world. It is true that from a strictly utilitarian point of view, resources ought to be allocated to fields with the most economic value. Life is, however, more than the sum of everyone’s earning potential. If the proportion of humanities majors falls, there will be fewer painters, sculptors, filmmakers, writers, and musicians. Science may create modern conveniences but the arts are more important for a fulfilling and enjoyable life. The results of this decline might not become apparent for generations, but if funding is slashed for arts programs, the world will become culturally poorer and the art that has enriched and elevated humanity will give way to a tranquil, technocratic future.

In conclusion, the jobs available to science majors explain their dominance but taken as a whole this trend will result in a world bereft of great artists. It is therefore important to balance funding to a defensible degree.

Listening Practice

Listen more about this topic and practice with the ideas in this post:

Reading Practice

Read more and practice with these activities:

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2020/09/teaching-art-teaching-writing/616045/

Speaking Practice

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

Science

  1. Do you like science?
  2. Did you learn about science in primary school?
  3. How often do you read about science?
  4. Why is science important to learn about?

Writing Practice

Write about this related topic and check with my sample answer below:

The government should lower the budget on the arts in order to allocate more money to education.

To what extent do you agree?


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