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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of equality and achievement from the real IELTS exam

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Dave





IELTS Essay: Equality and Achievement

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the relationship between equality and personal achievement. Some people believe that individuals can achieve more in egalitarian societies. Others believe that high levels of personal achievement are possible only if individuals are free to succeed or fail according to their individual merits.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

In recent decades, there has been considerable debate about whether or not individual achievement is greater in egalitarian or more hierarchical societies. In my opinion, despite the benefits of egalitarianism as a political principle, it should not be pursued as a social ideal.

Those who argue egalitarian societies are better for achievement point out the benefits of opportunity. The most well-known examples of this are in socialist nations in Europe like France where income disparity is less pronounced than in more capitalist countries. In such liberal countries, a person can receive a good education, secure stable employment, receive unemployment benefits in the case of an economic downturn, and support the rest of society by paying high taxes. Being part of such a community is itself a motivation for individuals to perform well at work and pursue life goals. This is especially the case as a person will not have to feel anxious about the possibility of being left behind by society at large.

I would contend that when conditions are generally equal individuals should then be permitted to compete without considerable governmental regulation. The standout example for this situation would be in the United States. Although there are more problems related to income inequality, there is also greater innovation across a variety of sectors. One cause of this is that individuals are motivated by the desire to excel and earn the financial rewards that accompany success. A person is therefore encouraged to attain their own definition of success or they might be forced to live on the fringes of society.

In conclusion, though there is a cruel element to competition, it is the best way to encourage innovation and growth in an individual and society as a whole. Naturally, such an approach is only possible when systemic problems related to discrimination have first been eliminated.

Analysis

1. In recent decades, there has been considerable debate about whether or not individual achievement is greater in egalitarian or more hierarchical societies. 2. In my opinion, despite the benefits of egalitarianism as a political principle, it should not be pursued as a social ideal.

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

1. Those who argue egalitarian societies are better for achievement point out the benefits of opportunity. 2. The most well-known examples of this are in socialist nations in Europe like France where income disparity is less pronounced than in more capitalist countries. 3. In such liberal countries, a person can receive a good education, secure stable employment, receive unemployment benefits in the case of an economic downturn, and support the rest of society by paying high taxes. 4. Being part of such a community is itself a motivation for individuals to perform well at work and pursue life goals. 5. This is especially the case as a person will not have to feel anxious about the possibility of being left behind by society at large.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. You might add a counterpoint here.

1. I would contend that when conditions are generally equal individuals should then be permitted to compete without considerable governmental regulation. 2. The standout example for this situation would be in the United States. 3. Although there are more problems related to income inequality, there is also greater innovation across a variety of sectors. 4. One cause of this is that individuals are motivated by the desire to excel and earn the financial rewards that accompany success. 5. A person is therefore encouraged to attain their own definition of success or they might be forced to live on the fringes of society.

  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. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Continue your development.

1. In conclusion, though there is a cruel element to competition, it is the best way to encourage innovation and growth in an individual and society as a whole. 2. Naturally, such an approach is only possible when systemic problems related to discrimination have first been eliminated.

  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.

In recent decades, there has been considerable debate about whether or not individual achievement is greater in egalitarian or more hierarchical societies. In my opinion, despite the benefits of egalitarianism as a political principle, it should not be pursued as a social ideal.

Those who argue egalitarian societies are better for achievement point out the benefits of opportunity. The most well-known examples of this are in socialist nations in Europe like France where income disparity is less pronounced than in more capitalist countries. In such liberal countries, a person can receive a good education, secure stable employment, receive unemployment benefits in the case of an economic downturn, and support the rest of society by paying high taxes. Being part of such a community is itself a motivation for individuals to perform well at work and pursue life goals. This is especially the case as a person will not have to feel anxious about the possibility of being left behind by society at large.

I would contend that when conditions are generally equal individuals should then be permitted to compete without considerable governmental regulation. The standout example for this situation would be in the United States. Although there are more problems related to income inequality, there is also greater innovation across a variety of sectors. One cause of this is that individuals are motivated by the desire to excel and earn the financial rewards that accompany success. A person is therefore encouraged to attain their own definition of success or they might be forced to live on the fringes of society.

In conclusion, though there is a cruel element to competition, it is the best way to encourage innovation and growth in an individual and society as a whole. Naturally, such an approach is only possible when systemic problems related to discrimination have first been eliminated.

Answers

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

In recent decades the last 20 or 30 years

there has been considerable debate about whether or not lots of conflict concerning

achievement how much you get done

greater more than

egalitarian equal

more hierarchical societies countries with clear classes

despite the benefits of egalitarianism as a political principle regardless of the advantages of equal rights

should not be pursued as a social ideal is not a desirable way to live

point out argue

benefits advantages

opportunity chance

The most well-known examples of this are in socialist nations best instances exist in more equal countries

income disparity differences in how much people earn

less pronounced than in more capitalist countries not as different as in more market-oriented nations

liberal socialist, more open and free

receive get

secure stable employment have a good job

receive unemployment benefits in the case of an economic downturn get money from the government when the economy is not doing well

support the rest of society by paying high taxes help everyone by paying some of your salary to the government

motivation encouragement

perform well do well

pursue life goals seek out achievements in life

This is especially the case as particularly the true because

anxious nervous

possibility chance

left behind by society at large not keeping up with the rest of the public

contend argue

conditions situations

generally equal mostly the same

permitted to compete without considerable governmental regulation allowed to do what they want without interference

The standout example for this situation would be best instance of this is

related to income inequality concerning people not being equal

innovation across a variety of sectors new ideas in many industries

One cause of this is that one source is

desire what you want

excel do well

earn the financial rewards make money

accompany success go along with success

attain their own definition of success achieve what they want

on the fringes of society nearly outside of society

cruel element to competition mean part of fighting with others

society as a whole all of society, the public

Naturally of course

approach way

systemic problems issues from history

discrimination prejudice

first before this

eliminated gotten rid of





Pronunciation

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

ɪn ˈriːsnt ˈdɛkeɪdz
ðeə hæz biːn kənˈsɪdərəbl dɪˈbeɪt əˈbaʊt ˈwɛðər ɔː nɒt 
əˈʧiːvmənt 
ˈgreɪtə 
ɪˌgælɪˈteərɪən 
mɔː ˌhaɪərˈɑːkɪkəl səˈsaɪətiz
dɪsˈpaɪt ðə ˈbɛnɪfɪts ɒv ɪˌgælɪˈteərɪənɪz(ə)m æz ə pəˈlɪtɪkəl ˈprɪnsəpl
ʃʊd nɒt biː pəˈsjuːd æz ə ˈsəʊʃəl aɪˈdɪəl
pɔɪnt aʊt 
ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti
ðə məʊst wɛl-nəʊn ɪgˈzɑːmplz ɒv ðɪs ɑːr ɪn ˈsəʊʃəlɪst ˈneɪʃənz 
ˈɪnkʌm dɪsˈpærɪti 
lɛs prəˈnaʊnst ðæn ɪn mɔː ˈkæpɪtəlɪst ˈkʌntriz
ˈlɪbərəl 
rɪˈsiːv 
sɪˈkjʊə ˈsteɪbl ɪmˈplɔɪmənt
rɪˈsiːv ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt ˈbɛnɪfɪts ɪn ðə keɪs ɒv ən ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈdaʊntɜːn
səˈpɔːt ðə rɛst ɒv səˈsaɪəti baɪ ˈpeɪɪŋ haɪ ˈtæksɪz
ˌməʊtɪˈveɪʃən 
pəˈfɔːm wɛl 
pəˈsjuː laɪf gəʊlz
ðɪs ɪz ɪsˈpɛʃəli ðə keɪs æz 
ˈæŋkʃəs 
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
lɛft bɪˈhaɪnd baɪ səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ
kənˈtɛnd 
kənˈdɪʃənz 
ˈʤɛnərəli ˈiːkwəl 
pəˈmɪtɪd tuː kəmˈpiːt wɪˈðaʊt kənˈsɪdərəbl ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən
ðə ˈstændaʊt ɪgˈzɑːmpl fɔː ðɪs ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən wʊd biː 
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː ˈɪnkʌm ˌɪni(ː)ˈkwɒlɪti
ˌɪnəʊˈveɪʃən əˈkrɒs ə vəˈraɪəti ɒv ˈsɛktəz
wʌn kɔːz ɒv ðɪs ɪz ðæt 
dɪˈzaɪə 
ɪkˈsɛl 
ɜːn ðə faɪˈnænʃəl rɪˈwɔːdz 
əˈkʌmpəni səkˈsɛs
əˈteɪn ðeər əʊn ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃən ɒv səkˈsɛs 
ɒn ðə ˈfrɪnʤɪz ɒv səˈsaɪəti
krʊəl ˈɛlɪmənt tuː ˌkɒmpɪˈtɪʃən
səˈsaɪəti æz ə həʊl
ˈnæʧrəli
əˈprəʊʧ 
sɪˈstɛmɪk ˈprɒbləmz 
dɪsˌkrɪmɪˈneɪʃən 
fɜːst 
ɪˈlɪmɪneɪtɪd

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:

I_________________________s, t_______________________________________________________t individual a______________t is g_________r in e_______________n or m_____________________________s. In my opinion, d____________________________________________e, it s_________________________________________________l.

Those who argue egalitarian societies are better for achievement p____________t the b___________s of o______________y. T_______________________________________________________s in Europe like France where i__________________y is l__________________________________________________________s. In such l__________l countries, a person can r__________e a good education, s__________________________________t, r_______________________________________________________________n, and s____________________________________________s. Being part of such a community is itself a m_________________n for individuals to p_________________l at work and p____________________s. T______________________________s a person will not have to feel a______________s about the p_________________y of being l__________________________________e.

I would c__________d that when c_______________s are g______________________l individuals should then be p_________________________________________________________n. T_________________________________________e in the United States. Although there are more problems r_________________________y, there is also greater i__________________________________________s. O______________________________t individuals are motivated by the d_______e to e_______l and e_____________________________s that a______________________s. A person is therefore encouraged to a____________________________________________s or they might be forced to live o______________________________y.

In conclusion, though there is a c_____________________________n, it is the best way to encourage innovation and growth in an individual and s_______________________e. N________________y, such an a________h is only possible when s______________________________s related to d________________n have f_____t been e___________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

Speaking Practice

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

Work (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Are you student or are you working now?
  2. What do you like about your job/school at the moment?
  3. What job would you like to do in the future?





Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topics below:

Some believe that advances in technology are increasing the gap between rich and poor while others think the opposite is happening.

Dicuss both sides and give your own opinion.


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