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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of experiments in school from the real general training IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Experiments

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?

Some educators feel that for students to learn effectively they must do experiments themselves, rather than simple observing their teachers. In my opinion, this sentiment has its limits, but in general pupils would benefit more from such a hands-on approach.

Detractors argue that it is more efficient to watch a teacher perform an experiment in front of the class. Throughout the course of the academic year, in classes such as chemistry, biology and physics, teachers will have to cover dozens of topics and highlight numerous theorems. The teacher may perform experiments in order to illustrate concepts when applicable. If students conduct these exercises instead, it would mean less time to go over other areas and would necessitate reducing the size of the curriculum. Their learning may achieve greater depth but the breadth would be abridged.

Nonetheless, performing an experiment oneself promotes greater understanding. Take for example a chemistry class. Students are only likely to remember the end result if the teacher explains the formula for a chemical reaction, selects the ingredients themselves and then mixes and highlights the process. In contrast, if the students must identify, measure and carefully follow steps on their own, they will commit this information more deeply to memory. Their later analysis will further reinforce a more complex understanding of the forces at play in a given experiment. Recent pedagogical research supports the contention that the physicality of performing is a powerful aid to memory and the key to long-term retention.

In conclusion, though there are legitimate reasons to not apply this rule without nuance, it is important that students generally be given the opportunity to carry out experiments on their own. What students internalize will be naturally more memorable.

Analysis

1. Some educators feel that for students to learn effectively they must do experiments themselves, rather than simple observing their teachers. 2. In my opinion, this sentiment has its limits, but in general pupils would benefit more from such a hands-on approach.

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

1. Detractors argue that it is more efficient to watch a teacher perform an experiment in front of the class. 2. Throughout the course of the academic year, in classes such as chemistry, biology and physics, teachers will have to cover dozens of topics and highlight numerous theorems. 3. The teacher may perform experiments in order to illustrate concepts when applicable. 4. If students conduct these exercises instead, it would mean less time to go over other areas and would necessitate reducing the size of the curriculum. 5. Their learning may achieve greater depth but the breadth would be abridged.

  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. Stay focused on the same main idea.

1. Nonetheless, performing an experiment oneself promotes greater understanding. 2. Take for example a chemistry class. 3. Students are only likely to remember the end result if the teacher explains the formula for a chemical reaction, selects the ingredients themselves and then mixes and highlights the process. 4. In contrast, if the students must identify, measure and carefully follow steps on their own, they will commit this information more deeply to memory. 5. Their later analysis will further reinforce a more complex understanding of the forces at play in a given experiment. 6. Recent pedagogical research supports the contention that the physicality of performing is a powerful aid to memory and the key to long-term retention.

  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. Any extra statement of the result will help.

1. In conclusion, though there are legitimate reasons to not apply this rule without nuance, it is important that students generally be given the opportunity to carry out experiments on their own. 2. What students internalize will be naturally more memorable.

  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 educators feel that for students to learn effectively they must do experiments themselves, rather than simple observing their teachers. In my opinion, this sentiment has its limits, but in general pupils would benefit more from such a hands-on approach.

Detractors argue that it is more efficient to watch a teacher perform an experiment in front of the class. Throughout the course of the academic year, in classes such as chemistry, biology and physics, teachers will have to cover dozens of topics and highlight numerous theorems. The teacher may perform experiments in order to illustrate concepts when applicable. If students conduct these exercises instead, it would mean less time to go over other areas and would necessitate reducing the size of the curriculum. Their learning may achieve greater depth but the breadth would be abridged.

Nonetheless, performing an experiment oneself promotes greater understanding. Take for example a chemistry class. Students are only likely to remember the end result if the teacher explains the formula for a chemical reaction, selects the ingredients themselves and then mixes and highlights the process. In contrast, if the students must identify, measure and carefully follow steps on their own, they will commit this information more deeply to memory. Their later analysis will further reinforce a more complex understanding of the forces at play in a given experiment. Recent pedagogical research supports the contention that the physicality of performing is a powerful aid to memory and the key to long-term retention.

In conclusion, though there are legitimate reasons to not apply this rule without nuance, it is important that students generally be given the opportunity to carry out experiments on their own. What students internalize will be naturally more memorable.

Answers

effectively essentially

experiments live classroom demonstrations/practice of a concept

observing wathing

sentiment opinion

limits extremes

in general pupils overall students

benefit get an advantage from

hands-on approach actually doing something in class

detractors critics

efficient good use of resources

perform conduct

throughout all the time

academic year the entire year at school

chemistry study of chemicals

biology study of life

physics study of laws of the universe

cover dozens of topics go over tons of areas

highlight focus on

numerous many

theorems ideas / theories

illustrate concepts show/explain how something works

applicable relevant

conduct do

go over review

necessitate reducing require cutting down on

curriculum what is learned in school

greater depth deeper understanding

breadth how wide/how many areas learned about

abridged reduced

promotes encourages

end result final product

formula the equation making up something

chemical reaction what is produced from an experiment

selects the ingredients choose what goes into it

mixes combines

highlights focuses on

process experiment

in contrast however

identify be able to name

measure keep track of the quantity

carefully follow steps methodically pay attention to the process

commit this information remember the data

more deeply more fully

later analysis thinking back on it

further reinforce add a layer of memory

complex understanding nuanced knowledge

forces at play elements being used

given provided

pedagogical related to teaching

supports the contention in favour of the opinion

physicality using the body

performing doing

powerful aid strong support

long-term retention remembering for a long time

legitimate valid

apply this rule follow this principle

nuance complexity

generally be given the opportunity overall be allowed to

carry out do

on their own by themselves

internalize learn well

naturally of course

Pronunciation

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

ɪˈfɛktɪvli 
ɪksˈpɛrɪmənts
əbˈzɜːvɪŋ 
ˈsɛntɪmənt 
ˈlɪmɪts
ɪn ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpjuːplz 
ˈbɛnɪfɪt 
hændz-ɒn əˈprəʊʧ
dɪˈtræktəz 
ɪˈfɪʃənt 
pəˈfɔːm 
θru(ː)ˈaʊt 
ˌækəˈdɛmɪk jɪə
ˈkɛmɪstri
baɪˈɒləʤi 
ˈfɪzɪks
ˈkʌvə ˈdʌznz ɒv ˈtɒpɪks 
ˈhaɪˌlaɪt 
ˈnjuːmərəs 
ˈθɪərəmz
ˈɪləstreɪt ˈkɒnsɛpts 
ˈæplɪkəbl
ˈkɒndʌkt 
gəʊ ˈəʊvə 
nɪˈsɛsɪteɪt rɪˈdjuːsɪŋ 
kəˈrɪkjʊləm
ˈgreɪtə dɛpθ 
brɛdθ 
əˈbrɪʤd
prəˈməʊts 
ɛnd rɪˈzʌlt 
ˈfɔːmjʊlə 
ˈkɛmɪkəl ri(ː)ˈækʃən
sɪˈlɛkts ði ɪnˈgriːdiənts 
ˈmɪksɪz 
ˈhaɪˌlaɪts 
ˈprəʊsɛs
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
aɪˈdɛntɪfaɪ
ˈmɛʒə 
ˈkeəfli ˈfɒləʊ stɛps 
kəˈmɪt ðɪs ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən 
mɔː ˈdiːpli 
ˈleɪtər əˈnæləsɪs 
ˈfɜːðə ˌriːɪnˈfɔːs 
ˈkɒmplɛks ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ 
ˈfɔːsɪz æt pleɪ 
ˈgɪvn 
ˌpɛdəˈgɒʤɪkəl 
səˈpɔːts ðə kənˈtɛnʃən 
ˈfɪzɪkəlɪti: 
pəˈfɔːmɪŋ 
ˈpaʊəfʊl eɪd 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm rɪˈtɛnʃən
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt 
əˈplaɪ ðɪs ruːl 
nju(ː)ˈɑːns
ˈʤɛnərəli biː ˈgɪvn ði ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
ˈkæri aʊt 
ɒn ðeər əʊn
ɪnˈtɜːnəˌlaɪz 
ˈnæʧrəli 

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 educators feel that for students to learn e________________y they must do e__________________s themselves, rather than simple o____________g their teachers. In my opinion, this s____________t has its l_______s, but i__________l p________s would b_________t more from such a h_________________h.

D______________s argue that it is more e_____________t to watch a teacher p________m an experiment in front of the class. T______________t the course of the a_______________r, in classes such as c___________y, b________y and p__________s, teachers will have to c_____________________s and h__________t n___________s t______________s. The teacher may perform experiments in order to i_____________________s when a_____________e. If students c_________t these exercises instead, it would mean less time to g________r other areas and would n_________________g the size of the c______________m. Their learning may achieve g_______________h but the b________h would be a_________d.

Nonetheless, performing an experiment oneself p__________s greater understanding. Take for example a chemistry class. Students are only likely to remember the e________________t if the teacher explains the f___________a for a c________________n, s______________________s themselves and then m______s and h_____________s the p__________s. I____________t, if the students must i______________y, m_____________e and c_____________________s on their own, they will c_____________________________________y to memory. Their l______________s will f_________________e a more c______________________g of the f________________y in a g_______n experiment. Recent p______________l research s_______________________n that the p_____________y of p_____________g is a p________________d to memory and the key to l_____________________n.

In conclusion, though there are l______________e reasons to not a_______________e without n__________e, it is important that students g________________________________________y to c____________t experiments o________________n. What students i______________e will be n___________y more memorable.

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.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2020/09/what-makes-blissfield-elementarys-science-lab-unique/616285/

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

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

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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