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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.

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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?


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