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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of it being harder to study at school from the real IELTS general training exam.

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IELTS Essay: Harder to Study at School

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?

Many university students find concentrating on their new academic life considerably more challenging than past schooling. In my opinion, this is typically due to the altered structure of university teaching and the best solutions are to prepare and support students in the transition.

The primary cause of a lack of concentration at university is adjustment to novel ways of learning. In high school or secondary school, students fall into a set pattern of daily classes and homework assignments. This changes greatly depending on the pedagogical techniques of the university in question. Most university courses will only meet once or twice a week and the workload outside the classroom is larger and may include writing long essays and reading entire books. Students must therefore have the self-discipline to work mostly on their own and then be prepared for more rigorous discussion than they are used to with professors and other students.

The solutions to the problem mentioned above involve the activity of high schools and universities. For high school students who will be moving on to higher education, it is important that there are courses offered that roughly simulate the rigor of university. An example of this would be the AP courses on offer at most American high schools. Additionally, university professors play a key role, particularly freshman year. Professors must be patient but also strict in ensuring students understand their responsibilities. This could entail simple awareness raising related to how to manage their time effectively or clear illustrations of the standards required for academic comprehension and output in university.

In conclusion, though it is challenging for students to adapt to new styles of teaching and learning, they can be aided by empathetic teachers. The new environment will always be an obstacle and part of the importance of university is learning independently to overcome it.

Analysis

1. Many university students find concentrating on their new academic life considerably more challenging than past schooling. 2. In my opinion, this is typically due to the altered structure of university teaching and the best solutions are to prepare and support students in the transition.

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

1. The primary cause of a lack of concentration at university is adjustment to novel ways of learning. 2. In high school or secondary school, students fall into a set pattern of daily classes and homework assignments. 3. This changes greatly depending on the pedagogical techniques of the university in question. 4. Most university courses will only meet once or twice a week and the workload outside the classroom is larger and may include writing long essays and reading entire books. 5. Students must therefore have the self-discipline to work mostly on their own and then be prepared for more rigorous discussion than they are used to with professors and other students.

  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. The solutions to the problem mentioned above involve the activity of high schools and universities. 2. For high school students who will be moving on to higher education, it is important that there are courses offered that roughly simulate the rigor of university. 3. An example of this would be the AP courses on offer at most American high schools. 4. Additionally, university professors play a key role, particularly freshman year. 5. Professors must be patient but also strict in ensuring students understand their responsibilities. 6. This could entail simple awareness raising related to how to manage their time effectively or clear illustrations of the standards required for academic comprehension and output in university.

  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. Finish with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, though it is challenging for students to adapt to new styles of teaching and learning, they can be aided by empathetic teachers. 2. The new environment will always be an obstacle and part of the importance of university is learning independently to overcome it.

  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.

Many university students find concentrating on their new academic life considerably more challenging than past schooling. In my opinion, this is typically due to the altered structure of university teaching and the best solutions are to prepare and support students in the transition.

The primary cause of a lack of concentration at university is adjustment to novel ways of learning. In high school or secondary school, students fall into a set pattern of daily classes and homework assignments. This changes greatly depending on the pedagogical techniques of the university in question. Most university courses will only meet once or twice a week and the workload outside the classroom is larger and may include writing long essays and reading entire books. Students must therefore have the self-discipline to work mostly on their own and then be prepared for more rigorous discussion than they are used to with professors and other students.

The solutions to the problem mentioned above involve the activity of high schools and universities. For high school students who will be moving on to higher education, it is important that there are courses offered that roughly simulate the rigor of university. An example of this would be the AP courses on offer at most American high schools. Additionally, university professors play a key role, particularly freshman year. Professors must be patient but also strict in ensuring students understand their responsibilities. This could entail simple awareness raising related to how to manage their time effectively or clear illustrations of the standards required for academic comprehension and output in university.

In conclusion, though it is challenging for students to adapt to new styles of teaching and learning, they can be aided by empathetic teachers. The new environment will always be an obstacle and part of the importance of university is learning independently to overcome it.

Answers

For extra practice, write down an antonym (opposite word) for each of the new words below:

concentrating focusing

new academic life university

considerably greatly

challenging difficult

past schooling high school, primary, secondary school

typically normally

due to because of

altered structure different way

prepare get ready

support help

transition change

primary cause main reason

lack of concentration can’t focus

adjustment change

novel ways new methods

fall into a set pattern become set in their ways

greatly depending on a lot in the case where

pedagogical techniques ways of teaching

in question relevant now

meet once or twice a week have class a couple times in a week

workload outside the classroom work to do at home

therefore thus

self-discipline willpower

rigorous difficult

used to acclimated to

involve has to do woth

moving on going to

higher education university

roughly simulate approximate

rigor difficulty

AP courses honors classes

on offer available

additionally also

play a key role have an important part

particularly especially

freshman year first year of university

patient not in a rush

strict severe

ensuring making sure

entail consists of

awareness raising informing about

manage their time effectively not wasting time

clear illustrations good orders

standards required what they must do

academic comprehension understanding the class

output what they produce

adapt deal with

aided helped

empathetic caring, understanding

obstacle hurdle

part of the importance of one key element of

independently on their own

overcome beat, triumph over

Pronunciation

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

ˈkɒnsəntreɪtɪŋ 
njuː ˌækəˈdɛmɪk laɪf 
kənˈsɪdərəbli 
ˈʧælɪnʤɪŋ 
pɑːst ˈskuːlɪŋ
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)li 
djuː tuː 
ˈɔːltəd ˈstrʌkʧə 
prɪˈpeə 
səˈpɔːt 
trænˈzɪʃ(ə)n
ˈpraɪməri kɔːz 
læk ɒv ˌkɒnsənˈtreɪʃən 
əˈʤʌstmənt 
ˈnɒvəl weɪz 
fɔːl ˈɪntuː ə sɛt ˈpætən 
ˈgreɪtli dɪˈpɛndɪŋ ɒn 
ˌpɛdəˈgɒʤɪkəl tɛkˈniːks 
ɪn ˈkwɛsʧən
miːt wʌns ɔː twaɪs ə wiːk 
ˈwɜːkˌləʊd ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ðə ˈklɑːsrʊm
ˈðeəfɔː
sɛlf-ˈdɪsɪplɪn 
ˈrɪgərəs 
juːzd tuː 
ɪnˈvɒlv 
ˈmuːvɪŋ ɒn 
ˈhaɪər ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən
ˈrʌfli ˈsɪmjʊleɪt 
ˈrɪgə 
eɪ-piː ˈkɔːsɪz 
ɒn ˈɒfə 
əˈdɪʃənli
pleɪ ə kiː rəʊl
pəˈtɪkjʊləli 
ˈfrɛʃmən jɪə
ˈpeɪʃənt 
strɪkt 
ɪnˈʃʊərɪŋ 
ɪnˈteɪl 
əˈweənəs ˈreɪzɪŋ 
ˈmænɪʤ ðeə taɪm ɪˈfɛktɪvli 
klɪər ˌɪləsˈtreɪʃənz 
ˈstændədz rɪˈkwaɪəd 
ˌækəˈdɛmɪk ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnʃən 
ˈaʊtpʊt 
əˈdæpt
ˈeɪdɪd 
ˈɛmpəθetik
ˈɒbstəkl 
pɑːt ɒv ði ɪmˈpɔːtəns ɒv 
ˌɪndɪˈpɛndəntli 
ˌəʊvəˈkʌm

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:

Many university students find c______________g on their n_________________e c______________y more c_________________g than p_____________g. In my opinion, this is t______________y d________o the a_________________e of university teaching and the best solutions are to p__________e and s____________t students in the t____________n.

The p________________e of a l_____________________n at university is a____________t to n____________s of learning. In high school or secondary school, students f______________________n of daily classes and homework assignments. This changes g__________y d________________n the p_______________________s of the university i______________n. Most university courses will only m__________________________k and the w_________________________________m is larger and may include writing long essays and reading entire books. Students must t____________e have the s___________________e to work mostly on their own and then be prepared for more r____________s discussion than they are u________o with professors and other students.

The solutions to the problem mentioned above i__________e the activity of high schools and universities. For high school students who will be m______________n to h___________________n, it is important that there are courses offered that r_______________e the r______r of university. An example of this would be the A___________s o____________r at most American high schools. A________________y, university professors p________________e, p______________y f________________r. Professors must be p_________t but also s_________t in e__________g students understand their responsibilities. This could e________l simple a_____________________g related to how to m___________________________y or c__________________s of the s______________________d for a________________________n and o__________t in university.

In conclusion, though it is challenging for students to a_______t to new styles of teaching and learning, they can be a_________d by e______________c teachers. The new environment will always be an o_________e and p_______________________f university is learning i________________y to o___________e it.

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.theguardian.com/education/2019/aug/12/deadlines-distractions-and-difficult-books-how-uni-differs-from-school

Speaking Practice

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

Concentration (Ebook available on my Patreon)

  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?

Writing Practice

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

Some claim that studying abroad has great benefits for a student’s home country.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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