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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of mandatory full-time education from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Mandatory Full-Time Education

Some people think that children under 18 years old should receive full-time education.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many feel that students should be required to attend full-time classes until the age of 18. In my opinion, when economically viable this mandate is advisable.

Those who oppose this policy argue it is impossible in more rural areas, particularly in developing nations. In such locations, children and teenagers often do not have convenient access to schools and assisting their parents with farm or other work is a greater priority. For example, in many rural villages in South Asia, even young children must lend a hand working to raise crops and livestock. The parents of these children can also make the legitimate argument that they are preserving a traditional and equally valuable way of life that does not involve modern schooling. However, these contexts are becoming rarer as individuals migrate to cities and the countryside receives improved infrastructure.

The main reason to support compulsory full-time education to the age of 18 is the opportunities it opens up in an evolving world. The lifestyle in rural areas that now seemingly justifies reduced schooling is disappearing due to more efficient farming equipment and the industrialization of production methods. Therefore, the most viable path for most individuals is to have an education through high school and ideally university that will endow them with employable skills. For instance, an individual who has learned a variety of subjects and graduated from formal schooling can then apply either for higher education or a job that requires a high school certificate. Both their worst and best case scenarios for the future improve considerably.

In conclusion, despite the valid reasons that exist in rural communities to de-emphasize education, it is worthwhile to enforce mandatory schooling for all minors. This is now more important than ever as job markets become more competitive.

Analysis

1. Many feel that students should be required to attend full-time classes until the age of 18. 2. In my opinion, when economically viable this mandate is advisable.

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

1. Those who oppose this policy argue it is impossible in more rural areas, particularly in developing nations. 2. In such locations, children and teenagers often do not have convenient access to schools and assisting their parents with farm or other work is a greater priority. 3. For example, in many rural villages in South Asia, even young children must lend a hand working to raise crops and livestock. 4. The parents of these children can also make the legitimate argument that they are preserving a traditional and equally valuable way of life that does not involve modern schooling. 5. However, these contexts are becoming rarer as individuals migrate to cities and the countryside receives improved infrastructure.

  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 main reason to support compulsory full-time education to the age of 18 is the opportunities it opens up in an evolving world. 2. The lifestyle in rural areas that now seemingly justifies reduced schooling is disappearing due to more efficient farming equipment and the industrialization of production methods. 3. Therefore, the most viable path for most individuals is to have an education through high school and ideally university that will endow them with employable skills. 4. For instance, an individual who has learned a variety of subjects and graduated from formal schooling can then apply either for higher education or a job that requires a high school certificate. 5. Both their worst and best case scenarios for the future improve considerably.

  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!

1. In conclusion, despite the valid reasons that exist in rural communities to de-emphasize education, it is worthwhile to enforce mandatory schooling for all minors. 2. This is now more important than ever as job markets become more competitive.

  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 feel that students should be required to attend full-time classes until the age of 18. In my opinion, when economically viable this mandate is advisable.

Those who oppose this policy argue it is impossible in more rural areas, particularly in developing nations. In such locations, children and teenagers often do not have convenient access to schools and assisting their parents with farm or other work is a greater priority. For example, in many rural villages in South Asia, even young children must lend a hand working to raise crops and livestock. The parents of these children can also make the legitimate argument that they are preserving a traditional and equally valuable way of life that does not involve modern schooling. However, these contexts are becoming rarer as individuals migrate to cities and the countryside receives improved infrastructure.

The main reason to support compulsory full-time education to the age of 18 is the opportunities it opens up in an evolving world. The lifestyle in rural areas that now seemingly justifies reduced schooling is disappearing due to more efficient farming equipment and the industrialization of production methods. Therefore, the most viable path for most individuals is to have an education through high school and ideally university that will endow them with employable skills. For instance, an individual who has learned a variety of subjects and graduated from formal schooling can then apply either for higher education or a job that requires a high school certificate. Both their worst and best case scenarios for the future improve considerably.

In conclusion, despite the valid reasons that exist in rural communities to de-emphasize education, it is worthwhile to enforce mandatory schooling for all minors. This is now more important than ever as job markets become more competitive.

Answers

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

required have to do it

attend go to

full-time all day

economically viable makes sense based on the finances of a country

mandate order

advisable a good idea to do it

oppose go against

policy regulation

rural areas the countryside

particularly especially

developing nations poorer countries

locations places

convenient access easy to get to

assisting helping

greater priority more important

rural villages towns in the countryside

lend a hand help out

raise crops and livestock help grow food and look after animals

legitimate argument defensible point

preserving keeping alive

traditional from the past

equally valuable also good

modern schooling education today

contexts situations

rarer not common

migrate move to

receives improved infrastructure get better roads, schools, etc.

compulsory have to go there, no choice, mandatory

opportunities chances

opens up creates

evolving world changing world

seemingly justifies appears to make it defensible

reduced not as strong

efficient farming equipment machines that can farm easily

industrialization machines, production, etc.

production methods how things are made

viable path good way

through high school to the end of secondary school

ideally in a perfect world

endow give

employable skills skills that help you get a job

variety of subjects lots of different kinds of classes

formal official

apply put in an application

high school certificate diploma

worst and best case scenarios the worst and ideal situation

despite regardless of

valid legitimate

rural communities country villages

de-emphasize not put focus on

worthwhile justifiable

enforce make sure it is done

minors kids, teenagers

job markets employment sectors

competitive hard to get a position

Pronunciation

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

rɪˈkwaɪəd 
əˈtɛnd 
fʊl-taɪm 
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪkəli ˈvaɪəbl 
ˈmændeɪt 
ədˈvaɪzəbl
əˈpəʊz 
ˈpɒlɪsi 
ˈrʊərəl ˈeərɪəz
pəˈtɪkjʊləli 
dɪˈvɛləpɪŋ ˈneɪʃənz
ləʊˈkeɪʃənz
kənˈviːniənt ˈæksɛs 
əˈsɪstɪŋ 
ˈgreɪtə praɪˈɒrɪti
ˈrʊərəl ˈvɪlɪʤɪz 
lɛnd ə hænd 
reɪz krɒps ænd ˈlaɪvstɒk
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt ˈɑːgjʊmənt 
prɪˈzɜːvɪŋ 
trəˈdɪʃənl 
ˈiːkwəli ˈvæljʊəbl 
ˈmɒdən ˈskuːlɪŋ
ˈkɒntɛksts 
ˈreərə 
maɪˈgreɪt 
rɪˈsiːvz ɪmˈpruːvd ˈɪnfrəˌstrʌkʧə.
kəmˈpʌlsəri 
ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪtiz 
ˈəʊpənz ʌp 
ɪˈvɒlvɪŋ wɜːld
ˈsiːmɪŋli ˈʤʌstɪfaɪz 
rɪˈdjuːst 
ɪˈfɪʃənt ˈfɑːmɪŋ ɪˈkwɪpmənt 
ɪnˌdʌstrɪəlaɪˈzeɪʃən 
prəˈdʌkʃən ˈmɛθədz
ˈvaɪəbl pɑːθ 
θruː haɪ skuːl 
aɪˈdɪəli 
ɪnˈdaʊ 
ɪmˈplɔɪəbl skɪlz
vəˈraɪəti ɒv ˈsʌbʤɪkts 
ˈfɔːməl 
əˈplaɪ 
haɪ skuːl səˈtɪfɪkɪt
wɜːst ænd bɛst keɪs sɪˈnɑːrɪəʊz 
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈvælɪd 
ˈrʊərəl kəˈmjuːnɪtiz 
diː-ˈɛmfəsaɪz 
ˈwɜːθˈwaɪl 
ɪnˈfɔːs 
ˈmaɪnəz
ʤɒb ˈmɑːkɪts 
kəmˈpɛtɪtɪv

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 feel that students should be r_________d to a______________e classes until the age of 18. In my opinion, when e______________e this m________e is a__________e.

Those who o________e this p_______y argue it is impossible in more r__________s, p____________y in d_____________________s. In such l____________s, children and teenagers often do not have c___________________s to schools and a____________g their parents with farm or other work is a g_______________y. For example, in many r______________s in South Asia, even young children must l____________d working to r________________________k. The parents of these children can also make the l___________________t that they are p____________g a t____________l and e_______________e way of life that does not involve m_________________g. However, these c___________s are becoming r_______r as individuals m_________e to cities and the countryside r________________________________e.

The main reason to support c______________y full-time education to the age of 18 is the o____________________s it o___________p in an e_________________d. The lifestyle in rural areas that now s_________________________d schooling is disappearing due to more e_____________________________t and the i_______________n of p______________________s. Therefore, the most v_____________h for most individuals is to have an education t______________________l and i_________y university that will e______w them with e_____________________s. For instance, an individual who has learned a v__________________s and graduated from f________l schooling can then a_______y either for higher education or a job that requires a h______________________e. Both their w______________________________s for the future improve considerably.

In conclusion, d__________e the v______d reasons that exist in r_______________________s to d___________________e education, it is w____________e to e____________e mandatory schooling for all m_______s. This is now more important than ever as j_____________s become more c_______________e.

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:

Speaking Practice

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

School Subjects

  1. What courses or subjects do you think will be added into high schools?
  2. What courses or subjects will be helpful in future work?
  3. Is it more effective to read online than in a book?
  4. What do students do after school in your country? 
  5. Do you think students should choose subjects they like?

Writing Practice

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

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?


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