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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the educational, social, and commercial pressures on children from the real general training IELTS exam.

It’s a really hard (even unfair!) one because of all the different areas you have to develop in your answer. This is why my answer this time is a little on the long side…

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Pressure on Children

Children are now facing educational, social, and commercial pressures.

What are the causes of these pressures?

What measures can be taken to reduce them?

Some feel that children now have more responsibilities related to education, society, and economics. In my opinion, the causes all concern technology and the best counter-measures must be enacted in concert by governments and parents.

In my opinion, the primary catalyst for these added pressures is technology. In terms of education, students are now expected to learn about computers in school. By itself, this contributes little pressure; however, the additional time in front of a screen, coupled with the time spent in their free time online takes a heavy toll on mental health. Similarly, social demands related to the online world are growing. Most children must at some age begin to keep in touch with friends through various messaging applications and then learn the dynamics of social media, which can also increase anxiety. Finally, while online most children will be targeted by advertisements. This exploitation means that even the commercial world adds psychological pressure to the minds of the young.

The best solutions to these problems come from authority figures. Firstly, governments can establish stringent regulations. A good example of this would be a law recently passed in mainland China that prohibits gaming companies from allowing children to play more than 3 hours online per week. Similar restrictions about screen time in schools and laws governing advertising would also help alleviate the novel burdens technology has added to children’s lives. Additionally, parents can serve as a final filter and monitor their children closely. Instead of allowing their children to have a smartphone from a young age, they can instill a love of reading, playing outside, and socializing in the complete absence of technology in the hopes of fostering lifelong habits.

In conclusion, despite the risks technology poses to mental health for children, there are simple steps that governments and parents can take. However, this requires that parents recognize these dangers as inherently harmful to their children’s development.

Analysis

1. Some feel that children now have more responsibilities related to education, society, and economics. 2. In my opinion, the causes all concern technology and the best counter-measures must be enacted in concert by governments and parents.

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

1. In my opinion, the primary catalyst for these added pressures is technology. 2. In terms of education, students are now expected to learn about computers in school. 3. By itself, this contributes little pressure; however, the additional time in front of a screen, coupled with the time spent in their free time online takes a heavy toll on mental health. 4. Similarly, social demands related to the online world are growing. 5. Most children must at some age begin to keep in touch with friends through various messaging applications and then learn the dynamics of social media, which can also increase anxiety. 6. Finally, while online most children will be targeted by advertisements. This exploitation means that even the commercial world adds psychological pressure to the minds of the young.

  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. Extend with some long sentences as well.
  6. Finish this main idea.

1. The best solutions to these problems come from authority figures. 2. Firstly, governments can establish stringent regulations. 3. A good example of this would be a law recently passed in mainland China that prohibits gaming companies from allowing children to play more than 3 hours online per week. 4. Similar restrictions about screen time in schools and laws governing advertising would also help alleviate the novel burdens technology has added to children’s lives. 5. Additionally, parents can serve as a final filter and monitor their children closely. 6. Instead of allowing their children to have a smartphone from a young age, they can instill a love of reading, playing outside, and socializing in the complete absence of technology in the hopes of fostering lifelong habits.

  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. Continue your last solution.

1. In conclusion, despite the risks technology poses to mental health for children, there are simple steps that governments and parents can take. 2. However, this requires that parents recognize these dangers as inherently harmful to their children’s development.

  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 feel that children now have more responsibilities related to education, society, and economics. In my opinion, the causes all concern technology and the best counter-measures must be enacted in concert by governments and parents.

In my opinion, the primary catalyst for these added pressures is technology. In terms of education, students are now expected to learn about computers in school. By itself, this contributes little pressure; however, the additional time in front of a screen, coupled with the time spent in their free time online takes a heavy toll on mental health. Similarly, social demands related to the online world are growing. Most children must at some age begin to keep in touch with friends through various messaging applications and then learn the dynamics of social media, which can also increase anxiety. Finally, while online most children will be targeted by advertisements. This exploitation means that even the commercial world adds psychological pressure to the minds of the young.

The best solutions to these problems come from authority figures. Firstly, governments can establish stringent regulations. A good example of this would be a law recently passed in mainland China that prohibits gaming companies from allowing children to play more than 3 hours online per week. Similar restrictions about screen time in schools and laws governing advertising would also help alleviate the novel burdens technology has added to children’s lives. Additionally, parents can serve as a final filter and monitor their children closely. Instead of allowing their children to have a smartphone from a young age, they can instill a love of reading, playing outside, and socializing in the complete absence of technology in the hopes of fostering lifelong habits.

In conclusion, despite the risks technology poses to mental health for children, there are simple steps that governments and parents can take. However, this requires that parents recognize these dangers as inherently harmful to their children’s development.

Answers

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

responsibilities duties

related to concerning

education learning

society the public

economics business

causes results in

concern have to do with

counter-measures solutions

enacted passed

in concert together

primary catalyst main reason for

added pressures more stress

in terms of education when it comes to learning

expected to predicted to

by itself on its own

contributes adds to

additional time more time

screen what every device has so you can see things

coupled with combined with

takes a heavy toll on harms a lot

mental health psychological state

similarly the same

social demands needs of society

online world virtual life

growing getting larger

begin start

keep in touch talk to

various messaging applications Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, etc.

dynamics relationships

social media Instagram, TikTok, Facebook

increase anxiety make more nervous

targeted trying to get at

exploitation taking advantage of

commercial related to economics and business

adds psychological pressure more stressful responsibility

minds brains

authority figures people with power

establish stringent regulations create good laws

A good example of this would be a noteworthy instance is

recently passed soon legislated

prohibits forbids

per week each week

similar restrictions related laws

governing advertising controlling ads

alleviate make better

novel burdens technology new stresses related to computers

additionally furthermore

serve as be

final filter last barrier

monitor watch closely

instead of allowing rather than letting

instill put into

socializing hanging out

complete absence not at all there

in the hopes of in order to

fostering lifelong habits engendering actions that will last forever

despite regardless of

risks threats

simple steps basic fixes

requires needs

recognize know about

dangers risks

inherently harmful definitely not good

development growth

Pronunciation

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

rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪtiz 
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː 
ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən
səˈsaɪəti
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪks
ˈkɔːzɪz 
kənˈsɜːn 
ˈkaʊntəˌmɛʒəz 
ɪˈnæktɪd 
ɪn ˈkɒnsə(ː)t 
ˈpraɪməri ˈkætəlɪst 
ˈædɪd ˈprɛʃəz 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən
ɪksˈpɛktɪd tuː 
baɪ ɪtˈsɛlf
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)ts 
əˈdɪʃənl taɪm 
skriːn
ˈkʌpld wɪð 
teɪks ə ˈhɛvi təʊl ɒn 
ˈmɛntl hɛlθ
ˈsɪmɪləli
ˈsəʊʃəl dɪˈmɑːndz 
ˈɒnˌlaɪn wɜːld 
ˈgrəʊɪŋ
bɪˈgɪn 
kiːp ɪn tʌʧ 
ˈveərɪəs ˈmɛsɪʤɪŋ ˌæplɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)nz 
daɪˈnæmɪks 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈmiːdiə
ˈɪnkriːs æŋˈzaɪəti
ˈtɑːgɪtɪd 
ˌɛksplɔɪˈteɪʃən 
kəˈmɜːʃəl 
ædz ˌsaɪkəˈlɒʤɪkəl ˈprɛʃə 
maɪndz 
ɔːˈθɒrɪti ˈfɪgəz
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ ˈstrɪnʤənt ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz
ə gʊd ɪgˈzɑːmpl ɒv ðɪs wʊd biː 
ˈriːsntli pɑːst 
prəˈhɪbɪts 
pɜː wiːk
ˈsɪmɪlə rɪsˈtrɪkʃənz 
ˈgʌvənɪŋ ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ 
əˈliːvɪeɪt 
ˈnɒvəl ˈbɜːdnz tɛkˈnɒləʤi 
əˈdɪʃənli
sɜːv æz 
ˈfaɪnl ˈfɪltə 
ˈmɒnɪtə 
ɪnˈstɛd ɒv əˈlaʊɪŋ 
ɪnˈstɪl 
ˈsəʊʃəlaɪzɪŋ 
kəmˈpliːt ˈæbsəns 
ɪn ðə həʊps ɒv 
ˈfɒstərɪŋ ˈlaɪflɒŋ ˈhæbɪts
dɪsˈpaɪt 
rɪsks 
ˈsɪmpl stɛps 
rɪˈkwaɪəz 
ˈrɛkəgnaɪz 
ˈdeɪnʤəz 
ɪnˈhɪərəntli ˈhɑːmfʊl 
dɪˈvɛləpmənt

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 feel that children now have more r___________________s r_______________o e____________n, s_________y, and e______________s. In my opinion, the c________s all c_________n technology and the best c____________________s must be e__________d i_____________t by governments and parents.

In my opinion, the p_______________t for these a_________________s is technology. I___________________n, students are now e_______________o learn about computers in school. B__________f, this c_______________s little pressure; however, the a_________________e in front of a s________n, c________________h the time spent in their free time online t______________________n m________________h. S_____________y, s__________________s related to the o_______________d are g_____________g. Most children must at some age b_______n to k_________________h with friends through v___________________________s and then learn the d___________s of s_______________a, which can also i___________________y. Finally, while online most children will be t_____________d by advertisements. This e_______________n means that even the c___________________l world a__________________________e to the m________s of the young.

The best solutions to these problems come from a__________________s. Firstly, governments can e_________________________s. A______________________________e a law r__________________d in mainland China that p______________s gaming companies from allowing children to play more than 3 hours online p_______________k. S_____________________s about screen time in schools and laws g__________________________g would also help a_____________e the n_______________________y has added to children’s lives. A_______________y, parents can s__________s a f______________r and m____________r their children closely. I_____________________g their children to have a smartphone from a young age, they can i__________l a love of reading, playing outside, and s_____________g in the c____________________e of technology i_________________________________s.

In conclusion, d__________e the r______s technology poses to mental health for children, there are s_______________s that governments and parents can take. However, this r__________s that parents r___________e these d___________s as i___________________l to their children’s d_______________t.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-dangers-of-putting-too-much-pressure-on-kids-1094823

Speaking Practice

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

Smartphones

  1. When should parents allow their children to have a phone?
  2. Are there are places in your country where phones are not allowed?
  3. How can phones be disruptive sometimes?
  4. Do people in your country often switch off their phones?
  5. Are people often impolite with their phone use?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some people believe that children should grow up in the city while others believe the countryside is a better choice.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.


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