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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the real general training exam on the topic of schooling age for children.

Be sure to check out my online courses here and my writing corrections here.

Dave

Listen to the audio before reading, for some extra practice:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay General Training: School Age

Some people argue children should stay in school until the age of 18 while others think that 14 years is long enough.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

Many feel that compulsory schooling should extend to the age of 18, while others feel 14 is sufficient. In my opinion, there are good reasons to prioritise starting work but it is more important for one’s future to at least graduate high school.

Those who support parental rights argue that if college is not a realistic option, dropping out of school at 14 gives one a better chance of learning a valuable trade. In an ideal world, every student would go to university and become a great success but in the real world the majority of individuals do not enroll in higher education. The years spent cramming in high school are wasted on subjects like algebra and history, having no tangible impact on their future livelihood. Give these students the opportunity to enter the workforce earlier and they will someday be able to master a craft and become a skilled electrician, plumber, or chef. Those jobs might, in the final analysis, pay better than positions open to many university graduates.

Regardless, the value of finishing high school is in the world of infinite possibilities it affords. Not every graduate goes on to university but even a high school diploma makes it both easier to land a quality job and eventually get a promotion. Depending on the country and the government funding available, many high school graduates will be able to attend university regardless of their socioeconomic status and may be the first generation in their family to do so. Even if they opt to enter the workforce after the age of 18, they will have the possibility of later returning to higher education with a clearer understanding of what vocation they want to study. This opportunity alone is enough to justify mandatory attendance until age 18.

In conclusion, it is a privilege that should be enforced to attend school until age 18. There will be cases where school is a waste of time but there will be more instances where a basic level of education makes the difference between a mean and an elevated existence.

Analysis

1. Many feel that compulsory schooling should extend to the age of 18, while others feel 14 is sufficient. 2. In my opinion, there are good reasons to prioritise starting work but it is more important for one’s future to at least graduate high school.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic of the essay. You don’t have to change all words, just some.
  2. Give a clear opinion. You can include your main ideas like I do, but it is not necessary.

1. Those who support parental rights argue that if college is not a realistic option, dropping out of school at 14 gives one a better chance of learning a valuable trade. 2. In an ideal world, every student would go to university and become a great success but in the real world the majority of individuals do not enroll in higher education. 3. The years spent cramming in high school are wasted on subjects like algebra and history, having no tangible impact on their future livelihood. 4. Give these students the opportunity to enter the workforce earlier and they will someday be able to master a craft and become a skilled electrician, plumber, or chef. 5. Those jobs might, in the final analysis, pay better than positions open to many university graduates.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Give specific examples to develop your main idea.
  4. Continue to develop your main idea with more examples or by explaining the results.
  5. Conclude the paragraph.

1. Regardless, the value of finishing high school is in the world of infinite possibilities it affords. 2. Not every graduate goes on to university but even a high school diploma makes it both easier to land a quality job and eventually get a promotion. 3. Depending on the country and the government funding available, many high school graduates will be able to attend university regardless of their socioeconomic status and may be the first generation in their family to do so. 4. Even if they opt to enter the workforce after the age of 18, they will have the possibility of later returning to higher education with a clearer understanding of what vocation they want to study. 5. This opportunity alone is enough to justify mandatory attendance until age 18.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a simple reason at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Here I shift to describe the benefit for higher education of studying until age 18.
  4. I full explain and support my previous sentence.
  5. Conclude with a strong overall statement.

1. In conclusion, it is a privilege that should be enforced to attend school until age 18. 2. There will be cases where school is a waste of time but there will be more instances where a basic level of education makes the difference between a mean and an elevated existence.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in a final thought/extra detail.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many feel that compulsory schooling should extend to the age of 18, while others feel 14 is sufficient. In my opinion, there are good reasons to prioritise starting work but it is more important for one’s future to at least graduate high school.

Those who support parental rights argue that if college is not a realistic option, dropping out of school at 14 gives one a better chance of learning a valuable trade. In an ideal world, every student would go to university and become a great success but in the real world the majority of individuals do not enroll in higher education. The years spent cramming in high school are wasted on subjects like algebra and history, having no tangible impact on their future livelihood. Give these students the opportunity to enter the workforce earlier and they will someday be able to master a craft and become a skilled electrician, plumber, or chef. Those jobs might, in the final analysis, pay better than positions open to many university graduates.

Regardless, the value of finishing high school is in the world of infinite possibilities it affords. Not every graduate goes on to university but even a high school diploma makes it both easier to land a quality job and eventually get a promotion. Depending on the country and the government funding available, many high school graduates will be able to attend university regardless of their socioeconomic status and may be the first generation in their family to do so. Even if they opt to enter the workforce after the age of 18, they will have the possibility of later returning to higher education with a clearer understanding of what vocation they want to study. This opportunity alone is enough to justify mandatory attendance until age 18.

In conclusion, it is a privilege that should be enforced to attend school until age 18. There will be cases where school is a waste of time but there will be more instances where a basic level of education makes the difference between a mean and an elevated existence.

Answers

compulsory schooling mandatory going to school

extend make longer

sufficient enough

prioritise consider more important

at least at minimum

high school age 14-18 school in the U.S

parental rights what parents are allowed to control

realistic option most likely scenario

dropping out of school quitting school

gives one a better chance allows for greater possibility

trade job

ideal world best case scenario

a great success be wealthy

majority most

enroll join

higher education university/college

cramming studying hard

wasted not a good use of time

algebra a type of math

no tangible impact no real effect

future livelihood later job

enter the workforce earlier start working from a younger age

someday eventually

master a craft get good at a job

electrician person who works with wiring and electricity

plumber person who works with pipes, toilets

chef cook

in the final analysis in the end

positions open to jobs available for

regardless nonetheless

value of finishing high school is in the reason HS is important

infinite possibilities many different ways of living

affords allows for

diploma certificate for graduation

land a quality job get a good job

eventually someday

promotion move up to a better job

depending on the country it varies from country to country

government funding available money that governments have to give

regardless of their socioeconomic status no matter the family background

first generation in their family no one in their family did it before

opt choose

possibility chance

clearer understanding better understanding, more mature

vocation job

justify give reason for

privilege lucky to have it

enforced mandatory

cases examples

waste of time not a good use of time

instances cases

basic level of education a minimum of schooling

makes the difference what sets apart

mean (existence) low existence

elevated existence good life

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

kəmˈpʌlsəri ˈskuːlɪŋ 
ɪksˈtɛnd 
səˈfɪʃənt
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
æt liːst 
haɪ skuːl
pəˈrɛntl raɪts 
rɪəˈlɪstɪk ˈɒpʃən
ˈdrɒpɪŋ aʊt ɒv skuːl 
gɪvz wʌn ə ˈbɛtə ʧɑːns 
treɪd
aɪˈdɪəl wɜːld
ə greɪt səkˈsɛs 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ɪnˈrəʊl 
ˈhaɪər ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən
ˈkræmɪŋ 
ˈweɪstɪd 
ˈælʤɪbrə 
nəʊ ˈtænʤəbl ˈɪmpækt 
ˈfjuːʧə ˈlaɪvlɪhʊd
ˈɛntə ðə ˈwɜːkˌfɔːs ˈɜːlɪə 
ˈsʌmˌdeɪ 
ˈmɑːstər ə krɑːft 
ɪlɛkˈtrɪʃən
ˈplʌmə
ʃɛf
ɪn ðə ˈfaɪnl əˈnæləsɪs
pəˈzɪʃənz ˈəʊpən tuː 
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs
ˈvæljuː ɒv ˈfɪnɪʃɪŋ haɪ skuːl ɪz ɪn 
ˈɪnfɪnɪt ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪtiz 
əˈfɔːdz
dɪˈpləʊmə 
lænd ə ˈkwɒlɪti ʤɒb 
ɪˈvɛnʧəli 
prəˈməʊʃən
dɪˈpɛndɪŋ ɒn ðə ˈkʌntri 
ˈgʌvnmənt ˈfʌndɪŋ əˈveɪləbl
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs ɒv ðeə ˌsəʊsɪəʊˌɛkəˈnɒmɪk ˈsteɪtəs 
fɜːst ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən ɪn ðeə ˈfæmɪli 
ɒpt 
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
ˈklɪərər ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ 
vəʊˈkeɪʃən 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪ 
ˈprɪvɪlɪʤ 
ɪnˈfɔːst 
ˈkeɪsɪz 
weɪst ɒv taɪm 
ˈɪnstənsɪz 
ˈbeɪsɪk ˈlɛvl ɒv ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən 
meɪks ðə ˈdɪfrəns 
miːn 
ˈɛlɪveɪtɪd ɪgˈzɪstəns

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many feel that c______________________g should e___________d to the age of 18, while others feel 14 is s_______________t. In my opinion, there are good reasons to p_________________e starting work but it is more important for one’s future to a___________t graduate h________________l.

Those who support p_____________________s argue that if college is not a r___________________n, d___________________l at 14 g_______________________e of learning a valuable t__________e. In an i___________________d, every student would go to university and become a___________________s but in the real world the m_____________y of individuals do not e_________l in h__________________n. The years spent c_______________g in high school are w__________d on subjects like a________________a and history, having n_____________________t on their f________________________d. Give these students the opportunity to e__________________________r and they will s______________y be able to m___________________t and become a skilled e_________________n, p_______________r, or c________f. Those jobs might, i____________________________s, pay better than p______________________o many university graduates.

R___________________s, the v____________________________n the world of i______________________s it a________________s. Not every graduate goes on to university but even a high school d_________________a makes it both easier to l________________________b and e____________________y get a p_________________n. D_______________________y and the g_______________________________e, many high school graduates will be able to attend university r________________________________________________s and may be the f____________________________________y to do so. Even if they o___t to enter the workforce after the age of 18, they will have the p_________________y of later returning to higher education with a c_______________________________g of what v_____________________n they want to study. This opportunity alone is enough to j_______________y mandatory attendance until age 18.

In conclusion, it is a p__________________e that should be e_________________d to attend school until age 18. There will be c_____________s where school is a w____________________e but there will be more i__________________s where a b___________________________n m________________________e between a m_________n and an e__________________________e.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Learn about some famous high school dropouts here:

Reading Practice

Learn more about school reforms here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/10/when-the-culture-war-comes-for-the-kids/596668/

Speaking Practice

Answer the following related part 2 speaking topic from the real speaking exam:

Talk about a time you received advice regarding a profession or field of study. Include

Who

The advice

How you felt

Real IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following topic then check with my sample answer below:

Some people believe that one-on-one lessons are better for learning while others think that group lessons are superior.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

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