•  
  •  
  •  
    98.8K
    Shares

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the IELTS Cambridge 15 book of past exams on the topic of whether or not children can achieve anything if they try hard enough.

Read the other sample answers from Cambridge 15 below:

Writing Task 1 Tests 1-4:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer Essay IELTS Cambridge 15: Tourists Visiting a Caribbean Island (IELTS Cambridge 15)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer Essay Cambridge 15: Coffee and Tea Buying and Drinking Habits (Cambridge IELTS 15)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer Essay IELTS Cambridge 15: Manufacturing Instant Noodles (IELTS Cambridge 15)

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer Essay IELTS Cambridge 15: Anthropology Graduates (IELTS Cambridge 15)

Writing Task 2 Tests 1-4

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay Cambridge 15: Owning or Renting a Home (IELTS Cambridge 15)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay IELTS Cambridge 15: Printed Newspapers and Reading Online (IELTS Cambridge 15)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Cambridge 15 Sample Answer Essay: Advertising & Paying Attention (IELTS Cambridge 15)

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay IELTS Cambridge 15: Children Achieve Anything (IELTS Cambridge 15)

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio and take notes:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay IELTS Cambridge 15: Children Achieve Anything

In some cultures, children are often told that they can achieve anything if they try hard enough.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving children this message?

Cambridge IELTS 15

In many countries, it is common for children to be told anything is possible if they set their mind to it. In my opinion, this can lead to great achievements, but for the majority engenders feelings of inadequacy.

Some people benefit from a positive emphasis on effort and achievement. The best examples of this come from the United States where famously every child is encouraged to pursue their dreams, no matter how aspirational and unrealistic. Those who succeed serve as role models and evidence the efficacy of pushing children to try to achieve anything. For example, the number of successful entrepreneurs and artists who have left their mark globally from the U.S.A is staggering and includes figures like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Warren Buffet, and Will Smith. These people often give encouraging interviews where they reiterate the importance of having passion and grit to achieve transcendent fame.

However, the cases above are exceptions and considering them the rule only hurts the self-esteem of the general populace. When an individual is told they can accomplish anything through sheer determination and they then fail to become rich and successful, they have no one to blame but themselves. The truth about the connection between effort and achievement is more nuanced than the platitude typically supplied to children. There is a complex interplay between talent, effort, and luck required to produce great achievements and all high-achievers are subject to determining factors beyond simply hard work. Teaching children otherwise sets them up for self-doubt, disillusionment, and delusions of grandeur that will weigh on them throughout adulthood. Hard work is an essential ingredient but supposing it guarantees success will only lead to resentment towards oneself and others.

In conclusion, while teaching children that hard work ensures achievement produces great individuals, overall, it breeds insecurity. Parents ought to instead encourage a positive mindset with less lofty expectations.

Analysis

1. In many countries, it is common for children to be told anything is possible if they set their mind to it. 2. In my opinion, this can lead to great achievements, but for the majority engenders feelings of inadequacy.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion to answer the essay question.

1. Some people benefit from a positive emphasis on effort and achievement. 2. The best examples of this come from the United States where famously every child is encouraged to pursue their dreams, no matter how aspirational and unrealistic. 3. Those who succeed serve as role models and evidence the efficacy of pushing children to try to achieve anything. 4. For example, the number of successful entrepreneurs and artists who have left their mark globally from the U.S.A is staggering and includes figures like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Warren Buffet, and Will Smith. 5. These people often give encouraging interviews where they reiterate the importance of having passion and grit to achieve transcendent fame.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Begin with an example.
  3. Explain your example if necessary.
  4. Use real people, places, countries, etc. to support your main idea.
  5. State the full results of your example.

1. However, the cases above are exceptions and considering them the rule only hurts the self-esteem of the general populace. 2. When an individual is told they can accomplish anything through sheer determination and they then fail to become rich and successful, they have no one to blame but themselves. 3. The truth about the connection between effort and achievement is more nuanced than the platitude typically supplied to children. 4. There is a complex interplay between talent, effort, and luck required to produce great achievements and all high-achievers are subject to determining factors beyond simply hard work. 5. Teaching children otherwise sets them up for self-doubt, disillusionment, and delusions of grandeur that will weigh on them throughout adulthood. 6. Hard work is an essential ingredient but supposing it guarantees success will only lead to resentment towards oneself and others.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Continue to develop a logical argument or give an example (I use a hypothetical example here).
  4. Continue to support the same main idea.
  5. State the full results.
  6. Conclude the paragraph with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, while teaching children that hard work ensures achievement produces great individuals, overall, it breeds insecurity. 2. Parents ought to instead encourage a positive mindset with less lofty expectations.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought/detail to the end to get full marks from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

In many countries, it is common for children to be told anything is possible if they set their mind to it. In my opinion, this can lead to great achievements, but for the majority engenders feelings of inadequacy.

Some people benefit from a positive emphasis on effort and achievement. The best examples of this come from the United States where famously every child is encouraged to pursue their dreams, no matter how aspirational and unrealistic. Those who succeed serve as role models and evidence the efficacy of pushing children to try to achieve anything. For example, the number of successful entrepreneurs and artists who have left their mark globally from the U.S.A is staggering and includes figures like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Warren Buffet, and Will Smith. These people often give encouraging interviews where they reiterate the importance of having passion and grit to achieve transcendent fame.

However, the cases above are exceptions and considering them the rule only hurts the self-esteem of the general populace. When an individual is told they can accomplish anything through sheer determination and they then fail to become rich and successful, they have no one to blame but themselves. The truth about the connection between effort and achievement is more nuanced than the platitude typically supplied to children. There is a complex interplay between talent, effort, and luck required to produce great achievements and all high-achievers are subject to determining factors beyond simply hard work. Teaching children otherwise sets them up for self-doubt, disillusionment, and delusions of grandeur that will weigh on them throughout adulthood. Hard work is an essential ingredient but supposing it guarantees success will only lead to resentment towards oneself and others.

In conclusion, while teaching children that hard work ensures achievement produces great individuals, overall, it breeds insecurity. Parents ought to instead encourage a positive mindset with less lofty expectations.

Answers

common ubiquitous

anything is possible you can do whatever you want

set their mind to it try to achieve it

great achievements big accomplishments

majority most of

engenders feelings of inadequacy hurt self-esteem

positive emphasis good focus

famously well-known

encouraged told to

pursue their dreams follow their passion

aspirational high goal

unrealistic not likely to happen

serve as role models good examples of

evidence verb for support/evidence

efficacy noun for something that works

pushing encouraging

successful entrepreneurs people who started their own businesses

left their mark globally had an impact on the world

staggering very impressive

figures people

encouraging pushing

reiterate say again

passion what you love

grit determination

transcendent fame really well-known

cases examples

exceptions not common, can’t be generalised

considering them the rule think they are common

self-esteem how you feel about yourself

general populace most people

accomplish achieve

sheer determination pure grit

blame fault

connection link

nuanced complex

platitude simple statement

supplied given to

complex interplay complicated relationship between

produce great achievements accomplish a lot

high-achievers people who accomplish a lot

subject to are vulnerable to

determining factors what makes the difference, decisive

otherwise apart from that

sets them up prepares them for

self-doubt lack of confidence, low self-esteem

disillusionment coming to grips with rewality

delusions of grandeur thinking yourself amazing

weigh on them hold them down

throughout adulthood all their lives

essential ingredient key part

supposing making the assumption that

guarantees success ensures achievement

resentment hate

ensures achievement guarantees success

breeds insecurity makes people feel bad about themselves

instead encourage better to push

positive mindset optimistic outlook

less lofty expectations not such big goals

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

ˈkɒmən 
ˈɛnɪθɪŋ ɪz ˈpɒsəbl 
sɛt ðeə maɪnd tuː ɪt
greɪt əˈʧiːvmənts
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ɪnˈʤɛndəz ˈfiːlɪŋz ɒv ɪnˈædɪkwəsi
ˈpɒzətɪv ˈɛmfəsɪs 
ˈfeɪməsli 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤd 
pəˈsjuː ðeə driːmz
ˌæspəˈreɪʃ(ə)n(ə)l 
ˌʌnrɪəˈlɪstɪk
sɜːv æz rəʊl ˈmɒdlz 
ˈɛvɪdəns 
ˈɛfɪkəsi 
ˈpʊʃɪŋ 
səkˈsɛsfʊl ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜːz 
lɛft ðeə mɑːk ˈgləʊbəli 
ˈstægərɪŋ 
ˈfɪgəz 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤɪŋ 
riːˈɪtəreɪt 
ˈpæʃən 
grɪt 
trænˈsɛndənt feɪm
ˈkeɪsɪz 
ɪkˈsɛpʃənz 
kənˈsɪdərɪŋ ðɛm ðə ruːl 
sɛlf-ɪsˈtiːm 
ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpɒpjʊləs
əˈkɒmplɪʃ 
ʃɪə dɪˌtɜːmɪˈneɪʃən 
bleɪm 
kəˈnɛkʃən 
nju(ː)ˈɑːnst 
ˈplætɪtjuːd 
səˈplaɪd 
ˈkɒmplɛks ˈɪntə(ː)pleɪ 
ˈprɒdjuːs greɪt əˈʧiːvmənts
haɪ-əˈʧiːvəz 
ˈsʌbʤɪkt tuː 
dɪˈtɜːmɪnɪŋ ˈfæktəz
ˈʌðəwaɪz 
sɛts ðɛm ʌp 
sɛlf-daʊt
ˌdɪsɪˈluːʒənmənt
dɪˈluːʒənz ɒv ˈgrænʤə 
weɪ ɒn ðɛm 
θru(ː)ˈaʊt əˈdʌlthʊd
ɪˈsɛnʃəl ɪnˈgriːdiənt 
səˈpəʊzɪŋ 
ˌgærənˈtiːz səkˈsɛs
rɪˈzɛntmənt 
ɪnˈʃʊəz əˈʧiːvmənt 
briːdz ˌɪnsɪˈkjʊərɪti
ɪnˈstɛd ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
ˈpɒzətɪv ˈmaɪndsɛt 
lɛs ˈlɒfti ˌɛkspɛkˈteɪʃənz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

In many countries, it is c____________n for children to be told a_________________e if they s_____________________t. In my opinion, this can lead to g_________________________s, but for the m______________y e___________________________y.

Some people benefit from a p_______________________s on effort and achievement. The best examples of this come from the United States where f_______________y every child is e_______________d to p____________________s, no matter how a___________________l and u________________c. Those who succeed s________________________s and e_____________e the e______________y of p______________g children to try to achieve anything. For example, the number of s_______________________________s and artists who have l_________________________y from the U.S.A is s__________________g and includes f______________s like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Warren Buffet, and Will Smith. These people often give e_______________g interviews where they r______________e the importance of having p______________n and g_____t to achieve t_________________________e.

However, the c_______s above are e_________________s and c______________________e only hurts the s_______________m of the g____________________e. When an individual is told they can a________________h anything through s________________________n and they then fail to become rich and successful, they have no one to b_________e but themselves. The truth about the c_______________n between effort and achievement is more n_____________d than the p_____________e typically s______________d to children. There is a c___________________y between talent, effort, and luck required to p___________________________s and all h________________________s are s______________o d_____________________s beyond simply hard work. Teaching children o_____________e s________________p for s______________t, d_______________________t, and d___________________r that will w________________m t_________________________d. Hard work is an e______________________t but s_____________g it g_________________________s will only lead to r_______________t towards oneself and others.

In conclusion, while teaching children that hard work e__________________________t produces great individuals, overall, it b__________________________y. Parents ought to i_____________________e a p_______________________t with l________________________s.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Learn about a related topic here:

Reading Practice

Read about this more on the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/02/18/no-honey-you-cant-be-anything-you-want-to-be-and-thats-okay/

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Setting Goals

How important is it for people to set goals?

Do people set different goals at different stages of life?

Are personal goals more important than professional goals?

What sort of goals do young people today set?

Are people becoming more pessimistic about their life goals?

Real IELTS Speaking

Writing Practice

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

Many parents today do not spend much time with their children.

Why is this?

Does this affect parents or children more?

Real Past IELTS Exam

  •  
  •  
  •  
    98.8K
    Shares

Recommended For You