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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam on the topic of learning practical skills at school.

These topics (schools, practical skills) are really common on IELTS and worth reading about in case if they come up on your exam!

Be sure to check out my online courses and corrections as well!

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio and take notes to get the most out of it:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay General Training: Practical Skills (Real Past Exam/Test)

Many feel that students today should learn practical skills at school such as car maintenance and managing a bank account.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Some believe that useful life skills should be taught at schools in addition to the standard academic schedule. In my opinion, school is chiefly an opportunity to learn about academic subjects.

The main argument in favour of learning these skills is self-evident: they are useful. The majority of students graduate from high school well versed in a foreign language, algebra, anatomy, and classic literature but helpless when confronted with the realities of daily life. Some skills they lack include general car maintenance such as changing the oil or a flat tire, cooking their own meals, managing their finances, and doing odd jobs around the house. The majority of what they learned in school will not be useful in their life and, without attention, will eventually fade from memory. Practical skills, on the other hand, will stay fresh in their mind due to repeated application and have a more ostensibly tangible impact.

Nonetheless, practical skills can be learned at home while the best place to learn about academic subjects is school. Many students will learn the craft of daily life from their family or naturally pick it up later. Cooking will not become a daily habit when living at home and the skills are unlikely to resurface intact years later when called upon. In contrast, schools are filled with experts in their fields only available at this time of life. A quality math or history teacher will guide you in a way books alone cannot. The accumulated knowledge from all these experts may or may not be directly useful but this singular opportunity to learn about a wide breadth of subjects will inform an individual’s long-term intellectual life.

In conclusion, useful subjects are important but should not detract from the true purpose of schooling. Practical skills should be taught at schools only if they can be seamlessly worked into the curriculum and are not detrimental to academics.

Word Count: 308

Analysis

1. Some believe that useful life skills should be taught at schools in addition to the standard academic schedule. 2. In my opinion, school is chiefly an opportunity to learn about academic subjects.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the whole essay.
  2. Give your opinion – don’t sit in the middle – be clear!

1. The main argument in favour of learning these skills is self-evident: they are useful. 2. The majority of students graduate from high school well versed in a foreign language, algebra, anatomy, and classic literature but helpless when confronted with the realities of daily life. 3. Some skills they lack include general car maintenance such as changing the oil or a flat tire, cooking their own meals, managing their finances, and doing odd jobs around the house. 4. The majority of what they learned in school will not be useful in their life and, without attention, will eventually fade from memory. 5. Practical skills, on the other hand, will stay fresh in their mind due to repeated application and have a more ostensibly tangible impact.

  1. Write a topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Begin to develop it. Notice the specific ideas and vocabulary that I use.
  3. Be as specific as possible with your supporting ideas.
  4. Draw conclusions from your ideas.
  5. Here I use a counterpoint to make the argument stronger.

1. Nonetheless, practical skills can be learned at home while the best place to learn about academic subjects is school. 2. Many students will learn the craft of daily life from their family or naturally pick it up later. 3. Cooking will not become a daily habit when living at home and the skills are unlikely to resurface intact years later when called upon. 4. In contrast, schools are filled with experts in their fields only available at this time of life. 5. A quality math or history teacher will guide you in a way books alone cannot. 6. The accumulated knowledge from all these experts may or may not be directly useful but this singular opportunity to learn about a wide breadth of subjects will inform an individual’s long-term intellectual life.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end of it.
  2. Explain your main idea, if necessary.
  3. Use a specific example (such as cooking) to develop your idea.
  4. Continue to develop the same main idea.
  5. Be as specific as possible with your support.
  6. Draw conclusions/results to finish the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, useful subjects are important but should not detract from the true purpose of schooling. 2. Practical skills should be taught at schools only if they can be seamlessly worked into the curriculum and are not detrimental to academics.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in an extra detail or final thought to get band 7+ for task achievement from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Some believe that useful life skills should be taught at schools in addition to the standard academic schedule. In my opinion, school is chiefly an opportunity to learn about academic subjects.

The main argument in favour of learning these skills is self-evident: they are useful. The majority of students graduate from high school well versed in a foreign language, algebra, anatomy, and classic literature but helpless when confronted with the realities of daily life. Some skills they lack include general car maintenance such as changing the oil or a flat tire, cooking their own meals, managing their finances, and doing odd jobs around the house. The majority of what they learned in school will not be useful in their life and, without attention, will eventually fade from memory. Practical skills, on the other hand, will stay fresh in their mind due to repeated application and have a more ostensibly tangible impact.

Nonetheless, practical skills can be learned at home while the best place to learn about academic subjects is school. Many students will learn the craft of daily life from their family or naturally pick it up later. Cooking will not become a daily habit when living at home and the skills are unlikely to resurface intact years later when called upon. In contrast, schools are filled with experts in their fields only available at this time of life. A quality math or history teacher will guide you in a way books alone cannot. The accumulated knowledge from all these experts may or may not be directly useful but this singular opportunity to learn about a wide breadth of subjects will inform an individual’s long-term intellectual life.

In conclusion, useful subjects are important but should not detract from the true purpose of schooling. Practical skills should be taught at schools only if they can be seamlessly worked into the curriculum and are not detrimental to academics.

Answers

in addition to also

standard academic schedule normal classes/curriculum

chiefly mainly

in favour of supporting

self-evident obvious

well versed knowledgeable about

algebra a kind of math

anatomy study of the body

classic literature old books

helpless unable to do

realities of daily life day to day activities

lack don’t have

general car maintenance handy with cars

changing the oil putting new oil in your car

flat tire a tire that lost all air

managing their finances in charge of their money

odd jobs various little fix-ups around the house

majority most of

without attention neglected

eventually fade from memory be forgotten

stay fresh be remembered

due to repeated application because of being done often

ostensibly tangible impact more obvious clear effect

learn the craft of daily life learn life skills

naturally pick it up later learn it later just by living

resurface intact be remembered fully

when called upon when needed

experts in their fields know a lot about a subject

time of life point of life/age

accumulated knowledge everything they have learned added together

directly useful clear benefit

singular opportunity only chance

wide breadth diverse range

inform make up/contribute to

long-term intellectual life thinking

detract take away from

true purpose real reason

seamlessly worked into the curriculum added to their studies without it being disruptive

detrimental hurts

Proununciation

ɪn əˈdɪʃ(ə)n tuː 
ˈstændəd ˌækəˈdɛmɪk ˈʃɛdjuːl
ˈʧiːfli 
ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdənt
wɛl vɜːst 
ˈælʤɪbrə
əˈnætəmi
ˈklæsɪk ˈlɪtərɪʧə 
ˈhɛlplɪs 
ri(ː)ˈælɪtiz ɒv ˈdeɪli laɪf
læk 
ˈʤɛnərəl kɑː ˈmeɪntənəns 
ˈʧeɪnʤɪŋ ði ɔɪl 
flæt ˈtaɪə
ˈmænɪʤɪŋ ðeə faɪˈnænsɪz
ɒd ʤɒbz 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
wɪˈðaʊt əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n
ɪˈvɛnʧəli feɪd frɒm ˈmɛməri
steɪ frɛʃ 
djuː tuː rɪˈpiːtɪd ˌæplɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n 
ɒsˈtɛnsəbli ˈtænʤəbl ˈɪmpækt
lɜːn ðə krɑːft ɒv ˈdeɪli laɪf 
ˈnæʧrəli pɪk ɪt ʌp ˈleɪtə
ˌriːˈsɜːfɪs ɪnˈtækt
wɛn kɔːld əˈpɒn
ˈɛkspɜːts ɪn ðeə fiːldz 
taɪm ɒv laɪf
əˈkjuːmjʊleɪtɪd ˈnɒlɪʤ 
dɪˈrɛktli ˈjuːsfʊl 
ˈsɪŋgjʊlər ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti
waɪd brɛdθ 
ɪnˈfɔːm 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm ˌɪntɪˈlɛktjʊəl laɪf
dɪˈtrækt 
truː ˈpɜːpəs 
ˈsiːmlɪsli wɜːkt ˈɪntuː ðə kəˈrɪkjʊləm 
ˌdɛtrɪˈmɛntl 

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Some believe that useful life skills should be taught at schools i___________________o the s__________________________e. In my opinion, school is c__________y an opportunity to learn about academic subjects.

The main argument i_____________f learning these skills is s______________t: they are useful. The majority of students graduate from high school w_____________________d in a foreign language, a_________a, a____________y, and c_________________e but h___________s when confronted with the r_________________________e. Some skills they l_____k include g____________________________e such as c________________________l or a f_____________________e, cooking their own meals, m_______________________s, and doing o______________s around the house. The m_____________y of what they learned in school will not be useful in their life and, w_______________n, will e________________________________y. Practical skills, on the other hand, will s______________h in their mind d_____________________________n and have a more o_______________________________t.

Nonetheless, practical skills can be learned at home while the best place to learn about academic subjects is school. Many students will l___________________________________e from their family or n________________________________r. Cooking will not become a daily habit when living at home and the skills are unlikely to r_______________________t years later w_________________________n. In contrast, schools are filled with e________________________s only available at this t______________________e. A quality math or history teacher will guide you in a way books alone cannot. The a_____________________________e from all these experts may or may not be d___________________________l but this s______________________________y to learn about a w______________h of subjects will i______________m an individual’s l_________________________________e.

In conclusion, useful subjects are important but should not d______________t from the t______________________e of schooling. Practical skills should be taught at schools only if they can be s______________________________m and are not d_____________________l to academics.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Here are some basic life skills teens should learn:

Reading Practice

Here are 5 skills that you could use as examples in your writing:

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/life-skills-school

Speaking Practice

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

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

Many people who drop out of school are more successful than those who complete their studies.

Why does this happen?

What does it require to be successful?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Dont miss your chance to learn the facts about IELTS and improve your English with my online courses, guaranteed!


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