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(Model essay) Academic exam as seen in Vietnam, Australia and Malaysia in August 2011

Posted on August 31, 2011 by - 5 Comments

(This question taken from www.ielts-blog.com.)

Some people think that schools are merely turning children into good citizens and workers, rather than benefitting them as individuals.  To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Education and the schooling experience have evolved in the wake of new technologies such as the Internet.  This in turn has had a profound effect on the training students receive and the ultimate people they become upon graduating.  It is disagreed that schools today are producing mechanically-thinking workers and refraining from developing students as individuals.  This will be shown by looking at the current changes underway in both modern and traditional school systems.

Firstly, many modern school curriculums are becoming computerized and this is doing a lot to encourage student development as individuals.  Take South Korea, for example.  Traditionally, Korean classrooms were packed with forty students and this provided very little face time between instructor and pupil.  However, under a new government policy, all students are to receive tablet computers to allow them greater opportunity for interaction with their teachers and each other.  In addition to this, these tablet computers also provide access to other learning resources that may cater to the particular needs of gifted or challenged young people.  As this shows, the argument that today’s schools do not benefit pupils as individuals holds little merit.

In addition to this, trends within the developing world are also gravitating towards providing students with individualized school curriculums.  In China, for example, middle and high school youths today are free to select a number of elective courses that allow them to demonstrate their skills in areas they are particularly strong in as well as develop their unique identities.  As schooling continues to become more tailored to the needs of young people, it is difficult to see how the argument that schools do not produce dynamically thinking individuals holds much water.

After looking at how the world’s schools are increasingly making efforts to meet the needs of individual students, it is hard to see the plausibility of any counter argument.  Thus, it is hoped the educational experience of young people will continue to evolve in a manner that meets their needs.

(Model essay) General exam in late July as seen in Perth, Australia

Posted on August 24, 2011 by - 2 Comments

Ryan’s notes:

  • Several students told me they saw the following question on their General exam in Australia.  (Thanks to those students for passing on the info.)

High school aged students should be taught how to manage money.  Do you agree or disagree?

Often, people debate whether personal money management is a suitable topic for a high school classroom.  However, having an understanding of monetary manipulation is a skill that everyone in the world needs to have at least basic knowledge of.  Thus, it is agreed that high school aged students should be taught how to manage money.  This will be shown by analyzing how such a course can both instill good business sense in young people as well as prepare them for the working world they face after finishing their education.

Firstly, one of the merits of educating students about money matters is that it often fosters business success later in life.  For instance, a high school friend of mine was taught how to manage money by his father, who owned and ran a car dealership.  Today, this same friend runs a very profitable company, no doubt partly because of the financial information his father bestowed upon him.  As this shows, providing young people with information regarding how to handle money is a good thing.

In addition to this, teaching adolescents about how to regulate their funds helps to prepare them for independence.  For example, during my senior year in high school, I was privileged enough to be enrolled in an accounting course which taught a unit of study entitled ‘Managing Money’.  I found that the topics covered in this unit were extremely helpful the following year when I moved on to university and out of my parents’ house.  As my experience shows, teaching young people how to be financially independent can be helpful to them later in their lives.

After looking at how adolescents are benefitted through basic monetary instruction, it has been proven that this course of study is a positive thing.  Thus, it is hoped that high school aged students the world over be exposed to some kind of training regarding the handling of money.

(Model essay) August 2011 Academic exam in Abu Dhabi

Posted on August 22, 2011 by - 1 Comment

The popularity of news media often has significant influence on people’s lives.  Some people believe this to be a negative development.  Do you agree or disagree?

Since the invention of modern media, news feeds have become an increasingly invasive force in the lives of all human beings.  However, it is disagreed that the development of news media is negative.  This will be shown by looking at how news media encourages both awareness and transparency within the world.

Firstly, modern media sources have made great inroads in the spreading of knowledge.  For example, the Internet allowed (and continues to allow) the world to witness the uprisings of the Arab Spring.  Had these images not been made available to a scrutinizing global audience, it is possible the entire phenomenon could have cost many more lives than it did.  As this example shows, modern news media allows the human family to keep watch of each other and provide aid if it is needed.

In addition to this, news media sources have developed transparency and accountability the world over, which has done a lot to tackle corruption.  Take the tragic high-speed train crash in China as an example.  Despite trying to quickly bury the carriages involved, the Chinese government was forced to admit that serious corruption problems had plagued the project from the beginning.  The healthy dialogues that the media coverage of this unfortunate event sparked will hopefully continue to encourage integrity within the Chinese government.  It is for reasons such as this that news media should be thought of as a positive entity in the world.

After looking at how news media helps to develop awareness and transparency, its benefits can clearly be seen.  It is hoped free press will continue to grow with the help of technology and modern tools.

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You choose the prepositions!

 

The essay as it appears in the video:

What are some alternatives to fossil fuels? Do you feel the world will ever stop using them?

Global dependence on fossil fuels continues to be a pressing problem in the modern world. Although environmentally friendly energy sources are available, market prices make these alternatives prohibitively expensive for most people. I argue that humanity will indeed stop using fossil fuels in the future, but this will only happen when the price of cleaner energy sources falls to a point of competition. This will be proved by looking specifically at current trends within solar energy and biodiesel consumption.

Firstly, the increased availability of solar water heaters has made solar energy prices competitive with fossil fuels in some parts of the world. For example, the mass production of solar water heaters in China has led to their adoption as a cheap alternative to water heated using coal. Because this trend comes as a direct result of financial incentive, it is logical to conclude that market shifts will eventually cause green energy to take the place of fossil fuels.

This phenomenon is further exemplified by alternative fuel types such as biodiesel. For instance, although still slightly more expensive than energy sources derived from fossil fuels, biodiesel’s steady decline in price over the past 20 years coincides directly with a rise in its sales in most parts of the world. As most experts argue, a massive shift to biodiesel consumption will occur when prices remain consistently below fossil fuels. Thus, worldwide dependence on fossil fuels can be expected to erode as alternatives become more economical.

As evidenced by these trends in solar energy and biodiesel consumption, humanity is gradually shifting itself from fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly energy sources, and I hope this development continues.

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

Do the advantages trump the disadvantages in this IELTS essay?

[Note: The word ‘phenomenons’ appears in this video. This should be ‘phenomena’, as it is with reference to the scientific plural.]

More and more students are going to another country for higher education. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

It is very common today for students to go abroad to complete their college or university education. However, this trend presents both advantages and disadvantages to the students and the institutions involved. These items will be analysed in this essay before a position is declared.

The advantages of rising foreign student numbers are numerous. For one, this trend encourages human collaboration and the exchanging of ideas. For example, a Canadian engineering student attending a Japanese university would bring ideas and perspectives different to those of their classmates, a phenomenon that enriches the university’s program and level of discussion as a whole. In addition to this, having studied outside their home country, this student would take valuable international understanding with them, an important second benefit that promotes peace and international friendship. As this example shows, students and the world at large benefit when higher studies are engaged outside the home country.

However, many would argue the globalising of higher education does have certain disadvantages. For many young adults, foreign students may represent a threat to both professional opportunities after school and the overall workforce of their country. In the US, for example, companies scout talent on university campuses, and at select times this means offering employment to a foreign student instead of a local student. Although this scenario does occur, its impact on local graduates and their employment opportunities has been sensationalised by the media and large personalities like President Trump. Moreover, it should be remembered that attracting the world’s most talented students increases opportunities for important phenomena like scientific discoveries. Thus, the disadvantages of students going abroad for higher education are difficult to define.

As the above discussion reveals, the advantages of globalised higher education much outweigh the disadvantages, and I strongly hope countries continue to encourage the growth of their foreign student bodies.

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

CAN YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS ON THE IELTS?! (…and other questions!)

In this video, we use the Information for Candidates PDF to answer a few questions. Download your own copy of this document at: https://www.ielts.org/~/media/publications/information-for-candidates/ielts-information-for-candidates-2015-english-uk.ashx

(Is that link not working? Google ‘IELTS info for candidates’.)

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

How does Ryan’s IELTS writing service work?

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess five of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

How to start sentences in your IELTS essay!

IELTS Academic and General Task 2 - How to write at a band 9 level

Buy Ryan’s Task 2 ebook here: https://gumroad.com/l/fWPb

Have Ryan personally assess 5 of your Task 1 or 2 samples: http://tinyurl.com/zkr9w2r

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