(Model essay) Academic IELTS question seen 26 November 2011 in Melbourne, Australia

Ryan’s notes:

  • I’m aware the examples in this essay are a little broad. To be honest, I had trouble coming up with plausible examples to support the ‘results’ our essay question speaks of. Can you think of better examples? Please post them as a response to this entry.

Recently a poll was conducted that revealed happiness levels in developing countries are higher than in developed countries. What do you think can be learned from this? Explain your views.

I feel that the recent poll revealing higher percentages of happy people among developing countries versus developed countries allows for certain conclusions to be drawn on the social and cultural natures of such nations. The legitimacy of these conclusions will be shown in this essay.

Firstly, the rigidness with which a developed country’s social structure operates can be seen as one of the causes of lowered happiness levels. For example, ‘model’ students in the United States cannot simply have high grades but rather must strive to perfect themselves physically and morally as well. All too often, the stress of trying to fill this publicly accepted ideal lasts a lifetime. This example shows that the additional societal pressures experienced by people in developed countries reduces levels of happiness.

Secondly, developed countries tend to overemphasise individualism, and this can also lead to unhappiness. For instance, young people in China often have a very close-knit family unit that can provide moral support and advice throughout their lives, an arrangement common in other developing countries, too. Developed countries, on the other hand, tend to encourage people to make their own decisions live with the consequences, which is an lifestyle that can be overwhelming and mentally taxing. As this example shows, personal freedom can sometimes work against a person’s level of happiness.

The results of the poll in question is felt to reflect the additional stresses people experience in developed countries. I feel these same pressures will progressively become apparent in developing countries as they grow.

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I have been developing online IELTS training resources for over 10 years. For more information about me and how I can help your preparation for the IELTS, please email me: ryan@ieltsielts.com
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4 Responses to (Model essay) Academic IELTS question seen 26 November 2011 in Melbourne, Australia

  1. Nicole says:

    Thanks for your model essay, Ryan. Food could be defined as happiness for the dying children in the middle of Somalia famine. People in the developing countries tend to link happiness with the material things such as food, money and luxury designer labels. For instance, China has become the emerging market for the luxury designer brands. In this scenario, luxury designer labels are equal to happiness which can be bought.

  2. thomas sakharia says:

    The recent econonic downturn from economic crisis might be pointed out one among the reasons that lead to unhappiness .Alarming rate of unemployment among youth and socio culteral factors disatisfaction among modern communities might have resulted unhappiness for instance recent riots happend in london

  3. Chigozie Onuzulike says:

    Thanks Ryan. I got my result and I made 7.5 in writing,speaking 7, listening and reading which spoiled the show as I made 6 in both. Although it was my first time, your regular posts and live chat of 8th October was of immense help, I appreciate. I want you to give a similar tips on reading and listening. I equally find it difficult to assess your video tips on my PC, please, what will I do? Once again, I thank you.

    • Ryan says:


      Yes, I’ve been thinking to arrange another live chat evening. Things are a little heavy at the moment, but perhaps before too long…

      I teach reading and listening in my classroom classes, but I find preparing for these sections is fairly straightforward (practice, practice, practice, mock test, mock test, mock test). I haven’t developed a particular formula that is much different from the other materials available online, so I hesitate to put much effort into these sections of the exam (the writing section keeps me busy enough).

      Thank you for the feedback.

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