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Women in arts? Men in science? How to write about gender in IELTS…

Posted on February 11, 2017 by

Here is the essay from the video (question seen in Vietnam on 14 January 2017):

In universities, young women tend to choose arts programs while young men prefer science. What are the reasons for this trend and do you think this tendency should be changed?

In many parts of the world, gender often influences university enrolment trends for specific disciplines. Young women tend to engage arts programs while young men are more likely to study science. I argue the reasons for this are largely cultural in nature and should be addressed to ensure an unbiased academic environment. This essay will provide evidence in support of this position.

Firstly, it must be recognised that culture often encourages the genders towards jobs that require specific undergraduate degrees. For example, in more conservative parts of Canada, scientific programs that act as the precursor to jobs in forestry, such as geographical sciences, are often dominated by men. This is because people mistakenly assume women are unable to handle the physical demands of the forestry profession. This assumption is difficult to support when one considers the high rates of women enrolled in other strenuous professional roles, such as the army. Similarly, societies everywhere often assume that science degrees lead more directly to employment, which organisations like Statistics Canada have proven is untrue. Because many societies still feel the nuclear family is the optimal familial arrangement, young men are pushed towards science degrees to secure the family’s future. Thus, flawed societal expectations are clearly to blame for much of the gender imbalances seen in university programs today.

Society is healthiest when this pigeonholing is countered. Young men and women are much more likely to advance their respective societies when they are encouraged towards academic pursuits in which they have natural talent and interest. For example, Jane Goodall’s tremendous scientific work would have never existed had she bowed to societal expectations. This shows why an unbiased university environment should be defended.

As the above essay explains, cultural influence is primarily the reason behind why young women go into arts programs and young men into science, and countering this will improve societies everywhere.

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IELTS study hacks (and other Q&A!)

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This way to band 9…

The essay in this video was written by a practicing IELTS examiner.

This question was seen last year in Moscow:

Some people contend that all young people should attend university after high school, while others maintain that this is not always the best option. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include examples from your own experience where appropriate.

Some feel that all young people should attend university, while others point out this may not be a suitable path for everyone. I am of the latter view. I believe that career training in other areas may serve the interests of many young people far better than undergraduate studies.

On the one hand, there is convincing support for university education for all. Firstly, a liberal education encourages the broadening of the mind. For example, students of history, art and literature tend to be tolerant and thoughtful and fulfil useful service careers in teaching, journalism, public relations and politics. Encouraging everyone to enrol in university would also push people towards lucrative professional roles, such as those held by doctors and lawyers, positions that also bring great social prestige.

However, despite these benefits, universal tertiary education would be problematic at both the societal and personal levels. It should be noted that the building of houses and offices, the transporting of goods, and the production of furniture and appliances are essential to society and require skilled manual workers and tradespeople. Further, many young men and women naturally excel when working with their hands. Forcing them to study disciplines of abstract thought would clearly be a waste of their time and potential. Thus, encouraging people to choose a path that allows them to invest in their natural strengths is better for both the individual and society as a whole.

Overall, it can be seen that although pursuing a university education has many merits, it may be more of a hindrance than a help to some people. In my own case, being very bad with my hands but quite handy with words, university was the right option for me. As this essay has shown, everyone is different and no one course in life fits all.

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How to get full marks for Task Achievement

The essay in this video was written by IELTS Examiner C. This question was seen recently in Sydney:

These days many people prefer to rent rather than buy their own house. Why is this this so? Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of renting or buying, and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and examples from your personal experience where appropriate.

Here is the essay as it appears in the video:

In most major cities in the west, people are opting to rent a home instead of buy. This is mostly because house prices have increased dramatically while personal income has not, a trend that means mortgage repayments now account for a much larger share of income than in the past. Renters have more disposable income every week than buyers and this is a big attraction. However, in my opinion, this is a false economy and in the long run I believe that the advantages of buying a property greatly outweigh the short-term savings to be made by renting.

While it is certainly cheaper week-by-week to rent than pay a mortgage, the renter misses out on the large capital gains to be made when buying a home. When I took out my own mortgage on my two-bedroom apartment, my repayments on a $400,000 loan were about $600 a week, compared with $500 for rental value on a similar property. However, over the past three years my apartment has appreciated by more than $250,000, greatly outweighing the $15,000 I would have saved by renting. In addition to this, my mortgage payments secured an acquisition of property that will remain valuable for my family into the future. Financial growth of this sort is not possible through renting.

Renters do not only lose out on capital gains, they also lose in terms of security and peace of mind. The roof over their heads once their lease is over is always at the mercy of the landlord, who might at any time decide to sell the property. The landlord can also put up the rent when they feel the market warrants it. Further, unless the renter invests their savings judiciously, the money they save will be frittered on day-to-day life, leaving them very much poorer than the buyer once retirement looms.

In conclusion, while a first mortgage will cost more each week than renting, the advantages of buying, including capital appreciation and housing security, greatly outweigh the short-term savings to be made by renting.

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