IELTS Model Answer: Task 1, Academic Training

The bar chart compares the regular physical activity of a different age group of Australian men and women in 2010. As can be seen, men doing physical exercises during youth and old age were higher in numbers than women.

As to the data, over 50% of men in the age group of 15 to 24 did regular physical activity, whereas women were slightly behind about 5% in the tally. This is the only trend in which men superseded women by a fair margin. As the age progressed, nearly 50% of women, a tad below or above, in all age groups from 25 through 65 or above did regular physical activity. This trend for men was the opposite. It stayed at nearly 40% upwards until the age group of 55 to 64 and rose to nearly 47% in the last age group. However, there was a massive difference in the age group of 35 to 44, wherein nearly 53% of women were regular in the fitness activities as opposed to a tad below 40% of men.

Overall, women are more active in physical activities than their male counterparts. (183 words)

Reference:

The topic is taken from Cambridge 12 (Test 5 & Task 1) for training purpose in general.

UK brings back two-year post-study work permit for international students

Backgrounder:

  • In 2012, then-Home Secretary Theresa May changed the policy of post-study work permit for international students. She reduced the time for international students to remain to work from 2 years to 4 months after graduation from the UK university.
  • After this change, the numbers of international students wishing to study at the UK universities dropped significantly, and the UK as a preferred education destination was under threat for years. In fact, it lagged its rivals, such as the US and Canada.
  • Students from India reported healthy growth in the last two years – from over 11,700 in June 2017 to almost 22,000 in June 2019 under Tier 4 visa category, a substantial rise of nearly 90%.
  • Nearly 96% of Indian students obtained the visa under Tier 4 study visa.
  • The UK has set a goal of inviting more than 600,000 international students by 2030 and expects to double the value of education exports at £35 billion.
  • This U-turn policy is greeted by universities with enthusiasm since they have been pushing for this change over the years.

The restoration of the old immigration policy for international students reverses a decision made by Theresa May in 2012. The old policy forced students to leave the UK after months of finishing studies. Students found themselves stranded and returned their homelands with a very expensive piece of paper (degree).

Now, there is a sigh of relief for international students. The British Government has announced that from the beginning of the next year (2020), eligible international students will be allowed to stay in the UK on a two-year post-study work permit.

The new immigration route will allow all eligible undergraduate or graduate students from a recognized university to stay in the country for two years either to gain some work experience at any skill level or to seek employment. Students wishing to take advantage of this move must ensure that the higher institution that they choose must adhere to immigration laws with a good track record. Schools having an adverse track record could make students ineligible under this new policy. Students going to the UK in January 2020 will be the beneficiary of this move.

“It is a testament to our world-leading universities that so many students from abroad want to study here. The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic. Their presence benefits Britain, which is why we’ve increased the period of time these students can remain in the UK after their studies”, says Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

Some international students could stay longer

The Department of Education states that international students, “on the [graduate] route will be able to switch on to the skilled work route if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route.”

What does this change signal in the years to come for Britain and International Students?

The UK, as an education destination, was losing out its competitive position to its rivals visa-a-vis Canada, Australia, the USA, and other top destinations. Education exports bring economic benefits as well as the best talent from the world, which helps the host country to stay ahead of innovation in this competitive world. Large corporations are always on the lookout of the brightest employees to leapfrog in the competition. In some cases, visa restrictions such as the old UK immigration policy for international students stifle their competitiveness in the world market. This is a well-known fact to all OECD countries.

The British Government released its new International Education Strategy earlier this year. In this report, the idea was to extend post-study work-permit for 6 months for undergraduate and graduate students and 12 months for doctoral students. University leaders urged the government to go further, considering this element of strategy. Therefore, this new change has been welcomed with greater enthusiasm, and they consider it as ‘a very positive news’ for universities and the country.

This policy mirrors the overall plan

This new visa policy fits well with the two goals set by the British Government:

  1. To increase international student numbers in higher education in the UK to 600,000 by 2020 from the present count of 460,000.
  2. To double nearly the value of education exports in the UK to £35 billion, which will require a constant average annual growth of 4% through 2030.

How to write the IELTS Essay

The IELTS test takers face the challenge about how to start and end an essay. A good start is an essential part of the Writing section. The excellent start infuses brand-new confidence and brings the desired outcome in the form of a high band score. 

It is a common sight to see students scratching their heads the moment they think or start responding to the task. In many cases, students are unable to think critically and waste their precious time gathering ideas. Of course, that is not the strategy for them to employ at the last moment. 

I always believe that writing an essay is an art. It is not a hard asking for sure. At the same time, students need to learn it from the basic. Right from the beginning until the end, it has to be cohesive with the right linkers. All sentences and paragraphs must present a unity of thoughts and correspond to each other’s purpose. 

Considering how significant is the first and last paragraph, I thought of presenting model answers of four topics: the first and last paragraph of the different type of the essay category.

The first paragraph contains the paraphrasing of the topic statement after analyzing the critical elements of parameters. Moreover, the last paragraph is more or less a follow-through and reiteration of the first paragraph. 

1) “Discussion” question 

Nowadays many students choose to study abroad at the university level. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad, and give your own opinion about whether it is a good idea.

Introduction and conclusion:

It is undoubtedly a new trend that many students choose to study at university overseas. It is true that students making this decision face some difficulties. However, I believe that studying abroad is advantageous for many reasons.

In conclusion, I believe that the trend towards studying in a foreign country is a positive development as long as students manage to overcome the struggles that they are likely to face.

2) “Opinion” question 

When choosing a job, the salary is the most important consideration. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Introduction and conclusion:

More and more people choose their jobs based on a salary package. I personally disagree with the idea that money is the only reason for them while choosing a career because it does not supersede many other vital factors.

In conclusion, while there is no denying that the size of the salary influences people’s choice of profession, I believe that other motivators vastly outweigh money.

3) “Problem and Solution” question 

The problem of litter on the streets of many towns and cities is getting worse. Why do we see more litter on our streets, and what can be done about it?

Introduction and conclusion:

The menace of increasing amounts of rubbish is seen in many public places these days. There are many causes of this problem, and I would argue that education is the only solution to this problem.

In conclusion, litter is mainly caused by dumping rubbish by careless people and the lack of bins, and I believe that educating people for the same is the best way to solve this issue.

4) “Two-part” question 

These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work. What could be the reasons for this? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?

Introduction and conclusion:

Men are indeed more likely to take the role of househusband, while more women are stepping out of the home to earn livelihood in their families. There could be several reasons for this, and I consider it to be an entirely positive trend in society.

In conclusion, the role of men and women is constantly changing in the family due to broader changes in society, and I believe that these developments are prudent.

IELTS Model Answer

Question: Some people believe that technology has made a man more social. Others believe that it is opposite. Discuss both views, and give your opinion.

Answer: It is indeed a debatable point whether technology has brought people closer or pushed them further. As it happens, new things bring both aspects. This essay examines both positives and negatives and offers my opinion.

Technology offers some outstanding features and is considered to be a boon for man. The positives of it are countless, but here I highlight only a few of them. To begin with, it does bring people closer by any means. Imagine a world without technology where people had to travel far and wide to see their friends and family. Now, it is no more. Furthermore, it offers a real-time experience of video chatting. This fantastic feature allows people to do video chatting real-time with almost at no cost. Last but not least, social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram facilitate everyone to share the moments that they treasure.

Every coin has two sides. With the enormous benefits of technology, we cannot ignore that it has changed the way humans interact with others these days. In the absence of technology, it was the custom of meeting friends and family on specific occasions. However, that is now a distant past. People have thousands of friends on Facebook, but hardly have anyone to bid them a final farewell at the graveyard. It means that technology has put us in a virtual box for interacting, and most relationships are only superficial.

In conclusion, I believe that a sense of belonging in the relationship grows stronger when people meet, talk, and enjoy together. Ergo, technology with regard to social interactions has less to offer and more to take. (269 words)

IELTS Model Answer

Nowadays shopping has become a new favorite pastime for young people. What are the reasons for this? What can be done to encourage young people to develop other hobbies?

Visual merchandising was never so strong than what it is today, and smart corporations create unwanted demand for all. Shopping has indeed become a pastime during leisure time, especially for the youth. However, it is a matter of concern as this interest is replacing their traditional hobbies. This essay examines both reasons and suggestions for this phenomenon.

Unwanted consumerism is on the rise these days. There are several reasons attributed to this unwanted shopping, which has become a pastime for young people. Firstly, visual merchandising, coupled with attractive discounted prices on stuff, has lured customers exceedingly. This has fuelled unwanted consumerism. Secondly, many young people are idle, and they happen to visit stores casually. This casual trip becomes a trap and a habit for them, as they get fascinated by the commercial set-ups, inviting them to buy unwanted stuff. Lastly, easy online access with inflated credit limits is also an influencer. Most young people have smartphones and bank cards. Hence, buying any stuff means going through the process of ‘click and pay,’ and the order arrives on the following day.

Gone are the days, when the youth took an interest in hobbies, such as music, arts, playing sports and gardening, among others. This trend needs to be arrested. Coordinated efforts of parents, schools, public advisories, and self-realization can arrest this severe issue. Together they can make the youth understand the significance of hobbies in life. Otherwise, they will run into debt and waste their precious time. Parents should engage their children at an early age with different types of activities and hobbies.

In conclusion, it is hard for young people to resist consumerism. The only solution is to enlighten them of importance to hobbies. (283 words)

IELTS Model Answer

Question: Some people think that secondary or high school students should be taught how to use money management, as it is an important life skill.

Do you agree or disagree with the statement?

Answer: It is believed that young students should be trained for all life skills, including money management that could help them succeed in their career at a later stage. It is as essential as other skills in formative years of school-going children. I completely agree with the statement.

Teaching students the value of money and its management is of paramount importance for schools, and it offers several benefits. Firstly, if young students develop financial skills at an early stage, they will be ready for the financial challenges of adulthood. Secondly, teaching children the basics, such as how to save, spend and budget will establish good money habits for life. By this teaching, students will understand where the money comes from and how it is earned. Lastly, students armed with such crucial learning will become more responsible and pragmatic toward their careers and possibly never be a burden on the state. For example, they could stay out of debt during school years and then after.

In contrast, there is undoubtedly a resistance to the idea of making students learn financial skills during school time. Critics opine that the life skill in question can be taught at the later stage during undergraduate studies. Or students who are keen on learning money management can take a specialized finance course so that other students are not mandated to learn it by force. Furthermore, they also argue that students are too young to understand the nitty-gritty of financial skills at a young age.

All in all, I completely support the idea of educating children about money management life skill despite the popular perspective of many naysayers. Children of today can become prosperous only when they are smart with financial management. (284 words)

IELTS Model Answer

Question: People are buying more ready-to-eat food instead of making it at home. Does this development have more advantages or disadvantages?

Answer: Consumers these days prefer to purchase ready-to-eat meals for a variety of reasons. The culture of cooking food at home seems to be getting obsolete. I believe that this trend is worrisome, and it should be avoided.

There are several reasons why ready-to-eat food is not advisable. Firstly, it contains excessive sodium, which could lead to diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. The human body needs the required amount of nutrition to remain fit, but packaged foods offer a little of it. Secondly, hygiene and quality ingredients are essential mixtures of the food that we consume. Such food products are prepared and packaged away from consumers’ eyes. Consequently, we are unsure whether they are with the right eatable composition or not. Lastly, the intake of healthy foods is essential for health and fitness than the high intake of unhealthy foods.

The opposite is also true. Ready-to-eat foods offer delicious taste and convenience of time-saving for people. These positives are the only reasons we have witnessed an increased demand for convenient food products, especially in the youth over the decades. However, the dietary risks are vastly outweighed by the potential benefits. An overview of health study reveals that poor diet now causes more deaths than tobacco smoking and high blood pressure. Additionally, regular food is made of using fresh vegetables or meat, condiments, and unadulterated oil.

In conclusion, my view is that homemade food is supreme without any equivocations. It is also healthy and less expensive. Changes in consumer lifestyle and rapid urbanization are leading to a negative development for society currently. (263 words)

Infinitive and Gerund Construction – 10 Minute English Learning

Some verbs may take either gerund or infinitive:

Advise

We use the infinitive when the person concerned is mentioned:

  • Thomas advised me to apply for this position.
  • The coach recommends students to read this chapter well before taking the exam.
  • They do not allow us to park in front of the gate.

But we use the gerund if the person is not mentioned:

  • Thomas advised applying for this position.
  • The coach recommends reading this chapter well before taking the exam.
  • They do not allow parking in front of the gate.

Agree

The verb ‘agree’ takes the infinitive, and the same rule applies to its antonym ‘refuse’.

Jay agreed to help them financially, but his mother refused to do so.

But ‘agree to’+ possessive adjective takes the gerund:

She agreed to her leaving early on Thursday. (She asked if she could leave early on Thursday and she was allowed).

Begin

With ‘begin’, you can use either the infinitive or the gerund without any difference in meaning. However, the infinitive is more usual.

            We began working. / we began to work.

Can/could bear (dislike)

‘Can/could bear’ is chiefly used in the negative sense and takes either the gerund or the infinitive.

            I have been living here for 18 years and cannot bear the thought of leaving.

Cease

            My dog never ceases to amaze me!

            The Parle G ceased manufacturing biscuits this month.

Continue

            You have two options: either you cease your operations or continue to bear losses.

            You have two options: either you cease your operations or continue bearing losses.

Forget

            I always forget to sign out my email account, and that is nasty of me.

He never forgets putting anyone down, and that is the reason, people distance themselves from him.

Hate

            I hate to be a bearer of this ugly news.

            She hates walking slowly.

Intend

            We intend to sell this house.

            We intend selling this house.

Like

            She usually does not like to go to the theater.

            She usually does not like going to the theater.

Love

            Alex loves to wind-surf.

            Alex loves wind-surfing.

Mean

When ‘mean’ is used for ‘intend’, it takes the infinitive.

            I mean to clarify this point by attaching this evidence.

When ‘mean’ is used for ‘involve’ (used only with an impersonal subject), it takes the gerund.

My boss is hell-bent over approving this proposal quickly even if it means bending the wisdom of the investment.

Need

“I need you to need me, I love you to love me, I want you to want to me, I am begging you to beg me” – Cheap Trick Song.

Your hair needs cutting.

Prefer

            I prefer walking.

            I prefer to walk.

Propose

When ‘propose’ is used for ‘intend’, it takes the infinitive.

            We propose to begin this assignment tomorrow.

When ‘propose’ is used for ‘suggest’, it takes the gerund.

            We propose getting your account tallied before leaving the counter.

Recommend

            We recommend students to write an essay every day.

            We recommend writing an essay every day.

Regret

            Samantha regrets spending extravagantly, and now she is broke.

            We regret to inform you that the school will remain closed tomorrow.

Remember

            She remembers having made mistakes in her speech.

            She remembered to post the letters.

Require

            The grass requires cutting.

The grass required to be cut. All students are required to take a diagnostic test before they commence their classes.

Start

            The moment her dad yelled, she started crying.

            The moment her dad yelled, she started to cry.

Stop

            Stop complaining and get to work.

            We had to stop to ask the way.

Try

            They tried hard to hush this matter, but could not succeed.

            They tried hushing this matter, but could not succeed.

Used to

            I used to bunk off the school while I was in grade 9.

            I am used to living in a cold climate.

Want

            Do you want to convince him over this issue? He seems adamant.

            The plants want watering on every other day.

IELTS Writing Topics So Far in August 2019

Academic Training:

  1. Some people think that zoos are cruel and all the zoos should be closed. However, others think zoos are useful to protect rare animals. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. Some people believe that sport is nothing but a leisure activity. Others believe that it is important in our society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  3. In many countries, mainly tourists, but not local people, visit museums and historical sites. Why does this happen? What can be done to attract more local people to visit these places?
  4. Some people believe that to be successful in sports one needs a natural ability, while others think that hard work and practice can make them successful. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

General Training:

  1. Some people say drug companies have the responsibility to spend money on researching medicine to help poorer countries. Others think that the main responsibility of drug companies is making money. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. Nowadays shopping has become a new favorite pastime for young people. What are the reasons for this? What can be done to encourage young people to develop other hobbies?
  3. Some people believe that entertainers are more important than scientists. Support the reasons and examples from your experience.
  4. Some people believe that technology has made a man more social. Others believe that it is opposite. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Did you know?

You could lose your mark on a very basic mistake. Take a look at:

Most times, your question paper reads part of the answer, such as $…, %…, km…, inches… and so on. In that case, you just need to write the number.

For example,

Incorrect answer: $10

Correct answer: 10