IELTS Writing – Model Answer for an essay (from the May 2011 exam in UK)

The topic below was seen in the Academic IELTS exam in UK, May 2011.

General Training Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people believe that universities are producing more graduates than needed, and that less emphasis should be placed on university education. Others are of a different opinion. Discuss both views and include your own opinion.

You should write at least 250 words.

Model Answer

As the world develops, the opportunity to achieve a tertiary education is becoming more widespread. This has led many to question whether larger numbers of university graduates is a positive trend. However, others counter than university does more than simply provide employment opportunities. Both of these arguments will be analysed before a reasoned conclusion is reached.

On the one hand, many feel the rising number of university graduates today causes more harm than good. For example, graduates from Canadian universities are having to wait for employment simply because there are no working opportunities for them to engage in. Despite this, Canadian labour-related job openings are booming. This example shows a disparity that is common in many parts of the world and makes clear that achieving a higher education can actually be the precursor to unemployment. Thus, it is understandable why many support the argument that less emphasis should be put on garnering a university education.

However, in contrast to this stance, there are those who believe higher education provides more to people than simply job related skill sets. For instance, the analytical skills honed by university graduates in the United States give them a heightened perception and deeper understanding of the world. Although this benefit does little by way of professional development, it gives people the chance to develop and challenge themselves personally. This makes it is clear why many do not agree with reducing the enthusiasm for higher education.

After analysing these stances on university, it is felt the argument to lessen educational emphasis holds little water. It is hoped the world continues to push its young people towards the challenges offered through higher learning.

This model answer was written for visitors by Ryan Higgins, an online IELTS instructor, blogger and author. For more of his free IELTS resources, visit his blog.

IELTS Speaking test in Iran – May 2011

The speaking questions below were shared by our kind friend N, who took his IELTS exam in Iran recently.

Speaking test


– Do you work or study?
– What do you like about your job?
– Do you like your job or people you work with?
– Have you ever collected things?
– Why do people like to collect things?
– In your country, what are the things that people usually collect?
– Do you like animals?
– What animals do you like?
– Do people keep animals in your country? What kind?
– What kind of wild animals do you like? Why?

Cue Card

Talk about an adventurous person in your life. Please say
– Who is this person?
– How do you know him/her?
– What kind of risks does he/she take?


– Are you an adventurous person?
– Do people take more risks now than in the past?
– Do you think people take more intellectual risks or physical risks?
– Why do some people like to take risks?
– Why don’t most people like to take risks?
– Do you think government should support people who take risks and lose?



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