IELTS Essays – Band 9

IELTS Writing Task 2 samples – IELTS Band 9 essays

IELTS Essay Samples of Band 9

Here you can find IELTS Essay samples of Band 9, written by a native English speaker and a former IELTS examiner. Robert Nicholson is the co-author of ‘High Scorer’s Choice’ IELTS Practice Tests book series, created in collaboration with Simone Braverman, the founder of this website.

New essays are being added weekly. Last updated: May 13, 2022

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IELTS essay, topic: Is studying at university better than getting a job straight after school (opinion)?

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 6 Academic book, Practice Test 27

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Many people believe that studying at university is the best way to develop oneself, learn new skills and find a well-paid job. Other people believe that more is learned from getting a job straight away after school and learning whilst working.


Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

There are many ways to learn new knowledge and skills. Traditional educational routes, such as school followed by college or university is one route that is generally accepted and respected by today’s society. It can be argued, however, that this is not always the best way. A more vocational route can be more appropriate for certain people and for particular jobs.

Universities generally have deference given to them and, due to this, most schools tailor their programs to help students get university admission. Universities usually have respected and highly qualified teachers who have the knowledge and the skills to take their students to very high levels of knowledge and expertise. The very difficulty of gaining admission, getting through the duration of the course and passing final exams ensures to employers that graduates have the necessary self-discipline, intelligence and ability to get through the courses.

Universities are also particularly well suited to the teaching of various subjects, for example, medicine, law and literature and these subjects need students’ full-time attention in order to do well. Although vocational experience is necessary, a certain grounding in basic concepts to a high-level is important. Once this knowledge has been acquired, students can then integrate their knowledge with practical understanding.

This, however, is not the case for all areas of learning, especially ones where the quantity of high level knowledge is not required or is possible to be learned whilst working at the same time. Young people studying to be an electrician or a plumber are good examples. To do this work well requires a lot of experience, yet also a sound understanding of theory. The learning here can be and is done working and studying at the same time, often through apprenticeships and vocational courses involving significant amounts of work experience.

Therefore, in my opinion, there are more ways than one to acquire a profession. Whether learning should take place at university alone or whilst working depends on the course and the end job.

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