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IELTS Band 9 essay, topic: Schools should teach their students how to survive financially in the world today (agree/disagree)

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 likely to score IELTS Band 9.

Set 1 Academic book, Practice Test 1

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Today’s schools should teach their students how to survive financially in the world today. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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

You should write at least 250 words.


In schools, students learn to analyse literature, calculate using trigonometry and understand how photosynthesis works, but often students are inexperienced and helpless after graduation when encountering the real world. It is therefore argued that schools should teach their students how to survive financially in the world.

This topic is difficult, though. Many educators believe that a school is supposed to teach students in subjects that they will most probably not encounter again post-graduation, so that teachers can develop open-minded and well-informed individuals. At the same time, it can be argued that schools should impart skills that would be applicable in everyday life. Mathematics, for example, is supposed to not only communicate actual mathematics skills, but also teach logic to students. However, schools are supposed to prepare the youths for their lives following high school. Currently this goal is not fully met, as often students are unable to handle their finances sensibly and therefore can often face significant problems. Schools that teach students how to survive financially could change this.

This significant shift in the ideology of education is unlikely to take place soon, as the education system has been in place for too long to be easily changed. Also a change of this scale would be costly, as teachers would have to be trained and a syllabus for this potential subject would have to be created. However, in some countries, for example Germany, a community subject is available in which politics and finances are discussed. This leaves students from Germany in a better situation to deal with finances in their lives.

In conclusion, I believe that training school students in financial matters would be very useful. Adding new content to the syllabus would require a significant amount of money, but the entire community would benefit from students being better prepared for adult life.

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24 thoughts on “IELTS Band 9 essay, topic: Schools should teach their students how to survive financially in the world today (agree/disagree)”

  1. Hi, Simone,
    I am just wondering that in the introduction I always should tell my opinion, or it is not necessary, namely when I read: “To what extent do you agree?” I have read that several times. What is your opinion? Thanks in advance.

  2. Christopher Mathew Alex

    Hi Simone,
    This essay is not silmilar to normal band 7 essay.
    In band 7 essay, we will rephrase the statement. But here it is totally different. So my query is that this format is ok for getting band 8. Last time I got band 6.5, which followed band 7 format means not going to deep discussion, just following the imp rules such as achieving 250 words, 4paragraphs and so I am aiming for band 8.

  3. Hi Christopher, this essay is close to Band 9 level, and it was written by a former IELTS examiner. The intro paragraph explains the issue and and although it doesn’t use entirely different words to those in task prompt, that’s absolutely fine, because the intro paragraph demonstrates a high level of English writing and advanced vocabulary. This shows that the writer isn’t copying task statement to meet the minimum word limit, and it won’t hurt their score. If you received Band 6.5 for your essay, format alone isn’t likely to be the only reason. You can submit your essays to our writing correction team to see why you scored 6.5.

  4. In my views we have to give a brief overall inclination in the introduction and the same should be then discuss in body paragraphs with relevant examples. The conclution should support the introduction

  5. Hello! So in this type of essay writing, should we refute opposing views in the start of a paragraph and state our points? (As in this sample)
    My school has taught me to outline 2 main points of my stance then refute an opposing view in the third paragraph, resulting in a total of 3 points. Which structure should I use? Thanks!

  6. Handling finances sensibly is not the only thing required to learn for practical life there are so many other things needed for a successful life which are not discussed in the essay.

  7. This is hardly a 6.5. “how to survive financially” is exactly copied (lifting reduces marks) and the topic sentence of B1 is “This is a difficult question, THOUGH”. What is the candidate contradicting with when saying though? (it is also a very informal choice of word.

  8. Would you be kind enough to specify your scoring for every criterion (Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Grammatical Range and Accuracy) to back up your claim that ‘this sample can only get a 6.5’? Please include the reasons for your individual scores, too. I’m sure once you break the score down into these components, you will understand very clearly that 6.5 isn’t anywhere near the score this sample deserves. The word ‘though’ is formal enough to be used in an IELTS essay.

  9. If you can think of an example that illustrates your point well, include it. If you can’t think of one, there is no specific penalty in IELTS where you lose marks because you didn’t include an example.

  10. Where is the writer opinion? He is agree or disagree?
    It dose mot give a good score in task response !!

    If this essay has written by the former examiner, why he has not answered clearly about his opinion?

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Simone Braverman is the founder of and the author of several renowned IELTS preparation books, including Ace the IELTS, Target Band 7, the High Scorer's Choice practice test series, and IELTS Success Formula. Since 2005, Simone has been committed to making IELTS preparation accessible and effective through her books and online resources. Her work has helped 100,000's of students worldwide achieve their target scores and live their dream lives. When Simone isn't working on her next IELTS book, video lesson, or coaching, she enjoys playing the guitar or rollerblading.