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 5 General Training book, Practice Test 22
Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Many schoolchildren today take part in work experience sessions for short periods of time instead of attending school. Is this a positive or a negative development?
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
It has been a popular trend for some time now to put children into what can be called ‘work experience placements’. The children are taken out of school and take part in various types of work, usually for around a week. Some people criticise this trend, but I can’t see how it can be a negative experience.
One of the criticisms is that children lose a week of schoolwork. With the pressure to do well at school increasing, children need every bit of help to maximise their potential. Taking them out of the school, it is therefore argued, stops them from getting access to needed education for a whole week. As the students won’t really be of much help to a workplace for just one week, it would therefore be better for them to remain at school.
While this is a valid point, taking a child’s entire experience of school into account, a single week away does not make a significant difference. Indeed, if the timing of the week’s work placements is done correctly, the week can also serve as a kind of ‘holiday’ away from school, something that is regularly needed in order to allow students to remain fresh and enthusiastic. In many work placements, children also get to see some of things they learn at school put into a realistic context, allowing them to understand the relevance of what they learn and thereby creating a way to reinforce the learning.
In addition to this, schoolchildren can be quite nervous about the world of work that they will have to join at some point in their lives. By getting this short taste of what it is like, they can see that it is nothing to be scared about. As well as this, children will often have some ideas of what they want to do for a living, but are not sure. By allowing them to see a type of work they are considering, they are better able to decide whether that career could be suitable for them.
I feel, therefore, that work placements can be seen as a positive development. Missing a short amount of school is not serious and the benefits that can be gained from the placements are significant.
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