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 4 Academic book, Practice Test 19
Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In some countries, boys and girls are educated separately after the age of about ten years old. Discuss this view and give your 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
In many countries around the world, boys and girls are educated together. There is a group of countries, however, that educate boys and girls separately. This is frequently done on religious grounds, but not always. Having such a system can produce various advantages and disadvantages.
One of the principal reasons for educating boys and girls separately is that, if they are together, they can distract each other. After puberty, boys can be strongly attracted to girls and vice versa, and this can result in disruptive conduct in the classroom as, for example, they show off to one another. Separating boys and girls can therefore have the distinct advantage of reducing this disturbing behaviour. However, some teachers have pointed out that this model does not always work, and that separated boys and girls are equally disruptive in class, and sometimes more so. These teachers say that having the opposite sex in the classroom can actually improve behaviour.
Many educators also believe that boys and girls have different learning styles and needs. Separating boys and girls can allow teachers to address these needs more easily. There is also a belief that single sex schools allow gender stereotypes to be challenged and therefore education aspirations can be broadened.
A major disadvantage of separating boys and girls in education is that the children miss important formative behavioural development when they do not have interaction with the other gender on a regular basis. This can lead to shyness and, more seriously, dysfunctional relationships later in life. Some people also feel that mixed sex schools can promote gender stereotypes rather than reducing them.
In conclusion, I feel that children should be educated all together, although I would respect a system in which they are separated due to religious beliefs. My personal opinion is that different genders should learn to interact together from an early age, as this would allow them to develop healthy working relationships with each other.
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