IELTS Task 2 Writing Opinion Essay – Practical Skills

IELTS Task 2 Writing Opinion Essay

Should you write this as a balanced essay, or from one side?


Question
Some people think that school children need to learn practical skills such as car maintenance or bank account management along with the academic subjects at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

If you try to write this essay in a “balanced” way, in other words talking about the reasons for and then the reasons against, your introduction must fit.

Similarly, if you want to only “agree” or “disagree” you should make this clear in the introduction.

Finally, your conclusion should logically follow your essay. So, if you discuss two sides, you are probably going to be undecided, or generally come down on one side more than the other.

However, if you talk about one point of view the whole time, your final conclusion should clearly echo this.

Take a look at the sample answers to see how this works.

Both sides essay plan

Reasons for agreeing

1. First reason
2. Second reason

Reasons for NOT agreeing

1. First reason
2. Second reason

Thesis-led essay plan

1st group of reasons for your position

1. 1st Supporting idea
2. 2nd Supporting idea

2nd group of reasons for your position

1. 1st Supporting idea
2. 2nd Supporting idea

3rd group of reasons for your position

1. 1st Supporting idea
2. 2nd Supporting idea

Hmm. The difference may not be obvious, but thinking about as an IELTS advantages and disadvantages essay has two key problems:

  1. You end up switching between the positive and negative inside each paragraph. This can make it more awkward to write, because you need to use a contrasting phrase like “However” “In contrast” in each paragraph, which can make it sound clunky and unnatural.
  2. It is easy to leave out a key part of the question by doing this.

So, you can see often the easiest thing to do with questions like this is to look at it like an IELTS Discuss Both Views question. This way both points support the topic sentence, and it easy to contrast the two paragraphs.

Let’s see how the student deals with it. Remember, I have not changed anything about this essay. All the errors are still there.

Student Answer


Increasingly, young students are being aware of learning new aptitudes in addition to their school curriculums. The question is, is learning car maintenance or managing a bank account is pivotal at this age? In my opinion, it is not essential at this point.

First of all, there are several benefits of acquiring a new skill. The first merit is personal development. For example, if someone learns playing guitar at school initially, it can be rewarding at a later stage of their life if they take it professionally. As a result, the chance of being successful in life is much higher. The second point is how this learning would impact society in general. When all students are equipped with some sort of knowledge outside their syllabus, they would not be a liability to the society anymore. Instead, they start contributing to the economy. Finally, this hands-on ability will make a nation standout among others and lead towards outstanding growth.

On the other hand, catering practical skill has some drawback too. The most important issue is, it will need extra time which can hinder core subjects to learn. For example, if learning vehicle maintenance is the skills to acquire, it will take number of hour’s to undergo practical sessions besides major classes. Another issue is workload. Is it plausible to give school going children extra load while they have already have enough to do in order to get a good grade? Most parents would argue that pushing them to learn extra-curricular will have a negative effect as not all students are interested to such activities. Likewise, students do not need to learn how to open a bank account as those are dealt by their parents.

In conclusion, although there are many benefits to learn something new, considering the extra-time needed to learn and excessive study load to achieve competitive marks, it is not a good idea to teach them at school.

Words: 319

Writing Feedback


Task Achievement: 7


Generally, you have the question well but there are a couple of things to consider.

Because you go on to discuss this issue from two points of view, it is best to leave the introduction open to match. If you want to start with one opinion / thesis, it is then best to focus on supporting that one view throughout the essay.

As a result, the conclusion doesn’t really summarize the key points you make

Coherence and Cohesion: 7 ~ 8


The essay is logical and easy to follow, though the mis-match between the introduction and the body content is an issue.

You have excellent control over linkers, and reference links within and between sentences, which means it feels more natural and like a native writer.

Lexical Resource (Vocabulary): 8


You generally have more than enough vocabulary to do the task, and you have excellent control over spelling, form, and usage.

There is only a couple of things you could do to improve in this area. E.g. some collocations:
“catering” = “catering to”
“deal” = “deal with”
“interested to” = “interested in”

Grammatical range and accuracy : 7


This is also very strong. If it was a bit tighter you may get an 8 here, but there are a couple of clunky word order things that could bring you down to a 7.
E.g.
1. The question is, is learning car maintenance or managing a bank account is pivotal at this age? = “account pivotal” [You don’t need an additional verb here]

2. “For example, if learning vehicle maintenance is the skills to acquire, …” = “if learning vehicle maintenance is the skill to be acquired…”

Also, you have some basic plural/singular problems.
E.g. “… practical skill has some drawback too” = “some drawbacks too”

Overall : 7.5


You will probably get a 7.5 for this, but if your introduction matched the body a bit better, and there were a fewer sentence issues, you would get an 8.

IELTS Task 2 Sample Answer 1


Increasingly, educators and parents are increasingly concerned that children are not able to deal with the practical challenges of living and working after school. The question is, should they be learning these kinds of skills in addition to traditional subjects?

First of all, there are several benefits of acquiring a new skill. The first merit is personal development. For example, if someone learns playing guitar at school initially, it can be rewarding at a later stage of their life if they take it professionally. As a result, the chance of being successful in life is much higher. The second point is how this learning would impact society in general. When all students were effectively equipped with work and life skills, they would not be a liability to society anymore. Instead, they would start contributing to the economy, and the nation would have outstanding economic growth.

On the other hand, catering to practical skills has some drawback too. The most important issue is that it will require extra time which can hinder the acquisition of core subjects. For example, if vehicle maintenance was the skill, it would take a large number of hours, possibly crowding out the learning time available to other classes. Another issue is workload. Is giving school-going children additional work actually plausible? Most parents would argue that pushing them to do extra-curricular activities would negatively impact a significant portion of them as as not all students are interested. Likewise, many students and parents would feel that children do not need to learn how to open a bank account, for example, as this kind of thing is dealt with by their parents.

In conclusion, although acquiring life skills may increase the chance of general success later in life, considering the additional stress required, it is not a good idea to teach them at school. Therefore, I do not support this plan.

Words: 314

Thesis-led IELTS Task 2 Sample Answer


Yes, I know this is stupidly long, but I wanted to show how to focus on developing your body ideas when writing a thesis-type response.

Increasingly, educators and parents are increasingly concerned that children are not able to deal with the practical challenges of living and working after school. This essay will argue that for some students this is an excellent idea.

The first benefits are social. It is important to understand that without learning how to balance a checkbook, cook, and maintain a car, not everyone would learn these skills outside of school. This is simply because not everyone comes from a functioning family. An additional positive outcome is that learning anything is beneficial. For example, if someone learns playing guitar at school initially, it may prove to be rewarding at a later stage of their life. As a result, the chance of being successful in life is much higher.

Secondly, it would boost employability. The main reason is it will enable students to get a better idea of the trials and needs of adult life. It is vital that everyone understands that life is not like in the movies, and that even the most basic tasks require some level of skill and commitment. Hopefully, this will give future successful people a better understanding and awareness of those who are less fortunate in life. Another reason is it will enable give students a chance to try out potential jobs. Some people would love to work with machines, but without the opportunity to find this out they would probably languish in life feeling unfulfilled and useless.

Finally, this policy is likely to improve the education of level of the students in general. Obviously, not everyone is suited for academic study. Some are simply not interested. Others may not have the ability at this age. So, while undoubtedly every student eventually needs some minimum level of literacy, numeracy, and civic skills to be a functioning member of society, it is difficult to argue that everyone would benefit from continuing to learn these subjects beyond this level. Furthermore, as these students would enjoy these much more than traditional academic subjects, it would bolster their morale, and since achievement in one area often leads to improved general performance in other areas, it is likely to encourage greater all-round improvement.

In conclusion, acquiring practical skills is vital for several groups of students and can improve employability as well as overall educational levels. Therefore, I support this plan.

Words: 388

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2 Comments on “IELTS Task 2 Writing Opinion Essay – Practical Skills”

  1. Reena

    Increasingly, teachers and parents are highly concerned that children not able to accommodate with the practical challenges of living and working after school. This essay will discuss on partially agreed with the points of view on this topic.

    On the one hand, there are lots of benefits letting the mind wonder. Children can express themselves, find themselves, do what they prefer and excell. It is important to understand and get experience in all kind of activities such as maintain the car and how to deal with the the bank account, which is certainly a goal point for the future. If the children get practised in early stage, it is an additional experiment and they are capable to do these kind of jobs independently. For instance if some one learns music at school initially, it may be the key point that, they can be a musician in the future. Another reason, it would give the awareness, introduction and experiment to these kind of activities, if they start at school, in which, they can easily adopt when it’s come in to their real life.

    On the other hand, there is some drawback in this situatution too. Firstly,to organise these activities, they required to buy the possible equipment to get practise and also need to hire extra staff. Secondly, teachers need more time to plan to include these kind interactions. Finally, it is an expensive for the school. For example recent study shows 65% of parents and teachers are declined to add extra curriculum activities, claiming that it is a burden for the children, when they have more than enough to learn on academic subject.

    In conclusion, although gaining life skills may increase the chance of succes later in life, considering the additional stress and level management from parents and teachers. Therefore I partially support this plan.

  2. J DASARATHA

    It’s important to have knowledge regarding practical aspects like car maintenance or bank account management. At present no child is being taught In this direction. But, some people are of opinion that it will benefit the students to learn such practical skill of social life. The question is to what extent this will benefit the students. This essay discusses on it.
    To start with, there are many advantages of teaching the practical skills that would help in social life. First, now a days, every family is having a motor cycle or a care for transport purpose. If one has good practical knowledge about their maintenance, their chance of getting damage will be minimal and also even if they get trouble, it will be solved easily. This will save lot of time and also money. Secondly, having a bank account is must these days. Every transaction either for shopping or for bill payment is being managed online. If one acquires tips on handling a bank account, abundant time will be saved apart from becoming more independent.
    However, having this type of sessions in school hours will consume much valuable time, which can be used for technical subjects like mathematics or science. Most parents and students may not encourage such classes in school timing as they can easily taught and kept in practice when they are at home.
    In conclusion, although there are so many benefits of having classes on practical skills of social life, keeping in view of valuable school timing, it will be better to promote students to get practical training by involving in daily routines of family like shopping, maintenance of car etc.

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