IELTS Writing Sample #151

IELTS Tip: Articles

One of the most common errors is that of article use. Often it is difficult to correct because the rules of article use in English are complex. Most mistakes can be avoided by following a few basic guidelines:

  • No article is used to make generalizations with plural count nouns: Bananas are yellow
  • Single countable nouns generally require an article.
    • Use a if you mean one or any: Can we go to a restaurant?
    • Use the if you mean a specific one: I think of you whenever I go to the restaurant where we used to eat.
  • Use the with:
    • Ordinals: The first Australian I ever met ...
    • Superlatives: The tallest boy in the class ...
    • Words such as sole, same, or only: The only animal living on the farm
    • Adjectives like wealthy, poor, elderly to talk about groups of people: I think the wealthy should pay more taxes.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In some countries young people have little leisure time and are under a lot of pressure to work hard in their studies.

What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?

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

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

Some young people find themselves with very little leisure time. I believe there are two main causes of this situation. The first is parental pressure and the second is competition for university places.

Every parent wants to see his or her child do well in school and go on to have a successful career. This means that they exert pressure on their children to spend hours each day studying at home. Some even arrange extra tuition for their children. In my own country, it is not uncommon for young people to spend another three hours at small private schools after their usual day at stale school is over. As a consequence, their leisure time is extremely limited and the pressure on them is considerable.

The second cause is related to the higher education system. Each year, there are many times more applicants to university than there are university places. The result of this is that only those students with very high grades manage to obtain a place. This contributes to the pressure on teenagers since they must work long hours to have any chance of success.

One solution to the problem is for parents to be made aware of the effects of the pressure they put on their children. Schools should inform parents that too much pressure can lead to anxiety, stress and depression. They should be shown ways in which they can help their children lead more balanced lives with a reasonable amount of leisure time.

Another effective measure would be for the government to invest in the creation of more university places. This could be done by expanding existing universities or by building new ones. This would have the effect of easing competition for places giving teenagers some of their precious free lime back.

(296 words)

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