IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 412 - Should students take a gap year before attending universities

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

In many countries, students take a year gap after finishing school and work or travel during this period. Should students take a gap year before attending universities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of it?

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

You should write at least 250 words.


Sample Answer 1:
Taking a gap year off between high school and the university has become a popular choice for many students. There are a number of common ways they utilise this time; such as travelling abroad, volunteering or working.  I personally believe that this kind of experience should be recommended to students more actively since they can offer youngsters several benefits.

Spending time outside of school indicates that students can encounter opportunities to interact with people who they are not used to communicating with. Foreigners they meet while travelling overseas or colleagues from volunteering and work enable them to develop exceptional social skills to talk to others with cultural, racial or age differences. Such experiences can subsequently motivate them to be a more confident and outgoing person, which is believed to help them establish a solid social network.

Another distinctive advantage that a gap year break can give to students is a time to try out different types of practical work. Many teenagers graduate from high school without having clear occupational plans. However, participating in work experience programs or working part time before starting university can broaden their perspectives on career choices. An exemplary case can be illustrated through looking at my sister, who spent six months teaching English in Cambodia during her gap year. While she was looking after the disadvantaged local kids, she developed a desire to work for international charity organisations and she enrolled in an international studies degree.
In conclusion, I am convinced that the society should encourage more high school graduates because the process of establishing social skills and trials on different jobs can provide them with invaluable life experiences.

[by Kay Lim ]


Sample Answer 2:
In recent days, it is quite common for young adults having a break time after graduating from secondary school. It is not the case of rich people choosing travelling as a destination while poor young adults prefer to work in spite of entering university for a period of time. I personally believe that there will be a number of positives and drawbacks in both cases.

The reasons for this issue may involve the recognition of restricting knowledge and experiences in entering university studies, comparison with deciding to work or take a journey which will give a broader view of life. The young adult will be better on the resources of the personal life because for both cases are able to develop them as the independent people. Students deciding work or explore the beauty of world definitely gain some practical experiences and recognise the meaning of life rather than spending much time with some papers or plenty of assignments.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of both cases perhaps make people not interested again in continuing their study. They may end their study because of enjoying their daily life. Moreover, they may face some problems in adapting academic environment after spending a lot of time in work field or adventures. Therefore they probably think that it is better to pursue a career in particular jobs or do something different which can make this life full of colours in spite of studying in university. However, it will be less of people deciding break because to obtain a better future academic qualification as a primary of requirements.

In conclusion, having off time for young adults after graduating secondary school is not a wrong decision. They may argue that spending time for gaining greater experiences are one way to enjoy this life before coming to the environment which has many differences from the previous study.

[by Tuty Starlet ]


Sample Answer 3:
Some people are in favour of students taking a gap year before university, while others believe such a break in education is disruptive.  I believe that while there are arguments in favour of both views, that students benefit more from continuing their education straight from secondary to tertiary level.

On one side of the argument, a gap year provides opportunities for work experience, personal development and a period of relaxation away from the stresses of full-time education.  High-school students are subjected to enormous pressure to achieve high grades, particularly in Asia, meaning that leisure time is practically non-existent and young people have little chance to indulge in hobbies or recreational activities  After-school classes, summer schools and exam preparation courses also prevent many high-school students from engaging in sports which can develop teamwork and leadership skills, or from travel which allows them to gain cultural awareness and to develop as individuals.  A gap year would provide just such opportunities.  

Furthermore, work experience either in paid employment or in a voluntary capacity would give students practical skills, a sound work ethic and an appreciation of the value of money they have earned themselves.  Such experiences help students to become more rounded individuals, enhance their CVs when they apply for scholarships or work after graduation and provide employers with valuable insight into an individual’s aptitude, personality and ambitions.
On the other side of the argument, many students returning from a break in academic study find it very difficult to adjust to university life, give up their ideas of a higher education altogether, or waste their gap year in worthless activities.  Starting a university course after a year’s break is difficult.  Gap-year students are a year behind their high-school friends and have forgotten many of the lessons learned in school, or indeed, how to study at all. Many also miss the income from unskilled gap-year jobs and decide that they would rather have money now than wait for a better salary later, prompting some to abandon their scholarly ambitions altogether.  In the Philippines, for example, some students are enticed into non-skilled jobs with attractive salaries, forgetting that what they can earn after graduation will, in the long run, provide far better financial security. There are also many high school students who start a gap-year with good intentions, but fail to find work or a worthwhile activity and end up wasting their time – something they find hard to explain to future employers.
In conclusion, while some students may profit from taking a gap year, I am convinced that for the majority of students a year’s break is detrimental to both their educational progress and their final careers.

[by Jill ]

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