IELTS Essay # 1198 - University students should study a full range of subjects

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Many people believe that university students should study a full range of subjects, instead of some specific subjects.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this viewpoint?

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

Write at least 250 words.


Model Answer 1: [Disagreement]
Universities, supreme citadels for building an enlightened generation, play a pivotal role in shaping a country's destiny. Thus the curriculum they follow to teach pupils has a profound impact on its overall outcome. Though some scholars believe that teaching a wide range of subjects at the tertiary level is far more beneficial than restraining the syllabus to a few particular subjects, I have reasons to disagree with this view.

First of all, universities cannot teach all the subjects to the disciples and the notion of teaching them a great number of subjects is impractical. For instance, an average university has more than 40 departments or so and they are meant to specialise students in a particular field, not try to make them experts in all trades only to hopelessly produce mediocre professionals. Many public universities are already struggling to finish the course in time and if more subjects are added, that would simply make the scenario worse.

Furthermore, a medical student, when forced to study history and poetry, would feel less connected to those subjects, ultimately ending with less specialised knowledge and skill. Similarly, a student from literature would find solving higher calculus a real challenge. The university already has its departments that pick students based on their merits and interests and the course offering should stick to that.

Finally, someone does not need to excel in all subjects to do better in his profession. If an engineering student is interested in studying history, he can always do so even if the university curriculum does not include it. Many eminent scientists had little knowledge of other subjects and that did not deter them from changing the world forever, and this can be a great example of how specific subjects at the tertiary level can be more beneficial than the idea of adding a list of unrelated subjects.

To conclude, the areas of studies, especially in this modern era, are myriad and thus adding a spectrum of subjects in every major is not a practical idea.

Sample Answer 2: [Agreement]
Some people advocate teaching university learners a wide range of subjects while others are in favour of making them specialised in a particular field with few subjects. I believe that teaching many different subjects make tertiary students better prepared for their career, life and society. This essay will outline my perspective.

It is true that when university pupils have fewer subjects to focus on, they can learn those subjects better as they get more time to master the concepts of those subjects. This is why many universities around the world have introduced many majors like creative arts, robotics, fashion design, and genetics, to name a few, that have fewer credit hours and hence, fewer subjects to study. And it has produced some talented professionals who have excelled in these fields over the years.

However, university education, I believe, is not meant to produce just skilled professionals who would work better in their respective job fields and make huge money. Rather, it should aim to create enlightened and knowledgeable individuals who would lead the nations in the future. This is why a doctor should learn the history of the nation so that he never forgets that his primary aim is to serve the nation and not make money. Similarly, if a software engineer has no knowledge of accounting, the financial sector would struggle to have useful software for their automation. I wholeheartedly believe that a university builds a strong foundation for a person to become a responsible and qualified individual and the more subjects they study the stronger their foundation becomes. 

In conclusion, studying fewer subjects in a university seems like have some benefits on the surface but it does not serve the true purpose of university education - to create leaders and an enlightened generation. So it is expected that universities would introduce a spectrum of subjects to most majors to reap the maximum benefit.

Sample Answer 3: [Disagreement]
It is often suggested that disciples of tertiary institutions should have a wide range of subjects in their curriculum rather than a few particular subjects. I, however, disagree with this viewpoint primarily for two major reasons.

First, universities aim to provide specialized knowledge to their pupils, not enhance their general knowledge. Students are offered admission to universities after they complete many years of academic studies on various subjects. They are in a tertiary institution primarily to gain specific knowledge related to their field of interest. Giving redundant pressure by imposing subjects unrelated to their field can become a hurdle in achieving the required goal sets in their life. For instance, there is little relationship between sociology and mathematics. Mathematics majors will get confused while learning various aspects of sociology and similarly, sociology students will be reluctant to solve complex mathematics.

In addition to this, many universities are already trying hard to maintain their recognized status and some are providing only specializations in a few subjects. The addition of more subjects to each faculty will add unnecessary weight, and as a result, there will be discordant opinions and actions among them. For example, 'Indian Institute of Technology Delhi' is among the top universities in India and provides specialization in scientific research and technology. If they are forced to add Arts related subjects to their science majors, they will soon find themselves struggling for their excellence.

In conclusion, universities are meant for specialization and students should study subjects related to their major or which they feel interested in. The urge to add a spectrum of irrelevant subjects will detriment the true purpose of university education.

[Written by - Sabrina Qamar]

Model Answer 4: [Agreement]

It is widely believed that universities should provide students with a full range of subjects, rather than limiting them to specific areas of study. I fully agree with this viewpoint as it enables students to gain a broader perspective and a diverse range of skills that can be applied in various areas of life.

While studying a wide range of subjects can be immensely beneficial, it may also have some drawbacks. Firstly, students may find it challenging to keep up with the workload, especially if they have little interest in some of the subjects. Additionally, if the curriculum is too broad, students may not have enough time to focus on their majors, which can result in a lack of depth of knowledge in any particular field.

Despite these potential disadvantages, I believe that universities should provide students with a full range of subjects. Firstly, studying a wide range of subjects can help students develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. This is because exposure to different fields of study encourages students to think outside the box and make connections between seemingly unrelated topics. For instance, studying both biology and philosophy can help students understand the ethical implications of scientific advancements.

Moreover, a diverse range of subjects can prepare students for the ever-changing job market by providing them with a broad range of skills. For example, a computer science major who also takes classes in marketing and psychology will have a unique skill set that can be applied in a variety of industries. This can increase their employability and flexibility in the job market.

In conclusion, studying a whole range of subjects at the university level is highly beneficial. It not only enables students to develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, but also provides them with a broad range of skills that can be applied in various fields of work.

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