Monday, December 15, 2008

IELTS Writing Task 2

Test dates for 2009

Before you leave home

Make sure you:

carry your passport

also carry two colour passport sized photographs (not older than six months) and a photocopy of your passport, if you registered online.

carry pencils, sharpener and an eraser.

avoid wearing noisy accessories which may disturb other candidates.

leave your cellphone at home.


We recommend that you arrive at the exam venue no later than 12 noon.

Look for your candidate number and seat location on the seating plan at the reception. Remember your candidate number.

Deposit all your belongings and cell phones at the baggage area. You are only allowed to take your passport, pencil(s), sharpener and eraser into the test room.

Visit the washroom before you enter the exam hall.

Go inside the exam room and find the desk label with your name and candidate number on it.

Your passport will be checked.


Listen carefully to the Test Supervisor and follow all the instructions given.

Check your data sheet carefully. You must tell the invigilator if there is any discrepancy (spelling mistakes, wrong date of birth, passport number etc) as this information will appear on your Test Report Form.

If you need any clarifications, raise your hand and an invigilator will come to help you.

Please check your headphones before the start of the listening module and inform the invigilator if there are any problems.

You will be given the Listening/Reading Answer Sheet and the Listening booklet. Listen to the instructions carefully and fill in the required details.

Tell the invigilator immediately if you think you have not been given the right question paper.


You may not lend anything to, or borrow anything from another candidate during the test.

The test begins at 13.00.

Please stop writing and put your pencils down when you are instructed to do so. Candidates who fail to do so may be disqualified.

Check the Speaking interview time on your desk label and remember to take your desk label with you at the end of the first three parts of the test.


Arrive at the speaking test venue 30 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time.

Bring your passport and desk label with you for the speaking test.

Tell the invigilator if you would like to order additional copies of your Test Report Form to be sent directly to receiving institutions (if you haven't already done so when you registered for the test).

Register with the invigilator when you arrive and then wait in the waiting area. The invigilator will then call you for your interview.

You are not allowed to take anything inside the interview room. Deposit your baggage and cell phones with the invigilator.

At the beginning of the interview, the examiner will record your name and number in front of you. After this, the interview will begin. Your interview will be recorded for monitoring purposes.

The speaking interview lasts between 11 to 14 minutes. The examiner is responsible for the timing of the interview.

When you finish your speaking test, you should leave the test venue immediately. Under no circumstances are you allowed to talk to waiting candidates.

General rules and regulations

During the test you must not

attempt to cheat, copy the work of another candidate or disrupt the test.

use or attempt to use, a dictionary, pager, spell-checker, electronic recorder or mobile phone for the duration of the test. Any candidate doing so will be disqualified.

talk to or disturb other candidates once the examination has started.

smoke, eat or drink in the examination room. (Water is available at the test venue.)

reproduce any part of the test in any format/medium. Any candidate doing so will have their test results disqualified and be liable to prosecution.

remove any materials used during the examination. This includes, but is not limited to, examination papers, answer papers and working paper.

Test dates for 2009

Companies should encourage employees who work in a high position to leave at the age of 55 in order to give opportunities to the new generation.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer:
I totally disagree with the idea of high-level employees leaving at the age of 55 to make room for the upcoming generation. While it is true that the energy level and fresh ideas of youth can rejuvenate a company, the steady hand of experience can still best guide a company in most cases.In English there is a saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In the fast-paced world of business, bolstered by even faster hi-tech innovations, a younger more pliant mind would seem to be able to adapt with greater flexibility, while such an environment might boggle an older more set-in-its-ways mind. Take, for example, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, whose energy and brilliant insights as a youth helped him to pioneer new territory in the computer software world and establish a digital empire. Now as a more mature CEO, this king of the “computer” mountain is constantly on the verge of being knocked down by upcoming digeratti entrepreneurs. However, it is now the experience he has accumulated as an older man which keeps him on top. So, combining the vigour and innovation of younger workers with the experience of older workers would seem to be the winning hand in the world of business.The assertion is to give opportunities to the younger generation. If everyone retires at 55, there will be smaller pool of experience at the company. So, who will show them the ropes of the trade? It would be as if we lopped off the last few chapters of a textbook. On this point the argument would seem to be built on false presumptions.And think of all the other problems retirement at 55 would create. With life expectancy in many advanced nations at 70-plus years, how would the state along with private enterprises be able to support their retirement pensions? The economic repercussions of such an idea could be great.Besides, the Western form of capitalism is built on competition and merit and not seniority according to age, and democracy is built on equality for all regardless of one’s age, so the argument clearly goes against these two pillars of Western society.Granted, my counter-arguments are perhaps as simplistic as the original assertion itself, but without qualifying the assertion with greater supporting evidence or background information, both sides can be argued. Nevertheless, even after thoroughly considering the argument, I believe I would still adhere to my viewpoint that the assertion lacks merit for the aforementioned reasons. Besides, when I am 55 I do not fancy the idea of being put out to pasture. I think I will still be full of vitality and have a desire to work, so I hope my workplace will view me as a treasure house of valuable experience to pass along to the next generation and keep me on until I am at least 65 if not older.
(478 words)

Using a computer every day can have more negative than positive effects on your children.Do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
I tend to agree that young children can be negatively affected by too much time spent on the computer every day. This is partly because sitting in front of a screen for too long can be damaging to both the eyes and the physical posture of a young child, regardless of what they are using the computer for.However, the main concern is about the type of computer activities that attract children. These are often electronic games that tend to be very intense and rather violent. The player is usually the ‘hero’ of the game and too much exposure can encourage children to be self-centred and insensitive to others.Even when children use a computer for other purposes, such as getting information or emailing friends, it is no substitute for human interaction. Spending time with other children and sharing nonvirtual experiences is an important part of a child's development that cannot be provided by a computer.In spite of this, the obvious benefits of computer skills for young children cannot be denied. Their adult world will be changing constantly in terms of technology and the Internet is the key to all the knowledge and information available in the world today. Therefore it is important that children learn at an early age to use the equipment enthusiastically and with confidence as they will need these skills throughout their studies and working lives.I think the main point is to make sure that young children do not overuse computers. Parents must ensure that their children learn to enjoy other kinds of activity and not simply sit at home, learning to live in a virtual world.
(273 words)

Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions.Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair.Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
As a result of constant media attention, sports professionals in my country have become stars and celebrities, and those at the top are paid huge salaries. Just like movie stars, they live extravagant lifestyles with huge houses and cars.Many people find their rewards unfair, especially when comparing these super salaries with those of top surgeons or research scientists, or even leading politicians who have the responsibility of governing the country. However, sports salaries are not determined by considering the contribution to society a person makes, or the level of responsibility he or she holds. Instead, they reflect the public popularity of sport in general and the level of public support that successful stars can generate. So the notion of ‘fairness’ is not the issue.Those who feel that sports stars’ salaries are justified might argue that the number of professionals with real talent are very few, and the money is a recognition of the skills and dedication a person needs to be successful. Competition is constant and a player is tested every time they perform in their relatively short career. The pressure from the media is intense and there is little privacy out of the spotlight. So all of these factors may justify the huge earnings.Personally, I think that the amount of money such sports stars make is more justified than the huge earnings of movie stars, but at the same time, it indicates that our society places more value on sport than on more essential professions and achievements.
(251 words)

A company has announced that it wishes to build a large factory near your community.Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the factory? Explain your position.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
New factories often bring many good things to a community, such as jobs and increased prosperity. However, in my opinion, the benefits of having a factory are outweighed by the risks. That is why I oppose the plan to build a factory near my community.I believe that this city would be harmed by a large factory. In particular, a factory would destroy the quality of the air and water in town. Factories bring smog and pollution. In the long run, the environment will be hurt and people’s health will be affected. Having a factory is not worth that rise.Of course, more jobs will be created by the factory. Our population will grow. To accommodate more workers, more homes and stores will be needed. Do we really want this much growth, so fast? If our town is going in growth, I would prefer slow growth with good planning. I don’t want to see rows of cheaply constructed townhouses. Our quality of life must be considered.I believe that this growth will change our city too much. I love my hometown because it is a safe, small town. It is also easy to travel here. If we must expand to hold new citizens, the small-town feel will be gone. I mould miss that greatly.A factory would be helpful in some ways. However, I feel that the dangers are greater than the benefits. I cannot support a plan to build a factory here, and hope that others feel the same way.
(251 words)

Nowadays, food has become easier to prepare. Has this change improved the way people live?Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
The twentieth century has brought with it many advances. With those advances, human lives have changed dramatically. In some ways life is worse, but mostly it is better. Changes in food preparation methods, for example, have improved our lives greatly.The convenience of preparing food today is amazing. Even stoves have gotten too slow for us. Microwave cooking is much easier. We can press a few buttons and a meal is completely cooked in just a short time. People used to spend hours preparing an oven-cooked meal, and now they can use that time for other, better things. Plus, there are all kinds of portable, prepackaged foods we can buy. Heat them in the office microwave, and lunch at work is quick and easy.Food preparation today allows for more variety. With refrigerators and freezers, we can preserve a lot of different foods in our homes. Since technology makes cooking so much faster, people are willing to make several dishes for even a small meal. Parents are more likely to let children be picky, now that they can easily heat them up some prepackaged macaroni and cheese on the side. Needless to say, adults living in the same house may have very different eating habits as well. If they don’t want to cook a lot of different dishes, it’s common now to eat out at restaurants several times a week.Healthful eating is also easier than ever now. When people cook, they use new fat substitutes and cooking sprays to cut fat and calories. This reduces the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. Additionally, we can buy fruits and vegetable fresh, frozen or canned. They are easy to prepare, so many of us eat more of those nutritious items daily. A hundred years ago, you couldn’t imagine the process of taking some frozen fruit and ice from the freezer, adding some low-fat yogurt from a plastic cup and some juice from a can in the refrigerator, and whipping up a low-fat smoothie in the blender!Our lifestyle is fast, but people still like good food. What new food preparation technology has given us is more choices. Today, we can prepare food that is more convenient, healthier, and of greater variety than ever before in history.
(376 words)

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers.Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to have a very good relationship with my parents. They have supported me, given me necessary criticism, and taught me a great deal about how to live my life. Parents can be very important teachers in our lives; however, they are not always the best teachers.Parents may be too close to their children emotionally. Sometimes they can only see their children though the eyes of a protector. For example, they may limit a child’s freedom in the name of safety. A teacher might see a trip to a big city as a valuable new experience. However, it might seem too dangerous to a parent.Another problem is that parents may expect their children’s interests to be similar to their own. They can’t seem to separate from their children in their mind. If they love science, they may try to force their child to love science too. But what if their child’s true love is art, or writing, or car repair?Parents are usually eager to pass on their value to their children. But should children always believe what their parents do? Maybe different generations need different ways of thinking. When children are young, they believe that their parents are always rights. But when they get older, they realize there are other views. Sometimes parents, especially older ones, can’t keep up with rapid social or technology changes. A student who has friends of all different races and backgrounds at school may find that her parents don’t really understand or value the digital revolution. Sometimes kids have to find their own ways to what they believe in.The most important thing to realize is that we all have many teachers in our lives. Our parents teach us, our teachers teach us, and our peers teach us. Books and newspapers and television also teach us. All of them are valuable.
(316 words)

People attend college or university for many different reasons (for example, new experiences, career preparation, and increased knowledge).Why do you think people attend college or university? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
People attend colleges or universities for a lot of different reasons. I believe that the three most common reasons are to prepare for a career, to have new experiences, and to increase their knowledge of themselves and the world around them.Career preparation is becoming more and more important to young people. For many, this is the primary reason to go to college. They know that the job market is competitive. At college, they can learn new skill for careers with a lot of opportunities. This means careers, such as information technology, that are expected to need a large workforce in the coming years.Also, students go to colleges and universities to have new experiences. This often means having the opportunity to meet people different from those in their hometowns. For most students, going to college is the first time they’ve been away from home by themselves. In additions, this is the first time they’ve had to make decisions on their own. Making these decisions increases their knowledge of themselves.Besides looking for self-knowledge, people also attend a university or college to expand their knowledge in subjects they find interesting. For many, this will be their last chance for a long time to learn about something that doesn’t relate to their career.I would recommend that people not be so focused on a career. They should go to college to have new experiences and learn about themselves and the world they live in.
(243 words)

In many countries today, the eating habits and lifestyle of children are different from those of previous generations. Some people say this has had a negative effect on their health.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
It has recently been suggested that the way children eat and live nowadays has led to a deterioration in their health. I entirely agree with this view, and believe that this alarming situation has come about for several reasons.To begin with, there is the worrying increase in the amount of processed food that children are eating at home, with little or none of the fresh fruit and vegetables that earlier generations ate every day. Secondly, more and more young people are choosing to eat in fast-food restaurants, which may be harmless occasionally, but not every day. What they eat there is extremely high in fat, salt and sugar, all of which can be damaging to their health.There is also a disturbing decline in the amount of exercise they get. Schools have become obsessed with exams, with the shocking result that some pupils now do no sports at all. To make matters worse, few even get any exercise on the way to and from school, as most of them go in their parents’ cars rather than walk or cycle. Finally, children are spending far more time at home, playing computer games, watching TV or surfing the Internet. They no longer play outside with friends or take part in challenging outdoor activities.To sum up, although none of these changes could, on its own, have caused widespread harm to children’s health, there can be little doubt that all of them together have had a devastating effect. This, in my opinion, can only be reversed by encouraging children to return to move traditional ways of eating and living.
(267 words)

The number of overweight children in developed countries is increasing. Some people think this is due to problems such as the growing number of fast food outlets. Others believe that parents are to blame for not looking after their children's health.To what extent do you agree with these views?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that children are overweight and the situation is getting worse, according to the medical experts. I feel there are a number of reasons for this.Some people blame the fact that we are surrounded by shops selling unhealthy, fatty foods such as chips and fried chicken, at low prices. This has created a whole generation of adults who have never cooked a meal for themselves. If there were fewer of these restaurants, then children would not be tempted to buy take-away food.There is another argument that blames the parents for allowing their children to become overweight. I tend to agree with this view, because good eating habits begin early in life, long before children start to visit fast food outlets. If children are given chips and chocolate rather than nourishing food, or are always allowed to choose what they eat, they will go for the sweet and salty foods every time, and this will carry on throughout their lives.There is a third factor, however, which contributes to the situation. Children these days take very little exercise. They do not walk to school. When they get home, they sit in front of the television or their computers and play video games. Not only is this an unhealthy pastime, it also gives them time to eat more junk food. What they need is to go outside and play active games or sport.The two views discussed play an equal role in contributing to the problem, but I think we have to encourage young people to be more active, as well as steering them away from fast food outlets and bad eating habits. We need to have a balanced approach.
Position: Writer refers to a number of reasons in the introduction, and to the need for a balanced view in the conclusion.Main ideas: First sentence of the second paragraph; first and second sentences of the third paragraph; second sentence of the fourth paragraph.Linkers: and, according to, some people, such as, if, then, there is another argument, because, or, there is a third factor, however, not only, also, the two views discussed, but, as well asReference words: the, this, who, themselves, these, this view, they, their, themTopic vocabulary: medical experts, shops, unhealthy, fatty foods, chips, cooked, take-away food, chocolate, sweet and salty, exercise, walk, television, computers, video games, unhealthy pastime, junk food, active games, sport, fast food outletsSentence types: A wide range of complex structures and sentences is used.Length: 286 words

Nowadays we are producing more and more rubbish.Why do you think this is happening?What can governments do to help reduce the amount of rubbish produced?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
I think it is true that in almost every country today each household and family produces a large amount of waste every week. Most of this rubbish comes from the packaging from the things we buy, such as processed food. But even if we buy fresh food without packaging, we still produce rubbish from the plastic bags used everywhere to carry shopping home.The reason why we have so much packaging is that we consume so much more on a daily basis than families did in the past. Convenience is also very important in modern life, so we buy packaging or canned food that can be transported from long distances and stored untill we need it, first in the supermarket, and then at home.However, I think the amount of waste produce is also a result of our tendency to use something once and throw it away. We forget that even the cheapest plastic bag has used up valuable resources and energy to produce. We also forget that it is a source of pollution and difficult to dispose of.I think, therefore, that governments need to raise this awareness in the general public. Children can be educated about environmental issues at school, but adults need to take action. Governments can encourage such action by putting taxes on packaging, such as plastic bags, by providing recycling services and by thing households and shops that do not attempt to recycle their waste.With the political will, such measures could really reduce the amount of rubbish we produce. Certainly nobody wants to see our resources used up and our planet poisoned by waste.
(270 words)

Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things that we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives.Which viewpoint do you agree with?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.Write at least 250 words.
model answer:
The purpose of advertising is to tell the consumer about any new product or service or any new promotion on the existing product and service. We need it so we can make good decisions when we go shopping. Advertising tells us when new and improved products become available and lets us know which ones have the best price.Through advertising we learn about new products. For example, many grocery stores now sell prepackaged lunches. These are very convenient for busy parents. They can give these lunches to their children to take to school. Busy parents don’t have time to look at every item on the store shelf, so without advertising they might not know about such a convenient new product.Even products we are familiar with may be improved, and advertising lets us know about this. Most people use cell phones, but new types of cell phone service become available all the time. There are different plans that give you more hours to talk on the phone, you can send text messages and photos, and next week probably some even newer type of service will be available. By watching advertisements on TV it is easy to find out about new improvements to all kinds of products.Advertisements keep us informed about prices. Prices change all the time, but everyone can look at the ads in the newspaper and see what the latest prices are. Advertisements also inform us about sales. In fact, some people buy the newspaper only in order to check the prices and plan their weekly shopping.Advertisements improve our lives by keeping us informed about the latest products developments and the best prices. Advertisements serve a useful purpose.
(281 words)

According to those in the travel business, the nature of the average 'holiday' is changing. Rather than seeking a relaxing break in a far-away place, people now want exitement on their holidays and are keen to participate in unusual and challenging activities.Do you agree or disagree?
You should write at least 250 words.Use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and with relevant evidence.
model answer:
Holidays are important because they provide a break from our normal daily routine and from the world of work. Traditionally, holidays have been seen as a time for relaxation and as an opportunity to visit another country in order to find out about its geography and customs. Nowadays, however, it seems that other types of holiday are becoming popular.Some people want their holiday to be a kind of adventure, and find this more exciting than going to the beach or visiting museums. On an adventure holiday, you may stay in quite basic accommodation, rather than a luxurious hotel. Activities may involve things such as bush walking or cycling, or may form part of an aid project designed to help communities in remote areas. Holidays such as these are popular with people of all ages and can often help to promote tourism in rural environments.The increasing popularity of dangerous sports has also boosted the number of adventure holidays; for example, water sports, mountain climbing or paragliding. These holidays are more popular with the younger generation, as they can be both physically and mentally demanding. Participants are often seeking the sort of thrills that they cannot get in ordinary life.There is now greater awareness of the damaging effects of mass tourism and this may be one reason for the changing nature of holidays. This can only be a good thing. But perhaps people are also discovering that it is just as refreshing to take an active holiday, as it is to lie on a beach - though that is still a question of personal preference.
(266 words)

In some countries, marriages are arranged by the parents but in other cases, people choose their own marriage partner.Discuss both systems.
You should write at least 250 words.Use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and with relevant evidence.
model answer:
The idea that a marriage should be arranged by the parents of the couple, or by other members-of the family, is quite acceptable to some societies, yet completely out of the question for others. It all depends on your cultural expectations.In so-called western societies, it is very unusual for marriages to be arranged. Most young people would not welcome the idea that their parents have the right to choose their partner for life. They feel that arranged marriages deny them their fundamental right to choose, even if they make a bad decision.However, if we are honest about it, we might acknowledge that some parents organise their children's lives in such a way that they are likely to meet and marry partners the parents approve o£ It could be said that this is, to some extent, similar to an arranged marriage. It is always better when families support the relationship and welcome the grandchildren.People for whom arranged marriages are the cultural norm often argue that the likelihood of the marriage lasting is greater when it is set up in this manner. Parents can be assured that their children are joining a family of similar standing and cultural background, and this, in the long run, makes for a more stable society if your parents' marriage was arranged, and has worked well, then why should you question the custom?The important thing to ensure is that people are never forced into a marriage which will make them unhappy or lead to an unequal relationship where one partner is exploited by the other. This applies in all societies and situations.
(269 words)

People who have original ideas are of much greater value to society than those who are simply able to copy the ideas of others well.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
You should write at least 250 words.Use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and with relevant evidence.
model answer:
I certainly agree that people who come up with new ideas; in other words those who 'invent' or 'discover' things are terribly important to society as a whole. However, I also think there is a role in society for good imitators.No one would deny that key individuals must be thanked for providing us with certain facilities that we use every day. Where, would we be, for example, without basic items such as the washing machine, the television and, more recently, the computer? These items are now used so regularly that we tend to take them for granted.In fact, the society we live in today has become increasingly consumer-oriented, and while it may be possible to constantly update and improve consumer goods, not everyone where I live can afford the prices of these innovations. Furthermore not everyone lives in an area that has accessibility to the latest models on the market. For this reason, there is a value to be placed on being able to provide good copies of expensive items.Having said that, certain innovations have a more serious impact on our lives than consumer goods and cannot easily be replicated. Vital medicines like penicillin and vaccines against dangerous diseases also exist because people made continual efforts to develop them. Scientific ideas such as these enable us to live longer and escape illness.
(225 words)

Some people believe that computers are more a hindrance than a help in today's world. Others feel that they are such indispensable tools that they would not be able to live or work without them.
In what ways are computers a hindrance?
What is your opinion?
You should write at least 250 words.Use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and with relevant evidence.
model answer:
The advanced `Mind machines' so called `the Computers' are no doubt the best products of latest technology. One cannot imagine the advancement of life and Sciences without these machines.But like other achievements; they have their own good and bad effects as seen with experience and passage of time. In my opinion they are good if used for educational and beneficial uses for health and living etc.Basically twentieth century had been famous for its latest Computer techniques and their application on our lives. Datas shown on Computers help us to assess how much education is conducted through this media. The assessment ways as well as examinations are improved. Moreover personal skills of reading and writing are far more improved through Computers.Moreover Science and technology progressed immensely with computers. Researchers like cloning and transplants are only possible with modern computerized skills.Good question comes to ones mind ... where will this Computer would take us next?? Certainly no one knows! We might explore new planners. May be we will buy houses on Moon, Mars or Jupitor. Or we might loose our own identity. One cannot forget the end of 2000 millennium when everybody was in chaos to think what will happen if the computers crash? The aeroplanes were going to crash and the trains would colloid. That Show we are forced to think that one should not be dependent on these machine after all we are humans. We are here to command computers not them to order us.
(249 words)

This is an answer written by a candidate who achieved a Band 5 score. Here is the examiner's comment:
The candidate has attempted to organize some good arguments with valid examples and complex ideas. There is some relevant vocabulary (cloning) and synonyms avoid repetition (bad effects v hindrance, good effects v help). However, the arguments in paragraph 3 are not clear and the 'against' arguments are contained in the final paragraph, with no separate conclusion. There are frequent grammatical inaccuracies (science and technology progressed, Researchers like cloning, where will this computer would take us, that show we). This answer has also lost marks because it is too short (190 words).

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a car.
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer:
Nowadays, as roads are becoming more and more crowded, people are considering both the advantages and disadvantages of having a car before they buy one.The main advantage of the car is that it gives the freedom to travel when and where you want, without being limited to fixed routes and timetables. What is more, you can carry several passengers and as much luggage as you like, at no extra cost. In addition to this, you can travel in comfort in a car, with a seat to yourself and the possibility of comforts such as a music system and air conditioning.On the other hand, owning a car is very expensive. As well as the price of the car, the cost of tax, insurance, petrol and repairs must also be considered before buying. Moreover, the increase in traffic means that drivers are spending more and more time stuck in traffic jams. Perhaps the major disadvantage of cars in general is the huge damage that they do to human life and to the environment, and all motorists much accept that they are making a small contribution to this.To sum up, provided you have access to an efficient public transport system, then buying and running your own car could be considered an expensive luxury.
(213 words)

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of three of the following as media for communicating information. State which you consider to be the most effective.
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer:
In our daily life, we always communicate information through the media, such as television, radio, film, These media have different advantages and disadvantages for us. Now, I am going to compare the advantages and disadvantages of books, television and film.Books bring us different knowledge. It bases on what Book we read. A famous Chinese traditional verse which described books is a treasure. We can find a golden house in there. Moreover, when we want to read it, we can find it easily, such as bookstore, library. We can also learn a lot of words from books. And it can improve our reading and writing skills.However, books always are not attractive for children or youngster. It is because books are quite boring. A lot of words and less pictures inside the books, compare to television, television has pictures and sound, we don't have to read a lot of words in television. But some artist in television programme or film, bring a bad image to us. Then some children or youngers will imitate their behaviour. Some film also bring a wrong message to us, For example, they are always smoking in films. It seems that smoking is good and smart. It caused many youngers imitate them smoking.In conclusion, bookds, television and film have many advantages and disadvantages. I cannot write all in here. And we have choose the media carefully.
(231 words)
This is an answer written by a candidate who achieved a Band 4 score. Here is the examiner's comment:
This answer describes some relevant advantages and disadvantages of books, TV and films, although these are sometimes unclear or not sufficiently developed. The script loses marks, however, because it doesn't answer the question about `which medium is most effective' and also because it is under the minimum length (only 230 words).The writer has tried to organise ideas and uses paragraphing to structure the response. However, the message is confused at times and the answer is incomplete. Some ideas are linked appropriately, but there is a lot of repetition across sentences.The writer uses a limited range of language quite repetitively and there are only simple sentences. However, these are often quite accurate, although there are many examples of basic errors in grammar and punctuation.

Scientists and the news media are presenting ever more evidence of climate change. Governmnets cannot be expected to solve this problem. It is the responsibility of individuals to change their lifestyle to prevent further damage.What are your views?
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer:
Recently scientists worried about climate change have urged governments to introduce measures to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are seen as its main cause. Simoultaneouslty, politicians and environmentalists have urged individuals to make changes to their lifestyle. I shall argue that governments and individuals should take join responsibility for this problem.Firstly, industry accounts for a large proportion of the greenhouse gas emissions, and this can only be controlled by government action. Measures could be taken to discourage pollution, such as limiting or taxing the use of fossil fuels. Alternatively, subsidies could be offered to industries to clean up their production processes. If these ideas were adopted, I believe that businesses would regard pollution as a financial issue.Secondly, only discussion between governments can ensure that solutions are successful. The Kyoto agreement, for example, tried to reach global agreement on how to address the problem. Without such co-operating, it seems to me that efforts to reduce fuel consumption are unlikely to be effective.However, national and international policies will only secceed if individuals also change their lifestyle. For example, people could think more carefully about how they use energy in their homes. By using less electricity, installing energy-efficient light bulbs and electrical appliances, or investing in solar panels, individuals can make a real difference.In addition, I think individual attitudes to transport need to change. Instead of making short tips by car, people could choose to walk, cycle, or take a bus. Since cars are a major source of the problem, changing our behaviour in this area would have a major impact.In conclusion, I would maintain that only a combination of international agreement, national policies, and changes in individual behaviour will succeed in preventing further damage to the environment.
(291 words)

Children should never be educated at home by their parents. Do you agree or disagree?Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.
You should write at least 250 words.
model answer:
Nobody can say with confidence that children should be taught at home or at any children's institutions. There are many different children and every one demand of education suitable only for him.But for most of children the best way of learning the life is being in the children's institutions. Nobody would argue that contacts between children of the same age are very important for bringing your child up. Such a contact is very important for playing, entertaining and learning living with other people. The harmonious living with other people, to my mind, is the first task for any man. Lack of this harmony sets problems and troubles.The children need space to run and make noise, to jump and cry. Do you or your neighbours allow these actions for your child? If you live in town, it is difficult to find a safe place to play. Kindergartens give such a possibility. They give space, a lot of toys and constructions for physical exercises. So, if you have bad living conditions, the kindergarten is the best way for you. But if you have a large family with many children and enough space, you may keep your child at home. You should be sure that the child feels, dressed and comfortable. His brothers and sisters give him necessary contacts. It's noticed long ago that children in big families are much more easy-tempered and calm. They are located in more harmonic world than others.Sometimes differences in age put troubles in contacts between children in large families. Then it is better for child to be sent to the kindergarten (school). But if quarrels don't last for a long time, everything is all right. In general, quarrels develop ability to cooperate with people. They develop a personal initiative and force setting the balance. In such a way the child gets lessons of life. Addly, the quarrels often take place in kindergartens and schools and we shouldn't fear it.Side by side with quarrels parents often are afraid of colds which happen in kindergartens more frequently. Parents prefer keeping the child at home. But for a healthy child odd cold (if illness occurs, it goes its normal course) can't make big harm to the child. And if the child is adaptable to the conditions of public places earlier it would be better for him in future.In general, I am a follower of the theory of keeping children in adapted places such as good kindergartens. But keeping children in such a place can't replace family and home. Only together they make harmonic and beautiful union. (431 words)

Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than any experiences we may have in our life.Which do you consider to be the major influence?
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer:
Today the way we consider human psychology and mental development is heavily influenced by the genetic sciences. We now understand the importance of inherited characteristics more than over before. Yet we are still unable to decide whether an individual’s personality and development are more influenced by genetic factors (nature) or by the environment (nurture).Research, relating to identical twins, has highlighted how significant inherited characteristics can be for an individual's life. But whether these characteristics are able to develop within the personality of an individual surely depends on whether the circumstances allow such a development. It seems that the experiences we have in life are so unpredictable and so powerful, that they can boost or over-ride other influences, and there seems to be plenty of research findings to confirm this.My own view is that there is no one major influence in a person's life. Instead, the traits we inherit from our parents and the situation and experiences that we encounter in life are constantly interacting. It is the interaction of the two that shapes a person's personality and dictates how that personality develops. If this were not true, we would be able to predict the behavior and character of a person from the moment they were born.In conclusion, I do not think that either nature or nurture is the major influence on a person, but that both have powerful effects. How these factors interact is still unknown today and they remain largely unpredictable in a person’s life.
(249 words)

In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.
You should write at least 250 words.
model answer:
It is quite common these days for young people in many countries to have a break from studying after graduating from high school. This trend is not restricted to rich students who have the money to travel, but is also evident among poorer students who choose to work and become economically independent for a period of time.The reasons for this trend may involve the recognition that a young adult who passes directly from school to university is rather restricted in terms of general knowledge and experience of the world. By contrast, those who have spent some time earning a living or traveling to other places have a broader view of life and better personal resources to draw on. They tend to be more independent, which is a very important factor in academic study and research, as well as giving them an advantage in terms of coping with the challenges of student life.However, there are certainly dangers in taking time off at that important age. Young adults may end up never returning to their studies or finding it difficult to readapt to an academic environment. They may think that it is better to continue in a particular job, or to do something completely different from a university course. But overall, I think this is less likely today, when academic qualifications are essential for getting a reasonable career.My view is that young people should be encouraged to broaden their horizons. That is the best way for them to get a clear perspective of what they are hoping to do with their lives and why. Students with such a perspective are usually the most effective and motivated ones and taking a year off may be the best way to gain this.(291 words)
By punishing murderers with the death penalty, society is also guilt of committing murder. Therefore, life in prison is a better punishment for murderers.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer: (Disagree)
I strongly support the death penalty for murderers. In today's society, life is very violent. There are many mentally-ill people committing crimes and almost nothing will stop them. We have interviewed captured criminals who say, "I was going to kill him, but I knew that I could get the death penalty if I did. So I just left him there." Obviously, having the death penalty saves lives and that makes a positive difference to society.If a criminal does murder someone, and then gets the death penalty, that isn't society's fault. Everyone knows about the death penalty as a punishment for murder. So, the person who murders is really killing himself at the same time he is killing his victim. The murderer has made the choice to die.It is important to remember that the death penalty is used only for people who have committed very serious crimes. For example, a woman shot a police officer when she was trying to escape from jail. She was already a convicted criminal when she committed murder, and she deserves the death penalty.People need to accept responsibility for their actions. Punishing murderers with the death penalty is one way that society can help people to realize/realise the consequences of their decisions.
(209 words)

By punishing murderers with the death penalty, society is also guilt of committing murder. Therefore, life in prison is a better punishment for murderers.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer: (Agree)
"Do as I say, not as I do." This is what society tells us when it punishes murderers with the death penalty. Society tells us that murder is wrong, and in our legal system, murder is against the law. Yet we still see our society kill murderers, and thus we are committing murder ourselves. For this reason, the death penalty should end, and instead murderers should be punished with life in prison.Society needs to show a positive model of how our lives should be and how people should act. We should always strive to improve our situation, to be at peace and in harmony with others. However, when we kill murderers, we are not working to improve our society. Instead, we are stooping to the criminals' level.It makes me think about the revenge that came when playing games with my brothers. When we were kids/children, my brother would take my toys, so I would hit him and take my toys back. Then he would hit me harder and take the toys again. Thinking of the death penalty, I imagine a murderer kills someone. Society takes revenge by killing the murderer. This leaves behind the murderer's family and friends, who have tremendous anger inside of them, which they may release onto society. The cycle of killing goes on and on.Society should not condemn people who are taking the same action that society is taking. Society tells us not to kill, and yet society kills when it exercises the death penalty. Because of this contradiction, we should end the death penalty and instead punish murderers by sentencing them to life in prison.
(273 words)

Some people think that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged. Others believe that children who are taugh to co-operate rather than compete become more useful adults.Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer:
Nowadays, purpose of education being changed in Korea. There are some People who think that competition in children should be made, also others believe that children who are taught to co-operate as well as become more usefwl adults. There are advantages and disadvantages for both of the arguments.To begin with, what is good if a sense of competition m children is made? They could develope themselves more and more as they learn and study a lot to win from the competitbn. To prove this, in Korea, it is popular - even common now - to have a tutor who come to student's house to teach extra pieces of study with paying a lot of money. They learn faster than what they learn at school. Furthermore, during the vacations, students study abroad to learn English for a month instead of revise school work. If they have experiments such as study abroad, it is one of the greatest plus point to go to the famous well-known high-school. Moreover, there are four big school exam and two national examinations to test students' level of studies. Generally, only the highest 40% can go to the good quatrty highschools and colleges. Children learn as much as they can, to wim the competition to obtain good quality schools.On the other hand, as they are busy to enter the schools and study individually with their own tutors, there are problems. They become selfish. They become careless and don't help others alot if it is about studies. There will be no co-operations for them. Then, why are there companies for many people to work in? Each of them are clever, however, there are weak parts and strong parts for each person. To co-operate is to improve this part. People talk and listen to what others thmking of and learn. That could also be a great opportunity to learn instead of learning alone with one teacher.In conclusion, I strongly agree with that children should be taught to co-operate rather than compete. Nobody is perfect. People learn together, work together to develop each other. Therefore, I want parents and teachers to educate children concentrating on co-operation, not compete and ranking them.
(365 words)

Families who do not send their children to government-financed schools should not be required to pay taxes that support universal education.
You should write at least 250 words.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
model answer: (Disagree)
Families who do not send their children to public school should be required to pay taxes that support public education.Every child in my country is required to attend school and every child is welcome to enroll at his/her local public school. Some families choose to send their children to other schools, and it is their prerogative to do so. However, the public schools are used by the majority of our children and must remain open for everyone. For example, my uncle sent his two children to a private academy for primary school. Then he lost a huge amount of money through some poor investments and he could no longer afford the private school's tuition. The children easily transferred to their local public school and liked it even more than their academy. The public schools supported their family when they had no money to educate their children.Because the public schools educate so many citizens, everyone in my country-whether a parent or not-should pay taxes to support our educational system. We all benefit from the education that students receive in public school. Our future doctors, fire fighters, and teacherspeople whom we rely on everyday-are educated in local public schools. When a person is in trouble, it's reassuring to know that those who will help you-such as fire fighters-know what they're doing because they received good training in school and later. Providing an excellent education in the public school system is vital to the strength of our community and our country.Our government must offer the best education available, but it can only do so with the financial assistance of all its citizens. Therefore, everyone-including families who do not send their children to public school-should support public education by paying taxes.
(290 words)

As computers are being used more and more in education, there will be soon no role for teachers in the classroom.

There have been immense advances in technology in most aspects of peoples lives, especially in the field of education. Nowadays, an increasing number of students rely on computers for research and to produce a perfect paper for school purposes. Others have decided to leave the original way of learning and to get knowledge through online schools. These changes in the learning process have brought a special concern regarding the possible decrease of importance of teachers in the classroom.

Some people believe the role of teachers started to fade because computers have been helping some students to progress in their studies quicker than when compared with an original classroom. For example, in the same classroom, students have different intellectual capacities, thus some would be tied to a slow advance in their studies because of others? incapacity of understanding. In this way, pupils could progress in their acquisition of knowledge at their own pace using computers instead of learning from teachers.

However, the presence of a teacher is essential for students because the human contact influences them in positive ways. Firstly, students realize that they are not dealing with a machine but with a human being who deserves attention and respect. They also learn the importance of studying in group and respect other students, which helps them to improve their social skills.

Moreover, teachers are required in the learning process because they acknowledge some student?s deficiencies and help them to solve their problems by repeating the same explanation, giving extra exercises or even suggesting a private tutor. Hence, students can have a bigger chance not to fail in a subject.

In conclusion, the role for teachers in the learning process is still very important and it will continue to be in the future because no machine can replace the human interaction and its consequences.

This is a great essay. Looks like Band 8 to me. No improvements are necessary, Keep up the good job!

You stayed at your friends? house when you participated in a business seminar in Australia. You left a file with important documents in your room.
Task: Write a letter to your friend, describing the file and ask him/her to return it to you by post.

My dearest Philip,

I am sorry I am writing only now. Firstly, I would like to thank you for all the attention and support you gave me while I was in Sydney. Things like that are priceless and all I can give you is my gratitude. I expect you and Ingrid to come to Rio soon, so that I try to somehow propiciate equaly joyful moments as those you propiciated to me. I am writing also, because of the fact that I forgot a very important document in the room I used in your house.

This document is a signed contract and was the most important reason of my trip to Australia, after the business seminar I attended. You certaintly can wonder how desperate I have been in the last days looking for this document midst my luggage. I could not find it anywhere and am sure I left it in your house.

Please let me know if you find it, and post it for express delivery as soon as possible. I will pay for the expense; just let me know what is your bank, account and branch numbers.

With best wishes,

Improvements in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the governments of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas.

Today?s world has been divided into developing and industrialised countrieswhich the main difference between them is the amount of money that governments apply in important sectors such as education, health and commerce. Most of the poorer nations are buried in debts as a result of their unbalanced finances which are reflect in a failed health care, an unstructured education system and a weak international trade. This vicious cycle will continue indefinitely unless wealthier nations show interest in minimizing the worldwide economic differences, as well as taking more responsibility for assisting unfortunate countries.

Most of the African countries live in sub-human conditions because of the extreme poverty, upheaval, hunger, disease, unemployment, lack of education and both inexperienced and corrupt administrations. The devastating consequences of the AIDS epidemic in those countries could improve if the infected populations receive free drugs to control the disease, have access to health professionals and get information on how to prevent its spread. But this can only be achieved through international help programs in which leaders of the world?s richest countries donate medicine and also send doctors and nurses to treat and educate those in need.

Moreover, most of the poor countries rely on selling agricultural products and raw material to rich nations and buying industrialized products from them resulting in a huge financial deficit. Consequently,
they borrow a significant amount of money from the World Bank to try to improve their broken economies, but sometimes the money disappears with no significant changes and they cannot even pay the interest to the bank. Regarding this issue, last year the G8, which is comprised of leaders of the eight richest nations, decided to forgive billions of dollars worth of debt owed by the world?s poorest nations. In addition, they developed adequate loan programs to financially assist those countries.

In conclusion, leaders of the industrialised countries play an indispensable role in assisting developing nations deal with essential areas such as health, education and trade. Also, their aid is the key to breaking the vicious cycle, which results in poverty and death.

This is an amazing essay, looks like Band 8 to me, nothing to improve here.

Popular events like the football World Cup and other international sporting occasions are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way.

Every four years, the whole world stops to watch international sporting events such as the Olympics and the Football World Cup in which athletes show their best performance to make their country proud of them. These sporting occasions have proved to be helpful in easing international tensions in difficult times when powerful leaders were trying to control the world?s economy and other governments were fighting over land.

The Olympic Games are one of the best examples which prove how sporting events can bring nations together, at least temporarily. From ancient History, when Greeks and Romans would interrupt battles to participate in the games, to the more recent international disputes, when athletes from Palestine and Israel would forget their differences, compete pacifically and even embrace each other after an event. Moreover, these popular events have called the world?s attention to the terrible consequences of wars; thus some leaders have tried to accept agreements to end their dispute and live peacefully.

Similarly, international sporting events show benefits in some developing countries which live in a daily internal civil war. For example, Brazil has a high rate of unemployment, lack of education, hunger, crime, poverty and corruption which leads to an immense embarrassment of being Brazilian and a low self-esteem. However, when the Football World Cup starts, the Brazilian squad, which is considered the best team in the world, provokes an amazing feeling of pride in their country. Most people seem to forget all their problems and even the criminal activity decreases. They paint roads with the national colors, use wear the Brazilian team shirt and buy national flags. Moreover, the competition brings families and neighbors together and even rival gangs watch the games and celebrate peacefully.

In conclusion, popular sporting events play an important role in decreasing international tensions and liberating patriotic feelings as History has shown.

This is a great essay, the ideas, language, structure of paragraphs and sentences, grammar show high level of English. In my opinion it is Band 8. Keep up the good work.

You successfully passed a job interview. You are expected to start on November 15, but you will not be available on that date. Task: Write a letter to your new boss, explaining your situation, expressing your concern and suggesting solution.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am Leonardo Gomes and I have recently passed a job interview for the Software Engineer position at the Software Infrastructure group. I was expected to start on November 15, as agreed, and am writing because unfortunately I will not be able to present myself on that date.

During the interview I estimated fifteen days as the amount of time needed for me to finish my activities at my current job and start at your company, but due to fact that I got sick for the last whole week and was not able to work, I could not finish my tasks and will need another week to do so. If necessary, I can give you a copy of a letter from my doctor informing that I had to stay at home and under medical care during that week.

I really apologize for the inconvenience and expect it not to affect our relationship. Should I present any other form of proof or talk to someone else at the company, please let me know.

Faithfully yours,

Model essays.

These essays and paragraphs use topic sentences and other features of Western academic writing. They are useful models for international students who are planning to take the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System), or study in a university in the USA, the UK, Australia or New Zealand. There are task 1 and task 2 style examples.

To do some exercises on these texts click here.

1. Argumentative paragraph about cars.

Private cars are becoming a very controversial issue these days but they are important in our modern lives for two main reasons, poor public transport and business. Many people in the world live in towns, villages and even cities that do not have good buses or trains. Without cars these people could not travel to work, to the shops or do many other important things. Also, in many towns and cities buses stop before midnight but in today's busy world people are busy twenty four hours a day. The next point is that cars help the economy in two ways. Firstly, the car industry gives many people in the world jobs and helps countries to develop. Secondly, many people today need cars in their work. Doctors need to visit patients, salespeople need to visit customers and computer technicians need to visit businesses. In conclusion, although cars can cause problems it is impossible to live without them in modern life.

The chart shows the fluctuations in the numbers of international students attending the Sydney International Language Centre in 2001.

At the start of the year numbers were quite high at 170, this was because there were a large number of students in University Preparation (UP) before the March intake. The student population remained the same until the end of February when 40 graduated from ELI and took up their offers in Bachelors and Masters courses. In both April and May, 15 extra students enrolled into ELI courses. There was a sharp increase in June when 20 new students entered UP courses. In July there was only an increase of five students as the Winter course intake was at the end of July and this was too late for students who were entering university in the second semester. In comparison to the first semester, there was a sharp drop in numbers as 50 students left, leaving only 135 students in ELI for August. From here until the end of the year there was a steady rise in student numbers to a peak of 180 in December.

Overall it shows steady growth when compared to the 2000 enrolments.

2. Argumentative essay about food

A recent theme in the popular media has been the decline in the quality and nutritional value of the food that we buy. Newspapers in particular warn us of the problems associated with convenience and take away food, whilst commenting on the spread of advertising aimed at children. The government and manufacturers are frequently cited as the sole cause of these problems. Although there are undoubtedly problems associated with current eating habits it can be seen that the blame rests mainly with the consumer because of the law of supply and demand. In short, modern shoppers value price and convenience over nutritional quality.

The most basic law of the market shows us that if a consumer does not need or desire a particular product, they will not buy it. When the sales of particular products are examined it is possible to see that sales of convenience foods are always increasing, whilst sales of basic ingredients are generally decreasing. People buy ready prepared food because it fits into the busy lives that they have chosen to live, where an extra foreign holiday or a new car has become more important than the health and welfare of families. This desire for the trappings of modern life also has other effects on shopping habits. Many families would prefer to have an up to date computer than to buy nutritional, healthy organic food. To have both is only possible for the affluent due to the high cost of organic food in developed nations.

To sum up it can be seen that convenience food has a double economic advantage. It is cheaper to buy in the first instance, and also allows parents to spend more time earning money at work. In the past people ate low quality food because they were poor, but now they do it so they can afford a certain lifestyle and that is not the fault of the manufacturers.

3. An essay comparing and contrasting University education in the USA and Australia

The Western style of education has gained popularity over the last decade. Many foreign students come to countries like Australia and the USA to study at university and improve their employment prospects. In this essay I will briefly compare and contrast these two countries in terms of their appeal to foreign students.

There are many similarities between the two countries. Firstly they both have a very multicultural population so it is possible to enjoy food from your own country when homesickness arises. Also, as they are both large countries it is possible to find an institution in an area with a climate that suits you. Another similarity is that their tertiary institutions have a reputation of quality and excellence in academia.

On the other hand there are some appreciable differences. The main one is that education in the USA is much more expensive than in Australia. However, many students think that it is worth paying the extra money as some American universities have a world-wide reputation. Furthermore, as the USA has a much larger population there are a wider range of institutions to choose from and naturally, a wider range of courses.

To sum up, America offers more choice and a more acknowledged reputation, but at a higher cost. Australia offers similar quality but is cheaper if you can find the course that you want.

4. Argumentative essay on computer games

Computer games have been popular for decades now and many households have at least one. However it can be seen that playing these games causes social, educational and personal problems of several kinds both to youngsters and society.

Firstly, youngsters who spend a great deal of time in front of a monitor are not studying, playing sport, socialising or learning about life. The skills which they need in order to interact with others and succeed in the real world are not being nurtured. Moreover, studies have shown that this generation of young males is actually growing less than previous generations due to lack of exercise. Following from this, they are more likely to be overweight and less healthy, so more prone to diseases such as diabetes.

In addition, the games themselves are often quite violent and dangerously sexist. For example, there are games which show graphic fighting scenes where the most brutal is most applauded. Women are shown as either sexy, but weak, or as improbable amazons. Violence against women is often part of these games which encourages misogynistic behaviour. The language tends to be violent and sexist which further adds to the problems of the lack of interaction and social skills.

It is easy to imagine the effects of such games on young minds. If we wish children to grow up to become well-adjusted members of society, these games should be more tightly controlled.

5. A Cause and Effect Essay on Australian Private Schools

European history in Australia is very short and as a result it can be interesting to look into the development of its educational system in relation to similar societies. When compared to the USA and Britain, the most striking aspect of Australian education is the incredibly high proportion of private schools and the number of students attending them. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (August 1996) show that 29.3 percent of the school population attends privately run institutions compared to approximately 10 percent in the UK and USA.

As this strange situation has evolved over the past 150 years it is relatively easy to trace the most important causes. Australia was primarily settled by the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh who all followed different churches of Christianity. They argued as to which was to be taught in schools which led to the adoption of government schools with no religious affiliations. This action led to the removal of funding to church schools which in turn meant that Catholic schools had to find alternative funding and also work harder to attract students. Parents had to pay for their choice of school and this set a precedent. Now more and more immigrants of diverse cultures and religions come to Australia and decide to set up schools which will protect their children's identities. As Australian society has diversified it has become advantageous for politicians to improve their popularity with powerful groups by supporting these schools financially, improving their quality and appeal to prospective students.

Unfortunately this seems to have created a vicious circle as public schools are now receiving less from the government, so have trouble providing an adequate service. This then makes the private, fee-paying schools more popular with parents, which allows politicians to justify giving more financial support to them. The future of good quality public education therefore seems in doubt.

6. Descriptive paragraph about English

English is widely accepted as being the pre-eminent global language. As well as the countries that have it as their mother tongue there are others where it is an official second language and still more where it is taught as a compulsory language in schools. When you go further to consider the use of the language in media and technology the strength of it is completely undeniable. This fact, and the reasons for it, makes the question of when, how, and why to present culture to English students especially complicated.

Percentage of consumer goods in UK homes

The table shows the percentage of household consumer durables sold in the UK from 1972 to 1983. It can be divided into three groups.

Firstly, a number of appliances were in a high percentage of homes for the entire period. These included TVs, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and washing machines. TV ownership was the highest, growing from 93% to 98% over the eleven-year period, while washing machine ownership, the lowest of this group, increased from 66% to 80%.

The second group included central heating and the telephone and these showed the most dramatic rise with increases of 27% for central heating and 35% for telephones. At the beginning of the period these appliances had been present in 37% and 42% of homes respectively.

The final group shows appliances that were only introduced onto the market during the period shown. The video recorder was quickly accepted into households, achieving 18% ownership by 1983. The dishwasher had less impact, with its ownership slowly rising from 3% to 5% between 1978 and 1983.

In all it shows that British households enjoyed an ever-increasing ownership of consumer durables from 1972 to 1983.