In some countries young people have little leisure time and are under a lot of pressure to work hard on their studies. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?
It seems that people’s priorities have changed and youngsters spend most of their time trying to get good grades instead of focusing on their hobbies. In some countries such as Japan and China, students are under a great deal of pressure to perform well academically.
Firstly, parents have high expectations of their children and so in order to satisfy their parent’s wishes, students study hard at school. Similarly, the school programme has become fuller, with longer teaching hours, more compulsory subjects, more homework and tests than ever before. Students are assessed by tests and coursework and getting favourable marks involves plenty of effort. Finally, competition amongst students is encouraged in the classroom. Places at university are limited and only the best students will be able to get a position.
It is unhealthy for young people to give up their leisure time in order to study. Attitudes towards education need to be changed. The workload of students can be reduced and other ways of evaluating their work could be promoted, for example, presentations and class participation. Likewise if students are given less homework and tests they will have more free time to do what they enjoy most.
To conclude, students who spend too much time studying are likely to regret the fact that they didn’t enjoy their youth as much as they could have. Parents, teachers and schools should re-evaluate the importance of leisure time for children. They should also not push them so hard.
Question taken from IELTS FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES: 6 PRACTICE TESTS p. 90