Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 1)

The two maps show the anticipated changes in a school over a 20 year time span to accommodate an increase in student numbers by 400.

Initially, in 2004 the school consisted of a single car park near the main entrance to the school and two school buildings separated by a path. Following the path east would lead a student to the sports field. The remaining area was made up of greenery.

2024 sees the sports field being moved south in order for an additional school building to be erected. Building 1 and 2 are to be connected and the path no longer leads to the main entrance but rather becomes shorter. A road will be built from the main entrance, behind building 2 and lead to Car Park 2. This construction means that the wooded area will be reduced somewhat.

In an effort to expand the school due to more students, an additional car park and building are expected to be built as well as an adjoining road. This expansion will reduce the size of the woods to the south and north east of the buildings.

Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2

Sunday, 26 January 2014

General Training Writing – Model Answer (Task 2)

Some people think that wild animals should not be kept in zoos. Others believe there are good reasons for having zoos. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many big cities have zoos which are an added attraction for visitors. Zoos generate income for a country and provide jobs to zoo keepers and other staff members. Zoos are also beneficial to animals. Animals that are under threat of extinction in the wild such as pandas, tigers and black rhinos can survive and be well looked after by zoo keepers. If they had been left in their natural habitat these animals may have been killed by poachers or died out because of human activities. Zoos provide an opportunity to visitors to view animals that they wouldn’t have been able to see and to learn some useful facts about them.

On the other hand, some people don’t support keeping wild animals in zoos as they believe this is cruel. They think that these animals should be free in their natural environment and not locked up in confined areas. Animals in zoos are kept in cages in unnatural conditions where they forget how to hunt, are subjected to noisy visitors, lack exercise, are fed at regular intervals and have humans taking photos of them at close proximity during the day. This is bound to cause stress to the animals.

Rather than having zoos, it would be better to have large safari parks where animals can live freely in the wild and at the same time be protected as well as offering visitors an opportunity to see them. Zoos limit wild animals and it is selfish for humans to keep them in cages just to make money and to entertain children.

Question taken from official IELTS Practice Materials 2

General Training Writing – Model Answer (Task 1)

You have heard about plans to build new apartments in a public park near your home. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. In your letter.
  • Explain how you learnt about these plans
  • Say what you think of the park
  • Give your opinion on the plans
Dear Sir or Madam,

I recently heard that private contractors intend to erect a new block of apartments in Amber public park which is located directly opposite my house. This information came to my knowledge as my husband is an architect and he was approached to undertake this task.

I have been living near Amber park for 50 years and I have fond memories of it. Both my children and grandchildren have spent endless hours in the park. This beautiful park is a great place to spend the weekend with your family. You can enjoy a peaceful picnic by the lake with the ducks.

As you can imagine I was devastated to hear about these construction plans. The local residents enjoy the greenery the park provides as well as the exercising opportunities. It would be a shame to destroy this natural environment in order to add to the concrete jungle.

I hope you publish this letter so we can prevent the plans being carried out.

Yours faithfully,

Diana Nyad

Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Even though doctors all over the world agree that fast food is bad for people's health more and more people are eating it. Why are more people eating fast food? What can be done about this problem?

Fast food is easily available. It can be found at every street corner and its availability and convenience makes it attractive to consumers. Fast food is cheap and is ready instantly so those on a budget and those in a hurry will choose this food. Due to our competitive, busy and fast-paced lifestyle people who work long hours don’t have time to shop healthy ingredients and spend time preparing a well -balanced meal. Instead it has become extremely easy to drop into a fast-food outlet for a ready meal.

Let us not forget that fast food is high in sugar, fat, salt, calories and this makes it tasty. You get an instant buzz from eating it and want to continue eating it even though you are aware of the health risks.

It is up to each individual to be responsible for their own diet and health. They should try as much as possible to make positive life choices and improve their well-being. The government can impose higher taxes on fast food outlets to protect people’s health and discourage them by making this type of food expensive. At the same time they should subsidize fresh vegetables and fruit in order to lower the price and make these products attractive to consumers and affordable.

Award winning chefs like Jamie Oliver have also helped greatly in promoting simple, fast, cheap and healthy cooking option for ordinary people who don’t have much time to prepare a meal for their family. Ultimately, if people stopped consuming fast food these eateries would not exist anymore.

Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Some people think that strict punishments for driving offences are the key to reducing traffic accidents. Others, however, believe that other measures would be more effective in improving road safety. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. 

Traffic accidents are caused by speeding, drinking and driving, not following road rules, not focusing on driving etc and often result in the loss of lives. Punishments vary from country to country and include imprisonment, taking away a person’s license for some time, a fine, removing points from a driving license etc.

If a likely accident is in someone’s control such as speeding or drinking and driving, knowledge of a severe punishment will make a driver think twice before committing a driving offence. Many innocent people die in traffic accidents because of irresponsible drivers and strict punishments will hold drivers responsible for their actions. Nobody wants to pay an expensive fine or spend time in prison, so fear of punishment might be effective.

Many road accidents happen by chance and so are called “accidents”. For this reason it would be a good idea to look at other options to improve road safety. Safety campaigns could be promoted in the media to inform the public on how they can avoid accidents. Secondly, authorities should make it more difficult for people to get their driving license in the first place so that when they do start driving, drivers are confident, know the road rules well and are less likely to take risks on the road.

Unfortunately I believe people learn the hard way and the fear of knowing a high price will be paid for irresponsible behavior will make drivers think twice when they put the key into the ignition. Road safety affects us all and tough measures need to be in place.

Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

It is important to ensure children with a wide range of abilities and from a variety of social backgrounds mix with each other at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Multiculturalism, mixed ability classes and students from varied socio-economic backgrounds are a modern day reality at schools currently. This provides a challenge for teachers who try to bring together all these different elements and students who try to fit into this environment.

Schools are a miniature model of the adult world. Mingling with students with mixed abilities and backgrounds will prepare children for the world of work. This will teach them that everyone is different and unique with their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Children will learn to be more accepting of others and will benefit from what they learn from each other. Those from a disadvantaged background or children with learning difficulties will be able to benefit from the knowledge they gain from their classmates. This will improve their confidence and self-respect.

This ideal way of co-existing at schools might be problematic in reality. Children are known to be cruel and are likely to tease or bully others who are less fortunate than them. What is more, children may form groups and hang out with friends that have a similar background as them since they will feel more comfortable this way. If students socialize only with others in the same situation as them, this defeats the point of including variety in schools.

Children will choose their friends for their character and common interests. However, it would be a good idea to encourage children to mix with others as it makes them more open-minded, respectful and knowledgeable.

Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In many countries insufficient respect is shown to older people. What do you think may be the reason for this? What problems might this cause in society?

Adults and the elderly are thought to have life experiences, wisdom and knowledge and it is for this reason that they deserve the respect of the younger generation. This is not always the case today where we can witness scenes of disrespect towards older people in the form of rudeness.

Firstly, the family unit has changed. Both parents work and nobody has time to teach children moral values such as respect, politeness, gratitude and kindness. Often children are brought up by caregivers who are not members of their family. If parents do not hold these caregivers in high esteem, children are likely to follow their parent’s example. Secondly, consumerism, competitiveness and selfishness are what younger people value, while relationships with the elderly take a back seat. It is rare to see a youngster giving up their seat on public transport to allow a pensioner to sit or to help them carry their bags.

This disrespectful attitude will produce an alienated society and marginalise the elderly. Being rude will affect all areas of life and personal relationships. At the workplace, workers will not behave professionally and might be rude to their employers. Similarly, in classrooms students will misbehave and have problems with discipline. Lastly, older people may feel upset and disadvantaged as they do not receive the respect that comes with old age, maturity and experience.

In many Asian countries great respect is given to the elderly, which means they have strong family ties and relationships based on good values. This benefits all members of society and leads to healthy morals.

Question taken from Official IELTS Practice Materials 2