Task 2: Sport in school

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Sport should be a compulsory subject throughout the school years. To what extent 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.

*****

Few people would dispute the importance of physical activity in childhood. It has therefore been suggested that physical education (PE) classes ought to be mandatory throughout the school years. Personally, I completely agree with this argument.

First of all, the inclusion of PE in the core curriculum would have significant health benefits. When children are engaged in physical activity, there is no doubt that they are fitter and healthier. These active habits can be carried into adulthood too, reducing their chances of obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. In other words, the impact can be long-lasting. If PE were only an optional elective, many students would opt out, missing out on these advantages and may suffer dire consequences in the future.

In addition to the impact on health, compulsory PE can have other benefits as well. In terms of academic development, it has been proven that quality PE lessons can improve literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and strategic thinking. Participation in sports can also contribute to the development of social skills such as teamwork, cooperation and even leadership. When playing basketball, for instance, children are not just running and throwing but also communicating, sharing and encouraging. Such qualities can be of great value in future job opportunities and positions of responsibility.

In conclusion, it is clear that physical education in school is not only vital to long-term physical health but can also play a critical role in academic and social skill development. It should therefore be included in every school syllabus from prep to year 12.

(258 words | band 9)

Written by a Bayside IELTS expert, Melbourne

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Task 2: Health

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

 

Despite huge improvements in healthcare, the overall standard of physical health in many developed countries is now falling. What could be the reasons for this trend, and what can be done to reverse it?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

*****

In recent years, even though healthcare systems in the developed world have advanced dramatically, there has been a steady decline in individuals’ health and fitness. In this essay, I will examine the causes of this and suggest some ways to reverse the trend.

Without a doubt, the main factor driving the drop in standards of health is lifestyle. First of all, the amount of food we eat has changed significantly in recent years, becoming much higher in fat, salt and sugar. Not only are we eating less nutritious food, but we are eating far too much of it. Portion sizes, particularly in countries such as Australia and the USA have virtually tripled in recent decades. All of this consumption can result in obesity, heart disease and other chronic ailments. In addition to diet, people in the developed world tend to have sedentary lifestyles. In other words, they spend too much time on the computer, in the car or on the couch instead of walking and running in their daily lives. This lack of activity also has dire consequences for health.

There are, however, some simple ways to counter this trend. The key is to start early and educate children from a young age to be aware of nutrition and to value sport and activity. This may mean including physical education or nutrition as compulsory school subjects. In addition to these interventions, governments too can help by subsidising gym memberships or providing more free community spaces for exercise. Workplaces can play a role as well by providing fitness classes or cooking lessons to staff. Ultimately, however, the individuals themselves need to take responsibility for their own wellbeing.

In conclusion, although the rise in health problems may seem like a daunting challenge, the solutions are achievable and, indeed, vital, if people wish to live long and productive lives.

(306 words | Band 9)

Written by a Bayside IELTS expert, Melbourne

 

Task 2: Animals

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

With deforestation, urban development and illegal hunting, many animal species are becoming endangered and some are even facing extinction.

Do you think it is important to protect animals? What can be done to deal with this problem?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

*****

Many species are on the verge of extinction as a result of habitat destruction, poaching and population growth. In my view, it is vital to work towards the preservation of all species and there are a number of ways to do this.

Without doubt, animal conservation must be a global priority. Humans are just one part of a delicately balanced ecosystem so when one species is lost, the knock-on effect can be catastrophic. This is true regardless of the size and distribution of a species. Take bees as an example. Although they may be considered simply an annoyance to ordinary people, in fact they play a vital role in pollination and, therefore, food supply. Without them, our entire agricultural system, upon which we rely so heavily, would collapse. Thus, it is vital for government, scientists, conservationists and the general public to work on the prevention of extinction.

There are several ways to protect animals. The most effective one is habitat preservation. Indeed, this is essential for a species’ long-term viability. To protect wilderness areas and habitat, urban sprawl must be curbed and deforestation limited to a smaller, sustainable scale. This may mean increasing the density of urban areas by building up, rather than out. Another option is to crack down on illegal hunters through heavy penalties and greater surveillance. Such initiatives are already having an impact on threatened tiger populations in Sumatra. Lastly, more research and education about breeding up captive populations and sharing such knowledge globally could also be effective.

In conclusion, although the situation for many animals is dire, with cooperation and creative thinking, their future may not be so bleak.

(273 words | Band 9)

Written by a Bayside IELTS expert

Task 2: Celebrities

Many people believe that media coverage of celebrities is having a negative effect on children. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

 *****

Quick essay plan: 

Introduction: 1. Background: celeb news is everywhere. 2. Reword the question. 3. My opinion: I totally agree.

Body 1: The amount of celebrity news has a negative effect on children + How/Why + examples

Body 2: The content of the celeb news also has a negative effect + How/Why + examples

Conclusion: Celeb news is bad and children need better inspiration

*****

In our modern world, celebrity news is ubiquitous, bombarding us 24/7.  Many feel that this constant stream of star gossip is having a detrimental effect on youngsters. Personally, I completely agree that not only is the quantity of such ‘news’ troubling, but also the content sends the wrong message to children.

There can be no doubt that the overwhelming amount of celebrity news in the media these days sends a powerful and worrying message to young people. When, despite global crises or tragedies, Kim Kardashian’s latest selfie is headline news, it suggests to children that celebrities and their glamorous lives are the most important things in the world. This, in turn, implies that fame ought to be the ultimate goal in everyone’s life. Such a message undermines the importance of education, of striving to achieve, and of pursuing a career in a field other than show business. Rather than being swamped by images of actors and singers, young people should be surrounded by stories of compassion, leadership and inspiration.

In addition to the sheer volume of celeb news, there is also the actual content to consider. Rarely do we see stars celebrated in the media for their humanitarian work or acts of generosity. Instead, the media reports on Britney’s weight gain or loss, Beckham’s new hairstyle, or Angelina’s new shoes. This focus on superficiality reinforces the idea that life is all about looking good and having an expensive wardrobe. For young people, this message can lead to serious body image issues including anorexia and bulimia, as well as an unrealistic view of the world and of success.

In conclusion, the media is saturated with the minutiae of celebrities’ lives and this is having a negative impact on the way young people see themselves and the world. It is therefore incumbent on parents and educators to steer young people away from such nonsense and towards more important stories that may inspire and motivate them to achieve something beyond simply fame.

(329 words | band 9)

Written by a Bayside IELTS expert

 

 

Task 2: Crime (re-offending)

 

You should spend around 40 minutes on this task. Write at least 250 words

Many criminals re-offend after they have been punished. Why do some people continue to commit crimes after they have been punished, and what measures can be taken to tackle this problem?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words

*****

Before writing this essay, I read this article from The Guardian. It gave me lots of good ideas and some nice vocabulary chunks too.

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Crime is a pervasive problem in most countries around the world. Despite penalties such as incarceration and fines, many criminals are likely to re-offend. In this essay, I will outline three main reasons for this and suggest some ways to minimise the problem.

Criminals commit offences after punishment for several reasons. Firstly, their background plays a major role. For instance, if a person comes from a criminal family, or has friends involved in drugs and burglaries, it can be difficult for them to escape this world. In addition to this social factor, substance abuse can also increase the likelihood of returning to crime. Indeed, the majority of crime stems from drug and alcohol addiction. Finally, being an ex-convict often means being stigmatised and excluded from society. This ostracism may thus limit their ability to find work, housing and, essentially, to rebuild their lives. Without any opportunities, the offender may revert to a life of crime.

Despite the seriousness of the recidivism problem, there are a number of possible ways to remedy the situation. The key factor is the treatment of the underlying issues. In many cases, this may mean rehabilitation for drug or alcohol dependence, either in prison or in the community.  In other cases, education programs or training could be useful. These practical skills and qualifications can enhance employability, which would, in turn, dramatically reduce the risk of re-offending. To complement this, work placements or job-hunting assistance would also help to improve former criminals’ prospects.

In conclusion, although re-offending can be a vicious cycle, driven by background and social problems, it can be reduced by effective intervention initiatives and greater support in the community.

(275 words | band 9)

written by a Bayside IELTS expert

 

Task 2: Childhood obesity

Writing task 2

Childhood obesity is becoming a serious problem in many countries. Explain the main causes and effects of this problem, and suggest some possible solutions.

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

*****

Around the world, rates of childhood obesity are soaring. In this essay, I will examine the reasons behind this trend, the consequences, and propose some actions to tackle the issue.

There are two main causes of weight problems among children. The first one is poor diet. Indeed, youngsters today consume vast quantities of fat, sugar and salt in fast food and soft drinks. Excessive consumption of such products inevitably leads to weight gain. The other major factor is sedentary lifestyles. Modern children tend to spend the majority of their day sitting in front of the tv or computer, which means they cannot burn all the calories they have eaten.

The effects of childhood obesity can be long-term and chronic. In terms of physical health, children who are overweight are much more likely to suffer from serious illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This can mean prolonged treatment and even premature death. There are also psychological impacts as obese children tend to be discriminated against or bullied. This mental trauma can affect the rest of their lives.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, there are a number of ways to tackle childhood obesity. Schools have a major role to play in promoting sport and nutrition programs to develop healthy habits among children and teenagers. They should make physical education compulsory and, if possible, provide nutritious food to students as well. Also, the government, politicians and celebrities should assist by supporting these programs or by funding sports facilities, for instance. Lastly, parents must accept responsibility for their children’s diet and activity.

In conclusion, although childhood obesity is a serious problem currently, if authorities and families work together, it can be managed.

(280 words, band 9)

written by a Bayside IELTS expert

Task 2: City Problems/Solutions

More and more people are migrating to cities in search of a better life, but city life can be extremely difficult. Explain some of the difficulties of living in a city. How can these problems be tackled?

Love cities or loathe them, urban populations are booming like never before, which is leading to serious problems among city dwellers, particularly in terms of cost of living and transportation. In this essay, I will examine these issues and propose some measures that can be taken to overcome them.

Urbanites are facing two major challenges in their daily lives. The first is the soaring cost of living. Young people, for instance, are priced out of the housing market, meaning they cannot afford basic shelter and may be forced into slums or shanty towns. The price of public transport, food and entertainment is also extortionate, putting relentless pressure on workers to earn more. The difficulty of getting from A to B is the other main issue. Not only is the daily commute slow, stressful and often dangerous, but the number of private vehicles on the roads means higher emissions and worsening air quality. This can have dire consequences for urban dwellers’ health.

As people continue to be enticed into the city by the lure of opportunity, steps must be taken to manage these problems. The most obvious solution involves investment by the government. If the state provided better welfare and access to affordable housing, fewer people would be in crisis or facing homelessness. The other longer-term solution could be to encourage the relocation of businesses, industry and individuals outside the city. With careful town planning and adequate funding of infrastructure and public services, regional hubs could offer all the convenience of large cities without the prohibitive prices and pressure. Such is the case in towns like Bendigo and Ballarat outside Melbourne, both thriving mini-cities these days.

In conclusion, urbanisation is the defining phenomenon of this time but it comes at a high price. In order to deal with issues of poverty, overcrowding and pollution, action must be taken without delay.

(309 words, band 9)

Written by a Bayside IELTS expert