Model Answer - Ielts Writing (Task 2)

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.

Taking a gap year to travel or work has become a fashionable trend in some countries like the UK, Australia and South Africa resulting in a whole market being built around providing travel and work services to this emerging market segment.

On average, high school graduates are teenagers. They are usually full of energy and undecided about what they want to study over the next three years. There are several benefits to travelling or working before embarking on further studies. Firstly, travelling broadens the mind giving young people skills they can use later on in life. They learn how to be independent, manage their budget, improve their social skills, and enhance their geographical, cultural and general knowledge. If they choose to work instead or while travelling, teenagers get a taste of the working world and know what to expect when they complete their studies. In cases where they are uncertain about their study choice some experience will confirm it.

There are only a few drawbacks. The first has to do with finance. Perhaps families are unable to fund their child’s round-the-world trip. Secondly, students might not be able to defer their studies to a later date and as a result lose their unconditional offer. Once they are out of a study mind frame young people might have difficulties getting back to studying.

All in all, the advantages in terms of personal growth and experience outweigh the disadvantages. Provided students have the necessary funds and motivation to continue their studies on their return then I think working and/or travelling is a good idea.

Cambridge Ielts 5 past papers, p. 53

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