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IELTS Writing Task 2
Should University students learn other subjects or devote their time to studying for a qualification?

Some university students want to learn about other subjects in addition to their main subjects. Others believe it is more important to give all their time and attention to studying for a qualification.
  • Discuss both these views and give your own opinion
How to answer this essay?
  • Introduction:
  • Paraphrase the overall essay main topic.
  • Write a clear opinion.
  • 1st Body Paragraph
  • Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  • Explain your main idea.
  • Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  • 2nd Body Paragraph
  • Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea.
  • Explain your new main idea.
  • Include specific details and examples.
  • Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  • Conclusion:
  • Summarise your main ideas.
  • Include a final thought.


Model Answer | Marked as Band 8
Cohesive connecting words that improve coherence in writing . Useful less common words that boost fluency in writing .
  • Students attend university to improve their prospects and find suitable employment after graduation. For this reason, I agree with those who feel that they should focus all their energy on their main subjects to gain a relevant qualification. Others want a more well-rounded education, so they try to learn about additional subjects.
  • It is perfectly reasonable for students to enter university with a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to learn as much as possible. Unfortunately, we tend to put subjects into artificial boxes, suggesting that business, art and science are not connected. If students become too focused on a single area, it may stifle their initial curiosity, limiting their potential. They could also graduate with a very narrow skill set that doesn't translate well to the current job market, which often favours those who have taken a multidisciplinary approach to their studies.
  • Despite this, caution is certainly needed. The more we learn about a subject, the more complex it becomes. Gaining an in-depth, specialist knowledge of a subject requires a certain level of focus and dedication over a long period. If we try to learn about too many things at once, our knowledge may lack the depth required to obtain a qualification. If they are not careful, young people could begin to lose interest in their main subjects, which would be detrimental to their studies.
  • While learning about other subjects is not necessarily a bad thing, I believe university students should ensure that their main subjects remain the priority so that they do not lose sight of their objective: gaining a qualification. Then they can calculate how much time, energy and headspace they have left for learning about other topics.
282 words


  • Here are some comments about the above essay:
  • This response addresses both parts of the task and presents a clear opinion at the end.
  • The second paragraph explains how the current university system is set up to [put subjects into artificial boxes] and how this narrow focus can disadvantage students.
  • The third paragraph presents the benefits of [Gaining an in-depth, specialist knowledge] and the dangers of trying to include too much. Both sides of the question are addressed in well-developed paragraphs.
  • Vocabulary is natural and sophisticated [stifle their initial curiosity / Gaining an in-depth, specialist knowledge / detrimental to their studies] without errors.
  • Grammatical structures are wide-ranging, with a range of tenses and conditional [if] and modal [may / could / would / can] structures embedded in complex, flexible sentences.
  • To conclude, this is a high-level response which fully addresses the task.
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