Model answers for Cambridge IELTS Book 18 Task 2 Essays Academic Test. Learn from my model answers so that you can get the score you need. Written by Mike Wattie, ex-IELTS examiner and author.

Read model answers to prepare for the sort of questions you might get in your test and see some ways of answering them. I suggest you can use these model answers as follows:

  1. Read the task instructions
  2. Think about how YOU would respond to them
  3. Read my model answer and see if you were RIGHT!
  4. Reread the models and learn from the paraphrasing of keywords, the structure of the tasks, and the use of language to develop main ideas.

The most important aim of science should be to improve people’s lives.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

There is an assertion that the principal objective of scientific pursuit ought to be to enhance the lives of people. I completely disagree with this perspective because I believe that the fundamental goal of research should be the general pursuit of knowledge and that its purpose ought to extend beyond human welfare to include the betterment of all species on Earth.

The main reason I oppose the idea that scientific endeavours should focus solely on the betterment of people’s lives is that focusing on pure science often leads to more significant and far-reaching outcomes. At its core, research is a quest for understanding the mysteries of the universe, which can subsequently result in applications that benefit humanity. However, prioritising immediate practical applications can limit the scope of scientific inquiry. The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake has historically led to the most profound and unexpected breakthroughs. For instance, Fleming’s research into the properties of mould was driven purely by curiosity, yet it eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, revolutionising medicine and saving countless lives.

Furthermore, scientific efforts should be an endeavour aimed at improving the condition of all living beings, not exclusively humans. The human-centric view on progress neglects the interdependence of ecosystems and the rights of other species to thrive. The environmental crises we face today, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, require a scientific approach that benefits the entire planet’s biosphere. My experience volunteering with a marine conservation project conducted to understand coral bleaching patterns was crucial for developing conservation strategies that benefit a wide range of marine life.

In conclusion, I completely disagree with the idea that the enhancement of human life should be the main objective of scientific research. The essence of these endeavours is to discover knowledge in general and to apply this knowledge for the greater good of all life on our planet. In this way, research supports the complexity of life on Earth, safeguarding the interests of all flora and fauna.

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.

Some tertiary students want to study subjects outside of their majors, while others prefer to focus solely on subjects aimed at earning their qualifications. This essay discusses both sides of this argument and explains why I am convinced that it is of utmost importance to concentrate exclusively on one’s primary areas of study.

Some scholars argue that diversifying their education with additional subjects is beneficial. The main argument is that studying multiple disciplines can enhance their critical thinking skills by exposing them to different perspectives and methodologies. This broad exposure encourages students to approach problems from various angles, fostering analytical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities. Moreover, exploring diverse subjects can help them discover new interests and passions, leading to a more fulfilling academic experience. This exploration allows students to broaden their horizons and develop a deeper appreciation for different areas of knowledge, contributing to their overall personal and intellectual growth.

However, others believe that dedicating all their time and attention to their main qualification is essential. Firstly, concentrating solely on their area of study allows them to delve deeper into the subject matter, gaining a comprehensive understanding and expertise. This focused approach enables students to grasp complex concepts more thoroughly and develop specialised skills that are highly valued in their field. Additionally, it allows them to maximise their academic performance and excel in their chosen field without distractions. By dedicating complete attention to their main qualification, students can fully immerse themselves in their studies, optimise their learning experience, and achieve academic excellence.

In conclusion, I firmly believe that while both perspectives have their merits, focusing solely on one’s major subjects is paramount. This approach allows students to delve deeply into their area of study, acquiring comprehensive understanding and expertise. By dedicating full attention to their main qualification, students can optimise their learning experience and achieve academic excellence. While exploring additional subjects may broaden horizons, maintaining a focused approach ensures mastery of one’s chosen field, which is essential for success in the competitive academic and professional landscape.

In many countries around the world, rural people are moving to cities, so the population in the countryside is decreasing.
Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

The phenomenon of rural populations migrating to urban areas, resulting in dwindling countryside populations, is occuring globally. I believe that this urban drift is entirely negative, primarily because it leads to overpopulation in cities and the neglect of rural communities.

I consider the trend towards urban migration to be negative due to the severe overpopulation issues it causes in metropolitan areas. This influx results in overstretched city infrastructure, including public transport, healthcare, and housing. Urban centres struggle to accommodate this rapid population growth, leading to increased pollution, insufficient living conditions, and heightened stress on public services. I have personally witnessed the transformation of my own city as it has struggled to manage its growing population. Traffic congestion has worsened, and public transportation systems are often overwhelmed during peak hours, making daily commutes increasingly stressful and time-consuming for residents.

Furthermore, the movement from rural areas exacerbates the neglect and underdevelopment of the countryside. As young and able-bodied individuals relocate to urban centres in search of better opportunities, rural regions lose their most vital segment of the workforce, leading to economic stagnation and a decline in local industries such as agriculture and artisanal crafts. During visits to rural areas where I have conducted educational workshops, I observed a significant reduction in the active labour force, leaving mostly the elderly and very young behind. This demographic shift hinders the development and sustainability of rural communities, impacting their viability and quality of life.

In conclusion, I view the trend of rural-to-urban migration as completely negative. This development not only strains the resources and infrastructure of metropolitan areas but also leads to the deterioration of rural regions. Both the overwhelming challenges faced by expanding cities and the consequent neglect of the countryside underscore the detrimental effects of this demographic shift.

In many countries, people are now living longer than ever before. Some people say an ageing population creates problems for governments. Other people think there are benefits if society has more elderly people.
To what extent do the advantages of having an ageing population outweigh the disadvantages?

In numerous nations today, individuals are experiencing longer lifespans, resulting in an increasingly elderly demographic. While this demographic shift poses challenges, I believe the benefits somewhat outweigh the drawbacks.

The primary advantage of having a senior citizenry is the wealth of knowledge and experience that older individuals contribute to society. The older populace often provides invaluable guidance and wisdom, having accumulated a lifetime of skills and insights. For instance, in my community, retired professionals volunteer in schools and mentorship programs, sharing their expertise with younger generations. This transfer of knowledge not only benefits the recipients but also allows seniors to remain active and valued members of the community.

Additionally, the presence of a growing number of aged individuals can lead to stronger family structures and intergenerational bonding. Older family members often play significant roles in childcare and support, which can help stabilise the family unit and foster deeper family connections. Personally, my grandparents played a crucial role in my upbringing, offering both emotional and practical support to my parents, which enriched my family life and provided a sense of continuity and security.

However, an increasing elderly community also presents significant challenges, primarily economic. The rise in the number of retirees can strain public pension systems and health care services. In my country, the rising cost of health care for the elderly has become a contentious issue, with funds being diverted from other critical areas such as education and infrastructure. This has sparked debates on the sustainability of our current healthcare and pension systems, highlighting the need for robust policy planning and reform.

In conclusion, while there are undeniable challenges associated with a maturing society, the benefits, such as the invaluable contributions of elderly individuals to society and the strengthening of family bonds, somewhat outweigh the downsides. These advantages highlight the importance of integrating seniors into all aspects of society and ensuring they are supported. Moving forward, it is crucial for governments and communities to implement policies that harness the positive aspects of demographic aging while addressing the economic and social challenges it presents.

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