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Students Choose to Take a Gap Year Before Starting University - IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Write about the following topic:

Many students choose to take a gap year before starting university, to travel or gain work experience.

Do you think this is a good idea or a waste of time?


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


You should write at least 250 words.


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IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay prompt "Many students choose to take a gap year before starting university, to travel or gain work experience. Do you think this is a good idea or a waste of time?"

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IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay (1)

With the evolving demands of higher education and an increasingly competitive job market, an emerging trend is the decision to embark on a gap year before commencing university studies. This concept incites contrasting opinions, with some viewing it as a potential diversion from academic pursuits. However, I firmly advocate for this interim period, believing it to be an avenue for personal development, career clarity, and financial preparedness, all of which contribute to enhancing the quality of higher education.


Foremost, maturity and self-awareness are indispensable when it comes to informed decision-making. A majority of high school graduates, often not having attained full legal adulthood, are expected to determine their career path – a decision with lifelong implications. A gap year provides the opportunity for students to explore the world, engage with diverse cultures or gain practical work experience, thus fostering personal growth and a clearer understanding of their strengths and aspirations. For instance, a student uncertain about a medical career might spend the year volunteering in a hospital, thus providing valuable insight into the realities of the profession.


Furthermore, the affordability of tertiary education is a significant concern, especially when considering prestigious institutions. A gap year can serve as a practical financial strategy, enabling students to accumulate savings for future academic expenses. Many students engage in part-time or full-time employment during this period, easing their financial burden when they finally enroll in university.


Detractors might argue that a hiatus might lead to an irreversible academic disinterest. However, empirical evidence, such as a study from the American Gap Association, suggests otherwise, with gap year students often displaying enhanced motivation and performance in university. The experience nurtures a deeper appreciation for education, resulting in a more engaged and dedicated student body.


In conclusion, a gap year, rather than being a diversion, can be a strategic decision promoting personal growth, career clarity, and financial stability. It does not hinder educational pursuit but often enhances it, ultimately contributing to a richer academic environment within universities. Therefore, this decision should not only be acknowledged but also encouraged, as it has the potential to transform the landscape of higher education.


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IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay (2)

In the tumultuous journey of education, one deliberation that persistently emerges is whether to take a gap year before starting university. This concept, an interlude between secondary and tertiary education, is often shrouded in controversy. Critics deem it a needless diversion from academic progression. Despite this skepticism, I am an ardent proponent of deciding to take a gap year before starting university. I view it as a tool for personal discovery, experiential learning, and economic readiness, crucial elements that fortify the foundation of higher education.


Primarily, a gap year acts as a catalyst for self-exploration and maturation. High school graduates are on the precipice of adulthood, yet they're thrust into the daunting task of determining their professional trajectories. A gap year offers these burgeoning adults the freedom to explore life beyond the confines of a classroom, to immerse themselves in diverse cultures, or to delve into the realities of the working world. An aspiring journalist, for instance, might traverse the globe during this time, gathering stories and experiences that not only affirm their career choice but also add a wealth of practical knowledge unattainable in a conventional academic setting.


Moreover, the prohibitive cost of university education necessitates a financial strategy for many. A gap year presents an opportunity for students to alleviate future economic strain by accruing savings through employment. This period of fiscal independence serves as a primer for the economic responsibilities that accompany adulthood and higher education.


Detractors often posit that such an academic hiatus may dilute a student's enthusiasm for learning. Yet, research conducted by institutions like Harvard University contradicts this claim, indicating that students who embark on a gap year are more likely to be academically focused and outperform their peers who proceed directly to university. The hiatus does not stifle the pursuit of knowledge but rather enriches it, leading to a student body that is more committed and engaged.


In conclusion, the prospect of a gap year is not an impediment but rather an enriching stepping stone toward higher education. It endorses personal development, pragmatic learning, and economic preparedness, thereby crafting a more resilient and holistic academic journey. Consequently, the adoption of this concept should be championed, as it heralds an evolutionary step in the paradigm of education.


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