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Young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing.. - Band Sample 9 Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


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.


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


You should write at least 250 words.


IELTS Band 9 Sample Essay - In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.

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Model Essay 1

In some countries, it's customary for youthful individuals to undertake a gap year, either working or traveling, prior to embarking on their tertiary education upon completion of secondary school. This offers a substantial benefit to students as it affords them the opportunity to determine how their chosen field of study aligns with their career aspirations. However, this hiatus from academics may result in lagging behind peers and postponing their professional advancement.


As the majority of high school graduates are under the age of 20, taking a gap year before starting university provides them with the chance to clarify their life goals and envision their future. During their youth, when convictions are often not firmly established, many young individuals find the concept of a gap year appealing, as it serves as a break from academics and provides an opportunity for them to construct a professional career plan that aligns with their interest. For instance, after graduating from high school, I took a gap year to work at a local charity and travelled to different countries. This experience helped me discover my passion for helping people which made it easier for me to choose the right university courses and make the most of the higher education.


Conversely, the primary drawback of this approach is that students who opt for a gap year will commence their first job after university at a later age compared to those who did not take a break. The time spent building new connections through work or travel will result in a delay in the initiation of their tertiary education, thus prolonging their graduation and entry into the workforce. For example, I know a student, who did not take a gap year, started his career at the age of 22, whereas his peers who worked for a year before university began their professional journey at around 25. This exemplifies how a gap year after high school can cause a deferral in employment onset.


In conclusion, though undertaking a gap year between completing secondary education and embarking on tertiary studies can offer students the valuable chance to assess the alignment of their field of study with their career goals, this break from academics may result in falling behind peers and delaying professional progression.


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Model Essay 2

Across various nations, there exists a growing trend among the youth to embark on a gap year, engaging in employment or voyages, prior to commencing their tertiary education. This essay argues that while this break offers invaluable life experiences and personal growth, it simultaneously poses risks of academic detachment and opportunity loss.


The primary advantage of a gap year is the breadth of real-world experience it provides, which is seldom found within classroom walls. Young individuals gain exposure to diverse cultures and workplaces, fostering a global mindset and adaptability. For example, volunteering in remote communities not only cultivates empathy and cross-cultural communication skills but also enhances self-reliance and problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, this experiential learning often clarifies career aspirations, allowing students to make more informed decisions about their academic and professional futures.


Conversely, the gap year harbors inherent disadvantages. Primarily, there is a tangible risk of losing academic momentum. Students, once accustomed to the freedom and spontaneity of a gap year, may find the structured environment of university studies stifling, leading to disengagement or even dropout. Moreover, the financial burden of traveling or unpaid internships can deplete savings intended for education, compelling some to forgo university altogether. Additionally, in fast-evolving fields, a year’s absence can render previously acquired knowledge obsolete, placing gap year students at a competitive disadvantage.


In conclusion, while a gap year offers unparalleled opportunities for personal growth and practical learning, it is not without its drawbacks, such as potential academic and financial setbacks. Thus, it necessitates careful consideration and planning to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. By striking the right balance, young people can harness the gap year as a powerful catalyst for success in their subsequent academic and career endeavours.


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Model Essay 3

In numerous societies, a trend has emerged where young adults are encouraged to take a hiatus from academics to work or travel before university. This essay posits that such a gap year, while enriching through practical experiences and self-discovery, equally presents challenges in academic continuity and financial strain.


A gap year, essentially, is a crucible for personal and professional development. Engaging in employment or traversing diverse geographies imbues young individuals with a suite of soft skills - resilience, independence, and cultural sensitivity, to name a few. For instance, managing a community project in a foreign country not only broadens one's horizons but also enhances leadership skills and social awareness. These real-life experiences contribute to a more rounded character, often leading to a more purposeful approach to higher education and career choices. Students return to academia with a renewed vigor, armed with clarity about their goals and how their studies align with them.


However, the allure of a gap year is not without its pitfalls. The interruption in formal education can result in a disconnection from academic disciplines, making the transition back to structured learning a daunting endeavor. Furthermore, the financial implications of traveling or engaging in low-paid or volunteer work can impose significant constraints, particularly on students from less affluent backgrounds. The cost, both monetary and time-wise, can delay or deter the pursuit of higher education, creating a gap in one's resume that is often viewed unfavorably by prospective employers.


In summary, while a gap year offers profound opportunities for growth and exploration, it necessitates a careful balancing act to mitigate the academic and financial risks involved. Ultimately, the decision to embark on this journey should be underpinned by thoughtful consideration and strategic planning, ensuring that the experience enriches rather than impedes one's educational and career trajectory.


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