IELTS Writing Task 2: Sample Essays (with score and comments)

Below are two sample essays, with scores and critiques from an actual IELTS examiner.

Question:  In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year before starting university. (Word requirement:  250 words)

Essay 1

About education, every countries have their own customs.  In some countries, parents often encourage their children go traveling after finishing high school; however, some prefer their children keep studying.  Lets see whats the advantages and disadvantages for youngers to do.

If people choose to work or travel after graduating from high school, they may probably know more about the society or this world.  For working people, they can start earing money and raise their families.  Their economy can be independent which means they can decide the way to deal with their salary by themselves.  Also, they can save money as the fee to go to university.  As for those who choose to go traveling, they can meet many strangers and view lots of beautiful scenes on the way they travel.  What difficulties they meet in travel can make them become stronger.

However, if they want to go university, after working or traveling, they may forget some knowledges and their classmates.


Comments:  The essay is short and doesnt fully answer the question.  A detailed introduction and conclusion are not presented and there are several errors in phrasing.  Overall, the question is not fully answered, the advantages are given but only one disadvantage.  There is some good use of complex sentences, organization and vocabulary, but this is not sustained.  IELTS:  4.5-5.0

Essay 2

When a person reaches 18, which is roughly around the fine finishing his or her high school years, what comes up to the person next is an important major decision-going to university or take a break.  If he or she decides to take a break at the moment, that person will probably need to choose between work or travel.

We live in a color world; it is good to have a change to explore it.  To open our eyes when we are still young can help us to know more about what is going on right now, and to be more aware of the relationship between ourself and the world. What happened during ones trip to a different place would help he or she applies the experience to a different situation when feeling needed.  If somebody decides to go to work instead of travel, she or he could learn from the work experience, which may be helpful when becoming a full-time worker.

While both going to work and traveling can give a person some information regarding ones future plan, its not always a good idea to do so.  Sometimes when people didnt choose to finish school very soon, they will find its harder for them to return to school after doing other things outside the campus.  They may have a feeling that they can not adjust to a formal academic life because they are free for too long.  It can cause a problem when nowadays academic achievement is so important for a brighter future.

Whatever people choose to do after their high school years, its so important to know what you really want and like.  Its the best way to have a happy life and love what you choose.


Comments:  Organization is strong, the question is answered and the word requirement is met.  There is good use of complex sentences and vocabulary.  The introduction and conclusion could be a bit stronger and there are some phrasing and agreement issues.  It should be clear what the question is in the introduction and this is only slightly able to be determined.  Overall, the essay may score a Band 6.