IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay: Gap year-Advantages and disadvantages

In recent years, it has become a common trend for some students to take a gap year after finishing school before commencing their university education. During this time, students may decide to travel or work before returning to their academic pursuits. While there are both advantages and disadvantages to taking a gap year, I believe that the benefits of taking a break outweigh the drawbacks.

On the one hand, taking a year off can provide students with valuable experiences and skills that they may not otherwise have had. For instance, traveling to new countries can expose students to diverse cultures and broaden their perspective of the world. This exposure can help students gain valuable life skills such as independence, adaptability and intercultural communication. Moreover, taking a gap year to work can also provide students with opportunities to develop practical skills, learn responsibility and gain financial independence.

On the other hand, some critics argue that taking a year off can lead to a loss of momentum and motivation to continue with academic pursuits. Students who take a gap year may struggle to adjust back to an academic environment, and could potentially fall behind their peers who started university straight away. Additionally, taking a year off may be a financial burden for some students who are already facing the rising cost of tertiary education.

In conclusion, while there are certainly some potential drawbacks to taking a gap year, I believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The benefits of gaining life experiences and skills can be invaluable, and the opportunity to take a break before beginning a long and rigorous academic journey is an important consideration. As such, I believe that students who have the opportunity to take a gap year should take advantage of it and use the time to gain new experiences and skills before starting university.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Trend – A general direction in which something is developing or changing
  2. Commencing – Beginning, starting
  3. Pursuits – Activities, goals
  4. Diverse – Varied, different
  5. Perspective – A point of view, a way of looking at something
  6. Inter-cultural – Relating to or involving two or more different cultures
  7. Practical – Relating to practice, to something that is useful in a real situation
  8. Financial independence – The ability to support oneself financially
  9. Critics – People who are critical or negative about something
  10. Loss of momentum – A decrease in energy or enthusiasm
  11. Adjust – To become familiar with something new
  12. Falling behind – To become less advanced or successful than others
  13. Tertiary – Relating to or denoting education at a level beyond secondary school
  14. Invaluable – Extremely useful or helpful


  1. In recent years
  2. Before commencing
  3. During this time
  4. On the one hand
  5. For instance
  6. Moreover
  7. On the other hand
  8. Some critics argue
  9. Additionally
  10. In conclusion
  11. While there are certainly
  12. As such


Vocabulary words refer to the words used to express ideas or concepts in the essay. In this essay, the vocabulary words used include trend, commencing, pursuits, diverse, perspective, inter-cultural, practical, financial independence, critics, loss of momentum, adjust, falling behind, tertiary, and invaluable.

Linkers refer to the words or phrases used to connect ideas or to show the relationship between them. In this essay, the linkers used include “in recent years,” “before commencing,” “during this time,” “on the one hand,” “for instance,” “moreover,” “on the other hand,” “some critics argue,” “additionally,” “in conclusion,” “while there are certainly,” and “as such.” These linkers are used to structure the essay and to make the arguments clear and logical.

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