Mock Test 3 | Writing Task 2


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:


Some students prefer to take a year off between school and university, to work or to travel.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?


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

Write at least 250 words.


Academic Writing Task 2

  • 0 words

    Reference answer


    It is often the case when teenagers ask their parents for a year off upon their high school graduation, either to go travelling or gaining hands-on experience via part-time jobs. Despite the school of thought that this trend is largely beneficial to not only to students but also to the whole society, I would argue that its drawbacks would be more significant.


    On the one hand, it is irrefutable that spending a year travelling beyond the national border or working makes a great contribution to school graduates' accumulation of social experience and soft skills. Unsurprisingly, what enterprises and corporations require from candidates today are abilities to adapt to and solve sophisticated and unprecedented situations rather than academic knowledge gained from tertiary education.  Indeed, without social skills such as presenting, communication skills, an applicant is likely to fail from the application stage, or might not make a profound impression on the recruiters at the interview. Furthermore, experiences gained from activities during their gap year can play a pivotal role in students' career in the future, and an instance is that a manager needs to have a broad social circle, sets of diverse skills, and only via frequent contact and socialisation can these be fulfilled.


    On the negative side, youngsters delaying higher education have to confront the risk of lacking professional expertise, if students are overly preoccupied with travelling and securing temporary occupation upon high school graduation, it follows naturally that their knowledge about academic subjects such as mathematics, physics and chemistry might become rusty after a year, making it likely for them to fall behind their peers. Moreover, financial traps from swindlers should also be taken into consideration. No sooner do inexperienced students realise the potential hazards from suspicious people in society than these immature adolescents have embarked on the criminal path themselves. A case in point is that they might embezzle the funds from their company while working, or be tempted into illegal acts when travelling in foreign lands.


    In conclusion, both arguments have their own merits. On balance, however, it seems to me that having a year after graduating likely has negative impacts on students' future.


    Idioms and collocations:

    1. It is often the case: It is true

    2. gain hands-on experience: get experience

    3. accumulation of social experience and soft skills: their getting experience in society and other skills

    4. adapt to and solve sophisticated and unprecedented situations: know how to act and solve difficult and sudden situations that happens

    5. sets of diverse skills: a lot of skills

    6. It follows naturally that: as a result

    7. embark on the criminal path: commit crimes

    8. embezzle the funds from: steal money from

    9. tempt into illegal acts: want to commit crimes


    Please click the red words below for other Sections in this Mock Test:

    Mock Test 3 | Speaking Part 1
    Mock Test 3 | Speaking Part 2
    Mock Test 3 | Academic Writing Task 1 

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