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Young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge.

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 or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for young people to take a gap year between completing high school and beginning their university studies. This trend is particularly prevalent in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where there is a strong emphasis on personal development and exploration before committing to higher education. While there are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach, it ultimately provides young people with valuable life experiences and opportunities for growth.

One of the main advantages of taking a gap year is the opportunity for personal development and self-discovery. By working or traveling during this time, young people are able to gain valuable life skills, such as independence, time management, and problem-solving. They are also exposed to new cultures and experiences, which can broaden their horizons and help them develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding towards others. Additionally, taking a gap year can provide young people with a clearer sense of direction and purpose before embarking on their university studies, potentially leading to a more fulfilling and successful academic experience.

However, there are also some potential disadvantages to taking a gap year. For example, some young people may struggle to re-enter the academic environment after a year away from formal education. Additionally, there is the risk that taking a gap year could lead to a loss of momentum or motivation to pursue higher education, particularly if the work or travel experiences are particularly fulfilling. Furthermore, there may be financial implications to consider, as taking a year away from studies could result in additional costs or delays in completing a degree.

In conclusion, while there are both advantages and disadvantages to taking a gap year between finishing high school and starting university studies, the overall benefits of personal growth and self-discovery are likely to outweigh the potential drawbacks. By providing young people with the opportunity to gain valuable life experiences and develop important skills, a gap year can ultimately enhance their academic and personal development in the long run.

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