IELTS Writing task 2:Some people think that all university students should study whatever they like

Dear teacher,
Please help me check my essay.

Thank you,

Some people think that all university students should study whatever they like. Others believe that they should only be allowed to study subjects that will be usefull in the future, such as those related to science and technology. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.*

Relieved from the overloaded burden of homework in senior high school, many students go into college only to find that they have plunged into the sea of knowledge and without anybody telling them where to swim. Some people are filled with misgiving about university student’s free choice: how could they possibly tell, at such a young age, which subject is more useful than others and choose it as their focus of study in the next four years which are probably the most valuable time in their entire life? In my view, however, such considerations seem rather superfluous, for choosing a subject by students themselves is beneficial both to the students and the whole society as well.
Firstly, as the saying aptly expresses, “interest is the best teacher”, which means only when we have passion for something can we do it better. A good teacher must love teaching and keep the student’s interest in mind, and a physician must love saving life before he can be humane and sympathetic toward his patients, while a pianist should be crazy about playing and then become a top-notch artist. Contrarily, a person not fascinated by what he is doing is much less likely to get anywhere in his career.

Secondly, the boudary between “useful” and “useless” subjects is not that clear-cut as some people might have expected. Undoubtebly, science and technology is of paramount importance to the development of our world, but it does not follow that other less practical subjects like philosophy and literature are useless. While the increased knowledge about our body, for example, may help us live longer, a better understanding about history, culture and ourselves provided by liberal arts may show us what kind of life is more valuable and therefore more worth living.
To conclude, rather than restricting the students to certain “useful” subjects, parents and universities should encourage them to study whatever they like to. By doing so, the students will be able to learn those things, be it useful or not, that really intereset them, and this is helpful to the future career of the students, and to the contribution they can make to the world.


Hi, I enjoyed your writing, but unfortunately your essay does not address the prompt correctly. This is a three part prompt, expecting you to give each viewpoint in its own objective body paragraph, followed by a third paragraph that gives your personal opinion. This third paragraph can be combined with the conclusion to save space. You really have not discussed the situation where students are restricted to “useful” subjects. Because of this, I think your essay would score very low in the TA category, which is a shame because your writing is very good. I especially enjoyed your creative introduction, which is so much better than the typical “cookie-cutter template” intros I tend to see. Here are some specific suggestions:


Dear teacher,

Thank you very much.

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Your essay makes a clear and well-reasoned argument in favor of allowing university students to study whatever they like. It’s well-structured and effectively presents your points.

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