IELTS Essays: should children go to extra classes or play after school?

Recently, IRSAFAM IELTS test centre in Iran sent candidates a sample essay topic to practice IELTS writing task 2:

Some people believe that children should go to extra classes after school. Others, however, think that children should spend that time playing instead.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

I often spend a minute or two reading the task and understanding everything. This is important because, for example in this case, there are many topics related to children, education and games, and it is very easy to confuse them and misunderstand what the task is asking you to do if you do not read it carefully.

This is an argument-led task, that is, it is asking you to consider both sides of an argument and then offer your point of view. My approach to this is very close to what Cambridge examiners have done in Cambridge IELTS book 8, general training test B (answer on page 173) and book 9, test 3 (answer on page 167). There, the examiners have introduced the topic in the introduction, covered the two sides in the body paragraphs, and finally given their own views in the conclusion and supported those views using reasons from the body.

I will post my answer later this week, but in the meantime, why don’t you try and note what reasons you can think of for each side of this argument?

  • Side 1: children should go to extra classes after school.
  • Side 2: children should spend their time after school playing.

Write your thoughts in the comments!