Legend: Academic word (?) New word
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The chart below shows the total number of Olympic medals won by twelve different countries.
Write a report for a university, lecturer describing the information shown below.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.
Write about the following topic.
Some people believe that school children should not be given homework by their teachers, whereas others argue that homework plays an important role in the education of children.
Discuss both of these views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
The bar chart compares twelve countries in terms of the overall number of medals that they have won at the Olympic Games.
It is clear that the USA is by far the most successful Olympic medal winning nation. It is also noticeable that the figures for gold, silver and bronze medals won by any particular country tend to be fairly similar.
The USA has won a total of around 2,300 Olympic medals, including approximately 900 gold medals, 750 silver and 650 bronze. In second place on the all-time medals chart is the Soviet Union, with just over 1,000 medals. Again, the number of gold medals won by this country is slightly higher than the number of silver or bronze medals.
Only four other countries - the UK, France, Germany and Italy - have won more than 500 Olympic medals, all with similar proportions of each medal colour. Apart from the USA and the Soviet Union, China is the only other country with a noticeably higher proportion of gold medals (about 200) compared to silver and bronze (about 100 each).
(178 words, band 9)
People’s opinions differ as to whether or not school children should be given homework. While there are some strong arguments against the setting of homework, I still believe that it is a necessary aspect of education.
There are several reasons why people might argue that homework is an unnecessary burden on children. Firstly, there is evidence to support the idea that homework does nothing to improve educational outcomes. Countries such as Finland, where school children are not given homework, regularly top international educational league tables and outperform nations where setting homework is the norm. Secondly, many parents would agree that the school day is already long enough, and leaves their children too tired to do further study when they return home. Finally, it is recognised that play time is just as beneficial as study time from the perspective of brain development.
In spite of the above arguments, I support the view that homework has an important role to play in the schooling of children. The main benefit of homework is that it encourages independent learning and problem solving, as children are challenged to work through tasks alone and at their own pace. In doing so, students must apply the knowledge that they have learnt in the classroom. For example, by doing mathematics exercises at home, students consolidate their understanding of the concepts taught by their teacher at school. In my view, it is important for children to develop an independent study habit because this prepares them to work alone as adults.
In conclusion, homework certainly has its drawbacks, but I believe that the benefits outweigh them in the long term.
(270 words, band 9)
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