Motorways help people travel quickly and cover long distances but they also cause problems. What are the problems of motorways and what solutions are there? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Many countries in the world rely on motorways for speedy and efficient transportation, as they are a very convenient way of travelling long distances. However, motorways also have negative aspects such as dangerous traffic, damage to the environment and pollution. In this essay, I will look at some of the problems of motorways and how they can be overcome.

One major problem of motorways is that they can be dangerous. In many countries, the speed limit on motorways is very high. This means that any accidents are more likely to be serious and involve many vehicles. Sometimes in bad weather, several vehicles crash into each other and many people are killed or injured. This problem could be solved in a number of ways. People could have special lessons on how to drive safely on motorways. In addition, special signs could be displayed when driving conditions are bad to make people drive more slowly and safely. Alternatively, the general speed limit could be reduced slightly.

Secondly, motorways can spoil the environment. Motorways often go through beautiful areas and may damage plants and wildlife. This problem could be avoided by building motorways through less beautiful areas or putting some sections in tunnels. In addition, the large amount of traffic on motorways produces both air pollution and noise pollution. However, governments could help to reduce air pollution by making environmentally-friendly cars cheaper. Noise pollution could be reduced by changing motorway surfaces or by putting up sound-proof fences.

Despite the problems of motorways, they are necessary and useful. With careful preparation and planning, the problems they cause could be reduced. People today are also more aware of environmental issues and as a result cars and road transport in general are becoming more environmentally friendly.

In today’s job market it is far more important to have practical skills than theoretical knowledge. In the future, job applicants may not need any formal qualifications. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Practical skills are very important and it could be argued that they are as important as academic qualifications when it comes to getting a job. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that academic qualifications will ever become unnecessary.

There are certain manual jobs such as cleaning and labouring where formal qualifications are less important. Employers in these industries are more likely to employ people with a good working knowledge of the job and what it entails. However, even in these jobs it is important for people to have a minimum level of education, especially if they want to rise above the lowest working level. How can a person without good writing and mathematical skills balance a budget or manage staff? How can such a person make informed decisions about which products to use or safety issues in the workplace?

Having said this, a student graduating from university with the highest level of qualifications, but limited practical skills, still has a great deal to learn. None of us would expect or want a doctor without many years of practical experience and training to perform an essential operation. Students from all disciplines need to understand that entering the job market with a degree in management, for example, does not automatically qualify them for a managerial role.

Clearly, education is important in teaching the theoretical side of any profession. This theoretical knowledge forms an important basis for practical skills which are also essential. In truth neither one nor the other is dispensable when it comes to getting a good job.

Film stars and music celebrities may earn a great deal of money and live in luxurious surroundings, but many of them lead unhappy lives. Do you agree? To what extent is this the price they pay for being famous?

Newspapers and magazines are full of stories about famous people and the wonderful lifestyles that they enjoy. I think it’s something that we get used to. We expect to see them wearing very expensive clothes and, going to amazing parties. It seems natural that if you have a lot of money, you will spend it in these ways.
(Opening paragraph agrees with first part of premise.)

Some people who are rich and famous do manage to have a happy life as well. They get married and have children and, although they have to work hard, they still have time to give to their family. Victoria and David Beckham are just one example of a happy celebrity couple.
(Second paragraph disputes second part of premise.)

However, money doesn’t always bring happiness. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true. Stars often talk to the press about the pressures of being rich and famous. Some of them end up drinking too much or taking too many drugs. The actress Elizabeth Taylor, for example, has been in clinics many times for these problems. The divorce rate is also very high among celebrities. Often their marriages last only a short period of time and they re-mary very quickly but the same thing happens again.
(Third paragraph agrees and gives two clear examples.)

Ultimately, I think it depends on the person. I don’t really believe that being unhappy is a consequence of fame but I do think that it may be very difficult to cope with having a lot of money and fame. Celebrities are ordinary people underneath and perhaps some of them are not strong enough to deal with their fame.

In some countries an increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of eating too much fast food. It is therefore necessary for governments to impose a higher tax on this kind of food. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

The growth of the fast food industry has, without doubt, impacted on the eating habits and the health of many societies around the world. Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart and respiratory problems are all on the rise due to fatty and sugar-rich food. However, the question is whether higher tax would improve this situation or not.

From an economic point of view, higher tax might seem sensible. In countries such as the USA, Australia and Britain, the healthcare system spends a large part of its budget on people with diet-related health problems. It could be argued that these people have caused their own illnesses because of their choice of food. In this case, why should they expect the state to pay for their treatment? The tax could help fund the healthcare system.

However, we also need to consider which socio-economic group consumes fast food as the main part of their diet. Statistics indicate that lower income groups eat more of this food than wealthier people. One possible reason for this is that fast food is far cheaper than fresh produce. This is because many governments offer large subsidies to farmers who provide products for the fast food industry, such as corn, wheat and beef. Fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, are not subsidised. Research suggests that many families simply cannot afford to buy healthy food or pay higher taxes on fast food. For them, fast food is not a choice but a necessity.

In conclusion, imposing a higher tax on fast food does not seem to be the answer. If the government chose to do this, it would only lead to greater poverty and families facing further hardship.

Many childhood diseases can now be prevented through the use of vaccines. Should parents be made by law to immunise their children against common diseases or should individuals have the right to choose not to immunise their children?

The question of whether we should oblige parents to immunise their children against common diseases is a social rather than a medical one. Since we are free to choose what we eat or drink or how much exercise we take, why should the medical treatment we decide to undergo be any different?
(Introduction poses a new question to introduce the topic)

Medical researchers and governments are primarily interested in overall statistics and trends and in money-saving schemes, which fail to take into consideration the individual’s concerns and rights. While immunisation against diseases such as tetanus and whooping cough may be effective, little information is released about the harmful effects of vaccinations, which can sometimes result in growth problems in children or even death.
(Concessional argument)

The body is designed to resist disease and to create its own natural immunity through contact with that disease. When children are given artificial immunity, we create a vulnerable society, which is entirely dependent on immunisation. In the event that mass immunisation programmes were to cease, the society as a whole would be more at risk than ever before.
(Writer’s opinion stated plainly and forcefully-as fact)

In addition there is the issue of the rights of the individual. As members of a society, why should we be obliged to subject our children to this potentially harmful practice? Some people may also be against immunisation on religious grounds and their needs must be considered when any decisions are made.
(Main idea with supporting arguments)

For these reasons I feel strongly that immunisation programmes should not be obligatory and that the individual should have the right to choose whether or not to participate.

Modern communications mean that it’s no longer necessary to write letters. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

In years gone by, before the age of the telegraph or telephone, letter writing was the main means of communication for most people. Since then we have developed faster and more direct ways of contacting people, and personal mail has become relatively rare.

It is true that in many cases where our parents would have written a letter, we prefer to pick up the phone, to email or even to text instead. These are perfectly suitable ways of inviting friends to call round or exchanging news with a family member, for example, and they have the advantage that the communication is immediate and we can receive a reply very quickly. In business, too, fax and email are extremely useful.

However, in my opinion there are times when there is no alternative to a letter. Letters are generally more formal and carefully composed than emails. This makes them more suitable for occasions when they are likely to be kept and re-read, perhaps several times, by the recipient, as with formal letters of thanks or sympathy. In addition, letters provide a written record, unlike telephone calls, so they are also a better way of setting out an important or complex argument, as in official complaints or legal matters.

In conclusion, I would definitely agree that there are fewer times when we need to write letters than in the past. On the other hand, I feel there are still some important occasions when a letter is the most appropriate form of communication.

Each year, the crime rate increases. What are the causes of crime and what could be done to prevent this rise in criminal activity?

Crime is an issue of increasing concern around the world, and more money than ever before is being spent on the detection and punishment of criminal activity. The reasons why people commit crime are countless, but drugs and alcohol, social problems and poverty play a major role. To solve these problems, governments can either focus on draconian punishments, or improve employment opportunities, invest in good housing projects and tackle drug and alcohol abuse.

One of the main causes of criminality is the use, sale and trafficking of narcotics. For example, the sale of drugs is organised by armed criminal gangs who illegally traffic drugs and control their business with extreme violence. Drug-related crime does not end there; drug users often steal to fund theft habit, resulting in further acts of petty crime. The social problems connected with crime are said to be the result of single-parent families, absent role models and bad living conditions. The children from these broken families often become criminals because they feel alienated from society. Poverty is also a reason behind crime. When unskilled jobs pay so little and prices are so high, it’s easy to see why some turn to crime for an income.

Crime can of, course, be dealt with by toughening criminal laws and introducing longer custodial sentences for persistent criminals, but some of the best ways to deal with crime may be to deal with the social causes. Increasing employment opportunities in poorer areas would improve living standards, which would mean access to affordable housing and education. Government funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes would help reduce dependency on stimulants and the need for the criminal activity that surrounds them.

In conclusion, crime is a major issue, but cracking down on offenders with a harsh penal system is not the only way. These problems can be solved through the government providing jobs and funding which should raise living standards and dramatically reduce crime levels.

Some people choose to eat no meat or fish. They believe that this is not only better for their own health but also benefits the world as a whole. Discuss this view and give your own opinion.

The number of vegetarian in a community may depend on various factors, for example the traditions of the country, the wealth of the country, the religion or the age group. Therefore, the reasons why people choose to exclude meat and fish from their diet may also vary.

Some people become vegetarian because they believe that this will benefit their health. Undoubtedly, eating too much meat, especially too much red meat, is not to be recommended. Moreover, the fact that there are healthy populations in some parts of the world where no one eats meat proves that it is not, as some people claim, an essential part of the human diet. However, it is important to ensure that enough protein, for example, is included in the diet from other sources. Where vegetarianism is not a tradition, this may require some careful planning.

In my experience, it is quite common for people to become vegetarians because they feel that it is selfish to eat meat or because meat production increases global warming. They may also feel that if no one ate meat, there would be no food shortage, because meat production uses up food resources. This idealistic point of view is very attractive, but it is hard to judge whether it is in fact correct.

In some families, if a teenager decides to become a vegetarian, they may do so partly out of a spirit of rebellion, because this behaviour can be interpreted as a criticism of their parents’ way of life. However, provided that they continue to eat healthily, the parents should not raise objections, in my opinion. Vegetarianism is a valid choice in life. Moreover, research shows that vegetarians tend to be healthier in many ways than meat-eaters.

Personally, I think that being a vegetarian is a good idea in principle as there are proven health benefits and probably social benefits as well. However, it does not suit everybody, and I doubt whether it will ever be a universal choice.

Many people believe that formal “pen and paper” examinations are not the best method of assessing educational achievement. Discuss this view and give your own opinion.

Examinations are one of the most common methods of measuring learning in education systems throughout the world. At virtually every stage of the learning process, exams are used to verify that the learner is ready to move on to the next stage. However, many people believe that the role of examinations should be reconsidered.

There are clearly certain advantages to exams. They help to ensure fairness by imposing the same conditions on all exam candidates. They are also relatively versatile; different types of exam questions, for example, multiple-choice questions and essay tasks, can test different sorts of reasoning ability. However, exams also have clear drawbacks. Test-wise candidates can often perform well on exams without having good underlying knowledge or skills. On the other hand, some test-takers perform poorly in exams simply because of anxiety. Some teachers and learners focus only on those aspects of the curriculum that are likely to be tested, thus narrowing the educational experience for all.

A number of measures should be taken to address these concerns. Wherever possible, exams should match the content and activities of the learning environment. Exam tasks should be varied to give fair opportunities to candidates with different types of skills. Other types of assessment should also be considered; assignment writing, for example, to assess independent learning and research skills, or group projects, to measure teamwork ability.

Exams clearly have a role to play in ensuring proper, objective assessment of achievement. However, exams need to be carefully designed and supplemented with other forms of assessment if they are to be a truly useful component of the educational system.

People attend colleges or universities for many different reasons (for example, new experiences, career preparation, increased knowledge etc.). Why do you think people attend colleges or universities?

People mainly get enrolled in a college or university to achieve the necessary education and degree they require to get a job or to build a career. Having a good career is one of the main reasons people spend their time in colleges or universities but there are other reasons as well. The current society and its educational structures are  far different than they had been a century back when a self-educated person could gain a good career and parents could arrange private tutors to ensure their children’s education. But in today’s world colleges and universities are the authority to declare a person to have the necessary education to be ready for the job sector and without the certification from colleges and universities it is almost impossible for someone to get a good job.

People are going to colleges and universities because this is the most common way of getting the education and they have no alternative as the people of past century had. Most people are learning in colleges and universities and getting themselves ready for the future. The sole purpose of a college or university is to ensure the proper theoretical and moral education to build the ideal citizens the country needs and this is the system which is unquestionably accepted by the society and people. People who do not have the plan to use their certificate to get a job either because they have other career plans or may be blessed with inherited fortune. They go to these educational institutes to learn the values, ideas, knowledge and education they require to be good humans. In fact, education is a borderline between a savage and a good man and this is another reason the society has adopted  the idea of education for all and the colleges and universities are the places to get this education in the current age.

Some people go to universities to get further education to enhance their horizon or to improve their job position & salary. Others go to the colleges and universities to let the world know that they are educated. Funny this may seem but many people simply consider the higher education as the status they require to get a higher position in the society. Colleges and Universities nowadays offer specialised courses like technical courses or creative courses and  many people attend those courses simply because of their pure interests on these subjects or to gain the knowledge they need.

In my opinion, getting the education, learning new things, experiencing diverse cultures and customs, getting prepared for the future career, improving job position, subject matter interests and social status are the main reasons for people to attend colleges and universities.