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Difficulty level: C1 /Advanced
You have read an online article about changes in the types of subject taught at secondary schools. The article
says that some traditional subjects may no longer be taught at school. Four of the subjects discussed are
mentioned below, along with some of the readers comments.
Which subjects may no longer be taught at secondary school?
Most students who are interested in music take lessons out of school.
Geography Why do we need to know the names of rivers and mountains around the world?
Its all about the past. At schools, we need to be focussing on the future.
Art lessons allow kids to explore their creativity.
Write an essay discussing TWO of the subjects mentioned above. You should explain why you think these
subjects should continue to be taught at secondary schools, giving reasons to support your answer.
You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed by other readers, but you should use your own
words as far as possible.
Type in words from the text and click on 'Guess' or press ENTER. (Score +1 per correct word)
gap to
You may want to see the text before you start. (Score -10 to see the text)
Music and Art
One of the main objectives of education is to prepare children for work. In order to help a country grow
economically, schools are encouraging students to study science, economics, computer skills, business and
maths. Creative subjects like art and music are considered less important. However, I believe that they
should continue to be taught in schools.
Music courses often include several different strands. At my school, the music course includes performance,
music theory and composition. Each of these areas teaches a child different skills. Performing teaches
children confidence. Music theory teaches analytical and mathematical skills. Composition allows students
to be creative. Although it is true that many students who are interested in music take classes outside school,
many young people do not have this opportunity because their parents arent musical. Thats why we need to
continue to provide music lessons at schools.
Another creative subject under scrutiny is art. But art is everywhere in our society. It is in the clothes we
wear and in the design of the products we buy. School art students go on to become illustrators, designers
and architects. Also, creative people are often successful in other fields such as teaching and business. We
need to encourage young people to think creatively and school art lessons are important in this way.
To conclude, I think it is very important that schools continue to teach creative subjects such as art and
music as well as those subjects that are considered more important for the countrys economy. Not all young
people get the opportunity to explore their creative sides out of school, and confident, creative people are
equally important to a countrys economy as economists and scientists.
(you can also practise listening on some of these pages)
exam english
english online


Useful language for a review

What I liked

What I liked most was ..

The thing I liked most was .

I was pleasantly surprised by ..

.. would appeal to ..

If you get a chance to .

What I disliked

What I disliked most was ..

I was disappointed by/with

Reviews of books

main character

is set in

Fiction: science fiction / thriller / fantasy / mystery / historical / romance ...

Non-fiction: cook book / travel book / textbook / manual / coffee-table book ...

atmosphere / plot


written by






Reviews of concerts

artist / band / musician / (bass/lead/rhythm) guitarist / (backing/lead) singer / drummer / soloist / trio /

auditorium / hall / venue / lyrics / (catchy) tune / score / gig

Reviews of exhibitions

painting / sculpture / handicrafts

gallery / catalogue / display

Reviews of films

lead role

star role


star actor/actress


secondary role

He plays a .

written by .

cast / director / producer

is set in ..

based on a true story ..


true to life

not very believable


(As for fiction books +): animation / adaptation / comedy

Costumes / design / photography / script / special effects / soundtrack


Reviews of plays

scene / act / set / stage / interval

Reviews of TV programmes

Chat shows / current affairs programme / debate / documentary / series / soap opera/ sitcom (situation

Host / presenter

Reviews of hotels, restaurants, etc




attractive / disappointing setting

owned by

run by

head chef (restaurant)

waiters (restaurant)

staff .

staff at reception .(hotel)

hotel facilities .

reasonable prices ..

good/excellent/poor value for money ..

(a bit/somehow) expensive


not worth the money

always fully booked

book in advance


The script seemed rather conventional/predictable to me.

The plot struck me as completely bizarre/absurd/incomprehensible

The characters are appealing and true to life

The dancers were quite brilliant/amateurish


I would strongly encourage you not to miss/not to waste your money on...

I would definitely recommend seeing/visiting/reading/having a look at ...

Model questions and answers

Review - Model question 1
You see this announcement in an international magazine called Cinefilia.
The most UPLIFTING and the biggest DOWNER.
It's sometimes hard to choose a film that fits your mood purely on the basis of the poster or the description on
the cover of the DVD. That's why we want to publish reviews of the most uplifting and the most depressing films
our readers have seen, so that others know what to watch and what to avoid.
Send in a review which describes the most uplifting film you've ever seen and the one you found the biggest
downer. Make sure you give reasons for your choices.
Write your review in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Review - Model answer 1

In this review I am going to compare two contrasting tales about overcoming adversity. Whereas The Blind
Side (2009) left me with a huge grin on my face, sadly, Doctor Zhivago(1965) left me feeling the weight of the
world on my shoulders.
Doctor Zhivago, directed by five-time Oscar winner David Lean, is set in the Bolshevik revolution and follows the
title character, who must adapt to the new order while pining for Lara, the beautiful wife of a political campaigner.
The director succeeded in creating a film that is thoroughly engaging but full of gritty realism, cruelty and tragic
irony. Take the tissues!
The Blind Side, which is based on a true story, is also a bit of a tearjerker, in a completely different way. Starring
Sandra Bullock, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a rich white mother in Tennessee who takes a
homeless black teenager under her roof. Understandably, the gentle giant thinks he isn't good at anything but his
new mother sees his potential to become a football star and part of the family. The plot is based on a true story,
making it all the more touching.
I would strongly recommend The Blind Side. It will appeal to a range of people and is a great choice for a movie
night. Although Doctor Zhivago is a classic, I think it has more of a niche audience and is best saved for when
you want a dose of gloom!

[+/- 245 words]



Begin by stating the purpose of your report.

You may use invented statistics to provide a succinct summary of your results.

Use a clear layout with:

Headings. They will make it clear that your report is not an essay or review.

Lists of numbered points or bullets where appropriate. (DON'T overdo it, though. If you use
them in more than one section, you won't be able to show the full range of structures and
vocabulary you know.)

Divide your report into sections according to the input.

Develop the ideas in the task input.

Include a sentence summarising your opinion at the beginning of the final section of your report.

Use an impersonal, formal style.

Useful language for a report

Stating the purpose of the report

The principal aim/objective/purpose of this report is to provide a description of... / to provide/to present
results of /to assess the importance of ...

In this report I will provide a description of ... / I will provide/present results of .../ I will assess the
importance of...

This report describes/provides an assessment of... / describes/provides/presents results of...

Describing how you got the information

I conducted a survey of / I conducted interviews with local council officers ...

... responded to an online questionnaire.

I visited three of the most popular ...

... were invited to attend a focus group...

Reporting your results

Most of those responding to the survey stated that/expressed the opinion that ...

According to ...

A large/considerable/significant/ proportion of respondents/informants/those surveyed said that ...

Nearly three quarters of the ...

Presenting a list

The arguments against ... are the following:

1. ...
2. ...

The following were the main reasons given for supporting ...: firstly, ..., secondly, ...

Points our informants mentioned in favour of/against ... were:

1. ...

There are several ways in which ... might be ... :

1. ...

Making recommendations

Taking all the factors mentioned into account/In the light of the results of the survery/questionnaire, ...
would appear to be the most viable solution/option/approach.

I would therefore recommend ....

Model questions and answers

Report - Model question 1
An international development agency has been looking into attitudes to aging around the world. The research
director has asked you to conduct a survey and write a report. Your report should discuss how young people
where you live feel about older people in the community and the prospect of growing older themselves. You have
also been asked to make recommendations about how attitudes could be changed.
Write your report in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Report - Model answer 1


The main objectives of this report are to describe how young people in Gava feel about elderly people in their
area and aging themselves. I will present results of a survey I conducted with a random selection of 200 young
people at a local high school and in the final section I will include recommendations as to how attitudes could be
Attitudes to older people
According to my survey, a significant proportion of young people never or hardly never spend time with someone
aged 65. Reasons that respondents gave for this included: they have nothing in common, the elderly don't like
teenagers and lack of time. More promisingly, nearly three quarters of those surveyed (74 percent) agreed that
they could probably 'learn something' from older people.
Attitudes to aging
Those responding to the survey were almost equally split between preferring to think about it as little as possible
and those who never thought about it. For those who did think about it, the prime concerns were loneliness, poor
health and boredom.
Clearly more could be done to bridge the gap between young and old in our community. I would make the
following recommendations:

Set up volunteer tutoring opportunities for elderly citizens to help younger people at the high
school with academic work or practical skills.

Invite young people to tutor old people in technology use, e.g. how to text/send emails in return for
a donation to be used for social events.

Hopefully, increased contact between the groups will lead to greater understanding and more positive attitudes.


Don't forget!

Begin by stating the purpose of your proposal.

Use an impersonal, semi-formal style.

Use clear layout with headings.

Express opinions and make recommendations in the last section of your proposal.

Include a final sentence summarising your opinion.

Use bullet points but not too many.

Useful language for a proposal


Stating the purpose of the proposal

The principal aims/objectives of this proposal are to...

This proposal is intended to...

In this proposal I describe/evaluate/present/assess...

Background information

Comments made at the end of the questionnaires suggest...

Following a survey among families of young children...

Concerned members of the local community were invited to attend...

A number of concerns with regard to the most recent street party were expressed by locals...

Making recommendations and suggestions

A working group should be set up by...

There should be an enquiry into...

I recommend that a larger survey should be conducted before a final decision is reached...

Final recommendations

The results of the survey/questionnaire suggest that the introduction of heavier fines would seem to
be the best option/choice/solution.

If these recommendations are implemented, the situation is bound to improve.

Unless these suggestions are implemented, it is unlikely that there will be any improvement in the
short term.

Model questions and answers

Proposal- Model question 1
Your college currently doesn't provide enough support for students planning to spend time studying in another
country. You see this notice in the library.
The college is planning to introduce a special course for students planning to spend time studying in another
country. The college principal invites students to send a proposal outlining any problems students may face whe
studying abroad and suggesting ways in which the course could address these problems. A decision can then
be made about what to include on the course.
Write your proposal in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Proposal- Model answer 1

This proposal is intended to outline common issues students have when studying abroad, and suggest ways that
a course could help them to deal with these. The final section makes recommendations about what should be
included in the course curriculum.
Problems when studying abroad
Interviews were conducted with 20 students who have recently completed a student exchange programme. The
majority of students were of the opinion that overcoming the language barrier in their new country was the
biggest challenge and nearly half also said that they experienced culture shock. Other problems cited included
unrealistic expectations, loneliness and packing the wrong things - particularly being unprepared for a different
Ways a course could address these
A course could prepare students for culture shock by raising awareness of the phenomenon and describing
cultural differences that students may encounter in their host country. To aid participants with language, a course
could include some useful phrases for the first days after arrival, in addition to some resources for language
learning. The course could also include a discussion about combating isolation and adjusting expectations.
I would like to make the following recommendations:

Invite students who have previously studied abroad to share aspects of the culture they found
surprising and give advice on what to take.

Provide a list of useful phrases, together with suggestions of useful resources for language
learning such as websites, blogs or e-books.

Facilitate a discussion about engaging with people to avoid loneliness and isolation.

If these recommendations are implemented, young people are bound to feel more prepared for their experience.



Model questions and answers

Informal letter/Email - Model question
Read part of an email from a friend who is planning to come and live in your country.
Of course, I'd really need to learn the language. I know you've been learning English for years, so you've had
loads of experience. Are there any tricks of the trade that might help me pick up your language a bit more
Reply to the email message offering your friend some advice. Write your email in 220-260 words in an
appropriate style.

Informal letter/Email - Model answer

Dear Emma,
Thanks so much for your email. It was so good to hear from you. I'm really sorry not to have been in touch
earlier but I've been up to my eyes preparing for my exams.
What great news that you're finally coming to France - I can't wait to catch up in person! And you're going to
learn French too - fantastic!
I've bee learning English since I was a kid as you know, and by far the most useful experience was going to that
language school in Brighton for three months last summer. If I were you, I'd definitely enrol in a course like that
to keep you focused. I'd also suggest reading as widely as possible, online newspapers, blogs, books, the back
of a cereal packet - anything, really! Don't be tempted to buy one of those 'Learn French in a weekend' courses
though - a waste of time if you ask me. Learning a language takes time and effort.
What seems to work for a lot of peope is learning songs. My brother reckons that he has learnt more English
from the Top 40 than he has at school. And you know my frien Lucie? She raved about her fortnight with a host
family, so that's worth a try too. Of course, you could also get a French boyfriend or girlfriend to speed up your
Anyway, I hope that's helped give you a few ideas. Do write back as soon as you can - I'd love to hear all the
details of your plans.
Lots of love,


Model questions and answers

Essay 1 - Model question
Your class has attended a panel discussion on what methods governments should use to discourage the use of
private cars in the centre of the city. You have made the notes below.
Methods governments coud use to discourage the use of private cars in the city centre
Some opinions expressed in the discussion
'Make businesses pay parking levies for their employees and they'll move out of the city centre.'
'Improve the public transport system, then people won't need their cars.'
'If people understood how much better pedestrianised ciyt centres are, they wouldn't want to bring their cars in.'
Write an essay for your tutor, discussing two of the methods in your notes. You should explain which method
you think is more important for governments to consider, giving reasons to support your opinion.
You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion but you should use your own words
as far as possible. Write your essay in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Essay 1 - Model answer

Too much traffic is a major headache for everyone in the city due to the noise, pollution and, of course, terrible
delays during the rush hour. How can the government reduce traffic and dissuade people from driving their cars
into the centre every day? In this essay, I will discuss two possible approaches to this pressing yet complex
The first option to consider is an education campaign which could comprise of visual and radio advertising,
presentations to businesses and special designated days such as 'Wall to Work day'. Compared to the high cost
of significantly upgrading our public transport system, advertising is relatively low-cost and straightforward to
implement. On the other hand, it is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of such campaign in advance because it
relies on individuals changing their ingrained habits.
A second alternative would be to levy a tax on parking in the city. This could be applied both to businesses and
directly to consumers. While it is true that this would have immediate gains in revenue and change behaviour,
taxes are unpopular and could also place unfair pressure on small businesses and individuals who do not have
other transport options for work.
In my view, a multi-faceted education campaign would be the most effective starting point. In the future, a tax
could be a possible option but it would be tolerated better once citizens are educated about the benefits of fewer
cars and a more pedestrianised centre.


Essay 2 - Model question

Your class has attended a panel discussion on the action governments can take to promote health and fitness
among young people. You have made the notes below.
Action to promote health and fitness among young people
improve teaching in schools.
improves attitudes to competitiveness.
improve the image of sports.
Some opinions expressed during the discussion
'There need to be specialist sports teachers for children and students of all ages.'
'Some young people are put off by the pressure to compete.'
'A lot of young people don't think it's cool to take part in sports.'
Write an essay for your tutor, discussing two of the actions in your notes. You should explain which action you
think is more important, giving reasons to support your opinion.
You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed during the discussion but you should use your own
words as far as possible.

Essay 2 - Model answer

We often hear about the many benefits of health and fitness. However, less often do we hear concrete
suggestions for how to improve participation rates, particularly among young people. In this essay I will discuss
two possible actions that governments could focus on in order to promote health and fitness to youth today.
The first possible action is to improve physical education teaching in schools. Local students have at times
complained that the curriculum is rigid and emphasises repetitive activities instead of team sports and
enjoyment. Better role models and more adventurous options could lead to improved attitude and participation.
Naturally, employing specialist sports teachers would incur considerable cost.
A second option would be to attempt to change the overly competitive attitudes that seem ingrained in many of
the sports competitions for youngsters. When adults such as parents and teachers focus on winning above
having a good time, it puts undue pressure on the participants. They may feel a sense of failure if they lose and
also be less inclined to try a new sport.
To sum up, either approach would be a step in the right direction. In my view, it would be wise to prioritise
dealing with reducing competitiveness first because I believe it would help young people feel better about the
sports they already do. They could then, in turn, influence their friends to join in.



You see the following announcement on a music website:

Have you been to an interesting and unusual music festival or concert recently? Write a
review for our website and tell us about it. Explain what it was, and what made it
interesting and unusual. Do you think this kind of event is relevant today? We will put
the most interesting reviews on our website.

I would strongly encourage you not to miss/not to waste your money on...

I would definitely recommend seeing/visiting/reading/having a look at ...