IELTS Essay Ideas: Is Art a Waste of Time?

Art is a common topic to get in IELTS writing task 2. Below is a sample essay question with ideas.

While some people think that art if an important subject for children to study, others think it is a waste of time.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Ideas

Art is Useful

  • art is a means of expression
    • children need to learn to express their thoughts and feelings
    • it is often easier for young children to draw pictures than to express complex feelings in words
  • art is a creative form
    • creative thinking should be developed
    • creative thinking is beneficial later in life

Art is A Waste of Time

  • there are other more important subjects that would benefit children for their future life
    • the importance of technology, sciences and languages
  • studying art does not lead to a successful career
    • most artists struggle to make a living from selling their art

Opinion

  • art is a valuable subject but should not be a main focus on any curriculum or detract from other more important subjects
    • having a balance of subjects is the best way to help children develop a balanced character in life

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Summary Completion: IELTS Listening Practice

IELTS Listening Summary Completion Exercise

This exercise is typical of IELTS section 3 and 4. First read through the summary and predict the types of answers you need for each gap.

The Terracotta Army

Complete the summary using no more than three words and /or a number.

Questions 1-5

The terracotta army was made in order to 1.  …………………… the emperor after this death in his afterlife. This funerary art has been estimated to be from the 2. ………………. and was discovered in 1974 by the 3. …………………… The majority of the sculptures were 4.  …………. and 5. ………….. sculptures of cavalry horses were also found.

Transcript
The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BC, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in, Xi’an. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. (from wiki)
Answers
  1. protect
  2. third century BC / 3rd century BC
  3. local farmers
  4. soldiers
  5. 150
Vocab Builder
  • to depict =show
  • purpose = aim / function
  • vary = differ
  • warrior = soldier
  • majority = greater part
  • figures = people

 

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IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Short Answer Questions

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IELTS Speaking Part 3: What makes a good painting?

Ideas and Vocab

  • the composition of all the parts
  • the painter has a good eye (to know when something is good)
  • perspective and symmetry (sizing and balance of all parts)
  • using a particular style or an unusual technique (skill)
  • the subject (person / landscape / animal etc)
  • the balance of colours and contrasts
  • to bring about an emotional response – it touches people
  • to evoke a memory or idea
  • impact – something you can’t take your eye off
  • historical background or relevance

Model Answer

From my perspective, I suppose a good painting is one you can’t take your eye’s off. For me, it’s either due to the colours and images or because of the emotional reaction I might have to the painting. But I know that for other people, they think a good painting is usually because of the skill involved in painting it or because of the unique creativity of the artist. I guess that a good painting means something different to everybody.

Video Watch

This video shows an art dealer talking about what makes a good painting. It is not a video made for language learners so the English is advanced but hopefully you can still learn a lot from it.

 

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Essay

Below is an example of a band score 9 IELTS writing task 2 model essay. The task is a direct questions essay which is quite common in IELTS. Read it carefully and pay attention to the structure of the essay, the linkers and the sentence structures.

Essay Question

Art is considered an important part of a society  as well as an expression of its culture. Do you think it is important for children to be taught art? Do you think children should be encouraged to focus on art rather than other subjects?

Model Answer

It is commonly believed that art plays a fundamental role in society as artists are able to express their thoughts and their culture in their work. In my opinion, children should definitely learn art because they can develop creativity and learn to express themselves in their art work but it should not be taught to the detriment of other subjects.

Firstly, art is an essential subject which children, especially young children, should learn in order to help promote their creativity and imagination. Without the development of imagination and creative thinking, children will struggle to grow into dynamic, individual thinkers when they reach adulthood. Furthermore, some children are particularly gifted in their creative abilities and studying art can help them nurture their talents.

Another important advantage for children when practicing art is that it provides a medium through which they can express their emotions and feelings. In other words, young children do not have the linguistic capabilities to put their ideas into language and thus communicate directly. Therefore, by using art, they are able to convey meaning through pictures and symbols. For this reason, many child psychologists often study the art work of children to gain an insight into what they think and feel.

Finally, however, regardless of how useful the study of art is for children, this should not result in more focus being placed on art rather than other subjects. Children need to have a balance of all subjects so as to facilitate a healthy development both mentally and physically. Thus, ensuring that there is a healthy balance of art, sciences, languages and physical education in the school syllabus is essential.

In conclusion, while art certainly helps a child develop creativity as well as express their thoughts, it should be taught equally alongside all other subjects. A school curriculum should offer a balance of subjects.

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