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TOPIC:In many countries, people now wear Western clothes (suits, jeans) rather than traditional clothing.

Why? Is this a positive or negative development?

Band 8 Sample

In many parts of the world, many people prefer Western fashion styles than their traditional clothes. The underlying reasons for this are varied; and this could be seen as both negative and positive.

There are two main explanations for the popularity of suits and jeans even in non-Western countries across different continents. Firstly, Western clothing has become widely known for the recent advent of the mass media  like TV  or  global newspapers. In fact, influential cultures, especially the  notion of modernism in terms of dressing, from the West has become dominant in other nations. Secondly, the transcontinental expansion of powerful Western-based corporations is another contributor to the preference for this so- called modern dressing style. Those organizations usually require their local staff to wear dress shirts and pants to work, which gradually  reshapes fashion patterns  of  the  indigenous.

This choice of fashion could do both harm and good. On the positive side, it helps people integrate into the global working environment, which is essential in the age of globalization where different  cultures cross. On the other hand, if such preference became excessively prevalent, there would be a good reason for the worry of cultural assimilation. Some people, the young generation in particular, might underestimate the value and meaning of their traditional clothes, the Ao Dai in Vietnam for  example.

In conclusion, the widespread adoption of Western clothing could be attributable to the mass media and the appearance of a handful of national companies; and this phenomenon is positive and negative at the same time.

Useful vocabulary:

  • Influential cultures: Những nền văn hóa có ảnh hưởng lớn
  • The notion of modernism in terms of dressing: Ý niệm về cách ăn mặc hiện đại
  • Reshapes fashion patterns of the indigenous: Định hình lại cách ăn mặc của người bản xứ
  • The age of globalization: Thời đại toàn cầu hóa
  • Underestimate the value and meaning of their traditional clothes: Coi thường giá trị và ý nghĩa của quần áo truyền thống


TOPIC:Many people say the gap between rich and poor people is wider, as rich people become richer and poor people grow poorer.

What problems could this situation cause and what measures can be done to address those problems?

Band 8 Sample

As the world progresses, the gap between  the two  classes  of  society is widened because the rich become wealthier while the poor are living on the breadline. Such income inequality could lead to several problems, and some suggestions to improve this situation will be analyzed in the following essay.

Wealth concentration within a handful of individuals and institutions might result in two major issues. Firstly, the rich-poor gap could be the breeding ground for social unrest and  political  instability. The poor might perceive that the rich is the principal force of hindrance to their occupational and service opportunities. This  might be the precursor to discontentment, which potentially is the onset of social anarchy. Secondly, as poverty restricts the capacity  of the underprivileged to access services and other life-sustaining matters such  as  education,  employment  and  medicine,  they  might resort to violence and opt for the life of criminals.

There are several initiatives to reduce economic inequality,  including progressive taxation and minimum salary legislation. Higher taxes should be levied on the rich, which could reduce the amount of income inequality in society. On the other hand, governments could use this money to supply free goods and services for those who struggle to make a living. Also of great importance is the increase in the minimum earnings of the poorest workers. Although it cannot be denied that the current system places much importance on  individual  competence  to  determine  the  amount  of money one might earn, unskilled workforce who  usually  are from the lower class should be, still, provided enough to live sufficiently.

In conclusion, chaos and the acceleration of crime rates are the two severe repercussions of the unequal distribution of wealth; and governments could impose heavy taxes on the rich and heighten the minimum amount of salary for the disadvantaged.

Useful vocabulary:

  • The two classes of society: 2 tầng lớp xã hội
  • To live on the breadline: Sống nghèo đói
  • Income inequality: Bất bình đẳng thu nhập
  • The breeding ground for social unrest and political instability: Là nơi sản sinh ra rối loạn xã hội và bất ổn chính trị
  • The onset of social anarchy: Sự bắt đầu của sự hỗn độn trong xã hội
  • To resort to violence and opt for the life of criminals: Tìm đến bạo lực và lựa chọn con đường tội phạm
  • To reduce the amount of income inequality in society: Giảm lượng bất bình đẳng thu nhập trong xã hội
  • To place much importance on individual competence to determine the amount of money one might earn: Nhấn mạnh vào khả năng cá nhân để quyết định số tiền mà một người sẽ nhận


TOPIC:Studies have suggested that children watch much more television than they did in the past and spend less time on active or creative things.

What are the reasons and what measures should be taken to reduce the time  children spend on watching TV and encourage children to spend more time on active or creative things?

Band 8 Sample

It has been observed that watching TV becomes a dominant form of recreation over other activities that require creativity. My essay below will analyze some underlying reasons and propose some feasible solutions to this issue.

There are two major contributors to the situation where children show a tendency to spend time watching TV rather than creative activities. The first explanation is that telecasts have been growing  in  number  as well  as quality,  which  greatly appeals  to children at young age. Compared to the past when most TV channels were in black and white, or viewers could only switch to a limited number  of programs, nowadays hundreds of channels with high-resolution graphics are available on TV. It is therefore understandable why children choose watching channels like Cartoon Network over other activities. The second reason is the lack of care as well as encouragement from parents. Busy life  has  pushed  modern  parents away from their kids, and they hardly have time to play with their children or encourage them to do some healthier activities like painting. Children, as a consequence, turn to watching TV during their spare time.

Measures should be taken in order to reduce the time children use to watch TV. Parents’ guidance are essential since they are closest to their own children and it is easier for parents to restrict the amoun of time allowed for watching TV. Although schools and teachers can also play a part, fathers and mothers would be far more persuasive and could resort to drastic measures such as corporal punishments if needed. Also of great importance is that they should spare more time playing with and encouraging their kids to take part in creative activities. In fact, with enough encouragement, children would feel motivated and cared for, hence more time spent on active exercises.

In conclusion, several factors are cited as causes for children’s propensity for adopting a passive habit of watching TV more than ever before, and children should be guided and encouraged to do more creative work.

Useful vocabulary:

  • High-resolution graphics: Hình ảnh phân giải cao
  • The lack of care as well as encouragement from parents: Sự thiếu quan tâm cũng như khuyến khích từ phụ huynh
  • Restrict the amount of time allowed for watching TV: Giới hạn thời gian được phép xem phim
  • Resort to drastic measures: Dụng đến những biện pháp quyết liệt



Nowadays, it seems that people tend to waste a great amount of food.

Why do you think this is happening? And how can we solve this problem?

Band 8 Sample

These days, people are buying a lot of food which ends up being thrown away. The essay below will analyze some major reasons for this situation, and measures to tackle this problem will be presented.

There are two main explanations why food is being wasted. One of the reasons food is thrown away is because consumers fail to have a thorough plan of what they are going to buy before they shop. Commonly, many people only have vague ideas of what meals or foodstuffs they might consumeover the next few days, and this  often leads to their shopping carts full of products they might never use.  Secondly,  food  wastage  can  occur  when  people  make poor choices for their diet. Huge quantities of food remaining unused might be a sign that consumers’ diets are going undesirably.

Some measures are suggested to mitigate the situation. One effective solution is to make a list of ingredients and foodstuffs that one is going to purchase before she goes shopping. This way helps consumers to have time to prepare and decide wisely what products should be bought, which eventually saves a lot of unnecessary food. Furthermore, people should do careful research on reasonable diets in advance of going to food stores so that they can know what ingredients are best for their state of health.

In conclusion, poor planning for meals and unwise choices of diet mainly contribute to the amount of unused food at the moment, and thorough preparation is key to avoid further food wastage.

Useful vocabulary:

  • Have a thorough plan of what they are going to buy: Có kê hoạch cẩn thận về những gì họ định mua
  • Vague ideas of what meals or foodstuffs they might consume: Ý tưởng mờ nhạt về bữa ăn hay thức ăn mà họ định tiêu thụ
  • Poor choices for their diet: Những lựa chọn tệ cho chế độ ăn của họ
  • Saves a lot of unnecessary food: Tiết kiệm rất nhiều thực phẩm không cần thiết


TOPIC:Some people choose to have their first child at an older age.

What are the reasons? Do advantages outweigh disadvantages?

Band 8 Sample

There is a growing proportion of the world’s population who decide to have children later in life. The underlying reasons for this trend are varied, and I suppose that the merits would eclipse the downsides.

There are two main factors leading to the decision of delaying childbirth. The first one is because people have the propensity for prioritizing their careers over taking parental  roles.  Especially in the US and other developed countries, not only men but also women want to stabilize their finance before becoming parents so as to provide their kids with sufficient living condition for their future development. Another explanation for this is that many modern individuals have adopted  a  fear  of  taking  unwanted  custody due to the recent alarming rate of divorce. It is because premature marriages have become common, which usually goes with many couples’ doubt of their marital harmony, deterring  their  early  desire for raising a child. There would be, consequently, fewer kids growing up without fatherhood or motherhood.

However, the drawbacks should not be overlooked. That too many couples following such a trend might exert adverse effects on the population structure, which potentially results in the future aging workforce   and   hinders   social   development   in   the   long   term. Additionally, it could both heighten the possibility of  infertility among mothers at their old age and risk the new-born babies’ mental and physical health. Down syndrome could be a typical example of the problems that those kids might have to suffer from.

In conclusion, the occupational prioritization and the hesitation over the likelihood of single-parent responsibility could be seen as the root of late childbirth, and I am convinced that the advantages are of more significance.

Useful vocabulary:

  • To delay childbirth: Trì hoãn sinh con
  • The   propensity   for   prioritizing   their careers over taking parental roles: xu hướng coi trọng nghề nghiệp trước khi có con
  • Adopted a fear of taking unwanted custody: Có nỗi sợ phải nuôi con không mong muốn sau khi li hôn
  • Marital harmony: Sự hòa thuận trong hôn nhân
  • The possibility of infertility: Khả năng vô sinh
  • The occupational prioritization and the hesitation over the likelihood of single- parent responsibility: Sự coi trọng nghề nghiệp và sự đắn đo trước khả năng phải nhận trách nhiệm của bố/mẹ độc thân
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