GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 160
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
The qualities and skills that a person requires to become successful in today’s world cannot be learned at a university or other academic institutions.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Model Answer: [Partial agreement]
People everywhere harbour a high aspiration to be successful in the contemporary society, but achieving success is no easy feat. Many people believe that the qualities and competencies needed to be successful cannot be acquired at a university or other academic institutions. Though I agree with the notion up to a point, I also believe university equips people with hard skills that are also important for success in life.
For a start, the tertiary education trains students in their chosen subject. In other words, it equips pupils with hard skills, for example, analytical reasoning, computing, subject-matter expertise, data analysis, financial management and so forth. These hard skills are of profound importance for accomplishing a task at hand in an effective way. And it goes without saying that performing a task in a better manner is the key to success in a knowledge-based society like ours. Moreover, without formal education, it is hard for most people to even manage a decent job, let alone show their talents in this sector or do something extraordinary. Thus, higher education plays a crucial role in success in life.
Having said that, many soft skills, that are required to be successful are intrinsic. To illustrate, skills which are not based on knowledge are more subjective and not easy to be defined; but usually pertinent to personality traits: social acumen, personal habits, maintaining confidence, and one’s ability to communicate effectively with others to name but a few examples. A case in point is Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. They are all successful in life, and college drop-outs although. They are commonly cited to show that people do not always need an academic degree to succeed.
To reiterate, academic education is highly useful to a person to attain success. However, it cannot be considered as an exclusive or only factor to make an individual successful in life.