Today, I want to show you a sample band 9 answer for an IELTS writing task 2 question about bad student behaviour. This is an interesting topic and I’m sure people will have various opinions on it, but I want to give you some guidance to help maximise your chances of writing a great essay.

Analysing the Question

Here is the question that we will look at today:

In many countries, schools have serious problems with student behaviour.

What do you think are the causes of this?

What solutions can you suggest?

As you can see, this is a two-part question on the topic of education. It is not particularly hard to analyse. You only really have to do two things:

  1. Explain why bad behaviour in schools is now a problem.
  2. Suggest solutions to this problem.

You don’t have to do anything else, but you must cover both of these ideas in your essay.

Planning your Answer

You do not need to be an expert in education to answer this question, but you should present some intelligent ideas. You can learn about how to generate good ideas for task 2 questions here.

Try to group your ideas into two parts, so that you can more effectively structure your essay:

Why is student behaviour now a problem?What can be done about it?
Students don’t respect teachers
Teachers can’t punish students anymore
Video games are to blame
Mobile phones are a distraction
Teachers are not well trained
Teachers need more training
Students need to learn respect
Parents should help out
Teachers need more support
There should be armed guards in schools

You can see that I have put five ideas into each category, but I would not actually write all five ideas in my essay. Remember, you should aim to write about 260-300 words.

It is important to choose only one or two of the best ideas and then expand them. This is important for making an organised and developed essay. That will help improve your score for Coherence and Cohesion and Task Response.

Here’s how I will structure my answer:

IntroductionExplain the topic and give an outline of my essay
Body paragraph oneReasons for bad behaviour (lack of respect resulting in powerless teachers)
Body paragraph twoSuggestions for fixing the problem (support for teachers)
ConclusionSummarise my points thus far

Now let’s look at my essay

Sample Band 9 Answer

In many parts of the world, student discipline is becoming a major issue that teachers, parents, and school administrators have to deal with. This essay will first look at the reasons why this is happening, and then explore solutions for it.

The primary reason for this increase in bad behaviour is the lack of respect for teachers in western society since the late twentieth century, which is partly due to the emphasis placed upon personal freedoms and individual rights. With massive cultural upheaval, the role of a teacher has diminished, and school pupils can run amok. Nowadays, teachers are powerless to stop their students from misbehaving in the classroom, and what is worse is that they are afraid of the consequences of being firm in their disciplinary procedures. When teachers are deemed to be too strict, parents will complain and it is possible that the teacher could lose their job. 

In order to solve this, great changes will need to be made. For a start, a teacher’s authority needs to be established, and this means making changes that reduce the likelihood of their position being questioned. From misbehaving pupils to unreasonable parents, there needs to be support for the teacher from above. This sort of institutional help has been missing for decades as education becomes more of a service industry wherein “the customer” is always right. Schools need to implement firm but fair rules that all pupils must abide by and there should be equally firm but fair punishments meted out accordingly. 

In conclusion, discipline problems are now common in many schools, and that is because teachers are no longer given the respect they are due. Schools and government authorities need to work to reinforce the importance of respecting teachers.

Notes on the Answer

Here’s some useful education vocabulary from my essay:

  • school administrators
  • cultural upheaval
  • diminished
  • run amok
  • misbehaving
  • disciplinary procedures
  • institutional help
  • implement… rules
  • meted out

You can read another sample essay about education here. You can also Google “education” and then read stories from newspapers around the world to get new ideas and language about this important IELTS topic.