Band nine sample essay: Does university guarantee a good job?

Our band nine sample essays are here to show you what you should be aiming for with your IELTS writing. Keep scrolling down for a breakdown of the structure, grammar and vocabulary that make this essay band nine.

Band Nine Sample Essay

Many people believe that going to university is the best way to be successful while others believe there are multiple ways to be successful. What is your opinion? 

These days, there is a growing debate between those who think a degree is the best route to success and those who think there are many more ways to be successful. In this essay, I will argue that there are many ways to be successful. First, because there are many practical skills that can provide a satisfying career. Second, because many degrees are now oversubscribed

First, there are many highly skilled and well paid jobs which do not require a university degree. For example, with the increase in interest in historical housebuilding, there is a huge demand for skills like thatching and carpentry, making these jobs lucrative. Furthermore, if someone does not want to work a nine to five office job, this type of job can be far more suitable for them, something many graduate jobs do not offer. In addition, there is a saying ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’ and there are many practical jobs, like ski instructor or personal trainer, which offer the opportunity to get paid for a beloved hobby. 

Second, many fields have more university places than jobs available. In the 1990s, many governments tried to improve young people’s prospects by increasing the number of university places available and building new universities. As a result, while a university degree used to be a guarantee of a good job, this is no longer the case. For example, because there are far fewer jobs in law than there are places on law degrees, many graduates end up disappointed when job hunting. 

In conclusion, a graduate job is no longer the only way to have a rewarding career and having a degree is no longer a guarantee of a good job. Therefore, I believe there are multiple paths to success. 

Why is this essay band nine?


This is an opinion type essay. With this essay type, you should aim to have a strong point of view two specific reasons for it. Here I have argued that there are multiple routes to success. I’ve argued that there are good jobs that don’t need a degree and that university doesn’t guarantee a good job. It would be easy to argue for the other side, as long as there were two specific reasons for it.


To get a high grammar score, you need to use a wide range of grammar types. In this essay, I’ve used as many types as possible including:

Click the links above to find out how you can use these types of grammar in your essays.


To get a high score for vocabulary, you need to be using a wide range of specific words. I’ve included a list of vocabulary from this essay which I think is uncommon or interesting. These words are in the same order they appear in the essay.

Over and under are two prefixes that are added to many words. In this case, oversubscribed means that too many people are signing up for degrees.
Thatching is the art of making house rooves out of straw.
Carpentry is the art of making things from wood.
Nine to five
A nine to five job starts at 9am and finishes at 5pm. This is often used as way of describing boring repetative jobs.
Graduate job
A graduate job is one that you need to have a degree to do.
Personal trainer
A personal trainer is someone who helps people work out and stay healthy.
If someone has good prospects, it means they have a high chance of being successful.
A guarantee is a promise that something will happen. If a university degree is a guarentee of a good job, it means that it is very likely that you will get a good job after completing a degree.

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