You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Some people believe that a gap year between school and university is a good idea, while others disagree strongly. Consider both sides of this debate and present your own opinion. You should give reasons for your answer, and include ideas and examples from your own knowledge and experience. Write at least 250 words

While gap years are increasingly popular, they continue to be rather controversial because the benefits are hard to quantify exactly. There are valid opinions on both sides, which I will discuss them now. On the one hand, opponents of gap years point to the cost involved in areas such as air fares, accommodation and living expenses. All this money has to come from the student’s family, or even from borrowing to be paid later; thus, not everyone is financially able to go on exciting adventures and explore different cultures and parts of the world. Secondly, it is often said that gay years take a young person’s focus away from studying, and allows them to get involved in distractions such as travelling. Finally, there is a concern over the safety of young people if they are travelling to remote places. Being kidnapped or mugged is a poor start to an academic career, after all. On the other hand, supporters of gap years say that the skills learned outweigh the disadvantages. They highlight the independence and assertiveness that a student will acquire, in areas such as time management and interpersonal skills. They also say that these skills not only leads to building a well-rounded student profile but also to greater career success later in life; thus, cancelling out the costs involved. Furthermore, there are many examples of young people using gap years to achieve something significant, whether in humanitarian work or in a sector of business that interest them. In conclusion, I feel that although gap years may seem like a good way to gain life experience, but without a plan, they can be a setback not only in your education but also financially. This outweighs the possible advantages.
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