Let’s talk about vocabulary for a moment.
We’ve said it many times: keep your vocabulary simple.
In fact, big, “advanced” words make your vocabulary score go DOWN. They make your essay harder to read and understand.
So what should you focus on for vocabulary? SPECIFIC words.
For example, on the topic of cooking lessons for children, high-scorers would use vocabulary like “measuring ingredients”, “kitchen appliances” and “following a recipe”.
Let’s take a look at this sample essay below. What score do you think it deserves in vocabulary?
Essay topic: In some countries, there are fewer young people who listen to or play classical music these days. Why is this? Should young people be encouraged to play or perform classical music?
Nowadays, young people do not often listen to or play classical music. They prefer contemporary music, instead, because it speaks to their own unique struggles and interests, and therefore, they should not be encouraged to play classical music.
Children and teenagers do not feel compelled to play classical music because they prefer songs and musicians from their own generation. These songs specifically reference what young people are interested in today, including technology and social justice. Not only that, the beats and rhythm of rap and hip hop music reflect their struggles and highlight their hardships, including racism and wealth inequality. For example, a popular song among children these days is “Rise Up” by Andra Day because it speaks to racial injustice in America. As a result, this song, instead of traditional classical music, has been performed by thousands of high-school students across the country.
Because young people prefer contemporary music, they should focus on this and not be encouraged to play classical songs. Children should enjoy complete freedom to express themselves in any way they choose. After all, music is a form of expression and creativity, and children should be in complete control of this. In Massachusetts, teachers of a wealthy private school made their music students perform only Beethoven and Mozart. Due to the rigidity of the music curriculum and the lack of freedom to express students’ creativity, involvement in the music program decreased by 30%.
In conclusion, today’s young people do not play classical music but instead prefer modern artists who can speak to their life experiences. That is why children should not be encouraged to play music from the past but enjoy complete freedom in what songs they play.