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GBC sample answer: Changes in Japanese lifestyle

Japanese Working Mother With Child
More Japanese women have entered the workplace

In this blog, we are going to look at a GBC question that should be quite easy to answer. However, sometimes the easiest questions cause the most confusion when you are thinking about what to say. The answer to a question like this should be well structured: It is important to clearly state your opinion about the issue, then give examples to support your opinion, and finally describe the consequences that might arise.

Here's the question we'll look at today: How has the Japanese lifestyle changed over the last 10 years?

This is my sample answer:

Well, one of the biggest changes has happened in the area of women’s lifestyles, with the result that women have recently begun to enter the workplace in increasing numbers. Ten years ago, the situation was very different, as most women tended to stay at home in order to raise their children. Nowadays, many women work part-time or flexi-time, so they can still take care of their children. It is also becoming increasingly more common for Japanese couples not to have any children at all because they are focusing on their careers. This has come about mainly for financial reasons, as life is far more expensive now than it used to be and both members of a couple usually have to work in order to make ends meet. From my perspective, these developments are extremely detrimental to Japanese society. We are already seeing a steady drop in the birth rate. In conjunction with an increase in the number of elderly people, this does not bode well for the future.

This is a good answer:

  • It is well structured.
  • It clearly states my opinion.
  • I use evidence to support my answer.
  • I describe the consequences.
  • I have clearly described the main change (in my opinion!) and the present situation.
  • I have then talked about the reasons for the change and what I believe the future consequences could be.
  • The answer flows smoothly and logically.
  • I have used some sophisticated vocabulary:
    • make ends meet = have just enough money to pay for the things that you need
    • detrimental = harmful, damaging
    • in conjunction with = in combination with
    • bode well = to be a sign of something good that will happen in the future