In this first blog of the series, we are going to look at a question about which many of you may not have specialised knowledge or a strong opinion. However, with some basic information, a good structure and some sophisticated vocabulary, it is still possible to produce a very good answer.
Here's the question we'll look at today: Which European countries have the potential to grow in the future?
This is my sample answer:
That’s an interesting question. I must admit I’m not an expert in this area, but I think there is little doubt that Germany is the European country with the greatest potential for future growth. Germany has a very robust industrial base and is extremely advanced in terms of technology compared to other European countries. The country is investing heavily in the manufacturing industry, and this will definitely give them a competitive edge over other nations. In addition, they have a highly-skilled workforce and a large population, both of which are factors that are crucial in a nation’s growth. Other European countries lack the resources and financial power that Germany has. As a consequence, I believe Germany will stay ahead of the curve for the foreseeable future.
This is a good answer to the question because:
- The structure is clear and therefore convincing. The answer makes the claim that Germany has the potential for future growth and then supports this with plenty of evidence. At the end, the initial claim is repeated. This strengthens the arguments that have been put forward:
- The claim: Germany is the European country with the greatest potential for future.
- The evidence: a) Germany has a very robust industrial base; b) Germany is extremely advanced in terms of technology compared to other European; countries c) The country is investing heavily in the manufacturing industry; and d) Germany has a highly-skilled workforce and a large population.
- The recap: As a consequence, I believe Germany will stay ahead of the curve for the foreseeable future.
- The answer uses good vocabulary, such as “robust”, which means "strong" but is a more sophisticated word, and “for the foreseeable future”, which is a very common English phrase but one which not many learners use.
- The answer contains idiomatic phrases: “give them a competitive edge” means “give them an advantage”; “stay ahead of the curve” means “to be more advanced than the competition and therefore be in front of them”. Phrases like this always leave a very positive impression on G.B.C. interviewers!
Ahead of the curve literally refers to your position on the statistical bell curve, where the top of the curve represents the median, average result. By being ahead of the curve you represent the top percentile of results that either has the advanced skills or understanding that sets you apart (from Using English).