In the G.B.C. test, there are often abstract questions that can cause difficulties, because you have to think very quickly about a topic you may never have considered before. In other words, expect the unexpected!
Today we are going to look at one such question. It would be very difficult to come up with an answer like this without prior preparation, but hopefully, my sample answer will give you some ideas that you could use in the test. Remember too, that most students find these questions the most difficult to answer.
Our question today: Is a sugar tax a good idea?
My sample answer:
That's a good question, and I'd like to start by defining what a sugar tax is. A sugar tax is a tax placed on sugary food items by government in order to reduce the consumption of sugary food, which leads to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. In my view, a sugar tax is a good idea. However, there are also some risks associated with its introduction.
First of all, obesity is a growing problem in developing countries, and it is starting to cost health systems a lot of money as a result. A sugar tax would make it less attractive for people to buy sugary food while at the same time giving extra money to the government to pay for the increased health cost of obese citizens. A sugar tax would also make healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables more affordable in comparison to unhealthy foods that lead to obesity. This is important, because there are a lot of associated negative health effects from the overconsumption of sugar, and prevention is not only cheaper for the country's health system, but means better health outcomes for the country's citizens.
However, a sugar tax does have a few risks. For example, the administration costs of adding a tax to certain food items and not others could be too high to make the tax worthwhile financially. Also, it can be hard to define what a sugary food item is, and manufacturers may choose to use sugar substitutes with unknown health effects that could be risky. These concerns are valid, but I believe they can be overcome by governments with good planning and research.
Ultimately, despite the concerns, the potential health benefits make a sugar tax a good idea. Not only will it prevent the diseases that come from excess consumption of sugar, but also the savings created within the health system by reducing the cost of obesity could be used in other areas, which would further increase the health of the target population.
This is a good response, because it starts off by defining the question. This is very helpful to give you, as a speaker, time to think about what you want to say while still sounding like you are answering the question well and maintaining fluency. This response also gives good examples of health problems caused by too much sugar as supportive evidence and explains why these problems would be addressed by a sugar tax.
The counterargument is also positive for showing a depth of understanding of this topic but still ultimately reinforces the main argument.
obesity/obese—the condition of being overweight to the point where it is dangerous to your health; "obesity" is used as a noun, while "obese" is used as an adjective.
First of all,—a great transitional phrase used to introduce the first of several things you are going to say.
valid—based on truth or reason; able to be accepted; logical.
Ultimately, despite the concerns,—essentially, even though there are doubts; a useful phrase for going back to your claim after you have given a counterargument.