This week’s update contains 15 new essay questions reported from very recent PTE exams. Our teachers have verified all questions and added perfect score sample responses to them. Practice these essays under time constraints to get the maximum benefit.
Fairtrade coffee is seen as a way of compensating farmers fairly for their produce. But a section of people believe that the premium price of Fairtrade coffee is not justified as most of it is spent on Fairtrade marketing and advertising campaigns. What is your opinion? Do you support Fairtrade coffee and believe it is beneficial for farmers?
Several global initiatives have been launched in the recent decades to create a fair trade system in which all parties receive a price that respects and reflects their contribution. Fairtrade coffee was one such initiative to pay compensates an honest price for their coffee production. However, I am of the opinion that it has now evolved into more of a marketing gimmick than anything else and therefore I no longer support it.
First of all, ultimately the main objective measure of fair compensation is how much money the farmers receive for their product. This idea is no longer seen in the case of fair trade coffee in general. Most of the money is spent on overheads such as marketing and advertising and maintaining the Fairtrade brand. Though consumers pay a higher price than normal coffee, what farmers ultimately receive is only a small fraction.
Secondly, Fairtrade is now used more as a symbol to make large corporations like Starbucks look good rather than serve an actual purpose. Companies like Starbucks convey that they are a responsible corporation by the display of Fairtrade logos on their products. Other issues are all pushed to the backburner. Therefore, it is fair to say that Fairtrade is no longer serving its original purpose.
In conclusion, I would reiterate my strong belief that Fairtrade coffee is no longer an adequate vehicle of delivering reasonable prices to coffee producers. Till the time Fairtrade doesn’t revert to its original objective, it will not have my support.
Financial problems in a major economy like the USA effects the economies of countries all over the world. Some economists believe that the way to prevent these problems is by reducing the trade with large economies like the USA and China. Do you think this is a viable solution the problem?
One of the disadvantages of an increasingly coupled world economy is that a disturbance in the financial ecosystem of one large economy such as USA shakes up the whole world. Some thinkers are of the opinion that the only way to prevent such a problem is by reducing the trade dependence on large countries. In my view this would be a kneejerk reaction and therefore not a good solution to the problem.
At the outset it would be wise to remember the reason why countries depend so much on major economies. Major economies contribute the maximum to export and import, as well as provide large markets for the goods of other countries. A smaller country like Australia for instance benefits a lot by exporting its natural resources to a country like China. In fact people are of the view that Australian economy might just collapse in the absence of these exports.
Furthermore, reducing the trade would create more problems and not solve the original issue. Instead of reducing trade with one large country, it would be far more beneficial to increase trade with other countries and innovate to produce and export a variety of goods and services. This would diversify the consumer base and provide an adequate cushion in the event of a financial disturbance in one place.
In conclusion, I would reiterate that smaller countries should stay away from impractical measures such as reducing trade with large countries, unless they are ready for an immediate economic collapse.
Early childhood is seen as a period in which most of the intellectual development of a child happens. Parents send their children to several classes and activities to make the most of this period? Do you think engaging the child in so many activities, has more advantages or disadvantages?
Early education industry is a multibillion dollar industry worldwide. Parents are always eager to give their children the best opportunity to grow and develop in life. As a result several parents enroll their children in multiple after school classes and activities to increase the chances of their child’s success in life. In my opinion this definitely has some advantages but only if a balance is maintained in child’s life.
It is right to say that early childhood is the period which can have a lasting impact on a child’s development. Children learn much more and much easier at a younger age. The mind is a fertile ground and it is easier for the seeds of new knowledge to germinate and take root. Therefore, it makes sense that the child is exposed to a wide variety of activities and opportunities. It is expected that later on in life the child will stick with some of these activities and develop them into lifelong assets.
However, burdening a child with too many things to do and too many options can only end up killing the joyful spirit of childhood. Instead of embracing the new things a child’s mind can totally shutdown to new learning experiences. Childhood cases of depression are no longer an anomaly. For instance, countries such as South Korea and India that are known for pushing young children also witness a high rate of child suicides.
In conclusion, I would reiterate my belief that exposing children to different activities and learning opportunities has definite merits, but only if done without overburdening the children.
Companies like Apple come up with new version of their products every few months. Is it good to adapt the new technology and products as soon as they are released, or shall we wait for them to become more common and mainstream?
The pace of technology innovation has drastically increased over the last couple of decades, leading to new products or new versions of existing products every few months. Companies like Apple launch new devices or improvement on their devices every couple of months in glitzy showcase launch events. While I support innovation, I believe rushing to purchase every new technology and product is not a wise decision.
At the outset, we can acknowledge the fact that some of these versions have major feature improvements or include new useful capabilities not available in older products. When these new features solve a genuine customer need they are very useful. Therefore if someone who would genuinely benefit from buying a newer model of a product, he should definitely go for it.
However, the truth is that majority of these new models are only cosmetic improvements or include technologies which have not yet been proven in the mass market. Therefore, it is much wiser to wait and let the new technology stabilize before jumping into the bandwagon. Often the older products serve all reasonable needs and buying the new product just for the sake of it is just a sheer waste of money. For instance throwing away a perfectly good iPhone6 to buy an iPhone7 just because it is a few grams lighter is not a smart purchase for most people.
In conclusion, I would reiterate that while new technology is definitely useful in some cases, for vast majority it is much better to wait and let the technology as well as the prices become more stable.
“A person can achieve success only if he spends each and every moment of his day working towards his goal”. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
The history of mankind can be described in a series of endeavors and achievements. We are not short of stories of inventors or entrepreneurs who spent their life perfect a technology or growing a business. However to think that a person can achieve success only if spends all his time and energy in the pursuit of his goal, in my opinion is a misconception.
Firstly, the success in most scenarios in life is not just the outcome of a person’s own efforts. Efforts are important but the success also depends upon external factors such as the availability of a supportive environment, economic factors prevailing at that time and presence of absence of other competition. Therefore to think that a person can succeed merely by the dint of his own unstoppable efforts is not correct.
Secondly, success has different connotations for different people. A holistic definition of success would also include things like good health, general happiness, presence of friends and family and pursuit of arts and hobbies. It is also seen that happier people often produce more creative and joyful work than those who are unidimensional and do not understand the other aspects of life. For instance, it is not uncommon to see zealous startup founders end up severely depressed and financially unsuccessful.
Therefore, while I acknowledge the role of efforts in the pursuit and ultimate attainment of a goal, I do not believe that it should be at the expense of everything else.