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Example CAE writing part 1 #003


Your class has listened to a discussion about factors that have an influence on major decisions we make in our lives. You have made the notes below: 

Factors which influence major decisions we make in our lives: 

  • education 
  • money
  • people

Some opinions expressed in the discussions: 

“A good education opens up many opportunities.” 

“Money makes anything possible.” 

“We learn from the experience of others.” 

Write an essay for your tutor discussing two of the factors in your notes. You should explain which factor you think has a greater influence on major decisions we make in our lives, and provide reasons to support your opinion. 

You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion, but you should use your own words as far as possible. 


Life-changing decisions do not come about by themselves; they can be conditioned by differing factors such as education a person has received or people surrounding the decision maker. Some hold the view that people are influenced by the attitude of their peers and family as some research articles signify this by analysing social pressure in the decision-making process; however, educated people prove to be better prepared for life, being emotionally intelligent and better planners.

First of all, parents have a significant formative impact on their children’s decision making. It is quite natural for them to exhibit well intended protective behaviour, but it may turn out to be decisively negative for their children. As is the case, younger people are often pressured into giving up their life dreams to opt for something that their parents recommend would be much safer and more conventional. Consequently, people usually adhere to their loved ones and do the traditional thing rather than their aspirations. However, this cuts both ways, as protecting friends or children from setbacks and failure can also result in lost opportunities for them; forsaken for the sake of conventional wisdom and safety. 

Nevertheless, education and knowledge can broaden your horizons. While trusting your instinct and listening to your peers can be helpful, it is often a hit-or-miss experience. The real advantage of education is that it can give you the tools to analyse something without necessarily depending on the subjective experiences of others. You can objectively weigh the pros and cons of each decision. Thus, confidence rests on facts and figures rather than hearsay. Moreover, education can help you reasonably assess and predict the consequences of each of your decisions, therefore, aptly preparing you for the future.

To recap, while social influence makes us do things we may not want to, it is education which sets the scene for life-changing developments.

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Published in CAE writing part 1