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Test date: 2018/10

Family structure


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic.

In recent years, the family structure has changed, as well as family roles. What are the changes occurring?
Do you think these changes are positive or negative?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

Model Essay

In recent times, there has been a number of changes within the structure of families, and the roles that family members play. This essay will discuss those changes, and the impacts these trends are having on families.

Firstly, in a lot of countries, many people are now choosing to live in a nuclear family structure, where only parents and children live together, and grandparents live separately. In the past, however, it was quite common in many countries for three, or even four generations of a family to all live under the one roof. There has also been a shift in the roles that various family members play. For example, in the past, it was commonplace for men to have to work to provide for their families, and women to stay at home to cook, clean, and raise the children. However, many women nowadays are choosing to work instead, while some fathers stay at home to help out with family and household duties.

These changes can bring about both positive and negative effects. Nuclear family structures allow more freedom to parents who no longer want to live in their hometown, in order to pursue their career. Many people need to live in large cities these days to find work, however many older, retired people want to remain living in their hometown. Though, one disadvantage of the nuclear family is that grandparents may not be available to help raise and care for grandchildren. In terms of the changing roles, women have greatly benefited from the opportunity to pursue a career, and become the breadwinner of the family, instead of being a housewife. One downside of this trend though might be that some people would argue that women are better at domestic duties than stay-at-home dads.

In conclusion, I believe there are both positive and negative effects from these changes, though the impacts on each  individual family will be different.

(281 words)


• a nuclear family structure
• generations of a family
• live under the one roof
• to provide for somebody/something
• family and household duties = domestic duties
• to pursue their career
• the breadwinner
• a housewife

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