IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 481 - Formal examinations are the only effective way to assess a student's performance

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Formal examinations are the only effective way to assess a student's performance. Continual assessment such as course work and projects is not a satisfactory way to do this.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant example from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.


Sample Answer 1:
Evaluation methods of a student’s performance have always been an area of contention around the world. Many believe that this can be done by continual assessment of their assignments and project work. On the other hand, people are also in favour of formal examination.  I believe the latter is a more appropriate option. This can be proved by analysing the fact that the homework and projects done at home can be copied and also the memory of a student can be tested in a formal test only.

Firstly, the workbook assignments submitted by the students are not always done by them. A study by the education department of India proved that many parents help their children in the completion of assignments. Not only this, the projects are also copied in order to submit the same on time. Thus, we can say that it is not a reliable method to judge student capabilities.

Secondly, the examination that is taken in education institutes makes students learn the concept and also memorise the same that they have studied in their class. Moreover, these are conducted in the presence of Invigilator. Hence, restricting students to take any external help. This shows how much grasping power does an individual have. Therefore, this can be considered as a more reliable method of testing one’s ability.

To conclude, looking at the discussion it is clear that advantages of formal testing outweigh the advantages of testing by assignments and projects. I believe the method should be implied across the globe and it can be predicted that many countries will adopt this way of assessment because of its effectiveness.

[ by - Kapil Batra ]


Sample Answer 2:
Formal examinations have been used as means of assessing students on their understanding of various subjects since time immemorial. Considering it in isolation or in combination with other continual assessment such as course work or projects, it remains a subject of controversy as to the best method of assessment. In my opinion, a combination of the two may be a better way of assessing students.
First and foremost, the aim of the assessment is to quantify how much the student understands the taught subject in its totality. An examination is usually administered on a single sitting. The outcome depends on various factors such as whether the examination is conducted in a conducive atmosphere, whether the student is healthy during the time of the examination and also the student’s mood. These are all non-academic factors that may affect the result of the examination.

Secondly, a single examination may not cover the scope of the subject completely especially in broad subjects such as medicine and law. Continual assessments may then come in handy.

In addition, formal examinations are not flexible enough to assess other qualities possessed by a student such as confidence and the ability of a student to present a topic to the public. These can only be done through other assessments such as presentations and other course works and projects.

In conclusion, formal examinations are a good means of assessment but should not be used in isolation due to some of its shortcomings such as its inability to cover wide topics, being affected by other none academic factors such as a student’s mood or health. Therefore, continual assessments such as course work and projects should also be considered.

[ by - Abdurrahim Zakari ]


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