GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 340
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Many people believe that exams are the best way of assessing a student’s ability and level. Others, however, believe that they put unnecessary pressure on young learners and tell us very little about their actual ability.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Many believe that examinations are the most useful tool for determining the ability and skill of a pupil, while others feel that they exert unnecessary pressure on children and are unable to gauge their ability objectively. In my opinion, formal exams place undue pressure on students and provide us with nominal information about their true capabilities.
It is true that exams are sometimes a useful means of evaluating a pupil’s academic competency. The question paper is the same for all which opens up an equal opportunity for all learners. The pupils write answers on the basis of what they have learnt from their teachers and other sources. The student who scores higher marks has better knowledge. For example, it is often the case that those who have more comprehensive knowledge and good presentation skills get higher marks and are adjudged better than others.
But there is no denying that children suffer from exam anxiety, and exams cannot evaluate their true skills properly. This is because exams are a competitive evaluation of memory retention, knowledge and performance. Young learners, therefore, feel the pressure to do well in their exams. They become eager to impress their parents and teachers as well, thereby causing enormous stress. Besides, examinations are not a reliable means of measuring the ability of a student. It, in fact, tests how many facts a student memorize and shoves into his brain a week before the exam. This means that exams cannot determine children’s conceptual knowledge. I, therefore, believe that when examinations cannot measure a student’s academic knowledge properly, this means that they only cause undue pressure.
In conclusion, while examination provides an approach to gauge a student’s academic competence, I think they are not a fair means of evaluating the ability of the pupils as they create unnecessary anxiety and cannot determine conceptual comprehension.