[COLOR=blue]You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
[COLOR=blue]Write about the following topic:
[COLOR=blue]Only formal examinations, written or practical, can give a clear picture of students’ true knowledge and ability at university level. Continuous assessment like course work and projects are poor measures of student ability.
[COLOR=blue]+ How far do you agree with this latter statement?
[COLOR=blue]You should write at least 250 words.
[COLOR=blue]Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
[COLOR=blue][COLOR=#000000](Academic Writing Practice for IELTS (Tác giả Sam McCarter, chú giải tiếng Việt: Nguyễn Thành Yến, Nhà Xuất Bản Tổng Hợp Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh; TRANG 117)
The debate about how to assess students at university has been raging as long as such institutions have existed. In one group are those who believe that the only sure way to test the ability to study or achievement is through formal examinations.
The increased use of the internet has shown the difficulty that teachers have in assessing their students’ course work. Students can download vast amounts of material from the web. In fact, it is impossible for a teacher to know whether the student did, in fact, do the work himself. The student may have done part of the work for a project, but it is difficult for the tutor to assess the student properly. The problem then is that if the teacher ignores the possibility that the student stole the ideas from somewhere else, a body of workers will be produced who are not really up to the jobs.
In the other group are those who feel that normal written exams are wrong and that assessment should be continuous throughout a course. There are students who do not perform well under pressure in exams. They may know the information that they are asked to write about very well, but may not be able to perform. So it would be wrong to destroy someone’s career just because of this. Furthermore, the numbers here are not insignificant, so the effect on the job market would be high.
The answer, I feel, lies in somewhere in the middle. A university degree should be based on a combination of both forms of assessment. The proportion of marks given to each type of assessment could depend on the nature of the course. For example, a particular course, say an MA, may be more research based work, which would be better assessed by course work like essays etc. In this case, however, it is still wise to have an examination like an oral or a viva where the student is examined in detail about the content of what they have written.
Word count: 336 wordsPossible band: 7
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