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CLEP English comp essay point of view: curriculum in education


Peterson123 4 / 9 1  
Mar 14, 2017   #1
Hello, I am currently preparing to take the CLEP English Comp with essay exam. Please evaluate the following essay; generally, I feel better about my grammar than I do about the structure of my arguments.

I don't have a clear sense of what the standards are for scoring essays and would greatly appreciate some feedback regarding how well this essay would score, as well as any suggestions for improvement. Thank you in advance.

Prompt: Colleges need to have a mandatory core curriculum, required classes that all students must take, regardless of their major. Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your reasoning with examples taken from your reading, studies, experiences, or observations.

College study



Colleges, intended to provide students with necessary information for life, offer both general and specialized classes. The former are used to provide assistance in broad, necessary subjects, and the latter are used as preparation for specific careers. However, mandatory core classes are no less important than specialized classes and should be required because they skills they teach are essential for life in a modern world.

For example, although my father did not major in mathematics, he was required to take certain mathematics classes in college. These classes have been helpful to him in his career and in situations in which he handles money. Similarly, he was required to take certain English classes that have increased his ease of communication in using his degree, just as good communication always opens opportunities.

Mandatory core classes are also helpful for parents who aim to help their children achieve success. Although my mother did not major in English, her education in that area is apparent as she helps me and my siblings with our English homework. She also has a broad understanding of literature and mathematics that enables her to help us effectively.

Mandatory core classes also help students to begin gaining their degrees with better study skills. English classes, for example, would help students to better understand textbooks and write class essays. In addition, students who have studied in less specialized classes will have better abilities to plan for test preparation when the major tests for their degrees arrive.

General classes also offer a less obvious advantage: perseverance. No matter what career I choose, there will always be parts of that career that are unpleasant or outside my comfort zone. However, a broad education and an ability to persevere through awkward assignments will help me to manage problems that are difficult for me.

Just last night, my father spoke with me and my siblings about the advantages of college education. Specifically to the topic of mandatory core classes, he told us that such assignments developed his ability to think and to solve problems. He told us that, when he attempts to manage problems to which he is unaccustomed, a broad education and an ability to handle the less specialized assignments provided in such classes as mandatory core classes enable him to manage situations that extend beyond the scope of his specialized degree.

Mandatory core classes offer students opportunities beyond their chosen majors. They allow for broader understanding of necessary skills and better capacities for more obscure problems. Colleges that require such classes will find that their students are better equipped to study, and even more importantly, better equipped for life.

Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Mar 15, 2017   #2
M, when you discuss these sorts of essays, do not rely on 3rd party information such as an obviously made up discussion with your father about core curriculum classes. It is always more impressive if you are able to relate the topic of discussion directly to your personal experiences. So, the section where you indicated that the core classes would have a use in your future career should have been reversed. It should have indicated that you have had use for the core curriculum classes that you had in the past in certain aspects of your life. For example, your core knowledge of English led to your taking the CLEP. Your classes in Math help you to balance your checkbook, and other similar information. It is because of these shortcomings in your essay that I think you will get somewhere between a 4 and 5 as a score.
OP Peterson123 4 / 9 1  
Mar 15, 2017   #3
@Holt, thank you very much for your great feedback. This process is so helpful, and I want to improve my writing.

I will say, though, that the conversation with my father did actually happen last night (and we laughed about its ironic timing, and how my essay was perceived when we read your comments), but your point is well-taken to provide more concrete examples. :-)


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