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'Nowadays, students study a gamut of subjects in different fields'. TOEFL - Writing question


chandnimaishery 3 / 6  
Oct 28, 2015   #1
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should require students to study many subjects in different fields rather than just their major subjects.

Nowadays, universities require their students to study a gamut of subjects in different fields rather than just their major subjects. Yet it is an inefficient method of education and needs to be changed. I believe universities should not make their students to study many subjects in different fields.

First, it is easier for the students to focus on a single subject rather than a wide range of subjects. Completing a major requires a student to study significant number of courses in a particular area. If they have to study more number of subjects, focusing on all of them will be a task. For instance, a student of majors in architecture when forced to study subjects irrelevant to her field will be unable to focus not only on her major subject but also on the other subject assigned by the university. This would hamper the grades of the student and also her state of mind.

Second, majoring in a subject makes one a master of that area. This provides a better career prospects for the student. The companies while hiring will know that you have special expertise of the subject and they will provide better growth prospects. However, if many subjects are forced upon a student and if the student somehow manages to complete all the subjects, it will still hinder the student's career aspects. For instance, if a company is hiring a candidate with Java skills it will prefer a candidate with majors in programming rather than a candidate with generalized resume. The company will presume the latter candidate to be jack of all and master of none.

All in all, it is always preferable for the students to study in their major subjects rather than a wide range of subjects in different irrelevant fields.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 28, 2015   #2
Chadni, in your opening statement, don't say that you believe students should not make student study many subjects in different fields. Always remember what the prompt requires of you. In this case, it wants you to either disagree or agree with a statement. Therefore, your response should have been worded as such. For example " I disagree that universities...for a number of reasons." Forming your response in such a manner makes it more prompt responsive and shows the examiner that you understand what the prompt requires in terms of response formatting.

Your first paragraph would have been stronger if you had closed it with a reference to the kinds of grades that the students would get if they are forced to study related and unrelated courses at the same time. This is the logical final sentence in this paragraph since you discussed how confusing studying more subjects would be, specially if there are non-major related subjects being studied by the student.

Your second paragraph forgets to consider the fact that the first 2 years of college are generally geared towards general courses and does not necessarily have the major subjects involved. Remember, the first 4 semesters of college are meant to help build the foundation of your research, science, and math skills. So yes, any college graduate should be considered a jack of all trades because the universities require him to build a general foundation for his academics before he concentrates on his major. So arguing that a student would become a "jack of all trades, master of none" is not really an acceptable line of reasoning in this case.

Finally, your conclusion is too short. You need to lengthen it to at least 3 sentences covering the basics, the summary of the prompt, final discussion overview, and your restatement of your opinion. Right now, your conclusion is not an acceptable TOEFL length conclusion. Over all though, this is not a bad attempt at essay writing TOEFL style. You proved you understood the instructions and could present understandable supporting discussions for it. Grammar issues aside, you did quite well with this essay.


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