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Taking standardized tests to prove learning progress - Toefl IBT writing essay

tuanlnc 10 / 36  
Aug 25, 2009   #1

I'm preparing to take the Toefl IBT test in December 2009, but I feel it's difficult to improve my speaking and writing skills.

Regarding the writing skill, I have tried to write several essays, but no one review them for me. Would you please do me a favor? The following is one of my essays. Please review & let me know all mistakes I made so that I can avoid in the future.

Topic 1: Students should be required to take regular standardized tests to prove that are learning.

In my opinion, the taking regular standardized tests is not really good for students. Because it will make students' studying less efficient.
First, it takes a lot of time of both professors and students to prepare for the tests. Students must focus preparing for the tests not for understanding deeply about the subjects. Also, Professors must edit the test content and review all students' test papers. In Vietnam, one class can contains fifty to one hundreds of students. How long does it take professors' time to check all test papers? I think it's a lot.

Second, If students spend more time for testing then they will loose focus on the research about the subjects. One semester has about forty-five weeks. In one week, professors have about two or three hours for teaching one subject. This is not much time, so professors should use that time for giving students basic concept about the subject with some practices and instruct them how to do more research to get intensive knowledge about the subject.

However, it doesn't mean that tests are not necessary. Students should do about tests in one term. They are midterm and final tests. Besides projects and essays, tests are the normal way to access students. It helps student consolidating their knowledge about the subject.

Conclusion, we should not take a lot of time of students to taking tests. It's very useful when we use that time for practices. But at least, students must be tested twice per semester.

Thanks in advance,


EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Aug 25, 2009   #2
Taking regular standardized tests is bad, you say. Students should be tested regularly (twice a semester) to make sure that they are learning? Um, pick a side and stick to it. Or is it that you are in favor of testing, but not standardized testing? You could mean this, but it seems more as if you are okay with testing so long as regular means "twice a semester, but no more." I know this is a TOEFL essay, and so logical arguments aren't too much of a necessity, but really, you need to think things through a bit more here:

1. Are you against standardized testing, or testing in general?

2. If against standardized testing, what about standardizing the tests is bad?

3. If against testing in general, how else do we make sure students have learned anything?

At the moment, it sort of seems as if your actual thesis is that regular standardized testing is good, but should not be used too often. If this is the case, then reorganize your essay to support this concept.
OP tuanlnc 10 / 36  
Aug 26, 2009   #3
Thanks Sean for responding!

May be, I misunderstood this term "regular standardized tests". I think it means that students must take of a lot of tests during the semester, not only two. Indeed, what does the term mean?

Also, I confused beetween standardized tests and general tests. Can you please explain them for me! I will restructure my essay.


jgv115 4 / 25  
Aug 26, 2009   #4
I'm not sold on your view point. One could easily argue against this. You need stronger points.
sugarzhi 3 / 15  
Aug 26, 2009   #5
If this is for toefl, I suggest you pay attentions to the structure of the essay. Good luck~
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 4, 2009   #6
Also, I confused between standardized tests and general tests. Can you please explain them for me! I will restructure my essay.

Well, this shows that is not a good prompt for the TOEFL, as it requires some cultural knowledge that some test-takers do not have. Standardized tests are tests that are administered to large groups of students -- all of the students in a school district, state, or even country -- for purposes of comparing the students (or their schools) to one another. They are called "standardized" because all of the students in different schools take the same tests. They are generally administered once each year or even every other year. Some school districts use a standardized graduation test.

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