Examinations - Part 1

دوره: Mastering ielts writing task 2 band 9 model answers / فصل: Discussion Essays / درس 1

Examinations - Part 1

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Welcome to the course everybody we’re going to start this course by first looking at. So the easiest question type that you can get in ials writing task too. And by doing that we’ll be able to focus on some of the basics of writing in these early lectures. Things like idea development things like basic structure and things like that. So let’s get started this question here. Let’s read it out together and I want you to think about what kind of question it is. There seems to be an increasing trend towards assessing students through exams rather than through continual assessment. What are the advantages and disadvantages of exams as a form of assessment. OK so hopefully you’re telling me that this is a discussion essay and you would be right if you are saying that it’s right that first of all you have a discussion I say that is step one in terms of planning our response. If you haven’t heard of these steps I recommend checking out the planning your response lecture. My task is to Video Course discussion essays. The first thing we do the second thing we do is to identify and highlight key words. So let’s do that. Now maybe you can think about what the key words are here. I would say the key words might be things like increasing trend is happening more and more. We can reference that in the introduction assessing students through exam so that there’s this idea of assessment not just the exams itself the assessment. We will talk about that within the course of the essay rather than through continual assessment. So we’re measuring it really against continued assessment that provides a little bit of context. Maybe we’re at the rather than in there as well. OK. And then we just have simply what are the advantages and disadvantages of exams as a form of assessment. However it’s not quite as simple as that to notice that they’re not asking you primarily about continual assessment. Some people will make the mistake of writing about the advantages and disadvantages of exams and then the advantages and disadvantages of continual assessment. You’re not really being asked about that you’re being asked about exams as a form of assessment and continual assessment can provide a sense of context to put those advantages and disadvantages against. If you don’t know what I mean by that don’t worry it’s going to come up later in this essay. But primarily we’re focusing on exams and it’s very important to acknowledge that. OK so now we have our key words. Maybe we should just put this here is what I mean it’s pretty obvious we’re talking about advantages and disadvantages but helpful to just put that in. Now we have our key word we can now think about writing a plan again planning very very important to have a look at the planning lecturer in the Tosti video course if you haven’t seen it yet planning you should not need to plan your introduction or your conclusion. We should be able to rely on formulas to help us here. The body paragraphs are much more important so we’re going to spend time planning those. The whole plan ideally should take no longer than five minutes it would take a little bit longer. When I’m talking about in this video because talking up the time if you were just writing it would obviously be much faster. Really really simple when it comes to the structure of discussion I say that’s why we’re looking at these. First you just gave advantages in the first paragraph that’s the theme in the second paragraph is about the disadvantages of what we are being asked about which is exams as a form of assessment. So the structure is super super simple intro advantages disadvantages conclusion when it comes to planning the body paragraphs themselves. The lecture on building body paragraphs would be quite helpful here but this is what I’m going to do. OK. So what I have here are a number of different letters and each letter corresponds to a different type of sentence is first what is our topic sentence This will contain our main argument our main point as well as the main theme of the paragraph. We’ll follow it with a support sentence to back up that point and we’ll follow that with an example. And then because we asked about advantages plural we go into them right about another advantage still staying with the same theme. Advantages of exams as a form of assessment. And then we’ll support that as well. And then we will do pretty much the same thing below with the disadvantages. But we’ll come to that in a moment. So we’re going to get some ideas advantages advantages of exams as a form of assessment. The first one that comes to mind for me is that they don’t leave any room is a nice way of putting it. They don’t leave any room for cheating. So we’re say no room for the teachings. Much harder to cheat in an exam than it is when you have continual assessment which often takes place at home with assignments and things like that. So with the support sections we’re saying why why is it that exams are better. Cutting out cheating and here is where we have an advantage to show our topic correct vocabulary. We can talk about the presence of an invigilator the person who is in the exam room and is watching to try and detect any signs of cheating. So I’m just going to put the word invigilator here and I will turn it into a sentence later when you’re in your plan. Try not to overdevelop your ideas when you’re planning you can save that for when you are actually writing here. Your plan is designed to give you props to remind you of your original idea so that you can speed up when you’re actually in the writing process. Example in a way we’ve already given an example of how exams limit’s cheating because we’ve used the example of an invigilator we can still write it like a support sentence. So maybe here it might actually be better to use the exam. The alternative which is continual assessment and explain how that is a little bit worse. Remember this is not the primary purpose of the paragraph we’re looking at the advantages of exams as a form of assessment but they have mentioned this in the top so it’s good to reference continual assessment it’s the purpose of the paragraph but it’s good to include within the paragraph so we can say the continual assessment in contrast increases the risk of plagiarism. Be very careful with the spelling of this word is often misspelled so at the risk of plagiarism because assignments are often completed home in the company of the Internet. You know it’s quite easy too. Much easier to cheat through plagiarizing in that way. Let’s think of another advantage. I would say exams are also more time efficient but that seems pretty self-explanatory why that they tend to only appear once or twice a year. So one two per year is continual assessment of course takes place many many times throughout the year so that your grade is continually if we think about the disadvantages. Now move on to the contrasting paragraph. Again we want to come up with the same sort of structural plan but will do it one at a time this time instead of all at once so if we start with the topic sentence here and actually in this topic sentence I’m just going to say that there are disadvantages. I’m going to separate it from the actual disadvantages itself. So we’re just going to say that there are some problems to this approach. You don’t always have to include the actual problem or disadvantage itself. If it seems like it fits better in a second sentence feel free to do that as long as things are cohesive. So we going to explain with an example one of the problems. So that’s something nice we can do. We can say there are a number of advantages. For example this one there are a number of problems. For example this one. So we’re using an example sentence to illustrate one of the disadvantages. One of those is that there’s a lot of pressure in exams and pressure can actually harm performance. I would say certainly for some students very very intelligent but when they go into an exam the high pressure situation can disrupt their mental flow and that can really harm their results. And I think I’m just going to emphasize that point even further in the following sentence so we’re just going to add a support sentence here explaining that even the brightest students the most intelligent students can perform poorly because exams are of such high pressure in nature. So the brightest students can perform poorly. Not all the time but some of time. OK and hopefully you can imagine what kind of sentence is going to come next. Just like advantages disadvantages. So we’ve got a second point here. Or if you will a second example however you want to write it really doesn’t matter about the letters. The letters won’t appear but as long as they help you to structure your thoughts. That’s the purpose here. So another disadvantage. Another problem. Another example of a problem is the I would say the narrow range of expression here a narrow range of information that the student is tested on. So the student might revise everything in the syllabus but when they actually come to the exam they’re only tested on a short or a small amount of information because there isn’t enough time for them to show their understanding of everything and the consequences VAPS does support sentence here. The consequence of that is that you don’t really get to test students in full so it’s not really like a full test of their knowledge. OK now of course that took a bit of time today as we progress through these lectures through these essays these plans should pick up in speed. Unless I really want to emphasise particular points but for now I think that looks pretty good and we can move over into actually writing the response so we’re going to leave this over here and move into the introduction now. OK so introduction we’re a little bit of help on introductions. I’d recommend watching the introductions video in the task to course but one thing that I do recommend is having a selection of phrases that you can use to start essays so different expressions will be used to start different essays. You can’t rely on just one for all different types of essays but if you have a selection behind you then you should have some adaptability. It shouldn’t take too long to get started. I think today I think it’s OK to use in recent years so we can see this increasing trend increasing trend. So to suggest that something is changing over time and if that’s the case in recent years it’s going to be quite appropriate. We can talk about how this is changing or has been changing in recent years because in recent years requires us to use the present perfect while the present perfect continuous. So in recent years when I say the approach of using exams to assess students again and making it very clear that I have fully understood and appreciated the task language the task requirements I’m slightly paraphrasing which is important that you can see that I’ve understood the task properly. The approach of using exams to assess students has is a nice expression. Instead of talking about a trend we can say has risen in popularity which is a trend we’re talking about something happening more often or more commonly than something else and that than something else will be this pie here over the alternative of continual assessments. I say over the alternative. You can imagine that there is the word approach just in here. Alternative working like an adjective and approach working like the noun that you don’t actually need to repeat the word approach and an alternative becomes the noun itself. So the approach of using exams to assess students has risen in popularity over the alternative of continual assessments. Notice as I mentioned in recent years being used with the present perfect. Ok then we can move into just one more sentence. We really only need two sentences when we were writing introductions. Particularly if you are confident and capable writer you shouldn’t really need three. You should be able to cover this in just two sentences and the second sentence will be a plan. This essay will always the same or writing a plan. Keep it simple. This essay will highlight highlight illustrate. Discuss explore lots of different verbs you could use here both because we’re looking at two things. Both the benefits and drawbacks that let’s go with the verb result from. And then you reference the word approach we can say this approach though I’m going to use such an approach which you can also use as well. But one thing to notice here is the definite article. One of the most common errors that I see in this plan sentence is people will miss this definite article. So you’re talking about specific benefits and specific drawbacks. Those of using to assess students they’re not just random benefits random drawbacks they are specific. So we need a definite article. Almost all the time in that plan sentence what you will see here is something that I have omitted. So you’ll see what’s actually not there what is not there is an opinion and there is no opinion here because there is no need for an opinion. We are not asked for our opinion. It’s not a task requirement. So we can leave that out of the essay if you want to include your opinion you can add it in the conclusion if you wish but don’t include it earlier it’s just going to slow you down for no reason you won’t gain any extra marks band 7 for fantastic response says that we need to present a clear position throughout the response. But if we are not asked for a position then this plan is a way of presenting opposition. Opposition is to highlight both the benefits and drawbacks of being very clear about your purpose here and that’s all that we need. When it comes to an introduction for a discussion say so we can move into the body of the essay now starting with body paragraph 1 and we can see from our plan over here that we’re beginning with the advantages and we can actually just say that that we’re beginning with the advantages with an expression like. To begin with the advanced is sound super simple right. Sometimes it is just like that. And sometimes the simpler approach is the best approach. I’m actually going to change the word advantages because I’m going to use the word advantage in a minute. Anyway I don’t want to repeat myself. So in other words we could choose is wonder if you can work out what I’m going for the positives the positives. It’s not just an adjective. It works as a noun as well. So to begin with positives a crucial and his that word advantage a crucial advantage. Now we want to explain what we’re talking about exactly. Bring in the actual task itself a crucial advantage that examinations have and again be even more explicit than that. Show you understand the torture requirements as a form of assessment. Yes we’re repeating some of the language here but we didn’t do any introductions it was not quite so obvious and it makes it clear that we understand the task properly. Examinations have as a form of assessment is. So it’s there’s a subject there’s it is that they all have I got to no room. So they are a nice verb to use. They leave and I don’t want to say no room. I put it in my plan. But we know that’s not true. You can cheat anywhere if you have enough ingenuity and creativity let’s say. And a sneaky attitude just needs a personality. So I will say little room for cheating. They leave little room for teasing and that’s all we want to write. Don’t overdevelop your first sentence if you have lots of ideas. Break them up into separate sentences. This is one of the most common areas that I see is that people try to include too much information within a single sentence. They want to include the point they want to include the support of the point they want to include an example of the point or within one sentence break those ideas up. Really really important. OK. Next sentence we have a support sentence here we’re explaining how or why they leave little room for cheating. So nice and simple. But how do we answer or why sentence what we say because we don’t want to begin with because so we start with that this is because this is because it’s leaving little room for cheating is because exams got that support sentence invigilator exams are usually nice verb and taken. So we undertake exams undertaken in the nice noun noun unit the presence of another noun of an invigilator. Be careful with the spelling on the word invigilator in the presence of an invigilator. Now I’m going to use a relative clause just to explain what the job of an invigilator is. So we’re going to use a comma and who’s whose job it is to. Bit tricky the grammar there but if you follow it through you can see that it works. Whose job it is to watch a verb detect would be better. Whose job it is to detect any. What do you call someone who does an exam does it yourself with ials candidate to detect any candidate and breaking what was the collocation you’re breaking the rules very strong collocation you break a rule so breaking the rules showing your collocation understanding that we’re moving over to an alternative we’re basically providing context here. So we start this with an In contrast in contrast to starting alternative sentence alternative approach in contrast and we provide an example of what happens in continual assessment. We contrast it against the previous point. So exams no teaching continued assessment so teaching continual assessments increases the risk because I’ve put in the plan higher risk of plagiarism increases the risk of plagiarism. Now we can’t just leave it there we have to explain why. So we won’t use because we’ll say since just to mix things up since assignments as I mentioned before continue assessments as often to do with assignments are often completed. I said in the company of the Internet it sounds a bit too humanistic doesn’t it. So we’ll go with something like. With the help of the Internet and the reader should be able to piece together that of course. The internet is filled with opportunities for plagiarism. We don’t have to be quite so direct there. OK we’ll finish off with two more sentences. Looking at one more advantage the first one is going to be an actual sentence. So we’re going to say besides reducing cheating which is a nice thing to do. You don’t just say on top of that. Moreover Furthermore you can but if you want to emphasise the difference between the two and if you also want to remind the reader of the previous point you’ve made you can add the after besides. So besides the first positive. So besides reducing cheating exams are also what ever get down here time efficient. So more time efficient and we don’t need to say that and continual assessment because we know we’re comparing it with continuous assessments it just appeared in the previous sentence or simple time efficient. Why is that. Well this time instead of saying this is because what are you going to start with. Because well I’m going to paraphrase it to him as as they tend to only appear once or twice a year just like in the plan they’re twice a year. Then we can reverse the order. They free up nice phrasal verb here make available they free up more time for students to revise. And another nice verb pair to start with that’s OK. So instead of saying this is because they free up more time for students to revise and prepare because they only appear once or twice a year we just swapping the order around so we avoid increasing that word count. OK let’s have a look at the word count here. So you can see we’re at 1 3 5. It’s a really nice number. If we were to double as we’re halfway through you’d get to 270. And I try to keep essays within about a 10 percent increase so aiming for 2 7 5 or under Sometimes we will go over we will go over that over the course of this course. By the way but if we can keep it under it’s obviously better because it gives us more time to go back and check out our work.

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