Task 2: The advantages and disadvantages of examinations

by Sohaib

Tests and examinations are a central feature of school systems in many countries.

Do you think the educational benefits of testing outweigh any disadvantages.

Give reasons for your answer.

(Grammar corrections are in this version):

It is a common practice for many schools and colleges to assess their student's knowledge through different exams and tests. Whether this method has more benefits than drawbacks is debatable; I believe that examination(s) provide several educational benefits.

To begin with, one of the main advantages of examination(s) is that it is (they are) an easy tool to regularly assess a student's capability. Exams help a lot to bring an improvement in the individual's knowledge because they provide regular feedback to the students who acknowledge their shortcomings and work on them.

Another advantage is that exams promote competition among students. They work harder to improve their knowledge and skills. In this way they learn more. Also, exams are an excellent tools to determine the efficacy of teaching methods because teachers get an opportunity to monitor and evaluate their teaching stategies according to their student's progress. (make sure each paragraph has a central topic – your topic sentence says you will discuss ‘competition among students’, but then you go on to talk about teachers monitoring and evaluation).

On the other hand, there are certain drawbacks of exams. Firstly, they have a poor predictive quality because they only judge a student's ability under set conditions and limited time. Many a times a student who is otherwise good may get anxious or confuse(d) under strict exam conditions and may not perform up to the mark.

Secondly, many exams encourage teaching to the test practice. This is to say, teaching a fixed curriculum focussed (focused) on passing a specific exam. This method limits the curriculum to a set range of knowledge and skills. Obviously suc(h) practice does not provide much many educational benefits.

However, if some improvements are made to remove the above mentioned drawbacks, exams certainly provide many educational advantages. Therefore, I believe that the benefits of exams far outweigh its their drawbacks.


I want to know which side (advantages or disadvantages) should I mention first? If I’m in favour of exams, should I mention the drawbacks first to make my essay persuasive. I did not do it here because it appeared that if I mentioned the drawbacks right after finishing the last line of my first paragraph (I believe that exams provide several educational benefits), the essay will lose coherence. Am i right in thinking so? many thanks

To be honest I don’t think it will matter too much in a short essay of this type because the main focus is on whether you have answered the question, your coherence, your grammar and your lexis.

However, yes, if you are writing an essay to persuade someone of your opinion, then it can be better to put the other person’s side first, and then explain your side.

This means the reader will be left having read your side last so it is more persuasive, and it gives you the chance to say why you disagree with any of the other side’s view points.

But as you say, general coherence is more important than this so you were right to put the advantages first, given the thesis you had written, otherwise it would have looked disjointed.

To avoid this and write about the drawbacks first, you could have just put your opinion in the conclusion and had a different thesis that mentioned there are two sides to the issue.

Overall, though, you have written a very good answer. Few grammar errors (careful with ‘s’), you have fully answered the question, good lexis, and an opinion that remains consistent.

Make sure each paragraph has one central theme, or a topic sentence that ties in all the themes if they are different:

Another advantage is that exams promote competition among students. They work harder to improve their knowledge and skills. In this way they learn more.

In this one it would have benefited from more explanation rather than going on to another idea that seemed unrelated (given your topic sentence).

Hope that help,

IELTS buddy

Comments for Task 2: The advantages and disadvantages of examinations

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Nov 11, 2012
for against
by: Noor Omar

thnx..... :)

Apr 27, 2013
by: Anonymous

gud try....:)

Jun 27, 2013
great job
by: Anonymous


Aug 23, 2013
by: Anonymous

It was quite good website on which I got what wanted

Sep 25, 2013
Exam D's nd Ad's
by: Jale Koroivueta

EXAMINATIONS or Test enhance learning.They are conducted to inform and improve learning and also it provides teachers with students background and learning styles to assess and see how learning could be lifted.

Examinations should be formative in order to be effective.eg. scheme drawing,quizzes,exploration for science class.Because students learn in different ways examinations can be also modified from the traditional paper- pen style to modern computer or hands-on method.

Nov 13, 2013
nice one
by: nityanand

this was a very good one

Nov 17, 2013
by: Anonymous

gud try

Dec 01, 2013
fine thing
by: Anonymous

this is quite a good page for students

Apr 21, 2014
by: shagufta

very interesting
it is really helping me as i'm a student

May 21, 2014
critical thinker
by: veera


This is Veera
I would like to know more about limitations of oral and written examinations .
I read the essay it is written with critical thinking .

Oct 22, 2014
by: Anonymous

As to me advantages of exams outweigh its disadvantages. Examining or assessing students learning is part of instruction. Results of exams give information about students learning to parents, teachers and students themselves, so that strengths will be maintained and weakness will be corrected on time.

Nov 10, 2014
Not bad....
by: Anonymous

I hate exams. But when I work hard I score better marks ...

Nov 12, 2014
nice topics
by: kAvITa

Thnx a lot for ur topics.... ur topics r amazing ..... :)

Dec 09, 2014
Vry imp topic...
by: Pragya jaiswal

Thanx it helped me fr my school work......

Jan 04, 2015
Not bad
by: Anonymous


Feb 01, 2015
by: christina

Thank u soooooo much it really helped me a lot to complete my school homework.

Feb 04, 2015
by: Gayani

it really helped with my work a lot thank you soo much. good luck:)

Feb 23, 2015
advantages of examinations
by: richard


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