Logic and the Expression of Extreme Views in your IELTS Test
In this blog, I would like to share a couple of questions asked by an IELTS teacher.
Question one: Do extreme views negatively affect task response?
Question two: Will a lack of logic impact on the score for task response and cohesion and coherence?
- Extreme views… What one person might think is extreme somebody else might not… It depends on religion and background. Examiners are not given any guidance on this.
- Logic…. Again what one person thinks is logical another one might not and this can depend on culture another background issues. Again examiners are not given any guidance or training with regards to this.
Examiners are trained with regard to the grading criteria rubrics I have attached. This is what they’re trained to follow and in theory, you can use this to answer your questions. In theory, extreme views and logic are only going to impact on the score to the extent that they impact on the grading criteria.
Now, if an examiner feels insulted due to an extreme view, or that someone has not used appropriate logic… there is a possible effect beyond the grading criteria and this is because the examiner is a human and may subconsciously deviate from the guidance of the grading criteria.
If you’d like to read on I am going to share with you my response with regard to logic that I gave to another teacher with regard to the essay sample below.
Logic is important and if a paragraph does not progress in a logical way then it will lack coherence and that will also impact the response to the question. I agree with some of your comments and feel that certain aspects lower cohesion and coherence and task response but do not totally destroy it.
- The introduction does not show a clear view of the question. ‘This is a tragedy’ has nothing to do with what governments should do. I agree with this but the next sentence does suitably express an opinion… As you said it would be good to get rid of the word tragedy and then to join the two sentences together.
- The question asks what does the candidate think governments should do, not what would the candidate do if he/she was in charge of the government. I agree, again it’s not ideal, but again the meaning does come through enough… That the writer is feeling that the government should take this action
- Arguing arts are timeless and sports are not is unconvincing. Take Micheal Jordan’s highlight video clips on YouTube as an example, billions of views can prove that sports are not a flash in the pan. [This is a good counterargument but I think what the student wrote is okay]
- The candidate uses Van Gogh and Mozart as examples to support his view, but he/she ignored that neither of them was supported by the governments, and these are merely individual examples that cannot to be applied in general. So these are not ideal examples but still, they do help to communicate the point that art is timeless
Personally, I think that this student may be a level 7 writer and you may be being overly critical. Having said that the points you make are valid and some examiners may want as you have done… Which means that definitely better for the student to take on board the points you make as they going to reduce the risk of getting a low score.