Formal Examination or Continuous Assessment: PTE Sample Essay

formal examination or continuous assessment

Is Assessment Through Formal Written Examination Still Valid?

My topic of concern is “Formal examination or continuous assessment”. Both are the options to evaluate a student’s performance. But at one side, some people support formal written examinations while others are in favor of continual assessment, such as coursework and projects. Before giving my opinion on the subject, I would like to evaluate both stands with valid points, and then will conclude at the end clarifying my stand.

Formal examinations are systematic, pre-planned method that are being used in education system from many centuries. This method is helpful for teachers to see how much students have learnt throughout their course work. Further it provides an insight into each student’s learning abilities. After formal exams, students in need for more attention gets quite clear. Formal examinations are a good way to test memory of a student and grasping power.

Often student feels little nervousness and stressed when they take part in an important exam. So coping with stress and anxiety at this level help them to overcome fear at latter stage of life. For example: A friend of mine often get anxious a day before the test but he performs brilliantly in the test.

While others think that continuous assessmentsuch as course work and projects are a better to assess a student’s performance. The people are of the opinion that analyzing students at regular interval reduces the stress load on students that arises with formal examinations. If a pupil is attentive in classroom can be known with the evaluation of assignments, projects and practical tasks. They are also helpful to assess student’s skills like communication, analytical and presentation skills. Further, many other abilities like working in a group, that are hard to assess in formal examination system.


In conclusion, the formal examination system evaluates the learning and grasping power of a student while continuous assessment help them to identify their interest and evaluates their skills and abilities.

Therefore, I am in the view that both systems are essential to assess a student’s performance. With emergence of new courses and new curriculum there is strong need to assess multiple skills sets of the students but we can’t let go formal examination pattern completely. The combination of both the approaches can meet today’s education system objectives.

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