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Written English (UL applicants)

Good preparation for the Written English component is to attempt the sample essay prompts provided below. Candidates should try to complete the essays in one hour under 'test conditions'. Once completed, it is often helpful to ask someone else to read the essays and to suggest improvements or alternative approaches to the prompts. (Note that it is not necessary to agree with the prompts). It can also be useful to put the essays aside for several days before re-reading them to look for ways to make improvements.

Candidates are often concerned about the expected length of the essays. Within reason, the quality of the writing is much more important than the length. Candidates only have 30 minutes to plan and write each essay, and the examiners do not have unrealistic expectations of what can be produced in that time.

The following questions will be considered in assessing the writing of candidates:

  • What kinds of ideas has the candidate developed in response to the prompt?
  • To what extent and how well has the candidate explored the ideas and issues in the prompt?
  • Has the candidate developed a structured and organised piece of writing?
  • Has the candidate written clearly and fluently?
  • Is the language used by the candidate precise and appropriate?

Sample essay prompts:
1. Science and Technology have brought many benefits, but they have also brought problems that may eventually negate those benefits.
2. It is better to burn out than to rust out.

On the test day responses to the essay prompts are written directly into an answer booklet given to candidates. Working space is provided to plan the essays. Candidates should write neatly and legibly in pen. Pencils are not acceptable.

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