Writing Test: Information Transfer

By LEE CHEN PING (A126076)

Generally, if you want your students to improve in their writings, you need to ask them to write more! To do so, you might as well conduct more writing tests. The purpose of testing writing is to assess students’ writing skills. There are a lot of writing skills and sub-skills that a teacher can test but here I will only focus on the skill “Information Transfer”. I believe information transfer skill is very important for secondary students because this period of time acts as a transition for them to higher level learning. Eventually, they will begin to write formal articles, formal letters, and even arguments. Therefore, it is important to test them this skill so that interventions can be made in the early stage. An example of writing test is given below together with a model answer (please be noted that this question is an original work from the author (Lee Chen Ping), please cite if wish to reuse):


The graph below shows Internet Usage in Malaysia by Age Group, 2005 – 2007.

Write a report from the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Include an introduction and conclusion in your writing. Write in ONE paragraph only. You should write at least 150 words.

So, from this test, students need to interpret the non-liner data found in the bar graph as well as to explore the connection or co-relation between each aspect or each bar in the graph. The skills tested here are transferring information from non-linear to linear texts, understanding non-linear information, making predictive connection or co-relation from the graph, summarising information and presenting a conclusion. In short, students must analyse the data found in the non-linear graphic and report the findings. Also, this essay allows students to utilise writing skills such as making comparisons, organising materials and making judgment. Teaching formal writing might be very dry for the class; therefore teacher should always present interesting materials relating to students’ lives such as entertainment, technology, movies, celebrities, and even sports.

Model Answer

The graph shows changes in the age profile of Internet users in Malaysia between 2005 and 2007. The main users of Internet are young adults between 16-30 years old. In 2005, they accounted for more than half of all users. In 2006, it dropped slightly to 45%, and 44% in 2007. The second biggest group is aged between 31 and 50. They made up 41% in 2005, failing slightly to 37% in 2007. When combined with the 16-30 age groups, both groups made up over 90% of all users in Malaysia. However, this number is dropping steadily as more children and older users started to use the Internet. In 2006, children online quadrupled from 2% to 8%, and it continues to increase in 2007. There were similar increases for older users, rising from 4% in 2005 to 10% in 2000. In conclusion, although adults have the highest percentage, their share is declining as more children and older users join the web. (160 words)


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