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Hi everyone, I am writing the GRE in two weeks and have just finished the ETS powerprep practice test 1.  I would really appreciate if I could get some feedback on the issue task as I am still unsure whether my writing is what the GRE is looking for.  Thanks everyone for your help!


A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college. 

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take.  In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.

In education history, professionals in education have spent numerous effort and time to develop a national curriculum that could benefit the learning of all students.  I agree that all students should study the same national curriculum in elementary and secondary school and have the flexibility to select courses that interest them in college.

One reason to enforce a national curriculum for all students is that this can ensure  students have received adequate training on all the basic skills that are required to be a productive individual in the society.  For example, English and Mathematic are two subjects that I believe should be listed as core subjects in the national curriculum.  In terms of English, it is important to make sure that all students have acquired the ability to communicate verbally and in written format.  Although students may develop different career that require various skills as they get older, the abilities to write and speak are cardinal skills that students need to function in everyday lives and to perform well in their job roles.  For Mathematic, students should acquire basic mathematic skills needed for everyday lives.  For example, students should be able to calcuate tips when they go to a restaurant and they should be able to calculate the amount of money they need to pay when they go grocery shopping.  Hence, a national curriculum with core subjects, such as English and Mathematics ensure all students have a foundation of basic skills that are needed in everyday lives.

Another reason for a standard national curriculum for all students is that a standardized national curriculum allow students to be compared on a same scale when they apply for admission to college.  As all students are required to take same courses and are evaluated with the same formats and scales, it allow college admission offices to compare the students' performance in a standardized and fair way.  If the students have taken different courses, their averages on their final years do not provide a fair comparison on which students perform better.  For example, student A have taken all arts courses and student B have taken all science courses in their final year.  Although student A may have a higher final year average than student B, it does not mean student A would be a better candidate for a college science program.  Thus, a standard national curriculum is needed to provide a standardized and fair way to compare the performance of students to assist in college admissions.

 As all students are required to study the same national curriculum until they enter college, one would argue that the standard national curriculum would limit students in choosing courses that interest them.  However, I believe this is not the case as many students only become aware of what courses interest them as they reach their final year in high school.  After studying the same national curriculum, students in their final year may have an insight on their strengths, weaknesses and interests.  This insight would help students select thier interested field of study as they progress to college.  By enforcing all students to study the same national curriculum through elementary and high school, students are also fully equipped to pursue training at college levels.  Regardless of what courses students decide to take in college, the national curriculum will ensure all students have a foundation of knowledge and skills.  This would allow benefit college professors when designing the first year courses as the college professors are aware of the knowledge levels of their incoming students.  

To conclude, a standard national curriculum for all elementary and high schools are beneficial to ensure all students have a foundation of basic knowledge and skills that are important for everyday lives and provide a standardized system for college admissions to access students' performance.  A standard national curriculum also allow students to develop an insight on thier skills and interests and prepare students to untake any courses that students wish to take in college.    

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