IELTS Essay – Memorizing Information for Exams

By | May 13, 2013


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

In some traditions, the most important method of learning is to memorize information and recall it on an exam. In other traditions, students are mainly required to use information to solve problems. Compare and contrast both these approaches.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

You should write at least 250 words.


Paragraph 1: Introduction

Paragraph 2: Traditional approach – having students memorize

Paragraph 3: Modern approach – having students solve problems

Paragraph 4: Compare & contrast both approaches

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

ielts blog - essay - memorizing information  to learn


Over the years, teaching methods have undergone significant change. Innovative teaching methods, such as focusing on problem solving and creativity, are increasingly replacing traditional methods around the world. However, the traditional approach of having students memorize information is still preferred in many places.

It is often argued that traditional teaching methodologies are teacher-centric and students play a passive role in the classroom. Giving students information and requiring them to memorize it and recall it for an exam is part of a traditional approach. This method does not require problem-solving or applying new information. Students are only rewarded for recalling what they memorized from their lessons. However, it is a well-known fact that students forget information when they only learn it for an exam. Furthermore, memorizing does not facilitate learning.

Ielts blog - essay - memorizing information

Modern methods do not focus on memorizing and recalling information. Instead, teachers encourage creativity and problem solving, and encourage students to take an active part in their own learning. In modern methods, the teacher gives students an activity or project that will help them apply what they were taught. For example, students may work together in groups to solve an imaginary problem or they may be assigned a research paper or project to complete at home.

There are benefits to both approaches. For example, in biology, a student needs to memorize the parts of a cell and what each part does. Otherwise, he or she will not be able to use this information to solve biology problems. However, even though memorizing has its benefits, it should not be the main focus in classrooms. Instead, students should be required to use information to solve problems. This may be time-consuming. However, the teacher can simplify this approach by assigning simple problems that students can do at home, or assign a long-term project to complete. When students take an active part in their education, they will enjoy learning and be better prepared to solve problems as adults.

In my opinion, traditional methods have their place, but both methods of teaching should be present in a classroom. In addition, teachers should make a consistent effort to have students solve problems and use their creativity to increase learning. (362 words)

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