Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
On the Subject of Language Tests and Opinion-based Questions
Most language exams ask the exam taker to write or speak their answer to a question that asks for his or her opinion on a specific topic.

So, how should one express their opinion?

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First, let’s begin with the definition of the noun <em>opinion</em>:
<ul><li> a generally held view that may be based on facts, ideas, preferences, thoughts, etc.</li><li> a thought or belief about something or someone.</li></ul>

Synonyms for the word opinion include a person’s:
<ul><li> viewpoint, impression, judgment, idea, attitude, theory, conclusion, feeling, or assessment.</li></ul>

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An opinion can be formed and stated in two ways:
1 using well-established, widely recognized and accepted facts, and/or
2 using a person’s personal belief, thought or preference

Here are some examples of fact-based opinions and personal opinions:

FACT PERSONAL OPINION

Diamonds are hard Diamonds are pretty
The earth is the third planet from the sun There is only one planet like earth in the universe
My cooking skills are not good I am the worst cook in the world

It is a fact that my cooking skills are not good, however, I may not be the worst cook in the world… 

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HOW TO CONSTRUCT OR FORM AN OPINION:

1. State your opinion in the first sentence of the paragraph.

2. Next, give at least two reasons why you think and feel as you do.
Include facts or your own thoughts to support your opinion.

3. End with a sentence that sums up and restates your opinion.

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In a language exam, both kinds of opinions are acceptable.
The exam is actually assessing your writing or speaking skills, and so your opinions are not important, but the method of answering will show your ability to organize and express your thoughts in a grammatically correct manner.


Do you have an opinion about this explanation?

Jun 23, 2020 2:55 PM
Comments · 6
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July 21, 2020
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August 18, 2020
Your example with worst cook can be broadened with other extremes.

If I say “This is the best thing ever”, all you need to do is to show one thing that is better and my statement is not true.

If I say “I’ll always be there for you”, all you need to do is point out one time when I wasn’t there for you to make it untrue.

Comparisons can be tricky to be a true fact.

Even something like “More money is better” isn’t a truth. Sometimes it can lead to more trouble.

July 21, 2020
I think that this explanation is helpful. I have never thought seriously about the difference between facts and personal beliefs and how I could use them.
June 23, 2020
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July 21, 2020
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Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language