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?
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>
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…
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.
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?