The Question

It is very important for students to learn as much as possible before their graduation from university.  For this reason, many schools require students to attend all of their classes in person in order to achieve a passing score.  Do you agree or disagree with this kind of policy?  Use specific reasons and examples to support your argument.

Note

This is a standard TOEFL essay written by a TOEFL expert.  It follows our writing templates for independent (Type 2) essays.  If you need more help, we have many more sample essays which you can use.

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The Example Essay

            As technology develops and ideas about learning change, there are many different opinions about whether it should still be mandatory for students to attend classes.  Personally, I support policies that require students to actually be present for all of their classes. I will explore why I feel this way in the following essay.

          To begin with, being physically present in a class makes it more likely that a student will participate in lively conversations and debates, and this will help him following his graduation.  A university education is not just about writing essays and getting grades. It is also about spending time in a stimulating academic environment. It is critically important for students to share their opinions with their peers, and even to engage in healthy debates with their professors.  Exchanges of this type shape young minds, and students who miss out on them do not get as much from their degree as they ought to. My own experience is a compelling example of this. I learned an enormous amount about effective communication by participating in classroom discussions as an undergraduate.  Moreover, classroom discussions showed me how to support my opinions with facts, and also how to remain polite when talking with others. My finely honed communication skills were very useful when it came time for me to work a professional job.

          Secondly, attending classes helps students to network with like-minded people, which also makes it easier to find jobs following their graduation.  As I said above, students are likely to talk to their classmates during lectures. This not only helps them to become effective communicators, but also helps them form relationships and friendships with their classmates.  For instance, after my graduation, I was able to get recommendations and referrals from classmates who had already been hired by prestigious firms. These connections were critical when it came to landing job interviews and eventual employment.  Had I not developed close relationships with my peers, I would not be happy with my career today.

          In conclusion, I strongly believe that it is still very important for students to attend classes.  This is because doing so helps them to perfect their communication skills, and because the opportunities for networking that classes provide are extremely valuable.