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Bright students 'cannot write essays', say Cambridge dons - Telegraph - 1 views

  • Many undergraduates are struggling to show their natural flair after being ordered to write in a highly-structured way to pass exams, it was claimed.

    Robert Tombs, professor of history at St John's College, Cambridge, warned that students were “drilled into writing” in a formulaic manner between the age of 11 and 18, leaving them unable to articulate their ideas on degree courses.

  • A study last year suggested that almost half of employers were being forced to provide remedial lessons in the three-Rs because teenagers finish compulsory education lacking good levels of English and maths.
  • Speaking at the seminar in central London, Prof Tombs said many undergraduates had been taught to write essays at school simply to pass tests.

    "One of the things that one notices in student essays is how much damage has been done by the imposition of artificial structures for essay writing,” he said.

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    Bright students are starting university unable to structure an essay because of the "damage" caused by test-driven schooling, Cambridge academics warned on Monday.
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