# It is better to understand the ideas and concepts than learning facts

Dear Lushen, here is my attempt. I tried to do do it within the time limit and have not corrected my mistakes. Please check, comment and rate it according to the toefl standards.
Learning is an indispensable part of our lives as all of us keep on learning from childhood till the old age. However, all of us have different learning styles and preferences. In the light of this, some people think that understanding of the ideas and concepts is a better way to learn, nevertheless others disagree. In my opinion, understanding ideas and concepts is better than learning facts for two main reasons.
First, concepts and ideas stay longer in your head than the crammed facts. For instance, my eight year old daughter is very intelligent and always asks so many questions. Few days ago, when she was making paper boats with me, she asked me why the paper boat does not sink in water while a light iron boat will? This reminded me of the Archimede’s principle that I learnt when I was in the middle school. Although, I could not remember the definition, long equation and formula for this principle, I did have a concept of buoyancy and weight versus surface area ratio. So, I explained her the gist of the science of the Archimede’s principle in a very simple, logical and coherent manner. As a result, she understood it well. As you can see, although I had learnt the ideas and facts at the same time, years later, I was able to retain the concept only.
Second, these days computers have brought the information at hand. You can easily check facts from your computer or online sources if you know the idea well. For example, last year, when I was working as a Hospital Pharmacist at the Shanghai East International Medical Centre in the Accidents and Emergency department, I got a young man who was severely injured in an accident and was on parenteral nutrition. I had to make TPN Total parenteral nutrition for him. For TPN, a pharmacist has to calculate the amount of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates according to the patient’s weight and height. Although, I did not remember the standard values, I had a clear concept of how and what to calculate. So, I just checked up the saved values in my computer and tailored the standard doses according to the individual patient’s needs. So, if you know the concept well, you can always determine the facts easily.
In a nutshell, not only the understanding of concepts is crucial because of their retention for a longer time but also, you can always find facts if you have well-developed concepts. We should always focus on understanding the concepts to get these benefits.
Learning is an indispensable part of our lives as all of us keep on learning from childhood till the old age. However, all of us have different learning styles and preferences. In the light of this, some people think that understanding of the ideas and concepts is a better way to learn, nevertheless others disagree. In my opinion, understanding ideas and concepts is better than learning facts for two main reasons.
First, concepts and ideas stay longer in your head than the crammed facts. For instance, my eight year old daughter is very intelligent and always asks so many questions. Few days ago, when she was making paper boats with me, she asked me why the paper boat does not sink in water while a light iron boat will? This reminded me of the Archimede’s principle that I learnt when I was in the middle school. Although, I could not remember the definition, long equation and formula for this principle, I did have a concept of buoyancy and weight versus surface area ratio. So, I explained her the gist of the science of the Archimede’s principle in a very simple, logical and coherent manner. As a result, she understood it well. As you can see, although I had learnt the ideas and facts at the same time, years later, I was able to retain the concept only.
Second, these days computers have brought the information at hand. You can easily check facts from your computer or online sources if you know the idea well. For example, last year, when I was working as a Hospital Pharmacist at the Shanghai East International Medical Centre in the Accidents and Emergency department, I got a young man who was severely injured in an accident and was on parenteral nutrition. I had to make TPN Total parenteral nutrition for him. For TPN, a pharmacist has to calculate the amount of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates according to the patient’s weight and height. Although, I did not remember the standard values, I had a clear concept of how and what to calculate. So, I just checked up the saved values in my computer and tailored the standard doses according to the individual patient’s needs. So, if you know the concept well, you can always determine the facts easily.
In a nutshell, not only the understanding of concepts is crucial because of their retention for a longer time but also, you can always find facts if you have well-developed concepts. We should always focus on understanding the concepts to get these benefits.

TOEFL listening discussions: What will the secretary do next?

Hi Aiza, excellent job. I assume you did not mean to repeat the essay twice! Your examples are very detailed and sound very natural. You only have a few minor errors in grammar, but they do not diminish the clarity of your writing at all. I would rate this one a 4.5 out of 5.