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The assessment of learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) relies on a set of procedures and methods. However, it may be characterized by certain difficulties in designing and scoring examination questions. The following article provides information about testing EFL university students by focusing mainly on the learners’ writing performance. To study the factors that affect the tests’ results, a set of examination topics and a sample of learners’ scores were analysed in order to highlight the issue of the topic effect and its position within the process of assessment. The results obtained led to the conclusion that the subject of the examination plays a role in determining the quality of the learners’ achievement.