The TOEFL Writing section evaluates a test taker’s ability to write in an academic setting. It consists of two portions: an integrated part that targets reading, writing, and listening skills, and an independent part that requires an essay-style response to a provided question.
How to Ace the TOEFL Writing Section
- In the integrated task, test-takers read a short passage on a scholarly topic. Then, they listen to a speaker who talks about an aspect of that subject. A written component consists of summarizing and analyzing what you have read and heard.
- In the independent task, a written prompt poses a question on the test taker’s opinion regarding a specific issue. The written response should present a solid argument in a grammatically correct, organized way.
Each writing question is evaluated on a scale from 0 to 5 according to the following criteria:
- Accurate development: Do you respond to what the question is asking? Are your claims supported and/or factual?
- Organization: Does the organization of the essay make sense? Do transitions make it flow well?
- Language use: How difficult is the level of vocabulary used? How complex and varied is the sentence structure?
|Question||Type of question||Duration||Time available
|Question1||Integrated question||3 minutes to read + 2 minutes listening time||20 minutes|
|Question2||Independent asking question||30 minutes to read and write your essay||30 minutes|
Question 1. Read a passage about a topic. Then, listen to a lecture related to the same topic but with a different perspective. Write a response that summarizes the lecture and explains how it relates to the topics presented in the reading passage. Your answer should be around 200 words, but there is no maximum length.
- Don’t memorize the reading part. You’ll have it on your screen when it’s time to write the essay.
- Look for the main idea and take note of key points.
- Identify the main idea by scanning the first paragraph. Usually, the following 3 paragraphs will serve to develop that idea.
- In the reading part, listen for details that respond to the reading passage.
- The keyboard you’ll have to pass on TOEFL iBT will be a QWERTY keyboard. Take the time to familiarize yourself with it (depending on your own computer’s configuration).
Question 2. Write your opinion on an issue in no less than 300 words about a specific topic.
- Don’t try to prepare the essay ahead of time by memorizing paragraphs or articles you’ve read before.
- You don’t need perfect grammar to score 5 out of 5 on a question. Take note of the evaluation criteria.
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