TOEFL Writing Practice: The internet based TOEFL test consists of four sections namely writing, reading, speaking and listening. This article covers important aspects of the TOEFL writing practice. This test is divided into two sections namely integrated writing and independent writing. The total duration for the writing test is about 50 minutes.
TOEFL Writing Practice:
The integrated writing is primarily based on reading and listening. The time duration for this test is 20 minutes.The students have to read a passage from a topic that is primarily academic in nature. Later, they have to listen to an audio piece on the same topic which would be around 2 to 2.5 minutes long. The audio may not necessarily have the same views as the reading text. After listening to and reading the topic, the student is expected to answer questions related to the topic. The answer could be around 150 to 225 words. Notes can be taken while listening to the audio.
This section tests the reading, understanding and interpretation skills of the student. The assessment is not based on the personal opinions expressed by the test-takers. Instead, the assessment is based on how well the test-takers are able to summarize the topic in their own words and how well they can explain important aspects of the topic. Therefore, the final score reflects the ability to accurately summarize the main idea of the passage and the skill to structure sentences and form a relationship between the ideas/sentences.
There are numerous TOEFL writing samples and TOEFL sample papers available on the internet that could help students hone their reading and interpretation skills.
In this section the topics revolve around common experiences. Students are asked to write about their personal views on a particular topic and they have to support their views by giving reasons and examples. The answers are supposed to be in the form of an essay and the time duration for this section is 30 minutes. The essay could be around 300 words.
The introduction is the most important aspect of the whole essay as it creates the first impression on the examiner. The arguments that form part of the introduction must be strong and valid. Therefore, students need to plan, prepare and edit the essay. Writing instructions are given in the examination paper directing students on the integrated and independent sections. The students have to read the instructions carefully before attempting to complete the writing section. Students with disability get extra time to complete the exam.
The aim of the independent writing section is to check the student’s own knowledge, experience and common sense as expressed through their essay. Other aim is to check if the student has understood the question and is able to answer the question accurately, in a well presented and structured manner. Furthermore the examiners gauge a student’s ability to articulate his/her opinions.
TOEFL Sample Questions
- Do you think schools must take personal responsibility for the safety of children? Use reasons and examples to support your answer.
- Do most schools need to lessen the educational curriculum? Use reasons and examples to support your answer?
The independent writing section often contains hypothetical questions where students have to choose between two situations and examiners analyze how students support their choices.
TOEFL Preparation Material
For the TOEFL writing practice test, there is a guide called The Official Guide to the TOEFL which has a list of writing topics. The guide can be purchased from the ETS store.
TOEFL sample papers and TOEFL exam papers are also available on the TOEFL website. The questions can be also downloaded in a PDF format.