TOEFL Essay Writing

What is the Importance of TOEFL Essay Writing Section?

TOEFL is an examination that evaluates the English Language skills of the non-native speakers for pursuing academic courses in an English-speaking country. Beside this, the scores of the test are also considered for obtaining student or work visa, scholarships and certificate programs and to secure admission in English Language programs. The test is conducted in the following formats:

  • TOEFL iBT: This refers to the online or internet-based test.
  • TOEFL PBT: This is the paper-based test and offered by those test centers that do not have access to Internet.

As far as academic programs are concerned, the test scores are widely recognized by universities and colleges. By registering for the test, the test takers get an opportunity to choose an appropriate date and test center, as ETS offers this test several times during a year.

TOEFL consists of the following four sections:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

Essay Section in TOEFL iBT

The Writing is included in the Independent Task of the Writing Section and the duration of this section is 30 minutes. In this section, the students have to write an essay in response to the topic that is given to them. However, the test takers are not expected to write a complete essay in this section, but respond to the given topic. In other words, essay writing section requires the students to relate to the topic and put down their responses although it may contain minor grammatical or language errors. The responses are typed on the computer screen and they are sent to the scoring network of ETS. In this section, the scores are given in the range of 0 to 5 initially; which is later converted to a scale of 0 to 30.

In TOEFL PBT, the test takers are required to take a 30 minutes writing test called Test of Written English or TWE, which evaluates the ability of the students to write on a topic that is assigned to them.

Significance of Writing an Essay in TOEFL

The essay of TOEFL, which is a part of Independent Task, measures the ability of the students to write their responses effectively. Lets us review the importance of the essay writing section:

  • The writing is meant to evaluate students ability to think and effectively interpret their thoughts in writing.
  • The expression or the response of the students should relate to the topic and bring out the basic idea that is included in it.
  • By writing the responses in this writing section, the students demonstrate their ability to understand the essence of the topic and express their ideas.
  • This section also measures consistency of thought while interpreting the basic idea of the topic.
  • TOEFL is a test of English, but it brings out the ability of the students to think critically through the essay writing section and helps them to perform academic tasks in colleges and universities.
  • The essay writing section encourages the students to write their responses on offhand topics. Therefore, it helps them to take the challenges that are associated with the academic tasks in the college or university level.
  • A perfect response allows the examiners to understand that a test taker has the ability to think clearly and his/her thoughts are well-organized.
  • The essay writing section is important because it reveals the ability of the students to build their ideas on varied topics.
  • This section also brings out the flair for writing while the students put down their responses on the given topic.


The essay is the best way to recognize the writing skills of the students. By writing their responses in a few lines on any given topic, the test takers are able to prove their efficiency in performing the academic tasks in colleges and universities and fulfill their academic goals.