TOEFL Essays

What Type Of Questions Does the TOEFL Writing Section Contain?

The essays of TOEFL may be in the form of a summary that provides a brief insight on the given topic or they can include the expression of an opinion or an explanation with respect to the given topic. The essays come with a word limit, but there is no negative marking even if you cross the limit, the only condition being that it should be on the topic. It should be supported by suitable examples and should have sufficient reasoning for the facts presented.

TOEFL PBT Writing Section

TOEFL PBT writing section contains two types of writing sections; one is the Structure and Written Expression section which tests the candidate’s basic understanding of English. It includes questions like completing a sentence, finding errors etc. The duration of this section is 25 minutes. Essay writing is included in the TWE or Test of Written English section. The duration of this section is 30 minutes. The scores of the TWE section are not included with those of the other test sections.

TOEFL iBT Writing Section

TOEFL iBT writing section contains two tasks: Integrated and Independent. Solutions to both the tasks are presented in the form of essays. The duration of the writing section is 50 minutes.

Integrated writing task requires the candidate to read a text first, followed by listening to a lecture about the same topic. The task requires that the candidate is able to identify the similar points and also the differences in opinions that appear in the reading and listening sections. He should be able to present the essay in such a way that it includes both the sides of the topic. The topics discussed are of academic nature. They can be related to topics that you learned in your school under different subjects, like science, arts or history. Time allotted for reading a passage is 3 minutes and for listening to the passage is 2 minutes. The listening passage provides some additional information regarding the same topic about which the candidate has read earlier. After listening to the audio clip, the reading passage reappears on the computer screen for answering the questions. The candidate is allowed to take notes during both the sessions for preparing for the essays. You are given 20 minutes for preparation and writing your essay. It has a word limit of 150-225 words. The Integrated writing task thus includes the three skills: reading, listening and writing.

Independent writing task basically includes writing about your personal experience or opinion about the given topic. The topics included in this section can be taken from day to day life scenario, which can be connected to different individuals. The questions can be something like “Should you work out in a gym or exercise at home. Support your answer with examples and reasoning”. The topics are more general in nature about which you have some knowledge or experience. Even though it is of a personal nature, you cannot simply write what you feel like, your opinion needs to be supported by sufficient examples and reasoning. You are given a time limit of 30 minutes for writing the essay

The write-ups in TOEFL are scored based on how well you present your essays, the accuracy of the language and the content. How well you understood the concept underlying the passage and were able to relate to it and present the ideas in an organized manner. It should be supported by appropriate reasoning and examples. Each paragraph should be connected to the other to ensure that the entire essay has a proper flow. If you possess a good vocabulary, then it can prove to be an added advantage while writing. Knowledge of correct grammar usage, spellings, punctuations, idiomatic expressions and other supporting phrases can help in presenting impressive essays.