In the Writing section of the TOEFL exam, you will be asked to write responses in essay format, based on reading and listening tasks. You will listen to a recording and read a text, then you need to write freely in response to a question. The second part will ask you to write a personal opinion answer to a question. This is a tricky part of the test and you need to practice with tools that show you the format and offer you feedback on your writing sample.
On the official website, you can access free and paid tools to help you prepare:
- TOEFL Scores Overview
- How To Check Available TOEFL Dates
- Best TOEFL Speaking Tips
- TOEFL Speaking Topics
- Best TOEFL Reading Tips
- Best TOEFL Writing Tips
TOEFL Writing Practice Materials and Practice Exams
1. Free Interactive Sampler
This gives you unlimited access to past exam questions and you can download them and practice in your own time, which is useful for getting to know the format of the test.
You cannot get your answers scored for the TOEFL Writing section, but you can view sample responses which will show you what makes a good answer.
2. Free Sets of Past Questions
More free sources of past exam questions offered by ETS (the test administrators).
These give you some response tips for the TOEFL Writing section which is useful guidance. You can view one set of questions online and you can then download more samples in PDF format.
3. Online Practice Tests
There are 4 full-length practice tests you can buy online, or you have the option of purchasing some value packs.
In the Writing section of these tests, you will be replicating the exact same style of the question as you will see on exam day. You will respond to questions in the fields provided on your computer, and an automatic scoring tool with then grade your response. They will assess and convert the two written passages into a scaled score just like the actual test will do.
This is a very good tool as you will get an assessment along the same lines as the real test.
4. Online Speaking and Writing Test
On the same website, you can get more practice by buying a Speaking and Writing only test.
This one has two tasks, one based on an academic topic which you read and then an audio recording. You then have to write a response to a question based on these. The second task is a question based on your own knowledge and experience.
This TOEFL Writing Practice Exam is also a scored test, also using an automatic scoring tool. The automatic tool is obviously not as accurate in assessing your essay as a human scorer but it has been calibrated to predict a human scorer’s assessment.
One positive feature of this automatic scoring is that you get a result right away, rather than have to wait a few days for a human scorer’s result.
While this is not a practice test, using the e-books is quite relevant for the writing exam as there are lots of tips and hints about scoring and what the examiners look for in your written response. The Official Guide book gives you the full scoring criteria for each section and can be bought as an e-book or in paperback format. The Official TOEFL iBT Tests e-books contain practice tests and sample writing responses so, while you cannot get your writing responses scored, you can still learn about what makes a good response by using the samples.
In addition to these resources available from ETS, here is a selection of practice materials available on the internet:
6. BestMyTest Writing Practice
You can access a free TOEFL writing practice test and some independent writing lessons offered by the website.
There are 192 independent writing tasks and 32 integrated ones but you can only access a few for free, after which you need to create an account and you get 7 days free trial of the website without having to pay.
After the 7 days, you can choose to pay for a subscription, which will depend on how much material you’ve used by that point.
7. Magoosh Blog and TOEFL Writing Practice
This is a paid website that has a wealth of resources to help prepare for the TOEFL.
Not only does it provide TOEFL Writing practice tests, but there are also explanation videos and lesson videos to help improve your writing.
You can also read their blog with useful tips.
They have pricing plans from a week to six months.
8. English Club TOEFL Listening Practice Test
Here you get access to one integrated question and one independent one.
For the integrated question, you have access to the written text as well as the audio recording, and you can then see a sample essay response. You may choose to practice writing your own before reading the response, so you can compare the two essays.
You also have access to a transcript of the audio file which may be useful for deepening your understanding.
For the independent question, they provide an example and a sample response too. Like the above, you might want to practice writing your answer before you read the response, and then compare the two. There is a useful checklist for your essay on this website as well.
9. TOEFL Resources
This website has 40 independent TOEFL essay samples to practice with, and you can do so before clicking through on each question, which takes you to a page where they have written a sample response. So there is a lot of practice material.
For the integrated questions, they only have answered without providing the reading and audio passages. Some of these are based on the official TOEFL practice tests, so if you have bought those books/e-books, then you can use the sample answers to compare your own responses. Otherwise, this section may not be that useful to you.
They also link to a Youtube channel with essays, explanations, and comments, which can be very useful too.
I hope that this article on TOEFL Writing Samples and Practice Exams was helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!