TOEFL writing is the fourth and final section of the TOEFL exam. It is considered to be the toughest part of the exam. You have to use your imagination, think of creative ideas, and produce them on paper. Students have the greatest fear for this part of the exam. They believe that they are not good writers and thus fail in this part. You don’t need to worry about it. We are here for your help. In this article on TOEFL Writing Tips, we will tell you how you can improve your English writing skills and ace this part of the exam as well.
Overview of TOEFL Writing Section
In this part of the exam, you are given written tasks. It also carries a score of 30. You are given two tasks; Integrated writing and Independent writing. Both writing tasks are to be done on the computer. You have a total of 50 minutes for both tasks.
In integrated writing, you will be required to use your reading, listening, and writing skills. First, you will be given a paragraph to read for 2 to 3 minutes; then you will listen to an audio clip of a speaker about the same topic. In the end, you will be given 20 minutes to plan and write a response in reference to both sources. You have to write a response and not your own opinions. Your score in this task will depend on the quality of your writing and your ability to give a proper response to the resources.
In the second task, independent writing, you will be given a question about some topic. You will have a total of 30 minutes to develop and write your answer. You are required to give reasons in support of your opinion or answer. You will be graded on the basis of your writing quality, your ability to develop ideas, use of vast vocabulary and grammar.
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Tips to Score Better in TOEFL Writing:
Students are very worried about their performance in TOEFL Writing. Our following expert tips will solve all your problems and you will get above average score if you follow them on your exam day
1. Paraphrase the resources
Paraphrasing the resources are very important in integrated writing. If you don’t paraphrase and use exactly the same words as used in the passage or lecture, you will get a bad score. Don’t repeat the words of the question. Use your own words. Show the examiner your vast vocabulary. If you use the same words or phrases as quoted in the resources, you will be charged for plagiarism and the result will be a very bad score.
2. Focus on lecture and take notes
For integrated writing, focus on the lecture. Think about the main theme of the lecture. The speaker will repeat important ideas again and again. Note down the important facts and ideas. Learn how the ideas are being developed and how they are interlinked. In TOEFL Writing, notes you make while listening to the lecture will help you a lot. You can also go back to the lecture whenever you want if you forgot a particular point.
3. Write a good essay
Your quality of writing is the key factor to deciding your score in this part of the exam. The essay you write in independent writing should be of proper length, not too long or too short. A good essay is 300 to 400 words with four to five paragraphs in it.
Organize your essay properly. In the first paragraph, write about the main idea or thesis. In the next three paragraphs, you should write your arguments and details. In the last paragraph, conclude your essay in a beautiful way. The progress from one idea to others should be very smooth and clear. There should be a flow in the essay. The ideas discussed should not be disorganized.
4. Be relevant
In TOEFL Writing, some students write a lot of irrelevant stuff in their essays just to increase their length. By doing this, they are able to meet the minimum requirement of word count. But the essay they write is of very bad quality.
Avoid using irrelevant stuff in your essay. You can give examples, but they should all be relevant to the topic. You can use other tactics to increase the length of your essay so that the quality is also not compromised. You can write about your personal experiences, your thoughts, your feelings but they should all be relevant.
5. Practice writing
Practice makes a man perfect. The only way to improve your writing skills is by practicing writing. You should do a lot of practice before the exam day. Write essays at your home. Practice writing opinions on different topics such as finance, health, environment, business, politics, etc. Try to practice how to justify your ideas. You should learn how to give arguments and defend them in writing. While writing practice essays, time yourself. See how much time you take to write a good essay of 300 to 400 words. Use vast vocabulary in your essay. Always take care of grammar and punctuation while writing.
6. Common mistakes
The examiners are not sitting there to fail all the students. Only those students fail who do blunders. You should avoid the common mistakes which the examiners hate the most. In TOEFL Writing, these include writing a too long or too short essay, using slang words, grammar, and punctuation mistakes, writing three body paragraphs, not using personal examples, etc.
Some students never do proofreading after they have written their essays. The essay may contain simple spelling mistakes and if submitted without prereading and correction, will result in a bad score.
The chances of your failure increase if you use bad practice questions before the test. Another very common mistake is that students use and write templates in their essays. Using templates is good for practice but it is a very bad idea to copy them on your exam sheet. Some students take online practice sessions without knowing the feedback. As a result, they waste both time and money.
Adhere to these guidelines and you will score more than 25 in writing.
Hopefully, this article on TOEFL’s writing section was informative and helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.