New toefl writing

The TOEFL iBT ® Writing section

Toefl Writing Overview


The TOEFLiBT tests all the basic skills that you will need while attending a college or university. This last section of the TOEFL iBT exam tests your ability to write essays. This section requires that you write for fifty minutes. In many ways taking the Writing Section is made easier because it tests the same skills that you have already mastered in the first three sections. In fact, the two questions that you will encounter in the Writing Section are incredibly similar to Questions #2 and #4 of the Speaking Section. The primary difference is that you will be typing your responses rather than saying them. In other words, these questions should not intimidate you because your responses to the two writing asks will follow the same patterns as your responses in the Speaking Section. If you want to know how to structure your responses to the Writing Section, look at how sentences and paragraphs are structured in the Speaking Section and follow the examples. With a little practice using the correct structures, many students find the Writing Section to be quite easy. Your first writing task will require you to both read and listen to passages on a related topic, so you will need to leave your headset on. Your essay must be typed so you should have some familiarity with the style of keyboard you are going to use before you take the TOEFLiBT. Although the program used for the TOEFL Writing Section has cut, copy, and paste functions, we strongly suggests against using these function for two reasons: First, it is much more difficult to restructure something when it is already written. In other words, it is far easier to write your original ideas without copying anything from the text. Second, if you copy too much from the original text and make it your own, you could receive a score of “0” on this task. Once you enter a college or university, copying material and representing it as your own is known as plagiarism and is a big academic no-no. A student can be punished for such an offense and even expelled from the college or university. What’s more, once being expelled for plagiarism, a student may find it incredibly difficult to be accepted by any other college or university because the new school would request any transcripts and official documents from the first institution. Therefore, follow the instructions in this chapter to assure a high Writing Section score without any problems.


There are two types of writing assignments in this section. The first is an integrated test that will allow you three minutes to read a passage (and take notes), and then listen to a passage on a related topic (and take notes). Your task is to write an essay that summarizes both the reading and listening passages and indicates whether they are supportive or in opposition to each other. You will have 20 minutes to write 150–225 words. The second task simply asks you to write an essay stating your opinion regarding your choice to a question (similar to Speaking Question #1). There are two types of this question. One may ask you to choose between two options, while the other type will ask you whether you agree or disagree with a particular statement. You will have 30 minutes to write an essay that is at least 300 words


Integrated Task (Question #1)

The Integrated Writing Task requires you to read, listen, and write. You will have 3 minutes to read and take notes on a short reading passage (230–300 words) on an academic topic. You should take notes on only the main points in the reading so that you will be better able to take the right notes of the related topics in the listening passage. After the three minutes, the reading passage will go away and you will then listen to a speaker talk about the same topic from a different perspective. The listening passage will provide either additional or more detailed information about the topic in the reading passage. The listening passage is approximately 2 minutes long, so it is important that you take notes while you listen. After the listening passage, the reading will return to your screen for you to reference. Even so, take notes on the reading so that you will be better able to take the right notes from the related topics in the listening part. Be sure to list the details accurately and in the order they appear in each passage. Finally, you will be given a task of writing a comparison summary of the two passages stating the main points from the listening passage and how they relate to the main points in the reading passage. These two passages will either support or oppose each other. The suggested length of your response is 150–225 words (Less than the length of the paragraph you just read.). Writing time is 20 minutes.


Taking notes on the Writing Section of the TOEFL iBT is essential for getting a high score. You should take notes on the main topic and main points of the reading and listening passages of the first question. Then use your notes to make your response. Use the outline shown on the next page to organize your notes.

REMEMBER: Organize your thoughts first and then write your essay. Note key words and then list common transition words that you can use to link your ideas together. Keep the sentences clear and be direct with your answer and evidence.

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