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TOEFL iBT ® Test Writing Practice Sets
Note: These sample questions allow you to experience the types of tasks presented in the TOEFL iBT ® test. They are not intended to mimic the testing experience. Audio is not included with the questions in these sets. However, transcripts of the audio are provided.
Writing Practice Set 1 (Integrated)
Passage, lecture and question.
Directions: Give yourself 3 minutes to read the passage.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
In an effort to encourage ecologically sustainable forestry practices, an international organization started issuing certifications to wood companies that meet high ecological standards by conserving resources and recycling materials. Companies that receive this certification can attract customers by advertising their products as "ecocertified." Around the world, many wood companies have adopted new, ecologically friendly practices in order to receive ecocertification. However, it is unlikely that wood companies in the United States will do the same, for several reasons.
First, American consumers are exposed to so much advertising that they would not value or even pay attention to the ecocertification label. Because so many mediocre products are labeled "new" or "improved," American consumers do not place much trust in advertising claims in general.
Second, ecocertified wood will be more expensive than uncertified wood because in order to earn ecocertification, a wood company must pay to have its business examined by a certification agency. This additional cost gets passed on to consumers. American consumers tend to be strongly motivated by price, and therefore they are likely to choose cheaper uncertified wood products. Accordingly, American wood companies will prefer to keep their prices low rather than obtain ecocertification.
Third, although some people claim that it always makes good business sense for American companies to keep up with the developments in the rest of the world, this argument is not convincing. Pursuing certification would make sense for American wood companies only if they marketed most of their products abroad. But that is not the case—American wood businesses sell most of their products in the United States, catering to a very large customer base that is satisfied with the merchandise.
Directions: Read the transcript.
Narrator: Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about. Professor Well, despite what many people say, there's good reason to think that many American wood companies will eventually seek ecocertification for their wood products. First off, consumers in the United States don't treat all advertising the same. They distinguish between advertising claims that companies make about their own products and claims made by independent certification agencies. Americans have a lot of confidence in independent consumer agencies. Thus, ecologically minded Americans are likely to react very favorably to wood products ecologically certified by an independent organization with an international reputation for trustworthiness.
Second point—of course it's true that American consumers care a lot about price—who doesn't? But studies of how consumers make decisions show that price alone determines consumers' decisions only when the price of one competing product is much higher or lower than another. When the price difference between two products is small—say, less than five percent, as is the case with certified wood— Americans often do choose on factors other than price. And Americans are becoming increasingly convinced of the value of preserving and protecting the environment.
And third, U.S. wood companies should definitely pay attention to what's going on in the wood business internationally, not because of foreign consumers, but because of foreign competition. As I just told you, there's a good chance that many American consumers will be interested in ecocertified products. And guess what, if American companies are slow capturing those customers, you can be sure that foreign companies will soon start crowding into the American market, offering ecocertified wood that domestic companies don't.
Directions: Give yourself 20 minutes to plan and write your response. Your response is judged on the quality of the writing and on how well it presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage. Typically, an effective response will be 150 to 225 words. You may view the reading passage while you respond.
Response time: 20 minutes
Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.
What is important to understand from the lecture is that the professor disagrees with the points made in the reading, namely that American consumers mistrust advertising, that they are unwilling to pay extra for ecocertified products, and that American companies do not need to compete in parts of the world where ecocertification is valued.
In your response, you should convey the reasons presented by the professor for why ecocertification of wood should be adopted by U.S. companies. A high-scoring response will include the following points made by the professor that cast doubt on the points made in the reading:
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Download additional TOEFL iBT Writing Practice Sets .
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TOEFL® Resources by Michael Goodine
Toefl writing questions (2023 edition) – sample essays and questions, about these toefl ® writing samples.
On the TOEFL test, you’ll get an independent writing question based on one of the following essay styles:
- Multiple Choice
- Paired Choice
- Imaginary Situation
Below are some samples of each type.
At the bottom of this page are some sample TOEFL integrated essays . The newest ones include a reading and lecture.
Be sure to check out our main page for detailed guides about how to write good essays.
If you like these samples, note that we also have a huge collection of speaking samples .
Help Writing Your Essays
If you want one on one help, you can sign up for our essay evaluation service .
Sample TOEFL Independent Essays
Agree/disagree style toefl essays.
This is the most common essay style.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Overall, the widespread use of the internet has a mostly positive effect on life in today’s world.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? When doing research, it is better to use printed materials such as books and articles than it is to use the Internet. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Students who are given grades work harder than those who are not. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? In my country, young people have better lives than their parents had when they were young. Use reasons and examples to support your answer.
Bonus: Speaking Samples
Remember that I’ve got a big list of sample speaking answers as well.
Movies and television strongly influence the way people behave. Do you agree or disagree? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People communicate with each other less than in the past because of the popularity of television. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion .
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? When people succeed, it is entirely because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with their success. Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Nowadays, it is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a large city. Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Human activity is making the earth a worse place to live. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
In twenty years there will be fewer cars in use than there are today. Do you agree or disagree?
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People today spend too much time on personal enjoyment, and not enough time on more serious duties and obligations. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? My lifestyle is easier and more comfortable than the one my grandparents experienced when they were young. Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice. Be sure to use your own words. Do not use memorized examples.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Sometimes it is better to be dishonest. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The knowledge we gain from our personal experiences is more valuable than the knowledge we gain from books. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Do not use memorized examples.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Students do not respect their teachers as much as they did in the past. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Most of the biggest problems in the world will be solved in the next few decades. Use details and examples to support your answer.
Question 18 (new)
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “People should keep trying to reach their goals, even if they seem impossible to achieve.” Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.
Question 19 (new)
It is beneficial for people to spend some time living in a country where they must speak a foreign language. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Question 20 (new)
Friends have more impact on the academic performance of students than their teachers do. Do you agree or disagree? Use details and examples to support your opinion.
Multiple Choice Style TOEFL Essays
This style is also very common.
Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what type of neighbor is the best to have?
- someone who is quiet
- someone who we are similar to
- someone who is supportive
Use specific details and examples in your answer.
When you face a difficult problem in life, what do you feel is the best way to solve it?
- asking someone with more experience for advice about the problem
- finding information about the problem using the Internet
- taking a long time to think about the problem
Use specific details and examples in your answer. Do not use memorized examples.
In general, people are living longer now. Which of the following do you think accounts for this phenomenon?
- Technological improvements
- Changes to education systems
- Improvements to our diets
Use specific details and examples in your answer. You may choose more than one cause.
People have a lot of opinions about the value of advanced education. Which do you think is the most important reason to attend college or university? Use reasons and examples to support your answer.
- new experiences
- career preparation
- increased knowledge
Use specific details and examples in your answer.
Imagine you could improve the town where you live by changing one important thing about it. Which of the following would you choose to do?
- Build additional parks
- Construct more libraries
- Improve public transportation
These days, people enjoy a lot of time away from their work and school obligations. Many people use this time to visit new places and learn about them. What do you think is the best way to learn about a place you are visiting for the first time?
- Going to a museum
- Joining a guided tour of popular attractions
- Visiting a popular shopping area
- Talking to a local resident
- Watching a local television station
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. Do not use memorized examples.
People in society work in many different settings, and for a variety of reasons. What do you think is the main reason why people have jobs?
- to feel happier about their lives
- to save money for the future
- to develop new skills
Use specific examples and details to support your answer.
Everyone wants to be as healthy as possible. Fortunately, in modern society there are many things that people can do to improve their physical condition. What do you think is the best way to stay healthy?
- Get exercise on a regular basis
- Eat healthy food every day
- Visit a doctor for regular examinations
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
The people we work with have many different characteristics and all of them affect the quality of our time at work. Of the following, what do you think is the most important quality for a boss or supervisor to have?
- a serious attitude about their work
- a lot of related experience
- a tendency to always tell the truth
You may choose more than one. Use specific details and examples in your answer.
All around the world, people are living longer than ever before. Which of the following do you think are the main causes of this phenomenon? You may choose more than one option.
- The development of new technology
- Changes to our eating habits
- Improvements to our working conditions
Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. Do not use memorized examples. (version 2)
During our careers, we work with many different kinds of people. All of them have unique characteristics and personality traits. In your opinion, which of the following is the most important characteristic of a coworker?
- a serious attitude regarding their work obligations
- a willingness to learn new things
- the ability to make other people laugh
You may choose more than one of these options. Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer. Do not use memorized examples.
If parents want their children to succeed in the future, which of the following things should they teach them?
- How to be honest
- How to be helpful
- How to be patient
Question 33 (new)
When employees feel that the management of their company is doing something wrong, what do you think is the best way for them to respond?
- Talking to the media
- Speaking to the management directly
- Discussing the problem with each other
Question 34 (new)
What do you think is the best way for the government of your country to improve the environment?
- Increase public transportation
- Reduce the construction of new factories
- Build more parks
Preference Style TOEFL Essays
Some students prefer classes with frequent discussions between the professor and the students with almost no lectures. Other students prefer classes with many lectures and almost no discussions. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.
Some people think that the government should use extra money to fund programs to improve the environment. Others think that it is better for the government to spend money to support artistic programs. Which option do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Some people like to spend their money as soon as they earn it, while others think it is better to save their money for some time in the future. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Do not use memorized examples.
Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Some students prefer to study and do homework alone. Others prefer to study and work on class assignments with a group of fellow students. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Some people prefer to eat meals at restaurants, while others prefer to prepare and eat food in their own home. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Some people think the best way to learn new things is to study them alone. Others think that it is always better to get help from a skilled teacher. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to support your choice.
A large company wants to train its employees to use new techniques. Which is the best way to train the workers?
- Have all of them attend a training program together
- Have some of the employees attend the program and later show their coworkers what they learned
Question 44 (new)
Some people prefer to travel in their own country when they have some time off. Others think that it is better to take a trip to a foreign country. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to support your choice.
Imaginary Situation TOEFL Essays
This style is less common.
Imagine that the administrators of a university are revising their budget and have decided to change their funding priorities. As a result, the university will now spend more money on sports and athletic facilities than they do on the campus libraries. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.
Imagine that it has been announced that a large shopping center will open in your neighborhood and you are being asked your opinion. Would you support or oppose its construction? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
It is very important for students to learn as much as possible before their graduation from university. For this reason, many schools require students to attend all of their classes in person in order to achieve a passing grade. Do you agree or disagree with this kind of policy? Use specific reasons and examples to support your argument.
Consider a situation where you are required to learn a challenging new skill. You could learn this skills from someone above you, like a boss or supervisor. Or you could be taught the skills by someone at your own level, like a classmate or colleague. Which would you prefer?
Imagine that you must make an important decision that will have a major impact on the rest of your life. You could make the decision entirely on your own, or ask someone to help you make it. Which would you choose? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.
Consider a situation where you are asked by your supervisor to work with one of your coworkers on a project. This coworker has opinions that are very different from yours and they feel very strongly about these opinions. Do you think this is a good idea? Use reasons and examples to support your answer.
Imagine that your city government has given permission for a major company to build a large factory near your neighborhood. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Explain your position using specific reasons and examples.
Consider a situation where you are working in a company and are unable to finish an important assignment before a deadline. What do you think is the best thing to do in this case – submit the assignment before it is completed, or wait until it is finished and submit it after the deadline?
Imagine that you are graduating from high school and have been offered a complete scholarship at a university that is located in another country, far from your friends and family. Would you accept this offer, or would you try to attend a university closer to home?
Sample TOEFL Integrated Essays
Essays with the reading and lecture.
- Colonizing Asteroids (new)
- Protecting Peregrine Falcons (new)
- Paradox of Choice (new)
- Moai of Easter Island
More Integrated Essays
These essays are all based on questions from famous books. I can’t give you the reading and listening, but you might like looking at their structure and organization.
- Television Appearances by University Professors (casting doubt)
- Portrait of an Elderly Woman in a White Bonnet (casting doubt)
- Incan Fortress of Sacsayhuaman (casting doubt)
- Iron Fertilization (solution and problem)
- The Usefulness of Coal (casting doubt)
- Monarch Butterflies (casting doubt)
- Large Animals (casting doubt)
- Wheat and Beer (from “Cracking the TOEFL”)
- Forest Fires (from “Cracking the TOEFL”)
- Endotherms (from “Official Collection”)
- Online Encyclopedias (from “Official Collection”)
- Buying a Franchise (from “Official Collection”)
- Great Houses (from “Official Collection”)
- Smart Cars (from “Official Collection”)
- Eco-Friendly Wood (from “TOEFL Quick Prep”)
- The Chevalier (from “TOEFL Sample Test”)
- Wave Farms (from “Hackers Actual Test”)
- The Anasazi (from “Hackers Actual Test”)
- Trans Lunar Phenomena (from “Hackers Actual Test”)
- Four-day Workweek
TOEFL Writing Guides and Templates
- Complete templates for each essay task .
- A detailed master guide to the integrated essay task .
- A detailed master guide to the independent essay task .
TOEFL Practice Section 4: Writing
This section is now a standard part of the TOEFL iBT. Previously, a writing test was administered as a separate test (TWE) from the paper and computer based TOEFL. The iBT writing section is divided into two parts: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing.
Writing Based on Reading and Listening
Here you will read a passage about an academic topic. Then you will listen to a lecture about the same topic. You are permitted to take notes while you read and listen. You will be asked a question that relates to both the text and the listening. Your response should be 150-225 words. Hint: Look for three many points that are related. Your score will depend on the quality of your writing as well as how well you answer the question. After you have heard the lecture you will have twenty minutes to plan and write your response.
In a vote that took place at the International Astronomical Union Conference on August 24th, 2006, Pluto lost its status as a planet in our solar system. Pluto was originally discovered in 1930 when scientists were searching for something that was interfering with Uranus's orbit. Though Pluto was estimated to be similar in size to Earth, it was later discovered that it was even smaller than our own moon, as well as many other moons. It is now known that there are thousands of planetary objects similar to Pluto, including Eris which is slightly larger than Pluto. Choosing to reclassify Pluto to a dwarf planet honors the fact that science is about making new discoveries. While it was a sad day for Pluto lovers, people in general have accepted the idea, and the next generation of children will grow up knowing only eight planets and thinking nothing of it. As Mike Brown, the astronomer who discovered Eris, noted following the IUC's decision, "science is self-correcting."
Next you will listen to part of a lecture on the same subject.
Summarize the points made in the lecture, explaining how they cast doubt on the points made in the reading passage.
Pluto lost its status as a planet in our solar system at the International Astronomical Union Conference in 2006. The decision has been wrapped in controversy ever since.
The reading suggests that the decision was generally accepted and was based on the new scientific information that has been learned since Pluto's original discovery. However, the lecture refutes this idea, suggesting that the astronomy community was not fairly represented in the vote to demote Pluto to dwarf status, and that many people disagree with the decision.
According to the reading, Pluto was demoted due to its size. However, the professor points out that the reason Pluto was demoted was because it doesn't fit the new definition of a planet. According to the new definition, a planet must clear the neighborhood around its orbit. While Pluto does not, neither do other planets including Earth. Technically speaking, many planets have asteroids as neighbors, therefore, they do not clear their orbit.
Finally, the reading implies that people will soon forget that Pluto was ever a planet. In contrast, the professor talks of petitions and special ways that citizens are honoring the beloved planet Pluto. While the reading notes that children will not know any differently when they grow up without Pluto in their solar system, the professor claims that the lost planet will always have a place in children's hearts as it did from the very beginning.
Transcript of lecture:
As you all likely know by now, Pluto has been officially demoted to a dwarf planet. What this means is that we will no longer include it as part of our solar system. The debate about whether or not Pluto should hold its status as a planet created such a conflict within the community of world astronomers that it has been called the Great Pluto War . The decision on whether or not to demote Pluto was put to a final vote by astronomers from around the world at the International Astronomical Union Conference. However, when I say from around the world, I don't mean worldwide. In fact, less than 10% of the world's astronomers voted, and most of those who were at the conference had already gone home by the last day when the vote took place. Of more than 10 000 potential voters, less than 500 took part, mainly because there was no way for them to cast their vote without actually being at the conference. Many astronomers believe that if electronic voting had been an option, Pluto along with two other celestial objects, would now be considered planets. Furthermore, the definition that was decided upon for a planet - that it must clear the neighborhood around its orbit - doesn't technically hold up, since Earth, Mars, Neptune, and Jupiter all have asteroids as neighbors.
The IUC decision disappointed many people outside the astronomy community too. You see, there are more than a few Pluto lovers out there. Some were so angry at the resolution that they began putting petitions together to have the ruling overturned. In New Mexico, where Pluto's discoverer was a resident, state officials have declared March 13th, Pluto Planet Day. Children in particular have a thing with Pluto and are perhaps the least willing to part with it. The name for the now dwarf planet was put to a vote in 1930. And incidentally, Pluto , which was chosen unanimously by a group at the observatory where it was discovered, had been submitted by a young schoolgirl.
Writing Based on Knowledge and Experience
This section of the test asks you questions about common experiences. You will be asked to give your opinion and provide reasons and examples. You will not be required to have any previous knowledge on a topic. You will have 30 minutes to prepare an essay in response to the question provided.
Sample Question types:
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Students should take out student loans to avoid working while studying. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
- Some people think its better to live with a roommate. Other people prefer to live alone. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
- It is better to grow up with siblings than without. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay.
- It has recently been announced that the public library in your area will be closed for the summer months for a major renovation and expansion. Do you support or oppose this plan. Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Read the example of a student's brainstorming session and essay. When you are finished reading the example look at the checklist and find out why this student deserves a perfect score of 5
Some people prefer to settle down and start a family in a rural area. Other people prefer the convenience of the big city. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
There are more work opportunities for young couples in a city than in a rural area. Unemployment is much lower in urban centers. One reason for this is that many jobs in rural areas are seasonal. It is more common for large companies to be based in the city. Even though the cost of living is higher in the city than it is in a rural area, people who work in the city tend to have much higher salaries. Furthermore, financial stress is a leading cause of divorce and leads to the break up of families.
The city offers important institutions such as the best hospitals and schools that rural areas don't always have. For instance, people who get sick or have babies in rural areas often have to travel to the city for medical attention. This can lead to bills and transportation problems. While their parents have to commute to work, kids sometimes have to travel a long way on a bus to school. All of the travel takes away from family time. In addition, kids who grow up in rural areas are less likely to go to post secondary schools. Most have to go to the city to get a good education.
It is more likely that a young couple will have the support of friends and family in the city than in a rural area. When a young couple moves away from this support system, they often feel isolated. On the other hand, small communities are usually close and friendly. It doesn't take long to meet new friends in a small town. People look out for each other and the crime rate is much lower. Even still, you can never replace your best friends and relatives. Consequently, birthdays and holidays feel lonely without grandparents and childhood friends to join in the celebration.
Living in the city is a new trend for young families. This is partly because people are starting families later. I have already established my career and home in the city. My friends and family and all of the things I need are here. When I meet my future spouse I hope he agrees to settle down in the city.
Now read these 20 TOEFL Tips Follow these essential tips to improve your TOEFL score.
TOEFL Writing Practice Test
This practice task is an integrated writing task in which you will read a short excerpt from a university-level text and then listen to a lecture corresponding to the text. You must then write a response to a question asking about the main ideas and how the two sources of information relate. Your response should be between 150 and 225 words, although exceeding this amount is acceptable so long as the question is answered effectively.
Speaking Through Social Media
The widespread phenomenon of mass communication through cell phones and the internet has spurred enormous controversy. Many believe that people have become less able to build bonds with friends and family members. It is impossible to deny that social media is constantly changing the way that people interact with one another. With the advent of new technologies that allow for non-simultaneous and distant interaction, people all over the world are now able to build relationships in a way that was formerly not possible. Some might say that this is a negative trend, but this new development opens up for unique and effective connections.
People often feel estranged in their surroundings. There are so many hobbies and interests that people enjoy, that it can be difficult to find someone who shares the same passions. Social media is of huge benefit to these people as they are empowered with opportunity for connection to a widespread community and countless resources. Some may have always wanted to learn more about a topic without having an avenue to jump in. Social media has proved itself to be effective in educating people of all ages on a variety of subjects ranging from rollerblading to string theory.
Moreover, the internet is especially helpful for helping people find a voice. Whereas the first amendment protects our right to free speech, many people feel that they have lost their ability to be heard. Social media allows us all to find a new way to speak confidently and ensures that every person has the opportunity to be heard.
Describe the risks discussed in the lecture and explain how they relate to the purpose of the reading passage.
The lecture discouraged social networking by discussing how social networking has many risks. First, the lecture talks about how the internet can be used to steal or to bully people, including both adults and children. The second point is the main point, however, which explains statistics about how people trusted fewer people with important matters. This suggests that relying on the internet is causing people to be isolated and not spend as much time with people. Overall, the lecture suggests that social networking has too many risks and is leading our culture into a bad direction.
The lecture and reading passage have opposing views about the use of social media. The reading passage listed several positive qualities of using social media, such as how it helps people learn about hobbies and meet people with the same interests. It also encouraged social media use to help people find a voice. It says that people sometimes have a hard time finding people around them with the same interests, but that through social media, they can find friends.
The lecture and the reading passage both talk about the good and bad effects of social media. The two passages agree on almost nothing, except to be careful with new technology. Whereas the lecture focuses mainly on risks, the reading passage focuses on convincing the reader that the rewards outweigh the risks.
This answer is a good response because it addresses the question directly. The first paragraph describes the lecture as requested and the second paragraph describes the reading passage so that the final paragraph can make good comparisons. The main purpose of each passage is given, and it is explained how the two selections disagree completely on the outcome of the topic. Grammar is also a consideration in the grading of this selection. When responding, make sure you are using good grammar while also making sure to answer exactly what the question is asking.
TOEFL Practice Exams
by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 16, 2023
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Topics and Sample Essays for the Writing Section of the TOEFL® Test
Topics and Sample Essays for the Writing Section of the TOEFL Test ( document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) )
Let’s start with the basics, the TOEFL independent writing question.
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “It is more important for students to study art and literature than it is to study math and science.” Provide reasons and examples to support your opinion.
- Your friend has decided to switch careers but isn’t sure which to choose. What advice would you give them? Provide reasons and examples to support your response.
Want over 100 more TOEFL Writing topics ? Download them here.
- Describe an annual day in your country when you give people special gifts.
- Describe a fear you had to overcome. How did you overcome it?
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Video games offer benefits to children.” Provide reason and examples to support your stance.
- What are the characteristics of a good coach?
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “It is better to read books on an electronic device than it is to read traditional books on paper.”
- Some people feel that high school students benefit from participating in organized sports, while others feel that sports are a waste of time. Instead, students should focus on studying. Which point of view do you agree with and explain why.
- You must prepare a final project. Which style would you prefer: a) giving a class presentation b) design a poster c) write an essay.
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “It is better to be a follower than a leader.”
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Every individual should spend at least a year living in a foreign country.” Provide reasons and examples to support your opinion.
- You are going to start a new business. Which of the following do you feel is most important to be successful: a) lots of money b) lots of friends c) lots of products.
- Would you before to go to a small university in the countryside or a large university in the city?
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Reading the newspaper or online news sources is a waste of time.” Provide reasons and examples to support your opinion.
- You have been given a gift of money. Which would you rather spend it on: a) a piece of jewelry b) a pair of concert tickets c) an expensive meal.
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Professional athletes are born with talent. You can not train someone to be a professional athlete.” Provide reasons and examples to support your response.
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “It is always better to study with a teacher than it is to study alone.” Support your response with reasons and examples.
- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Children nowadays have too much freedom.”
- You are going to have a new roommate next semester. Which of the following qualities is most important to you: a) cleanliness b) humorous c) politeness.
- If you had to work on a project for school would you rather: a) work alone, b) work with classmates, or c) work with a tutor.
TOEFL Writing Sample Essay #1
There is no shortage of opinion on whether it is better for students to learn art and literature or math and science. In my opinion, I disagree with the statement; I think it is more important for people to study math and science. The following paragraphs will explain my two major reasons for this opinion.
First of all, science and math are more valuable than art and literature because knowledge of math and science is necessary for understanding and advancing technology. Technology has led this world to become extremely interconnected. The internet, cell phones and airplanes are all technological advances that people use every day and would not be possible without students of math and science inventing them. I heard a story on the news once that illustrates my point quite well. Used plastic is overflowing in landfills and polluting the seas. However, clever scientists have found interesting ways to reuse wasted plastic. In India, they mix thrown out plastic waste with asphalt and use it to pave new roadways. This invention is made possible because of science and math, and it can help solve the pollution problems in the oceans. If students do not continue to learn math and science, then more technologies of the future like this one may never be created. In order to continue making technological advancements, it is better for students to study science and math.
Secondly, math and science are more important subjects because people need to know them in order to save lives and keep everyone healthy. Doctors, nurses, and medical technicians are all former students of science and math. Drawing from my own experience, my brother recently went to college to become a surgeon. He is going to be studying for eight years, and almost all of his classes will be of these types. For example, he is now learning anatomy, algebra, biology, and geometry which are all science and math courses. When he graduates, he will have the skills to heal patients’ illnesses and injuries because he studies these subjects. For the sake of public health, it is more necessary for students to learn math and science than art and literature.
In conclusion, I strongly believe it is more important for students to study science and math than it is to learn about literature and art. This is because math and science provide students the knowledge to advance technology, and the ability to cure the sick and dying people in the world.
If you want to know more about the structure of the TOEFL independent essay, check out this excellent video from Michael Goodine at Test Resources .
And here’s another example TOEFL Writing topic and sample essay from an expert TOEFL instructor:
- Your friend has decided to switch careers but isn’t sure which to choose. What advice would you give them? Provide reasons and examples to support your response.
When children are young, they asked by adults what they want to be when they grow up. This, unfortunately, causes kids to think that they can only have one job for the rest of their life. But, in reality, it is perfectly normal for people to want a change. If my friend was thinking about switching her career, but she didn’t know what she wanted to do, I would give her the following two pieces of advice.
First, if my friend was considering changing her job, I would suggest that she go back to the drawing board. The best career path is one that encompasses three values, each of which everyone gives different weight. The work must allow her to make enough money to live comfortably, it must be something that she is good at, and it must be something that she finds rewarding. For instance, when I was a lawyer, I was good at my job and I earned plenty of money, but I was not proud of the work I was doing. I decided to leave the legal field behind and pursued a job that I could actually enjoy while helping people. That is when I decided to become a teacher instead. In order to determine which new career will be best for her, my friend will need to do some soul-searching first and then look for a job that will include these three ideals.
Next, if my friend wasn’t sure which new career to choose, but she had a few in mind, I would advise her to job shadow them. As they say, it is best to check the temperature of the water before diving in headfirst. This happened to my aunt when she wanted to quit her job and become a policewoman. Before signing up at the police academy, she job-shadowed. She sat in on some of the classes first, to see if she was interested. She interviewed police officers, to find out if the job would be what she expected, and she rode along with them while they were on duty, to learn what it would be like. Ultimately, she discovered that being a policewoman was not the right fit for her. It was better that she job-shadowed first before making the commitment. This is what I would advise my friend to do too.
In summary, if my friend was thinking about leaving her career, but didn’t know which one to choose, I would first recommend to her to search for work that best fit her values. Then, I would suggest that she job-shadows any potential jobs she is considering before she makes her choice.
This TOEFL essay would earn a perfect score.
Well, for one thing it avoids the most common Five TOEFL Writing Mistakes . Check out the video below to find our more
Get the PDF version of this blog post with Speaking and Writing Topics for the TOEFL Test .
If you read this far, it means you are serious about your TOEFL studies. Don’t hesitate to send us an email and let us know how we can help you earn the TOEFL score of your dreams – [email protected]
Did we forget anything? Please comment and let us know how we can improve our TOEFL Writing advice (or if you want to just say hi that would be great too).
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Hello, I have a question about the independent writing: Is it a problem if I just give one reason in my essay (but detailed enough)? Thank you
Hi there and thank you for your question. There are no specific grading criteria that say you MUST give two reasons for your opinion, so, in theory, yes, you can just give one reason. I don’t think you will be marked down for it. If possible, try to give two though. It will make your word count higher.
Hello Josh, I was wondering if you have more integrated writing questions that we could do for practice, do you know where to find them?
Hi there and thank you for your question. If you search “TOEFL Writing Practice test” on Youtube you will find 2-3 TST Prep practice videos with an Integrated Writing practice question. I’m sure there will be tests from other providers as well.
Hey Josh, I have been following your YouTube channel for my TOEFL preparation, where I learned a lot. My question is that I got stuck between 15-17 scores in the reading section and could not figure out what I would do to enhance my scores. Any suggestions?
Hi there Ashina, and thank you for your question.
It is, indeed, a difficult question to answer. Here are two pieces of advice on how to practice at home and how to improve time management:
HOW TO DO A PASSAGE
I am going to breakdown the process you should go through when you do a TOEFL Reading passage:
1. Copy the test conditions (set a timer to complete the passage and all the questions in 18 minutes)
2. Check your answers
3. Identify the reason you got a specific question wrong (or didn’t understand why you were correct) and write down what you can do to avoid the same mistake next time. Step #3 is the most important and the one often overlooked because most test-takers are pretty tired after reading and answering questions. This will help you notice patterns in incorrect choices and apply what you have learned later.
4. (Optional) Do the same passage again two weeks later. (You will remember much of what you did before, but it should help remind you of what you have learned)
My advice is pretty simple here, practice with LESS TIME. If it is not too stressful, try to complete a passage and all of the questions in 16 minutes (instead of 18). This usually does the trick for most students over time.
I hope you find some of this helpful. Good luck, and let me know if you need anything.
Hey Josh, in the Reading section the last question holds two marks where we are asked to pick three choices. I have always have a hard time getting the perfect score here. any suggestions, please…
Hi Kiba, this is a popular complaint. I posted a video about summary questions here. You might find it helpful.
Hey Josh, I have a question. If the question is saying a good essay is between 200 and 300, and I wrote more than 300, is this okay? Or should I make it only as maximum as they are saying?
Hi Joud and great question. Definitely write MORE. There is a direct correlation between test scores and word count, so the more you write the better. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should write as much as possible as fast as possible, but anything between 350-450 words would be great.
Hey Josh, I think I do well in my writing section, but my score doesn’t improve. Is there anything that I can do to know my mistakes from the ETS?
Hi Aziz, good question, and unfortunately, no, they do not release that information. The best you can do is work with an experienced teacher who can point out your weaknesses and work on them at home before test day.
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