Last Updated: February 25, 2021
Writing Section of TOEFL
TOEFL is an English proficiency test that tries to assess your proficiency through the sections of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The exam has taken precedence in the application procedures especially for International students who wish to pursue higher studies in English-speaking countries.
The writing section gains importance due to the academic works that will have to be carried forward by the student. Less understanding of grammar and vocabulary will make you stand apart from the crowd in institutions and make it harder for you to focus on your course when you have to pay extra attention to your language. Even if a person can survive an academic space with broken English in speech, doing the same in writing will be considerably difficult and can result in poor grades despite having brilliance in the subject.
Why Writing Test? What do they look for?
The exam has kept this section to analyze and measure your competence in writing in English suitable to an academic space and culture. This varies from informal writing which you would be most familiar with. Academic writing is not measured to the maximum extent since it is something you will learn in college/ universities. But in order to make use of the information they provide you, you will require a minimum level of grammar and vocabulary.
It is to be understood that in this section, they try to measure your skill in organizing your thoughts and perspectives. Displaying unique perspectives will always be a plus in this section but at the same time, presenting a simple idea in its proper order with above-average vocabulary and accurate grammar will provide you the excellent result that you want.
The Writing Section has 2 tasks mainly- Independent writing task and Integrated writing task. These tasks focus on different approached in writing, namely, informal and formal writing.
Independent writing task
-As the name suggests, the independent task is based in making you write an essay based on your personal experiences. You will also be allowed to state opinions you may hold regarding the topic or prompt they have provided.
Integrated writing task
- In this task, you will be given a short passage to read and a short lecture to listen to after which you will be required to write your perspectives regarding to the information you were provided. This task must be attempted using a formal format and informal language or personal experiences will not be accepted as an answer.
|1.||Independent Task||30 minutes|
|2.||Integrated Task||20 minutes|
The TOEFL score report will contain 4 scaled section scores and 1 total score. Here, each section is scored within a range of 0-30 and the grades of all these sections are added to calculate the total score you have obtained.
The Writing section have 5 proficiency levels based on which your level is calculated. These are:
|Proficiency level||Score||General Description|
|Advanced level||24-30||Skill to write well-organized text about a wide range of topics; has clarity, good range of vocabulary. |
|High-Intermediate level||17-23||writes well about familiar topics; can summarize; has few grammatical inaccuracies. |
|Low-Intermediate level||13-16||can produce simple content; limitations due to lack of vocabulary; language errors. |
|Basic level||7-12||basic knowledge of grammar; small range of vocabulary; cannot communicate thoughts well. |
|Below Basic level ||0-6||close to having no knowledge in the language; cannot communicate thoughts in proper sentences. |
Your responses have to be typed on a keyboard and will be sent to ETS after the test. They are evaluated by AI Scoring and Human scoring to avoid biases and discrepancies at all times.
The writing section can be aced only if you have an overall idea of all four sections of the test. Since the second task assigned in the writing section requires that you read a passage and listen to a lecture and then write down a response to the same, it is necessary that you are good at listening and reading the content into figuring out the text.
- Read academic articles-Reading academic articles can help you understand what an organized text looks like. It will not be informal in its writing and will have a structure that can be followed for the integrated part of the test. Academic texts also give you insights regarding various topics you might not have come across while perusing popular content and can also lend you an air of complexity in thought as you write the test.
- Take notes-Once you have mastered the reading and listening sections, you might have a certain confidence that you can ace the writing section. But writing requires a very specific skillset which has time as a huge factor. Your writing section has a total time duration of 50 minutes within which you are supposed to write 2 essays. This will demand a minimum of 6 paragraphs and high-speed in writing/ typing if you need to complete the test. Ensure that you take notes in the way you will be attempting the exam to increase writing/ typing speed.
- Summarize what you read-Summarizing the content you have just read or listened to is a perfect practice for the test. This will develop organizational skills and after a few attempts, you will be able to point out what the most important points are in the content provided thereby weeding out what is unnecessary. While summarizing content, always write in full sentences even if this may seem tiring after a point.
- Listen recorded lectures- The integrated task most definitely has a recorded lecture about which you will have to write an essay/ response. You can always pause the recording when you begin practicing so that you do not miss any information. Replay it and cross-check the recording with the notes that you have taken to figure out missing content. Listen to each recording at least thrice in order to be sure about the content and its meaning.
- Look for important phrases-There will always be important phrases that point to the main ideas in any text. If you figure out what these phrases are, you can focus on them instead of listening to every word and trying to figure out what is happening. This includes knowing the speaker and who the source of information is. Important phrases might contain words like “factor”, “issue”, or “point”. Also, be sure that the information they are conveying is hypothetical or certain.