TOEFL Writing Test: Task 1 & Task 2 Samples, Questions, Syllabus, Score Chart and Calculation

By Samarpita Goswami Updated On - Jul 05, 2022 06:09 PM

The TOEFL iBT Writing Section test is designed to test your writing skills. It's a well-organized test that will help you present your ideas in a clear and organized manner. Read and find out how to ace the writing section. 

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TOEFL Writing Test: The TOEFL Writing Test is the last section that you have to complete before the end of the test. Being able to write well in English is very important for your final score. The writing section of the test consists of writing exercises that are structured and contain clear arguments. It also checks your knowledge of English grammar.

The TOEFL Writing section lasts for about 50 minutes. It consists of two tasks: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. You have 30 minutes to plan and draft the Independent Writing Task and 20 minutes to plan and draft the Integrated Writing Task. You will then plan and write two essays on the computer. In the next section, we’ll discuss the tasks and what you should write about.

After you complete the exam, each essay will be assessed by a group of four or five graders. The scores of the two papers will be combined to form your official Writing score.

Now that we are familiar with the TOEFL Writing section, let us learn how to ace the section. This guide will give you all the information you need to ace the TOEFL Writing section. This section will also explain what types of essays you should answer and how to study for both types. It will also give you tips on how to ace test day.

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Overview and Pattern of TOEFL Writing Test

The TOEFL iBT Writing Test is designed to test your writing skills. It's a well-organized test that will help you present your ideas in a clear and organized manner. There are typically two types of tasks:

  • Integrated Writing Task: In the section, you will have to complete an integrated writing task that consists of reading a short passage, listening to a lecture, and writing an essay in response to the content of the article.

  • Independent Writing Task: In the section, you will have to write an essay based on a personal experience or opinion. 

You can type your responses on a computer or handwrite them down. They're then sent to ETS, where the responses are scored by an AI-powered scoring system. Now let us focus on each section one by one, and analyze how to improve our score. 

Integrated Writing in TOEFL Writing Task 1

The TOEFL Integrated Writing task involves listening and reading a short passage, then listening to a short audio clip of a speaker talking about the same topic. You will then have 20 minutes to plan a response that references both the audio and the text.

During the writing time, you will be able to re-read the passage, but you won’t be able to hear the audio clip. The suggested response length is 150 to 225 words. You will be evaluated on the quality of your writing and how well it relates to the audio clip and the written passage.

Tips for TOEFL Writing Task 1

  • When making an argument, refer back to the audio clip and the written passage that contains it.

  • A good grade is one that shows how well you understood the information contained in the audio clip and the passage.

  • Instead of copying and pasting parts of the audio clip or passage, try rewriting the main ideas in your essay. Don’t copy and paste the parts of the audio clip or passage into the main ideas of your essay.

  • The importance of the information in the audio clip and the written passage is often discussed in your response.

  • When playing an audio clip, take good notes. Don’t inject yourself with any opinions or thoughts about the content of the audio clip. You can only discuss what the audio clip and the passage are saying.

Independent Writing in TOEFL Writing Task 2

You will have to write an essay in response to a prompt on the TOEFL independent writing task, which can cover a wide range of general topics. This work is solely based on the essay prompt and contains no reading passages or lecture excerpts. Essay prompts often question students whether or not they agree with a particular statement, their thoughts on public concerns, or what they would do in a given situation. 

The "Writing Based on Knowledge and Experience" task is another name for the independent writing task. According to the instructions that come with the essay prompt, the most effective independent essays are at least 300 words long and you will be given 30 minutes of time to complete this task. 

Tips for TOEFL Writing Task 2

  • This topic essay is all about developing a strong argument for your own opinion on a particular topic. If you don’t care about the topic, then choose which one you can write about.

  • The minimum length for an essay is 300 words. If you have a lot of time and want to make points, then start with 300 words. However, if you’re not very skilled at writing, then aim for around 320 words.

  • Your first paragraph should contain at least one sentence that clearly states how you feel about the topic.

TOEFL Writing Section Syllabus

The topic of the essay should be effectively addressed. The response should be well-organized and developed, with pertinent explanations and extensive support. It should also demonstrate unity, growth, and coherence. If you want to get a high writing score, make sure you show syntactic variation and appropriate word choice while avoiding minor grammatical errors.

The writing questions covered in the TOEFL Writing Section syllabus are as follows:

Task Type

Independent Writing Task

Integrated Writing Task

Direction

Write an essay in response to a prompt.

Write an essay after reading a passage and listening to a recording of a lecture.

Word Count

300 words

150-225 words

Time

30 minutes

20 minutes

What Does a Perfect TOEFL Writing Essay Look Like?

Before you start improving your writing skills, it is important that you know how to structure an essay. Having the proper structure will help you present your ideas in the most logical manner. The structure is the key to writing a good essay. It will help you present your ideas in the most logical manner possible.

  • The first paragraph should clearly state the main idea or the main argument of the essay. It should also be part of the essay's overall structure.

  • The next couple of paragraphs should also introduce and expound on the thesis. You should also have some ideas and examples to support it.

  • The last paragraph of the essay should summarize the thesis and provide a conclusion that explains the main idea of the paper.

You will summarize everything that happened in the paper and make a big conclusion. Everything that's mentioned in the first paragraph should also be related to the main idea of the paper. One paragraph should be devoted to one idea or another. It is also a general rule to avoid overloading one paragraph with more than one idea. Instead, try to make each paragraph clear and focused. An ideal TOEFL Writing Test essay should have such a format:

  • Main Idea

  • The first argument that supports the idea

  • The second argument that supports the idea

  • The third argument supports the idea of an opposing idea.

  • Conclusion

Instead of having bullet points, write full sentences and paragraphs. This will help avoid having a disjointed and cluttered essay. Conjunctive adverbs, such as “however” and “furthermore,” can introduce more flow to your essay. Using conjunctive adverbs can introduce more flow to your essay. Having a clear thesis is very important to have a successful essay. It will help you decide what you want to say before writing it. It doesn't matter if your thesis is very simple or complex. If the main thesis is very complex, you may run out of time to cover all your ideas. Having a simple and straight thesis will allow you to focus on supporting it. It will also help you structure and use good grammar.

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How is TOEFL Writing Scored? 

Both essays are graded on a scale of 0-5, which is the raw TOEFL iBT writing score. Each essay will receive a raw score ranging from 0 to 5, with the raw score being the average of two entries. TOEFL Writing Test raw score conversion takes this average score and converts it to an adjusted or scaled score. This score is utilized to meet the sectional TOEFL cut-off as well as the minimum TOEFL Writing Test requirement of colleges around the world.

TOEFL Writing Score Chart and Calculations

TOEFL writing portions contain a set number of questions, and candidates receive a raw score depending on the number of right answers provided. This is the raw TOEFL score, which is translated into a scaled score on a scale of 0-30. For this reason, candidates might refer to the TOEFL Writing Test score conversion table:

TOEFL Writing Raw Score Average

TOEFL Writing Scaled Score

5.00

30

4.75

29

4.50

28

4.25

27

4.00

25

3.75

24

3.50

22

3.25

21

3.00

20

2.75

18

2.50

17

2.25

15

2.00

14

1.75

12

1.50

11

1.25

10

1.00

8

-

7

-

5

-

4

-

0

TOEFL Writing Test Scores Requirements at Universities

Writing TOEFL iBT criteria can be established at the institutional, divisional, or departmental levels. Some schools place a higher value on writing skills than others. UCLA requires a total TOEFL score of 87 for graduate students, but this composite score must include 25 in writing, 24 in speaking, 21 in reading, and 17 in listening (note that the expected writing score is the highest of these). 

Harvard University is an example of a school that gives equal weight to all TOEFL scores (the minimum total score for most programs is 100, with at least 25 on each section). It is also typical for institutions to assess simply the iBT total score and to have no specified requirements for the writing section. Even in these circumstances, poor writing skills can impair a student's chances of admission because low writing scores will definitely affect an applicant's ability to receive the required total score.

Why Is It Important to Have Good Grammar in the Writing Section?

Although it may seem like an impossible task, studying grammar is very important in the writing section. There are two essay sections that are the only parts of the test that measure your knowledge of grammar. Although speaking does not measure grammar as much as writing, poor grammar can affect the quality of your essay. Being correct is very important when it comes to grammar usage on the TOEFL. Generally, avoid using complex verb tenses and clauses if you are not sure how to use them. It is also better to use simple grammar than to use complex grammar. Arguments and examples can also be written using Simple Past or Simple Present.

Although you may use conditional forms and gerunds in your thesis, keeping it simple also applies to grammar. Aside from having the proper verb endings, also pay attention to the irregular verb forms and avoid making common mistakes. Also, make sure to avoid using odd clauses. Follow the simple present and simple past rules to get right. Also, make sure to revise the irregular verb forms so they do not have small mistakes.

The difference between past and present perfect is also important to master. While both are correct, use one depending on the context. Gerund and conditional tenses will show the grader that you can use more complex clauses and express yourself in a variety of ways. Use less passive voice to avoid making arguments sound more authoritative. This will also help you present more authoritative arguments. For instance, if you're talking about British scientists, use a less passive voice.

Why Is Having a Good Vocabulary Important?

You probably experienced this scenario at one time or another. You know exactly what you want to tell someone, but do not know how or what to say it. Getting a good vocabulary is very important if you want to write good essays. Learning new words and phrases will help you express your thoughts and ideas better. Playing it safe with grammar is an acceptable strategy, but doing so will leave you with a blank and uninteresting essay.

Although it is possible to use grammar forms, avoiding generic words and phrases will result in a flat and unintelligible essay. Once you start writing essays for the test, make a list of the words that you commonly use in English. It is also important to note the exact words that you use most often. Learning new words and phrases will help expand your vocabulary even beyond the test. List the words that you commonly use in English and try to come up with some substitutes. Doing so is very important to avoid repeating the same words over and over again. To learn more about the words that you commonly use, try studying their synonyms using online dictionaries and resources.

Try to learn two or three different ways of saying “to do,” “to say,” and “to think.” You will notice that your writing will improve in no time. Another important point to remember is that identifying words that are often used incorrectly is also a good practice. There are also words that can be confusing to people. Learn the proper meanings of these words and avoid using them in hopes of sounding more advanced.

Key Strategies to Ace TOEFL Writing Test

Now that you are well aware of everything related to the TOEFL Writing Test, here are some amazing tips and strategies that will help you to ace your TOEFL Writing Test in the first attempt:

Practise Both Essay Types

The two essay sections for this section are different from one another. It’s important to remember that these sections have different strategies and methods. For the Integrated essay, do not give yourself an opinion on the topic. Instead, use written and audio passages to back up your claims. Doing practice essays will also help you get used to the prompts and the different ways to score well. You can also learn more about the rubrics used by the TOEFL Writing Test writers.

Take Practise Test

Writing in English can help you improve your skills and score better on TOEFL Writing Test. Doing practise essays will help you improve your writing skills and make you more aware of the different prompts.

Set a Timer

It is also important to set aside time to plan and write an essay. This will help you get organized and make sure that you finish it on time. Writing sessions are also ideal for improving your essay writing skills. They can help prepare for test day. Doing timed practice essays will allow you to avoid running out of time before writing. Doing timed practise essays will help avoid running out of time. It can also help avoid getting too busy. You should also keep track of how many words each of your essay's sections contain.

Review Your Essays

After you finish writing your practice essays, you should also review them and think about how well they answered the question. Doing this step helps ensure that your answers are good enough to impress the test takers. If the question comes with sample answers, then do this step instead of just writing the practice essays. Doing this step will also help you identify which of them are weak points and which ones are strong points. Although it’s tempting to take a break from studying after writing your final essays, doing this step will help you reflect on what makes great essays.

Tips for Your IELTS Test Day

Preparing for the TOEFL Writing Test can be a stressful time, so here are some tips to help make it easier. 

Take Some Time to Plan Your Essay

It's possible to start writing again once you have a limited time frame. However, avoid this by making sure that you finish all of your work before the deadline. Planning helps keep you focused and on topic as it allows you to work on what you'll be discussing next. A basic outline should be created for at least two to three minutes. It should include the main point that you're planning on discussing throughout the essay. The main point of each paragraph should be a specific example that you can quickly think of to back up your claim. Before you start writing, make sure that the essay prompt clearly explains the main point of your outline.

Refer Back to Question From Time to Time

Even if you have perfect English, failing to answer the question properly will not improve your score. For instance, the question “How important is it that teachers have good knowledge and are able to relate to students?” asks how important it is that teachers have good knowledge and are able to do their job well. Even if your writing is impeccable, failing to discuss the question will not improve your score. This is a practice that can help you improve your writing skills. It’s also something that you should do before you start writing an essay.

Have Some Time to Review Your Essays

It’s helpful to spend a few minutes after writing an essay to thoroughly check it out. Doing so will allow you to catch any spelling mistakes or grammar issues that might appear. Getting these errors corrected can help you avoid losing points. Doing practise essays will help you improve your writing skills and manage time efficiently.

In order to succeed in TOEFL Writing Test, you should first learn what types of essays you should write and how you should structure them. Doing so will help you improve your writing style and academic writing skills. While studying for the section, be sure to practice writing practice essays and take notes. On exam day, outline your essay before writing it. Also, refer back to the essay prompts to review what you wrote. Below are some tips that will help you ace the TOEFL Writing Test. Once you finish, you’re done!

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FAQs

Is TOEFL Writing Test hard?

When compared to other standardised examinations such as the IELTS, Duolingo, and PTE, the TOEFL is typically thought to be easier (provided you have solid English skills) because it focuses on those English skills rather than mathematical equations or writing intricacies.

How is the TOEFL Writing graded?

Following the completion of the test, the TOEFL Writing will be graded on a scale of 0-5. These are referred to as raw scores. The average of those raw values will then be scaled to a score ranging from 0 to 30, which will be your official Writing score and the one you will see when you receive your score results.

How many words should we write on TOEFL Writing Test?

We recommend that your TOEFL Integrated Writing essay be 250-300 words long. Now, take note that the recommended length for the Independent Writing, for which you have 30 minutes, is 250-300 words. We recommend that you write this much on Integrated Writing, which you have only 20 minutes to complete.

How many tasks are there in TOEFL Writing Test?

There are two writing tasks that you have to do in your TOEFL Writing Test. 20-minute integrated writing task: read a short passage and listen to a short lecture, then write in response to what you read and heard. Independent writing task (30 minutes) – create an essay in response to a writing topic based on your own experience or viewpoint.

How do I write an essay for TOEFL iBT?

To write an essay for TOEFL iBT, here are the 5 simple tips: 

  • Create an essay plan.
  • Know what the examiner wants.
  • Give yourself a word limit.
  • Stick to the prompt.
  • Write, write and write some more.

What is independent writing in TOEFL?

You are given two writing projects in the TOEFL Writing Section. The Independent Writing in TOEFL is the second and last task in the TOEFL Exam's Writing Section. You have 30 minutes in the Independent Writing challenge to outline, compose, and revise an essay. This essay is based on your response to the prompt.

Does word count matter in TOEFL Writing Test?

No, the word count does not matter in the TOEFL Writing Test. The TOEFL assesses English proficiency rather than verbosity. There is no particular guideline on how many words you must write to achieve a decent grade in the essay section. Brevity is frequently advocated. I would suggest 300-350 words, however, this is not a hard and fast rule.

What happens if you write less than 300 words on TOEFL Writing Test?

If you write less than 300 words on TOEFL Writing Test, then there will be high chance that you will score below 20. You should also be aware that your word count is determined by the growth of your ideas. So it doesn't come from repetition or making a little, basic notion much larger than it needs to be. These are the items that will lower your score.

What is a good TOEFL Writing Test score?

A good TOEFL Writing Test score range would be between 18 and 30. A score of 17-23 would place you in the fair category for writing, while a score of 24-30 would position you in the good category. You must also remember that you cannot pass or fail your TOEFL test but you can get an idea of whether your score is good enough or not. 

How important is spelling in TOEFL Writing Test?

You should try to spell all of the terms correctly on the TOEFL Writing Test, although it is not required. You can make a mistake and yet receive a perfect score on the writing test. You can even make two or three errors and still receive a perfect score.

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