TOEFL Writing Section Tips For A Great Score

TOEFL Writing Section Tips

The writing portion of the TOEFL section is the most challenging section for most of the test takers. Proper guidance is paramount to score good marks in the writing section. The test is designed to assess a test taker’s command over the language, and writing is perhaps the best way to get the best assessment. TOEFL writing consists of different sorts of questions that need a great deal of practice, and for that, one should solve as many TOEFL sample papers as possible. Students should take proper guidance from experts coupled with the right set of study material to ensure a decent score in the writing section. 

The TOEFL writing section is of 50-minute duration and consists of two sections, and one is the Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. Students get 20 minutes for writing the integrated section and 30 minutes for the independent writing tasks. Students have to write essays on a computer in this section of the TOEFL exam. The writing section is one-fourth of the total score, and thus students must prepare extensively. The score in the writing section is also used for assessment in the later stage of studies, so it’s of way more importance than merely getting into a university. 

Tips For Getting A Great Score in the TOEFL Writing Section 

Here are the tips for getting a perfect score in the TOEFL writing section.

Learn To Paraphrase by Doing Extensive Practice

Paraphrasing is very important for the integrated writing section, and it is of utmost importance to devote a great deal of time and effort to it. Paraphrasing can’t be learned in a day or two; rather, it must be done thoroughly over time. Many times students end up writing the exact sentence, and that amounts to plagiarism. Plagiarised writing is the biggest detriment on the score and reflects poorly on the score. So, extensive practice helps students in writing original content based on the paragraph given in the question. 

Carefully Listen to the Lecture 

Listening to important points at the time of the lecture and taking note of it is very important for scoring well in integrated writing. Many students think that the lecturer will repeat the important points, and they will be able to keep them in their minds without noting them. However, taking note of these points is very important as it helps students keep these points in their subconscious and automatically comes up while writing the passage. Another thing that must be kept in mind is to keep these points short and concise. Also, pay attention to those points that the lecturer keeps repeating in the course of the lecture.

The Art Of Using The Notes 

Students should develop the knack to take notes properly and the ability to establish a connection between the lecture and reading. The notes are very important since it helps the students in bridging the points that they have heard in the lecture and what they read. Getting a good score is directly related to developing a bridge between lecturer notes and the author’s view.

Grammatical Errors Should Be Avoided At All Costs

There is nothing more unpleasant for a TOEFL writing section evaluator than seeing grave grammatical errors in the essay. It is one of the reasons why even those test-takers who understand the lecture and are able to structure it properly end up losing marks. The grammar can’t be neglected as it is the backbone of the language, and evaluators take serious reservations to those answer scripts with many grammatical errors. There are many resources available on the internet that help students in practicing grammar, and it can be used to brush up on the basics. 

Structuring The Essay

A well-structured essay is a pleasure to read, and anyone reading it is more likely to give a good score. On the other hand, an unstructured essay is a big pullback for evaluators as they end up assuming that the test taker isn’t even aware of structuring their point of view. A well-structured essay shouldn’t be conflated with overly high-end English. There is no need to bombard fancy words just to impress. Keeping the essay simple and yet elegant is the foundation of structuring the essay. Students must focus on drawing a brief outline of things they will be mentioned in the essay after brainstorming the ideas. The blend of outline and ideas in a coherent manner gives flow to the essay and thus provides a structured outlook. 

Always Focus On Spellings

This is perhaps the most underrated aspect of the preparation as most of the students, after attaining a certain level of expertise, think that spellings are not a big deal. However, even a slight error in spelling can make a very bad impression on the evaluator. For instance, the use of “than” in place of “then” or the use of “their” in place of “there” reflects very poorly on the part of test-takers. So, one can’t afford to commit spelling errors. One of the things that students can do is to avoid using words with similar meanings consequently. A slight misspell can change the entire essence of the sentence and take it in an altogether different direction. 

Don’t Hesitate To Give An Opinion.

In essays, test-takers hesitate to state an opinion and try to balance, which implies that the test taker isn’t sure about their side. One mustn’t try to overly balance when there is a clear need to take a side to substantiate one’s opinion in the matter. The side must be clear from the first instance, and there shouldn’t be a sense of ambiguity while writing the essay. A clear stand helps evaluators in assessing if the test taker understood the topic or not. 

Don’t Make the Essay Too Wordy.

The minimum word limit for an essay is three hundred words, but nothing says to make it six hundred words either. Students feel more words will fetch more words, and it isn’t true. There are instances wherein students get penalized for writing less, but there is no fixed rule on it. If the essay is qualitatively superior to most test-takers, then even three hundred fifty words will fetch more than a five hundred words essay. 

Understand The Difference Between the Essays of Integrated and Independent Writing 

One of the crucial differences is about giving a subtle opinion. In the independent essay, one must state their position clearly, while in the integrated section, one shouldn’t give an outright opinion and stick to the audio content. Using the content of the audio to substantiate the content of the essay is needed in integrated writing. The only way to have mastery over the essays and understand this difference is to practice a lot. Practicing helps in understanding when to give an opinion and when to refrain from giving an opinion. 

Practice In A Time Bound Manner

Always write an essay with a stopwatch handy and finish the respective sections in the required time slot. The time limit for the integrated section is twenty minutes for the independent writing. Completing both sections within the time limit helps students in assessing the quality of their essays in real exam-like situations. 

In a nutshell, practice is key to getting a high score in the TOEFL writing section. The concerted effort coupled with time management ultimately gives students the confidence to perform well in the actual test. There are a lot of free and paid resources available both online and offline that can be used to hone the writing skill for the TOEFL exam.