Writing section of TOEFL

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The Writing section of TOEFL is taken to evaluate the candidate’s skills of writing in English in an academic setting, and how well the candidate is able to present his/her ideas in a clear, well-organized manner. The writing section of the TOEFL exam requires students to write an essay and describe a topic effectively. The answers should be well-structured and well-developed using relatable explanations and detailed support. The total time given to complete the writing section is 50 minutes.

Duration 50 minutes
Number of tasks 2


Tasks of the Writing section of TOEFL

The GMAT exam pattern of the TOEFL writing section contains two tasks. They are Integrated writing and Independent writing. You will get 20 minutes to complete your Integrated writing task and that 30 minutes for the independent task. Both the tasks are explained in detail below:

Task 1 -Integrated Writing Task

The Integrated Writing task demands you to use your English reading, listening, and writing skills. In the first part for three minutes the test-taker has to read a given short passage on an academic topic. Then, the candidate will listen to a short which is an approximately two-minute long audio clip of a speaker discussing the same topic the written passage covers. After this, comes the real task for the test-taker, wherein he/she has to write an essay that references both of these sources in order to answer the question. While you are writing your response, you are permitted to look at the written passage again, but you are not allowed to re-hear the audio clip. However, you are allowed to take notes during your listening part.

Task 2- Independent Writing Task

The  Independent Writing section demands that the candidate writes on a specific issue based on their knowledge. For the Independent Writing task, you will be asked a question on a specific topic or issue. You will need to write a response to that topic that explains your opinion, and you will also need to give reasons and examples that support your opinion.

The following are the basis on which it will be assessed: development, structure, and correct usage of vocabulary as well as grammar. The examiners do not judge you on the basis of whether you agree or disagree with the particular topic, they are prepared to accept different types of opinions.

Preparation tips for the Writing section of TOEFL

With the right preparation, one can definitely score high in the TOEFL and can also be less stressed on the exam day. Candidates looking to excel in the writing section are required to follow some tips and strategies. Below we have discussed the strategies you can follow for targeting both the sections individually:

TOEFL preparation tips for Integrated Task of writing section 

  • For Integrated practice, you can take an English textbook, read the given chapters and try to answer the questions given at the end of the chapter. 
  • For practicing this task you need to read academic topics and academic letters. Take plenty of notes and list out major points and important details. 
  • Use your list to write a summary essentially paraphrasing the original text using different words and grammatical structures. 
  • Gradually develop a habit of paraphrasing faster.
  • Collect recorded lectures or talks on academic topics. Listen to them for only 30 seconds and practice writing a summary of what you heard. After writing, re-listen the recording to check your summary.
  • Read different articles written on the same topic. Write separate summaries for each of them and a  summary to explain the similarities and differences between the texts. 
  • For preparation, the editorial section of the newspaper is another main source. Read the section, interview a relative or a friend on the same topic, and write a summary comparing the interview and the written section.

TOEFL preparation tips for  Independent Task

  • Start your preparation by making a list of familiar topics. 
  • Select any of the topics from the list you have created. The next important step is the ‘prewriting step’ which means you need to think, plan, and list the important ideas about the topic. Try to figure out the main ideas and note down the points to support your ideas. Convert the ideas into an essay with the help of explanations and details. Remember to check what you have written. 
  • Read essays and articles written by professional writers and study them in detail. Know the opinions made by the writer and how he presents his main points.

 General preparation tips for TOEFL writing section

  • Students should hold a book that teaches the different types of connecting words. Connecting words will help you to express the relationship between sentences and paragraphs and also connect 2 or more short sentences and make them into one long sentence.
  • The presentation of your idea is very important in your writing. You must pay more attention to how you organize your ideas. It is important to present the information in a uniform flow that is easy for the reader to understand. Hence it is important to practice writing on a daily basis to be able to become an expert in writing. 
  • You should learn the convention of spelling, punctuation, and paragraph creation. 
  • Learn the basic format of the paragraphs in an essay. Each paragraph in the essay should present one aspect of the main idea or topic. 
  • Read your practice write-up 3 or 4 times, and make a checklist of common errors to improve on them and also not to repeat it again. 
  • Re-read and replace uninteresting expressions with stronger words. 
  • Practice during your preparation to use transition phrases like “on one hand” or “in conclusion”. 
  • As the TOEFL exam is taken on a computer so practice on a QWERTY keyboard to achieve a good typing speed. 
  • You should also learn paraphrasing skills as it is important to avoid plagiarism. Practice by finding synonyms of the words. Collect some words from a reading passage and think of their synonyms without looking at any dictionary or a thesaurus. 
  • Another important skill you need to develop is to practice using the noun form as well as the verb form of the word. Learn to differentiate between these word forms and try writing sentences using both forms. 
  • Randomly select a few words in English from anywhere, define the words, and then use them in writing different sentences. Try to think of as many synonyms possible of the word as you can.
  • Manage your time properly as you need to plan the essay, write the essay and edit the answer if something goes wrong, on time to gain a good score.  
  • The more you know about varied issues, the better you can explain and present your views. There is no doubt that a known topic gives you more clarity and confidence to present your ideas clearly instead of unknown topics.

The writing section for the TOEFL is challenging, but you will go through it easily if you start preparing as soon as possible.

All the Best..!!