How do I Score Well on TOEFL&Reg; Writing?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2020
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Students who want to do well on the TOEFL® Writing can prepare themselves for some specific aspects of this portion of the test, and use strategies that have worked for many before them. Various TOEFL® test prep or training programs will help students to learn the basic skills that will serve them well on this section of the test. Other students can get these tips from books or study resources.

One of the big strategies for the TOEFL® Writing is to know the general format that is expected for the essay response. Many experts recommend planning the essay with an outline before starting. Practice essays can help students understand how to develop these writing responses to score well on the writing section of the test. One essential recommendation is to develop a separate introduction, body, and conclusion for the essay in order to help provide a logical path for the reader.

The test takers should also know how to order their time for the TOEFL® Writing. The essay is most often given a time frame of 30 minutes. Students can do practice essays in half an hour and become skilled at creating outlines, implementing paragraphs and doing a final edit within that time frame.


One of the most general guidelines for doing well on writing an essay for TOEFL® consists of creating a good supportable position on a prompt or question. Experts recommend practicing the creation of a central thesis statement, and the use of specific examples to back it up. Those who do this will often score well on the essay portion of TOEFL®.

When it comes to vocabulary, one tip for score well on TOEFL® Writing is to use varied vocabulary, along with a good set of transitional phrases. This will help with the overall sound of the essay, making it seem coherent and well-crafted when the reader scans it, and will also help with pacing, or the amount of words it will take the writer to make a particular point. Some trainers recommend that students develop a “word bank” for transitional phrasing as well as other parts of the essay.

A major consideration for structuring the TOEFL® essay is to use relevant, concrete, and supportable facts from the source text or from memory. For example, in some essay training programs, coaches, or trainers provide students with a brief text on a historic figure or role model. Then the student practices applying specific information from that person’s life into a practice essay. This can also help when approaching the TOEFL® Writing task on test day.


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