How to Improve TOEFL Writing Skills & Scores?

TOEFL writing test is compromised of 1 integrated and 1 independent writing tasks and it lasts nearly 1 hour. In the integrated task, an examinee is generally wanted to report the ideas and information that he reads and listens before starting to write. The independent writing is about writing an essay to state ideas about a specific topic. Both of these tasks are evaluated in terms of accuracy, grammar, vocabulary, organization, idea development and completeness. Through practicing regularly and paying attention to the important points related to the test, it is quite possible to get a good score in the TOEFL writing test. Now lets try to answer the questions "What should I do to improve my TOEFL writing score?"

Understanding the differences

First and the most important thing you have to do is to see the most important differences between the writing part and the other parts of the test. Regulary practice is really important in TOEFL writing but it is never enough. You can improve your reading scores greatly by constant reading and your listening scores by constant listening. However, you can't improve your scores greatly by writing constantly. The most important thing you need is to be reviewed by a tutor, a teacher or a friend who is competent at English writing.
You have to practice writing and then you need to evaluate your independent or integrated writings with someone who is a competent writer to see any grammar, vocabulary, organization or idea development mistakes. It is possible for you to evaluate your reading mistakes and your listening mistakes on your own but such a thing is not possible in writing.

That's why the most important thing you should do is to get a tutor, a teacher, a friend anyone that will check your writings and report your strong points, your mistakes and anything that worths mentioning. The first key to success in TOEFL writing is to practice writing and checking the essays you write with a competent essay writer. 

Preparation Period

When you get any tutor to help you, you can start practicing regularly. Remember that there are only 2 tasks in TOEFL writing test. You can easily practice for the test without needing expensive materials. There are lots of free TOEFL sample essays that you can find quickly by searching them on the Internet. Find these free essay samples, preferably the ones which are rated good by English teachers.

When you find these materials, you should start doing the second most important thing to improve your TOEFL writing scores; imitate good writers. Let's say you have a sample essay on the topic 'will there be a good future or a bad one?'. Read this essay and analyze it. Try to understand the writer's writing style and try to learn from it. After you finish reading and analyzing, write an essay on the same topic. When you finish writing this essay, analyze your essay with your tutor. 

This preparation strategy (imitating sample essays and analyzing the essays you write with a competent essay writer) will bring you great improvement in a short period of time. Your aim during this preparation period should be to minimize any grammar, vocabulary, organization or idea development mistakes that you make.

Another important thing to do is to study and learn about different essay types and the structures that are commonly used while writing an essay. You can easily find materials on them by searching 'essay types' and 'common structures for writing an essay' on Google. It is always good to have an individual writing style for yourself and repeat that style while writing an essay. If you create your own system, you will feel much more relaxed during the test.

One last important thing that you should remember is to write your essays by using a keyboard. This can really make a huge difference. In TOEFL IBT you will write your essay by using a keyboard. That's why, in order to become faster and more accurate while writing, you need to study on a computer. Try not to write your essays on paper. This can really give you a big trouble during the test.

During the exam

TOEFL writing test is mostly carried out at the end of the exam. So when you get to the writing part, try to stop for a while and regain your attention. After nearly 3 hours, you will lose your attention to a certain extent.

Don't forget to take notes during the integrated task. Try to note down the most important details related to the listening and reading passages that are given to you. Don't try to copy it. Convey the ideas and the information that you read and listen through your own words.

During the independent task, try to write your essay according to the style that you normally or mostly use. Don't try to do something totally different as this can really mix things up. Don't forget, it is more important for test-makers how effectively you reflect your ideas rather than what you actually think. That's why even if you don't agree with the statement of the task, write about your agreement with the statement if you will be able to provide more effective ideas and examples.

All in all, these are some of the important points to consider to improve TOEFL writing skills and scores. If you have any additional questions or anything you wonder, you can contact me. Wish you success.


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  2. Thank you. Now, I can improve my toefl writing.
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