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TOEFL Exam: What does the writing section entail?

In the last blog post, we discussed how a TOEFL exam could be beneficial and the main components of the exam. In this post, let’s explore one of the key sections: the writing section.


In the writing section, there are two tasks: the integrated writing task and the independent writing task. We will discuss each task in detail.


The integrated writing task is a duration of 20 minutes. You read a short passage and then listen to a brief lecture. Following that, you write in response to what you have read and listened to. You can and should refer back to the audio clip and the written passage when you’re making an argument. You need to demonstrate how well you understood the information so make sure you take notes so you remember what is said. You only have one opportunity to listen to the passage. Do not write what you’ve heard and read, though, since it is important that the passage be in your own words. You also should not give your own opinions in this task as you need to base your writing on what you’ve heard and read.


The independent writing task is a duration of 30 minutes. In this task, you write an essay based on personal experience or your opinion in response to a writing topic. In this task, it is important that you provide reasons to support what you are writing about. You should write about 300 words at minimum and more if you have time and more to say.


Therefore, in total, the writing section lasts for 50 minutes. It is highly suggested to do practice essays prior to the actual exam so you can prepare and get an idea of what the test involves. There are plenty of sample topics from previous tests that can be found online.


Have any of you tried a practice writing section of the TOEFL test? Do you have any suggestions on how to structure an essay?

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