TOEFL Writing and How to Get a High Score

The TOEFL Writing section has only two tasks and you’ll have 50 minutes to complete it. They are both essays, but one is the integrated writing task while the other is the independent writing task. Below is more information on each one and tips for this section.

Integrated Writing Task

For the integrated writing task, you’ll have 20 minutes to do this. The reason it’s called integrated is that it has a reading and listening aspect to it. First, you’ll read a text that’s around 200-220 words. Then, you’ll listen to a short lecture which will only be played once. You’ll be allowed to take notes if you feel like you need to. The lecture can either agree or disagree with the reading. After, you’ll write an essay about the reading and the lecture. The word limit will vary, but on average, it will be around 150-225 words. Take note of the differences in the reading and the lecture and use them to your advantage. Remember to base your arguments on the reading and the lecture and not on your own opinion.

Independent Writing Task

For the independent writing task, you’ll have 30 minutes to finish it. Here, your opinion will be very important. This will be the basis of your essay. You don’t have to necessarily agree with the statement but as long as you have an opinion, even if it’s not your real opinion, you must stick to it. They recommend that you should have at least 300 words for your essay.

Tips for the TOEFL Writing section


Since you will be under time pressure, be sure to practice writing under time pressure. This way, you can see how much you will need to improve on before the test. So if it’s in how you think of your answer, or your actual writing, practice so you won’t be caught off guard during the test. Try doing practice tests for the TOEFL Writing such as this oneㅤ.

Organize your thoughts

You don’t have a lot of time to think about your answer and write about it. So think about what you’re going to write about and make sure you can back that up. Use details that the reading or lecture mentions for the integrated portion. And use examples in the independent section to back up your opinion.

Remember the question

With the essays, remember that you should answer the question. You may get carried away with writing about certain ideas. This will lower your score because it doesn’t relate to an actual answer. Even if you have different points to make, remember to make sure you can relate back to the question.

Have an opinion

For the independent writing section, you need to have an opinion. If you don’t have one, pick a side and pretend to have that opinion.

Edit your essays

If you have time, go over your essays.  Check for any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Remember that simple mistakes like these can cost you so it’s better to check.

The TOEFL Writing section can be one of the most stressful parts of the exam, even if it isn’t the longest. The best way to make sure you’re ready for it is to practice. There’s no other way around it. Try to write about different topics too, so that you can use more of your vocabulary words. Timing yourself will help too, so you can be calmer on the day of the test. Good luck and get to writing!

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