TOEFL iBT Writing: Does Your Essay Meet These Four Criteria?

Your success in TOEFL iBT writing lies in your preparation. Therefore, to prepare, you should practice making written responses to sample iBT independent writing tasks after which you can have someone else, preferably a TOEFL iBT writing specialist, evaluate your essay according to the official TOEFL iBT rubrics that Educational Testing Service (ETS) uses to evaluate your essay. Framed from the official ETS guidelines for the independent writing task of the TOEFL iBT, the following four questions about your essay should be answered by whomever you choose to evaluate your essay:

1. Did I answer all parts of the question?

Since many of the TOEFL iBT questions are multi-tasked, you should get feedback as to whether or not you have answered all parts of the writing assignment.

  • Unnatural: How many years do you have?
  • Natural: How old are you?

Even though both sentences are grammatically correct, "How old are you?" is more natural sounding.

If you can do well in these four areas when taking your practice tests, you have a good chance of scoring higher than 24/30 points on the independent writing task when you take the actual TOEFL iBT exam.

Good luck!

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