TOEFL Writing Tips 2022: A New Guide to Ace the Writing Section!

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  • This blog talks about the TOEFL writing test.
  • It also provides some tips to help aspiring students prepare for this writing test.

The writing portion of the TOEFL iBT test comes in the penultimate section, where applicants have to finish two tasks within 50 minutes. The first one (Integrated writing task) requires applicants to read a short passage, listen to a short lecture and then write in response to whatever they read and listened to. 

On the other hand, the second one (Independent writing task) demands candidates to write an essay on the basis of personal experience on a given topic. Individuals who are willing to secure a maximum score in the TOEFL writing section must prepare strategically and follow certain tips.  

TOEFL writing

Tips for TOEFL Writing Tasks 2022

The TOEFL writing tasks helps universities or institutions scrutinise a candidate’s ability to write in English in an academic setting. 

Applicants can follow the tips mentioned below to improve their score.

Read Articles and Summarise in English 

To prepare for the TOEFL writing section, applicants can build a habit of reading academic articles or even different types of articles in their native language and summarise it in English. To explain it further:

  • Take notes in a language that applicants are comfortable and next, take the same notes in English.
  • Write a summary of points in English sentences.
  • Take the help of teachers and ask them to review this writing and correct errors.
  • Track the time taken to complete this task and slowly work to reduce this the same. 

Listen to Lectures in English and Take Notes    

The TOEFL writing part, specifically the Integrated writing task, allows 3 minutes of reading time, 2 minutes of listening time and 20 minutes as the total response time. Candidates need to listen to a short lecture that demonstrates the reading material presented in the previous segment and then write it. To triumph this section of the examination, applicants must do the following things:

  • Listen attentively to recorded lectures in English.
  • Pause the recording every 20 -30 seconds and note down the significant points.
  • Replay these recorded lectures to tally if the points match with lectures and include important points (if any).
  • Lastly, they must elaborate the notes in long sentences.

Focus on the Source of Information 

While preparing for the TOEFL writing test, candidates must learn to figure out the source of information while reading and listening and include that source in writing. For instance: 

  • They must identify the speaker.  
  • Identify if a speaker is narrating about someone else.
  • Command the information and be careful about the difference between ‘might be’ and ‘is’.  

What is TOEFL Used For

Practice to Deliver Grammatically Correct Sentence 

To score high numbers in  TOEFL writing, applicants need to have a comprehensive knowledge of grammar. To enhance their knowledge, they must practice the following:

  • List down the various concepts of grammar and focus on one section every week. Attempting grammar based exercises will help students practice their knowledge which will help them enormously. 
  • Furthermore, memorising appropriate words and using correct grammatical sentences while summarising any articles or from recorded lectures.  

Avoid Quoting

In TOEFL Integrated writing task, candidates are required to describe the author’s or professor’s point of view in their own words. For this, they must follow the below-mentioned tips:

  • Avoid quoting the author (as TOEFL e-rater section detects this instantly and leads to number reduction).
  • Build a good command over paraphrasing.

Incorporate Enough Transitional Words 

Transitional words or phrases form a crucial part of the Integrated writing segment. Reading and writing passages compel students to make a proper transition between differing or contrasting ideas. This challenge can be overcome only when candidates have enough knowledge of transitional words and learn different transitional. For instance:

  • They must know transitional words that describe sequence points and reasons.
  • In addition, they must increase their vocabulary of transitional words that are used to elaborate, contrast, show cause and effect, summarise or conclude.

Make an Outline

The second part of the TOEFL writing segment, i.e., the independent writing task of TOEFL, is different from the first part. Here, candidates must write essays based on personal experiences or opinions in response to the provided writing topic. To make the essay well-structured and coherent, students must do the following things:

  • Read the essay questions attentively.
  • Identify the main point of the essay question.
  • Next, note down two strong reasons to justify the answer.
  • Lastly, write examples in the TOEFL writing section from personal life to support each of the arguments previously mentioned.    

Establish a Clear Opinion and Stand by it

The Independent writing test of TOEFL may contain essay questions such as ‘is it better to work in the same organisations all life or for other organisations.’ The answer may vary from one applicant to another. Therefore, the right approach would be the following:

  • Candidates must have a clear opinion and establish it in writing.
  • They must not say an opinion in one paragraph and go on to justify another opinion in the next paragraph.

Add Conclusion Sentences in Each Body Paragraph

Apart from writing a conclusion section of each given task, TOEFL candidates must build the practice of providing conclusion sentences at the end of each body paragraph. This helps to connect to the main argument. To make it a habit, students can adopt the following strategies:

  • Write essays and check their writing to see if it includes a conclusion sentence. 
  • Keep track of the total instances where they have forgotten to add a conclusion and see if it is decreasing with each essay writing.

TOEFL Writing Templates

Do Not Forget to Edit

Editing may seem a trivial task to applicants, and it is one of the important tips for the TOEFL writing test. Students have to be extra careful while self-assessing their writing. In this regard, they must focus on the following aspects:

  • Practice with spellcheckers off as there are no spellcheckers available on the test sheet.   
  • Find the spelling and grammatical errors and ask for a teacher’s review. 
  • Similarly, minutely check spacing and punctuation.

TOEFL writing


The TOEFL test is a globally accepted English proficiency test and is crucial for study, work and immigration. The TOEFL writing part constitutes 25% of the total score and is calculated from a range of 0 to 30. Therefore, students who are aspiring to secure the maximum score from this segment must follow the tips mentioned above and fulfil their dream of getting admission to a reputed foreign university.    

1. How does time management help TOEFL candidates in the writing test?

The total examination occurs for 50 minutes, where students get 20 minutes and 30 minutes to complete the Integrated writing task and Independent writing task, respectively. During this time, individuals need to gather notes, outline an essay, frame an introduction for the TOEFL writing test, write body paragraphs, conclusion and edit. Hence, proper time management is essential to complete these tasks within a limited time. 

2. Why is it important to practice for the TOEFL writing test with a tight word limit?

The Integrated writing test and Independent writing test have no upper word limit. The first section and second section should ideally contain 150 - 225 words and 300 - 350 words, respectively. As each test has limited time, individuals must try to maintain the said word limit to finish writing and make time for editing. 

3. Why building a strong vocabulary is essential for the TOEFL writing test? 

Building a strong vocabulary is essential for the TOEFL writing test as students get the chance to express their ideas and thoughts in a wide variety of words and phrases. Repeating words or phrases can reduce scores on the TOEFL test. Thus, learning synonyms of different words can help students avoid repetition. 

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An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.