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Why Grade Yourself?

  1. With guidelines and samples, students generally give accurate grades of their own answers.
  2. It will help you understand what makes a good response, so you can improve!


Click on each aspect to see guiding questions for evaluating each part of your response. If you are strong in one aspect, but weaker in another, average your scores to determine a final ones.


Quality of Content 1 to 4
Quality of Speech 1 to 4
Quality of Language 1 to 4
Final score Average of three scores above


Quality of Content 1 to 5
Quality of Language 1 to 5
Final score Average of two scores above

How to Grade Yourself

  1. Review the examples for each grade
  2. Read the explanation for why the example deserves the grade
  3. Listen to your answers.
  4. Compare your answer to the sample answers and assign a grade.

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Speaking Samples

4 Independent Task Sample

Integrated Task Sample

Independent Task Sample
Although there are a few points in which the student's pronunciation isn't perfect, she speaks fluently, without pausing, and tells a clear story with specific details. She includes advanced grammar, such as in the sentence, "In some places like Germany, they want people to learn German before applying for any university or any jobs there so that they can interact with the local people easily." The student makes no significant grammar or vocabulary errors.

Integrated Task Sample
This student speaks with very clear pronunciation and intonation, including all the key details from the listening and his own opinion. There are a few minor grammar errors, but they do not cause confusion, and his vocabulary is advanced in a conversational way.
3 Independent Task Sample

Integrated Task Sample
Independent Task Sample
The meaning of everything this student says is clear, and her answer is organized, but her vocabulary is quite basic, and she does not speak continuously. She also repeats some vocabulary words mutliple times. There are many small pauses as she chooses words. There is also not quite enough detail in the explanation.

Integrated Task Sample
Although his pronunciation is quite clear and he speaks at a natural speed with conversational phrasing, this student's response becomes hard to follow in the final 15 seconds, as he seems to have trouble finding the right words. The sentence at the end, "And she feel like if she got into that, it's seemingly like take her bribe for like compete in very good group of people," has vocabulary and grammar problems that make it very hard to understand.
2 Independent Task Sample

Integrated Task Sample
Independent Task Sample
In his response, the student takes a long time to make his first point, and he does not offer much detail on the points he eventually makes in the response. The vocabulary is basic and the student seems to be searching for words throughout most of the response, affecting his fluency. He repeats the phrase, "I think that..." several times. The sentence structures are also basic.

Integrated Task Sample
In his response, the student does not summarize the details of the lecture at all. He does not explain the two examples of altruism that were most important for a high grade. What's more, the frequent repetition of the word "also," is confusing and unnatural. Still, his pronunciation is relatively clear, and he uses mostly correct grammar and vocabulary, so his main point is understandable.
1 Integrated Task Sample

Integrated Task Sample
The pronunciation is very unclear, and it is difficult to separate thoughts. The student speaks too quickly and does not make clear sentences, with very little grammatical structure. He frequently uses incorrect vocabulary, as in "His mother was associated," and "he was sadness."

Writing Samples

TOEFL Integrated Writing Sample Essay

The Magoosh TOEFL Blog has a practice Integrated Writing prompt, with a sample response and some brief scorer commentary. Magoosh TOEFL Premium subscribers can see additional example writing and commentary in Magoosh’s video lessons for TOEFL Writing Task 1.

TOEFL Academic Discussion Writing Sample Essay

Magoosh TOEFL Premium subscribers can view samples essays and discussion/commentary for TOEFL Writing Task 2 within the Essay 2 - Academic Discussion Scoring lesson.

Included below are a few sample essays as well as a discussion on why they received those scores. These essays are responses to the prompt found in this PDF: Sample Academic Discussion Essay Prompt on Emotional Intelligence. Additionally, text that is highlighted green is a strong point of the essay whereas text highlighted yellow needs some improvement. Hovering over these highlights reveals additional commentary.

Score: 4

I agree with Kristen’s perspective that emotional intelligence is a strong contribute to a successful career. Since collaboration is a large factor in most today’s jobs, it is necessary that workers have this contribution. For example, they need emotional intelligence to understand how to work with colleagues, to give and receive feedback and to lead in empathetic way. These traits will help them to seem more approachable to others. While Joel makes a good point that the right skills are necessary to perform specific jobs, just having technical skills isn’t enough in today’s world. Workers need to be able to connect. Without this, a worker has disadvantage. So, when preparing to enter the workforce, people should focus on increasing their emotional intelligence skills even though they have already strong technical skills.

Overall Commentary

This essay received a score of 4. It is a good length at 131 words, and the student contributes to the discussion right away by stating their opinion in relation to Kristen's. They provide a strong example for this position, then go on to address Joe's point as well, though that could be more detailed. They use a variety of sentence structures, and they have few lexical and grammatical errors. Those don’t take away from the meaning the student is trying to convey.

Score: 3

Kristens right that emotional intelligence should be valued highly in a professional setting. If I need to cry at work I should be able because that helps release my emotions; and I had to do it before but don’t feel comfortable. People need to work well with others at all the times for collaboration to work, so emotional intelligence is necessary. While Joel’s point is that tech skills can’t be forget, we need more than technical skills in today’s world. While specific skills are needed, workers still need more like communicating. All workers should grow emotional intelligence before trying to secure jobs.

Overall Commentary

This essay received a score of 3. It meets the word length requirement at 102 words, and it makes a mostly relevant and understandable contribution to the discussion. However, the first example is somewhat irrelevant/unclear, since it’s not fully explained in connection to the argument. There is some repetition in syntactic structures and some more noticeable errors.

Score: 2

I agreed with what Joel say more. Kristen is not right because emotional intelligence it don’t do work. You don’t put right numbers in. Joel is right. So we can’t do jobs without right skills. Skill is useful to jobs mostly today. If you have emotional intelligence maybe you can’t write a computer’s code for. We need skill first. I nott am agreed with Kristen’s ideas. I explain this because skill is importaant more than emotions is.

Overall Commentary

This essay received a score of 2. Using only 77 words, the student attempts to contribute to the discussion, but limitations in the use of language make the response hard to follow and the contribution is limited. The essay, especially the first half of it, shows a limited range of sentence structure. Additionally, ideas are not explained well and some are seemingly irrelevant or hard to understand. There is an accumulation of errors in word form, sentence structure, and grammar.

More Help

We are happy to help with any general questions you have on how to best answer speaking and writing questions! Just email us at help@magoosh.com or click the green "help" tab on the right side of the page.