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Writing Section

Transcript

Already. Let's talk about the TOEFL writing section. There are two types of TOEFL essay. The first is the integrated essay. This is an academic test, meaning the subject will likely be something you might study in school.

It could be about history or art or anything else you might study. But like all other integrated tasks on the TOEFL, you don't need to know this information before the test. Any information you need is given to you. How do they give it to you? You will get a lecture.

You will hear a lecture, and you will summarize what you have heard. But not just a lecture, this is integrated listening and reading. So you will listen and you will read and then you will combine the two. Connecting those two that is what you will write an essay about. The second essay is the academic discussion that is more of a personal point of view essay.

You're going to read a post by a professor and two student responses. You will then contribute your own response to the topic. It is not always something that you will have thought about extensively or are even very familiar with or care that much about and that's okay. You don't need to know any special information. Sometimes the questions require you to state a preference.

For example, you might be asked if you think it's better for governments to provide free post-secondary education to all students or only to those who demonstrate academic excellence through grades and or test scores. You might encounter a yes-or-no question. For example, you might be asked whether access to AI will encourage students to cheat in some of their classes, or you might be asked a more open-ended question.

Something like, what are the benefits living or studying abroad? Another consideration is the clock. How much time do you have to write these two essays? For the integrated, the first essay, you have 20 minutes. That's not including the reading and the listening. The truth is you'll always read for three minutes and you'll listen for another, let's say, three to four minutes.

It depends on the test. Some tests have longer listenings. Some tests have shorter listenings. All together with the instructions, the reading and the listening, and then the writing for 20 minutes, this task really takes closer to 30 minutes. And then there is the academic task for which you only have 10 minutes.

According to ETS, within that 10 minutes, you should write at least 100 words. A word counter will be displayed on the screen and you will be able to see the question and responses while you write your own response that is not at all a lot of time. But with practice, it's certainly doable. You need to plan your essays, that's very, very important.

Planning doesn't take long, and it can be the difference between a good essay and a great essay. Yes, you should always make time to plan. Plan to give yourself about 15 minutes of writing time for the integrated task. And about 8 to 8.5 minutes of writing time for the academic task. Maybe a little more than that, maybe a little bit less than that but the other time is spent planning and editing.

That way you have a better essay in the end. And often it's actually a longer essay even though you spent less time writing because you already know what you will say and you spend a lot less time thinking what do I write next, what next? What next? You will already know how to continue your essay.

You know where to move to for your next point in the next paragraph. So you're not only faster, but your essay could very well end up being longer. Of course, that does not give you enough time to be perfect. Remember that hopeful readers don't want you to be a famous writer. They just want to see your ability to communicate well, and they are not looking for perfection.

Communication is absolutely the key. It is the most important thing. Natural English is of course important writing with idioms writing with normal English phrases all of that is very important. But underneath that the basis for the entire essay is communication. If you can give an idea clearly With clear support and reasoning and have the reader understand everything you are trying to say, then you will score well on the essays.

That is the most important part. One other thing we should discuss, the keyboard. The TOEFL provides you with a standard English Keyboard. This is a QWERTY keyboard. The first four letters on that keyboard are Q-W-E-R-T-Y on an American or British or any standard English keyboard.

It looks like this. Now, look at your keyboard. Is your keyboard a QWERTY keyboard? If it's not QWERTY then this can cause time problems. If you are not familiar with or not comfortable with this keyboard, then it can make you a lot slower when you are writing.

You need to practice writing on this type of keyboard as much as possible before the test if you don't have one already. Of course, I am talking about if you are going to take the TOEFL at a test center. If you are taking the TOEFL at home, then whatever keyboard you're working with will be acceptable. If you are taking the TOEFL at a test center, you need to be sure that you get used to a QWERTY keyboard.

Another thing to be aware of, and this is for everybody, there are no shortcuts. So another thing you need to get used to is that the shortcut keys you might typically use Will not work. So if you are a fan of using Ctrl-C to copy, it doesn't do anything. Not on the TOEFL. You can still copy and paste, but you must copy and paste with a mouse.

This is what that looks like. It's not very exciting. And that's another thing to get used to. You don't wanna practice writing for TOEFL in a document that correct spelling and grammar or provides other tools you won't have access to when you take the TOEFL test.

You have to try to become as comfortable as possible with the limited tools the platform provides. So, if you are a fan of copy and paste become accustomed to using the mouse and all the other little buttons on the screen. That wraps up everything for this lesson. Thank you for watching

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