Tips for Writing Tests

Six Important Steps

Step 1: Read and Understand the Instructions and the Topic

  • Read the instructions.

Read the question below. You have 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise your essay. Typically, an effective essay will contain a minimum of 300 words.

  • Read the topic.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?   Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Step 2: Take a Stand

  • Decide if you agree or disagree. Take a stand and state it clearly in your introduction, and then support your opinion clearly. In your conclusion, summarize and restate your position.

Step 3: Take Notes

  • Write key words or phrases in the topic and any ideas you have associated with those words on a piece of paper. Your first impressions are the best.

Step 4: Make a Scratch Outline

  • Write briefly a simple outline putting your thoughts on paper. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure unity in your essay.

Step 5: Write

  • Referring to your outline, write. Focus on communicating your opinion to your audience.

Step 6: Edit/Revise

  • Take a few minutes at the end and reread your essay making sure your content is accurate, and your paragraphs are cohesive.  Check also for correct verb tenses, spelling, and punctuation.

Remember, on the TOEFL iBT you will have only 30 minutes
to plan, write, and rewrite.