Writing TOEFL essay

How long should TOEFL Essays be?

Morning everybody,

So the question is – how long should the essays be?  For the second independent essay, TOEFL states it needs to be over 300 words. But do you need to write 301, 350, 400, more?

Last month, I was teaching a student Online for TOEFL. She had taken the test four or five times already. She is an advanced student, and totally capable of getting a high score. In her previous tests, she had scored over 100. But she is applying for a working visa to emigrate to Australia. In order to get the necessary points for the visa, she needs to get 30 – Maximum points in TOEFL writing!

Not easy for anybody. In the last 2 years, I have had a lot of students score 27, 28, or 29 in writing. But only 3 from about 300 students have achieved a perfect score in writing. To get 30, you must score 5 in grammar and 5 in content/style for both essays. You know the essays are measured for grammar and vocabulary by a computer program?  The human examiner/rater just reads your essay very quickly (2 to 3 minutes each essay), and then gives you a grade from 1 to 5 for content/style.  Grammar is indirectly part of the human grade because it must also be good to read. Bad grammar makes it difficult to read of course

Anyway, back to the story. She had written an Independent essay for me to correct and analyze. It was 510 words. Yes, she can write 510 words in 30 minutes!  Impressive huh!  But it had too many grammar errors. The number of grammatical mistakes meant she was only going to be given a score of 4 by the TOEFL computer rating program.  So, even if the content was great and she was given a 5 (30) for content, she would only get 4,5 in total. And she needs 5 for both essays!!! Look, even if she got 5/5 for the first TOEFL essay – the “integrated” one, her final score would be 29/30 for writing. Now that’s a great score, but why was she writing 500 words?

Well, she was self-studying before my classes, using books and TOEFL online videos on YouTube.  One of the video “courses’ had said that for a very high score 26+, you need to write over 500 words. I was shocked. Why?  Well, my 30 students only ever wrote 360-400 words. And they got a perfect score!

I told her this and advised her as follows. If you can write 500 words in 30 minutes, you can write 380 words in 23 minutes. That gives you 7 extra minutes to check your document for errors. Seven!!!.  The reason she was scoring 27 in the real test was the grammar errors. She took my advice, reduced the essays to around 360-400 words, checked her essays with the time saved, and today she is processing her visa and preparing to move to Australia.

If you are interested in taking a fast, cost-effective, and successful TOEFL Preparation Course Online or at your home, office, click on the home page toeflprofessornativo.com

Or send me a whatsapp to 11 970211175 - You can click on the green Whatsapp on the right if using your phone or you use Web Whatsapp on the computer.

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Good luck in your TOEFL preparation



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