The Independent Writing Topics

  The following is a list of the actual Independent Writing topics that were eligible for use on former versions of the TOEFL test. You will see topics very similar to these on the TOEFL iBT. Whatever the topic, you will be asked to give your opinion and to support your opinion with specific reasons and examples. It does not matter whether you agree or disagree with the topic; the raters are trained to accept all varieties of opinions. What matters are the skills discussed in the previous section: your ability to respond directly to the question, to take a clear position, and to write an essay characterized by good organization, proper use of supporting examples, sentence variety, and correct sentence structures. None of the topics requires specialized knowledge. Most topics are general and are based on the common experience of people in general and students in particular. What should you do with this list of topics? To prepare for the Writing section of TOEFL iBT, you should choose topics from the list and practice writing essays in response. Make sure you time yourself, taking 30 seconds to read the question, plan your work, and write your essay. After completing the essay, read it over and compare it with the scoring guide. Or better yet, have a friend or teacher evaluate the essay against the scoring criteria and give you feedback.