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TOEFL® writing Practice
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Testing Time

30:00 Minutes

People Attend College Or University For Many Different Reasons (for Example, New Experiences, Career Preparation, Increased Knowledge). Why Do You Think People Attend College Or University? Use Specific Reasons And Examples To Support Your Answer.
TOEFL® writing Practice 1 / 1
Your Essay


  1. Increased job and social networks
  2. Occupational training
  3. Increased wealth and standard of living

Sample Essay

College is an important and unique experience for many people. However, given the wide variety of people who attend college, there must be different reason people choose to seek a degree. People enroll in college for a variety of reasons from increased involvement, to career aspirations, to personal benefit. All of these reasons are valid and unique personal motives for seeking a college education.

First of all, some people attend college for the increased job and social opportunities they receive. In many universities students have opportunities to join clubs or sports teams that give them chances to try new activities, meet new people, and create lasting friendships. These social circumstances teach people about new areas of interest and improve social skills. A college education also opens up job opportunities. Colleges require students to take a variety of classes, which give people greater knowledge of many topics. This creates more job options for students who have a university degree rather than those that don’t. Seeking a degree creates better social and educational skills, which lead to varied life options. 

Another reason people attend college is for career preparation. Some occupations require specific training that students can only receive in college. For example, a doctor must receive a college degree in biology before pursuing medical school. Before receiving a teaching license, students must complete required coursework including student teaching hours. Other careers that require a college degree are nursing, engineering, and law. All of these careers paths are impossible to enter without the training opportunities created through a college education. A university degree can be a necessary path towards preparing for certain careers, or can lead into those careers once a student finds a passion for the subject.

 A final reason people attend college is for personal gains. Many of the personal benefits to gaining a college education include increased wealth and standard of life. In today’s job market, those people with college degrees have a better chance of employment. Also, those jobs that require a college degree are significantly higher paying jobs. If someone is trying to improve their standard of life a college degree can offer them more money and a generally higher standard of life that comes with better employment. Some people are trying to improver their personal and family situations through the increased job benefits of a college degree. 

There are obviously many reasons for attending college. Whether it is for gaining more personal experiences, pursuing a specific career, or seeking a better standard of living, almost everybody can find some positive reason for enrolling in college. Although there are obviously many other reasons that people attend college these various examples highlight the potential benefits that almost anyone can hope to gain from the college experience.  



TOEFL® writing Practice 1 / 1
  • TOEFL® Independent Writing General Tips

    Question 1 – Independent Opinion

    There are only two questions in the Writing section, and you will have 30 minutes to write an essay for each question. The first question asks for your independent opinion. The prompt will provide you with a statement, and it will ask you whether you agree or disagree with the statement and why, or it will give you two options in the prompt and you need to choose your preference and explain why. You have to take a side on the statement and explain your choice with your own reasons. An example for this question is as following:


    Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinions.

    Step 1: Brainstorming

    The prompt for this question is usually very short. Make sure to read it through carefully and fully understand the statement. Then make up your mind. Technically, you have three options: agree, disagree or both disagree and agree. However, you should avoid choosing the half-yes-half-no option. You should straight out either agree or disagree with the statement. After you choose the side of the statement, you should start brainstorming the reasons for your choice. You should go with the side of the statement that you can think of enough reasons to back your choice up. If you pick a side but then you can’t think of three reasons, switch side. Sometimes, it is better to go with the easier choice than with the choice you truly believe in. Wasting time while brainstorming means not having enough time to write later. For example, for this question, you can choose to disagree with the statement.‘Television does not destroy communication among friends and family but encourage more conversations.’ The three reasons are (1) TV shows encourage conversations, (2) watching sports is a social activity, and (3) movies encourage people to socialize and discuss.

    Step 2: Organize your response

    There are many ways to organize an essay, but there are still a few rules to a good essay. The essay should have three sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. Every reason should immediately come with an explanation or example.

    1) Introduction
    Write a short and concise introduction for your essay. This introduction should include a statement about your choice (whether you agree or not with the prompt statement), a short general explanation of your choice (this can be a summary of your reasoning). Keep this introduction short. Do not go into details of the reasons. You will only need to introduce briefly about the reasons, so the reader knows what to expect in the body section.

    2) Body
    This section should include at least 3 paragraph, each paragraph for a reason. So every paragraph should start with a paragraph sentence that introduces the reason that paragraph will explain, then a further explanation for the reason, an example for that reason and possible a ‘mini’ sum up of the paragraph. The sum up is recommended but optional. If you have enough time, you should include one for each paragraph. If you don’t have enough time, it is the first element you can cut off to save time. Use the same paragraph structure for all the paragraphs in the body section. Remember to start a new line for every paragraph. Don’t clump all the paragraph together as a big block, and also do not break a paragraph into many small paragraphs. Each reason should be contained in one paragraph only.

    3) Conclusion
    Write a short conclusion to sum up the whole essay. This conclusion can be considered a paraphrased version of the introduction. Restate the list of your reasons and the side of the statement you choose. You have to have a conclusion. Since this is the last section of an essay, many people run out of time at this point and do not write a conclusion. That is a common mistake that you should avoid. Even if there is only one sentence in the conclusion, you still need to have one. It is essential for an essay to have three sections. Missing one section will make the essay incomplete, and that will cost you some points.

    Step 3: Review

    If you have time, it is extremely important that you don’t waste that time doing nothing. You should time yourself so that you have about 5 minutes in the end to review the essay. Catch out the typos. Check the consistency of the tenses of the verbs and the plurality of the subjects and verbs. Add transition words wherever you see fits. Having good transitions will gain you some extra points. Make sure the essay flows in a logical order.

  • TOEFL® Independent Writing - Analyzing the Good and Bad from a Low Scoring Answer

    Low scoring Answer Analysis

    In this section, I’ll further illustrate the writing tips by providing you with two essay samples. These two examples will help you better imagine how the general tips are put to use in an actual essay.


    Do You Agree Or Disagree With The Following Statement? Television Has Destroyed Communication Among Friends And Family. Use Specific Reasons and Examples To Support Your Opinion


    I disagree with the question. Television does not destroy communication among friends and families. Television has been acting as an important tool for information and news delivery, and instead of destroying communication between people, television is actually further boosting the connection between friends and families.

    First, television shows and series encourage conversations and discussions between friends and families. Friends and families, whenever decided to watch a show together, have to communicate with each other to agree on when and where to watch the shows. All television shows from drama, game shows, to educational series spark people’s interests and promote discussions about the content of the shows.

    Second, watching sports on television is a great opportunity to increase communication. People around the world gather around the television set to watch sporting events together. Super Bowl, World Cup, Olympics are all worldwide sports events that attract thousands of people watching.

    Finally, television can be a great source of communication thanks to movies. Movies are important parts of many family gatherings. It is a common for families to gather around the television to talk and watch a movie together. Movies can inspire conversations about a vast variety of subjects: injustices, loves, family circumstances, and many other topics.

    In conclusion, televisions do not destroy communication among friends and family. It is the opposite. Televisions encourage communication, connections and discussions among friends and families.

    Analysis and comments

    Overall, this essay is not an excellent one. It has flaws and shortcomings. However, besides all the flaws, it also does many things right.

    1. Introduction

    • This essay does a good job at choosing a side from the beginning and sticking with it till the end. It chooses to disagree with the question and proves that television does not destroy communication between families and friends but further encourage the connection instead.
    • In the introduction, it is not a smart move to say ‘I disagree with the question.’ When writing this essay, you should assume that the essay will make sense standing alone, without the question. If you want to mention the information used in the question, you can briefly paraphrase the question. For example, you can say ‘many people think that televisions are destroying communication between people. However, I disagree with them.’
    • The introduction also misses out on the brief introduction of the body. By the end of the introduction, you should include a summary or framework of what you are about to list out in the body section.

    1. Body

    • The body is divided into three different paragraphs which is very good organization. Each paragraph starts off with ‘first, second, finally’. Those little tricks will help the body section looks very organized, logical and easy to follow.
    • The paragraphs include a paragraph sentence that briefly introduces the main topic of each paragraph. That is really good. However, after the paragraph sentence, each paragraph fails to provide and further explain the examples that support the main ideas. In all three paragraphs, the examples are mentioned briefly but are not elaborated in details enough.
    • The body section does a good job at listing the reasons to support the argument. Yet, it fails to direct these reasons and examples back to the original argument. For example, at the end of paragraph 2, the paragraph talks about sporting events and how it attracts thousands of people watching. How does this information relate to the point the essay is arguing for? It is unclear. Therefore, at the end of that paragraph, it should include a few sentences explain that many people watching the games together means more communication through discussions, talks, and predictions about the teams and the games. At the end of every paragraph, ask yourself whether or not you drive this point home for the argument you are making.

    1. Conclusion

    There is a conclusion. That is a good sign. Remember to always have a conclusion. Does not matter how short your conclusion is, it is better to have a conclusion than none. A good conclusion should include two things: a repetition of the question and your decision, and a brief summary of the reasons listed in the body. This conclusion does have a repetition of the question and point of the argument, but it does not include a brief summary of all the reasons listed.

  • TOEFL® Independent Writing - Analyzing the Good from a High Scoring Answer

    High scoring Answer Analysis

    In this section, I’ll further illustrate the writing tips by providing you with two essay samples. These two examples will help you better imagine how the general tips are put to use in an actual essay.


    Do You Agree Or Disagree With The Following Statement? Television Has Destroyed Communication Among Friends And Family. Use Specific Reasons and Examples To Support Your Opinion


    The idea that television has destroyed communication among friends and families is utterly ridiculous. If anything television has given people many more things to discuss. Through watching television shows people come together to experience or later discuss what they have seen. Another great source of communication gained through television comes from sports. Finally, watching a movie as a family has become a common household activity that encourages different forms of conversation. Overall the role of the television has been to stimulate rather than destroy communication.

    Beginning with an examination of television shows will show encouraged communication. Many people gather either as families or friends to watch T.V. shows, which leads to increased communication about when and where to watch, as well as discussion about characters, plotlines, or twists within stories. Likewise, people often gather to watch more informative shows such as documentaries or even the news. Watching educational television urges conversation as people learn from the program and discuss or share their knowledge. Television shows from the news to dramatic series can thus be a source of communal watching and discussion.

    A second source of greater communication through television comes from sports. People all over the world gather to watch and discuss sporting events on television. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events of the year, sparking weeks of discussion and gatherings of friends and family. Watching sports has encouraged people to become involved in Fantasy Leagues that incite continuous dialogue between participants. Likewise, the World Cup and the Olympics are global television events that encourage endless conversation about the sports and athletes. The viewing of sports clearly stimulates an endless amount of discussion between diverse numbers of people.

    The final form of television experience worth discussion is the at home movies. For decades now the family movie has become a staple of the American home. This activity leads to family discussion to negotiate an agreed upon movie. Similarly, many groups of friends use a movie night as a reason for gathering, requiring discussion about what movie as well as a time and place to watch. Also important to these experiences is the resulting conversations that are inspired through a group activity. Movies can inspire conversations about injustices, funny circumstances, family situations, love, or an endless number of other topics. The use of movies as a social gathering necessarily leads to more conversation between people.

    The role of television, hence, is that of discussion inspirer rather than as a destroyer of communication. Television shows often encourage conversation among people at school, at work, and at home. For many people, the watching and discussing of sports is a weekly or daily source of dialogue. Movies, also, are a source of conversation about many different topics. Obviously, anything that encourages conversation in so many different ways must be a good thing for friends and families communication.

    Analysis and comments

    This is an example of a great essay. Besides the correct spelling and grammar, this essay has the correct format and organization that a good essay in this section requires.

    1. Introduction

    • The introduction section starts off with a statement explaining what side the essay will take. It is important to state clearly straight out from the beginning the side you are arguing for. That helps your essay be logical and seems determined on your argument.
    • This introduction discusses the question, takes a stand and briefly lists out the three reasons that will be talked about in the body. The brief list of the reasons is very important in creating a framework for the readers, so they know what to expect when reading the essay. People often skip the list, and that’s what make them lose points. Remember to list out the list.
    • Sometimes, it is difficult to have the list ready when you write the introduction, which is even before you write your reasons, and you have too little time during the preparation time to think everything through. Leave a space after the introduction to fill in later. After you finish writing the body, and you know all of your reasons in and out, come back to the introduction and add a summary of all the reasons.

    1. Body

    • The body is divided into three clear paragraphs, each one with a reason to support. The division makes the essay clear and essay to follow.
    • As mentioned earlier, each paragraph has its own point which is clearly stated in a paragraph sentence at the beginning of every paragraph. After the brief introduction of a paragraph sentence, it comes the explanation and examples. Unlike the first sample, there are more specific examples included, and some of the examples are appropriately explained further. For example, in the first paragraph of the body, the paragraph talks about how television shows encourage communication between friends and families. The paragraph then explains further about characters, plotlines, twists, different types of shows, providing solid examples and explanation for the argument the paragraph is making. While planning your response essay, you need to keep time in mind, so you don’t run out. But also remember that it is also very important to explain your topic as thoroughly as time permits you.
    • Finally, the body section does a good job at including a ‘mini-conclusion’ at the end of every paragraph that directs the sub-arguments of the reasons towards the main argument of the whole essay (which is televisions do not destroy friends and families communications). At the end of every paragraph, there is at least one sentence summarizing and restating the connection between the sub-argument of the paragraph and the main argument. For example, in the third paragraph of the body section, the last sentence says ‘The use of movies as a social gathering necessarily leads to more conversation between people.’ That sentence connects the sub idea in that paragraph (which is movies encourage human communication) to the big argument of the essay (which is television encourage more human communication, not less).

    1. Conclusion

    The conclusion in this sample nails it. As said earlier, there are two things a conclusion should include in this question: a repetition of the question and your decision, and a brief summary of the reasons listed in the body. This conclusion has it all. It starts off with a restatement of your argument and also your conclusion. Then it briefly includes a short explanation for all the reasons used in the body: television shows, sporting events, and movies.