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TOEFL Exam: 10 Simple TOEFL Quick Prep Strategies for Writing Section

Last Updated - September 15, 2016

Are you all game for your TOEFL attempt? We are sure! And all you aspirants must be totally bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. We all know that the exam gives you 50 minutes to showcase your awesome English Writing skills in its writing section and it is time you take the examiner by a surprise.

Well, we also know what you must be thinking next! What if I commit any silly mistakes and lose marks? Fret not! Here we come for your rescue! Read on to know for yourself.

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First, you need to understand that its natural to be uncomfortable when you are being timed while writing. It’s not what you do everyday and hence, a challenging task. Second, practicing the writing part thoroughly is extremely important. And why to do so? Obviously, to score better, so that you get into a foreign university of your choice.

Our goal is to make easy your whole TOEFL writing section experience. Follow these simple TOEFL Quick Preparation Tips to aim for a better TOEFL score.

Let’s begin!

Do thorough ‘timed-writing’ before the test day

Understand that writing an essay for an English class and for the TOEFL Exam are two different things. In class, you get ample time to formulate your ideas and work upon them. When you have a time constraint (as in case of the TOEFL exam), things ought to change. You are expected to think, write and revise as quickly as possible. And hence, a sufficient amount of before-hand practice is essential. Since you are supposed to write your essay online, work upon your tying speed. Set a timer for 30 minutes and try typing your essay within that time-frame without stopping. As a general rule, you must type about 30 words in one minute. Do not forget to revise it in the last few minutes!

Focus on the quality

Who says that filling pages will fetch you marks? Well, not in case of the TOEFL Exam.You must think about the quality and not the quantity of your essay. Short but well-written sentences are still acceptable but make sure whatever you write makes sense. Where these short sentences often fetch 4 or 5 scores, longer sentences may just fetch 2 or 3 scores. One reason may be because the quality wasn’t up to the mark. Try that your paragraphs flow smoothly. Do not let your scores get cut because of your vocab or grammar mistakes.

Learn the common types of TOEFL Prompts

Be ready to get stormed by the essay topic you get in the actual exam. As much as you practice, guessing the exam topic is next to impossible. Also, you won’t be getting your choice of topic in the TOEFL Exam. Hence, practice writing about different genres, so that you get a hint of each.

To help the aspirants, Education Testing Services (the makers of TOEFL) release sample topics on their website. Practice them for sure. Look for keywords that are repeated often in the prompts, such as ‘prefer’ or ‘oppose’. Try analyzing what the examiner is looking for from these hints and respond accordingly. Once you notice these patterns, they’re be easier to identify and respond to correctly on the day of the exam.

Devote time for brainstorming

It is advisable that you brainstorm about the given topic, plan the structure of your essay and then start writing. Before you begin to write, take 1-4 minutes to decide upon what all you are going to add in different paragraphs. Substantiate your points with examples and reasons.

As a general approach, we analyze both side of the coin, select the one which gives a better scope of expression and begin writing. Sometimes, it okay to think differently and write what you believe in.

Begin with a basic thesis statement

This is the first thing that your rater will see. Hence, it should be precise and grammatically correct. It should state the main idea of your response. You may skip the introductory paragraph but writing a thesis statement is essentially important. You may borrow it from the prompt itself. Once you choose your thesis sentence, create a strong opinion sentence. The rest of your essay will be built around this sentence only. Let your actual and honest words come out. Practice creating these thesis statement enough times, for different topics, and you will surely score well. 

Do give substantial reasons

Every TOEFL prompt must have meaningful and sensible reasons for the points you state. Try detailing out on each of them. Generally, you will need three different, well-written reasons with one statement to get high scores. Add this in your ‘timed-practice’ sessions at home too. Do include examples wherever possible. Writing in statistics isn’t really a good idea. So instead, quote experiences or facts from your own knowledge to support these thesis statement.

Do not diverge from the topic

Stick to your topic only. We all know that choosing a topic isn’t really possible hence, stick to what is given to you. Do not mug up certain sentences and amend them according to the given topic. Instead, create your own. Students often lose marks due to diverging from the topic.

Honest, dedicated practice is much more useful and effective. If there are unfamiliar words in the prompt, use context to guess their meanings. Try your best to write about the exact topic given to you. Don’t include sentences that don’t connect to your thesis statement — these irrelevant sentences will lower your score. 

Helpful resource material

There are plenty of useful TOEFL Books students swear by. Practice as much from them and you are good to go! Here are a few of them:

Book NameAuthorISBN No.
Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL TestJolene Gear & Robert Gear0521755840
Vocabulary and Grammar for the TOEFL TestIngrid Wisniewska0007499663
Oxford preparation course for the TOEFL iBT Exam:A Skills Based Communicative Approach Student BookSusan Bates0195431170
Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL iBT® Test (with CD-ROM, Answer Key, and iTest) (Longman Preparation Course for the Toefl With Answer Key)Deborah Phillips0133248003

Do not forget to revise

To err is human! It is very likely that would have made some silly mistakes in your essay. Read it atleast 2 times before submitting your response. Do fix as many of the typos as possible. This revision time will surely save a lot of your score from getting cut.


Attempting the questions with a relaxed mind is as important anything else. A patient mind always works better. Do not panic when you receive the essay topic. Let all your apprehensions wash out. Just give your best shot and success will be all your way! 

We are sure you guys must be all pepped up now! Hope this article will help you score better marks and you will come out as a winner. Oh! The most important thing, do not forget to treat us!

Good luck!



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