One of the most difficult parts of the TOEFL exam is the writing section. Many students wonder what they must do to achieve their target score. To do this, we must first understand how this section is scored.This section will be graded by 2 ETS scorers and the scoring is between 0 and 5. If the 2 scorers cannot agree on the score, a third scorer will be consulted...
Addresses the Topic: Quite simply, if you do not answer the question, you risk receiving a low score! Reread your essay after you have begun to verify that it absolutely answers the question.
Organization and Development:
Mastering this component is also crucial. An essay will not receive a high score if it is disorganized and, therefore, unclear. For example, the answer to the question will be found in the introduction paragraph, not in any other. After that, scorers are looking for solid arguments, explanations of ideas, specific life examples, and details that clearly support your answer.
Unity and Coherence:
Another important consideration is how your essay flows. Of course, scorers expect a clear introduction, 2 or 3 developed body paragraphs, and a short conclusion. They are looking for the connection of ideas which lead to an overall clear flow of the essay. One thing that they may look for is transitions such as for example, in addition, however, moreover, furthermore, nevertheless, etc.
These transitions ensure that the ideas in your essay are connected and that your essay makes sense overall.
Use of Language/Clarity:
Scorers consider the level of vocabulary used, syntax, use of adjectives, and grammar errors.
Please understand that they do not look for perfection! Mistakes in these areas will only lower your score if there are so many that they hinder (do not allow) the scorer’s understanding. A few mistakes that do not affect understanding will generally not lower the score.
In order to fulfill all of the above components, you must write an essay of at least 4 paragraphs, with 300-400 words total. Keep in mind that an essay of fewer than 300 words is generally not enough to address the topic, use specific life examples, and develop the topic sufficiently. Generally speaking, high-scoring essays have more than 300 words. For exact scoring criteria, please consult the ETS scoring rubric: