Section 4: Writing

Tasks: Two writing exercises
Timing: 50 minutes
Testing format: Computerized

The writing section is the last section of the TOEFL exam and takes about an hour to complete. This section tests your written ability in order to measure how well you would perform in an English-speaking environment. The writing section is computerized - therefore you will be typing rather than writing with pen and paper.


The writing section includes two parts: an integrated task and an independent task.

  • Integrated task - You will be required to read a passage and listen to a speaker on the same subject matter; you must then write about that topic. This section takes about 20 minutes. There is no limit to how much students can write, but most average between 150 and 225 words.

    TIP: Look for three main points that are related and base your answer around those points.

  • Independent task - You must take a position on an issue and support it with evidence and reasons. This section takes about 30 minutes and does not require reading or listening. There is no limit to how much students can write, although the average word count is around 300.

    TIP: Use examples and reasons to back up your opinion and proof read to ensure your spelling and punctuation is correct!

You will not need specific knowledge around any of the writing section topics - these are subject matters that anyone can answer. This section of the exam only tests how well you can write in English.