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Ace the integrated writing on TOEFL

Ace the integrated writing on TOEFL

By / Feb 13, 2019

Hello everyone!

Let’s talk about Integrated Writing. Its 200 words minimum. You have 20 minutes to write it. You have to read a passage and listen to a lecture. It’s a tough one – BUT, if you follow the steps I’m going to lay out for you, you will never need to worry again about this task!

First, there are several rules of thumb to consider.

1. Do not count words, focus on your writing – If you do, you will exceed the limit and that is what I do not want you to do.

2. This is not a true essay – Although you can write them, Integrated Writing does not require an introductory and concluding paragraph.

3. Do NOT add anything to the material – This means you are to stick strickly to the information given to you. Do not add anything that is not mentioned. – This also includes your opinion.

4. Try not to make references – Stick to the topic and try to avoid making direct references to the passage and lecture – Avoid phrases such as “according to the passage”, “the lecturer says”.

Now, it is okay to make these references, but keep them to the barest minimum. If you continually make such references they will be repetitive which will reduce your score. If you must, make the reference once.

NOW! How to handle this task.

1. Use a single sheet of note paper (You can use as much paper during the test as you need)

2. Divide your paper in half lengthwise – 1 side will be reserved for notes of the passage, the other will notes for the lecture.

3. Read the passage and take notes


Yes, it will, but take notes anyway.Just note down the main ideas. Notes from the passage will play an important part later.

4. Listen to the lecture and take notes on the opposite side of the paper.

5 Now you are ready to write!?

No. Now comes a crucial step.

6. Organize your notes – Draw lines between the points to indicate the relationship between them. Which point agrees with the other? Which point disagrees with the other? Draw the lines between the points to show these relationships. You should spend no more than 2 minutes with this step. Ideally, this step should be approximately 1 minute.

7. Now you can write

Start with the first point. You can start either from the reading or the lecture. However you do it, you want to follow that point by point. If you use thepoints from the passage, you’ll start with point one of the passage. You will write one paragraph for each point. Sumerize that point and then discuss the relationship it has with the lecture (or with the reading if you start with the points of the lecture). Make sure you use all the details that are mentioned to explain the relationships.

Once you are finished, start a new paragraph with the next point. Continue this format until you are done. You will generally have 3 points to discuss.

8. Leave yourself some time to proofread and edit your work. You want to correct any errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar and even spacing. If you have just a few minor errors, ETS will generally not reduce your score, but if you have many errors, then you can count on a reduction. Take this time to edit your work. No more than 2 minutes is generally required.

And now, you’re done. Following this step will help keep you organized. By staying organized, you will save time and be able to do a great job. Recently, two of my students have reported that they follow these steps and that they are able to finish the writing in less than 15 minutes. They both attribute their speed to this strategy. So, give this a try with your practice and don’t forget or neglect your practice!

Remember, we here at TCY are committed to your success.


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Last updated on : Jun 23, 2024