Archive for August, 2012

Tips for the TOEFL writing section

August 23rd, 2012 in TOEFL

The TOEFL iBT has a section on writing. Here are a few tips to improve your score in the TOEFL writing section.

1. Use the present tense to talk about general facts.

All children need love.

Millions of people still have no access to electricity or safe drinking water.

All of us can benefit from higher education.

Few people understand the importance of maintaining good relationships with their neighbors.

2. Opinion

To state your opinions use a phrase like

I think that…

In my opinion…

I believe that ….

I think that there should be stringent laws to deal with cybercrimes.

I believe that honesty is the best policy.

3. Use the past tense to talk about previous experiences.

I had a strange experience last year.

I finished the assignment yesterday itself.

She came across as a sincere person.

4. Use modals correctly.

Use will to show simple futurity.

I will call you tomorrow.

Use can to show ability.

I can swim.

Use could to talk about past ability.

I could read when I was three.

Use should to show obligation.

You should mend your ways.

Use may and might to talk about probability.

It may rain later in the evening.

Use must to show strong obligation.

She must be here before 9 am.

5. Check subject – verb relationship

Singular subjects should be used with singular verbs. Plural subjects should be used with plural verbs.

Every child needs love.

All children need love.

6. Check plurals and articles

Note that plural nouns can be used with or without an article. A singular countable noun always needs an article with it.

Computers are useful machines.

I bought an expensive computer yesterday.