Ana enrolled in a TOEFL course to improve her writing score.

After getting back her results and scoring 20/30 pts. on the writing portion, Ana decided to enroll in a TOEFL course that she had found at “Better TOEFL Scores.”  She needed to raise her writing score to 24 points so that she could become a nurse in the United States.  Can I increase my writing score 4 points in a month?” she thought. “Will I be able to learn everything I need to pass the writing section at “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.” Fortunately, Ana already had strong reading, listening, and speaking, with respective scores of 28, 27, and 26. But she would still need to practice in these areas until her next TOEFL test so she could remain sharp.

Her new online TOEFL teacher Michael, founder, owner, and materials writer for Better TOEFL Scores had told her that it could take her up to three months before she reached her desired score. Of course, how fast Ana improved depended on the type of writing problems she was experiencing and how hard she was willing to work.

As she began taking writing practice tests and studying her online lessons, she discovered that she did not have problems in her writing with sentence formation and word choice, and she did not use a limited range of sentence structures. Instead, she wrote her essays with a high level of polish and syntactic variety.  Because of these writing strengths, she could possibly reach her goal sooner than Michael thought because eliminating sentence structure and grammar problems usually takes longer than one month.

On the other hand, while taking the practice tests, Ana discovered, as she received feedback, that her essays sometimes did not directly address the task, and lacked developed explanations, examples, and details. Furthermore, according to her iBT specialist, it was sometimes difficult to understand the connection of her ideas.

There was light at the end of the tunnel for Ana! She knew what she needed to do to reach her goal. Therefore, she studied video writing lessons to help her organize her writing around the writing task, learn to develop her ideas more, and use cohesive devices to make her writing more coherent.  In a little over three weeks, Ana had mastered all the information pertaining to writing and was consistently getting scores between 24-27 on the independent and integrated writing practice tests.

It was now time for her to retake the TOEFL iBT, and this time she knew she would score much MUCH higher on the writing section of the exam.

This article was written by Michael Buckhoff–co-founder and materials writer for Better TOEFL Scores and The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT, Composition and Linguistics Professor, TOEFL Specialist, ESL Master Instructor, and Placement and Testing Coordinator for California State University, San Bernardino.Follow more posts and videos from Michael at Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.



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