This TOEFL independent writing practice test scores 18/30 pts., but the writer has good language use.

Just because a writer has good control of grammar and vocabulary does not guarantee a score of 24+ on the writing section of the TOEFL iBT.  The following essay, which has good control of grammar and vocabulary, still scored only 18/30 pts according to the official TOEFL iBT rubrics for this writing task.  Lack of development and focus caused this essay to meet its demise.

Writing Prompt:

Topic:  Some students prefer to attend a small university. Others prefer to attend a big university. Discuss the advantages of each. Then indicate which type of university you prefer? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

Student Response to Prompt:

The size of the university has an important bearing on a student’s academic journey. Each size comes with its own set of advantage and disadvantage.

The large university gives you accesses to diverse cohort, you get from interact with more number of batch mates as compared to small one. Thus, one’s personal development may tend to be more robust in a large university since the size of the university is large, it also allows access to greater quantum of academic resources.

Small university on the other hand helps you in a more focused academic journey. The faculty might pay greater attention to an individual in a smaller group and thus those students who are slow in learning might find a smaller university more effective. Since batch size is smaller, you also tend to forge stronger bounds of friendship with peers,

So, there is no one size fits all approach. It would largely depend on your personality and academic goals, some feel excited to be part of thousand –batch size other might feel overwhelmed. Some like standardized courses at large universities other prefer customized modules at small universities. Thus, there is a difference in size of classes, number of courses offered, fame teachers, research opportunities and depth of faculty student interaction an individual should take a judicious call.

Edited Version of Student Response:

After students complete high school, they may decide to attend college to specialize in an academic discipline that will help them to get a high-paying job in this competitive society. A major factor in determining students’ success in finding good jobs will depend on what type of university students attend. Therefore, the size of the university has an important bearing on a student’s academic journey. In this regard, some students prefer to attend smaller schools, whereas others prefer larger universities. The size of the learning institution comes with its own set of advantages. In my opinion, I prefer a larger school.

Some students prefer small universities because they offer students a more focused academic journey. The faculty might pay greater attention to an individual in a smaller group, and thus those students who are slow in learning might find a smaller university more effective. For example, if a student is attending Biology101 at a small university, the class size may be limited to 15 students. Therefore, when a student has trouble learning the course material, he/she will be able to ask questions in class. In addition, the student will be able to consult the professor during his/her office hours to get more clarification on matters relating to course instruction. As a result, smaller universities tend to help students focus better on their studies and to more deeply learn what is being taught.

On the other hand, large universities gives student access to a greater number of academic resources. For instance, Ohio State University, whose enrollment is 50,000+ students, has twelve libraries on its campus. Therefore, students are easily able to conduct the research that they need to complete their writing projects in their undergraduate and graduate classes. In addition, each library is staffed by at least six referent librarians, so, when students have critical information literacy questions, they can consult these librarians who will help them to find and evaluate the courses that they need. California State University, San Bernardino, which has more than 20,000 students, offers the undergraduate and graduate writing centers to assist students who are completing writing projects in their various academic disciplines. Hence, whether it is having fully staffed and equipped libraries or having writing centers available for students, large universities tend to have more academic resources for their student population than the smaller institutions.

In my opinion, I will attend a larger university because these larger entities offer more research opportunities. Since I have already completed my undergraduate degree, I will pursue a graduate degree. As such I will need more research opportunities so that I can grow academically and professionally. One of my friends who is attending Redlands University told me that he has been able to co-write three articles with his professors at this school. My friend feels that if he had not attended a smaller school he would not have had these opportunities to research important ideas with his professors. Now, my friend has a lot of recognition and respect in his field due to these published articles, and that he is published made it easier for him to get a high paying job. Like my friend, I will also attend a smaller school so that I can take advantage of these research options.

Video Explaining Why I Made the Changes I Did:

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