Yasmin completes his first integrated writing practice test in his new TOEFL Course.

Yasmin is one of those students who, after subscribing to a TOEFL course called The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT, hit the ground running.  Wasting not even a day, he knew that he needed to practice writing. Therefore, he went straight to the writing section of the course and began completing the integrated writing lessons because the integrated writing task was the reason he kept scoring 22/30 on that section of the TOEFL. It frustrated him to no end because he always scored high on the independent writing task. Dang! He wished that the integrated writing task weren’t his achilles heel. But it was and he desperately wanted to change that fact.

After learning how to organize the integrated writing task, he decided it was time to take a practice test, so he clicked on the link to Integrated Writing Practice Test 1.  He watched a video which gave him instructions about this writing task. Then he spent about 4 minutes reading a passage about Columbus’ various travels from Spain to the New World.  Once he had read the passage, he listened to a short lecture also talking about Columbus except the lecture disagreed with two specific points in the reading passage.  While reading the passage and listening to the lecture, Yasmin took down as many notes as he could, but he panicked and was sure he had not jotted down all the important points.  Then after the lecture, he was instructed that he had 20 minutes to explain how the information in the lecture was related to the information in the reading.

As Yasmin began writing his response, he noticed the clock on the computer screen counting down the time: 19:59, 19:58, 19:57, and so on.  He almost felt he was spending too much time watching the clock and not enough time thinking about what he needed to write next.  Nevertheless, after a few minutes, he settled his nerves and began to hit his stride by focusing more on writing his response and less on being distracted by external factors in his environment. Finally, 195 words later, he he started to write his conclusion, but he noticed that he only had about two minutes left. Hence, Yasmin quickly put together a 25 word conclusion that restated the key words of the essay.

Then, once he had completed the essay, he clicked “Next” and was directed to a another web page. He was prompted that he should save his work and that, once he submitted it for grading, he would not be allowed to edit the essay again. Agreeing with the message, he clicked “Submit all and finish.” Writing that he had just completed TOEFL Integrated Writing Practice Test 1, he then E-mailed his TOEFL writing mentor Michael Buckhoff, who a few hours later read, evaluated, and scored his response. Michael then E-mailed Yasmin the results of his practice test along with a list of suggested lessons that he should review to improve his academic writing proficiency.

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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