Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

TOEFL teacher Hilary

Are you wondering how to do well on the written portion of the TOEFL exam?

Today we have a guest on the show! Hilary is talking to Michelle on the podcast today.

She’ll show us 3 great ways to improve your writing in English for this exam, and your general writing and then you’ll find out how you can book a lesson with Hilary if you want to go deeper with these tips.

Let’s listen to this helpful episode today!

We’re specifically talking about the independent essay portion.

This portion comes at the end when you may be tired, so going in with the right things to focus on can help.

These tips can help you to go into the exam with a plan and a great way to master this exam.

1) Try not to write about things you aren’t familiar with: Your writing loses it’s authenticity and it becomes insincere or not genuine. If you focus on things that you know then it comes across much better. This is important when it comes to an opinion type of question and you feel like you’re under pressure to answer them. Go with things that you feel comfortable with because if it’s a new topic you may scramble to come up with things to write. Be sure to write about how you feel and what’s important to you–then have a plan and make your content original.

2) Think about the format that you are trying to present your ideas in: If you use something that asks for supporting points for example, you have to have actual content to write. Sometimes it’s not black or white and may be a sort of “it depends” type of question. Don’t always force yourself to stick within a certain format, but rather go with something that makes sense for this situation or question. Come up with a plan, organize your thoughts, and then consider how to present your important ideas so that they are clear and concise to the reader.

3) Be careful of your “person”: There is a first, second, or third person to speak within. Sometimes you may talk from the point of view of yourself and say “I” and that’s okay. If you are going with first person, then stick with it. If you are going with third person, then stick with it. Just don’t interchange them and mix them up because that’s when it gets confusing. Keep it easy on the reader always–that’s the key to good writing!

4) Focus on “fewer but better words”: Sometimes less is more and you don’t have to use as many words to say things. If you are told to stick to 300 words then make that your goal. You don’t have to far exceed the word count because then it can come across as wordy. Be sure that you read your content over and get rid of any duplication or anything that sounds too wordy. Focus on the quality of your writing over the quantity of the words.

These tips can you to do well on the TOEFL exam, but also help you to become a better writer as well.


We can all become better writers, for an exam or for anything.

These tips can help you to master the written portion of the TOEFL exam.

Use them to help you in your writing in everyday life though too.

Keep them in mind and you will become a better writer that really gets through to your readers.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back with you as soon as we can. 

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