Scoring TOEFL

The following scoring guidelines relate to the TOEFL IBT Test Writing Task 2.

Good (4.0 - 5.0)

Your Performance:

You responded well to the task, relating the lecture to the reading. Weaknesses, if you have any, might have to do with:

  • slight imprecision in your summary of some of the main points
  • use of English that is occasionally ungrammatical or unclear

Advice for improvement

Continue to improve your ability to relate and convey information from two or more sources. For example, practice analyzing reading passages in English.

  • Read two articles or chapters on the same topic or issue, write a summary of each, and then explain the ways they are similar and the ways they are different.
  • Practice combining listening and reading by searching for readings related to talks and lectures with a teacher or a friend.

Fair (2.5 - 3.5)

Your Performance

You responded to the task, relating the lecture to the reading, but your response indicates weaknesses, such as:

  • an important idea or ideas may be missing, unclear or inaccurate
  • it may not be clear how the lecture and the reading passage are related
  • grammatical mistakes or vague/incorrect uses of words may make the writing difficult to understand

Advice for improvement

Practice finding main points.

  • Ask a friend to record news and informational programs in English from the television or radio, or download talks or lectures from the Internet.
  • Listen and take notes. Stop the recording about every 30 seconds to write out a short summary of what you heard.
  • Replay the recording to check your summary. Mark places where you are not sure if you have understood what was said or if you are not sure you have expressed yourself well.

Limited (1.0 - 2.0)

Your Performance

Your response was judged as limited due to:

  • failure to understand the lecture or reading passage
  • deficiencies in relating the lecture to the reading passage
  • many grammatical errors and/or very unclear expressions and sentence

Advice for improvement

Read and listen to academic articles and other material in your own language. Take notes about what you read and hear.

  • Begin by taking notes in your own language and then take notes in English.
  • Summarize the points in complete English sentences.
  • Ask your teacher to review your writing and help you correct your errors.
  • Gradually decrease the time it takes you to read the material and write these summaries.
  • Practice typing on a standard English (QWERTY) keyboard