How to Write a TOEFL Integrated Essay

How to Write a TOEFL Integrated Essay

The TOEFL is a test to determine your level of English. It’s required for many jobs and schools where English is the native language. In order to pass the test, you must complete multiple sections, with one of these sections being the integrated essay. It’s called this because you need to read and listen, in addition to writing. How do you ensure a high score on this part:


  1. Listen and read carefully. You’ll notice that the points in the passage and the lecture will likely contradict each other. It’s important to make note of what the differences are for the essay. You can refer back to the text throughout the essay, so pay particular attention to the listening section.
  2. Identify the topic first. The topic will likely be based around Humanities, Life Science, Physical Science or Social Science. It should be obvious by the words used which is the main topic. This is what you’re going to write about. When you’re practicing your essay writing skills, focus on these topics.
  3. Don’t worry about the facts. You can literally invent examples to prove each of your points. Of course, they should sound reasonable and make sense, but as long as you have the ability to persuade the reader, you’ll do well on the essay.
  4. Keep it short. Your entire essay only needs to be two or three paragraphs long or roughly 150-250 words. This means you should summarize the lecture and note how the points in the listening section differ or contradict the points in the text. An introduction of just one or two sentences is fine and you don’t need a conclusion unless you have extra time.
  5. Compare the two formats. You can either compare each point in the lecture with each point in the text, or you can write a paragraph about the lecture and a paragraph about the text. In either case, you should write about how they differ or are similar (in rare cases, the two will agree with each other).

 While the TOEFL integrated essay is simple and short, it does require good listening skills. You can practice this by watching videos in English or listening to recordings while taking notes. With practice, it becomes much easier to understand the spoken word.


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