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TOEFL iBT Academic Discussion: Articulate Your Insights on Various Academic Topics

TOEFL iBT Academic Discussion: Articulate Your Insights on Various Academic Topics

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TOEFL iBT Writing-Academic Discussion Task

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT Writing section is designed to assess a test taker's ability to communicate effectively in an academic setting. There are two tasks for this section - Integrated Task and Academic Discussion Task, which has replaced the Independent Task.

The Academic Discussion task is designed to bring out the test-takers’ capacity for viewpoint analysis, opinion expression, and meaningful participation in academic discussions.

Overview of the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing

The Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing requires test-takers to go through a simulated discussion board on a university website that comprises two student answers to a question posed by the lecturer. They will have to read the full conversation and write the response in their own words.

Candidates will have ten minutes to write a response to the topic in the online post. There is no ideal length for the answer. However, according to the given instructions, it should be at least 100 words. The answer should be well-developed, coherent, and well-supported by arguments or examples.

There are three question styles for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing. They are ‘Yes or No’, ‘State a Preference’ and ‘Open-Ended’. Given below is a sample question for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing with a sample answer that will acquaint the test-takers with these question styles.

Question

Question for Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing

Sample Answer

Here’s a High-Level Response to the above question.

For me, the invention of the aeroplane, by Brazilian inventor Santos Dumont, is a good example of an important invention from the last two centuries. It made it possible to connect different places even if they are thousands of miles away from one another. People can be in any place of the world within twenty four hours or less from the time they get inside an aeroplane. This is fantastic. Also, world trade has become more efficient. You can eat fresh lobsters from northeastern Brazil even if you are in Dubaill. I think that is really interesting. Since ancient Greece the man wanted to fly like the birds, and Mr Dumont made it possible. And I am particularly proud of him because he was a Brazilian citizen, just like me. So, that's my opinion, I could show you some of my admiration for this great man and his beautiful invention.

Understanding Evaluation Rubrics for the Academic Discussion Task for TOEFL iBT Writing

The answer for the Academic Discussion Task for TOEFL iBT Writing will receive a total score ranging from 0 to 5. Three primary criteria are being considered by the ETS raters for evaluating this question, which are well-developed and relevant concepts, variation in language use and proper language use.

The table below presents the evaluation rubrics for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing based on which test-takers should prepare their strategies for practice.

Score Description
5

The response is a relevant and very clearly expressed contribution to the online discussion, and it demonstrates consistent facility in the use of language.

A typical response displays the following:

  • Relevant and well-elaborated explanations, exemplifications, and/or details
  • Effective use of a variety of syntactic structures and precise, idiomatic word choice
  • Almost no lexical or grammatical errors other than those expected from a competent writer writing under timed conditions (e.g., common typos or common misspellings or substitutions like there/their)
4

The response is a relevant contribution to the online discussion, and facility in the use of language allows the writer’s ideas to be easily understood.

A typical response displays the following:

  • Relevant and adequately elaborate explanations, exemplifications, and/or details
  • A variety of syntactic structures and appropriate word choice
  • Few lexical or grammatical errors
3

The response is a mostly relevant and mostly understandable contribution to the online discussion, and there is some facility in the use of language.

A typical response displays the following:

  • Elaboration in which part of an explanation, example, or detail may be missing, unclear, or irrelevant
  • Some variety in syntactic structures and a range of vocabulary
  • Some noticeable lexical and grammatical errors in sentence structure, word form, or use of idiomatic language
2

The response reflects an attempt to contribute to the online discussion, but limitations in the use of language may make ideas hard to follow.

A typical response displays the following:

  • Ideas that may be poorly elaborated or only partially relevant
  • A limited range of syntactic structures and vocabulary
  • An accumulation of errors in sentence structure, word forms, or use
1

The response reflects an ineffective attempt to contribute to the online discussion, and limitations in the use of language may prevent the expression of ideas.

A typical response may display the following:

  • Words and phrases that indicate an attempt to address the task but with few or no coherent ideas
  • Severely limited range of syntactic structures and vocabulary
  • Serious and frequent errors in the use of language
  • Minimal original language; any coherent language is mostly borrowed from the stimulus

Why Choose TOEFL iBT?

Choosing TOEFL iBT can be a strategic decision for several compelling reasons. Let’s explore the factors that make TOEFL iBT stand out!

Global Recognition

TOEFL iBT scores are widely accepted by universities, colleges, and institutions, making it a global benchmark.

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Comprehensive Assessment

It evaluates proficiency in reading, listening, speaking, and writing, providing a well-rounded assessment.

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Flexibility in Test Administration

The test allows one to choose from nearby testing locations or the convenience of home to take the exam.

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Real-life Situations

TOEFL iBT tasks simulate real-life academic and professional situations to check the candidates’ ability to communicate in different situations.

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Regular Updates

TOEFL iBT is regularly updated to align with evolving language standards to ensure its relevance and accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the factors that can decrease my score for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing?

Some of the essential factors that can lower your score for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing are disconnected words and sentences, lack of clear point of view, repetitive language and major grammatical errors.

Do minor errors like space and capitalization affect the score for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing?

Minor errors are overlooked by the human ETS grader unless they affect the clarity and flow of the answer. However, these errors are taken into account by the evaluation software.

Will my score be affected if I write more than 100 words for the answer to the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing?

No, the score of the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing will not be affected as there is no strict word limit for the task. However, the instructions state that the answer should be at least 100 words.

How will I keep track of the number of words of my answer for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing?

A word counter is displayed on the screen and it will keep track of the number of words written as the answer to the question of the Academic Discussion Task.

What will be my score for the Academic Discussion Task of TOEFL iBT Writing if my answer is entirely copied from the prompt or entirely unconnected to the prompt?

In case your answer to the Academic Discussion Task is either entirely copied from the prompt or entirely unconnected to the prompt, you will be scored a zero by the ETS grader as per the official evaluation rubric.

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