Today I want to post about what NOT to do in the independent writing. Read the two paragraphs below. See if you can determine the problem.
The concept that having creative ideas definitely plays a substantial facilitation in success is an undeniable fact of humanity. This is applicably true in a classroom. Children ponder scrupulously over the advantages of creative thinking and in this regard a newly developed idea is crucial for students. In the ensuing lines, I will pursue the topic on amazing and cogent grounds.
To begin with, it is politic to have creativity in student’s lives and by indulging in technology in various schools of thought in which people can see eye to eye. In order to drive my concept home, I will elaborate on my own stance and expound upon it. Children can get a sea of knowledge from pursuing their stances on the internet and obtaining renowned knowledge from this technological revolution. This is a compelling outlook that elaborates on my stance; and should show students how to pass incredible exams and have flying colors in their academic persuasions. Therefore, we should not condone or give our utmost support to the idea of using the internet in order to research myriad practicalities that are not within our purview of knowledge as this will have ramifications beyond the basis of our degrees of pursuit.
If you haven’t guessed the problem, read on:
Paragraphs like this are impossible for tutors to understand, and they will NOT get you a good score. Many students think if they use complex vocabulary, their score will go up. However, a rater who is a native speaker will not be able to understand this paragraph. In fact, it’s difficult to determine the prompt! It could have been about children and internet use, or internet use in the classroom, or the advantages of technology. The rater should be able to read your essay and know what the prompt it WITHOUT seeing the prompt.
In other words, the above writing is “gobbledygook” which basically means it is nonsensical. No native speaker can understand these two paragraphs.
If your tutor says to use a bunch of difficult words to get a higher score without regard to what the words mean, I suggest you find a new tutor immediately.
ADVICE: Keep it simple. Use words that you know and have used before. Do not try to use idioms that you are not familiar with. The writer above attempted three idioms:
To see eye to eye AND
Drive (something) home AND
Pass with flying colors
However, none of these idioms were used in the correct context. Be cautious with idioms.
English also has a lot of collocations: words that go together. The following are INCORRECT collocations from the essay:
A compelling outlook
These words are NOT collocations in English. You must be careful about putting an adjective before a noun, because they have to sound natural. These collocations should be used instead of the collocations above:
“especially true” (rather than applicably true)
“think carefully” (rather than ponder scrupulously)
“plays a substantial role in xxxx” (rather than substantial facilitation)
“an extremely difficult exam” (rather than an incredible exam)
“a great deal of knowledge” (rather than renowned knowledge)
“a compelling argument” (rather than a compelling outlook)
“academic pursuits” (rather than academic persuasions)
“myriad points of view” (rather than myriad practicalities)
If you still do not believe me, and you think big words will boost your score, please purchase ETS Official Guide to the TOEFL iBT Test. This type of writing is discussed on page 201 of the guide. You may purchase the guide at a very reasonable price here:
It should be noted that I do not work for ETS. However, I still support the notion that this guide is a terrific way to start your studies. You should really purchase and read it in its entirety before taking the TOEFL test.
One final note on this blog. I am NOT discouraging you from using big words or collocations. However, I am pointing out that they must make sense. Just the use of longer words does not raise your score. Your writing must be coherent.
Thank you for reading this blog. As always, good luck on your test!