TOEFL ESSAY – Model essays

People attend college for a lot of different reasons. I believe that the three most common reasons are to prepare for a career, to have new experiences, and to increase their knowledge of themselves and of the world around them.

Career preparation is probably the primary reason that people attend college. These days, the job market is very competitive. Careers such as information technology will need many new workers in the near future. At college, students can learn new skills for these careers and increase their opportunities for the future.

Students also go to college to have new experiences. For many, it is their first time away from home. At college, they can meet new people from many different places. They can see what life is like in a different city. They can learn to live on their own and take care of themselves without having their family always nearby.

At college, students have opportunity to increase their knowledge. As they decide what they want to study, pursue their studies, and interact with their classmates, they learn a lot of about themselves. They also, of course, have the opportunity to learn about many subjects in their classes. In addition to the skills and knowledge related to their career, college students also have the chance to take classes in other areas. For many, this will be their last chance to study different subjects.

Colleges offer much more than career preparation. They offer the opportunity to have new experiences and to learn many kinds of things. I think all of these are reasons why people attend college. (265 words)


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s for people everywhere on Earth. It contributes to medical science, to inventions, and to a solution to overpopulation. It is expensive, but the benefits are worth the price. Space exploration is one of the best ways governments can spend our money.
	(278 words)
Making an Argument 66
People have different ways of escaping the stress of modern life. Some read, some exercise, others work in their gardens. What do you think are the best ways of reducing stress? Use specific details and examples in your answer.
Stress is one of our biggest enemies. It affects all aspects of our lives. In order to get rid of stress, I first have to identify the cause. My solutions to stress depend on the cause. The most common causes of stress in my life are work, friends, and myself.
Work-related stress is the easiest to combat. I simply stop working for a while. Sometimes I get up from my desk and go down the hall to talk to my colleagues. Of course, I don’t talk about work-related topics. Other times, I take a short walk around the block. Work-related stress can be cured just by getting away from work.
Stress caused by my friends is more difficult to cure. A friend might be angry with me or vice versa. A friend might be anxious about something, and that makes me anxious, too. The best cure for this kind of stress is talking about the problem and spending time with my friends. Unlike work, you can’t walk away from your friends.
Stress I cause myself is not very easy to get rid of. If I feel bothered by an exam or anxious about the future, there is very little for me to do. I just have to tell myself that I can only do my best and leave the rest up to fate.
It is important to try to lead a stress-free life. If you can avoid stress by walking away from it (as at work), talking about it (as with friends), or facing it head on (as with yourself), you will benefit in all aspects of your life.
	(269 words)
Agreeing or Disagreeing 67
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Teachers should be paid according to how much their students learn. Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
It is a bad idea to pay teachers according to how much their students learn. It just encourages teachers to teach only the material on a test. It discourages them from paying attention to slow students. It is unfair because teachers can’t decide which students will be in their class. Instead of improving teaching, it keeps teachers from doing the best job they can.
If a teacher is paid according to how well his students do on a test, then he will teach only what is on the test. He will spend time teaching his students to memorize facts. He won’t be able to teach them other things. The students will miss the opportunity to gain a wider variety of knowledge. They won’t have the chance to develop skills besides memorization. They will learn less, not more, in this way.
Another problem is that teachers may ignore the slower students. Some students learn more quickly and easily than others. The teacher won’t want to spend time with the few slowest students. She will prefer to focus on the average and fast students to make sure they get high scores on tests. She can’t waste time with the students who can get only mediocre scores. These students, who need the most help in school, will get very little help at all.
Finally, a teacher has no control over which students are placed in his class. One teacher may get all the best students in a school. Another may get several of the worst. If the teacher has some average students, a few below average, and no students who are above average, then of course the class will get lower test scores on their tests. People will think those students didn’t learn much. It is not fair to base a teacher’s salary on something over which ha has no control.
Most teachers, like other professionals, want to do the best job possible. They want to teach their students useful skills and knowledge and they want to help the students who need help. Teachers need encouragement and support, but basing their salary on their students’ performance is not a good way to provide this.	(361 words)
Making an Argument 68
If you were asked to send one thing representing your country to an international exhibition, what would you choose? Why? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.
If I were asked to send one thing representing my country to an international exhibition, I’d send something unexpected: one week’s worth of television programming. These programs best represent my country. They show how we live, what we value, and what we teach our children.
Television programs show how people in my country live. They show how different people earn a living. They show the different kinds of houses people live in. They show routines of day-today living. They show the different kinds of relationships people have. They give a broad representation of daily life in my country.
Television programs show what the people in my country value. Comedies indicate what we think is funny. Documentaries show what issues we’re concerned about and how we want to resolve them. Sports programs show what we think about winning and losing. In general, the range of programs shown on television demonstrates what we think is important and interesting.
Children’s programs show what we teach our children. Some programs teach school skills such as reading and math. Others tell stories from literature or folk traditions. Many focus on teaching children right from wrong. And some, like cartoons, are just meant to entertain.
You can learn a lot about a country by watching its television programs. You can learn about daily life, values, and education. That is why I would send a week’s worth of television programs to an international exhibition.
(237 words)
Stating a Preference 69
You have been told that dormitory rooms at your university must be shared by two students. Would you rather have the university assign a student to share a room with you, or would you rather choose your own roommate? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.
I’d rather have the university assign a roommate to share a room with me. I don’t know many people at the university I plan to attend. I’m sure the university will choose a roommate who is compatible with me and this will give me the chance to make new friends.
None of my close friends will attend the university with me. We all plan to attend different schools. I have a few acquaintances at my university, but I don’t know them well. I don’t think they are people I would choose to live with. At this time, I really can’t choose my own roommate. I am glad the university can do it for me.
The university has a very good system for assigning roommates. All the students have to fill out information sheets. We write about our majors, our interests, our study habits, and our goals. The university uses this information to match roommates. They can match people who have similar habits and interests. I think it is a good system.
When the university assigns me a roommate, I have a chance to make new friends. For one, my roommate will be a new friend. We already know that we will have similar habits and interests, so we will probably enjoy spending time together. In addition, my roommate’s friends could become my friends, too. My roommate can introduce me to new people, and I can do the same for him.
I think it’s a good idea for a university to choose roommates for the students. They can match people who are compatible and give everyone a chance to make new friends. Meeting new people is an important part of a university education, and this is one way to make that happen.	
(291 words)
Stating a Preference 70
Some people think that governments should spend as much money as possible on developing or buying computer technology. Other people disagree and think that this money should be spent on more basic needs. Which one of these opinions do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Developing computer technology is important for the development of the country as a whole. However, we have some basic needs and issues in our country that are even more important than technology. Our children need to get a good education. Our transportation system needs to be improved. We need to develop new sourced of energy. We need to work on these issues before we put a lot of money into computers.
Our children need to get a good education. We need to make sure that every child in the country has the opportunity to learn to read and write. In addition, they all need to learn skills for the modern world. They need to learn how to use computers. It costs money to buy computers for schools and train teachers to use them. If children don’t learn basic computer skills in school, who will be able to use modern computer technology?
We need to improve our transportation system. In big cities, the roads are very crowded and it is hard to get around. It takes a long time for people just to get to work every day. We need to spend money developing a good public transportation system. We need to get cars off the road and have more busses and trains. Computer technology helps people at work. If it is difficult for people just to get to work, computer technology won’t help them much.
We need to develop new sources of energy. Our current methods of generating energy cause a lot of pollution. We need to develop the use of solar energy and other nonpolluting energy technology. Energy research and development costs a lot of money, but it is necessary. If we don’t have clean, cheap sources of energy, what will we use to run our computers?
Computer technology is important. However, we can’t take advantage of it if we don’t solve some problems first. We need well-educated children, good public transportation, and clean sources of energy before we can spend money on computers.	(335 words)

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