TOEFL question #1:
TOEFL question #2: How do movies or television influence people’s behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. TOEFL question #1: People attend college or university for many different reasons (for example, new experiences, career preparation, increased knowledge). Why do you think people attend college or university? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
TOEFL Outlines # 1 50 TOEFL question #1: People attend college or university for many different reasons (for example, new experiences, career preparation, increased knowledge). Why do you think people attend college or university? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. There are many reasons people attend college or university. Some attend in order to prepare for a career. Others attend for personal fulfillment and still others attend in order to make more money in the job market. II. Some attend college in order to prepare for a career. a. They learn about a particular subject in depth b. Employers want employees who have very specific knowledge III. Some attend for personal fulfillment a. Older adults may attend college just for the joy of learning b. Students may feel a sense of accomplishment by learning new things. IV. Some attend in order to make more money in the job market a. If one has specialized skills, one can make more money in the job market (example: computer programming skills) b. One may need more education in order to get promoted in his/her job V. In short, people attend college for many reasons some of which include the desire to prepare for a career, personal fulfillment and financial rewards. TOEFL question #2: How do movies or television influence people’s behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. I. Movies and television influence people’s behavior in a number of ways. The negative ways television influences people’s behavior is through advertisements and violent programs. Ads compel people to buy things they may not need and violent programs sometimes cause young people to become violent. On the other hand, the good influence is that people can learn new things from movies and television. II. Advertisements compel people to buy things they may not need. Example: a. Those who buy camping equipment and then never go camping. b. Someone who buys a new car but can’t really afford it. c. Someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. IV. Television may lead to violence. a. Children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. b. Children may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. Television teaches new things. a. We can learn about different countries in the world c. We can learn different skills: cooking, sewing d. We can learn about different kinds of people V. V. In conclusion, television and movies influence behavior in both positive and negative ways. TOEFL question #3: Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. 1 I. There are those who enjoy living in a small town and others who enjoy living in a big city. I, personally, prefer to live in a small town. Small towns are more personal; they are easier to get around in and people tend to be friendlier. II. Small towns are more personal than big cities a. People usually know about each other’s personal lives (jobs, children’s names & ages) b. People usually know who owns the local stores c. In big cities, it is impersonal just because of its size. People can’t meet each other as easily. III. Small towns are easier to get around in than big cities a. You can often ride a bicycle across town b. If there are buses, the rides are not long because the town is small c. There is less traffic IV. Small towns are friendlier than big cities a. People care about each other and talk with one another b. People often go to the same stores and cafes and usually know others who go there c. People tend to be more relaxed in small towns and have more time to meet people whereas in big cities, people are in more of a hurry. V. In conclusion, I prefer to live in a small town to a big city. I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the friendships that develop more easily than in a big city. I will continue to live in a small town. TOEFL question #4: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Universities should give the same amount of money to their students sports activities as they give to their university libraries. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. I. Universities should not give the same amount of money to students sports activities as they give to university libraries. Libraries should receive more money because all students can benefit from libraries whereas only a few benefit from sports activities. All students can use the library resources: a. All students use libraries to do research (use the computer, write essays, check out books) b. Not all students participate in or go to sporting events All students come to the university to learn a. Libraries resources help a student improve his/her future employment b. Sports activities will not help a student in his/her future employment II. III. IV. Universities should place the highest priority on learning…not on sports. a. The most important activity in a university should be learning b. Sports are a nice form of relaxation or extracurricular activity but it should not take the place of learning. V. In conclusion, universities should spend more money on libraries than on sports activities because libraries benefit more people and libraries are more important to students’ futures than sports activities. TOEFL question #5: Many people visit museums when they travel to new places. Why do you think people visit museums? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. 2 I. People enjoy visiting museums when they travel. Some of the reasons are because you can learn new things, see interesting exhibits and learn about other cultures. II. People can learn new things. a. For example: animal exhibits give information about the lives and habits of the animals. b. Military exhibits provide information about wars. c. Art museums give information about the artist. III. People can see interesting things a. Museums often house items that you cannot see anywhere else b. For example: dinosaurs and very old relics c. For example: famous paintings like the Mona Lisa IV. People can learn about other cultures. a. In historical museums, people can learn about people from other generations b. People can learn about how others lived and worked and what they looked like V. Museums provide people with a view of life they can’t find in their own environment. A museum provides both entertainment and education. TOEFL question #6: Some people prefer to eat at food stands or restaurants. Other people prefer to prepare and eat food at home. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. There are people who prefer to eat out at restaurants and others who would rather eat at home. I prefer to eat at home because it is cheaper, faster and more nutritious. II. Eating at home is cheaper a. The cost of groceries is much cheaper than the cost of a restaurant entree (for example: dinner usually costs $10 – 15 in a restaurant versus $1 – 3 at home. b. You don’t have to pay the cost of gas to get to the restaurant III. Eating at home is faster a. Preparing dinner can take about 20 – 60 minutes (cutting the ingredients & cooking them) b. Going to dinner takes time to drive, park, go in, get seated and order...this can take a lot more than 60 minutes. IV. Eating at home is more nutritious a. You choose the best ingredients to cook with, but you don’t know the kind of ingredients the restaurant uses. b. You will not use rotten food, but you don’t know if the restaurant will c. You will not use preservatives, but restaurants often do...these are not healthy. V. In short, I prefer to eat at home because I can save money, eat quickly and eat well. TOEFL question #7: Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbor? Use specific reasons and examples in your answer. I. Our neighbors are important people in our lives. The qualities of a good neighbor should include: someone whom you can trust, someone whom you can talk to, and someone with whom you have something in common. II. Someone whom you can trust 3 a. When you are on vacation, your neighbors can watch over your house. b. You can feel comfortable leaving an extra door key with the neighbors in case you ever forget your key. c. You want to know that your neighbors will not steal from you. III. Someone whom you can talk to – builds friendships a. Talk about your jobs together b. Talk about your families c. Small talk about the weather IV. Someone with whom you have something in common a. Someone who is similar in age b. Someone with similar interests / jobs c. Someone who enjoys doing the same things (gardening, sports, etc.) V. People who live next to each other as neighbors should get along well; they should trust each other, talk to one another and have something in common. TOEFL question #8: It has recently been announced that a new restaurant may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. If they build a new restaurant in my neighborhood, I will support the plan. I will support the plan because the restaurant will provide jobs and give us more options for places to eat. II. The restaurant will provide more jobs a. We have high unemployment, a restaurant will provide more jobs b. For example, waiters, waitresses, dishwashers, cooks c. People will not have to depend on government assistance for money III. The restaurant will give us more options for places to eat a. We have only five good restaurants in town, another one will give more variety b. Restaurants are not only for eating...but also for meeting and socializing c. Two of the restaurants serve food which is not great...a new one will probably be better. V. In short, if they want to build a restaurant in my town, I will support the plan because it will enhance the town and provide more jobs. TOEFL question #9: You have received a gift of money. The money is enough to buy either a piece of jewelry you like or tickets to a concert you want to attend. Which would you buy? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. If I received a gift of money and could spend it on either a piece of jewelry or tickets to a concert, I would buy a piece of jewelry. I would buy the jewelry because it lasts longer than a concert; it can be given away and it becomes more valuable over time. II. A piece of jewelry lasts longer a. I can wear and enjoy the jewelry year after year, but a concert lasts only a few hours b. I can wear it to many different places (for example: at work, going out to the theater, etc). c. I can show it to many different people and others can enjoy it too. III. A piece of jewelry can be given away a. For example, if I have children or grandchildren, I can give the piece of jewelry to one of them so that they can enjoy it for years. b. If you give it away, it is enjoyed by many more people than just the owner 4 IV. A piece of jewelry usually becomes more valuable over time a. If you purchase a quality piece of jewelry, its value usually increases over time b. For example: it becomes like an antique V. In short, I would buy a piece of jewelry rather than go to a concert if I had the choice. Jewelry is longer lasting and more valuable. TOEFL question #10: Some people believe that university students should be required to attend classes. Others believe that going to classes should be optional for students. Which point of view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. There are those people who believe that university students should be required to go to classes and those who feel that classes should be optional. I feel students should be required to go to classes and there are a number of reasons I feel this way. II. Students miss out on a lot when they don’t go to class a. For example, they don’t hear everything the professor or other students say b. They may miss special instructions or information about specific projects c. They don’t get to interact and work with the other students. III. Students should get the entire university experience not just part of it. a. If students don’t go to class, they are not getting all the experiences they should b. If they only get notes from a classmate about the class, they are not doing their fair share of the work c. If students don’t want to go to class, they should not enroll in university IV. In short, university students enter university in order to get an education. They should be required to go to class because this is the main focus of their education. They cannot get all the information they need if they do not attend classes. TOEFL question #11: What are some important qualities of a good supervisor (boss)? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. Important qualities of a good boss include someone who trusts you to do a good job, someone who gives you encouragement and someone who lets you give your opinions about the work. II. Someone who trusts you to do a good job a. A good boss should be able to give you a task and trust you can do the job b. A good boss will not keep “looking over your shoulder” when they have given you a job to do c. A good boss will know that s/he has hired a person who is capable of doing the job III. Someone who gives you encouragement a. Everyone needs to hear that they are doing a good job b. When an employee does something wrong, s/he should be told in a positive way not in a negative way. c. Employees should be encouraged to do things they think they might not be capable of��doing. They will know the boss has faith in them. IV. Someone who lets you give your opinion a. The boss should not be the only person to give ideas/opinions about the company 5 b. If employees can give opinions, they feel more a part of the work environment c. Giving your opinion means you are valued by the company V. In short, a boss should be one who trusts his/her employees, one who gives encouragement and one who lets others voice their opinions. With this type of boss, the company will be successful. TOEFL question #12: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Sometimes it is better not to tell the truth. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. Being truthful is important, but I feel that sometimes it is better not to tell the truth. There are several reasons I feel this way. II. You could hurt someone’s feelings a. For example: you don’t like someone’s new shirt or new haircut but if you tell that person, s/he will feel bad. It is not necessary to tell the truth. b. For example: if you don’t want to go to the movie with someone because you always have to pay, it may be better not to tell the whole truth. III. You could get into trouble a. For example, if you tell your boss that you don’t like him/her, you could lose your job b. For example, if you offend someone by telling the truth, they may try to hurt you IV. Not telling the truth could be the best answer a. For example, if you are giving a surprise party for your friend, you don’t want to tell him/her about it. b. Telling the truth could cause pain (for example: an old person is told that his/her child died) V. To conclude, it is sometimes better not to tell the truth. Everyone must decide under which circumstances the truth should or should not be told and have good reasons for making that decision. TOEFL question #13: Groups or organizations are an important part of some people’s lives. Why are groups or organizations important to people? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer. I. Organizations are important to people for a number of reasons. Some people like the structure of an organization. Others like the friendly atmosphere and still others enjoy the activities they do with the organization or group. II. Some people like the structure a. Most organizations have a specific structure (you do certain things at certain times) b. For example: boy scouts learn about everyday life skills c. For example: book clubs get together to read and talk about books III. Some people like the friendly atmosphere a. People who belong to groups often want to meet others b. People in a particular group have the same interests (eg: flower arranging, hiking groups, etc.) c. People can develop longterm friendships that last beyond the group IV. Some enjoy the activities a. Some people join groups because they enjoy group activities b. For example: you need many people to play soccer (it can’t be played alone) c. For example: you need many people to help with a carnival (it can’t be done alone) 6 V. In conclusion, people enjoy groups and organizations for many different reasons. Most people enjoy the structure, the other people in the group and the activities that are offered through the organization. TOEFL question #14: Many students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. I. Often students want to study at university outside their home countries. There are many reasons students choose to do this. Some of the reasons include: prestige, scholarship, and necessity. II. Prestige a. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. b. Students may get a better education outside their home country. c. Students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. III. Scholarship a. Some students may get scholarships to study abroad b. Some students may pay less to study abroad c. Some students may feel the programs are better abroad IV. Necessity a. Some students may not be accepted to a home country university b. Some students may have no other choice but to study abroad c. Some students may feel it is necessary to get the best education V. In short, students study abroad for a number of reasons. Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are determined to succeed in their studies. TOEFL question #15: People do many different things to stay healthy. What do you do for good health? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. Staying healthy is important. I stay healthy by eating well, doing lots of exercise and getting plenty of sleep. II. Eating well a. Eat from all the food groups (meat, fruits & vegetables, dairy, breads) b. Don’t eat junk food like McDonalds c. Eat correct amounts of food (not too much – gain weight; not too little – underweight) III. Doing lots of exercise a. Ride my bicycle to work everyday (5 kilometers) b. Swim every weekend (20 laps) c. Walk for 30 minutes three times a week IV. Getting plenty of sleep a. Try to sleep about 8 hours each night b. Have a regular schedule for sleep (go to bed, wake up at the same time) c. Don’t take unnecessary naps during the day (disrupts nighttime sleep) V. In short, I am very healthy because I eat well, exercise everyday and sleep well. People need to have good habits in order to stay healthy. TOEFL question #16: 7 Movies are popular all over the world. Explain why movies are so popular. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. I. People all over the world enjoy movies. There are many reasons movies are popular. They offer an escape, they provide entertainment and they are generally available everywhere. II. Movies offer an escape a. Some people go to the movies to see how others live b. If you are poor, it is a way to escape that life for a few hours III. Movies provide entertainment a. Movies are fun to watch b. Movies let you imagine what other people’s lives are like c. Movies let you see what you can’t see in your own environment (travel all over the world in a movie) IV. Movies are available everywhere a. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town, all over the world b. If there is no theater, there is usually a video store with movies V. In short, there are many reasons that people enjoy movies. They provide entertainment for some and an escape for others. They all you to dream and show you worlds you might not otherwise see. TOEFL question #17: Every generation of people is different in important ways. How is your generation different from your parents’ generation? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer. I. Each generation is unique. My parents’ generation is different from my generation in many ways such as: employment, dress, and values. II. Employment a. In my parents’ generation, the husband usually worked and the wife did not. In my generation, 75% of wives work. b. There were many more small, locally owned businesses in my parents’ generation, now there are many more large corporations. III. Dress a. My parents dressed more conservatively...shirts and ties, long dresses. In my generation, people wear anything...short shorts, tight jeans, etc. b. In my parents’ generation, they had to dress up for work but in my generation, more casual dress is usually the norm. IV. Values a. My parents value things like eating dinner together, taking a drive in the country, going to a movie together or attending church. b. In my generation, people are more materialistic and value things: computers, stereos, cars, big houses, and nice yards. V. In short, there are a number of differences in my parents’ generation and in my generation. However, that does not mean one is better than the other...they are just different. TOEFL question #18: You have the opportunity to visit a foreign country for two weeks. Which country would you like to visit? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice. 8 I. If I could visit any country in the world for two weeks, I would choose to go to Switzerland. There are many reasons for this choice. II. History a. My ancestors come from Switzerland and I would like to see where they lived b. I could learn more about the history of the country by visiting & see important places III. Beauty a. Switzerland is mountainous and I enjoy going to the mountains b. There are lots of green valleys and high mountains IV. The People a. I could learn more about the culture and customs of my ancestors b. I have heard the people are very friendly and accommodating V. In conclusion, I would like to visit Switzerland to learn more about my own history. I could learn about my ancestors; how they lived, their customs and culture. TOEFL question #19: People remember special gifts or presents that they have received. Why? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. People often remember gifts they were given when the gift was given for a special occasion. They also remember gifts because of the person who gave the gift or because of the meaning of the gift itself. II. Special occasion a. People remember gifts given for special occasions (birthday, graduation, etc) because it is a big day in a person’s life. b. I was given a very special necklace on my 10th birthday. It had a picture of my mother in it so it was special to me. III. Special person a. People remember the gift because of the special person who gave it to them (grandparent, professor, neighbor) b. My favorite professor gave me a special book when I graduated from college. The fact that he gave it to me made it very special. IV. Meaning of the gift a. People remember gifts that have special meaning (a piece of jewelry you always wanted, a special toy or book). b. I received a beautiful ring that I had wanted for many years but couldn’t afford. When I got the gift, it became very special to me. V. There are many reasons that people remember the gifts they receive. The gift may not be the most important thing. It may be the person who gave the gift of the occasion for the gift. Whatever the reason, gifts are fun to receive but even more fun to give. TOEFL question #20: A friend of yours has received some money and plans to use all of it either to go on vacation or to buy a car. Your friend has asked you for advice. Compare your friend’s two choices and explain which one you think your friend should choose. Use specific reasons and details to support your choice. 9 I. There are good reasons to take a vacation and equally good reasons to buy a car. After comparing the two, I would advise my friend to take a vacation rather than to buy a car. II. Longevity a. A car will last about 8 – 10 years but the memories of a vacation will last a lifetime. III. Experience a. A car will take you many places and give you many interesting experiences but a vacation will take you to places that a car cannot and allow you to learn about other cultures. IV. Cost a. A car will cost you more than the purchase price...you need to do maintenance, fill it with gas and keep it in good condition but the cost of a vacation will not increase after you have finished the vacation. V. In conclusion, a vacation will last much longer than a car and cost less overall. My friend should choose to take a vacation that will last a lifetime. As for transportation, he can take the bus! TOEFL question #21: Some high schools require all students to wear school uniforms. Other high schools permit students to decide what to wear to school. Which of these two school policies do you think is better? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. I. There are schools which require school uniforms and those which do not. I feel that school uniforms should be required. Uniforms give all students equality, identity and pride. II. Uniforms give students equality a. All students do not have the same financial resources and can’t afford expensive clothes. Uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. b. For example: Student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can’t. It would be very obvious who was poor and who was not. III. Uniforms give identity a. Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform b. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. c. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well, others will know which school that person is from. IV. Uniforms give pride a. If a sports team does well, students can feel proud together of that accomplishment b. If a student is a good musician, others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates c. Students can “advertise” their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. V. Overall, I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. Students can feel equal to one another. They can feel a sense of identity and pride that they wouldn’t be able to feel as well if they didn’t wear uniforms. TOEFL question #22: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People are never satisfied with what they have; they always want something more or something different. Use specific reasons to support your answer. I. I feel that people are rarely satisfied with what they have. Most people strive to have more or better things. For some people that means a better lifestyle, better material possessions or a better job. 10 II. Better lifestyle a. People often��want a bigger house b. They want a comfortable life (not much stress, a relaxing life) c. They want to be able to go places and do many things (vacations, theater, sporting events, etc.) III. Better material possessions a. People never seem satisfied with what they have. b. For example: they want a better computer, a faster car, and a nicer stereo system. IV. Better job a. People never seem to be truly happy in their jobs b. People want more excitement, more responsibility in their jobs c. People want to make more money in their jobs d. People want to work less and make more! V. In conclusion, I think people are never really satisfied with their lives. Many feel their lives could always be better and they look for ways to improve their lives. TOEFL question #23: Some people prefer to spend their free time outdoors. Other people prefer so spend their leisure time indoors. Would you prefer to be outside or would you prefer to be inside for your leisure activities? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your choice. I. Some people enjoy doing activities indoors and other people enjoy doing activities outdoors. I prefer to spend my free time outdoors because I enjoy outdoor activities more than indoor activities. I enjoy the outdoor atmosphere and I can get better exercise outdoors. II. Outdoor activities a. I enjoy almost all outdoor activities and very few indoor activities b. For example: riding my bike, playing soccer, and playing tennis III. Outdoor atmosphere a. I enjoy both the cold weather and the warm weather b. I like to see nature (trees, flowers, grass) c. I like to experience the sunshine as well as the rain and snow IV. Better exercise a. Most of my activities center around exercise and you get more exercise outdoors than indoors. b. For example: compare riding a bike and sewing c. For example: compare playing tennis and reading a book V. In conclusion, I prefer being outdoors. There are many outdoor activities that I enjoy and being in nature makes me feel comfortable and alive. TOEFL question #24: A gift (such as a camera, a soccer ball, or an animal) can contribute to a child’s development. What gift would you give to help a child develop? Why? Use reasons and specific examples to support your choice. I. Giving a present to a child is an opportunity to help that child develop. When I give a gift to a child I usually give a book. A book can teach lessons; it can help a child learn to read and it can help a child learn about others. II. A book can teach lessons a. Most books for children have a message 11 b. For example: how to get along with others, how to be a good friend, how not to hurt others. III. A book can help a child learn to read a. Reading is a necessity. Children learn about words and sentences from books. b. For example: read to a child and they begin to recognize sounds for each letter c. For example: help a child sound out words in a story and they will begin to do it for themselves. IV. A child can learn about others a. Many stories are about children from other countries, so children learn customs and cultures of other countries b. Children can learn about old people, sick people, religious people, etc. V. In conclusion, I enjoy giving a book to a child when I give a gift. I think it is one of the best ways for a child to learn about the world and develop a good sense of self. TOEFL question #25: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources, such as forests, animals, or clean water. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. I. Natural resources are something that we all need, but many are disappearing. In my opinion, forests need to be saved because they provide a home for animals, resources for people and beauty. II. A home for animals a. There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die, they die too. b. Rain forest: many insects, birds, animals depend on it for survival. III. Resources for people a. Forests provide building materials for people b. Forests provide fuel for people IV. Beauty a. Forests are beautiful to look at and walk through b. For example: hike in the forest, look at all the flowers c. For example: take photographs V. In short, forests are a natural resource that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. TOEFL question #26: Decisions can be made quickly, or they can be made after careful thought. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The decisions that people make quickly are always wrong. Use specific examples to support your opinion. I. People make decisions in different ways. Some do so quickly and others take a lot of time. I do not believe that you must always take a lot of time making a decision. Sometimes it is better to make a quick decision. II. You may lose an opportunity a. If you always take a long time to make decisions, you may lose an opportunity to do something. b. For example: your friend has two tickets to a sporting event but you have to decide immediately whether you want to go or not. c. For example: you have a chance to meet the president of your country but you must act right away. 12 III. You may put yourself or others in danger a. For example: driving requires that you make quick decisions to avoid accidents b. For example: someone may be choking and you need to help immediately or they could die. c. For example: a child may run into the street and you need to react right away to save him/her IV. Spontaneous decisions can be the most fun a. People should occasionally live spontaneously in order to enjoy life b. For example: you unexpectedly decide to buy a friend a gift even though there is no special occasion...get enjoyment out of giving the gift V. In conclusion, it is wise to think through important decisions but you should not always have to take a lot of time making decisions. Sometimes the best decisions are the ones you make spontaneously. TOEFL question #27: You need to travel from your home to a place 40 miles (64 kilometers) away. Compare the different kinds of transportation you could use. Tell which method of travel you would choose. Give specific reasons for your choice. I. I live in a big city and there are many options for traveling. If I had to travel 64 kilometers from my home I could choose a car, a train or a bus. I would choose my own car for several reasons. II. My car is quicker a. When you take a bus or train you have to go on their schedule (which may be limited). When I take my own car, I can travel on MY schedule b. Buses and trains are not as direct as cars. They must stop to pick up people so it takes longer to go by bus or train. III. My car is cheaper & more convenient a. If I have to travel 64 kilometers from my home, it will cost only a few dollars in gas, but a bus or train would cost about 10 times as much. b. In my car, I can listen to music or sing a song but on a bus or a train these activities would bother the other passengers. IV. I trust myself more than the bus driver or train conductor a. If I drive myself, I am in control. If I take a bus or train, someone else is in control and I don’t know if that person has been drinking, is depressed, etc. I feel safer if I drive. b. I prefer to drive in varying weather conditions because I don’t like to be a passenger in these conditions. I feel that I have no control over the vehicle. V. In short, I would take my own car if I had to travel far from my home. It is quicker, cheaper, more convenient and safer than either a bus or a train. TOEFL question #28: People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties 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. I. People experience stress in their daily lives. There are many ways to alleviate stress, but I think the best ways include reading and walking. II. Reading provides an escape a. When you read a book, you can escape from your own life and read about someone else’s life b. You can forget about your problems and enjoy the story 13 c. You can pretend that you are a character in the story and imagine your life as a different person, away from the stress. III. Walking provides physical activity and mental relaxation a. Walking is a nice way to forget about stressful things b. For example: you can look at the scenery, think about pleasant things c. Physical activity helps the mind relax, so it reduces stress IV. In conclusion, people relieve stress in different ways. What is useful for one person may not be useful for another so you should experiment and see what works best for you! TOEFL question #29: Schools should ask students to evaluate their teachers. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. Teachers are important to schools and they should be good at their jobs. One way to know if they are effective is to have students evaluate them. II. Teachers need to be evaluated by the students who learn from them a. Students have contact with their teachers everyday. Their evaluation would be useful to the administration. b. Students are honest. If a teacher is bad or if a teacher is good, students will say so III. Teachers need to get information about their own teaching from more than one source. a. Teachers are evaluated by administration b. Teachers should be evaluated by students (for another opinion) c. Perhaps teachers should even be evaluated by other teachers (for a third opinion) IV. Teachers should not be afraid of student evaluations a. If teachers are doing a good job, they will not fear more evaluations b. If teachers are not doing a good job, the school can fire the teacher c. If teachers need some extra help, they can take more classes to improve their teaching V. In short, if students evaluate their teachers, everyone wins. The students give input on their teacher’s skills and the teachers really understand how well they are teaching their lessons and how well their students are learning. TOEFL question #30: Some people like to travel with a companion. Other people prefer to travel alone. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice. I. Some people travel alone and others travel with a companion. There are pros and cons to each. I prefer to travel with a companion. A companion provides someone to talk to, someone to share the experience with and someone to share the cost with. II. Someone to talk to a. Traveling can be lonely especially if you are alone. If you have a friend with you, you always have someone to talk to. b. For example: talk about the place you are visiting, talk about mutual friends, talk about serious subjects, talk about anything. III. Someone to share the experience with a. If you travel alone, all your experiences are your own, but if you go with someone you will always have that in common (memories) in later life 14 b. You can each give your opinion about the new places you are going or the new things you are seeing. This is especially important when traveling to a new country. IV. Someone to share the cost with a. Traveling is not cheap, you can share the cost of many things b. For example: hotel rooms, groceries, tolls, etc. V. To conclude, I prefer to travel with a companion so I can have someone to talk to, share all the new experiences and share the costs. TOEFL question #31: In general, people are living longer now. Discuss the causes of this phenomenon. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. I. People’s life expectancy is longer now than in the past. This is due to many factors. Some of the factors include: medical advances, better food & water, more awareness of what is healthy. II. Medical advances a. Over the years, scientists have developed better medicines that can cure more illnesses b. Scientists have developed immunizations that are given to small children so they won’t get sick. c. Scientists have learned more about the human body and how it works III. Better food and water a. In most countries, the sanitation has improved. People have learned that clean food & water is important to health. b. For example: more rules govern the production of food c. For example: purifying water has become more common IV. Awareness of what is healthy a. People are better educated about what causes illness b. People know not to eat certain foods that are not clean c. People have more time to learn about healthy versus unhealthy conditions V. In conclusion, people are living longer for many reasons. Many people are simply healthier than in the past and are better educated about what will keep them healthy. TOEFL question #32: It has recently been announced that a large shopping center may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. I support the idea of a new shopping center being built in my neighborhood. A new shopping center will provide jobs. It will mean that people do not have to travel a long distance to shop and it will give people a convenient meeting place. II. Provide jobs a. A shopping center generally has many, many stores. These stores will employ many people and give them new skills. b. People won’t have to travel a long way to find jobs c. Students could work parttime jobs and get some spending money III. People won’t have to travel long distances a. The nearest shopping center is about 30 kilometers away. b. There are only four small stores in my town and there is no variety 15 IV. A good meeting place a. People can meet to shop together or have lunch together b. It is a safe place for people to meet c. It is a convenient place to get together with friends because it is near our homes V. A shopping center would be good for my town. People would be able to find jobs; they would have the convenience of shopping nearby and they would have a good place to meet friends. I definitely support the plan! TOEFL question #33: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. I. I feel that communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. II. Television is passive a. When people watch television, they do not talk with one another b. People enjoy the relaxation of watching television, but forget that communication is important c. Many people watch television in order to relax, but that means they give less time to family and friends. III. Television often causes arguments a. Family members argue about what to watch on tv b. Friends argue about programs they see on tv c. Children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on tv. IV. Television rarely promotes good conversation a. People don’t usually talk about a program unless they want to argue about it b. The people on tv are not real, so we often don’t have anything in common with them c. The more time we spend watching tv, the less time we spend talking V. In conclusion, television has destroyed communication between family and friends. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with tv...this is destructive. TOEFL question #34: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People should sometimes do things that they do NOT enjoy doing. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. I believe that it can be very good for people to do things they do not enjoy doing. It allows people to have new experiences, to grow as a person and to see that new things can be fun. II. New experiences a. People need to have new experiences. They may find out that what they thought they did not enjoy, they really do enjoy. b. For example: public speaking is difficult, but it can be good to try it c. For example: someone is afraid of the water, but one day you may be in a situation where you have to swim (to save someone) III. Grow as a person a. If you limit yourself, you do not grow; you will not be wellrounded b. If you are afraid to try new things, you will always remain the same and never change c. For example: a friend didn’t want to go camping...then she went and had a great time 16 IV. New things can be fun a. Some people have the idea that new things are scary, but they can be fun b. People may have heard bad things about a certain activity and believe that they will have a bad experience (people who are afraid to fly). V. To conclude, it is good to try new things, even things you think you will not like because you will usually be surprised. Doing things you don’t like to do means you are an open, adventurous person which is better than being a dull, uninteresting person. TOEFL question #35: A person you know is planning to move to your town or city. What do you think this person would like and dislike about living in your town or city? Why? Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay. I. I live in a very nice city and there are many wonderful things about my city. My friend is planning to move here very soon. I know that she will enjoy the cultural activities and the outdoor sports, but she will not like the summer and winter weather. II. Cultural activities a. the theater b. the opera c. many museums d. art galleries III. Outdoor activities a. swimming and fishing b. bicycle riding and tennis c. crosscountry skiing and skating d. long walks and rollerblading IV. The weather a. The summers are hot and humid (for example: 40 degrees C and humid) b. The winters are cold and wet (for example: 25 degrees C with lots of snow) c. Fall and spring are quite pleasant V. In short, my city has a lot to offer. There are many cultural activities and outdoor activities, but some people will not like the hot summers and the cold winters. Overall, one gets used to the negative things because there are so many positive things. TOEFL question #36: Is it better to enjoy your money when you earn it or is it better to save your money for some time in the future? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. I. Many people like to spend their money when they earn it and other like to save their money for the future. In my opinion, it is good to enjoy a small amount of money when you earn it and save a larger amount for the future. II. People need to enjoy their money a. Spend money for entertainment, new clothes or material goods...within reason (don’t spend too much) b. If you don’t enjoy some of your money when you earn it, you will live a dull life c. It is good to budget money for necessities (rent and clothing) and for fun things (vacations) III. People need to save their money a. If people don’t save some money for the future, they could have problems 17 b. For example: no money for a medical emergency c. For example: no money for children’s college d. For example: no money for retirement IV. To conclude, people need to budget their money and spend it wisely. The majority of one’s earnings should be kept for the future, but one should also enjoy some of their money when they earn it. TOEFL question #37: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Facetoface communication is better than other types of communication, such as letters, email, or telephone calls. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. I believe that facetoface communication is better than other forms of communication. It is more personal, more effective and more honest. II. More personal a. When you talk to a person facetoface, it is more personal. You see them, their actions, and their feelings. When you write a letter or email, you do not get this same kind of experience. III. More effective a. Facetoface communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other persons expression and feelings about a topic. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation. b. For example: you want to ask your boss for a raise, but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted...then you would wait for another time. IV. More honest a. Body language is more effective than spoken language b. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures (you can’t get this with email, letters and telephone conversations). V. In short, facetoface communication is better than other forms of communication. Most people have more personal, effective and honest conversations when they meet facetoface. TOEFL question #38: Some movies are serious, designed to make the audience think. Other movies are designed primarily to amuse and entertain. Which type of movie do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. There are many kinds of movies. Some are serious and thoughtprovoking while others are pure entertainment. Both kinds of movies are interesting, but I prefer those which amuse and entertain for a number of reasons. II. Stressful job a. I have a stressful job, so I go to the movies to relax b. Serious movies require some thought and analysis. I don’t want to do that because I spend all day on the job doing that. c. I think laughter relieves stress, so I usually enjoy comedies. III. Movie analysis a. When people go to a serious movie they usually like to talk about it afterwards and discuss the plot, but I only go to the movies to be entertained. b. Some people spend too much time analyzing movies and not enough time enjoying them IV. When I go to the movies, I want to be entertained. I do not want to have to think too deeply about the plot or the characters. I like being able to laugh and relax when I see a movie and that is why I prefer “light” movies to “heavy” movies. 18 TOEFL question #39: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People behave differently when they wear different clothes. Do you agree that different clothes influence the way people behave? Use specific examples to support your answer. I. People dress differently in different situations and I believe that the way they dress affects their behavior. There are several reasons why I feel this is true. II. Work environment a. People often dress formally in a work environment and their behavior is also somewhat formal with their boss and colleagues. b. For example: you respect the opinions of others, treat them equally. III. Play environment a. People dress casually when they play sports, for example, and their way of speaking is also usually casual (eg: you don’t use the same language when you play sports as you do when you are talking with your boss) IV. Formal gathering a. People wear very formal clothes at a wedding, the opera or a fancy party and their behavior is also very formal. People use formal speech and behave very properly. V. Very informal gatherings a. University parties, beer party, etc. People tend to dress very informally and their language and behavior is, likewise, very informal. (eg: people tend to use slang, idioms, curse words) VI. There is an expression, “Clothes make the man.” This means that how one dresses affects how one behaves. I definitely think there is a connection between what one wears and how one acts. TOEFL question #40: Some people like doing work by hand. Others prefer using machines. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. There are those people who enjoy doing work by hand and others who enjoy using machines. I prefer to do work using machines because they tend to be faster, more accurate and make the job easier. II. Machines are faster a. Example: calculator versus your mind b. Example: washing machine versus doing laundry by hand (25 minutes / 60 minutes) c. Example: computer to find information versus searching through books III. Machines are more accurate a. Example: calculators are usually more accurate than my brain b. Example: computer with spell check versus my spelling skills c. Example: a temperature gauge versus standing outside to determine the temperature IV. Machines make the job easier a. Example: cutting the grass with a lawn mower versus cutting it with a hand tool b. Example: typing on a computer versus writing by hand c. Example: using an electronic dictionary versus a paper dictionary 19 V. In short, I prefer to use machines than to work by hand because machines are faster, more accurate and make the job easier. The time that I save can be spent doing things I really enjoy. TOEFL question #41: 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. If I were told that I had to share my university dormitory room with another person, I would want to choose my own roommate. There are several reasons for my decision. II. Familiarity & comfort a. At a new university, many things are new so it would be nice to have the familiarity of someone I know as my roommate. b. If my roommate and I already know each other, we will not have to spend a lot of time getting to know each other. c. If we know each other’s preferences, we can live together harmoniously from the beginning d. A new person might have certain expectations and this could lead to arguments e. A new person might be completely opposite from me (eg: she likes to party and I don’t, she doesn’t like to study but I do, she likes to sleep late but I don’t, she likes to get up late but I like to get up early, etc.) III. In short, I would be more comfortable with a roommate that I already know. We would both know each others expectations and there would not be any unpleasant surprises. There are enough new experiences at university that I would not want my roommate to be yet another new experience. TOEFL question #42: Some people say that physical exercise should be a required part of every school day. Other people believe that students should spend the whole school day on academic studies. Which opinion do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. I. There are those people who think physical exercise should be daily part of school. Others think that the entire day should be spent on academics. I agree with the former and believe that physical education should be a part of every school day. Physical education helps make students wellrounded; it helps them relieve stress and it keeps them fit. II. Students will be wellrounded a. Students learn about academic subjects, but it is also important to learn about games, sports and physical fitness. b. Physical education classes help students understand how to work together as a team III. Physical activity relieves stress a. Students feel stressed when studying academic subjects, physical education is a good break from cerebral topics b. For example: when students run or play, their bodies and minds are able to relax IV. Physical education classes help students remain fit a. Playing games and using one’s body is good for health b. Example: students who never exercise tend to be fatter and don’t eat or feel as good as those who do exercise. V. In short, physical education is an important part of a students learning. Students need both academics and physical activity to be wellrounded and fit. TOEFL question #43: 20 What do you consider to be the most important room in a house? Why is this room more important to you than any other room? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. I. There are many rooms in a house and each serves a purpose, but I feel that the most important room in a house is the kitchen. The kitchen provides food, conversation and history. II. The kitchen provides food a. Food which nourishes the body is prepared here b. Family members spend time eating here c. Cooking successes and failures happen here III. The kitchen provides conversation a. The kitchen is often the place where family members gather to talk b. For example: talk about work, school, and problems IV. The kitchen provides history a. With all the activities that happen in the kitchen, it includes a lot of history. b. For example: family members remember past events and conversations c. For example: family members talk about their own futures and pasts V. The kitchen is a place that is full of nourishment both for the body and for the soul. It provides family members a place to eat and talk and share hopes and dreams. TOEFL question #44: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Only people who earn a lot of money are successful. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. I do not agree that only people who earn a lot of money are successful. Money is only one measure of success; there are many other ways to determine success. II. Being a good person a. If a person lives his/her life in a good way, that person is a success (kind, considerate, helpful) b. Example: Mother Teresa who had no money was certainly successful in her work with the poor in India. III. Fulfillment in one’s job a. If one feels s/he is doing a good job, s/he does not have to be rich to be successful b. Example: salesman who makes enough money to live on but enjoys his work c. Example: teacher who makes little money, but educates many children IV. Fulfillment in one’s personal life a. If a person has a happy home life, s/he does not have to be rich to feel successful b. Example: someone who raises happy and healthy children V. In conclusion, money is not the only measure of success. There are many people who have little money who are also successful. TOEFL question #45: What are some of the qualities of a good parent? Use specific details and examples to explain your answer. I. The qualities of a good parent should include being a good listener, a good provider and a good role model. II. A good listener 21 a. Parents should not assume they know what their children are thinking, they should listen b. Example: A child may say that s/he doesn’t like school...a parent needs to listen and try to solve the problem c. Example: A child may have problems with a neighbor...a parent should listen to the child and help him/ her with it III. A good provider a. Example: provide good, healthy food at least three times a day b. Example: provide shelter (house or apartment in which to live) c. Example: provide clothing IV. A good role model a. Example: a parent should not smoke b. Example: a parent should not drink c. Example: a parent should not use bad words around children V. In conclusion, there are many qualities that parents should possess. Three of the most important are that they should be good listeners, good providers and good role models. If children grow up with parents who have these qualities, they will surely thrive. TOEFL question #46: Some students prefer to study alone. Others prefer to study with a group of students. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. There are those students who like to study alone and others who like to study with a group. In general, I prefer to study with a group because you can get many different perspectives, you can share the work and you can feel more confident. II. Get many different perspectives a. Everyone has different opinions. When you study in a group, all the students can voice opinions. b. Hearing other opinions lets you think more deeply and analytically about a subject c. Example: you have to read a difficult passage and you can discuss the meaning all together and help each other understand it better III. Share the work a. Example: you do a project with two other people...everyone can do onethird of the research rather than 100% b. Example: each person read one chapter from the textbook and summarize it for the others. c. Example: one person take notes in a lecture one day and another person take notes in a lecture the next day and then share the notes. IV. Feel more confident a. When you share ideas, you feel more sure of yourself b. Example: give opinions and have others agree with you V. In short, studying with a group can be very beneficial. I, personally, enjoy getting different opinions, sharing the work and feeling more confident. TOEFL question #47: You have decided to give several hours of your time each month to improve the community where you live. What is one thing you will do to improve your community? Why? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice. 22 I. In order to improve the community where I live, I will choose to clean up the environment. There are many reasons for my choice. I want to improve the appearance of my community. I feel a sense of pride in helping to clean up and community involvement is important. II. Improve the appearance a. People throw trash out their windows...it needs to be cleaned up b. Example: clean near the busy roads c. Example: clean in parks III. Sense of pride a. I think cleaning up the community give a sense of pride b. I like my town and I want it to look nice c. You feel good when you do something for others IV. Community involvement is important a. People feel more connected to a community when they help improve it b. Example: if you help clean up you are less likely to make it dirty again c. Example: you feel that you belong when you have helped to make something better V. To conclude, I would help clean up my community in order to enhance the appearance of the community, get a sense of pride and feel involved. I think it is important to care about the community in which you live. TOEFL question #48: When people need to complain about a product or poor service, some prefer to complain in writing and others prefer to complain in person. Which way do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. I. Complaining about a product or service is necessary sometimes. It is never easy to do this. I prefer to complain in writing because I can be clearer and I feel more comfortable when I write my complaint. II. I can be clearer a. Writing gives me more time to express my ideas b. Example: you can take a long time to write a letter, but if you complain in person, you only have a few minutes. c. Example: I can choose the best words in a letter, but in person sometimes you get nervous and choose the wrong words. III. I feel more comfortable a. I don’t like facetoface confrontation – it makes me uncomfortable b. I prefer not to see how someone reacts to my complaints c. I don’t mind waiting for my complaint to be solved IV. In conclusion, complaining is not easy and that is why I prefer to complain in writing rather than in person. When I write, I can choose my words carefully and I feel more comfortable. TOEFL question #49: Students at universities often have a choice of places to live. They may choose to live in university dormitories, or they may choose to live in apartments in the community. Compare the advantages of living in university housing with the advantages of living in an apartment in the community. Where would you prefer to live? Give reasons for your preference. I. When students enter university they have many housing options. There are advantages to living in a dormitory and there are advantages to living in an apartment. I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. 23 II. Advantages of living in a dormitory a. You don’t have to cook for yourself b. There are always a lot of people around so you won’t feel lonely c. There is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry d. You don’t have to get your own phone, groceries or furniture. e. The dormitory is usually very safe III. Advantages of living in an apartment a. You can cook for yourself and eat any kind of food you want, you do not have to eat only food available in a cafeteria (as you would in a dorm) b. You usually have a lot of space in an apartment (but only one small room in a dormitory) c. There are not so many people around, so it is usually less noisy than a dorm d. You can feel more independent in an apartment (you get your own phone, groceries, furniture, etc.) IV. Overall, I prefer to live in an apartment because I can be more independent. I can cook for myself, have more space, not have so many people around and do more things for myself. TOEFL question #50: People work because they need money to live. What are some other reasons that people work? Discuss one or more of these reasons. Use specific examples and details to support your answer. I. People work for many reasons. The main reason is that they need money in order to live. Other reasons that people work are to feel a sense of accomplishment and to contribute to society. II. Sense of accomplishment a. You feel good when you have done a job well b. Example: as a teacher, you see your students learn and progress c. Example: as a doctor, you help patients get better d. Example: as a carpenter, you build houses and see the people who buy them and enjoy them. e. Example: as a social worker, you help children who have no one else to help them f. Example: as a farmer, you grow crops and feed others III. Contribute to society a. You feel like you are helping society b. You belong to a company which is part of the community (sense of belonging) c. You are a productive member of society (you DO something rather than doing nothing) d. Other people value what you do. They need your services (lawyer, teacher, etc.) IV. In short, people work for many reasons. Besides the need to earn money, people also work to get a sense of accomplishment and to contribute to society. Working makes people feed needed and useful. 24