TOEFL iBT Writing Practice: “I re-wrote (error corrected) your independent writing practice test 4.”

Hello TOEFLers,

Quite often, students will pay me to error correct independent or integrated writing practice tests.  These students want to know specifically what score they would get on the writing section of the TOEFL exam and why.  In addition, these students also want to know what changes they need to make in their writing so that it will score 5.0/5.0 or 30/30 points. Finally, these students want me to take inventory of their writing weaknesses and to explain to them how they can overcome these issues.

Ana, one of my Online TOEFL Course “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT” students, paid for this additional service, and here is the writing prompt along with her response:

Dear Michael,

Enclosed in this e-mail is my TOEFL Independent or Integrated Writing Practice Test 4 along my Pay Pal receipt. Please make all the necessary grammar and writing corrections in this essay, so I can see what I need to do to score higher.

Thanks,

A.G.

Independent Writing Test 4

Topic: 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.

Answer:

Score: 3.25/5.0 or 21/30 points

It goes without saying that modern life is stressful. People undergo numerous problems while they are at work, when stuck in traffic, and when they have to rush home to take care of their families. The price that we pay for our dense in events life is never-ending stress. However, there is no doubt it can be diminished. Every person has his own recipe of stress reduction. The years of practice showed that the best way to escape the stress for me is a long walk with a friend. It gives me the chance to physically distract my stress and relief my psychological tension at the same time.

It is important to remember that stress is a physical condition, so it can be reduced by a balanced physical activity which switches my body towards working in different direction. If I got stuck with the problems that overwhelm my mind, I just need to give myself another task. Walking a few miles is a perfect exercise that leads to improvement of blood circulation and activates muscle movement of my body; therefore, the organism works more vigorously, the brain is more active, my thoughts become more clear, and the stress is less noticeable.

Walking with a friend  not only is a good physiological destruction of my body from the stress but also is a great chance to decrease psychological tension caused by my problems. I can share my concerns with my friend and get a good advice about how to deal with them if I ask for it. Additionally, when I state my problems out loud, it helps me to organize my own thoughts and to create my own script of dealing with them. I guess while escaping the stress, the importance of friendships lies in the fact that good friend is the one who simply can listen.

As easy as it sounds, walking and talking is my best way to relief my stressful conditions. Since our bodies are complex structures in which both psychological and physiological factors are tightly interconnected, it is important to work on my stress from both sides in order to suppress it and keep on going with my stress free life.

Below is the edited version of the essay she wrote:

Score: 5.0/5.0 or 30/30 points

It goes without saying that modern life is stressful. People undergo numerous problems while they are at work, when stuck in traffic, and when they have to rush home to take care of their families. The price that we pay for our success in life is never-ending stress. However, what is the best way to reduce stress in our lives during these challenging moments? Even though every person has his own recipe of stress reduction, the years of practice show that the best way to escape the stress for me is a long walk with a friend. It gives me the chance to physically distract my stress and relieve my psychological tension at the same time.

First of all, a long walk helps to distract my stress because my body is concentrated more on the physical activity and not on the day-to-day worries of my life. Stress is a physical condition, so it can be reduced by a balanced physical activity which switches my body towards working in a different direction. For example, if I get stuck with a problem of a difficult task that I am trying to complete in my job as a physical therapist, I simply go out for a walk to distract my brain from that worry. Walking a few miles leads to improvement of blood circulation and activates muscle movement of my body; therefore, my body works more vigorously, the brain is more active, my thoughts become more clear, and the stress is less noticeable in the sense that I am now focusing more on the activity of walking and less on the difficult situation at work.

Second of all, walking with a friend not only is a good physiological distraction of my body from the stress but also is a great chance to decrease psychological tension caused by my problems. For instance, if my supervisor is going to evaluate my performance as a physical therapist to determine if I am worthy of getting a raise and if I am worried a lot about that performance review, I can share my concerns with my friend and get good advice about how to prepare for that evaluation. Additionally, stating my problems out loud helps me to organize my own thoughts and to create my own script of dealing with them. I guess, while escaping the stress, the importance of friendships lies in the fact that a good friend is the one who simply can listen. At the very least, knowing that I have a good friend makes me less depressed and helps me deal with my difficult stresses in my job, so I feel that I am psychologically more healthy because of this.

As easy as it sounds, walking and talking are my best ways of relieving my stressful conditions. Since our bodies are complex structures in which both psychological and physiological factors are tightly interconnected, it is important to work on my stress from both sides in order to suppress it and keep on going with my stress-free life.

Watch the following video to see what changes I made to the essay, why I made those changes, what Ana’s specific writing problems are, and how she can overcome them:

Cordially,

Michael Buckhoff, TOEFL iBT Writing Specialist

 

 

 

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