155 TOEFL Independent Writing Topics

You need to practice for the writing sections? Try this list of past TOEFL independent writing questions, published by ETS (the people who make the TOEFL test).

These are also good for practicing independent speaking questions, too — just give yourself 45 seconds to talk on these subjects. 

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.

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

3. Nowadays, food has become easier to prepare. Has this change improved the way people live? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

155 TOEFL Independent Writing Topics

155 TOEFL Independent Writing Topics

4. It has been said, “Not everything that is learned is contained in books.” Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?

5. A company has announced that it wishes to build a large factory near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community. Do you support or oppose the factory? Explain your position.

6. If you could change one important thing about your hometown, what would you change? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

7. How do movies or television influence people’s behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. “When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success.” Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your position.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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 explain your answer.

15. Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbor? Use specific details and examples in your answer.

16. 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.

17. Some people think that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. Others think that it is always better to have a teacher. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons to develop your essay.

18. What are some important qualities of a good supervisor (boss)? Use specific details and examples to explain why these qualities are important.

What are some important qualities of a good supervisor (boss)?

What are some important qualities of a good supervisor (boss)?

19. Should governments spend more money on improving roads and highways, or should governments spend more money on improving public transportation (buses, trains, subways)? Why? Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

20. It is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a big city. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay.

21. In general, people are living longer now. Discuss the causes of this phenomenon. Use specific reasons and details to develop your essay.

22. We all work or will work in our jobs with many different kinds of people. In your opinion, what are some important characteristics of a co-worker (someone you work closely with)? Use reasons and specific examples to explain why these characteristics are important.

23. 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.

24. In some countries, teenagers have jobs while they are still students. Do you think this is a good idea? Support your opinion by using specific reasons and details.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. It has recently been announced that a new movie theater may be built in your neighborhood. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

28. 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.

29. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people such as public figures and celebrities. Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.

30. Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed (damaged) by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

31. It has recently been announced that a new high school may be built in your community. Do you support or oppose this plan? Why? Use specific reasons and details in your answer.

32. Some people spend their entire lives in one place. Others move a number of times throughout their lives, looking for a better job, house, community, or even climate. Which do you prefer: staying in one place or moving in search of another place? Use reasons and specific examples to support your opinion.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. You must select a person to teach others to do a job. Which one of the following is the most important for you to consider in making your selection?

  • the person’s education
  • the person’s work experience
  • the quality of the person’s previous work

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

36. Businesses should hire employees for their entire lives. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

37. Countries, businesses, and schools are three areas that need good leaders. Choose one of these three areas and describe the most important qualities of a leader in that area. Explain why these qualities are important, using specific examples and details.

38. Choose one of the following transportation vehicles and explain why you think it has changed people’s lives.

  • Automobiles
  • Bicycles
  • Airplanes

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Do you agree or disagree that progress is always good

Do you agree or disagree that progress is always good

39. Do you agree or disagree that progress is always good? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

40. Learning about the past has no value for those of us living in the present. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

41. The expression “Never, never give up” means to keep trying and never stop working for your goals. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

42. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the help of technology, students nowadays can learn more information and learn it more quickly. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

43. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Games are as important for adults as they are for children. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

44. Awards and prizes are given for excellence in various fields. Do these awards and prizes serve a useful purpose? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

45. Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

46. What is a very important skill a person should learn in order to be successful in the world today? Choose one skill and use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

47. Resolving problems between individuals or groups is important. What should be considered or kept in mind in resolving problems between individuals or groups? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

48. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Self-confidence is the most important factor for success in school or at work. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

49. Why do you think some people are attracted to dangerous sports or other dangerous activities? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

50. Which is more important for success: the natural ability you are born with or hard work? Explain your opinion, using specific reasons and examples.

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155 TOEFL Independent Writing Topics
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