There are two writing tasks on the next generation TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT). The first is an integrated task that requires test takers to read, listen, and then write in response to what they have read and heard. The second is an independent task where test takers support an opinion on a topic. Below is an example of each type, responses at each score level, with annotations that explain why the response received its score. The rubric or scoring guide for Writing describes the characteristics of responses at each level for both independent and integrated writing tasks.
Task 1: The Reading-Listening-Writing Integrated Task
Via computer delivery, examinees are given some time to read and take notes if they wish about a reading passage. They then listen to a lecture and are allowed to take notes during the lecture. The reading passage then reappears along with a question and examinees are given 20 minutes to key in their responses. The reading passage remains present and examinees can use their notes. Examinees are told in the instructions in advance of this writing task • • • • that their response will be evaluated for content (accuracy and completeness), and for appropriate use of language and sentence structure; that their response should show that they understand the major ideas and important information in the passage and lecture, and their relationship; and that “This writing task is not asking for your opinion; it is asking you to give an answer, in an organized and well-written way, based on the information in the passage you read and short lecture you heard.” that typically an effective response would be 150-225 words.
READING First examinees see the following reading passage on their computer screen for three minutes: In many organizations, perhaps the best way to approach certain new projects is to assemble a group of people into a team. Having a team of people attack a project offers several advantages. First of all, a group of people has a wider range of knowledge, expertise, and skills than any single individual is likely to possess. Also, because of the numbers of people involved and the greater resources they possess, a group can work more quickly in response to the task assigned to it and can come up with highly creative solutions to problems and issues. Sometimes these creative solutions come about because a group is more likely to make risky decisions that an individual might not undertake. This is because the group spreads responsibility for a decision to all the members and thus no single individual can be held accountable if the decision turns out to be wrong. Taking part in a group process can be very rewarding for members of the team. Team members who have a voice in making a decision will no doubt feel better about carrying
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out the work that is entailed by that decision than they might doing work that is imposed on them by others. Also, the individual team member has a much better chance to “shine,” to get his or her contributions and ideas not only recognized but recognized as highly significant, because a team’s overall results can be more far-reaching and have greater impact than what might have otherwise been possible for the person to accomplish or contribute working alone. A narrator then says, “Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.” Then examinees listen to and can take notes on the following lecture, the script of which is given below. LISTEN They view: A picture of a male professor standing in front of a class They listen to: (Professor) Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the team responsible for...