ETS Writing Tests
The 3 writing tests all differ, 
but each contain the 30 minute independent writing question
TOEFL iBT Writing contains 
1x integrated writing (30m)
1x independent writing (30m)
TOEIC Writing contains 
5x single sentences
2x enquiry responses
1x independent writing (58%)
TWE contains
1x independent writing (100%)
Note that topics are similar, but not identical. Essays will be scored by at least 2 assessors.
Scoring Rubrics are on 
page 21-22 of this handbook.
Independent Writing Question

ETS’s Independent Writing question is an Opinion Essay, where students are asked to give their opinion on a topic and support it with specific reasons and examples.

Students have 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise their essay, and are expected to write at least 300 words.

The question is used in several tests

  1. - TOEFL iBT, Writing Question 2

  2. - TOEIC Writing Test Question 8

  3. - TWE (Test of Written English) taken with the TOEFL PBT

  4. - (plus the Criterion Online Learning product)

The Independent Writing scoring rubrics have been refined and improved multiple times since the early TWE scoring rubrics. The scoring was also changed to use 0-5 (instead of TWE’s 1-6) and the online tests are now scored centrally through a highly managed network of assessors.

See pages 21-22 of the TOEIC S&W Examinee Handbook for the scoring guide (rubrics).

The Students are assessed on:

whether their opinion is supported with reasons and/or examples




Please watch TOEFL TV’s
Independent Writing video

  1. Question structure

  2. Approach tips

  3. scoring criteria

  4. sample respnose

  5. skill building tips

The TWE Guide (5th ed)
was written in 2004 for
those interpreting the TWE
scores. It shows the
rigour required for valid
scoring, and includes
guides and samples.