Sample TOEFL Essays


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

I oppose having a new high school built in my neighborhood. Although I know there’s a real need for a new facility, I have to say that I don’t want one built so close to me. I think it would cause a lot of problems.
First of all, there are very few teenagers in this neighborhood, or in our suburban subdivision, for that matter. Most of the residents here are either retired or are just starting out with young children. This means that the kids coming to the new high school wouldn’t be walking. They would come on buses or would be driving to the school. Either way, this would mean a lot more traffic on our streets.
In addition to the traffic on school days, there also would be traffic whenever there was a sporting event, such as a basketball or football game, or activities at the school. Would there be enough parking in the school lot for everyone attending those events? Probably not. Consequently, those extra cars would end up our neighborhood.
My neighbors and I would also be upset about the loss of the park, which is the site that’s been selected for the high school. Mothers with young children gather there every morning for their kids to play together. People my age like to take a walk after dinner. On weekends, that park is a place for picnic and relaxation. We’d be sorry to lose our neighborhood park.
I also have some concerns about all those young people being in our neighborhood. Would there be problems with drugs or fights? Could the school district guarantee us that security would be a priority? These are concerns that I don’t think can be addressed sufficiently for me to support a new high school in my neighborhood.

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: saying in one place or moving in search of another place? Use reasons and specific examples to support your opinion. 

Even though I have lived in the same house, in the same neighborhood, in the same city my entire life. I know I would be happy living in a variety of place. Moving would expose me to new people, new weather, and new housing.
Even if I were to move to another part of my city, I would encounter new people. Each neighborhood has a distinct personality. When I move to that neighborhood, I would meet the shopkeepers and residents that shape that personality. I may even adopt part of there manner as my own so I could be recognized as part of that community.
If I want to encounter different weather patterns, I would have to move beyond my city. Where I live now, it is the same temperature all year, I would like to go to a place where there are four seasons so I can experience really cold temperatures. I would like to walk in the snow and perhaps go skiing. I could learn winter sports if I lived in the north.
Now of course, I live with my parents in their home. It is a one story house built around a courtyard where our family spends a lot of time. If I were to move, I would like to live in an apartment on a very high floor so I could see all around me. I could also meet my neighbors in the elevator and we could get together for coffee in my apartment.
The more I move the more I would experience change. I would meet new people in every place I lived; I could move to sample countries with four seasons or even a continent like Antarctica which only has two. Wherever I lived, I would experience living in housing particular to that area. I would then be a citizen of the world, wouldn’t I? Could you call me a foreigner if I called everyplace my home?

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.

“Save it for rainy day.” That’s my motto. When I have a choice between spending my money or putting it in my savings account at the bank, I always put it in the bank.I will have a lot of expenses in the future like my education, travel, and unforeseen emergencies. I need to have money set aside for these expenses.
Education is expensive. I can’t depend on my parents to pay all my bills. I have tuition, room and board, books, and incidental expenses to pay for. I’ll try to get a scholarship to cover some of these costs, but I know I will be responsible for a lot of the expenses. If I spend my money now, I won’t be able to pay for my education. I need to save money for my education.
Travel is also very expensive. I don’t mean vacation travel. I mean travel to get to and from school. Transpacific airfare costs a lot even special reduced fares. I first have to get to school and then, of course, I want to return to my family for important festivals and occasions. Going back and forth will be costly, but worth it. I need to save money for these trips.
Emergencies could arrive at any moment. I might have an unexpected illness while I am at school. There might be costs that won’t covered by the school insurance. One of my family members may need help, I will have to send them money. You can’t predict emergencies like this, but you can be prepared. I need to save money for these emergencies.
When you are not rich, you cannot spend your money carelessly. You must plan ahead. I know in my life, I will have expenses for my schooling and for travelling to and from my home. I know that I will also have unexpected expenses related to unforeseen emergencies. I must be prepared. I need to save money for these events.

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.

The choice between spending money on tickets to a concert or spending money on jewelry is an easy one. Given this choice, I would buy jewelry. The reasons are obvious, jewelry is an investment; it is permanent; and it is fashionable.
Jewelry like a gold bracelet for example is a very good investment. It is important for women( and for man, too) to have gold jewelry. If you have some serious financial problem, you could always sell your jewelry to help you over any rough spots. You could not sell your used concert ticket.
Jewelry, unless you sell it, is permanent. You always have it ware. Each time you put it on , you will remember the day you bought it. It will give you pleasure for years and years. You could not wear the ticket stub from the concert.
Jewelry is very fashionable. I would feel very smart wearing a beautiful gold bracelet or diamond pin. People would comment and tell me how much they loved my jewelry. They would compliment me on my good taste.
I would feel very rich with my jewelry. I would have a good investment which is permanent and fashionable. Then, when someone invites me to a concert( and pays for my ticket), I will have something beautiful to wear.

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 you 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.

Training someone to do a job is an important task. It requires a good education, work experience, and skilled job performance. Of these three requirements, I believe it is most important that a potential job trainer be judged on the quality of his or her previous work.
A person may be well educated, but not able to perform a job proficiently. A doctor may know how to treat childhood diseases, but not be able to train medical students to perform surgery. An accountant may be able to balance a company’s accounts, but not be able to help the company’s executives invest their money.
A person may have a lot of work experience, but not be able to do the job well. Time is not the best measure of quality. A mother may spend 17-years raising her children, but not be able to train young mothers to care for their infants. A typist may have typed ten-years worth of letters, but may not type over 30 words a minute.
A person who does a job well is the one you want to be a trainer. I want to learn to fly a plane from a pilot who has faced a lot of mechanical problems in flight and never had an accident. I want to learn how to make money from a billionaire not form a salaried investment broker.
As in all things, it is quality that we look for, not general knowledge or time spent in an occupation. I want others to learn from the best, so they can be the best, too.

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

In some business cultures, it is the practice to hire workers when they are young and employ them until they retire. In other business cultures companies hire people to do a job and then fire them when they are not needed. To me, the important considerations in today’s economy is job performance: speed and change. Loyalty is not a consideration.
Today there is a lot of competition and we need to hire workers who can perform a task well. We need to find skilled workers who can do a job without a lot of training. We need to match the job to the worker, and, if the job changes, we change the worker.
Because of this increased competition, we need to be able to produce our goods or services quickly. We need young people who are willing to put in long hours. We need young people who are aggressive and will push themselves to do their job faster.
In order to compete, we have to be innovative. By changing our workforce frequently, we can bring in new ideas. We must constantly be looking for new ways to do new things. We need fresh workers with fresh points of view.
Although a company’s loyalty to a worker and a workers loyalty to a company is a noble idea, it is not practical today. Skilled workers do not want to be tied down to one company; they want the flexibility to improve their opportunities. Change makes the economy powerful.

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.

The principal of a school is one of our first encounters with a figure of authority. Consequently, he or she must be a good example of a leader. The principal must be firm, fair and foresighted which are important qualities of a principal.
When a principal announces a rule, you must understand that he or she means it. If a rule requires all students to be in their seats when the bell rings, the rule must be enforced. If students are out of their seats, they should be punished. If a rule requires that students not wear bats in school, the rule must be enforced. If students wear bats, the bats must be taken away from them. A principal must be firm.
When a principal enforces a rule, you must understand that he or she will treat everyone equally. If I get caught eating at my desk, I must receive the same punishment that my classmate got when she got caught eating at her desk. If a sophomore is late for school, he or she must receive the same punishment that a senior would. A principal must be fair.
When a principal establishes a rule, you must understand that he or she has a good reason for it. If a rule requires that students must participate in extracurricular sports, you should understand that the principal knows that a strong body as well as a strong mind will help us in the future. If a rule requires that students must do two hours of volunteer work in the community each week, you should understand that the principal knows that close involvement in the community builds strong character. A principal must be foresighted.
A principal’s job is not as easy one. I only hope that in the future, I can model my own leadership abilities on the ones I observed in school. I hope I can be as firm, fair, and foresighted as my principal.

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.

An airplane is a form of transportation that has changed people’s lives. Thanks to the plane, our lives are now faster, more exciting, and more convenient that before.
You cannot deny that a plane is fast. For example, the Concorde flies at supersonic speed. A businessman can leave Paris at 11 a.m. in the morning and arrive in New York at 8 a.m. the same morning in time for a day’s work. Many business people in Europe will fly to London for a noon morning in time for a day’s work. Many business people in Europe will fly to London for a noon meeting and then return home to Rome or Madrid for dinner.
It is always exciting to take a plane trip. When you take a trip by plane, you know that you might cross many time zones, many oceans, and many countries. When you get off the plane, you could be in a place that speaks a different language. A plane is like a magician’s trick. You get in a box and you come out somewhere totally different.
Nothing can beat the convenience of a plane. In the old days, it might take you days to do what the plane can do it an hour. Boats, for example, only leave on certain days of the week and take a long time to get to their destination. Planes give you the option to leave several times a day and get you to your destination quickly.
Although other forms of transportation may be more comfortable, none has changed the way we do business and live our lives more than the plane. Thanks to the speed, excitement, and convenience of the planes, our lives are richer.

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

Who would disagree with the statement “ progress is good”? Without progress , there would be no change. Without progress, there would be no change in our economy, our standard of living, or our health.
Progress is required to keep the economy moving forward. New products need to be developed; new services need to be created. Without progress, our economy would stand still. There would be no change. Without progress, there would be no supermarkets with fress produce brought in from all over the world.
Progress is required to improve our standard of living. Our homes today are more efficient and use less natural resources thanks to improvement in home construction techniques. Our clothes are warmer and safer thanks to developments in textile manufacturing. Our educational system is better thanks to the use of the computers and the Internet.
Progress is required to improve the heath of the world population. Without progress, there would be no vaccines against deadly diseases like smallpox. Without progress, there would be increased infant mortality. Thanks to progress, our lives are longer and healthier.
Progress is a natural state. Without it, we would not evolve. Without it, our economy, our standard of living, and our health would deteriorate. Who could deny the necessity of progress.

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.

People often say “ Those who don’t understand history will repeat the mistakes of the past.” I totally disagree. I don’t see any evidence that people have made smart decisions based on their knowledge of the past. To me, the present is what is important, not the past. I think that people, the weather, and politics determine what happens, not the past.
People can change. We can’t assume that people will continue to hate one another just because they have had hated one another for years. Look at Turkey and Greece. When Turkey had an earthquake, Greece sent aid. When Greece had an earthquake, Turkey sent aid. Now, these two countries are cooperating and looking forward to improved relations. No doubt, if we looked at the past, we could have thought this was a lost cause. But people change.
The weather can change. Farmers think that they can plant certain crops because these crops have always grown well in their fields before. But the weather can change. There can be a long drought. The crops that have always worked well , will die. A drought-resistant crop needs to be tried. If we looked at the past, we would not have changed our crop and we would have lost our farm. Weather changes.
Politics an change. According to my way of thinking, politicians must be responsive to changes in the people. If politicians looked only at the past, they would always say the same thing. People change. On the whole, people today care about human rights. They warn all people to have the equal rights. If we looked at the past in the United States, we would see a lot of discrimination against races, women, and sexual orientation. Now, that is changing. Politicians changes, too.
As a rule what is important today is to follow the mood of the moment. We can’t be looked in the past. It doesn’t do us any good to think about the past. People, the weather, and politics can change in any direction. The direction of this change, in my opinion, can not be predicted by studying the past.

 

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.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” These are wise words. One should never give up. There is always another opportunity, another goal, or another option.
Once I ran for president of my class. Unfortunately, I lost. I lost because I did not promote myself enough. I looked at my mistakes and decided how to correct them. The following year, I ran for president again. This time I gave speeches, called voters on the phone, and banded out brochures. This time I won. Never give up. There is always another opportunity.
Once I wanted to study medicine. Unfortunately, I didn’t like science. I failed all my science courses at school. Then I realized that what I liked about medicine was helping people. I changed my goal from healing people to helping people. Now, I’m studying psychology. There is always another goal.
Once I wanted to talk with my friend. Unfortunately, his computer was down and I couldn’t e-mail him. His phone line was busy so I couldn’t call him. Mail would take too long so I couldn’t write him. Since I really wanted to talk with him. I got on the bus and went across town to visit him. There is always another option.
If you give up, you might as well die. My advice is to always look for another opportunity, another goal, or another option. There is always something else. Don’t give up.

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

Technology has greatly improved the way we get information. Students can now get more information, get it more quickly, and get it more conveniently.
The Internet and the World Wide Web has opened every major library and database to students around the world. Information comes not only in print form, but also in multimedia. You can get audio and video data. You can get information about event in the past as well as events that unfold as you watch your computer monitor.
Information comes at the speed of the Internet, which is to say in nanoseconds. You can type in a few key words in your search engine, and the engine will search the entire www to find information on your topic. You don’t have to spend hours pouring over card catalogs in the library and looking at the shelves. This research is done for you instantly on the Web.
It is certainly more convenient to sit at home and do research on your computer. Your computer is open 24 hours a day, unlike a library or office, which has limited hours and limited resources. You can do research in your pajamas while you eat breakfast. What could be more convenient?
Technology, especially the Internet, has certainly changed the quantity and quality of the information we get. The speed and convenience of a computer helps students learn more, more quickly.

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.

People say you can’t teach old dog new tricks. Modern research has shown that senior citizens can continue to grow brain cells by exercising their mind. Games are a great way to exercise your mind. By concentrating on the tactics of the game, memorizing moves, keeping track of your opponents’ strategies, you can keep your brain functioning and growing.
Some games can teach you a lot. Games that ask questions, for example, will show you what you don’t know. (Name the capital of Albania, for example.) It is always easier to learn something when you realize you don’t know it.
When you play a game, you have to be considerate of your opponents. You can observe people’s reactions and the way they interact as they play. It is always interesting to watch people. Maintaining personal contacts is important for everyone.
Regardless of your age, playing games can help you keep your mind alert, learn new things, and build friendships.

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 answer.

A prize or award, whether it’s the Noble Prize, the Academy Award, or Best Handwriting Prize, is important. Such prizes can have economic, personal, and social effects that enrich the life of the recipient.
Prize like the Noble Prize can be a cash award. But ever for prizes that don’t, like the Academy Award, an actress who wins best actress will be offered more roles and a higher pay than actresses who don’t win the award. Even for the elementary student who received the school’s Best Handwriting award may get a congratulations gift from proud grandparents.
The personal benefits of receiving any award are evident. Any award winner is pleased that be or she has been recognized for his or her work. When people receive the Academy Award, they often cry they are so happy.
Everyone likes to be with a winner. A person who gets a prize often has many new, best friends. A winner’s social life is much better than a loser’s social life. The winner of the Best Handwriting prize may not be very popular with his or her jealous classmates, however.
Awards serve a very useful purpose in that their economic, personal, and social benefits add to the recognition.

45 Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important that 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.

In the past, there have been many endangered animals. Now they are extinct. Does it matter? Has our environment been affected by their absence? Has the quality of our own life been changed? The answer to these questions is “Yes.”
Yes. It does matter if we destroy an endangered species habitat to develop more farmland, housing or industrial parks. There is a delicate balance of nature. If one small part is removed, it will effect all the other parts. For example, if certain trees are cut down, bats will have no place to roost. If they cannot roost, they cannot breed. If there are no bats, there will be no animal, or bird to eat certain insects that plague our crops.
Yes. Our environment has been affected by the absence of certain animals. Certain flowers are pollinated by butterflies, which migrate from Canada to Mexico. Some of the breeding grounds of these butterflies were destroyed. Now these flowers are disappearing from certain areas. We will no longer be able to enjoy their beauty.
Yes. The quality of our life has been changed America used to be covered with giant trees. Now we have to visit them in one small park. Rain forests around the world are being cut down to make room for humans. We will never be able to see or study this fragile ecosystem.
I would encourage us humans to look for other alternatives for our farmlands, housing, and industries. We have alternatives; the animals do not.