Sample TOEFL Essays


61. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The most important aspect of a job is the money a person earns. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Yes. Yes. Yes. The most important aspect of a job is the money a person earns. When I get a job. I want to earn a lot of money. If I earn a lot of money, people will know I am successful, smart, and a good candidate for marriage.
Money equals success. If I earn a lot of money, I can wear nice clothes, get a big car, buy my parents a nice apartment, and spend a lot of money on my friends. Everyone will know I am rich and very successful.
Earning a lot of money will show people how smart I am, Everyone knows you can’t be stupid and earn a lot of money. Who will trust someone stupid to do a job?
When I earn a lot of money, my mother will be able to find me a good wife. She will be able to tell everyone what an important job I have. It will make it easy for her to find someone for me since all girls want to marry a rich man.
I don’t care what kind of work I do as long as I earn a lot of money. That’s the most important thing for me. Having a well paying job will show everyone that I am successful, smart, and a good catch!

62 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? One should never judge a person by external appearances. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

In most cases, one should never judge a person by external appearances. Sometimes when I walk down the street at night, I avoid people who are acting tough and loud, but in general, I prefer to reserve judgment until I get to know someone. Judging someone by external appearance can be deceptive. Judgments based on external appearances prevent you from getting to know a person reinforce stereotypes, and are superficial and limiting.
In high school, I stayed away from students who were called the “bad students” because they dressed a certain way. I wanted nothing to do with them. I later had the chance to meet one of these “bad students” because of our mothers, we started talking and I realized that we had a lot in common. My impression of him was very different once I got to know him.
If you form an opinion of someone based on stereotypes, you risk never getting to know someone who is different. You may are be missing out on an opportunity to make a good friend. In addition, you are reinforcing that stereotype by believing it without given the person a chance. If you take the time to get to know the person, you might become friends.
Judging people by external appearance is superficial and often unfair. After all, you don’t know what circumstances the person might be facing or who the person really is. Perhaps the person comes from a less fortunate family than you and cannot afford the kind of stylish clothes your friends wear. However, that does not mean the person is less intelligent or interesting than you are.
People should not be naive about new people they meet, but should take time to get to know them. External appearance often does not tell us anything about a person. Judging someone by their appearance is misleading, reinforces stereotypes, and is limiting. Doing so could prevent you from making a true friend.

63 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A person should never make an
important decision alone. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

A person should never make an important decision alone. Important decisions should be well thought out. People who know you well, know what is best for you. People close to you can give you good advice, give you a different perspective, or share their own experience.
When I had difficulty deciding which classes to take in college, I talked to my teachers and
advisors. They had the knowledge and expertise to help me determine which classes were the best ones to take for my future career. Without their advice, I might have chosen unsuitable courses.
In college, I had convinced myself that I was not good enough to act in the school play.
Therefore, I decide not to audition even though drama bad always been my passion. The day of the auditions, a friend of mine asked me why I wasn’t auditioning. When I told her I didn’t feel I was good enough, she was shocked. She was able to provide me with another perspective on myself and my talents. I rethought my decision and tried out… and got a lead in the play.
Last year when I was trying to decide whether or not I should study overseas, I talked to my
friend. This was the best thing I could have done. This was a big decision for me because I had never been overseas on my own and I wasn’t sure I could do it. She had studied overseas the previous year. She told me about the challenges and opportunities I might encounter and helped me make the right decision. I went and it was amazing!
Whenever I am faced with an important decision, I seek advice from others so that I am
well-informed and have the benefit of their perspective and experience.

64 A company is going to give some money either to support the arts or to protect the environment . Which do you think the company should choose? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Deciding between supporting the arts and protecting the environment is a difficult choice to
make, but I think I would choose protecting the environment. Arts help to maintain our culture and serve as a source of entertainment. However, we need a healthy environment in order to survive so we must protect it. We need to protect the environment now to help prevent health problems, to maintain the ecosystem, and to preserve the Earth for our children.
Pollution from factories and cars can cause damage to the environment. Moreover, pollution causes health problems particularly for children and the elderly who have weaker immune systems. We need to ensure that there are controls on the amount of pollution when possible so as to prevent health problems caused by breathing dirty air.
We also need to pay attention to the ecosystem. Trees, plant life, and people all depend on each other. An unhealthy environment can have harmful effects on the ecosystem. For example, if a plant dies because of changes to the environment and that plant is food for a animal, that animal won’t have any food. If humans use that animal as a food source, there could be big problems.
If we do not respect our environment now, it will continue to get worse and our children will suffer the consequences. They would not have the same quality of air to breathe or natural beauty to admire. That would be sad.
Without clean air to breathe, a healthy ecosystem, and a future for our children, the human race would not survive. That’s why protecting our environment is important. If we have a healthy environment, we have healthy children who will be able to participate and appreciate the arts.

65 Some movies are serious designed to make the audience think. Other movies are designed primarily to amuse and entertain. Which type of movie do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Movies have the power to make you laugh, cry, or think about an issue that you might not otherwise think about. Although I sometime watch movies that are serious in nature, I prefer movies that amuse and entertain. When I see an amusing movie it makes me relax, laugh, and keeps me in good spirits.
After a long day at school and work, I need a break and something to take my mind off of the troubles of the day. I can do that with an entertaining movie. When I watch an amusing movie, I don’t have to think. I just want to sit back and relax. After a movie, I then feel ready to get back to work on my studies.
Amusing movies make people laugh. Laughing is important for the soul. Laughing not only makes people feel good, but also connects people. When people laugh together, they become friends.
After watching an entertaining movie, which relaxes me and makes me laugh, I feel good. When I feel good I can focus more on other important things like my studies and work. Being in good spirits makes me feel better about myself and gives me a positive outlook on life.
While I can appreciate serious movies that make you think, I prefer to be amused and entertained after a long day of work. Such movies allow me to take a break from the rigors of life by making me laugh and putting me in a good mood.

66. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Business should do anything they can to make a profit. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

After I get my degree, I plan to start a business. My goal is to make money, a lot of money. However, I can’t forget that there are more important things in life than earning a profit. I must consider the people I work with, the customers I serve, and the community I live in.
My colleagues are a very important part of my business. Without them, I would not have a business. I depend on them to help me carry on the day-to-day operations. I depend on them for their advice on what to sell and how to sell it. I must compensate them for their work. I can’t take large profits without sharing with the people who made it responsible.
Similarly, I would not have a business without my customers. I can never forget that they could take their business elsewhere. I must give them good value for their money. I can’t overcharge them. I must also remember that money is as important to them as it is to me. I want my customers to trust me and keep coming back.
My employees and I all live in the same community as our customers. We are apart of the social life of our community. We can’t ignore it. We must play an active part in it. I feel it is important that some of the profits my business earns from the community be returned to the community. We need to support community programs like summer jobs for high school students, campaigns to clean up the parks, and efforts to make the shopping area more attractive.
A business must make profits, but we all—workers, customers, community—must profit from a successful business.

67 Some people are always in hurry to go places and get things done. Other people prefer to take their time and live life at a slower pace. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Life is short. Haste makes waste. What’s your hurry? These three sayings characterize the way I manage my day to day chores. I don’t want to rush through things; I prefer to take my time.
Life is short. You never know what may happen tomorrow so it is important to enjoy today. Of course, some people will say that’s why it is important to cram a lot into a day. But then, how would you possibly have time to enjoy all of those experiences. By doing a few things slowly and doing them well, you can savor the experience.
Haste makes waste. We are not machines. We can’t rush through things mechanically. If we do, we might forget something; we might take shortcuts. By taking our time, we can do a chore carefully, completely, and correctly.
What’s your hurry? Where’s the fire? I don’t see any need to rush to the next experience. There’s still a lot to see and learn form the chores around you. Taking care of your baby brother for instance can be very rewarding. You could simply keep him near you while you watch TV and write a letter and talk on the phone. Or you could devote your whole attention to him and observe his reactions to his environment. You can observe carefully, If you are trying to do four things at the same time.
To twist a common saying, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” Take life easy and savor each minute. Life is shorter than you think.

68 Some people think governments should spend as much money as possible exploring outer space (for example, traveling to the Moon and to other planets). Other people disagree and think governments should spend this money for our basic needs on Earth. Which of these two opinions do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

When we see photographs of starving children, it’s hard to say that we should spend billions of dollars on space exploration. But that’s just what we should do. Children don’t need to be starving, but we do need to explore space. Right now, we have enough money to feed every person on Earth. Children are starving because of mismanagement of resources and simple human greed. Those are problems we can solve right here on earth. That shouldn’t stop our need to find out what’s beyond our own solar system.
We may never make contact with whatever other species there may be out there in space. Even so, there are still two very practical and positive consequences of space exploration. One is a certainty and the other is a possibility. The certainty is medical research. Yes, we can conduct research here on earth. But much of the research done in space, for example, on the effects of gravity on bone marrow, is making a difference in medicine here on Earth. When we do research in space, we also learn more about space exploration. Also, many of the inventions that were developed for space travel have been adapted to good use on Earth.
The possible consequence of space exploration is finding another planet human beings can colonize. Overpopulation is a huge problem on our planet. People are living longer, more healthful lives, and that’s a good thing. But it means there are fewer people dying and more people being born. Eventually we’ll have less space, fewer resources, and major distribution problems. If we can find another planet to live on, we can relieve the problems of overpopulation on our planet.
It’s a tragedy that there are human beings suffering on Earth. However, if we wait until everyone has a perfect life, we will never explore space—and that , too, would be a kind of tragedy.

69 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 to support your answer.

Stress is one of our biggest enemies. It affects our health, our personality, and our relationships with others. In order to get rid of stress. I first have to identify the cause. I have different antidotes to stress depending on the cause. The most common types of stress I face are with work, with friends, and with myself.
Work-related stress is the easiest to combat. I simply stop working for a while. If I find myself picking up the same piece of paper four times a day and never doing anything with it, I blame stress. The best thing to do is to do something else. Sometimes, I get up from my desk and go down the hall to talk to my colleagues, but I don’t talk about work related subjects. Other times, I will take a short walk around the block and get some fresh air. Work-related stress can be cured by getting away from the work.
Stress caused by friends is more difficult to cure. Often the cause is more complicated. My friends could have a personal problem that causes them and me both anxiety. Or my friends could be angry at me or vice versa. Here, the cure for stress is talking about the problem and being with my friends. Unlike work, you can’t walk away from your friends.
Stress I cause myself is also not so easy to get rid of. If I feel bothered by an exam or anxious about the future, there is very little for me to do. I just have to tell myself that I can only do my best and leave the rest up to fate.
It is important to try to lead a stress-free life. If you can avoid stress by walking away form it (like at work), talking through it (like with your friends) or facing it head on (like with yourself), your health, personality and relationships will benefit.

70 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Teachers should be paid according to how much their students learn. Give specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

Some communities have decided to base evaluations of teachers on students’ test scores. It’s these evaluations that determine how much teachers will be paid. I don’t think this is a very good idea for several reasons.
First of all, if teachers’ salaries are going to be based on how much students learn, then some teachers will start to teach their students only what they need to get high test scores. This means that students will miss out on a lot of education that can’t be measured on a test.
For instance, one of the best methods to help students understand a subject is encouraging them to discuss it. A common practice is to divide the class into groups, have each group discuss the subject, and then have them report back to the whole class. This kind of shared learning can lead to a fuller understanding. It also teaches students how to discuss and debate ideas. However, it doesn’t supply facts to show off on a test.
Another problem with basing teachers’ salaries on how much their students learn is that teachers may ignore students who have learning difficulties. Some students learn more slowly than others and need more personal attention. If a teacher is worried about tests, he may feel he has to push the majority of the students to cram facts. That effort will take all his time. He won’t be able to help the less able students.
It’s true there are teachers who “burn out” after many years teaching and just don’t care how much their students learn. Basing their salaries on their students’ test scores may improve their efforts. However, it’s not fair for the majority of teachers. They deserve and need to be judged by other criteria.

71. If you were asked to send one thing representing your country to an international exhibition, what would you choose? Why? Use specific reasons and details to explain your choice.

If I were asked to send one thing representing my country to an international exhibition. I’d send something unexpected: one week’s worth of television programming. These programs would best represent my county. They show how the citizens of my country live and what they think and feel.
The dramas on television are very realistic. They show how people in different parts of the country go about their daily lives. They show how they earn their livings, how they deal with crime, and how they interact with each other. The dramas also show how people in various economic groups dress, what kinds of houses they live in, and what kinds of education their children receive.
The comedies indicate what people in my country think is funny. Even though the situations are exaggerated, they reflect how my culture deals with very basic human situations. People everywhere understand falling in love, raising a family, and earning a living.
The documentaries show what issues we’re concerned about and how we want to resolve them. Some documentaries tell stories from our history. Others look into the future. They speculate on how we’ll function as a country in the new millennium. Still others examine our political system, its failures and its successes.
The sports programs show what we think about winning and losing. They demonstrate how we feel about fairness. Some of the wealthiest people in our country are the athletes we watch playing professional sports. This, also, is a reflection of our values.
Television is a common cultural experience in my country. It reflects my country’s unique personality. I think it would be the perfect way to show what my county is like.

72 You have been told that dormitory rooms at your university must be shared by two students. Would you rather have the university assign a student to share a room with you, or would you rather choose your own roommate? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.

I’d rather have the university assign a roommate to share a room with me. As far as I’m concerned, this is part of the university experience. Students should meet new people and be open to new experiences. I like leaving this up to chance.
Actually, even though the university will choose, it’s not totally a matter of chance. We all filled out information sheets. The school knows what we’re majoring in, what our interests are, and our study habits and our goals. I think they’re probably very good at matching roommates using this information. They’ve had a lot of practice. Besides, if a mistake is made, I can change my room assignment next semester.
If I did want to choose my own roommate, I’d first pick some candidates from the list supplied by the university. Then I’d write to them and they’d write back. Through our letters, we’d find out if we shared common interests, such as sports or movies. More importantly, we’d find out if we like doing the same things in our free time. Because my investigation, I’d probably get someone compatible with me. It’s a lot of work to go through, though. Besides, the process of finding similar interests isn’t all that different from what the university does.
Trying to predict whom I’m going to get along with is not a science. I might choose someone who sounds just like me and still find that the two of us just don’t get along as roommates. Besides, I think it would be boring to room with somebody who’s just the same as me. I’d rather be with someone who has different interests and likes to do different things. Maybe I’d even get a roommate from another culture. After all, one of the reasons I’m going to the university is to be exposed to a lot of new experiences. So, I’d rather have the university choose my roommate for me.

73 Some people think that governments should spend as much money as possible on developing or buying computer technology. Other people disagree and think that this money should be spent on more basic needs. Which one of these opinions do you agree with? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

I realize that it’s important to stay up to date with our technology. So much, like our space and defense programs, depends on it. I’ve also read that we shouldn’t let other governments get ahead of ours in the race for better technology. This could eventually put us at a disadvantage and our whole economy could suffer. Despite all this, I think our government should spend our tax dollars on more basic items before it gets into the business of developing computer technology.
We have so many problems in our society, and it seems every solution needs money. For instance, we talk about getting people off welfare. To do that we need money to give them jobs until they can support themselves. That means support training, day care for their children, and probably a monthly rent subsidy. All of those things can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. However, if we could solve a major problem like, wouldn’t it improve our society even more than new technology?
Another problem is that our transportation system is falling apart. Bridges have cracks in them. Highways buckle. Accidents happen because of these problems. We shouldn’t put money into improving a computer chip when we have basic needs like these.
Besides, Why should the government be in the business of developing technology? Aren’t there several very successful corporations doing just that? Yes, it’s probably less the expensive in the long run for the government to develop the technology. Nevertheless, in the short run, there are basic needs in our society that aren’t being met. I think that’s where the money should go.

74 Some people like doing work by hand. Others prefer using machines. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Here’s the problem. I’m sloppy. That’s why I like to use machines to do my work rather than do things by hand. Machines can be creative, precise, and efficient.
Most people think that you can only be creative if you do things by hand. However, it takes creativity to set the machine up. Once it’s set up, it can repeat the same task over and over and over perfectly. If you want to write ten letters, you can set up your word processor to do it, press a button, and ten letters will be printed. It would take me forever by hand, and I would make a lot of mistakes. By hand, each letter would be different. By machine, each one is perfect.
Machines are very precise. They don’t get tired and cut the wrong way. They don’t get distracted and drop some mustard on the paper. As I said, I’m sloppy, but like neatness. That’s why I prefer to use machines.
Machines are also more efficient. I’m too tired to pick up the phone and see who is calling me. My answering machine isn’t tired. It’s always on duty. It doesn’t get tired, upset, or moody.
I can depend on my machines, but I can’t always depend on my hand to be creative, precise, or efficient.

75 Schools should ask students to evaluate their teachers. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

I think it’s a good idea for schools to ask students to evaluate their teachers. This informs teachers of how students react both to their teaching methods and to them as individuals. Teachers can weigh the criticisms and change what they think needs to be changed. Praise from students is also valuable. It can reinforce teachers’ opinions about how they’re teaching and give them confidence.
It’s also helpful for school administrators to hear what students think about their teachers. It keeps administrators in touch with what’s going on in the school. It also gives them some idea of which teachers effectively reach the students. However, good administrators know that student evaluations need to be reviewed with a keen eye for prejudice and adolescent attitudes. After all, and evaluation is a good way for students to get back at teachers who expect more of them than they want to give.
Evaluating teachers is also a good exercise for the students. They have to organize their thoughts about what they think of their teachers. In that way, they pinpoint for themselves what they expect of those teachers. They begin to understand what they value in a teacher and what is phony or useless. Evaluating their teachers is also a way for students to think about how they would evaluate themselves. Are they working as hard as they should in class? Is that why their teachers are sometimes critical of their work? Isn’t that what a teacher should do—push us to try harder? Thinking about these things can help students do better in class. At the very least, they will understand better what is expected of them.
Student evaluations of teachers also make students feel as if they have a voice in what happens in their schools. It makes them feel as if they’re part of the education process when their opinion is valued by the administration. Finally, it teaches them responsibility.