The Question

When you face a difficult problem in life, what do you feel is the best way to solve it?

  • asking someone with more experience for advice about the problem
  • finding information about the problem using the Internet
  • taking a long time to think about the problem

Use specific details and examples in your answer.  Do not use memorized examples.

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The Sample Essay

             We all face difficult problems in life, and everyone has their own approach to handling them.  When I am dealing with a serious dilemma, my preferred solution is to talk to an older and more experienced person about it.  There are two reasons why I feel this way, which I will explore in the following essay.

           First of all, most of the problems people have are not particularly special and there are many individuals who have already dealt with identical issues.  Therefore, when we have a crisis, there is always an older person in our life who has gone through the exact same thing. Not only that, but they have lived with the consequences of the actions they took to deal with it.  My personal history is a compelling example of this. When I was a university freshman ten years ago, I once found myself falling terribly behind on one of my assignments. I could not decide between asking my professor for an extension, which may have made me look lazy in her eyes, or submitting poorly done work, which could have made me look like a terrible student.  Fortunately, a sophomore in my department explained that most professors are happy to provide extra time when students ask for it in a polite manner. Moreover, he told me that none of my professors would view me as lazy for making such a request, as they all understood the pressures faced by students.

          Secondly, simply vocalizing our problems can help to put them in perspective.  Merely having someone to listen to our problems can help us to solve them, even if that person does not have a lot of advice to give us.  For instance, after talking to my father about a problem I was having with my girlfriend last week I realized that it was not the end of the world.  Just by talking about the fight we had out loud, I realized that I was overthinking it and that my girlfriend would eventually calm down. Additionally, when I explained to my father that we were fighting about a purchase I made that cost just $50, I realized that we would both get over it pretty quickly.  This came to me even before he voiced his opinion on the matter.

         In conclusion, my approach to problem solving is to talk to someone about my problems.  I do this because there are many people in my life who have endured the same things, and because vocalizing my issues helps me overcome my worries. (422 words)


This is a sample TOEFL essay written by a native speaker.  It follows our TOEFL Writing templates for independent essays.  If it is useful, please remember that we have many more sample essays for you to read!



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