Sample TOEFL Essay – Multiple Choice Style


The Question

People have a lot of opinions about the value of advanced education.  Which do you think is the most important reason to attend college or university?

  • new experiences
  • career preparation
  • increased knowledge

Use specific details and examples in your answer.

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The Sample Essay

         Nowadays, more people than ever choose to attend university after completing high school.  In my opinion, the single most important reason to pursue post-secondary education is to prepare for a career in the future. I feel this way for two main reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

           First of all, a university degree is required in order to be hired at even the most basic jobs these days.  Individuals who have only a high school diploma are employed solely in poorly paying and low-skilled fields. This reality is evident to young people all over the world right now, and so people feel quite a lot of urgency regarding their academic qualifications.   For instance, my friends and I have noticed that recently it has even become necessary to have a graduate degree in order to begin a career; no longer is it possible to achieve professional success with just an undergraduate diploma. We all think that this trend will not reverse any time soon, and as a result students will continue to consider their career aspirations when making decisions about what to do when they finish their secondary education.

          Secondly, universities provide wonderful opportunities for networking and these help young people find and create high-paying jobs following their graduation. The unemployment rate has been quite high for most of the past decade, and it is very difficult for even well-educated people to become employed.  Many experts argue that the people we meet in university play a large role in our long-term professional success. My brother’s personal experience is compelling evidence of this. He recently founded a lucrative online business which has provided him with a substantial income over the year. He co-founded the business in a partnership with two like-minded students that he met in a freshman computer science class.  My brother often points out that the relationship which he formed with those students has been even more valuable than his actual degree. In contrast to my brother’s success, many of my friends who chose not to attend university currently have a limited set of contacts as their social circles have not expanded since their childhood.

           In conclusion, I believe that young people choose to enroll in post-secondary education mostly to prepare for their careers.  This is because a university degree is a prerequisite for employment in the modern era, and because universities provide students with valuable opportunities to meet new people.


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



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