This is the second writing question on the TOEFL iBT Test. Get more samples here.

The test-taker must read the question posted by the professor and the two student responses.  Finally, they should write their own response which addresses the question and adds to the conversation. They have ten minutes to complete the task.

Your professor is teaching a class on political science. Write a post responding to the professor’s question.  In your response, you should

  • express and support your personal opinion
  • make a contribution to the discussion in your own words

An effective response will contain at least 100 words.

Professor: As you know, city governments have a responsibility to improve the lives of residents. In today’s class we’re going to discuss the best way for them to do that. What strategy do you think governments should use to improve the overall quality of life of residents? Why do you think it’s important?

Maria: I think investing in infrastructure should be the main priority for every local government. This could include things like repairing roads and bridges, expanding public transportation, and improving access to clean water and sanitation. When cities have good infrastructure it’s easier for residents to get around, and new businesses are attracted to the area. They also experience fewer serious accidents.

Tom: While I agree that infrastructure is important, I think that social programs should also be a major focus. The government could invest in things like education, affordable housing, and healthcare, which can help address issues like poverty, inequality, and access to basic needs. By providing these types of services, the government can help improve people’s well-being.  These are things that everyone benefits from… unlike a road which is only used by people who drive cars.

Sample Answer

In my opinion, the government should help people by providing more funding for education.  I don’t just mean that they should spend more on schools.  In fact, I think that they should also spend money on adult education.  Nowadays, a lot of people have a hard time finding regular employment, but if they have access to training and programs that improve their skills they might have more success in the job market.  Cities with higher employment rates have happier people and lower crime rates, so I think this approach is a wise one. Although it’s true that governments already spend a lot on education, I think investing even more in this area will help a wide range of citizens.

Sample Answer 2

Some people in the class might disagree, but I am convinced that governments should invest more in maintaining national parks.  As countries become more urbanized, the need for green spaces increases. While people in cities can easily access a great number of fantastic amenities like stadiums and cinemas, sometimes we need to spend some time surrounded by nature.  By making national and state parts easier to access, governments can help citizens unwind and feel better about their lives. Whenever I visit a park I am able to forget about the stress and anxiety I get from my classes, but the closest one is almost a two hour drive from campus!  This might sound superficial compared to things like building schools or maintaining bridges, but I really think that mental health is a critical issue nowadays.


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