This is the second writing question on the TOEFL iBT Test. Get more samples here. Check out my guide to this task.

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 education. 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: Over the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about recent trends in education.  Specifically, we’ll discuss how many universities have started letting students take classes from home instead of taking them in person on campus. I want to know what you think about this issue, so here’s a quick question for the discussion board: “What do you think is the most significant impact of online classes?  Why do you think it has this impact?”

Jack: The main thing is that online classes make education more accessible. For one, they  help reduce commuting time and costs and give students more flexibility in their schedules. Plus, online learning can be more accessible for students who have disabilities or live far away from campus. Traditionally, high costs have prevented many people from pursuing an education, but thanks to online classes cost is less of a problem.

Emily: I think that online classes cause people to learn less than before. There’s something to be said for the energy and engagement that comes from being in the same physical space as your classmates and instructor. Moreover, when we take classes in person it is easier to build relationships and collaborate. We learn just as much from personal connections as we do from our actual lectures and textbooks.

Sample Answer (with template)

While there are certainly some advantages of online learning, I think its biggest impact is that it makes people more likely to cheat on their assignments. When we study on campus, we can easily access resources like an academic library or a science lab.  We can even schedule meetings with our professors or other experts who work on campus.  That means it is easier to complete our assignments all by ourselves.  In contrast, when we study entirely at home it can be difficult to access beneficial resources.  Consequently, some people might feel that they have no choice but to plagiarize content online, or use AI to complete their essays. Honestly, I think people who study at home do this just to keep up with their peers on campus.

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