This style of question has appeared on the TOEFL iBT since July 2023!  Get more samples here. You can also check out my detailed guide to this task.

This sample question was written by my friend Josh MacPherson, creator of TST Prep.  That’s one of my favorite TOEFL sites!  He’s got a bunch of really wonderful self-guided TOEFL courses you can buy from his store.  Try the coupon code GOODINE10OFF to get a 10% discount!

The professor is teaching a class on science. Write a post responding to the professor’s question.

In your response, you should do the following.

  • Express and support your opinion.
  • Make a contribution to the discussion in your own words.

An effective response will contain at least 100 words.

Professor: This week, we’ll be discussing the intriguing concept of space colonization. As technology advances and the Earth faces increasing environmental and resource challenges, some scientists propose establishing human settlements on other planets or moons. For example, Mars and the moon are considered viable options due to their relative proximity to Earth. Considering this, do you think space colonization is a feasible solution for humanity’s future? Why or why not?

Ethan: I believe space colonization is a necessary step for humanity. Given the Earth’s limited resources and the ongoing environmental degradation, establishing colonies on other planets could serve as a vital backup. It’s an ambitious plan, but with the right technology and international cooperation, it could secure the future of human civilization.


Olivia: While I understand Olivia’s points, I’m skeptical about the feasibility of space colonization. The costs and technological challenges are immense, and the ethical implications of terraforming another planet are complex. Instead of looking to space, we should focus on sustainable solutions on Earth to address our environmental and resource issues.

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