TOEFL Writing Topics | Some students apply for admission only to their first-choice school, while others apply to several schools





TOEFL Writing Independent Essay Question

Some students apply for admission only to their first-choice school, while others apply to several schools. Which plan do you agree with, and why? Be sure to include details and examples to support your opinion.

TOEFL Independent Essay Sample Answer

Although some students may wish to focus all of their effort on applying only to their preferred school, personally, I prefer the idea of applying to various different schools.

My two main reasons for this are firstly, simply submitting an application in no way actually guarantees admission, even in the case of a student who is highly qualified. The school in question may well have extremely competitive entrance standards and in spite of a student possessing an excellent academic record and high scores on tests such as the SAT and TOEFL, a student may still be declined a place simply due to the fact that there are not enough available places. In such a scenario, a student who has only applied for their first-choice option of school will find themselves in the unenviable situation of having to quickly make applications to other schools they may have also considered. However, it may be too late and they might find themselves unable to attend for the first semester as planned. While it may be somewhat expensive to make applications to various schools due to the application fees, it can also save time and avoid the problem of being left without a school to attend.

Secondly, during the process of applying to various schools, there is the opportunity of learning more about each institution and the opportunities each offers. In the process of communicating with admittance staff and officials, a student may learn of previously unknown opportunities which may be beneficial for them such as scholarships, educational grants, and other such options. One example might be the availability of a research assistantship position based on the previous academic work or experience of the student applying. Another advantage is that the student may indeed receive a more favorable response from their second- or third-choice school than their preferred school. This would then provide them with a better option in terms of making a final decision about which school to attend.

In my own case, I plan to apply to at least three schools. Two of these will probably have extremely competitive admittance standards, while my third option will be a school with more moderate entrance requirements, just to play safe. Ideally, I will be accepted at my first-choice school; however, I feel it is best to keep my options open by applying to more than just one school.

TOEFL Independent Essay Checklist

✓ The essay completely answers the topic question
✓ The writer’s opinions are clear
✓ The essay is well organized and direct
✓ Sentences are logically connected
✓ Main ideas are supported by details and examples
✓ The writer expresses complete thoughts
✓ It is easy to understand
✓ The writer uses a wide range of vocabulary
✓ The writer uses a variety of sentence structures
✓ Grammatical and idiomatic errors are minor
✓ The essay is approximately 300-350 words

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