Test Prep: Exercise Your Writing Skills
Nothing makes writing in a foreign language easier than practice. When you write, there are so many decisions to make. What is the correct word here? How is it spelled? How do a conjugate this verb? It’s enough to cause anxiety! However, the more you practicing making these decisions, the better you become. Your writing starts to flow freely, and that’s when you perform your best.
Whether you have already taken iTEP or are planning to, it’s a good idea to keep your English writing skills sharp. This exercise from the Official iTEP Preparation Guide is a great way to practice in just 20 minutes!
Try planning and writing a response in 20 minutes to each question. These are examples of actual writing prompts used in iTEP Academic.
- Read each question
- Plan a response
- Write down notes
- Write a response
- Spend the last two minutes to proofread and make minor edits
1. Certain countries protect their native industries by imposing heavy tariffs on imported goods. Other countries encourage imports in order to ensure their citizens access to as many goods as possible. Should countries be allowed to impose high tariffs on imports or should all countries allow each other free access to their markets? What do you think? Give reasons and examples to support your opinion.
2. Often former government regulators are offered jobs by the industries that they had previously been overseeing. Critics say that this is a conflict of interest, while others say it’s not justifiable to restrict individuals’ actions once they’ve left public service. What do you think? Give reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Some tips to keep in mind
- Good writing requires clarity. Be sure to express and develop a position supported with clear logic and reasoning.
- Scoring well on the iTEP test requires good preparation. Start by summarizing the question to make sure you understand it.
- Practice forming concise and informative opinions on a variety of subjects.
- Writing uses reading and grammar skills. Understanding the prompt is the first step toward answering it effectively.
- Read examples of persuasive writing such as newspaper editorials to learn how arguments are constructed.
- Make sure to write a complete response: one that contains a main idea or thesis, elaboration and support, conclusion, and a clearly stated position with specific examples and details.
- Use transition words to connect ideas within sentences. Use paragraphs to indicate new ideas.
- Take a minute or two at the end to proofread your writing for any errors. This is also a good idea before sending an email or posting on social media too!