Wednesday, December 23, 2009



The Writing section consists of a form with a choice of two topics. The examinee must choose one topic on which to write a 250 to 300-word essay. The response may be in the form of an argument or exposition, depending on the topic. The response should develop the topic in an organized way, with some acknowledgement of the topic's complexity. The ideas should be communicated clearly and with accuracy of form. Examinees should use varied syntactic structures and appropriate vocabulary. A total time of 30 minutes is allotted to perform this section of the exam.

Following is a sample topic.


Some psychologists believe that there is more to intelligence than what traditional intelligence tests measure (mathematical and verbal ability). They say there are many kinds of intelligence and many ways to be smart. Besides mathematical and linguistic intelligence, in what other ways do you think people are smart? Be specific in your discussion and provide concrete examples.


The Writing section is scored by trained raters at the University of Michigan English Language Institute. Examinees are rated according to the following criteria: rethoric, grammar/syntax, vocabulary, mechanics.

* Adapted from the ECCE Information Bulletin(FREE COPY), provided by the Testing and Certification Division of the English Language Institute - University of Michigan. For more, visit


  1. There are lots of sites that can be used for self-study on the Internet. I found some with activities about linking words, which are extremely important for the writing section. The following is one example: