Title

The TOEFL IBT Writing: Korean Students’ Perceptions of the TOEFL IBT Writing Test

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-7-2017

Abstract

The TOEFL is one of the most widely recognized language proficiency tests developed to measure international students’ level of readiness for degree study. Whereas there exist a number of correlational studies conducted by various affiliates of ETS based on large-scale quantitative data, there is a dearth of studies that explore test-takers’ perceptions and experiences concerning the TOEFL iBT. Writing skills have paramount importance for academic success, and high-stakes tests such as the TOEFL have a tendency to influence test-takers’ perceptions on what defines good academic writing. To date, no research has specifically focused on test-takers’ perceptions on the writing section of the TOEFL iBT. To fill this gap, this study explores Korean students’ perceptions of effective strategies for preparing for the TOEFL iBT writing test, challenges they face in the test-taking and test-preparation processes, and implications such findings have for various stakeholders, by analyzing online forum data. Findings indicate that the scores for the writing section of the TOEFL iBT, albeit helpful for the initial benchmarking tool, may conceal more than it reveals about Korean students’ academic writing ability. The study suggests that the format, questions, and the scoring of the TOEFL iBT writing test be critically examined from test-takers’ perspectives.

Journal Title

Assessing Writing

Volume

33

Issue

July

First Page

1

Last Page

11

DOI

10.1016/j.asw.2017.02.001

First Department

English

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