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TOEFL Essay #001: Why do people attend college or university?

Important: On this page, the words "college" and "university" are used interchangeably. See note below.

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Index of sample essays written on this topic

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Some ideas of what to write about for a good score:

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Most people wrote about similar things. Here are some of the easiest and best things to write about:

  • People go to college to prepare themselves for their careers.
  • People go to college because they like to learn.
  • People go to college because they can meet other people who like to learn.
  • People go to college for personal fulfillment.
  • People go to college because going to college is an interesting social experience.


Most common errors with this essay topic:

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  • Failure to restate the topic is one of the most common errors that TestMagic sees in most essays. For example, many essays start like this: "I agree with this point..." If we say only this, and do not restate the topic, then the essay scorer will lower your score. We need to say something like this: "I agree that having food that is easy to prepare has improved our lives." Adding this information makes our TOEFL essay stronger!
  • Many people did not understand the topic. Some people wrote about the difference between college and university and wrote about why people choose to study at a college instead of studying at a university. This interpretation is WRONG. In American English, when we talk about "college," we are generally referring to any four-year program. We often use the words "college" and "university" interchangeably. We need to write about why people want to study at either a college or university.




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