Practice: 20 Sample TWE Test Essay Questions



 
Answer Guide: 

     Please practice identifying the following TWE Test Essay Questions as the 
genre of argumentative essay, and find the key words which are recognized as 
this genre. 

1.   Some people think that when they have a problem, it is best to ask their 
      parents for advice. Other people think that it is better to ask friends. Give 
      your opinion and provide examples. 

      Key words: opinion, examples. 

2.   Discuss whether you think imagination or knowledge is more important for 
      a person who is inventing a new machine or describing a new theory. 
      Support your argument with examples. 

       a. Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." 
       b. Edison said, "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." 

       Key words:  argument: imagination or knowledge, example 

3.   Describe the advantages of planning your career goals. 

      Key words:  describe 

4.   Students should study only subjects in their majors. State whether you agree 
      or disagree and support your argument with examples. 

      Key words:  argument: agree or disagree, examples 

5.   In recent years, high technology and the use of computers have entered into 
      almost every part of modern life. State whether you think this is beneficial or 
      damaging to people and say why. Provide clear examples to support your 
      position. 

      Key words:  position: beneficial or damaging, examples 

6.   In some cultures, marriages are arranged by parents. In other cultures, a 
      person's company helps the employee to find a future husband or wife. State 
      whether you believe arranged marriages are better than non-arranged 
      marriages. 
      Support your position with examples. 

      Key words:  position: arranged marriages or non-arranged marriaes, 
                           examples 

7.   Pesticides have been used to control insects that eat or kill food crops such 
      as rice or oranges. Discuss whether you think that the use of pesticides 
      should be allowed or should be stopped. Support your argument with clear 
      examples. 

      Key words:  your argument: allow or stop, examples 

8.   Describe the impact that two recent inventions have had on your life. Clearly 
      state what the inventions are and how they have changed your life. 

      Key words:  describe, how 

9.   People all over the world spend time watching television. In some countries, 
      watching television has replaced more active pastimes such as sports or 
      visiting with friends. Discuss whether television watching has had a good or 
      bad effect on society. Provide clear examples to support your opinion. 

      Key words:  your opinion: good or bad effect, examples 

10. In many modern countries, the size of the average family has gotten smaller 
      in recent years. Describe both the advantage and disadvantage of having a 
      small family. 

      Key words:  describe 

11. Describe the advantages of maintaining your cultural traditions for you and 
      your society. Provide clear examples of the advantages for each. 

      Key words:  describe, examples 

12. Many common goods, such as baskets and rope, which used to be 
      produced by hand are now mass-produced in factories. Describe the effects, 
      both beneficial and harmful, that this has had on society. 

      Key words:  beneficial and harmful effects 

13. In some countries, only men join the army. In other countries women are 
      allowed to enter the military or may even be required to. Decide whether you 
      think both males and females should serve together in the military and why. 

      Key words:  decide, why 

14. Many animals are used for scientific research to test new medicine before 
      the medicine is tested on people. Some people agree with this practice. 
      Others disagree. Describe whether you agree or disagree. Give your 
      reasons. 

      Key words:  agree or disagree, reasons 

15. In some countries, employment is a lifetime contract. An employee is 
      retained, or kept, on the job for life. In other countries, employees are let go to 
      save money for the company. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of 
      both lifetime employment and letting workers go. In your opinion, which is 
      better? 

      Key words:  in your opinion 

16. Most modern governments and industries keep records about people in their 
      computer files. Some people say that this is good because it is efficient. 
      Others say it is harmful because this information is private. Describe whether 
      you think this use of computers is beneficial or harmful and explain why. 

      Key words:  beneficial or harmful, explain why 

17. In some societies the individual is more important than the group and feels 
      comfortable acting alone. In other societies people feel more comfortable 
      making decisions in groups. Which do you think is better and why. 

      Key words:  think, why 

18. Many people argue that being the oldest child in the family is the best 
      position. Others argue that being the youngest (or the middle or the only) 
      child is also the best. Based on your observations and/or your own 
      experiences, explain which family position is best and why. 

      Key words:  position, explain why 

19. In some countries students are tested in high school to determine whether 
      they should go on to train for a job or go on to the university. Do you think 
      this would be a good idea in your country? Why or why not? 

      Key words:  think, why or why not 

20. Some people prefer a job that pays a high salary even though it may be 
      very difficult or competitive. Others prefer to have an easier job even if the 
      salary is not that high. Explain which type of job you prefer and why. 

      Key words:  prefer, explain why 

 



  (Questions taken from Broukal, Milada & Flynn, Kathleen. (1994). The Heinle & Heinle

    TOEFL  Test Assistant: Test of Written English (TWE). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle

     Publishers.)



 

 
 

 

 
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