Writing for Standardized Tests

Course Code: WST101
Day: Tue Time: 19:10-21:30 Hours: 20 Sessions: 8 Semester: Spring, Summer Location: Online

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Course Description

This course is intended to help learners gain the necessary knowledge and skills to raise their writing section scores on English standardized tests, such as the TOEFL, IELTS, and Eiken. The course covers the basics of writing and the skills necessary to write in English for different purposes, such as in academic and professional settings. The course is taught in English, so students can experience significant improvements to their listening, speaking, and vocabulary skills.

Although the goal of this course is to improve the writing section scores of English standardized tests, this course is designed to be more than just writing test preparation. Students will learn the basics of academic writing, practical vocabulary words, and useful written expressions. This course covers 3 main areas:

• The basics of academic writing and improvement of skills (Example: Writing sentences and forming paragraphs)
• Understanding and preparation for each English standardized test (Example: Learning how each test is graded, and practicing how to write for one of the tests)
• Improving the English skills necessary for writing (Example: Learning new academic vocabulary and verbs)

Many believe that "structure" is the most important factor of writing because schools and writing textbooks often ask students to 1) write the conclusion first; and 2) provide two or three supporting reasons. Additionally, many students think they will perform well on the writing sections of English standardized tests because they have written essays and term papers. However, these are different styles of writing. In addition to structure, the contents and English expressions are also important. Good writing takes time and practice to acquire.

Learning Objectives

1. To improve writing ability, with a focus on standardized English tests
2. To improve the ability to structure writing, develop interesting content and effectively use English expressions
3. To gain a better understanding of the writing requirements in common English standardized tests.

Who should take this course

Those who seek to improve their writing section scores as well as those who wish to learn the basics of academic writing, Instructors who teach about test writing skills.


No required textbook


Thomas Meyer

Instructor Biography

Thomas Meyer is both an educationalist and researcher, having obtained a master’s degree in education research methodology from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate from the University of Oxford in the sociology of education. Thomas currently teaches courses on academic English, test preparation, including IELTS and TOEFL, as well as research methodology at several Tokyo-area universities including Temple University Japan Campus. A longtime resident of Japan, Thomas is an avid cyclist.