TOEFL Preparation Tips | AdmitKard
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TOEFL Preparation Tips

RARachit Agrawal
Updated OnNov 25, 2020

TOEFL Preparation Tips

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

These tests are taken on computers, in authorized and secure test centers. The test is divided into 4 sections, that of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. There is a 10minutes break after the listening section. The maximum score in each section is 30, making the total maximum score of 120. The score requirements may differ across various universities around the globe.

The key points about the TOEFL exam are as follows –

  1. The TOEFL exam is a product of the ETS, which is a non-profit organization with over 60years of experience in the education sector. 
  2. The duration of the test is 3hours, which previously lasted over 2days.
  3. The test raters do not know the identity of the test-takers, making the test completely fair. 
  4. The test scores are valid for 2years after the students' test date. 
  5. There are unlimited retakes in this test. 
  6. The registration fees will vary depending on the student's location of taking the test.

TOEFL Preparation Tips – How to prepare for TOEFL?

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

Students can prepare for the test online and/or offline. Various offline tutors train students to take this test. Students can find a plethora of study resources and materials online too. Various websites, publishers, and other resources offer study and practice material. These materials may be free or chargeable. The students may have to sign up/create an account on these websites so as to access the study and practice materials. The best study materials are from official sources. 

How to prepare for the TOEFL exam?

  1. Students should set a goal for their target scores. This will keep the students motivated throughout the learning process. 
  2. Students should aim to improve their vocabulary. This can be done by reading various sorts of texts and making the best use of a dictionary.
  3. Students should find their resources for study and practice material. This can be online and/or offline.
  4. Students should practice mock tests. More and more practice will surely improve their test scores. 
  5. Students should practice speaking in English and using their voice as much as possible.

Writing Tips

Composed of two tasks, this section consists of writing essay answers based on reading and listening activities. In fact, the teacher will also present a concept on which test-takers will shape their own view and write an argumentative article. Some writing tips to keep in mind;

  • Read: Reading is a very important factor in the planning of the writing section. Also, you can read newspapers and interesting stories. Note, the more you learn, the more information you acquire that can ultimately be applied in your writing section.
  • Make notes: Taking observations is a very important part of the planning for the TOEFL writing test. Make notes while you're reading, and even when you're watching TV discussions and debates. In fact, you should make useful notes from the debates.
  • Study: Research is important if you are studying for TOEFL. You are required to express your opinions on various topics; it’s for the best that you know about them.
  • Revision and Understanding: Frequently, when making an argument, refer back to the audio clip and the recorded paragraph. The key part of your score is how well you demonstrate you grasped the information contained in these two items. But don't just copy parts of the audio clip or the passage to your essay; it doesn't demonstrate your English skills. Please rewrite the main ideas in your own words.
  • Stick to the Question: Don't give your own thoughts. Just discuss what the audio clip and the paragraph are doing. You're just going to discuss your own opinion on the Independent Writing Project.

Listening Tips

In this segment, study participants will be invited to listen to lectures, debates, and conversations for English. This tests the ability to understand native English in an academic environment. Typically this part answers more than 50 issues. Applicants will first be asked to listen to a recorded conversation, followed by a series of questions on the same subject. Some listening tips are as follows;

  • Tune to broadcasts: one of the easiest ways to prepare for this exam is by listening to TV discussions and debates. Radio broadcasts are very useful, as the check would also be on the same row. A fascinating approach is to watch English movies as it is where the discussions are most common and fluent. You can also watch English films and highlight shows, of course.
  • Make notes: Making notes is an important aspect of listening practice. Write down whatever you think is important and always make sure that you understand what you write down.
  • Accent comfort: Develop a level of comfort with a foreign accent. The accent of native English speakers is usually quick and smooth. It may be difficult for you to understand the dialogue at the outset, but with more listening experience, you should be able to improve your language comfort.
  • The most important TOEFL Listening tips for studying involve listening to spoken English on a regular basis, listening to different English accents, completing TOEFL Listening tests, and getting used to taking notes. During TOEFL Listening, you will remain focused while records are playing, compose when listening, and concentrate on key ideas while taking notes.

Reading Tips

Applicants will be asked to read three to four passages from academic texts and answer questions in the reading section. The reading practice will be accompanied by 30 to 50 questions based on the samples. One of the important skills to be evaluated here is the willingness of the applicant to interpret and evaluate the text in order to provide correct responses and claims. Reading tips for students;

  • Read articles in English: The best way to improve your reading skills is to read newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. in English.
  • Practice Grammar: Since the aim of the exam is to check your vocabulary skills, you can ensure that your knowledge of grammar rules is revised. If you're concerned about poor grammar, then the best trick is to learn grammar while you do mathematics. Work on prepositions, tenses and voices and articles as they form the basis of grammar.
  • Practice comprehensions: the reading section is largely based on comprehension; you must choose and summarize the sentences that best describe the passages and the questions you have asked. In that situation, it assists in the process of interpretation. Practicing comprehension will not only help you break the contents of the test, but it will also make you productive and fast.
  • Read any choice of answer. This may seem like obvious advice, but on the day of the exam, it's easy to see a choice that looks pretty good, to choose it, and to move on to the next question without checking to make sure there's no better option. ETS is going to try to make some answers that sound like the right answer when they're not. Reading through all of your options will help you avoid getting fooled.

Speaking Tips

The speaking segment consists of six activities including the voicing of the viewpoint of the candidates and the delivery of their claims on a specific subject. What is interesting here is that there is also a need to deliver a speech based on the listening and reading sections. Some speaking tips;

  • Practice speaking: If you are someone who is not so comfortable speaking in public or shy of speaking in English, then you should take the TOEFL speaking test. This is one of the best exercises when it comes to the speaking test.
  • Record: It's always good to record your voice. If you read something like an essay or novel, make it a point to record the same thing over a tape recorder. Listen to your oration after the practice is over. Do you think you can make things better? Are you going too fast, huh? Is your pronunciation correct? Recording a statement could take your practice a couple of points higher. Not only does it improve your speaking skills, but it also helps to improve your reading skills by making you more observant.
  • Knowledge: It's not just a speech test that lets you talk about a random topic. It proposes a subject of relevance to the speaker. In fact, the speaker is also asked to speak on topics related to the reading and listening portion. So spontaneity and alertness are the two key qualities you need to focus on. Also, remember to add value to what you're talking about. Your voice or statement should have weight.

Preparation Tips

Including general day-testing guidance to preparation tips for each of the four categories, our expert TOEFL tactics will not only help you feel confident for the exam but will also give you the confidence you need to get a high score on the test day.

  • Before preparing for TOEFL, candidates must identify the requirements for the TOEFL score to be applied to the universities of their choice.
  • Solving a variety of mock exams. You can go online and take as many practice tests as you can. The official ETS practice test gives candidates the experience of taking the actual TOEFLiBT test (https:/toefl practice.ets.org). Applicants will be able to analyze and answer accurate test questions and receive ratings within 24 hours, with input on all four skill sets assessed on the test day, including Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.
  • Both simulation exercises/practice tests should be paced. You need to keep a close eye on the time taken to solve the pieces.
  • Work harder on typing skills. Speed is one of the most crucial aspects of TOEFL testing.
  • It is best to train on the QWERTY keyboard, as it is given during the exam. This will help candidates get acquainted with the keyboard and not impede pace.
  • Applicants should always turn to the official TOEFL website for any questions about the test pattern, dates, rules, and regulations.
  • A professional native English teacher who knows a lot about TOEFL is one of the best resources that a student can have. You'll have a lot of questions that your textbook can't answer for you. It's important that you have someone who answers your questions and encourages you to feel down. Sometimes other students can give you some excellent tips and help you with questions about grammar. Teaching someone else is a great way to learn. If you're using Facebook, look for "TOEFL." You're going to find teachers and students to join and network with. Enter the TOEFL Team at the MyEnglishClub. Provide help to others and share tips on finding free practice tests.
  • The TOEFL exam will take a long time to compose. When you take a paper-based exam, it will take about 2.5 hours. The IBT is a lot longer. You should expect to be on the computer for 4 hours. A lot of students have an attention span of about two hours. This is the average length of most schools. After this amount of time, efficiency starts to decline. When you conduct your study sessions for one or two hours, your brain will not be ready to work for four. Start with brief study sessions, and work up to bigger ones. It's absolutely essential that you get a good night's sleep before this test. You can't afford to be tired.
  • You will be able to take notes in each section as you take the TOEFL iBT. Note-taking is allowed because it is an important skill that you need to take university or college courses. When you research, practice taking notes on the main idea of what you read and hear, as well as on the key specifics. Use this all day as you listen to news reports, read blogs, and watch TV. Build your own acronym for words and phrases that are often used.
  • Don't leave a mark unanswered. Eliminate all the answers that you know are wrong, and then make an educated guess. You have a 25% chance of getting the correct answer. When you're done with a segment or problem, try to get it out of your head. Whether you're reading, listening, or answering a question, put all your focus on the task at hand.
  • Many people are making the mistake of taking the exam too early. Your reading, listening, and writing skills may be ready, but your speaking skills still need work. If you do very poorly in one section of the test, you're going to have to retake the whole test. You can't redo a single section. Be sure you're ready to take the test before you sign.
  • Dress in comfortable clothes on the day of the test. You never know if the test room is going to be cold or dry. Wear your best shirt. If you feel comfortable, you're doing fine! Don't wear tight clothes. You've had to sit in one place for a long time. If you want to be confident, take the time to be at the finest on the test day. In other words, dress up for success.
  • Four hours is a long time to get away with a snack. You will not be allowed to bring any food or drink with you to the test area. Eat the right meal before you take the test. Make sure you avoid too much caffeine as it will give you the shakes. Do not consume large amounts of sugar just before the test. You're going to get tired very quickly. Make sure you've had a lot of water (but not too much as you don't want to waste time in the toilet).
  • Once you take the exam, praise yourself for all the time and effort you put into learning a second language! Treat yourself to a treat or a night out. No matter how well you've done on the test, you deserve a reward. Write down what your reward is going to be before you take the exam. It's always good to have something to look forward to.

Additional TOEFL tips

  1. Give yourself ample time to prepare.
  2. Remember to make a study plan.
  3. Choose an early date for your exam, if possible.
  4. Set daily reminders for studying.
  5. Keeping a journal will also help.
  6. Practice on a QWERTY keyboard.
  7. Follow the given instructions carefully.
  8. Give practice tests and give yourself a habit of giving full-length tests.
  9. Keep your practice tests perfectly timed.
  10. Work on your attitude during preparation.

Exam day tips for TOEFL

  1. Always double check your answers.
  2. Skip the tough questions for a while and return to them later on.
  3. Maintain your pace during the whole test.
  4. Read complex texts.
  5. There is no penalty for wrong answers so attempt all the questions.
  6. Stay as calm as possible.
  7. Make use of the method of elimination in MCQs.
  8. Read each answer choice.
  9. Recognize multiple answer type questions.
  10. Also, read the whole question paper once.

TOEFL Preparation Tips – 10 Tips for TOEFL Preparation 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

The tips for the TOEFL preparation are as follows –

  1. Students should familiarize themselves with the exam format, including its section and scoring systems. They should know what they are getting into before any decision making. 
  2. Students should set a target score that meets the criteria of their desired university. This will ensure that the students are motivated throughout the learning process. 
  3. Students should give themselves sufficient preparation time, and should not rush into the process. 
  4. Students are advised to choose an early test date so that their scores reach their desired schools/universities on time.
  5. Students are advised to use high-quality resources for their preparation. The best study and practice material are from official sources. 
  6. Students should aim to improve their vocabulary. This can be done by reading various sorts of texts and making the best use of a dictionary.
  7. Students should practice mock tests. More and more practice will surely improve their test scores. 
  8. Students are advised to focus on their weaknesses and work on the same, rather than their strengths. A study plan should be made accordingly. 
  9. Students should watch and listen to various English podcasts and news channels, so as to improve their listening skills.
  10.  Students should talk to English speakers and practice their pronunciations, so as to improve their speaking skills.

TOEFL Preparation Tips – 7 Great Preparation Strategies 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

The 7 preparation strategies are as follows –

  1. To improve their reading skills, students can write down important facts included in the reading passages. They can use flashcards to build on their English vocabulary. 
  2. To improve their reading skills, students should read various types of texts, especially those that relate to undergraduate academic studies, subjects like history, literature, science, among others.
  3. To improve their speaking skills, students should focus on improving their pronunciations, tone of voice and word emphasis.
  4. To improve their speaking skills, students should speak to people that are fluent in English, and the topics should require personal opinions and experiences, such as a description of family members, events of the day, favorite subjects, and so on.
  5. To improve their writing skills, students should focus on evidence for opinions, as it’s an important skill for the exam. 
  6. To improve their writing skills, students should practice writing essays on their own experiences, historical events, political opinions, and other opinion-based topics. 
  7. On an overall basis, students should communicate only in English during the preparation time, this is the concept of immersion. By doing so, the students will gain practice on all 4sections of the exam. Doing basic tasks like writing emails and shopping lists in English, watching English movies, shows, and news channels, among other things will allow students to gain confidence for the exam. 

How to prepare for TOEFL – The Right Way 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

How to prepare for the TOEFL exam?

  1. Students should familiarize themselves with the exam format and scoring systems. 
  2. Students should set a target score that meets the criteria of their desired school/university. 
  3. Students should invest in high-quality resources for their study and practice material. This can be online and/or offline.
  4. Students should seek guidance and help from their mentors and/or peers if required.
  5. Students should set a time-table, that devotes equal time and attention to all 4sections. 
  6. Students should practice mock tests. More and more practice will surely improve their test scores.

TOEFL Preparation – Online 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

Students can prepare for the test online and/or offline. Various offline tutors train students to take this test. Students can find a plethora of study resources and materials online too. Various websites, publishers, and other resources offer study and practice material. These materials may be free or chargeable. The students may have to sign up/create an account on these websites so as to access the study and practice materials. The best study materials are from official sources. 

The links that students can use for their preparation are as follows –

  1. https://www.ets.org/toefl/test-takers/ibt/prepare
  2. https://www.bestmytest.com/toefl
  3. https://toefl.magoosh.com/plans-IN, among many others. 

TOEFL Preparation – Books 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

The books that can be used for preparation are as follows –

  1. TOEFL iBT Prep 2020 – The Princeton Review
  2. Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test Paperback 4th Edition
  3. Barron’s Practice Exercises for the TOEFL 8th Edition – New Age International (P) Ltd Publishers 
  4. Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Premier, among many others

TOEFL Preparation – Time 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

How much time does a student need to prepare for the TOEFL exam?

  1. The preparation time required depends on the student's proficiency in English.
  2. Students should give themselves sufficient preparation time, and should not rush into the process. 
  3. Students are advised to choose an early test date so that their scores reach their desired schools/universities on time.
  4. The preparation time required by working students/professionals will more than that of students who are not working.
  5. If a student is proficient in English, then they can take the exam in 2weeks time, provided they understand the format and practice mock exams. 

TOEFL Preparation – Material 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

Students can prepare for the test online and/or offline. Various offline tutors train students to take this test. Students can find a plethora of study resources and materials online too. Various websites, publishers, and other resources offer study and practice material. These materials may be free or chargeable. The students may have to sign up/create an account on these websites so as to access the study and practice materials. The best study materials are from official sources. 

The various study and practice material are as follows –

  1. TOEFL iBT Prep 2020 – The Princeton Review
  2. Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test Paperback 4th Edition
  3. https://www.ets.org/toefl/test-takers/ibt/prepare
  4. https://www.bestmytest.com/toefl, among many others. 

TOEFL Preparation – How to start the TOEFL Preparation? 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

How to start the TOEFL Preparation?

  1. Students should familiarize themselves with the exam format, including its section and scoring systems. They should know what they are getting into before any decision making. 
  2. Students should set a target score that meets the criteria of their desired university. This will ensure that the students are motivated throughout the learning process. 
  3. Students are advised to choose an early test date so that their scores reach their desired schools/universities on time.
  4. Students are advised to use high-quality resources for their preparation. The best study and practice material are from official sources. 
  5. Students should practice mock tests. More and more practice will surely improve their test scores. 
  6. Students are advised to focus on their weaknesses and work on the same, rather than their strengths. A study plan should be made accordingly. 
  7. Students should seek guidance and help from their mentors and/or peers if required.
  8. Students should set a time-table, that devotes equal time and attention to all 4sections. 

 TOEFL Preparation – Vocabulary 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

How can students improve their vocabulary?

  1. Students should create categories of words, such as family, travel, culture, and so on. Then they should break the categories down to sections, such as people, feelings, things, and so on. 
  2. Students should then choose a category for a week, and then choose five new words per day. The new words can be chosen from various sources such as news channels, books, podcasts, and so on.
  3. Students should then find the meaning of those words, its tense, its antonyms and synonyms, and so on.
  4. Students should then make sentences of those words and should start using them while talking and in their essays. 
  5. Students should continuously revise their words so that they don’t forget them. 

TOEFL Preparation – Free Course 

TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test measures the ability of the student to understand and use the English language as its written, read, spoken, and heard in the university classroom. This test is essential for students whose native language is not English. This test is accepted by almost all universities worldwide. 

Students can prepare for the test online and/or offline. Various offline tutors train students to take this test. Students can find a plethora of study resources and materials online too. Various websites, publishers, and other resources offer study and practice material. These materials may be free or chargeable. The students may have to sign up/create an account on these websites so as to access the study and practice materials. The best study materials are from official sources.  

The links to free courses and resources are as follows –

  1. https://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/free-preparation-resources
  2. https://scholarshipscorner.website/free-toefl-online-preparation-course/ 
  3. https://www.learn4good.com/languages/spec_english_toefl.htm , among many others. 

FAQs

  • How should I start preparing for TOEFL?

Get to know the TOEFL Test Format. Know why you're taking the TOEFL test. Have a minimum score on your mind. Create three perfect spaces for analysis. Get a Guide to Analysis.

  • How long does it take to prepare for TOEFL?

Most testers probably score an average of 100 out of 120 in the first attempt. Generally, if you want a close time to prepare, then you should be good for 1 month. But don't take longer than 2 months to prepare for TOEFL, because it's not that difficult to test.

  • Is the TOEFL test hard?

Unluckily, there is no easy answer to that question. TOEFL is a standardized test and real research has shown that it is very challenging to scientifically determine the level of difficulty of a language. However, with all the information we know, we will try our best to estimate the difficulty level of the TOEFL.

  • How many speaking questions are there in TOEFL?

There are 2 questions in each question

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About the Author
RA
Rachit Agrawal
Study Abroad Expert & Co-Founder @ AdmitKard
Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.