TOEFL Prepare

5 Things to Remember When You Prepare for TOEFL

TOEFL assesses a candidate's ability of handling all the four skills in English- listening, reading, writing and speaking. The older version of this test was a paper based test (PBT), which tested only the reading, writing and listening skills. But the new version of the test is, the Internet-based test (iBT) assesses all the four skills. The format of the exam for which you can appear depends on the test location. If you are taking the iBT, prepare using a QWERTY keyboard, this will make you familiar with the different keys and also increase your typing speed.

5 Things to Remember When You Prepare for TOEFL

  • Planning- If you are taking the test, prepare for it in advance. Your preparation should start at least 2- 3 months before the test date. Registration can be made 3-4 months before the test. If you are not confident of your English language skills, then for taking the test, study by joining a preparation course or learn under an expert, as this can help in getting a good score. If you are taking the test, study using a teaching style that incorporates the integrated style where all the skills are given equal importance.

  • Mastering the Skills- All the four skills needs to be given equal importance for getting a good score. While taking the test, prepare for your reading skills by reading a lot of magazines, books related to different subjects like arts, history, business, science etc. Listening skills can be improved by listening to the radio, news, speeches, lectures, watching movies etc. Speaking test contains two different tasks: Independent and Integrated. For the Independent task, practice speaking on topics which are familiar to you, like your hobby, some personal experiences etc. For the Integrated task, read an article from your text book and answer the questions orally. Practice listening and reading articles on the same topic and then speaking about it. Writing skills can be practiced by writing only, practice writing essays on familiar topics for the Independent task. For Integrated task read and listen to similar academic topics and write about it.

  • Attempt Practice Tests- If you are taking the test, prepare by attempting as many practice tests as possible; this is an important step for getting a good score. Attempt timed practice tests; this will give an idea about how much time you need to spend on each section. Practicing different test papers will give you an idea about the format of TOEFL. Various websites offer free practice papers such as the official website which provides sample papers for test practice:

  • Work on improving the additional skills- You should work hard for improving your grammar, spellings, pronunciation, vocabulary etc. These are necessary for getting a good score in all the four sections of the test.
  • You should also spend time in learning:

    • how to make notes
    • how to write a summary
    • how to scan and skim information while reading
    • how to connect information from different sources
  • Concentrate on your weaker skills- While attempting different practice tests, you will get an idea about your stronger and weaker skills. Spend more time in developing your weaker skills along with working on your stronger skills.

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While taking the test, prepare with a calm mind. Don't panic, if you are not able to find the correct answer to a question. Read the instructions well and listen carefully to what the examiner is saying. Don't introduce new terms and expressions about which you are not sure of. Answer all the questions and don't waste your time on a particular question as this can prove to be risky. Prepare well for TOEFL and get a good score.