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Preparing For TOEFL Exam? – 10 Proven Tips to Help

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is an English proficiency-based exam which stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language. It is a standardized test use by various international speaking Universities to examine its students for their English proficiency. The test is also used to check the English ability of non-English speakers who wish to get a job or during immigration and application for a visa. Various institutions of learning in countries like the; United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and others are all advocates for the TOEFL exam.

The TOEFL test contains four different sections in taking it and these include; writing, speaking, listening and reading. There are two types of the TOEFL test, the internet-based test and the paper-based test; although, this paper-based test is becoming less popular as more people prefer the internet-based test.

The internet-based TOEFL exam is done online through the TOEFL website and the fluency test of the individual is carried out in four sections of; reading, writing, listening and speaking. While the paper-based TOEFL test is done on paper, that is, the individual taking the examination is physically given the exam paper and he or she is still being tested in the four sections of; reading, listening, speaking and writing.

The reading section of the TOEFL test is about 54 to 72 minutes long and it comes with three to four reading passages, which may come from textbooks taught at the university level, and then about 14 questions for each of the passages.

The listening section is about 41 to 57 minutes long, and it comes with four to six lectures and about two to three conversations. The lectures which can be said to be like a university lecture, range from three to five minutes and the conversations are three minutes each.

The speaking section of the test is up to 17 minutes long and the individuals who are taking the test must answer up to four questions for the internet-based test. This is done by speaking into a microphone on a headset. The recorded responses are then sent to the TOEFL website to be scored by human raters. It’s the speaking section that experts flag as one of the more difficult sections on the TOEFL.

Score Range of a TOEFL Test

There are four sections of the TOEFL test; reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each section is about 30 points. This can be done through various automated scoring methods and also by human graders to assess the individuals who take the English language skill test. The reading and listening sections are scored by automated methods, while the speaking and writing sections are reviewed by human graders.

The highest score on a TOEFL test is about 120, but individual institutions or immigration units, depending on your reason for taking the test, can decide on what score works perfectly with them. Some institutions demands higher scores of up to 100 while, some also request as low as 45. The average minimum TOEFL test score accepted by ranked United States institutions is 75 and some universities and colleges can still admit students with a score as low as 45.

The Top 10 Proven Tips

  1. Read and listen to English articles and news: this is regarded as one of the best ways to improve your reading and listening to the English language. This will allow you to improve your vocabulary as well. To excel at the TOEFL exam, you will need to master many tough words. As a large part of the TOEFL is knowing lots and lots of English language words, especially the academic vocabulary, so it’s important you know which words you are supposed to be in search of and also need to study for the TOEFL exams.
  2. Converse with native English speakers: if you have friends who are native English speakers, these native English speakers are people whose first language is English,  or you have a way of getting to speak with native English speakers, then that is a great way of improving your English speaking and listening. You can also sign up online for English speaking classes where you can learn and get to speak and interact with them as well.
  3. Make use of a language learning Application or Website: you can learn English faster through language learning websites and apps. These websites help you to track your learning progress and help you to solve grammatical errors. It also shows you various patterns on how to study. There some websites or apps that allow you to learn for free and some charges you to pay a little token for getting full access to their learning.
  4. Learn the TOEFL test format: for you to do extremely well on the TOEFL test, you have to know the formats of the exam. You must know exactly what to expect on the test day, from what kinds of sections and structure the test would appear in. You will also have to encounter so many questions and you will need to answer them within a stipulated amount of time.
  5. Make use of the practice questions: as you study for the TOEFL exams, you have to familiarize yourself with the types of questions which you would be asked, that is why it is important to get in touch with various past questions of TOEFL which you can lay your hands on. Try to study as much as you can before the exam day, learn about the structure, the frequent questions and the best way in which to answer them.
  6. Study in a peaceful environment: it is important when you want to study for any exam or test, to always study in a quiet and peaceful environment as this will improve your assimilation. Search or create a good environment where you can block all distractions that may hinder your study sessions. Learn to do away with your phone or switch it off, put out your tablets and other gadgets and things which will come as a form of distraction. If you have children or you live with your family, you can make use of earplugs or buds while reading in order to control distractions. Bring all the materials needed for your study before you start so as to limit your going out every minute. Endeavour to always set a timer for yourself while you study if you can read and assimilate well in two hours, set your timer or alarm to that and make sure you achieve a lot during that time.
  7. Take short study sessions in the morning and evening: it has been known through studies that people are productive at different times of the day. Some are people more productive in the morning after a good night rest and some in the evening, as our brains start memorizing things that have been learnt throughout the day. When preparing for the TOEFL test, endeavour to read and study as much as possible, take short study sessions both in the morning and evening. You don’t have to study for long hours as this may cause some disturbance in your study system and can also make you forget all you have studied in the past. Learn to study in short duration of time as these will improve your assimilation and comprehension.
  8. Watch movies in English: you can also learn the English language efficiently by watching movies and television series or programs in English or those subtitled in English. Doing all of these improves your learning ability and comprehension. Watch the movies first with subtitles in your first language and then a second time with subtitles in English, and finally with no subtitles to help in the better understanding and comprehension.
  9. Organize and practise your essay writing: in taking the TOEFL test, it is of importance to be able to write fluently in English language because there would be a writing section in the test. So try as much as possible to practice writing your essays as often as possible, do well to take note of the important parts in the writing of an essay and these parts are the; introduction to the essay, the body of the essay and then the conclusion. While you are writing, practice more essay writings, get in the habit of structuring your essays in that way as well to be able to take the writing test in the TOEFL very well. When writing, each body paragraph of your essay should focus on only one subject, do not make your work uneasy to read for the examiner.
  10. Practice reading books and magazine in English: Reading English books and journals is a very good step in taking the reading section of the TOEFL very well. This will help you to develop and boost your reading confidence. It is very important that you understand what you are reading. Test yourself by answering some basic questions after you read a text or material. For example, make sure that you can answer basic questions. Read books and magazines in the English language on a regular basis to boost your proficiency and learning.

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Taking the TOEFL test can be very overwhelming and tasking, because the test covers a lot of different skills; ranging from speaking, reading, writing and listening. This article has tried to put in place some of the necessary things to do when preparing for the TOEFL test. You can make a study plan that will help you improve your learning skills and adequate comprehension. There are also tutors and practice tests online which you can work on to give you an extra edge on the final day of the exam. With some dedication and concentration, you can put yourself on track to succeed exceeding in the TOEFL test and get a great score.

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