Students who desire to study in graduate schools in the United States generally need to prepare for two examinations. They are the graduate record examination (GRE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL is a standardized test to measure the English speaking abilities of non-English speakers, seeking admission in English speaking countries. GRE is a test that is an admission requirement for most graduate schools in United States. There are few similarities in the test content of both the exams and hence there are many good reasons to sync TOEFL studies with GRE preparation.
Here’s an overview of the test content of both the exams.
GRE is divided into three sections- Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. TOEFL is divided into Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. The Reading comprehension of GRE and the Reading section of TOEFL is similar to an extent. The Writing sections are also similar keeping in mind the academic nature of the topics.
Preparation of TOEFL studies with GRE studies
Below are a few reasons to sync TOEFL studies with GRE Preparation.
- Both TOEFL and GRE require test-takers to read passages in the reading section and answer multiple choice questions concerning the passage. The passages are academic in nature in both the tests. They objective is the same – testing the understanding of academic written English.
- Both the TOEFL and the GRE have writing tests. In the TOEFL writing test, test-takers need to read a topic and listen to an audio that is academic in nature and subsequently answer questions on the passage. The objective is to assess how well the test-takers are able to understand, interpret and summarize the topic in their own words. On the GRE writing section, most topics are academic in nature while others are non-academic. The passages in both the tests cover a wide variety of topics and both requires one to write accurate responses. So it would be helpful if students can prepare the sample questions from both TOEFL and GRE together in order to get acquainted with the reading passages. Since TOEFL passages are simpler as compared to GRE reading passages, it would be helpful to read the sample passages from TOEFL reading practise tests and then move on to complex GRE reading passages.
- The GRE AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) essay is similar to the TOEFL writing task 2 (Independent task). The topics are similar in both the tasks. So it is beneficial to practice sample questions from both the tests. The only difference is that GRE requires test-takers to take an in-depth analysis of the social topic while TOEFL requires the test-takers to approach the topic in a less complicated way.
- Emphasis is laid on vocabulary in both the exams. The vocabulary for the TOEFL exam is likely to be the same as the GRE exam. The only difference is that the GRE vocabulary may be more complex. However practice would make test-takers more confident.
Both the tests pay emphasis to meaning of words. There are numerous questions on the TOEFL reading section that ask test-takers about the meaning of words. Both exams test your understanding of paragraphs.
ETS offers official preparation material to prepare for TOEFLiBT® test. The TOEFL® Value Packs provides official resources. The value pack can be purchased while registering for the exam or it can be purchased from the ETS store. TOEFL Practice Online is another preparation material that gives test-takers the real experience of the exam. Test-takers will be able to answer questions and receive scores within 24 hours. They will also receive feedback on their performance. Besides these, test-takers can visit the official TOEFL website to learn more about the official and free preparation resources.
There are free resources available to prepare for GRE. Magoosh has some GRE free eBooks. They are-General GRE eBook, The Ultimate GRE Guide, Vocabulary eBook, GRE Vocabulary Flashcards eBook and Math Formula eBook. Besides these free resources, other official preparation material can be purchased online. The Official Guide To The GRE Revised General Test (2nd edition with CD) is a book that has been created by the GRE authors themselves. It contains four comprehensive tests. In Barron’s 6 GRE Practice Tests, most of the vocabulary typically appears in the GRE exam. Test-takers can visit the ETS website to learn more about the official preparation resources and how to purchase them.