Are you preparing for TOEFL? If yes, then there must be lots of queries in your mind like TOEFL Preparation Tips, TOEFL iBT Preparation Tips, TOEFL Guide, TOEFL Preparation Online, TOEFL Tips and tricks, etc. In this article, you will get answers of all related queries.
TOEFL Preparation Tips:
TOEFL or Test Of English as a Foreign Language is a widely-taken test, with TOEFL scores being accepted by over 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries. A good TOEFL score can open up global avenues for a student, helping him/her in not only admissions to coveted universities, but also in the larger picture by drastically improving English communication skills.
TOEFL iBT Preparation Tips:
Do you want to achieve a good score in TOEFL iBT examination? Look no further. Find the TOEFL preparation guide here to crack the exam.
1. KNOW THE BASICS
Explore every bit of information available on the TOEFL iBT. There are four sections (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) which are completed in approximately 4.5 hours. If you want to apply to a foreign university, ensure that it accepts TOEFL scores. Also, check the weight-age given to these scores. If any friend, senior or family member has taken this test, question them about their experiences, and ask for any specific advice. Look for first-hand accounts of TOEFL experiences. These will give you a fair idea and help you test the waters.
2. SELF-ASSESSMENT AND INTROSPECTION
Self-evaluate and gauge your highs and lows. Almost every applicant has a slight idea of the level s/he at before the preparation commencement. Once you have assessed external resources mentioned in point 1, plunge inwards and do an honest SWOT analysis of your English communication skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing). This will help you determine the intensity and severity of preparation required.
3. ENSURE YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT PREP TIME
Every individual has a different speed of catching on to new learning experiences. If you perceive yourself as a slow learner and weak communicator, make sure you have at least 5-6 months of preparation, maybe even more. If you think you come off as a quick learner and have a more or less strong command over English Language, 2-3 months of preparation would suffice. Every year, there are more than 50 dates on which TOEFL is conducted. So, instead of fretting over the scheduled time for TOEFL preparation, focus on a healthy, customized prep pace.
4. READING SECTION STRATEGIES
Try to read as much as possible. Set aside a reading hour every day. A good reading habit will form the bedrock for other sections too. Books, Newspapers, magazines, journals, online articles and blogs can provide good reading resources for a student. While reading, try to soak in the information provided at one go. Make mental notes about important points. Also try to paraphrase the given material in your own words, so you are able to explain the gist or summary. Familiarize yourself with reading on a computer screen, as TOEFL iBT is conducted online. Solve comprehension exercises and time yourself.
5. WRITING SECTION STRATEGIES
The key to master this section is practicing writing as much as you can. Don’t be hesitant of penning down your thoughts for the fear of not being good enough. Tell yourself that for evolution and improvement in your writing skills, you first have to shed your inhibitions and get, set, write. Choose any topic and let your thoughts flow. Make a rough written draft first, and then fair it out.
While reading books or articles, try to observe the writing styles and imbibe it in your own writing style. You can also learn from journalists who specify the What, When, Where, Why, Who and How before advancing on any news story. TOEFL writing section also requires you to state opinions, so read about various issues. Support your writing with well-researched arguments and facts, not vague statements. Learn how essays are written.
6. LISTENING SECTION STRATEGIES
A good listener paves a bright future for himself. Start off slow, by listening to enjoyable resources like English songs, TV shows, movies and news bulletins. As the preparation for different sections over overlaps, this will help you grasp new words and speaking styles. Progress to classroom lectures, discussions and audio-books. You can even refer to YouTube for debates, tutorials and TED talks. These will keep you informed of latest and general happenings, which is required for a good writing and speaking acumen.
If you’re not comfortable with fast-paced English, choose audio resources with subtitles, although it should not be made a habit. While listening, make sure the resource has your rapt, undivided attention. Focus on the phonetic aspects. Indian students may feel more comfortable practicing with British English, but the phonetic system of the American English must also be practiced.
7. SPEAKING SECTION STRATEGIES
This is the oft-dreaded part of the entire exam. Applicants must emphasize on practicing spoken English from Day 1 itself. Listening to audio resources is helpful. For an icebreaker, record yourself on your mobile recorder and take your time getting comfortable with your own voice. Absorb how you speak and list down the parts you think need attention.
Read aloud. Newspapers, books or articles, initially focus on reading them aloud and getting the pronunciation right. If you’re doubtful of any pronunciations, look it up on a reliable dictionary. At first, break the words into syllables and then pronounce it. Tutor yourself in the English Phonetic Chart, if you have extra prep time at hand. Remember speaking is not just about getting words out of your mouth. It is also about the pauses, intonation, pitch, volume, voice modulation and avoiding prolonged fillers like ‘um’ or ‘err’. This may sound like a little too much, but once you perfect it, it’ll only add to your brilliant English communication skills. Try to remain in circles and atmospheres which encourage English speaking.
- Difference Between TOEFL iBT and Paper Based Test
- TOEFL Eligibility Criteria
- TOEFL Syllabus and Pattern
- Official Guide to TOEFL Test 4th Edition PDF
- Top 15 Institutions that Accept TOEFL Scores
ADDITIONAL TOEFL PREPARATION TIPS
- Build up your vocabulary by reading books of famous authors (Recommended authors: Dan Brown, George RR Martin and Stephen King).
- Make pull-out vocabulary cards and carry them wherever you go. You can also carry a handy, pocket dictionary. Make a Vocab Notebook and write new words and meanings there. Keep revising it.
- Subscribe to services (Apps, newsletters, emails, FB/Instagram pages) that give interesting trivia about the exam, and timely helpful resources like Word Of The Day, word games etc.
- Network yourself in English-speaking circles. Befriend people who are also appearing for similar exams and try exciting group exercises. A regular exposure to English for a sustained period can do wonders for your prep.
- Take help of teachers in school or university/college. Join good coaching centers if you find them beneficial.