Reading and writing English isn’t always enough to pass your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. There’s a big difference between things like casual blog posts and formal, written grammar questions, so you’ll need all of your wits about you to get a good score on your test. Here are just a few tips for success.
1. Understand How You’ll Be Tested
The TOEFL exam is divided into four parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Each section will have its own rules and procedures, and it can really help to know what’s coming around the corner before it does. For example, in the “listening” portion of the test, you’ll have to answer questions based on audio clips. If you know this in advance, you won’t be shocked when your tester brings out the audio samples.
2. Improve Your Speed
If it takes you several hours to plow through an English test, you might be in trouble with the TOEFL. Each section is timed, and you’ll have to answer a certain amount of questions or complete a certain number of tasks within the allotted time frame. The reading portion can be up to 80 minutes long, but the speaking portion can last as little as 20 minutes. Know these time restraints so that you won’t panic when they’re announced.
3. Take a Preparation Course
A good TOEFL preparation course can help you with everything from your verbal skills to your written comprehension. In addition to building your literacy, it can also prepare you for the format of the test. You’ll learn about the different sections, tasks, time limits and scoring cards, and you’ll become familiar and comfortable with them even before test day.
4. Set a Goal
Give yourself a measurable goal that you can work towards as you prepare for the TOEFL. For example, if you’re trying to get into an English-speaking school, they might have a minimum TOEFL score that’s required for foreign students. Knowing this number can make all of the difference as you study.
5. Mark Your Calendar
Don’t just show up for the TOEFL and expect to get your results back the next day. It can take up to six weeks for you to receive your results, and if you need to have them forwarded to your school or workplace, that’s an additional couple of weeks for all of the paperwork to be processed. Don’t underestimate the severity of red tape.
These are just a few tips and tricks for passing your TOEFL exam. Whether you’re trying to get into an English-speaking university or preparing to enter the English-speaking workforce, let these suggestions help you secure your future. Good luck!