Test of English as a Foreign Language, i.e. TOEFL is one of the best English proficiency tests one can opt for. Accepted widely in numerous colleges and countries, this test becomes an important entry gate for you in a foreign country.
However, tackling with this test can be a little tricky, especially if English is not your native language. But still, with proper preparation, one can end up getting a good score in it.
And for this, one should know the important things about the test. If you are looking to appear for TOEFL, we are going to tell you the 10 most important things that you should know about that this test. These will help you understand the test better and enable you to score high in it. Take a look: –
Understand the TOEFL Pattern
Well, it comes as a pretty basic point, and ignoring it is not the smartest of things to do. Before going for the exam, you should know and understand the examination pattern.
TOEFL test is divided into 4 different sections – Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. In the reading section, you have to answer around 36-56 question in a period of 60 to 80 minutes. This can include Reading Comprehension, Grammar based questions, Critical Reasoning and Vocabulary based questions.
Second is the test of listening. You will have to listen to some audio clips and give your answers based on them. Then there is a speaking test, in which you have to speak for about a total of 20 minutes on different topics. Next is the writing section, which includes two writing assignments to be completed in around 50 minutes.
Scoring range of each section is 0 to 30 marks. So overall, your score lies between 0 to 120 marks
There is no penalty for wrong answers
Just like many internationally accepted English Language tests, TOEFL also doesn’t have any penalty for wrong answers. Therefore, you should maximize your attempts as much as possible.
In the objective tests, there are 4 choices for each question. So the probability of getting a guessed answered correct is 0.25. Not a bad deal, right? So first answer all the questions you know and in the end, don’t mind doing some guess work too.
Choose an early test date
One thing that you should definitely know is that it takes some time for the colleges too receive your TOEFL scores. Well, it can take as high as 6 weeks to for your scores to reach your desired institute.
Therefore, for the TOEFL test, chose a date that is well in advance as compared to application deadline for a particular college. As a rule of thumb, the test must be at least 6 weeks before your application deadline. The earlier you take the test, the better you will be relieved of such worries.
Official Resources are very helpful
Although you always have the option to opt for any mentoring or tutoring for preparation for TOEFL, but you should not forget that there are some official resources available too, which can help greatly.
ETS itself has made available some online resource which do not attract any expenses. Some of the best tools that you can use are TOEFL iBT Interactive Sampler, TOEFL iBT Quick Prep and TOEFL iBT sample questions. If you are looking to prepare on your own, then these resource are surely worth trying.
Vocabulary is important
TOEFL generally uses a good deal of words that are outside our common English usage. And if someone doesn’t know that word, the whole question can go wrong. Therefore, it is imperative that one needs to work hard on vocabulary.
Choose any method – Reading, Mobile Apps, Flashcards or whatever you have. But do work on your vocabulary as this can be a make or break thing in the exam.
Having a good reading speed always helps
Since TOEFL is a timed test, one has to optimize his/her speed properly. And since you will definitely have to read a lot during the paper, having a faster reading speed will definitely help. You will able to answer more questions and can even double check your attempted questions, if you have a good reading speed.
Listen to English News and Podcasts
While listening English, one has to process and interpret the information immediately. Therefore, one has to build the habit of listening English.
And the best source of for such listening is News Channels. Further, you can subscribe to some podcasts which use proper language. Try to make a habit of listening them.
The whole purpose of the speaking section of TOEFL is to check whether the way you speak is understandable or not. And therefore, you need to pronounce the words as they are accepted internationally, or at least can be understood by any English speaker in the work.
Don’t let your local accent impact your speaking. Further, in this matter, listening can help you greatly. Understand the nuances and work on your pronunciation.
Going through high scoring responses always helps
This is a Pro-tip especially for Speaking and Writing section. Many a time we do a lot of hard work to get better in these sections, but still fail to score well. So in such a situation, reading the answers (or responses) of candidates who scored higher can always help. You can differentiate your responses with their and can notice where you are going wrong.
Talking to native English speakers is the best practice
The ultimate purpose of any English language test is to check whether you can interact with English Speakers or not. And therefore, the quintessential type of practice is to talk to them. Just interact with them and try to become a proper fit in their group. This will help immensely.
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