Important Tips in TOEFL Exam

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  • Make yourself aware with the TOEFL format: Most countries now offer the Internet based TOEFL (iBT). A few offer only the paper-based test (PBT). You cannot opt for the paper based test if your country offers the iBT. ETS has very clear standards about the format of their test and so is called “standardized” test.
  • Research TOEFL score requirements: The TOEFL is needed for any non-native English student who wants to go to a college program in USA. Most people take the TOEFL in order to apply to a specific school or program. Many universities expect you to possess higher writing skills than speaking skills. TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years.
  • Understand academic English well: TOEFL tests your ability to succeed in an American university or college. Other English-speaking countries also need TOEFL scores as a primary condition for admission. Aim is to focus on studying language that you would hear and see on campus and in the classroom. You should read textbooks, encyclopedias, journals and research articles rather than advertisements and resumes. You must watch modern television shows and English movies.
  • Find your inspiration or mentor: A reliable native English teacher who knows a lot about the TOEFL is one of the best resources a student can have. You will have many questions that your textbook can't answer for you. Teaching another person is an outstanding way to learn.
  • Boost your stamina: The TOEFL test takes a long time to write. For paper based it is about 2.5 hours and for iBT it is 4 hours. Usually attention span is 2 hours after this amount of time performance begins to weaken.
  • Take the help of practice tests: Purchase a textbook that comprises of exercises, vocabulary, practice tests, CDs and explanatory answers. Work thoroughly on such sections that you find the most difficult ones. You might have a book that is much easier than the official TOEFL. Search for free samples on the Internet to supplement your textbook. Ensure that the questions are current and updated.
  • Avoid Nervousness, Arrive early: If you arrive at the test center with all of the things you need, you will feel relax and ready.
  • Pace yourself: Arrive at the respective test center atleast 30 minutes before of time. Wear a watch. The iBT has a clock on the screen, however, you should still wear a watch to make sure that you come on time.
  • Polish your typing skills: Make sure that you are confident typing on a QWERTY keyboard. Some candidates get so used to their own computer that they get nervous when they have to type on a new keyboard or use a different mouse on test day.
  • Expertise in note making: You can make notes in each section as you give the TOEFL iBT. Note taking is allowed. Answer each and every question.
  • Do not leave a question blank: Remove all of the answers you know are wrong and then make the most logical guess. You have a 25% chance of getting the correct answer.
  • Important tips for Reading section: The iBT does not test grammar separately as previous TOEFL tests did. You will still need to prove that you have a strong grasp of grammar in the speaking and writing sections. Practice reading without a dictionary close by:
  • Important tips for Listening section: While practicing for the listening sections, don't play the tape or CD more than once. On the real test you will only hear everything once. You have to train your ears to listen fully the first time.
  • Important tips for Speaking section: It is best to fill as much of the time as possible with your response, if you hesitate initially. If you have a few extra seconds you can sum things up in a short conclusion. You will lose marks for poor pronunciation, so don't try to use big words that you can't say properly. You will also lose marks for improper use of vocabulary and idioms.
  • Important tips for writing section: Don't forget that you will have to make connections in the first part of the Writing section. Memorize phrases from practice tests that show you how to do this. The most crucial thing is to keep your writing simple and clear. You will not have access to a spell check function. Don't use vocabulary and punctuation that you are unsure of:
  • Strengthen skills: You must be thorough in all 4 skills that is reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. You can't redo one section later. Be assure that you are ready to give the whole test when you register.
  • Wear comfortable clothes: Dress in comfortable attire on the day of test. You never know whether or not the test room will be cold or warm.
  • Eat light food before the test: Four hours is a long time to go without any snack. You will not be permitted to carry any food item or drink into the test room. Eat a light meal before the test.
  • Go through the official TOEFL website: The official TOEFL website has various helpful things that you can download free of cost. Also there is a long list of writing topics for the preparation of essay.

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