How to Prepare for the TOEFL

How to Prepare for the TOEFL

If you are planning to go to a university in the United States, chances are that you will need to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The TOEFL is a test that students take to let universities know that they can be successful. The TOEFL has 4 sections that measure your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. The test takes around 3 to 3 ½ hours to complete, and you will need to prepare in advance to get a higher score. The TOEFL test may seem like an impossible obstacle, but if you prepare with enough time, you can reduce some of the stress related to the test. Keep reading to find useful tips to help you reach your goals. 

First, you will need to know the format of the test. The first part of the test is reading. There are between 30-40 questions. You will need to read the passages and then answer the questions about the passage. After reading is the listening section. You will listen to conversations and lectures and then answer questions based on what you heard. There are between 28-39 questions. When you have finished the first two sections, you will have a ten-minute break. After the break is the speaking section. You are given 4 speaking questions. The questions will either be about a topic familiar to you, a lecture, or a conversation. 

After you become familiar with the TOEFL format, it’s a good idea to practice. The ETS website has plenty of practice questions and tests. It’s good to record your time for each section of the test as well. While taking the test, make sure that you do not have anything out. When you take the test at a TOEFL testing center, you will not be able to eat, drink, or have any study aids with you. Make sure to go over the questions that you miss when you are finished with the test. Additionally, make sure that you are studying in a quiet and organized area. 

Beside practice tests, you should listen to the television, radio, and podcasts in English. Listen closely and make sure to write down words or phrases that you don’t know. Research the new words to expand you vocabulary. Additionally, there are Youtube videos and apps available on your phone that focus on common vocabulary words that you can expect on the TOEFL. 

A big portion of the test will require you to take notes. It will help to raise your score if you practice to become a better note taker. During the listening section you will listen to a lecture or conversation only once and then will be asked questions about it. You can practice by listening to short audio clips and taking notes on the main points, then listen to the audio again with your notes to check for accuracy. 

Lastly, you will need to improve your speaking. In order to improve your speaking, you should practice having conversations with Native English speakers. If you do not have any Native speakers to practice your English with, we suggest taking a class. At American English Language School, our TOEFL preparation class focuses on all four sections of the test. Our classes are also limited to no more than 6 students per class, so you will have ample opportunities to ask questions and practice your speaking. Email info@aels.edu for more information about our TOEFL preparation class and how to get started.

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Published on September 2, 2021

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