If you hope to attend an English-speaking university, then you are going to need to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). This is because it is the preferred test by universities in the United States, France, Germany, and by graduate programs in Canada. The TOEFL measures an individual’s ability to use English at the university level.
However, the TOEFL is not simply a pass/fail exam. Instead, the TOEFL is composed of four sections, which are worth 30 points each. This means the highest possible score on the TOEFL is 120. Rather accepting a pass or fail score, each university requires a specific TOEFL score. Some universities even require a specific score for each section of the TOEFL, such as a 24 out of 30 for the Speaking section.
Therefore, it is important for individuals who need to take the TOEFL to gain acceptance to the university of their dreams to earn a high enough score. Here’s the good news – according to the test makers at ETS, “90% of TOEFL test takers surveyed got into their 1st or 2nd choice university.” To help you score a great TOEFL score, we’re going over our favorite fifteen TOEFL test prep tips.
1. Wait Until You’re Ready
Don’t make the mistake of rushing to take the TOEFL before you are ready. If you do, then you will likely not earn the score you need to attend the university you want. Plus, it costs money each time you take the TOEFL. It is a waste of money if you are not prepared. If you do not feel comfortable speaking, listening, writing, or reading English, wait until you feel more confident in your English.
2. Enroll in a TOEFL Prep Course
One of the best ways to prepare for the TOEFL is to enroll in a test prep course. A TOEFL test prep course is designed to help you earn the score you need for university. Students who attend the Washington language school inlingua can enroll in a TOEFL test prep course and take the test at the same location since inlingua is an authorized English test center for the TOEFL.
3. Understand the Directions
To earn a high score on the TOEFL, you must understand all the directions. Read the directions for each section carefully to ensure you complete the task correctly. This is another reason why a test prep course is helpful. Your TOEFL test prep instructors will explain the various directions for each section of the exam.
4. Practice with Official TOEFL Materials
Invest in official TOEFL test prep materials since they will give you the most realistic practice. These test prep materials use the same format and the same type of questions. Currently, you can choose from the TOEFL Go!® Official App, the Online Official Practice Test, and the Official Guide to the TOEFL® Test.
5. Treat Practice Tests Like They’re the Real Thing
Just because it isn’t the real test does not mean you should treat it like it is fake. Instead, try your hardest to treat any practice tests as if it is the real thing. This means taking it in a similar environment using the same time allotments as the actual TOEFL. Students taking an English class in DC and enrolled in a TOEFL prep course will have the opportunity to take timed practice tests.
6. Strengthen Your Typing Skills
If you are taking the TOEFL online, then you must strengthen your typing skills using a QWERTY keyboard. If your typing skills are weak, it will slow you down significantly during the writing portion of the TOEFL.
7. Learn How to Take Notes
During the TOEFL listening section, you only listen to the clip one time. This means it is critical to take notes. However, learning how to take notes, especially in a foreign language, is challenging. Make a point to practice note-taking before test day.
8. Practice English Every Single Day
We cannot stress the importance of practicing English every day enough. The best way to become fluent in English is to practice, practice, practice! Students taking English courses in Washington DC will be immersed in the language and will have natural opportunities to practice English every day.
9. Add Variety to Your Study Sessions
While we always encourage English language learners to learn by doing what they love, it is also important for those preparing for the TOEFL to vary their studies. For example, the test will require test takers to be familiar with reading and understanding academic texts, so it is important for test-takers to listen and read this type of material, too.
10. Avoid Repetition
The TOEFL is designed to see how much English a test taker actually knows and understands. Therefore, it is important to avoid repetition. Instead, boost your vocabulary before the test and use a variety of English words in the exam.
11. Take Advantage of Lexile
After taking a TOEFL practice test, you will learn your reading level. Using your reading level, visit Lexile to find reading materials on your level. And, keep reading so you can continue to move up levels.
12. Work on Your Pronunciation
The test reviewers must be able to understand your English, so it is extremely important to pronounce the English words correctly. You should speak slowly and enunciate each word. Those who study English in Washington DC at inlingua will benefit from language trainers and native speakers who gently correct students when they mispronounce a word, so they won’t do it on the TOEFL.
13. Rest Well
The night before the TOEFL, try your hardest to get a full night’s rest. Do not try to stay up and cram for the exam or attempt to build your vocabulary overnight. Instead, go to bed early, eat a good breakfast, and take some deep breaths.
14. Be Confident
On TOEFL test day, be confident! This is an opportunity to show what you know. With this being said, this is not the time to try out new words or new sentence structures. Instead, stick with what you know.
15. Take the Test More Than Once
Finally, if you do not earn the score you need the first time you take the TOEFL, you can always take it again. You only have to submit your highest score to the university of your choice – they won’t even see your low score unless you send it.
Are you starting to prepare for the TOEFL? Enroll in a course today!