If English is not your first language and you wish to attend an American university, then you need to plan to take the TOEFL iBT. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an exam that measures an individual’s ability to use English, specifically at the university level. As such, the TOEFL iBT is the English-language test most preferred by universities in the United States, France, Germany, and by graduate programs in Canada.
ETS explains, “Only the TOEFL test prepares you for the academic English requirements of a university […] Studying for the TOEFL test helps ensure you arrive at university better prepared than others who have not taken the TOEFL test.”
The Washington language school inlingua not only hosts the TOEFL two times each month, but the school is also an ETS Authorized TOEFL iBT® Test Center. In addition to being an authorized English test center, students can enroll in TOEFL prep courses to help them better prepare for the test and meet their university goals.
Since the TOEFL iBT is the means to attending the American university of your dreams, it is important to do everything you can to prepare to score well. Today we are sharing eight ways you can prepare for this examination.
Know the Test Format
With much weighing on the score you earn on the TOEFL, this is not an examination you should go into blindly. Instead, one of the most important ways to prepare for this test is to know what you are getting into. This means you should careful review the test format.
The TOEFL measures your ability to use English in four areas: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Each of these four areas is a timed test section. The reading section is 60-80 minutes and requires you to read passages and answer the corresponding questions. The listening section is 60-90 minutes and requires you to academic lectures or classroom discussion and then respond to questions.
The speaking and writing sections are not question-based; they are task-based. In the 20-minute speaking section, you are required to speak on a familiar topic. The 50-minute writing section requires you to write an essay that supports an opinion.
Use Official TOEFL Study Materials
In addition to knowing the TOEFL iBT format, it is important to use official TOEFL study materials. This is because these study materials are developed by the same creators of the TOEFL and most closely resemble the test itself.
Fortunately for students at inlingua’s English class in dc and those enrolled in the school’s TOEFL prep courses, they have access to TOEFL® preparation material developed by the creator of the exam, as well as software that uses the timing of the multiple-choice TOEFL iBT test.
Enroll in Test Prep Courses
The importance of enrolling in a TOEFL test prep courses cannot be overstated. These courses are designed to help students earn the TOEFL scores they need to go to the universities of their dreams. The more practice you have taking the test before your official test day, the better. At Washington language institute inlingua, students can take TOEFL test prep courses at the same place where they will take the examination making it a familiar setting. Their three-week test prep courses cover all four sections of the TOEFL in detail. In addition to group TOEFL test prep courses, inlingua also offers private tutoring for the TOEFL.
Practice English Every Day
When it comes to passing and achieving your goal score on the TOEFL, you absolutely must practice English every day. Languages are best learned by doing. Therefore, make every effort to use English as often as possible. Since the test is broken into four sections, let’s review some easy ways to use English every day in these four areas.
- Read –Make reading American news part of your daily routine. Find a news source that you like and read the headline stories each day.
- Listen –In addition to passive listening with television and music, look for opportunities to listen to native English speakers. Tune into English-speaking podcasts or news shows and then try to summarize what you listened to.
- Writing –Keep a simple journal where you write what you did that day in English. Use English to write text messages and emails.
- Speaking –Use English when speaking in restaurants and stores. Find a conversation partner to practice speaking English.
Take TOEFL Practice Tests
If you have not taken a timed TOEFL practice test, you will likely be overwhelmed by the timing come test day. Instead, it is much wiser to practice tests before the big day. Start without the timers and then move on to taking the tests with each section timed according to the test regulations. For example, ETS offers TOEFL® Practice Online that allows you to take a practice test made of past TOEFL test questions. The test is then scored and sent back to you.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Upon receiving scores from your practice tests, take time to learn from your mistakes. Even if you do not use the official ETS TOEFL practice tests, you are still aware of your weak areas. Use this knowledge to your advantage! If you know you struggle more with speaking English than you do in reading English, spend more time practicing speaking.
Boost Your Vocabulary
Vocabulary is essential when it comes to showing your English fluency. Spend time boosting your English vocabulary by using flashcards (or digital flashcards), games, and apps. The more English words you know, the easier it will be to recognize them and use them on test day.
Rest and Eat Well
Whatever you do, do not try to stay up late and cram for your TOEFL! This is a big mistake! Instead, you should do the exact opposite. The night before the TOEFL, you should gather your supplies, get your comfortable clothing ready, and go to bed early. On the morning of the TOEFL, eat a healthy breakfast, take some deep breaths, and do your best.
Want to know more about inlingua’s English test center? Contact us today!