Being able to speak fluent English does not guarantee success in TOEFL examination. On the contrary, success in TOEFL depends mostly on the strategy and your preparation. TOEFL exam comprises 3 to 5 texts of around 700 words. Students are required to answer 12 to 15 questions based on this text. 20 minutes are allocated for answering questions based on each text.
For those willing to score well in this exam, here are some of the best TOEFL preparation tips that could boost your chances of success exponentially:
1. Read as much as you can
This is an obvious, yet the best advice. Students need to read as much as possible while preparing for the exam. Try to go through a variety of topics, from current affairs to health and sports. You can refer to the books, internet and magazine for the reading material. Acquaint yourself with the lengthy format of TOEFL test.
2. Keep a notebook
Do you keep a notebook or use online calendars and memos to plan your day? Do you use your smartphone for that? Or you paste your notes on the fridge? Whatever it is, you can use each one of these methods to effectively build a strong vocabulary. Keeping notes helps you to remember new words in a fun way. In addition to that, going back to the notes will help you recall the words you have memorized.
3. Practice previous years’ tests
Remember that TOEFL is a standardized test which follows the same format every year. By practicing previous years’ tests you can easily acquaint yourself with the format.
4. Practice to complete the test within the allocated time limit
While going through the previous years’ exam papers, you can also practice to complete the answers at the stipulated time. Respecting the time constraints is very important for success in TOEFL. Remember that the software used in TOEFL exams will automatically take you to the next question when the time is over for a particular part. If you happen to lose the track, use an alarm clock.
5. Learn to skim
Skimming involves glancing at a passage and spotting all the details that seem to be important. Acquiring this skill is highly crucial for success in the TOEFL reading test.
6. Learn how to sum up
Never jump to the conclusion. When you are done reading the text, stop in the end and try to comprehend what you just read.
7. Highlight (if you have to)
If you want to highlight important data like dates, places and vocabulary in the paragraph, go ahead. This can help you to sort out details and channel your thoughts.
8. Guess unfamiliar words
What do you do when you see a new and unknown word? Do you panic or refer to a dictionary? The fact is, neither of these tactics is going to help in TOEFL. You need to guess the relevant meaning of the new words, according to the context of a passage.
Unless you tell others about your TOEFL score, nobody is going to know about it. While you may want to share your test results with the universities you are willing to join, there is no need to tell them about the number of unsuccessful attempts you have had. Whether you were failed or got a low score, this secret should stay with you. As far as TOEFL is concerned, you can take this exam as many times as you like.
Since the pattern of the exam is tricky, only a few students get the desired score in the first attempt. So, do not lose heart and keep trying.
Margaret Jones is a business woman and a freelance writer who works in Bangkok and writes articles for websites and language schools, like Language Express.