TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL /ˈtoʊfəl/ TOH-fəl) is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities.
TOEFL test scores are accepted by 9,000+ colleges and universities in 130 countries. If the first language you learned as a child was something other than English, taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, will be an unavoidable step in the process of getting into a U.S. college or university.
Here are some ways students can improve their chances of a good TOEFL score:
First, start with TOEFL Test Prep Planner.
Get to Know the Format of the TOEFL Test
Check out the official TOEFL website to find information on the test format, find answers to your questions and to locate your testing centers.
Go to Magoosh. This site offers a complete TOEFL course, including video lessons, hundreds of practice questions (with video explanations on how to answer them), study schedules and support from teachers. It’s an amazing resource for learning how the TOEFL exam works—and how to get a high score on it.
The test involves all aspects of the language – speaking, writing, reading and listening.
Listening: To practice listening, watch movies and TV shows without subtitles, or download and listen to podcasts. Before you begin listening, decide what your focus will be. Here are some topics you can listen for:
The main ideas. What is the main topic?
The purpose. Why is the speaker talking? To educate? To give an opinion? To complain? Etc.
Transitions. How does the speaker change from one idea to the next?
Stress and intonation. Where does the speaker place stresses within sentences? When does the pitch of their voice get higher and lower?
Reading: When it comes to reading, the Internet is your best friend. Start reading for 30 minutes each day with clear focus and attention.
Writing: To prepare for the writing section, practice timed writing. Write a journal, emails, shopping lists, to-do lists, letters and even Facebook posts in English. To get used to writing in English for a period of time set your timer for 15-25 minutes when journaling, writing letters or blog posts. Pay attention to your grammar even if you aren’t working on a specific exam topic.
Speaking: Practice Speaking English Alone and with Others. Set up Skype calls to get used to speaking via a headphone. Bring in specific topics to discuss.
Take Practice Tests
Take the practice tests from your study guide to measure your progress. Go over your mistakes and practice the areas you’re struggling with. After a few weeks, take the same test again. Compare your scores and check for improvements.