Exams Know-how

How To Prepare For TOEFL

Kashyap Matani

Preparation for TOEFL

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam is a 4 hours exam which tests your basic skills of English that includes reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

Preparing for TOEFL isn’t as tedious as GRE. A week or 10 days is more than sufficient. Generally, for the preparation of TOEFL, no books as such are required, but it completely depends on person to person on how to prepare it. Some people prepare for it by reading digital newspapers like The Washington Post, New York Times or even watching BBC news etc. You can start off with computer tests like Barron’s, Kaplan and Cambridge, analyze where you scored less and why. Then start preparing likewise. Each of these tests will have individual section of reading, listening, speaking and writing. Solve each section independently and get a hang of all the questions. Notice the type of questions as it is important to get familiar with the type.

-Reading section is where you get comprehension type sections and you will have options to all the questions. You need to select the answer accordingly by keeping the time in mind because sometimes the time slips away rapidly. 

-Listening is altogether a new section. You haven’t been exposed to this section in any part of any exam. So preparation is also required. It isn’t a difficult section but all you need to do is CONCENTRATE. You need to understand the accent in which they speak. If you are a regular follower of Hollywood movies or Star World shows, the ball is in your court. You will hear a series of conversations or lectures and you will be asked questions based on it.

 Important: Jot down points while listening to the conversation as you don’t get a second chance to hear the same.

-Speaking is one of the important sections and preparing for it will be fun. It’s the shortest section of TOEFL but requires enough preparation. On presenting the 6 tasks to you followed by the questions, WRITE DOWN SOME POINTS while reading or hearing the questions in this section. They expect you to repeat some of the IMPORTANT words. Solve all the questions from Barron’s. If time and mood permits, solve Kaplan and Cambridge.

 Note: Students generally score less or sometimes the least in this section. Make sure you do well here as the university often grants you TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIP (TA) based on your speaking exam.

-Writing  section is the same section which you have been preparing for since your childhood days - writing an essay. The only difference is the level of writing an essay should be on the higher side like using good vocabularies, sentence connection should be good and most importantly the vision of the topic given should be clear. For your reference see the type of the essays from Barron’s. If your writing and expressing skills are brilliant, you can excel in this section.

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