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Preparation Tips For TOEFL Test

By on July 16, 2012

Preparation Tips For TOEFLTOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and is owned and managed by ETS (Educational Testing Service). TOEFL is available in two formats: TOEFL-PBT andTOEFL-iBT. TOEFL-PBT is the older version and is paper based test and the new one is internet based test-iBT. The TOEFL iBT is becoming more popular as it is an online test and assesses all the four skills of English- reading, writing, speaking and listening, whereas, TOEFL PBT assesses the reading, writing and listening skills but does not test the speaking skills.

Before deciding on which format of TOEFL to appear, you need to check which format is available in your locality. TOEFL PBT is available in those test locations where internet facility is not available for conducting TOEFL iBT. Candidates appearing for TOEFL PBT need to appear for TWE (Test of Written English) along with the reading, writing and listening test. TWE is a writing test that assesses how well you can use the English language for expressing your ideas. If appearing for TOEFL iBT, practicing on the QWERTY keyboard will make you familiar with the keys and will also help in increasing the typing speed.

Purpose of Attempting TOEFL

TOEFL scores are basically used for academic purposes and are accepted by more than 8500 colleges and universities. TOEFL scores are also needed for visa processing for Australia and United Kingdom. TOEFL test centers are available at more than 4500 test centers spread across the world.

There are approximately 30-40 TOEFL test dates available in a year. It tests how well you can use English as a language in a classroom environment. Are you able to follow what your lecturer and classmates speak, are you able to communicate with them, are you able to follow what you read , how well you can write etc. are some tasks that are tested using TOEFL. Based on the scores received, colleges decide upon your application for admission.

How to Prepare for TOEFL?

Preparation for TOEFL should start at least 2-3 months in advance. Registration process for TOEFL can be done 3-4 months before the test date. As TOEFL assesses all the four skills of English, you can start your preparation by attempting a mock TOEFL test. Results of the mock test will provide you with a clear picture of where you stand in the world of English. Based on this, you can identify your weaker and stronger areas and start your preparation. There are several methods available for TOEFL preparation, based on your convenience, budget and requirements; you can select one from the available sources.

Reading skills can be improved by reading newspapers, magazines, books, articles etc. Books can be selected from different subjects like arts, business, science, history etc. Listening to speeches, news, radio, lectures, watching movies etc. can help in increasing the listening skills. There are two tasks for the speaking test: Independent and Integrated. Independent tasks include speaking about familiar topics like your hobbies, personal experiences etc., so practice speaking on these topics.

How to Prepare for TOEFL

Integrated task includes reading an article and answering questions related to it or speaking about a topic after reading and listening to the same topic.Writing skills includes writing essays, summaries etc. which can be practiced by writing the same. It also contains two tasks: Independent and Integrated. Independent task includes familiar topics and Integrated task includes topics that are more of an academic kind.

TOEFL Preparation Methods

TOEFL preparatory courses are provided by various institutes, classroom courses as well as online courses are available. Institutes like Kaplan’s, Princeton Review etc. provide excellent classroom courses for TOEFL preparation. Online TOEFL preparation courses are also available at www.manhattanreview.com, www.kaplan.com etc.

Services of private tutors are also available for those who understand better through a face-to-face interaction. The classes are conducted either at the institute or at the tutor’s place or at the student’s place. If you are confident about your knowledge of English then you can also opt for group study or self-study. You can buy the necessary study materials and start studying on your own or in the company of your friends.

Market is flooded with good preparatory books which can be selected after a careful research. You can take the help of your friends or teachers or you can refer the internet for selecting the right TOEFL preparation guide. A TOEFL preparation guide provides you with the necessary guidelines and study materials needed for TOEFL preparation.

Some TOEFL guides are skill specific, i.e. a separate guide for speaking, for listening and so on. Other guides are available as packages which includes all the study materials for all the skills in a single guide. Some popular TOEFL preparation guides include: The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test by ETS (Educational Testing Service), Barron’s TOEFL iBT: Internet-based Test by Pamela J. Sharpe.

Attempt as many model test papers as possible, this makes you familiar with the types of questions that will appear in the real TOEFL. It also gives you an idea about the time that you need to spend on each section. It increases your speed and also keeps a check on the pace of your study. Attempting sample papers makes you aware of your stronger and weaker areas. Spend more time on improving your weaker areas along with brushing up your stronger areas.

Sample papers are made available at the official website www.ets.org which can be downloaded for practicing. As, TOEFL is conducted by the ETS you can rely on the study materials provided by them needed for TOEFL preparation. Study materials include The Official Guide to the TOEFL which is available in two formats: paper book and e-book.


In order to get a good TOEFL score you need to work hard for improving your vocabulary, grammar, spellings, pronunciation etc. You can also practice writing summaries, making notes etc. Make it a habit to speak, write, read and listen in English at least for some time every day. Learn a new word every day, listen carefully, and speak loudly and clearly.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-John/100001628121366 Sara John

    it is depend upon students Which is TOEFL test is exact for you? PBT or the iBT