Even though you might be submitting a high GMAT score to your dream school, if you are not a native speaker, you will also need to prove your English proficiency. Asian Scientist shares some practical TOEFL tips you can use when preparing for the test.
Helpful for: TOEFL Test Takers
Read Time: 6 minutes
• The TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) is gaining popularity, compared to the computer and paper based versions of the TOEFL.
• The TOEFL iBT has four sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing, each scored from 0-30 adding up to a total score of 0-120.
• The reading section has three or four passages with 36-56 questions to answer in 60-80 minutes. Each passage is about 700 words and tests your ability to compose an argument as well as understand instances of cause-effect and compare-contrast. To prepare best for this test section, read the news daily and post thoughtful comments on blogs exploring various topics. Make a goal of learning 10 new words a day, and choose a day to review them at the end of the week.
• The listening section has six to nine passages with 34-52 questions with 60-90 minutes allocated for your answers. Each passage is 3-5 minutes long and is a conversation between two speakers in a school lecture environment. You will be tested whether you understand the main idea, relationships between different concepts as well as the how the information is organized. By regularly tuning in to the radio, subscribing to a cool new podcast, or even starting an addictive Netflix series marathon (with subtitles), you will be closer to a high listening score on the TOEFL iBT. To take it one step further, write notes as you are listening to the material and have a conversation with a friend on what struck you as interesting.
• The speaking section has six tasks: 2 of which are independent and 4 integrated. The total time limit is 20 minutes. In the independent tasks, you will be required to give your opinion on a familiar topic, while in the integrated you will have to summarize information from reading and listening material. Asian Scientist suggests:
Find people with whom you can practice your English. Once again, take many notes to help prepare your response later. During the preparation time, come up with a draft script and follow it. Speak spontaneously and convey your ideas clearly and coherently. Try not to rush when you are speaking especially if you are nervous.
- The writing section has two tasks: one integrated and one independent. You will be given a total of 50 minutes. In the integrated task you will be required to read an academic style passage, listen to a speaker discuss it and write a summary. To really excel on this task, you should stay focused on key points and how they relate to the text. For the independent task, you will have to write an essay supporting an opinion. A great tip for the essay task is to avoid simply listing reasons without giving the logical reasoning behind it. Make sure you back up each statement you make with a solid rationale.
- Don’t overlook polishing off basic things like punctuation rules and spelling. The more time and effort you place in practicing your English, the higher accuracy and speed you will achieve on test day.
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