ICD Pakistan
December 6, 2019
  • By Osamah Qureshi
  • / Blog


What is TOEFL?

TOEFL stands for “Test of English as a Foreign Language” and can be one of the pre-requisites for undertaking a study program at a higher educational institution in an English speaking country. The test comprises of a comprehensive analysis of the potential student’s English speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. The TOEFL test is conducted in the form of an online test. Each foreign institution has different requirements for the minimum TOEFL score; however, on an average, these requirements range from a score of 61 and 100. Moreover, the test results expire after a period of 2 years.  

How this brief helps you?

If you want higher TOEFL scores, you are either attempting the test for the first time or desire an improvement in your previous scores. In both the cases, this brief guide provides you with key and only relevant tips on the subject under distinctly identified areas of common interest.  

Stress – The Biggest Hurdle between You and High Scores

  •  Stress is the result of lack of preparation so prepare well.
  •  Stress is the result of lack of knowledge about the test format so familiarize with this format before the exam.
  • The more you practice, the less stress you will experience on the test day.

Information – What is included?

  • Points required in meeting the minimum requirements.
  • Availability vs. the requirement of time to prepare.
  • Format of the TOEFL test.
  • Preparatory material including the practice material available online on the ETS and also the 2 official TOEFL books.

1st Key to Obtain High Scores in TOEFL – Improve Academic English

  • The focus should always be maintained upon learning and improving American academic English.
  • Consult American research essays and articles and also textbooks.
  •  Focus on the correct use of academic phrases and language.

2nd Key to Obtain High Scores in TOEFL – Practice, Practice and Even More Practice (PPP)

  • Continuously practice attempting the TOEFL tests either on paper or simulation software depending upon the facilities available at the testing center you intend to appear.
  • Practice attempting all 4 sections of reading, writing, speaking and listening. But focus on the section(s) you face the most difficult to attempt.
  • Improve your vocabulary through developing a habit of reading.
  • Identify weaknesses after each test and work on them. If you do not identify and address the weaknesses, the mock or practice tests will not be of much help towards improving your scores.
  • An improvement in the test scores by 3 to 5 points is expected after practicing for 4 to 6 weeks. But this is just a suggested time frame which can be increased or decreased in accordance with the individual needs.
  • Make use of the full test samples available on ETS and also the TOEFL android and IOS apps.
  • Adhere to the original test conditions and timings during the practice sessions.
  • Practice typing on a computer keyboard and increase this speed without making mistakes as much as possible.

3rd Key to Obtain High Scores in TOEFL – Get Guidance anMentor ship

  • Choose a teacher as mentor who is well familiar with TOEFL tests and preferably has attempted it himself.
  • Mentors are useful in identifying strengths and weaknesses and also in enhancing understanding.
  • It is better to identify the test section in which you are weak and then look for a suitable mentor or guide.

Giving the Test: Come Prepared and be Comfortable

  • Come prepared and tension free on test day.
  • Reach the test center at least 60 minutes before the designated time.
  • You should be well familiar with test format and documentation and other requirements.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid over-consuming coffee or tea before the exam.
  • You should satiate your hunger before the start of the test.

Giving the Test: Time Management

  •  Throughout the test keep a close watch on the available and leftover time.
  • Do not waste time on difficult questions.
  • Do not exceed the time you have allocated to attempting each section.
  • Keep maximum possible time for the essay.
  • Develop and practice the habit of note taking for due assistance while attempting all four sections of the test.

Giving the Test: Answering Questions

  • You must always answer all questions.
  • For questions whose answers you do not know, make the best possible choice as a chance.
  • Remember there is no negative marking in TOEFL tests.

Giving the Test: Reading Section

  • Always try to give 3 minutes to read the passage, not more than that, if you can’t then focus onto the sections of the passage pertaining to the questions. However, develop a habit of identifying what is important and what is not.
  • Developing a good vocabulary and quick reading and comprehension are the keys to attempting the reading section successfully.

Giving the Test: Listening Section

  • Develop a habit through practicing listening carefully and attentively.
  • Learn to identify the highlights and key information in what is being said.
  • Note taking helps greatly in attempting the listening section.

Giving the Test: Speaking Section

  • Do not focus on what other test participants around you are saying.
  • Always think before giving the response to the answer.
  • Speak naturally, deliberately and clearly without focusing on your accent.
  • Try to provide a concluding sentence at the end of your answer.
  • Do not mispronounce any words so choose simple words.
  • Do not use faulty grammar or idiomatic English.
  • Practice talking to your friends, teachers and if possible, your family members, in English.
  • Make use of the TOEFL speaking exercises available on YouTube.
  • Record your practice sessions to identify weaknesses.

Giving the Test: Writing Section

  • Ensure simplicity and clarity during writing test.
  • Make correct use of spellings, grammar and punctuation.
  • Plan an outline of the essay before writing.
  • Adhere to the format you have practiced on and with which you feel comfortable.
  • Make use of examples.

  Always revise and review what you have written.


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