How To Prepare For The TOEFL Exam – Filo Blog
Exams Colleges in USA

How to Prepare for the TOEFL Exam

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

What is TOEFL ?

Starting in 1964; TOEFL(Test of English as a foreign language) is an English proficiency test used to assess your ability to speak and understand the English language skills of non-native speakers

The TOEFL exam is conducted by the Educational Testing Service throughout the year. 

Some of the top countries that accept TOEFL include:

  • The United States of America
  •  Canada
  •  Australia
  •  New Zealand
  •  The United Kingdom
  •  And many other institutions across Europe and Asia

These tests are organized up to 50 times every year and a student can choose to appear in any of these slots. However, you cannot take the exam more than once in a 3-day period. Keep in mind – every time you register for a test, you need to pay the test fee.

Exam pattern 

The test has 4 sections, lasts 4 hours and 30 minutes, and costs $150-$225 (depending on where you live). It’s scored on a scale of 0 to 120. 

  • Reading

The reading section of the test consists of 3-4 multiple-focus passages (compare/contrast, cause-effect). Each passage consists of 10 questions. The time allotted to this section can vary between 54-72 minutes, depending on the number of passages given in the test. The scores for this portion of the test can range between 0 and 30

  • Listening

This section contains 3 to 4 lectures, and some lectures contain classroom discussions. Each lecture is around 3-5 minutes long, and at the end of each, you will be asked 6 questions. Also included in this portion are normal, daily-life conversations. You’ll get to listen to 2-3 conversations, each being 3 minutes long. You’ll be asked 5 questions at the end of each conversation. The accents used in the listening portion are those of native-speakers from all over North America. Apart from North American accents, you might also hear some accents from other English-speaking countries like:

  • Australia
  •  New Zealand
  •  The United Kingdom

The total time allotted to this section can vary between 41-57 minutes and the score for this portion of the test is between 0 and 30

  • Speaking 

To be honest,speaking should be as simple as talking.

TIP – KEEP YOUR CALM

This portion of the test consists of 4 tasks. You’ll be assigned 1 independent task to express your opinion on a topic you’re familiar with. You’ll have 30 seconds to prepare your response. Apart from that, you will have 3 integrated speaking tasks based on reading and listening. You’ll have 1 minute to prepare your response. The total time allotted to this section is 17 minutes. You’ll be scored out of 0-4 points, and then your points will be converted to a scale between 0 to 30.

  • Writing

You’ll have two tasks in this section of the test.

  • Section 1- An integrated task based on what is read and heard. You’ll have 20 minutes to complete this.
  •  Section 2- An independent task to support an opinion on a topic. You’ll have 30 minutes to complete this.

The total time allotted to this section is 50 minutes and you’ll be scored on a point range of 0 to 5, which will then be converted to a score scale of 0 to 30.

TOEFL Scores

  • The total score for the TOEFL test can range between 0 and 120. The authorities responsible for checking the test include a combination of certified Educational testing service raters and AI. You will receive your scores online 6 days after the test date. You will get a hard copy of the reports within 11 days of your exam.
  • Here, Minimum Score is the key.  If you find out the minimum score required by the school you’re applying for, it makes the task quite easy. For instance, a school says “90 is Good”, you don’t need a 110. Some Schools require a specific minimum score for admission while others simply recommend scores based on their accepted student’s average score. 

 Examination Fees

The TOEFL EXam Fee is 180$ generally. The TOEFL exam fee in India is US$185 or Rs. 13,780.19 ($1=74.49). Apart from this, candidates also need to pay extra for other services like late registration, rescheduling the exam, or score review.

Tips for the TOEFL exam

Relax! TOEFL preparation isn’t as hard as it seems. If you’re nervous on your way to the examination center, sweating buckets upon buckets, don’t panic! Everyone goes through it.

Starting your preparation and feeling lost about not knowing where to start from is a feeling we all have gone through. Here are a few section-wise tips to help you prepare for the exam.

Reading Practice Tips

  • The questions in the Reading section appear para-wise for each comprehension. A good way to not feel lost is to read the first para, answer the relative questions, read the second paragraph, answer questions for that one, and so on and so forth.
  • As you’re attempting each question, notice the question type. It may be a question asking the purpose behind a certain statement, a sentence insertion question, or a vocabulary testing question. At the end of the test, notice which question type you’re failing to answer, and improve your score accordingly.

Listening Practice Tips

  • There are two key skills that come into play during this section – your ability to concentrate, and your writing speed. Yes, your writing speed. Learn how to make quick, legible notes as you’re listening to someone speak. Use a shorthand, if necessary.
  • For some students, the more they focus on listening, the better they remember. Others feel the need to make notes so they can refer to them at a later stage. Figure out what’s more important for you – taking more notes…or less.
  • Draw a flowchart. Start at the beginning – write one sentence for each key point mentioned, and connect lines where necessary. This will help you map out what you heard.

Speaking Practice Tips

  • Prepare a standard response structure for each question type. For example, in the first Independent Task, you can dedicate the first sentence to stating the task, then state your opinion along with supporting arguments, and end with a conclusion. This way, you’ll have a format in mind, and won’t feel baffled when presented with a question.
  • Record yourself speaking. Check if you’re pausing for long durations, or if you’re saying ‘umm’, or ‘oh’ a lot. Work on eliminating them.
  • As soon as you see you have 15-20 seconds left, start stating your conclusion. Never end your response abruptly.

Writing Practice Tips

  • Keep a standard essay structure in mind – Introduction, Problem Statement, Solution, Benefits of the solution, Drawbacks of the solution, Conclusion. Dedicate each para to one heading, and understand that they do not necessarily have to be in this order.
  • Write the entire essay first. Don’t listen to the critical side of your brain just now. Once you’ve finished your first draft, you can always come back and edit.
  • If there is one writing tip one could never give enough of, it’s this – practice, practice, practice!

 The desired test takers must make sure that they have read all the above-mentioned instructions, the Fees &Tips. We hope that the information provided in this Blog was sufficient and beneficial for the TOEFL Preparation Plan. For further understanding or any queries, you can visit the Official ETS Website.

  Good Luck 😊

Content Strategist at Filo | I talk about exam updates, prep guides, important dates and much more on the Filo blog :)

Write A Comment