When applying for college or grad school in the U.S., inbound International Students need to prove their mastery of the English language. Schools in the United States use the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as a gauge of language proficiency.
peerTransfer has created a list of simple steps on how you can master the TOEFL and move one step closer to studying at your dream college. Since we work with international students all the time, we know TOEFL is one of the biggest concerns when coming to study in the US.
Preparation and Planning: The TOEFL can be a challenging exam, so make sure to give yourself enough time to develop the four English skills tested in it – writing, listening, reading, and speaking. Give yourself enough time to study for the exam, take the exam, and receive your results before you have to apply to the colleges.
Choose your TOEFL format: Get to know the three TOEFL formats and decide whether the Internet, Computer or Paper Based test is best for you.
Study: Consider studying at an ESL school. You can even attend one in an English speaking country. There are a variety of TOEFL guidebooks, preparation classes and practice tests online that can help you create a study plan and prepare for the exam. Develop a plan and follow it. Study regularly and do not try to learn everything right before the exam.
Think English: Try to immerse and live in English. You can do that by watching American TV and movies (in English of course), listen to English radio stations, and start reading English newspapers and magazines online. This will help you improve your reading and listening skills, as well as your vocabulary. Also, try to speak and write in English as much as you can, and even sing along to English songs. These are all good ways to improve your English speaking skills.
Improve your weaknesses: Identify what you are not so good at yet and improve it. For example, if you are not as good at writing, then write more than you did up until now. Write everything in English, even your thoughts and your diary.
Practice: The more you practice, the better you are off. It is also wise to practice materials that are closer to the real TOEFL exam. Therefore, take TOEFL practice tests.
During the exam:
- Use the process of elimination to decide which answers are wrong.
- Answer every question, making educated guesses if you have to. Just try to eliminate one or more choices before guessing.
- Don’t spend too much time on any one question. You should spend only seconds on the easiest questions, and hesitate to spend more than 1/2 minute on even the hardest ones.
Finally, review as much as necessary, and take the test only when you feel you’re confident and ready. You will do great! Good luck!
If you have any more questions or would like to share some advice, please do so in the comments below.