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How to Prepare for the TOEFL

Get Ready for the TOEFL and Improve Your Score

The TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language, and it requires more than a simple knowledge of English. It requires you to be able to understand and respond to English on a college campus.

A high TOEFL score means you are ready to attend US college courses, listen to lectures and talk to professors and other students.

Whether you are fluent in English or are nervous about your language skills, a few tips will help you prepare for the TOEFL and get the best score you can.

Prepare for the TOEFL

Immersing yourself in another language is the best way to learn it. Try to make turn these tips into part of your daily routine:

  • Speak and listen to English. Watch English-language movies and television shows and listen to English radio programs. Talk to your friends and family in English. Try to find recordings of college lectures or other academic programming. The more you practice the language, the more comfortable you will become with it.
  • Read academic texts in English. Find college textbooks in English, or read academic papers online. Then write a summary of what you read. In order to prepare for the TOEFL, you should be accustomed to this style of language.
  • Record yourself speaking English. Then listen to it. Be your own judge, or ask an English teacher or someone who is fluent for advice.
  • Attend a college course taught in English. If these are available near you, ask a student or professor if you can attend a couple of classes to prepare for the TOEFL. This will give you a better idea of the format and style of American classrooms.
  • Know your test format. TOEFL offers Internet-based and paper-based tests. Prepare for the TOEFL test you will take. If you are taking the Internet-based TOEFL, also prepare yourself for the QWERTY keyboard (called this because of the first six letters in the top left corner).

Prepare for the TOEFL Testing Location

  • Bring the required material. This includes your registration number and a form of identification with your name, signature and photograph.
  • Arrive 30 minutes early. If you are late to the test, you might not be able to take it.
  • Dress comfortably. You won’t know if the testing center is too hot or too cold until you get there!

During the TOEFL

  • Watch the clock. Don’t spend too long on any one question, but don’t rush through the test either.
  • Stay calm. Even the best English speakers aren’t likely to do well if they panic!

You can prepare for the TOEFL by using English whenever you can. Practice your English vocabulary with flash cards, quizzes and games. Be sure you can understand professors and other students in English.

When you prepare for the TOEFL or any other English proficiency test, it isn’t simply about getting a high test score. It is also about being ready to learn at an American college or university!