TOEFL: preparation for Stanford

TOEFL: preparation for Stanford

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an exam that students have to take to enter universities in the USA, Canada, in some European and Asian countries. Below I’ll share how I prepared one of my students for this exam. 

Once I had to prepare a student for TOEFL. Bogdan had a master’s degree in Maths (HSE) and applied for the PhD programme at Stanford. Bogdan had extensive and deep knowledge of Maths, he successfully passed all Maths exams in Stanford with the highest grades. He also had an interview and impressed the educators with his academic background. However, there was only one thing he was lack of: he had to score a minimum 100 in TOEFL iBT. Bogdan attempted to take the test twice and scored between 80-90. He also had only 3 weeks to prepare and retake the test as there were strict deadlines for application.

I sent him a trial test to see where he stands. He was good at reading and listening tasks, he almost didn’t make any mistakes. Although he had low scores in speaking and writing tasks, as is often the case.  As we were lack of time I decided to concentrate on his speaking and writing skills to improve his results. We met mainly to practise speaking and discuss the mistakes in listening, reading and writing. 

Listening and reading

We decided to do only past papers to cram and get the hang of it. In addition, he wouldn’t lose his skills of doing these parts of TOEFL. I sent him the tests, he noted the time he did them for and the