Are you looking to learn how to study for the TOEFL? If so, you’ve stumbled on the perfect article to help get you on course for some serious TOEFL preparation.
This is a vital period in your life and your TOEFL mark will determine your eligibility to enroll in English-speaking universities. The most important thing for you right now is to find effective methods of TOEFL practice. Only then will you feel confident enough about your capabilities to shoot for the stars and get the mark you want!
Choosing your very own TOEFL preparation strategy is only possible when you know exactly what to expect. If you know what’s waiting for you on that test paper, you’ll be able to prepare an appropriate strategy for your liking.
Familiarize Yourself With the TOEFL Structure
The first step in how to study for this test is to familiarize yourself with the TOEFL structure. Before you do anything, you want to make sure that you know exactly what lies ahead, so that you’re not stuck with any sudden surprises.
The test is split up into 4 main components.
Reading: You will be tasked with reading 3-4 700-word passages and then answer some questions.
Listening: You will listen to 2-3 conversations (5 questions each) and then 5-7 lectures (with 6 questions each).
Speaking: You will be provided with a series of tasks that will require you to speak spontaneously, give an opinion, and convey your thoughts on a variety of subjects.
Writing: One task will require you to summarize another person’s point of view, while the second will ask that you write out an essay detailing your point of view on a given subject.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what the test will look like, you can begin to think about how to prepare to do the TOEFL.
How to Prepare to Do the TOEFL
You’ve got to begin incorporating certain TOEFL practice exercises that will emphasize the main components of the test. Luckily, many of these skills are interchangeable and will help you with more than just one section of the test!
You will be tasked with reading and comprehending a variety of texts. What is important here is that you’ll need to be able to understand and relay exactly what you’ve just read. It’s not as simple as just passively reading something — you have to be able to distill the main points of the text.
A great way to practice doing this is to read as many English articles as you can (kind of like you’re doing right now). Read the articles, take notes, and practice the art of summarizing them to the best of your abilities.
You can also do this with other materials, including books, short stories, music lyrics, and transcripts of speeches.
Not only will this help make you a better reader, but it’ll also do a lot as far as making you a better writer.
As was mentioned in the previous point, note-taking is a great way to bolster your skills in English. Period.
Try to incorporate note-taking as much as possible. It’ll help get you into the swing of succinctly summarizing and retelling what you’ve just read. It also allows you to write out well-crafted sentences, implement TOEFL vocabulary strategies and techniques, and begin working through proper grammar usage.
Additionally, you can also seek out some writing prompts on Google if you want to try your hand at writing spontaneous texts based on random requirements. It should help you gain a stronger sense of control over what you’re writing and how you’re writing it.
The act of listening will be prevalent in both the listening and speaking sections of the test, so it’s highly recommended that you begin to incorporate some form of listening practice into your TOEFL preparation regimen.
You’ll want to use everything at your disposal to get yourself more accustomed to not only hearing other people speak in English but also understanding what they’ve said. For the test, you’ll need to have a thorough enough comprehension of what was said in order to relate it back to the speaker.
You’ve got to completely immerse yourself in listening.
The best way to do this is by listening to long-form discussions on your own time. Prime examples would be podcasts and debates. Here, you’ll be able to comprehend other people’s speech with the added ability to pause and rewind, as well as take notes.
Watching TV and movies is another great way — and fun — way to practice listening, with the added benefit of having subtitles to help you with reading at the same time.
Finally, you have the speaking section. Arguably the hardest part of the whole test, speaking will push your English language skills to the limit. You’ll need to ensure that you’ve done enough TOEFL practice in this department before you even think about taking the test.
Naturally, the best way to facilitate this sort of practice is to… speak.
That means you’ll need to enlist the help of a friend or colleague, or even an online tutor. Either way, the best method for enhancing your speaking skills is to talk as much as possible.
Don’t worry, if other English-speaking humans are not readily available to you, you can always talk to yourself. Sure, it might not have the same zeal, and talking to yourself certainly gets a bad rap. But it also happens to be one of your greatest assets.
Don’t be afraid to study or work through problems aloud. It’ll give you ample opportunity to practice forming sentences, pronouncing words, and thinking on the spot.
Hopefully, this has given you a good indication of how to prepare for the TOEFL and choose your own unique strategy.
The important part is that you are beginning to meaningfully think about what lies ahead and how best to prepare for it. By incorporating these recommendations into your TOEFL preparation schedule, you’ll no doubt come away from it with the confidence you’ll need to carve out your own pathway and strategy for the future.