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General TOEFL Test Tips

Here are some general tips to keep in mind for the day you take the TOEFL iBT test.

1.   The TOEFL assesses the actual skills required of you to study at a post-secondary institution in an English speaking country. Keep this in mind as you prepare so you don't become obsessed with tips for "beating the test". If you really learn the integrated skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing, your scores will reflect that.

2.   There is a 10 minute break in the middle of the iBT TOEFL. Prepare something to do in that time that calms and energizes you. Some suggestions are:

  • Yoga stretches.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Visualization.

3.   Every portion of the test is timed. Practice doing each portion of the test in exactly the time allotted.

4.   Every written portion of the test has a recommended length. Practice writing answers within those guidelines.

5.   Practice typing your essay on the computer with the spelling and grammar check function disabled. You won't have those friendly red and green lines to alert you to errors during the real test!

6.   Practice for the speaking part of the test with a VOIP headset and mike. Record your answers to your computer as if you were really in the test and play them back so you can hear how well you speak.

7.   If you aren't sure how to spell or pronounce a word, just use a different one. It's better to use a simple word effectively than an impressive word incorrectly.

8.   Memorize a revision checklist for use in both the speaking and writing portion of the test. It will give you confidence to know you haven't missed anything.

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