Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Beat the TOEFL!

My suggestion to students who want to improve their TOEFL scores is a simple one: Make a plan and stick to it! Get organized. Set goals. Decide how much time you can spend each day, or twice a week, or whatever it is, on the TOEFL. Then do it.

Choose your materials--a TOEFL book, a practice test from your class or from the CESL office--and then think about how to use them.

Analyze your mistakes. Focus on your weak points. Label things you don't understand, and ask the teacher about them. Try to see the patterns in your errors and work on correcting those. If, for example, you have several errors regarding subject-verb agreement, review thoroughly the sections in your grammar book that teach this.

Or you might decide that you need to focus on vocabulary. If you just learned one new word a day, that would be 56 words at the end of an eight-week term. If you learned the word in its various forms (noun, verb, adjective, adverb), you'd do yourself a favor grammatically; if you learned each word in the context of a sentence from a book, you'd be even farther ahead of the game.

You could spend 15 minutes a day doing practice exercises in a book. Or you could spend that time reviewing what you did in TOEFL class.

Or read a newspaper every day, watch a TV show or a movie, read children's books.

But do something! Don't just worry about how you should be studying. Do something!

And organization helps. Know the sections of the test like the back of your hand, and be prepared with strategies for each one. Take timed practices. Plan to finish every section in time. (If you happen to run out of time at the end, fill in circles quickly; just go down one row; any answer is better than no answer.)

Keep studying, no matter what. If something happens and you get off schedule, get back on track.

You can do it!

What is your plan for TOEFL study this term? Add a Comment below and tell me.


Blogger nancy john said...

The Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL® test) evaluates the proficiency and general understanding of the English Language for people whose first language is not English.

TOEFL reading questions

9:36 PM  

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