Test of English as a Foreign Language
Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEFL Preparation 2023: Know the Prep Tips to Prepare for the TOEFL Exam

TOEFL preparation will determine how well students perform in TOEFL. Not preparing to one’s full potential will result in a poor or average score. To get admitted into one’s dream college, preparing for the TOEFL exam effectively is important.
TOEFL Preparation 2023

TOEFL Preparation 2023

TOEFL Prep Tips 2023: The Test of English as a Foreign Language, commonly known as TOEFL, is a popular language proficiency test. The exam is taken by applicants planning to move abroad for academic or work purposes. English-speaking countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom amongst others demand a language test score to evaluate whether the applicants are able to articulate in their native language or not. Since the test's establishment in 1964, over 35 million individuals have attempted it, and more schools accept TOEFL scores than any other language test. 

Check: TOEFL Books

After registration, the next step is to conduct a constructive TOEFL preparation. Students need to prepare for the test by building proper strategies and following the TOEFL prep tips suggested by experts and previous test-takers. With proper preparation strategies, students will have better chances of performing well and maximizing their exam results. The test effectively gauges how well applicants can read, listen, speak, and write in English. This makes studying or working abroad easier as it makes students feel more confident and help them stand out with assurance. Continue reading to learn some effective strategies that can help prepare for the test systematically.

TOEFL Preparation 2023

Educational Testing Services (ETS) the test-conducting body, provides applicants with several test modes and types. Students can analyze which option suits them the best and then prepare for it accordingly. The different test types include-

  •  TOEFL iBT test: Computer-delivered test at the registered test centre. 
  •  TOEFL iBT Home Edition: Computer-delivered test at home. 
  •  TOEFL iBT Paper Edition: Paper-based test in two sessions 
  • TOEFL Essentials: Same test in a completely different format

All the above-mentioned exam types include more or less the same sections and question types- that is, each test will test the applicant’s ability to write, speak, listen, and read in English. Hence, the preparation strategies and tips will be the same for them. 

TOEFL Exam Prep Tips

Students are advised to practice the following TOEFL prep tips in order to achieve the desired score-

Also Check: TOEFL Result

Know the Exam Structure and Format

Aligning the preparation with the exam format laid down by ETS can help bring fruitful results. When applicants understand the exam structure, they get to know the different sections, syllabus, types of questions that are generally asked, and much more. This helps in knowing how to tackle the questions that will be asked on the actual exam day. Hence, before starting to prepare for the test, candidates must contribute time to understand the TOEFL pattern. 

Sample Questions and Practice Tests

Practice or mock tests act as replicas of the actual exam. They copy the same format and ask similar questions, hence they act as a great tool for students to understand the exam. Conducting thorough preparation requires consistently completing practice exams and sample problems. This crucial phase will aid applicants in determining their strengths and weaknesses.  Building on strengths and improving areas of weakness are both crucial for performing at one's best on exam day. Visit the ETS official website to view some notable practice tests and sample questions.

Improve Language Skills

As TOEFL is an English language exam, it is extremely important for candidates to be fluent in the language. It is advisable that students incorporate the language into their day-to-day lives by performing the usual activities in this language. This means students should try to communicate in English and consume content in the same language. They should make efforts to read, write, speak, and listen in English. A tip is to buy English magazines or watch English movies/shows of one’s own interest and liked genres so that it does not feel like a task. 

Improve Time Management Skills

TOEFL is a time-bounded test and students are given a specific duration to solve each section. This is why it is crucial for students to improve their time management skills, especially when it comes to timed writing. Candidates won't finish the sections on time if they are unaware of the time restrictions and haven't practised answering the questions in the given amount of time. This will have an impact on the outcome, making it harder to obtain the desired score. Therefore, it is crucial to synchronize the preparation with the TOEFL's time limits specified by ETS.

Build Strategies and Follow a Routine

The key to leading a successful preparation is to be consistent. Consistency can only be achieved when students follow a routine and stick to it. This gives them a structure to follow and allows them to devote time to each section of the exam. This also allows students to work on other study-abroad essentials like one’s application, or study for other aptitude tests like GRE. Hence, curating a routine well in advance can be very helpful for applicants. When students make a schedule, they can also build strategies that work for them and study accordingly.

Choosing the Right Study Materials

The online and offline market is filled with different books and other study materials for students to choose from. Picking out books that actually prove to be helpful is essential as studying from materials that do not have updated practice tests or useful content and strategies can contribute to minimizing the exam results. That is why students are advised to conduct proper research before purchasing materials for study. 

Practice Section-wise skills

Candidates must study for four main sections that make up the exam. They include speaking, writing, listening, and reading. It is recommended that students prepare independently for each subject because they include different types of questions and exercises. Because of this, it's crucial that students prepare for each component of the exam with the same dedication and acquire the various abilities needed.

TOEFL Preparation: Other Resources

Apart from books, various other resources are available in the market. These include joining forums or online groups and enrolling in coaching sessions, and videos among others. Students can study from these alternatives as well but it is important to analyze whether the content of the chosen material is updated and up-to-mark. To avoid any hassle, students can straight away opt to study from resources provided by ETS itself. Some of these include:

Online prep and books by ETS

TOEFL TV Channel on YouTube

TOEFL Test Prep Planner

Official TOEFL iBT Tests with Audio, Vol. 1 & 2

The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

TOEFL Value Packs

Study tips and practice questions

Inside the TOEFL Test video series 

Candidates can also check the following for any recent updates:

  • TOEFL Instagram page
  • TOEFL Facebook page 
  • TOEFL LinkedIn page 
  • TOEFL Sina Weibo page

TOEFL Preparation: On Test Day

Apart from preparing prior to the exam, students must also prepare for the test day separately. Some recommended tips by experts that should be followed on the day of the exam include-

Verifying the Reporting Time and Center Location

Test centre locations and reporting window changes are occasionally possible.

Students are encouraged to double-check just in case, despite the fact that ETS would notify them well in advance if any last-minute modifications are made.

View the appointment details 24 hours before the exam by going online or using a mobile app (test centres only). The account will be updated if there is a change, such as to a different building than what was first scheduled.

Check the IDs

Carrying the wrong or photocopied ID or even providing an ID in an electronic format may eliminate the candidate from taking the exam. Students must make sure they carry their original IDs which are issued by the government. The same document that was used at the time of the registration should be carried out on the test date. If the name or any other information used when registering does not match the ID, students will be terminated from taking the exam.

Check the Guidelines

Before appearing for the TOEFL exam, students must carefully read and understand the test guidelines laid down by ETS. Failing to follow what has been asked of students, they can be asked to leave the test centre. Hence, applicants must read the test room and the general guidelines. 

Stay calm and know how to minimize anxiety

It is natural for students to feel anxious on the day of the test, but this can result in them underperforming due to unwanted stress. Be calm on exam day and try not to take stress. Students will not be permitted to take unscheduled breaks hence they should come prepared to take breaks on the designated time slots. Prepare for a range of room temperatures by dressing comfortably. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should one start preparing for the TOEFL exam?

According to the expert recommendation, students should start preparing for the exam well in advance. Preparation of 2-3 months is advisable to get the desired result. The preparation should be aligned with one’s personal strengths and weaknesses.

Is self-study enough to get a good score in TOEFL?

Yes, many students study for the exam on their own and end up getting a strong score. The ley is to be serious and consistent while preparing for the exam. If one requires professional help, one can enroll themselves in coaching or join an online forum.

Where are official practice tests available?

Students can access official practice tests and guides designed specifically for students on the official website of ETS.

Is one week enough to prepare for TOEFL?

Although it is possible to prepare for the exam in one week, it is not at all recommended. Students may think being fluent in the language would only require a week of preparation, but consistent practice and preparation of at least a month are recommended to get maximize the TOEFL result. 

Is TOEFL a difficult exam?

Whether the exam is challenging or not wholly depends on the student who is taking it. Some may find it easy whereas others may find the test to be difficult. It all depends on the weaknesses and strengths of each candidate.