TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is one of the highly preferred tests to get admission in various foreign universities located in UK, Canada, the US, Australia, and others. The test is conducted to evaluate the candidate’s understanding of the English language. TOEFL is conducted in three modes that are pen & paper based, computer-based and internet based. More than 10,000 universities, colleges, and agencies accept the TOEFL scores in around 130 countries. Listed TOEFL 2019 preparation tips help students to enhance their chances to get admission in the desired college.

How to Prepare for TOEFL 2019

1. Know the TOEFL Format

The first step to start the preparation is to get each and every information related to the exam such as duration, the number of questions, total marks, type of questions, sections included and more. This information will help students to make a good preparation strategy. Students can check the official TOEFL website or check the given section to get the exam pattern or test format details

TOEFL (Internet-based test) Format

S.No Section Duration No of Questions
1 Reading 60-80 minutes 3–4 passages, 12–14 questions
2 Listening 60-90 minutes 4–6 lectures, 6 questions
Short Break (10 minutes)
3 Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks: 2 independent and 4 integrated
4 Writing 50 minutes 2 essays: 1 independent and 1 integrated

TOEFL (pen and paper-based test) Format

S.No Section Duration No of Questions
1 Reading 55 minutes 50 questions
2 Listening 30-40 minutes 50 questions
3 Writing 25 minutes 40 Questions
4 TWE test 30 minutes write one essay

Along with the details of the test format, candidates should also solve the sample questions and practice tests to know the difficulty level and type of questions asked in the examination.

2. Have Details of Minimum TOEFL Scores

Apart from colleges or universities, TOEFL scores are also considered by various immigration departments and licensing agencies. Before moving ahead with preparation, candidates should set a goal for themselves which motivate them to work hard. Also, make sure you set a realistic goal.

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For example, the minimum TOEFL scores to get admission into Brown University is 600. Hence, candidates should take it as the benchmark while preparing for the test. Write down your goal and put it in a place where you can see it every day such as on the fridge, bathroom mirror, and others.

Now, check your current understanding level by taking a practice test. This will help you to know how much efforts you need to put for preparing and how much time it will take.

3. Create Ideal Study Plan

Every candidate has his/her strong and weak areas, some may be good in writing but not in speaking while some hold good command in speaking but their listening skills are not good. Considering your understanding level, prepare an ideal study plan that will improve your English reading, speaking, listening and writing skills.

Each section holds its own importance and candidates have to attain minimum marks in all sections and overall scores obtain the set goal. Candidates have to divide their time for each section according to their weak and strong areas.

Section-Wise TOEFL Preparation Tips

Reading Section

It is a simple task. You have 60-80 minutes to solve 3-4 passages. Carefully read the passages before giving the answer to questions. Though it is a time taking the task, increasing reading speed can help you to crack it with flying colors. Time management is important so, learn to read faster. Below tips will help you-

There are three question formats

  • Questions with four choices and a single answer
  • Questions with four choices and a single answer where you need to insert a sentence at the appropriate place in the passage.
  • “Reading to learn” questions with more than four choices and more than one correct answer

Tips to Improve Reading Skills

  1. Start keeping a journal to increase your vocabulary and create flashcards to revise the new words.
  2. Read articles from magazine or newspaper and figure out 06 basic questions (who, where, what, how, when, and why)
  3. Solve TOEFL practice papers, available on the official website.
  4. Increase your reading speed by reading short text in the specified time. Re-read the article to improve the speed.
  5. Include reading in your daily schedule for getting better results.
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Listening Section

In this section, candidates have to listen 4–6 lectures containing 6 questions each which need to be solved in 90 minutes. The main task of candidates is to figure out the main idea and major points of the lecture and recognize the function of what a speaker says. The section has listed types of questions-

  • Multiple-choice questions with more than one answer
  • Questions for organizing the events or steps in the correct manner
  • Questions to match the text or objects to the relevant category

To improve their performance in this section, candidates should follow the mentioned tips-

Tips to Improve Listening Skills

  • If you are beginner then start movies with subtitle and later on move to without subtitle.
  • Listen to podcasts, English songs, news, and watch movies. Take notes of important details and points. Only write keywords instead of the complete sentence.
  • Listen again, to understand the connection between the concepts and the speaker’s attitude.
  • Keep a track of the new expressions and words you hear.
  • Now, ask basic questions such as Why, How, When, What and more.

Some of the best online website to get Listening material are

Speaking Section

To pass this section with good marks, you have to practice as much you can. Speaking needs confidence which can only be gained by practicing more. Follow the tips to improve your speaking skills-

  • Prepare your intro or a small passage on the latest news and speak on it for at least 15- 20 minutes. The more you speak better will be your communication.
  • Talk with your family and friend in only English.
  • Use only simple words to enhance the fluency and keep a check on your grammar.
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Preparation Tips for Writing Section

Proper use of English grammar and the speed of constructing thoughts effectively are the basic purposes of writing tasks. You will have 50 minutes to write 02 essays on random topics. The time is limited hence, you need to think about a few good points and phrase them in an understandable manner. To prepare this section, candidates should practice timed writing.

  • Select a random global issue such as globalisation, women empowerment, poverty or other and write a good essay in 20 minutes and save last 05 minutes for revision.
  • After writing the essay, check them on various parameters such as spelling error, the flow of essay, grammar issues, choice of word and others to improve writing skills. Get the assistance of teachers to know the essay quality. 
  • Write a journal, to-do lists, letters, emails, shopping lists, and Facebook posts in English
  • Always bear in mind quality is always better then quantity. No matter how many word you have written, make sure you commit minimal errors.

4. Solve Online Practice Tests

There are lots of practice papers and tests are available online. After gaining confidence over his/her skills, one must solve these online tests to know their performance level.

These sample tests give you complete insights of your weak and strong areas. With the help of which, you can work precisely on the weak sections to eliminate the slightest chance of failing the test.

Keep a track of your performance level and continuously take practice tests until you attain the desired results.

5. Get Expert’s Assistance

Getting a mentor or a teacher reduces your unnecessary efforts of searching the best answer. An expert will explain the right use of grammar and provides personalized exercises. Candidates should note that not all online explanations or tutorials are trusted. Hence, to having an expert by your side will remove the possibility of confusion and wrong answers. You can contact to your lectures or mentors for help or can refer the online tutors for help. Some online portals are listed below-

Online portals to get expert’s assistance

  • Verbling
  • Wyzant
  • italki
  • Craigslist
  • Buddy School

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