The key to success in a test as daunting as TOEFL® is in detailed, intense and purposeful preparation. What one individual needs to get to their goals is different from what the next one might need. This is why the need to have one personalized study plan based on one’s needs and situation arises. Once you have a plan created, it is easier to follow through with it. The following five steps are to help you create your own personalized study plan.
1. Know your ideal score
It is as important to know what you aim to score as it is to have a map of your holiday destination before setting out. The range of marks that define success is as big as the number of institutions people apply to. It is easy to know what score an institution requires as it will be stated in the “International Students’” section of the website. Once you know the destination, it is easier to map out a way there.
2. Calculate how much time you will have to study
To come up with an effective study plan you need to establish your test date and how much time you have between enrolling and then. When you need to take your test will in turn depend on the University deadline, which mostly is between December and January. This would mean that you take your TOEFL® by around mid-October to have results in good time. You have results in about ten days after taking the test and you can retake it in not less than 12 days. Taking it in good time leaves you enough wiggle space in case there are any glitches in the whole process.
3. Take a diagnostic test
Before commencing studies, it is very important that you determine what your weak and strong points are. This is best done by taking an official TOEFL® practice test that is found on the ETS® website. This is a service you have to pay for but in return you get feedback and score reports that enable you know what areas to assign more time and energy. If this is beyond your reach or you need some more extra practice, there are other online sources that give you the resources to continually evaluate yourself. You may sign up for membership to our online TOEFL® course and you will access all the resources you need for evaluation and learning. You also learn what to expect on the actual test.
4. Create your personal study plan
With the results of your diagnostic test, you are aware of what areas need how much work. Start working on your weakest area; if you had the lowest score in the writing section, begin your studies with the writing section as it will need more time for improvement. Go to your second weakest area next and so on and so forth until you are done. Organize your study plan, such that for every section you start by internalizing the TOEFL® structure and organization. Most importantly, you need to practice on a daily basis.
5. Find a study buddy
While fighting to win the battle that is the TOEFL®, you must know the test as best you possibly can. You must employ all the help you can afford. It is ideal that in studying for this test you get a friend whom you can comfortably study with. It should be someone you are able to express your fears to, ask what you do not understand and get motivation from while reciprocating as well. Your combined perspectives will make understanding easier and discussions will make remembering easier. If they are native English speakers, it is even better as they are in a position to offer you more.