The first step to doing well in any paper is in proper preparation and TOEFL® is no exception. It matters highly what sort of preparation you have had. Do you understand what format you will sit your test in i.e. whether it will be internet based or paper based? After you know that ensure that you are well versed with the academic English language. If it is possible every candidate should get a mentor to guide them through their revision and preparation. If not, there is www.bestmytest.com where you can easily get similar skills and practice for all sections of the test.
On the material day, it is recommended that you get to the test center in good time (at least thirty minutes in advance) and wear a watch to the same effect. This is useful not only for arriving in time, but also for keeping time when the test is in progress. Many students have had trouble with the TOEFL® because they overspend time on some “hard” questions. The first half of the test includes the reading and listening section without a break and then there is a ten minute break before commencement of the speaking section. Clearly, time is short and if you are to pass you need to spend time planning and checking your writing. Another avenue for time wastage is typing. It is imperative that one practices typing on a QWERTY keyboard lest you take all the time typing.
Once you are settled for the paper, make an effort to answer all of the questions and leave none blank. Eliminate all the answers you know are wrong and make an educated guess if it comes to that. Look at it this way, the one who has answered the question they aren’t sure about has 25% more chance getting it right that they who left it blank. Once you are done answering a question, move on and get your mind off it.
It is noteworthy that iBT does not test grammar separately as previous TOEFL® tests did. To do well in the reading section, it is important that you are familiar with key academic vocabulary. Practice reading without a dictionary close by and pay the most attention to the areas that the questions pertain to. Skim through the passage first, go through the questions and then read the passage in detail while picking out the answers.
When practicing for the listening section play the tape only once since in the test you will play it as many times. Ensure that your ears and mind is prepared to hear everything just once and get the details. After you have made your mind up on an answer in this section, do not look back on the question as there isn’t a thing you can do to change it. Listen for main ideas, relationships and key details as those carry the most weight.
When you have to answer a question in the speaking section, it is okay to hesitate a moment or two before responding. Be careful, however, to pack up most of the time with your response. Be careful to use only words you are comfortable pronouncing as the wrong pronunciation costs you marks. Marks are also lost for improper deployment of vocabulary and idioms so only use the ones you are positively confident about in the exam.
Finally for the writing section, keep in mind that you will need to make connections and hence memorize phrases that will help you do that during your practice sessions. Keep your writing simple and clear. To do this you will need to invest time planning the essay before putting it down. Find a format for essay writing that you are comfortable with and use it consistently. Use transitional words and phrases wisely as they facilitate the flow of your essay. When you plan for your time, ensure that you leave at least some time to go through your essay.