Unlike most exams or tests, the TOEFL® does not have one passing or failing. Rather, you just get your score and your success is dependent on your school of choice or the mark required of an applicant for your institution. As such it is important to secure that one aims for the highest score possible. The following is a guide that would help a student maximize their TOEFL® score.
As aforementioned, the TOEFL® is quite unlike other exams so a good start would be to ensure that you understand the test profoundly. If you are aiming for a slot in a specific university, look up their requirements to have a specific target in mind. Some require one to hit a certain overall mark while others require specific marks in particular sections for one to be accepted. That aside you must understand the structure of the test and how to prepare for each. There are numerous resources online to help one understand all they need to about the test, including blog articles on this very website.
If you have attempted the TOEFL® before you understand that the value of preparedness is can never be overstated; if it is your first attempt, ample preparation cannot be emphasized enough. Six months to one year is the recommended period of preparation. You should be so ready as not to be caught by surprise by any question or task. Enough practice enables you to know exactly what to do to get a particular question right. With your target score at the back of your mind, you should have a good idea of what to do in the test to get to it.
An essential skill to master is note taking. This will be requisite to do well in the listening, speaking and writing sections of the test as well as day to day life in an English-speaking university. To highlight its importance, you can only listen to any one clip just once and you have to answer questions based on that one time. The quality of the notes you take will determine how well you answer the subsequent questions and how rich in content and structure your essay will be. This takes plenty of practice to master. Key points in note taking include: noting down only the key words that carry essential information in addition to using symbols and shorthand.
The speaking section of the TOEFL® measures three things: your use of grammar and vocabulary, how you sound as well as how well you can answer the question and complete the task. To accomplish these exercise successfully one must polish up on their pronunciation so that they can speak clearly and be understood. It is allowed for one to have an accent while speaking for so long as it does not hinder communication. This is one of the sections in which it is highly advisable to have an instructor or a tutor to point out what you are doing right and what you need to improve on. In case you are tackling this on your own, record yourself for two reasons: you can hear yourself speak and evaluate how well you do it and so that you can grow accustomed to speaking to a computer as you will need to in the test.
Understated is the value of visiting the TOEFL® website. It contains a number of helpful material that you could download free of charge as well as information about the tests. On the material test day, be sure to be well rested, well fed and well-dressed to ensure that you endure the four hours of tests comfortably. Learn how to be relaxed in the exam room to ensure that you function optimally. To aid in this, ensure that you are amply prepared and familiar with the exam room before the test. During the test, ensure that you take deep breaths and use the break time wisely.