Preparing for the TOEFL with TOEFL Practice Tests
Is it important to prepare for the TOEFL by taking practice tests?
If you want to take the TOEFL, it is very important to first become familiar with the TOEFL format and the best way to learn is by experiencing it for yourself. There are several reasons for this.
First, the TOEFL iBT test is long (4.5 hours) and you only have a 10-minute break. Taking timed, full-length TOEFL practices will help you prepare your body and mind to sit through the entire TOEFL exam.
Second, it is not easy to find English study materials similar to the official TOEFL exam. You might find similar reading passages from national geographic channel, good essays from some school websites, or good speeches from TED. You can improve your English with these but none of them are close to the official TOEFL test material in terms of length and format. Getting a good TOEFL score is not as easy as learning English. To score high on TOEFL, you MUST practice with actual TOEFL questions.
Third, it is a great way to identify your strengths and weaknesses. There are four sections of the TOEFL: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. You might be good at reading, but bad at speaking. Or you might have good listening skills, but struggle with writing in a short period of time. Only putting yourself in a simulated TOEFL test environment can you discover what areas you need to improve on.
So these are three primary reasons you must include taking TOEFL practice tests into your study plan. Here are some frequent questions asked by TOEFL test-taking students.
When and How many TOEFL practice tests should I take?
The simple answer is as many as you can. However, that isn’t always an option, so from our experience, you should take a TOEFL practice test before creating your TOEFL study plan. This is to help you gauge where you’re at. Next, you’ll need to figure out how much time you have before your test date and how many practice tests you have available to you.
Typically, students need to have 3 - 6 months to prepare for the TOEFL. Some students might need longer time. If you have more than 3 months to study for the TOEFL, you can arrange taking at least 6 practice tests during your TOEFL prep. If you have less than 3 months, we still recommend you take at least 4 practice tests.
Here is a recommended breakdown of how many practice tests should be taken according to different preparation time.
|Preparation time||Number of TOEFL practice tests|
Above are just our recommendations, you can plan how you want to fit in TOEFL test practices in your study schedule.
Where to find a good TOEFL practice test?
Before jumping to where you can find high-quality TOEFL exams, let’s see what makes a good practice test. A good practice test should meet the following requirements:
- Questions including passages and audio lectures are close to the official TOEFL in terms of difficulty, length, and style.
- The format and structure are identical to the official TOEFL test.
- Sample answers including sample speaking and writing responses are included
- Score is provided
- The test interface is identical to the official TOEFL test interface (Many TOEFL books suffer from this aspect as they are paper based)
- Tips and answer explanations are included
- Vocabulary teaching is included
In summary, a good TOEFL practice test can give you the most authentic test experience possible and offer you add-on tips, teaching, and answers to help you improve and learn better.
Now! Let’s talk about where to find a good TOEFL practice test? Here we recommend three places you can find TOEFL practice exams.
TOEFL practice online tests from ETS.
Without doubt, the best online TOEFL practice tests are from ETS. The reason is obvious. These tests are from the people who creates the official TOEFL exam. However, there are two disadvantages.
- The price is far from cheap. Each TPO test costs $45 USD. If you are going to take 4 TPO tests, it will be $180 USD in total.
- You can only take them once. After you finish a test, you can’t no longer do it again. This is definitely frustrating as you would want to redo it if you were not able to do well the first time.
If you want to practice TPO despite the above mentioned two downsides, you can buy it from here http://toeflpractice.ets.org/
The Official Guide to the TOEFL
I am sure many of you already know this book. This book contains 3 full TOEFL practice tests. In addition, a CD test software is included. The price is reasonable, but it only has 3 tests and lacks skill-building materials. Plus, you cannot use it online.
In conclusion, the book is good to help you get to know TOEFL, but it is not recommended to solely rely on it if you need a high TOEFL score. You can find the book here http://store.ets.org/store/ets/en_US/pd/productID.5144911700/categoryId.3552000
Official TOEFL iBT Test (Volumes 1 & 2)
Both Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 1 and 2 includes 5 authentic, full-length TOEFL® tests with answer keys, sample speaking and writing responses, and audio scripts.
There are some differences between volume 1 and 2
- Volume 1 does not include the CD
- Volume 2 questions are more similar in content to the current TOEFL test.
Still, despite being good sources, they are still paper-based and taking an online TOEFL practice test is more convenient.
Bestmytest Online TOEFL Preparation
As you can tell, we understand the importance of taking TOEFL practice exams for your success in getting a high score in the TOEFL. We also understand the frustration while looking for TOEFL practice materials. Therefore, we created 20 high-quality TOEFL practice tests for students who want to pass the TOEFL. If you would like to experience one of our TOEFL tests, we offer a free Micro test in addition to free TOEFL practice questions.
We also offer a complete TOEFL lesson series covering all four sections of the TOEFL and a vocabulary section including interactive vocabulary exercises and flashcards.
There you have it!
We hope that you find all these TOEFL resources helpful! Please let us know if you have any questions as you work through the Bestmytest sample test.