Reaching That Dream Score on the TOEFL®
TOEFL is not a pass/fail exam. So no matter how badly you have done or how well you perform, you will always get back a numeric score. If there's no Fail rate, how can you know what is a good TOEFL score? Honestly, that is a difficult question to answer correctly. A good score can be 90 or 100 or 110. It all depends on the program you apply to and your personal goal. On average a TOEFL score of 90 is really good, however, if your program requires 100, then it's not good enough. Some programs don’t require a specific overall score, but require a higher score in the speaking section. Please be aware of this when you are studying.
No matter what your goal is, we can all agree on one thing: a higher score is better. So, how do get that dream score of yours? Here are a few easy things that if you do regularly can help you improve your English skills and therefore your TOEFL score.
I know. I know. Why am I talking about this? Isn't it obvious that you have to study for a test? (Yes, you do.) What I'm talking about here is not just studying but studying with the right approach.
First of all, you need to study all four skills that the TOEFL will test you on: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Get yourself familiar with the test patterns. Know what to expect. After practicing each section and skill individually, try taking a full-length practice test. It would be best if you time yourself as if it's a real test. You can take a TOEFL practice test with integrated timer here: https://www.bestmytest.com/toefl/practice-test. The result of the full-length test will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Those strengths and weaknesses are what move you to the next level of studying. Knowing what you are good at and what needs to be improved will help you distribute your study time more efficiently and you can be sure your overall TOEFL score will improve.
Sometimes it is helpful to have someone to study with, not only to make study sessions fun, but you can help each other learn. Your study buddy can also be the one that motivates you to keep going whenever you are down. You can do the same for him/her. If you can't find a study buddy in person, I'm sure you can find one online. Isn't it exciting to study while making new friends! Here at BestMyTest we have a social platform where you can communicate with other BestMyTest users. You can even use our social platform to have a voice or video call. But remember to be respectful of others.
Little other things to do
The smallest effort can bring the biggest impact if you are patient enough.
- If after evaluating your strengths and weaknesses through the TOEFL full-length exam you feel like you are nowhere near ready, then give yourself more time to prepare for the TOEFL. It's normal to give yourself six months. If you work hard in those 6 months, you can progress from a basic to a proficient English user.
- The Internet is your best friend. Use as many tools, apps, and programs that will help you study as much as possible. TOEFL vocabulary apps and TOEFL help websites…..like BestMyTest (Haha, sorry) are all over the Internet. Start searching for your best companion now.
- Read English newspapers, articles, magazines, novels, or anything you can find that is written in proper English. Look up the words you don't know and note them down. You are more likely to remember the words in a context than just from the dictionary.
- Watch movies, television shows, news, or anything that has English speakers. Get yourself familiar with the slangs, the pauses, and the speed of the speakers. Don't hesitate to use subtitles and train yourself up from there.
- Talk in English often. Don't be shy or ashamed if you make mistakes. Who doesn't? Even native English speakers make mistakes sometimes. Actually, making mistakes will help you improve significantly more than not trying.
- Start writing essays and ask someone to proof read them for you. They will help you improve your writing by pointing out your mistakes.
- You should focus more on the skills you are weakest at, but don't abandon other skills. TOEFL will test all four skills and development in any skill is good for your score.
If you are already confident with your English, you can plan a shorter study plan like 1,2, or 3 months. But do remember to study. Even if your English is good, you can always do better if you spend time studying and getting to know the format of the TOEFL exam.