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TOEFL® Preparation Tips

learn some general TOEFL prep tips & strategies

How to prepare for TOEFL®

Step 1: Practice More on Your Weakest Skills.

  • Practice a lot of questions to help determine where your skills are the weakest by observing where you have the most difficulty. Focus on improving these skills first.
  • Practice with a simulated TOEFL test to help prepare you what to expect on test day.

Step 2: Use Proven Test-Taking Strategies.

  • Carefully follow directions in each section to avoid wasting time.
  • Click Help to review the directions only when absolutely necessary; because the clock does not stop when the Help function is being used.
  • Do not panic. Concentrate exclusively on the current question only. Do not think about how you answered other questions. (This is a habit that can be learned through practice.)
  • Avoid spending too much time on any one question. If you have given the question some thought and you still don't know the answer, eliminate as many choices as possible and then select the best choice. Although responses can be reviewed in the Reading section by clicking on View, it is best that test takers do this only after answering all the questions in a Reading subsection. Once test takers leave a subsection, they are not allowed to return to it.
  • Pace yourself so you have enough time to answer every question. Be aware of the time limit for each section and budget enough time for each question so you do not have to rush at the end. You can hide the time clock if you wish, but it is a good idea to check the clock periodically to monitor progress. The clock will automatically alert you when five minutes remain in the Listening and Reading sections, and in the independent and integrated tasks in the Writing section.
  • Want to start your TOEFL prep FREE? Check out our free TOEFL lessons here: Take me to free TOEFL lessons
TOEFL Fact: Human raters, trained and certified by ETS, rate the Speaking and Writing responses.

Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice!