Ace the TOEFL Test With These Helpful Tips

You’ve been working hard in your English language courses as an ESL student, and the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is just around the corner. Acing the TOEFL test allows you to move forward with your education at an English-speaking college or university. We’ve compiled some helpful tips to help you prepare for the big day!

Before the Test

A group of students at a table with their laptops

You won’t want to be surprised on test day, so it’s important to get to know how the TOEFL is arranged, how much time you’ll have, what kinds of questions you’ll get, and how the test is scored. You’ll need to start studying early; three to six months is adequate for most students who devote plenty of time to studying. Schedule your test date well in advance of the application deadline for the school you’re interested in, keeping in mind that it can take up to eight weeks for schools to receive your scores, depending on their location.

When you’re studying, always focus on what you don’t know—not what you do know—to improve on your weaknesses. Take practice tests to see which sections you struggle with, and practice those types of questions until you’ve become confident in your skills. There are lots of official TOEFL test prep resources, like the TOEFL Practice Online (TPO) tests, which offer a realistic test-taking experience.

Test Day Tips

Don’t stay up late studying the night before the test. Get a good night’s sleep, then wake up for a healthy breakfast, even if you’re nervous. When you get to the multiple-choice sections, read every single answer choice carefully to be sure you’re selecting the correct one. Many answers sound correct when skimming over them, so don’t let that trick you. If you aren’t sure of the answer, use the process of elimination to weed out as many incorrect answers as possible. Use the scratch paper provided to you to take notes as you read passages or listen to audio clips. Most importantly, stay calm, stay focused, and answer every single question, even if you guess.

After the test, celebrate the hard work you’ve put into a successful language school session with dinner or a night on the town. If you feel you still have improvements to make, register for classes at ALCC American Language or call us at (212) 736-2373 for more information about our program.

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