Introduction to TOEFL Preparation
The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, is administered to students worldwide who apply to most accredited English-speaking colleges and universities. While not all such institutions require a TOEFL score, those that do consider it an integral part of the application process. The TOEFL score lasts for two years, but the test can be retaken if you wish to improve your score. Most institutions, if that is the case, will consider only the most recently earned score.
TOEFL preparation FAQs
How much preparation should I have for the TOEFL?
As with any advanced test, preparation is a must. While the TOEFL presumes a certain level of English fluency, it is not necessarily adjusted for cultural or dialectical differences. You will have to demonstrate skill in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English. Therefore, unless you have taken courses in English from primary school ad infinitum, you have two options: study or enroll.
Do free online test preparation options help with the TOEFL?
Studying in preparation for the TOEFL is much like it would be for any other test. Your first resort should be free online practice tests and questions. Primarily, these focus on English grammar and vocabulary, breaking the language down into manageable sets of rules. While perhaps not as effective in preparing you for the speaking or listening sections, such a foundation will greatly improve your chances of performing well on reading and writing. Speaking and listening, of course, receive indirect benefits from a quiz-oriented study of grammar and vocabulary, but you should also engage in extensive oral practice. Generally, free online options do not include that.
How else can I prepare for the TOEFL?
Aside from online studying, you could also purchase your own books, audio materials, or instruction packages. Using these materials frees you from the constraints of the computer and an Internet connection. Even so, as with the online option, self-teaching requires a significantly greater amount of internal motivation. Aside from a test deadline-and with the TOEFL being offered essentially on demand, those deadlines are rather fluid-you will have little exterior influence to encourage you to study and prepare. If you feel that you need an extra bit of prodding, then, consider an actual classroom TOEFL course.
What can I expect from a classroom-based TOEFL course?
Classroom-based TOEFL courses may or may not involve actual rooms and books. You certainly can enroll in a course with a teacher and other students, but you can gain a similar experience through distance education. Distance education allows freedom of location and even includes many of the same perks. However, if capable, you should consider enrolling in an actual classroom experience. Moreover, the paid-for TOEFL course is not only for students who need prodding; it can be for students who need more intensive attention to their English, especially in the speaking and listening sections, and can be found at whatever level meets your needs.
How can I be sure that I have prepared enough for the TOEFL?
Free courses or quizzes and even distance learning, though convenient, will not replace every aspect of the original course. You should carefully consider your situation, your needs, and your learning habits, then act accordingly. Once you take the first step, you may well find that other options help even further in your preparation to pass the TOEFL exam.
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