TOEFL is an important test if you want to study abroad, just like most of the countries accept IELTS, few countries also ask for TOEFL instead of IELTS. It is accepted by more than 6000 colleges across the globe.
It is now revised as an ‘Internet Based Test’, TOEFL iBT replacing the computer test and the written test.
The TOEFL iBT consists of four sections; Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.
The test is about four hours long and all the sections are taken on the same day.
All the sections are equally important. It emphasizes on the student’s ability to use English language effectively.
The format of the test is as follows:
Reading: 3-5 passages, 12-14 questions each . Time given: 60-100 minutes
Listening: 4-6 lectures, 6 questions each, 2-3 conversations, 5 questions each. Time given: 60-90 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Speaking: 6 tasks- 2 independent and 4 integrated. Time given: 20 minutes
Writing: 1 integrated task and 1 independent task. Time given: 30 minutes
- Reading Section
You need to effectively scan test for key facts and important details or main idea or topic. Make interferences about what is implied in the passage. Try to understand the purpose of the passage and how it is organized. There can be a question on summary of the passage, make sure you understand it first.
- Listening Section
It measures your ability to understand spoken English. In listening, you should be able to comprehend the main idea and major points. Recognize a speaker’s attitude and its function and purpose. Draw conclusions based on what is implied in the material. Note taking is allowed, so keep in mind to be accurate in taking them down. The questions require you to listen for voice tones and other cues and determine how speakers feel about the topic that is being discussed.
- Speaking Section
It is to check your ability to speak the language effectively and successfully. You have to first speak on the task familiar to you, they ask you to draw your opinions and ideas on it. The next task is the integrated one, where you need to read and listen and then speak in response. Practice by communicating with people and listening to how native speakers speak.
- Writing Section
This section requires you to present your ideas in a clear and well organized manner. You need to write an essay and be very profound and clear with your major points. Develop the essay using reasons, examples and details. Follow the correct spellings, punctuation, grammar and layout. Stick by your opinion and give logical reasons to stand by it. Also use good vocabulary to enhance what you have written.A few tips on how you can perform all the sections effectively:
- English language learners can improve their skills by reading regularly. A wide variety is available on the internet and journals, try to read academic texts which talk about all the subjects.
- Read maximum passages so that you can learn to scan passages to find and highlight key facts like dates, numbers and terms.
- Increase your vocabulary and fluency in English.
- Know how to draw conclusions of the passage and mark all the grammar you need to practice.
- Watching movies and listening to radio provide excellent opportunity to build listening skills.
- Audiotapes are available which help you in improving your listening power and command over the language.
- Do not get distracted by speaker’s style and delivery. Anticipate what the person is going to say and stay focused.
- The best way to practice speaking is to communicate with the native speakers.
- Make a list of topics you are familiar with and practice speaking about them.
- Read the articles and try to analyze them by stating your opinions.
- Work on pronunciation and word stress and pauses.
- Write down a few key words which you can use before starting to speak.
- Evaluate your own speech and progress.
- Practice writing about the familiar and current topics.
- Try developing the essay by using appropriate explanations and evidence.
- Display the unity of thought and coherence in the essays you write.
- Before you start writing, think and list all your ideas together.There are a lot of coaching institutions if you are new to language but if you are familiar with it and just need to practice, then a lot of sample papers are available online and a lot of books which guide you on how you can crack the exam. Practice, that’s the only key to it!