WHAT IS TOEFL?
The Test of English as a foreign Language (TOEFL) is an examination used to evaluate a non-native English speaker’s proficiency in the English language. Many North American colleges and universities, as well large numbers of institutions, agencies, and programs, ask for official TOEFL score reports. An acceptable score on the TOEFL exam depends on the specific requirements of the particular institution or agency involved.
The main reason behind TOEFL is that you can complete your Education in English successfully. The TOEFL is now only available as a computer-adaptive test. This is how it works: instead of having a pre-determined mixture of easy, medium, and hard questions, the computer will select questions for you based on how well you are doing. The first question will be of medium difficulty; if you get it right, the second question will be selected from a large group of questions that are a little harder; if you get the first question wrong, the second will be a little easier. The result is that the test automatically adjusts to your skill level. But the Reading Comprehension is not computer adaptive. The tough questions have more credit than easier ones.
Tips for TOEFL Speaking Section
Record yourself to speak better
When practicing for the speaking task of the TOEFL test, pay close attention to natural speaking patterns. Listen and make note of how words are pronounced and stressed, as well as the speaker’s intonation, patterns and pauses. Try making a recording of your own speaking effort, and play it back to evaluate it. Ask yourself these questions: Did I speak clearly? Did I make grammatical errors? Did I use words correctly?
Preparing for the integrated Speaking tasks
You can practice for the integrated Speaking tasks on the TOEFL test by doing the following: select a topic or an assigned reading, and then find listening material that covers the same topic. (You can find these on the Internet or in the library.) Create an outline to summarize both materials. This task will help you to synthesize what you read with what you hear.
How to practice speaking English without a listener
If you find yourself without the opportunity to practice speaking with a native speaker of English, try one of these independent tasks in English: Describe a familiar place. Recount a personal experience. State a personal opinion about something that is going on in your community or the world. Do these independent tasks alone, and then try them with a native speaker of English.
Find a friend that speaks English
You have probably heard that the best way to practice speaking the English language is with a native speaker of English. But finding one may be challenging. In some countries, there are English-speaking tutors or assistants who help students with conversation skills, and overall communication skills. It is critical to find them and speak with them as often as possible. You can also link up with an English club and join the members in English-language conversations about movies, music and travel.
Scoring better on TOEFL Speaking test
To improve your English language learning and reading skills, try to read English-language publications on a regular basis. Focus on university textbooks or other materials that cover a variety of subject areas, such as science, arts, social sciences and business. You can find many academic texts on the Internet, as well as in magazines and journals.
Tips for TOEFL Listening Section
Practice listening to English to connect and synthesize ideas
Sometimes, a lecture is organized so that he or she builds a “point of view” or “claims a position” about a particular topic. Other lectures are organized to express many ideas or different points of view. When you listen to a lecture, try to listen for words that tell you which structure the lecture is building. You can even write down words that indicate certain relationships in the lecture, such as cause/effect, compare/contrast or the steps of a process.
It’s important to understand a speaker’s tone
No matter the language, we all use tone or inflection to emphasize our communication. Noticing a speaker’s tone is essential to understanding what the speaker is trying to accomplish. Next time you are listening to an English-language conversation or lecture, focus on the speaker’s tone. Is he using formal or casual language? Is her voice calm or emotional? What does the speaker’s tone of voice say?
Why watching MORE TV can help you score well
There are different ways to build your English-language listening skills, which are very important for success on the TOEFL test. Of course, listening to CDs and audiotapes of lectures are terrific ways to hear the English language spoken, especially on academic topics. Try watching TV, movies and listening to the radio to improve your listening skills on news and cultural topics. Even the Internet is a great source for listening material. Try www.npr.org or www.bbc.co.uk/radio
Tips for TOEFL Reading Section
Why paraphrasing is important
Did you know that the READING section of the TOEFL test measures your ability to recognize a proper paraphrase? Paraphrasing is restating a sentence or a passage in your own words without changing the meaning or context. Knowing how to paraphrase is also important for the integrated tasks of WRITING and SPEAKING. For example, if you hear a conversation, you may not be able to repeat it exactly, but you may be able to paraphrase, or convey the gist of the conversation. Practice your ability to paraphrase after reading your assignments. Ask someone to listen and evaluate.
Learn to recognize a pronoun instantly
Do you know what a pronoun is? These words take the place of the real noun in the sentence. Words like he, him, she, her, they, them, etc. are pronouns. A pronoun can substitute for first names like John or Mary or for descriptions like ‘my brother’, ‘our neighbor’ and ‘your parents’. Read through some English-language passages, and identify all pronouns. Then connect each pronoun with the actual noun it is replacing.
Expand your English vocabulary
To expand your English vocabulary, identify unfamiliar words in a reading passage and try and guess their meaning from the surrounding sentences. After several guesses, look up each word in a dictionary to see how close you came to determining their meaning. You can also make flashcards of these words to use for study aids.
You can improve your reading comprehension
To improve your reading comprehension when learning the English language, try this technique: practice skimming a paragraph or passage quickly to get a general impression of the main idea, instead of carefully reading each word and each sentence. Be sure to also write down the main idea, important facts, and several details and persuasive arguments that convey that idea.
For more information on TOEFL visit TOEFL Official Website: http://www.toefl.org/