3 Tips for TOEFL Study

Young Woman Daydreaming in Library

Understand the TOEFL Format: Being prepared for the TOEFL test requires you to fully understand its format. One of the biggest reasons people experience stress during testing is because they don’t know what to expect from the testing situation. This can be alleviated by studying the TOEFL’s format and taking practice tests. Most TOEFL tests are taken online in a format called the iBT, but some test facilities still offer the paper version. Taking practice tests in the same environment you plan to take the test can help you anticipate what your strengths and weaknesses will be.

Learn Academic English: The TOEFL does not just assess your English abilities: It also analyzes your general college preparedness. This means you’ll be tested on topics and vocabulary that would be encountered in a university classroom. Without having attended a university, how will you know what to study? This is something of a catch-22. Taking an academic English program will help you be prepared for the university classroom, as well as the test you’ll take to get there.

Find an English Conversation Partner: Enrolling in an academic English program is a huge step toward gaining English proficiency, but to understand how English is actually used, English students must practice in a conversational setting. Finding a native conversation partner can help you gain confidence in your everyday speaking abilities. Having real-world experience will help what you’ve learned in books come alive.


Alleviate: (verb) to make (suffering, deficiency, or a problem) less severe.

Facility: (noun) space or equipment necessary for doing something.

Anticipate: (verb) regard as probable; expect or predict.

Preparedness: (noun) set of actions that are taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters

Catch-22: (idiom) situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.

Proficiency: (noun) a high degree of competence or skill; expertise.

Conversational: (adj) appropriate to an informal conversation.


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