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GMAT Verbal - 29 TOEFL - 114

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GMAT Verbal - 29 TOEFL - 114 [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 05:56
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Some background info:
27 y/o, Full Time employed, graduated from UK University, I would consider myself a fluent speaker but from a non English speaking family.

A Job application required a 94 on TOEFL or a 34 on Verbal Gmat (Basically a 70 Percentile) and I was dumb enough to choose the GMAT for the 'challenge'.. studied a good 2 weeks, but was only to score 29 on the Verbal section. I have always been good at GMAT CR and RC to be easy, but SC is what i think kills most native speakers.

Desperate and with the application deadline coming soon, I applied for the TOEFL 2 weeks after my GMAT.

Study Time :
TOTAL 5 Hours before day of exam
Kaplan CD Rom (from the library)
2 Hours - 1 Reading Test, 1 Listening test, writing
3 Hours - Speaking questions

TOEFL Score:
Reading - 30
Listening - 25 (!?)
Speaking - 30
Writing - 29

Total - 114

Reading - 30
I read at around 330 wpm~ and read alot outside of work/school. If you can read Time or the Economist without a dictionary then it should be easy.
Compared to the GMAT it focuses less on Economics, Business (which to me is very easy to absorb) but more on the sciences, history and politics. Difficulty I would say is 60-70% of the GMAT
My tip : Don't bother reading the passage the first time, each question guides you through each paragraph, by the end you should understand the whole passage. I finished with around 12 minutes remaining to check all my answers.

Listening - 25
I'm surprised I got 25 considering acing everything else. The hardest part is concentrating on what they are saying, as the speaking topics are boring and seem endless. I remember the last parts I didnt even bother to write notes and just listened with my eyes closed, head resting on my palm. The questions are 'easy' should be able to answer them within 10 seconds, I did find some answers ambiguous.

Speaking - 30
Being a critical thinker like most of GMATers, its hard to answer just a simple question in 15 seconds. when practicing I always wanted to 'outsmart' the question, but really its useless. So my tip is lie lie and lie... the content does'nt matter, as long as you've got something to say, so if you were to describe how you benefit from the internet.. you could imagine stuff and say you are a real estate agent who uses the internet to get clients, which is a more powerful statement than just giving an example.

Do study Noteful's youtube channel and follow his patterns. "I think.. firstly..because... secondly.. because... therefore...."
I also got cut off several times by the timer, but can still get 30. I also do have a native accent so it should help considerably.

Writing - 29
First essay - 390 ~ Words
Second essay - 550 Words

I did only get 4.5 on AWA, but I did'nt try on that.

I'm not a template or wordcount whore. But following the advice on youtube: High Wordcount = good..
I used same 1-3-1 structure that i everyone should use.
Also do plan your essay on paper so you can concentrate on the passage you are writing. Again, lie lie and lie... no one cares..

I hope some of these tips will encourage and support some of you studying for TOEFL, especially for native speakers.. it will be a piece of cake
And for those, interested.. I went through around 8 sheets of double sided A4 scratch paper - the stuff is very useful in Speaking and Writing.
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GMAT Verbal - 29 TOEFL - 114   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2012, 05:56
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GMAT Verbal - 29 TOEFL - 114

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