I scored 110 in TOEFL. I thought some of my learning would be of help.
Preparation time I took was2 weeks (1-2 hrs a day). I could score well with this low preparation, primarily because I prepared for GMAT well. GMAT Preparation is of great help in Reading & Writing sections of Toefl. Reading (I scored 28)
GMAT Reading is of great help here. The questions after the passage are lot simpler than those in GMAT. Your strategies in GMAT RC should be very handy here. Here are specific ways for Toefl
1) Read the passage in 3 minutes to get an overall idea. Read the passage with tremendous vigor and always stay focused. Though passages are lengthy with 700+ words, we can easily complete in 3 minutes. Do not try to gather specific details as doing so would take more time.
Never spend more than 3 minutes for reading.
2) Start answering questions with a seance of urgency. Since there is 20 minutes to answer, we tend to relax while answering. This would be very expensive. Always stay focused and answer with a seance of urgency.
3) Read the question first. Do not spend time in reading the part of the passage as Toefl questions are easy. Many times you would be able to answer the questions by selectively reading part of the passage.
4) Answer Vocabulary questions very quickly. If you know what a specific word means, go ahead and answer immediately. You will gain time by this.
5) Keep some time to answer last 2 questions. I suggest you keep 4-5 minutes for last 2 questions. These questions are based on your overall understanding. So you would take some time to answer these question. Important thing is last question carries 2 points.
6) Practice the exercises with time limit of say 18 minutes. I did not take this seriously, that is the reason why I failed to score 30. I was attempting last question on the exam with just one minute left.
Listening (I scored 30)
If you are in an English Speaking country and have been participating in Conference calls etc. you have nothing to worry. You need to take adequate notes while listening and make sure that you do not miss any important point. While practicing make sure that you take adequate notes of main items. The notes will be very handy while answering.
If you are a student surrounded mostly with fellow students who speak in native language, you will need adequate practice. As I have been in English speaking office environment right in India, UK and USA for close to a decade, I really don’t know how long one would take to catch up in understanding. Some of the following might help.
1) Assess where you are. Practice some exercises in Toefl listening and test where you are. I
2) If you are scoring below 22-24. Listen to some talk shows, radio conversations etc to be familiar with the accent and English usage.Speaking (I scored 27)
This is the most important section of Toefl. I hear that most of the students struggle here.
1. Speak slowly and clearly . Do not mumble.
2. Have a structure to your speech. Have an introduction, description and details. Always support with examples or supporting details
3. Use all your time 45/60 sec. Do not finish ahead of time.
4. Practice a lot. Use a recorder and compare your response with the best response. You will figure out what you are missing.
5. Don’t be tense. If you are tense, you would not be able to speak well.
6. Remember that 45/60 sec is very short. You need good practice to really do well.
Some useful links
Youtube : There are plenty of recordings on this topic. You would easily figure out good ones and the ones useless for preparation. Follow those which provide you good tips and sample responses.
Tips on all 6 speaking topicshttp://www.english-itutor.com/TOEFL_iBT.html
Independent Topics Listhttp://global-english.lefora.com/2008/0 ... cho/page1/ Writing ( I scored 25)
Most of GMAT Writing is very handy here. I think, I did not practice the subtle changes between GMAT and TOEFL thus fared not so well in the exam. Following link from chineseburned would be of immense help to score at 25-30 range. 1-t64327 Exam Day:
Exam center will be very noisy. I suggest you to keep the headset all throughout the session in order to avoid distraction from others speaking during their speaking section. At times you still end up hearing others conversation. In those cases do some self talk slowly to avoid distraction.
Always try to be ahead of time in every section. That would help answering last questions / sections accurately.
All the best.