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My TOEFL Experience

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My TOEFL Experience [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2010, 12:49
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Hi All,

I took TOEFL ibt recently and got 104 and below is my experience.

I started my prep with TOEFL Official Guide .I went through reading and listening sections , found the book useful then entered the speaking and writing sections and the book is not upto the mark.

Then I went online and registered here http://www.english-itutor.com/TOEFL_Spe ... entor.html
for speaking and I found the tips extremly useful , enough to get 24/30 with 4 days of preparation.

Writing ,I got 29. I practised writing 3 Integrated tasks to get a feel of it and Independant writing task I dint have to practise as I have AWA experience from GMAT.

What makes TOEFL tricky is
1) you cant have an estimate score , or an expectation before writing TOEFL, its unlike GMAT where you can get a feel of your range.Thats simply not possible with TOEFL.
2)Reading comprehension questions are fairly simple but the passages are long and some and to an extent difficult but what makes it easy is the questions as they are very straight farward.
3) Speaking doesnt expect an american accent , but what it expects is the response to be structured and how you build the response giving reasons all through. Within 1 min or so you have to develop the whole response enough that a stranger evaluating your response should get a picture of what you are saying.
4)Last but not the least it took 2 weeks for the results to be out , and so for the 2 weeks i have no idea how the exam went except with a feeling that i could have done better and I was relieved to see my results.

In conclusion, TOEFL ibt is easy but it leaves you waivery up untill you get a response.For me thats the worst feeling ever.
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Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
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Re: My TOEFL Experience [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2010, 14:13
skpMatcha wrote:

What makes TOEFL tricky is
1) you cant have an estimate score , or an expectation before writing TOEFL, its unlike GMAT where you can get a feel of your range.Thats simply not possible with TOEFL.
2)Reading comprehension questions are fairly simple but the passages are long and some and to an extent difficult but what makes it easy is the questions as they are very straight farward.
3) Speaking doesnt expect an american accent , but what it expects is the response to be structured and how you build the response giving reasons all through. Within 1 min or so you have to develop the whole response enough that a stranger evaluating your response should get a picture of what you are saying.
4)Last but not the least it took 2 weeks for the results to be out , and so for the 2 weeks i have no idea how the exam went except with a feeling that i could have done better and I was relieved to see my results.

In conclusion, TOEFL ibt is easy but it leaves you waivery up untill you get a response.For me thats the worst feeling ever.


Many people might feel apprehensive about the TOEFL speaking section because they simply don’t know what is expected of them for each question type. While the speaking section on the TOEFL requires you to speak, there are slight variations between each question.

For example, Question #3 on the TOEFL speaking section begins the integrated speaking portion of the exam and involves reading a short passage (45 seconds) and then listening to a conversation on the same topic. The conversation will always be between a man and a woman and usually university-related. The reading portion on this question will usually have to do with a university-related topic that is the basis for the conversation between the man and the woman.

Typically in Question #3, one speaker will have a strong opinion about the given topic and you are expected to give the reasons the main speaker has and any supporting details that go along with it. For Question #3, you have 30 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to respond.

It is important to remember that your personal opinion is not needed or wanted for this type of question.

QUESTION 4: Question #4 on the TOEFL speaking section is very similar to Question #3; however, this question type, in particular, will give you a short reading passage (45 seconds) on an academic topic and then play a lecture on the same topic, as well.

This question always seems a bit more difficult than Question #3, because the material is much more dense, particular if the topic is science-related, and often times it’s difficult to give a full response with all relevant information under 60 seconds. (The prep time and speaking time for Question #4 is the same as Question #3.) Here, you want to focus on giving a summary of the lecture, with a focus on a particular process or emphasis given to you in the question.

For a more thorough discussion of question topics, please feel free to visit our blog article on the topic:

http://www.manhattanreview.com/blog/toe ... -question/

If you'd like any private help, we have some great private tutoring options both online and in-person. Just let us know.

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Re: My TOEFL Experience   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2010, 14:13
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