Joined: 29 Apr 2012
GMAT Date: 10-02-2012
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My toefl story: 112/120 [#permalink]
10 Jun 2012, 04:54
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I received my toefl score last week: 112 (30, 28, 24, 30). Reading all the toefl reports of other test takers from gmat-club gave me a lot of confidence and some really great advice. Maybe my story can help you, too, in preparing for the test.
Coming to the test center: I had to travel half an hour by train to the next town. The test center was near the station. The people there were very nice and the test takers had the opportunity to chat with each other a little bit. Some were applying for MBA-degree; others wanted to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies – all in all a very mixed group.
Reading: I had to read three texts of 700 words and answer 42 questions within 60 minutes. The most difficult part in this task is managing your time: You just cannot read the whole text and hope that you can answer the questions correctly afterwards. The questions are too detailed for that. The best strategy here is to answer question by question and read only the part of the text you need to answer the question correctly. You will always begin with questions about the first paragraph, then get questions about the second, etc. While answering all these, you will get a really good impression, what the text is about, so the summery task in the end of each reading block won’t be a problem. While preparing for the reading part, get used to reading fast and making some educated guesses when not sure, then the reading part will be no problem. I scored a nice 30/30.
Listening: I did not prepare this section very much. I thought that this section would be the easiest, but the actual test was harder than I thought. The listening part does not really test your ability to identify what it has been said, but rather to memorize and make inferences between what has been said. You really have to stay alert. The good news is: You are probably allowed to make some mistakes. Although I guessed a lot, I scored 28/30.
Speaking: I was really worried about my performance of the listening section, this might be the reason why a started the speaking section so badly. During the first two tasks I spoke really bad, made many pauses and often used the wrong words. My advice for you: Practice this section a lot. There are some videos from notefull on youtube which are excellent. The speaking part is not the intellectually most challenging one - but you have to get used to the test format to score well. My lowest score: 24
Wiriting: Write as much as you can! I am sure I made many mistakes, but I wrote about 400 words in the first and 520 words in the second essay. I still wonder, how I did that. When I practiced, I wrote one 240 word essay for the first question and one 440 word essay for the second. I guess when everyone around you is hammering on the keyboard like crazy, that just motivates you. That the American keyboard is different from the European one is not a real problem, actually. Score: 30/30
I used the official guide to prepare. This should suffice for the reading and listening section. For the speaking section I would recommend to watch the videos on youtube mentioned above and to practice. You do not really need to prepare for the writing part. Maybe you can write one or two essays as I did to get some confidence, that’s all.
After I have taken the test I had a bad feeling. I thought that I did not score very well and prepared myself mentally to take the test again (I need a score of 100). When I received my score I was really happy. I guess the actual score will always be better than you think.
I hope my story could help you a little bit. If you like, you can leave some comments below.