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strategies to get 120

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strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2012, 05:38
Hey, friends.
I'm having my TOEFL exam on Friday and have just taken newest v26 test from ets.com on their website for $45. I received 109: reading 28, listening 27, speaking 24, writing 30.
My aim is 120 or at least 116. I assume this is still a huge leap to make to reach that goal.
I've been working on speaking a little and I don't think that 24 is a reflective score of my performance as this online test doesn't measure content development, which is a defining factor for the score.

I almost haven't practiced for reading and listening sections. I'm wondering if anyone has any hints on how to improve those small bits to attain desired 1-3 additional points for reading and listening section? Or do you think those extra points are a mere luck?

And also I've got this question. Does the order of sentences or variants matter on questions like:
question type 1 - where I have to compose short summary with 3 sentences
question type 2 - where I have to distribute seven options between two categories?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2012, 14:23
The ordering of your choices in those questions doesn't matter.

Getting those last few points in the reading and writing section is pretty difficult. Does it come down to luck? Ahh... it probably comes down to how well designed the questions happen to be the week you take the exam. If I give a sample test to a native speaker (and I have) she can get a perfect score on all of the multiple choice questions... but the "short summary" questions can seem pretty arbitrary sometimes.

The best strategy would be to do lots and lots of sample tests. You will want to drill hard on vocabulary so you don't get tripped up by any vocab questions in the reading section.

The listening questions seem to be a little less arbitrary. You might want to really practice your note-taking skills. Develop the ability to take really comprehensive notes. Meanwhile, if you do enough sample tests you can get a feel for what sort of things you really need to take note of.

But hey... 109 is phenomenal. Is there a program you're interested in that requires more than that? Going into journalism?
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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2012, 00:05
Hi, watchsmart! Thanks for dropping by!

watchsmart wrote:
but the "short summary" questions can seem pretty arbitrary sometimes.

Yeah, that's the type of questions I got one sentence wrong for. I find these questions pretty easy if I have time to read the text again, then distinguishing between details and ideas is pretty straightforward. However, there were several "imply" questions during the test having in answer choices information not mentioned in text. 2 wrong options I easily eliminated but with the remaining options it's tricky. These I would say are arbitrary. I realized I spent too much time on them and left too little time for "summary" questions. So I'll probably focus on getting "summary" questions right every time and during the test will limit myself to 45 seconds for tricky "imply" type questions.
I have no problems with vocabulary questions as I read a lot in English so I usually can pick the correct option without even looking at text, but just to assure the correct answer I check my variant with the context provided by the text.
watchsmart wrote:
You might want to really practice your note-taking skills. Develop the ability to take really comprehensive notes.

I listen to a lot of English language podcasts and audio books, so I usually can write down the entire lecture or conversation. I've got only one out of 3 wrong answers I selected because I didn't remember the detail the question was asking about. The other two were strange, because the question was "Why did student come to see professor?" and the student talked half of the conversation about conference and the other half about her essay topic (last half). So it could have been both, and the one I chose - conference - appeared to be wrong :).
watchsmart wrote:
But hey... 109 is phenomenal. Is there a program you're interested in that requires more than that? Going into journalism?

Nope, I'm not going to study anywhere. I'm taking it because I wanted to do so a few years ago but didn't have chance to. And I think if suddenly my financial state worsens I can earn extra money by preparing people for TOEFL :). I had one student, but that was quite long time back.

PS. Is this website yours? http://www.toeflresources.com/
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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2012, 12:56
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I think that the inference questions are ultimately solvable. Practice will get you there, but maybe at some point the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

Let us know how you do on the test next time.

The TOEFL Resources site is, indeed, mine. Just something I whipped a couple of weeks ago. Started as a digital copy of the notes I use to teach TOEFL prep to students but I've lately been trying to build something of a community. The notes are mostly for beginning to intermediate level students, but there is now a forum that students of all levels might find helpful. Do stop by and share some of those resources you use (podcasts, etc) to prepare for the test.


WantGMAT800 wrote:
Hi, watchsmart! Thanks for dropping by!

Yeah, that's the type of questions I got one sentence wrong for. I find these questions pretty easy if I have time to read the text again, then distinguishing between details and ideas is pretty straightforward. However, there were several "imply" questions during the test having in answer choices information not mentioned in text. 2 wrong options I easily eliminated but with the remaining options it's tricky. These I would say are arbitrary. I realized I spent too much time on them and left too little time for "summary" questions. So I'll probably focus on getting "summary" questions right every time and during the test will limit myself to 45 seconds for tricky "imply" type questions.
I have no problems with vocabulary questions as I read a lot in English so I usually can pick the correct option without even looking at text, but just to assure the correct answer I check my variant with the context provided by the text.
I listen to a lot of English language podcasts and audio books, so I usually can write down the entire lecture or conversation. I've got only one out of 3 wrong answers I selected because I didn't remember the detail the question was asking about. The other two were strange, because the question was "Why did student come to see professor?" and the student talked half of the conversation about conference and the other half about her essay topic (last half). So it could have been both, and the one I chose - conference - appeared to be wrong :).
Nope, I'm not going to study anywhere. I'm taking it because I wanted to do so a few years ago but didn't have chance to. And I think if suddenly my financial state worsens I can earn extra money by preparing people for TOEFL :). I had one student, but that was quite long time back.

PS. Is this website yours? http://www.toeflresources.com/

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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2012, 22:38
Hello guyzz...

can u tell me ..is it neccassary to spend $45?? is there any free test?
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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2012, 02:01
sanjoo wrote:
Hello guyzz...

can u tell me ..is it neccassary to spend $45?? is there any free test?

Hey! Well, ETS offers free test upon registration, but it's not complete test. You answer a few reading and listening questions, and familiarize yourself with speaking and writing responses. That's what they call the sample test.
I don't think you need to spend $45 dollars. You don't need up-to-date tests to practice speaking or writing sections. And to practice reading and listening you can try to look up free older tests from various TOEFL preparation companies like Barron's, Princeton etc.
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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2012, 02:33
WantGMAT800 wrote:
sanjoo wrote:
Hello guyzz...

can u tell me ..is it neccassary to spend $45?? is there any free test?

Hey! Well, ETS offers free test upon registration, but it's not complete test. You answer a few reading and listening questions, and familiarize yourself with speaking and writing responses. That's what they call the sample test.
I don't think you need to spend $45 dollars. You don't need up-to-date tests to practice speaking or writing sections. And to practice reading and listening you can try to look up free older tests from various TOEFL preparation companies like Barron's, Princeton etc.


Thanks for reply wantgmat800..

I m worried for my speaking part..beause i cant evalluate myself..i need some one to evaluate me..!! wat should i do?if i dont spend 45$

i have no problem of reading and listening because i can evaluate myself in these parts ..
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Re: strategies to get 120 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2012, 08:39
sanjoo wrote:
WantGMAT800 wrote:
sanjoo wrote:
Hello guyzz...

can u tell me ..is it neccassary to spend $45?? is there any free test?

Hey! Well, ETS offers free test upon registration, but it's not complete test. You answer a few reading and listening questions, and familiarize yourself with speaking and writing responses. That's what they call the sample test.
I don't think you need to spend $45 dollars. You don't need up-to-date tests to practice speaking or writing sections. And to practice reading and listening you can try to look up free older tests from various TOEFL preparation companies like Barron's, Princeton etc.


Thanks for reply wantgmat800..

I m worried for my speaking part..beause i cant evalluate myself..i need some one to evaluate me..!! wat should i do?if i dont spend 45$

i have no problem of reading and listening because i can evaluate myself in these parts ..

I suggest that you try to find TOEFL sample answers for speaking section. This package should be available somewhere, probably on ets.com website. I think I downloaded mine there. I could also provide you with my sample responses, however I don't know my score yet so they would be of no use at the moment.
Re: strategies to get 120   [#permalink] 25 Nov 2012, 08:39
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