Status: In search of a magic lamp...
Joined: 02 Feb 2012
GMAT 1: 610 Q45 V29
GMAT 2: 640 Q47 V31
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
 , given: 5
Toefl 112/120 [R:27 L:29 S:28 W:28] - 1 day prep [#permalink]
26 May 2012, 21:16
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I just want to share my experience of the TOEFL, as it might help some folks with their questions\doubts. I booked my TOEFL on the 10th of May, gave the test on the 20th and got my scores on the 27th.
I am a working professional and didnt have much time to prepare for the test. On the penultimate day, I browsed the TOEFL website and got accustomed to the question types, and that covers my entire preparation. I had severe flu and throat infestion, got up at 2 AM and searched the TOEFL website for a re-schedule, it needed a full forfeit and I decided to give it a shot anyway. I wanted to share this because some of you might feel like re-scheduling under similar circumstances and this might help in deciding. The TOEFL is a liberal exam and its not adaptive. So just go ahead and give it your best. Make sure you take a throat drop or drink warm water to clear up your vocal chords during the break.
Reading: This started of in the worst possible way, as i was not feeling well, I took upto 3-4 quetions to get into the zone. After that it was much better. I would suggest to skip reading the passage(You will need to scroll to the last paragraph) and proceed to the 1st question. The TOEFL is structured in a way that the questions are in order with the paragraphs, what i mean is that the 1st question's answer will be in the 1st paragraph etc... Only the last few questions will need you to have an overall picture of the passage. Be attentive of the questions which say "This question is worth 2 points". Make the most of it. Finally, time yourself perfectly for this section.
Listening: By now i was accustomed to the fact that i was giving the TOEFL! For the listening section take lots of notes. The lecture can go on for 6-7 minutes and it can be on topics not familiar to you: Samba dance, flora-fauna, astronomy etc. Also try to register the mood of the speaker, i mean optimistic, sarcastic etc. This will come in handy for 1-2 questions. Also when 2 people are speaking, make 2 columns and write in short what each one is saying. Dont panic if you have missed out on something, some questions (only a few) will replay a part of the conversation again. Timing wont be an issue for most people during this section. The time pauses when someone is speaking and resumes only when the question is on the screen. So think twice and mark your answer, you have all the time in the world!
Speaking: By this section, the entire center will sound like an insurance call center!. Accept the fact and move on, be precise with your answers and more importantly be clear. Before you begin, you are required to speak into the mic to test and adjust your voice. Mine said "Unsuccessful" for the 1st time!!!, you can imagine the shock. Then the proctor came in and asked me to shout my name loudly into the mic 15 times, instead of describing the city I live in!!!!, this was getting worse. But i had accepted the fact that speaking was going to be affected by my throat issues and i just kept going. Questions are fairly simple, they even give you 15 seconds - 30 seconds preparation time before you actually begin to speak. The 1st two questions require you to speak about a familiar topic and the next two involve reading a passage and listening to a lecture. The last 2 are listening to a conversation. Overall i would say, as long as you speak loudly with a neutral accent and ensure that you address the question, you should be good with the speaking section.
Writing: By far the most easiest of all the sections, just make sure you write more than the required word count & yes , there is a word counter which you can see on top of the screen. First promt involves a passage and a lecture, you will be asked a question and need to write in your response in 20 minutes. The second one is similar to Issue Essay on the GMAT, and you have 30 minutes for this. I wrote 30-50 words higher than the requirement for each essay.
Hope you found this useful and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask or PM me.