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TOEFL experience - 117/120 (without any official material)

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TOEFL experience - 117/120 (without any official material) [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2011, 04:56
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Hello Everyone,

I gave my Toefl on 28th September and was pleasantly surprised to get a score of 117 today.
Breakup is as below:
Reading : 30,
Listening: 29,
Speaking: 28,
Writing: 30.

I am from India and my education throughout the 16 years of education was in English. Though I must admit that I am not a very eloquent speaker.
In my last 8 years of work experience, English has been the formal language for communication.
I earlier appeared for GMAT and had scored 5.5 in AWA, so I was kind of relaxed while appearing for the Toefl test.

I will like to share my experience so that it could be useful to fellow mates on the forum here.
First of all, Toefl test slots get filled up very fast. So I would ask all applicants to book the Toefl test date well in advance and try to keep within just 2 weeks after the GMAT date.
I had to travel to another city 500 kms north of Mumbai to appear for this test. :x

I gave the Toefl test without any preparation.On the eve of the test, spent 1 hr on youtube to check out some of the videos which explain the nature of the test.
In fact till the eve of the test I was not aware of the exact format of the 4 sections. I was planning to skip this test but for BU's MBA application which requires Toefl scores.

As you may now have understood that I did not refer to any official/unofficial material. Just went through few gmatclub posts and the videos on youtube.

Following are my thoughts about the test. You should use them if you feel you have a decent command over spoken and written English:

Speaking:

1. Be relaxed, I figured that I was not able to complete few questions of the speaking section. Kind of missed the conclusion, but the scores are not so bad.
2. Don't get flustered if you feel you are not doing so good in this section. You are probably doing better than what you think. Just carry on.

Listening:
1. You should jot down all the important points while listening to the conversation.
2. But I thought that even if I did not write all the points but just was able to recollect the conversation, I would probably still be able to answer most of the questions.
3. Take your call, use memorizing and writing to note the main points. You should be okay then.

Reading:
1. If your reading skills are good, you can easily conquer reading and writing sections. I found the reading and writing section the easiest on the test.
2. Reading passages takes some time. You can start of by reading the 1st para and then move on to questions directly.
3. I preferred this strategy as couple of questions in the bag give you lots of confidence for the remaining questions.

Writing:
1. The writing section has a passage and a lecture related to the passage. You should jot down all the points from the lecture.
2. The passage is available to us till the end of the questions. Once the points from lecture are there with you, writing a response is a cakewalk.
3. This is easily the most scoring section for someone who has already attempted the GMAT i.e. AWA section. Write as much as possible but be relevant.

Youtube as a source:

If you can take out 4 hours, you can go through all the free videos on youtube.
I found them very helpful as they explained me what the Toefl test is all about. I could just watch 3-4 of them as had to catch a train for my test center.

Finally, don't panic during the test!!
I have heard people mentioning that the test center had too much of noise. I thought that if you really concentrate, you can block off
any sort of normal ambient noise coming from anywhere. For people who are used to working in workplaces and in cubicles, concentrating should be very easy.
I mean most of us work while people around us are talking, laughing and making all sorts of noises. This test without fellow test takers should not put them off anyhow.

Given an opportunity, I would have taken few practice tests, but I was busy with work as well as some Round 1 applications.
If you can get hold of any tests, do take them to understand what to expect on the test day.

All the best!!
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I don't know if getting everything I want would make me happy, but the opposite is not working at all!!

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Re: TOEFL experience - 117/120 (without any official material) [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2011, 06:37
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Re: TOEFL experience - 117/120 (without any official material) [#permalink] New post 28 May 2012, 04:41
Re: TOEFL experience - 117/120 (without any official material)   [#permalink] 28 May 2012, 04:41
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