Hello, friends! Finally it's my turn to make a debrief on how to crack toefl test. I scored 110 afet a week of preparation:
First, thanks for such helpful and informative website/forum. You get perfect time/effect ratio when surfing it.
I booked a test date at the end of November and started preparing in a few days. I downloaded official guide and started reading it, but it was of almost no use for me. Loook OG through just to make sure you know how the test is organized and what to expect. You can find some sample questions there, but I recommend to use practice CDs instead. I used Cambridge ibt prep CD and Barron's CD, while with the latter I managed to do only 2 sample tests just before my exam. I started preparation with doing reading and listening sections and was scoring 27\26 in each, this took three or four days. Having 5 days left I started preparing for the speaking section and surely can recommend notefull templates. I did sample questions from CDs I already mentioned and tried to comment everything I saw in my daily life in english or even spoke to myself at home in english. This helps to create a flow and feel confident. From my experience, this section requires the most thorough preparation and is the most time-consuming. I would advise not to get stuck to templates but to build a flow, you should be able to come up with instant replies, comments and opinions. For writing sections I did 3 essays: two independent and one integrated. Just think of your creative beginning and ending prior to the test because this saves time. For each essay I wrote approx 1.6x required wordcount and developed three examples in my independent one. Use your imagination and push it to the limit
On the test day I was sent to a small room with only 3!!! test takers and the silence was killing me. I did the first part of the test and took my break, later I was stunned to see that the girl who sat to the left was gone, perhaps shee took only R and L. So now there were two of us and the micro. I did good with the first tasks but was stuck on "describe the lecture" question, where I failed to completely cover the concept and made a 5 sec pause. The most terrible was the instructor at the test centre who repeatedly came to the lady's PC and looked through the tasks popping up. I even heard her calling smb. She was really very disturbing as she four or five times slammed the door when rushing into and out of the room. I was expecting 22 or 23 as I was not satisfied with how I answered in this section and was really surprised to receive 27. When I received my scores I found that speaking is scored in three sections: the one you improvise at, campus situations and the last with lections. So even if I scored 2.5-3 in the last, I got 3-4 in first two, allowing me to score 27. No fancy experience in writing, just make it wordy and logically structured.To do list:
Use practice tests
Learn speaking templates but make sure you can improvise
Try to make summary in speaking
In some speaking questions I finished with 5 secs left, I think its ok
Make a template for your independent essayNot to do list
Don't waste time choosing the very very best word in writing, you are not a poet or WSJ journalist. Just make sure grammar and sense are ok.
Good luck to you,guys.
Thanks for reading!