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My debrief

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Intern
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Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 2
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New post 01 Dec 2014, 18:06
I had my TOEFL exam on November 21 and today I received my score 110! My target was at least 100.

Reading: 28
Listening: 29
Speaking: 24
Writing: 29

This forum helped me a lot to achieve this score. Thank you very much.
Here is my debrief for my preparation and for the test day:

For my preparation, I used "Cambridge preparation for the TOEFL test" and "Kaplan TOEFL iBT". I got them from the library, so I don't know if they are expensive.

Reading:
I recommend the Kaplan mock tests, but don't get discouraged if you don't score well. The reading section is actually harder than the one on the test. (My scores on the Kaplan test varied from 22 to 25) The mock tests given in the Cambridge preparation were very similar to the test. I even got one passage in the actual test that was on a very similar topic to a one in the mock tests, so I was familiar with the terms. On my test day, I got 4 passages, 80 minutes total. I recommend wearing computer glasses or adjusting the brightness on the screen before starting this section, because it can be very exhausting staring at the screen for hour and a half.

Listening:
This is the easiest section on the test. I was watching movies and TV series without subtitles for several years, so I guess that was my preparation for this section. My advice to you is to slow down on the last question, and use all your time, so you can finish last and maybe hear someone who has already started their speaking section. I expected lower score on this section, because at the end, I wasn't concentrated and didn't hear a short part of the last lecture. I was very tired and I wasn't sure about 3-4 questions. I was expecting 25-27. Apparently it went better.

Speaking:
I was very nervous about this section. I am not a fluent speaker even in my own language :D (Words don't come easy to me when I am under pressure). I was lucky to hear an answer for one of the independent questions while i was on my break, so I had time to prepare an answer. I used the templates by Notefull. I don't have any advice for this section, since my score is not very good.

Writing:
My advice for this section is to write 300+ words for the integrated task, and 450+ for the independent task. I used 5 paragraphed template for the first task (Intro, First/Second/Third argument, Conclusion), word count about 350. For the second task I wrote 4 paragraphs:
1. paragraph - Introduction: I agree/disagree... (main idea) + 2-3 sentences in which I introduced my reasons of support.
2. paragraph - First reason: The reason in one short sentence + 1-2 sentences to describe the relation between the reason and the main idea + an example with a lot of details.
3. paragraph - Second reason: ...
4. paragraph - Conclusion: To conclude, ... (the main idea) because (the reasons of support) + one final sentence.
Word count about 450.
I didn't expect to get such a good score on this section cause I am not good at writing essays. But this template simplified the task and helped me achieve this score, that's why I highly recommend it.

My final advice is not to be too stressed out about this test. Don't panic and concentrate on one task at a time, don't think about a mistake or a past question!
Good luck to you all! And thanks again for all your debriefs and advices!
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Joined: 05 Jan 2015
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New post 05 Jan 2015, 15:06
Hi, how could you hear the speaking question? I thought that everybody does the speaking section together.... Thanks for answer
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New post 06 Jan 2015, 03:11
When you finish the reading and listening section, you have an optional 10 min break. Your speaking section starts after the break. (If you complete any of your sections before the clock ran out, you don't have to wait, you can continue to the next section.)

In my case, one of the participants finished the previous sections earlier, so he started speaking when I was in the end of my listening section and during my break.
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My debrief   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2015, 03:11
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