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TOEFL – Prepared for 1 day and got 104

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TOEFL – Prepared for 1 day and got 104  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2015, 01:46
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Hi All
I prepared for TOEFL for just over a day and got 104 and wanted to share my experience and what I followed.
Firstly, I would not suggest studying for such a short duration as it might backfire but my circumstances were such that I did not have enough time as I had an application deadline to fulfill and hence decided to take the TOEFL with just limited preparation.
However I did realize that if you do your homework well on the exam, it’s not such a difficult exam to ace especially if you have already prepared for GMAT or any other entrance exam with verbal knowledge.

Here is what I did

Firstly I went through the structure of the exam and this is the most important thing. Notefull.com is a great website to familiarize yourself with the exam and they have some excellent free content on all sections. Also I downloaded the free test from ETS and practiced that. This gave me enough understanding about the pattern of the exam.

Get to know what you will be facing on the exam day – The TOEFL has four sections – Reading, Listening , Speaking and Writing. The exam lasts a good 4.5 hours with only 10 minutes of break in between so you do have to be patient and extremely focused in the exam.

Reading section – I had prepared for the GMAT and solved a lot of RC passages. The TOEFL passages are longer than the GMAT passages but all the questions come in chronological order. So you can just read the first paragraph and then answer the first few questions. Then read the second paragraph and answer the next few questions. However on the exam day I felt that it was good to quickly read the whole passage and then target questions looking at the passage. Remember not to spend time reading through the entire passage and understanding but just take a feel of what the passage is about so that you are aware of the passage structure and then you can read one paragraph at a time and answer the questions. Remember that a few questions at the end of each passage are diagram questions so just practice a few RC passages before the exam to be familiar with the pattern. .

Listening - The TOEFL has a set pattern of questions and you should familiarize yourself with the pattern of questions asked. The questions come in a set pattern so its important to get yourself acquainted. I practiced about 15 questions from http://www.english-test.net/toefl/listening/. I read a suggestion somewhere that prepare with some noise in the background as that is what you are going to experience at the venue where the room will be filled with students and there will be some level of noise in the hall. That is because some students will be giving their speaking section at the time you are giving some other section.
Speaking – This was the section I was most worried about before the exam as some schools as a minimum in this section so I focused almost 60% of my effort in this section. I went through this link to familiarize myself with the section toefl-instructional-videos-speaking-writing-very-useful-100611.html. I went through the videos and prepared templates for myself that I used for practice. I downloaded a voice recorder app on my phone and recorded my answers. That helped me analyze the mistakes I was doing and also helped me practice to finish all questions within the 45-60 second window. Remember that the questions come in set pattern but you will need to practice what to say and you need a strategy for that. I followed the strategy given in the above link and also went through Notefull.com to come up with my strategy and followed that in the exam as well.
You could use questions for practice at this site http://www.eng1on1.com/ibt.php?test=1 or google speaking questions TOEFL and pick up and practice.

Writing – Again you will get a set pattern of questions for the TOEFL so get yourself familiar with the kind of questions that will be asked and make your strategy. Again Notefull.com contains some very nice tips on how to write the two essays. I personally did not have a lot of time at hand so I did not actually write any essay. However writing a few essays will always be useful.

Exam day – I reached the center just on time and was amazed to see a lot of students at the center. Yes the TOEFL is given by a lot of students so be prepared to see a big crowd at the center. While I was doing my reading section some students were testing their mike so it was causing some disturbance but knowing it beforehand helped me cope with the situation. The listening section was also fine till about the last lecture when other students started with their Speaking section but then too you have no option but to cope up with the situation at hand and having practiced with some background noise helped me. The 10 minute break seemed very less to me and as soon as the speaking section started I recalled my templates and jotted them down on the scratch paper. I applied the templates and made sure I finished before time to avoid being penalized. I found the writing section a little tough, maybe because I had not practiced it but I nevertheless followed the templates that I had in mind for this section as well. I had read somewhere that following the word limit in the exam is a good practice and I too made sure that I did not exceed the word limit for both the essays.
I was relieved after the exam and was just wished to get over 100 ( as that’s the cutoff for most universities ).

After 10 days I finally got the score
Reading – 24
Listening – 29
Speaking – 26
Writing – 24
Total – 104

Done with the TOEFL  !!!!
Let me know if you have any specific question and I would be more than happy to help !!
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Re: TOEFL – Prepared for 1 day and got 104  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2015, 15:54
Could you please tell me how you did the tests on ETS site because they come in PDF form?

Thanks,

Anne
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Re: TOEFL – Prepared for 1 day and got 104  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2015, 07:56
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you are a true natural. great results with relatively little effort. unfortunately, not all students can perform so super strong after just one day of preparation. thank you for sharing your insights, hopefully some other students will manage to mirror your success
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Re: TOEFL – Prepared for 1 day and got 104   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2015, 07:56
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