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TOEFL test 2015, tips&suggestions (score:107)

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Joined: 21 Mar 2015
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TOEFL test 2015, tips&suggestions (score:107)  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2015, 02:52
Hello Guys!

I had taken the test on the 21th of March and I've received my score reports today morning. I would like to share my TOEFL experience with you from the very beginnings. I hope you will find it useful. I started my preparation about 3 months ago, simultaneously with my SAT prep. My english level at the time wasn’t that great at all so I knew that if I want to score well on the test I have to put a lot of effort in my preparation. My mom had bought me a 6 months access to the TOEFLnetwork which I used a lot but I would not recommend it for anybody because of it’s relatively high price and unrealistic question types. However, the listening and speaking tasks are really great and hard so If you need progress in these specific question types, it might be helpful. Also, you can find a lot of great writing topic there.

I purchased the Cambridge toefl prep book around the 20th of January and I have been learning from this book since then. If you are on an intermediate english level, and want to push your score above 100, I would say that this book is a MUST. I am sure that other prep books are great too, but it helped me immensely and also I haven’t got any experience with other prep materials. I know that a lot of you find it too expensive because of the necessary extra listening CD so here is the page where you can listen them online:

On the practice tests I usually scored around 25 in the reading and listening section, around 22 in the speaking section (maybe I was a bit harsh judge for myself), and around 24-5 in the writing section. I worked my way through the skill building exercises which are really good and on the top of that it resembles the actual test. It is essentual to be familiar with the test format if you want to ace it. For example, in the listening section of the actual test I could easily guess what the next question is going to be about because I was very familiar with the question types toefl usually uses.

Before the test day: In my opinion, the most beneficial thing to do is to relax. Wash your brain, play something outside or just do something that keeps your brain away from the exam. Be confident in yourself, and in your preparation. I think this is essentual because even if you are well prepared you can loose focus on the exam if you are too excited. You can also read something in english but do not force yourself because it won’t help you one day before the exam.

On the test day: My test was scheduled to 9 am which is a perfect time for me since I am a morning person. I had a quick breakfast and a shower then I headed to the english center where my exam was held. I arrived some 40 minutes in advance so the tutor allowed me to start the test a little earlier. Fortunately, I was in a good mood that morning which helped me to stay focused during the whole test which is a quite hard task considering the fact that the exam is nearly 4 hours long.

Test center opinion: If you lived in Hugary, you would have 2 places to choose from where you can take your test. The first one is a huge building probably equipped with great devices and environment. The second one is a small language school. Guess where I took it. Of course in the small language school. I choosed it because it is nearby so I had the time to sleep well and have a breakfast also I did not have to worry about the traffic too much. The room was a little bit cold for me but it was endurable. I had only one problem, specifically with the method which the computers were separated from eachother. The separating devices were cardboards.

Reading section: I got the longer reading which contains about 60 questions. 2 of the 5 passages were really hard, 1 moderately hard, and 2 quite easy. I did not read the whole text at once. I have always watched the questions first, without looking at the answer choices, and tried to solve them based on their paragraphs. One little Tip: If you are a quite good reader but want to improve your reading score give this methoda shot. For me, it was truly helpful.

Listening: The listening sections themselves were not hard at all, except one, but the related questions were often double-edged and tricky. By the way, this is true for the reading section too. Try to expand your vocabulary because this is the only way which can help you with these questions. A lot of you have written that taking notes distract you and it does not help. Well, in my case this was the key of the listening section. True, I did not always use my notes but it helped me to stay focused during 3-4 boring academic lectures.Tip: if you encounter a question like this, follow your gut.

Speaking: Well, my speaking about familiar topics was a mess. I did not feel satisfied after answering the first 2 questions. However, I knew that I usually perform well on the remaining academic topics so I did not become stressed. I wrote a lot of notes on the academic questions which was really usefull since it helped me to collect my toughts in the short preparation time. Tip: stay collected and calm even if you mess up one question because you still have the others to improve the overall score.

Writing: I had read a lot of review before the test where people said that they wrote some 800 words on the integrated writing, etc. So I was a little afraid because I only wrote 300 on the first one, and around 400 on the second one. The integrated writing was quite easy and straightforward but I would recommend the use of a good template. The independent writing wasn’t so hard either. My only problem was that I did not have enough time to check on my grammar and mistakes so I was a bit nervous about that. Tip: strong vocabulary and good templates are essentual if you want to score in the top range.
My overall experience was positive. The 2 tutors were really helpful and the center wasn’t so bad overall.

My scores:


Sum: 107

I hope it’ll help your preparations, if you have any remaining questions feel free to ask!
GMAT Club Bot
TOEFL test 2015, tips&suggestions (score:107)   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2015, 02:52
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