GMAT Club Forum

From 102 to 109
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Author:  oldguru82 [ 30 Aug 2010, 00:13 ]
Post subject:  From 102 to 109


I'm very happy as I've achieved to improve my TOEFL from 102 (March) to 109 (August). This score allows me to apply to any business school :).

It is important to note that I took the GMAT between both exams. This fact undoubtedly helped in my writing and reading skills, and also in the timing. I also continued watching TV in English. However, I didn't practice speaking a lot.


Second exam (August)
TOTAL: 109
- Reading: 29
- Listening: 29
- Speaking: 22
- Writing: 29

First exam (March)
TOTAL: 102
- Reading: 27
- Listening: 27
- Speaking: 23
- Writing: 25


Key thing: I've used some useful templates that I created some time ago. You can find them here:

* Speaking: My wife was also taking the exam so we used to speak some time every day in English after work, and some times asking TOEFL sample questions. I also took some English lessons with online teachers using Skype.
* Writing: I decided to start a blog, which forced me to write. I definitely helped me a lot!
* Listening: I watched plenty of american movies, tv shows and so on.
* Reading: I read some The Economist, NY Times and stuff like that.

Exam day

I strongly suggest you to use earplugs during the exam (I used them the second time).

Here you have my exam day debrief exam day debrief to see by yourself (quoted below).

rid82 wrote:
Just in case that helps, I've taken the test today and I've worn earplugs all the time.

Thankfully I did that because it was the worst test room, organization, etc I've ever seen in my experience doing these kind of exams (toefl(2), toeic, french exams, gmats, etc).

No separations between desks and we were like 30 guys in a very small room. My elbows were almost touching the guys next to me. I had direct view to the guy in front of me, and the guy next to him, and so on. Half of the headphones didn't work and while some guys were trying to concentrate in the reading passages, the others were shouting "describe the city you live in, describe the city you live in, DESCRIBE THE CITY YOU LIVE IN!!!" louder and louder. No luck, they didn't work guys. In fact, they seemed from 1980s. I saw 3 guys doing the exam in CRTs screens that remembered me my old 486 computer.

Honestly, it was like doing the exam in a McDonalds.

And that's not all, the exam was scheduled to start at 9 AM, and at 8:30 we were already grouped next to the room door, but we were outdoors! you know this is Hong Kong, 32 degrees and 98% humidity. The guy was calling one by one and by the time I entered the room it was 9:30! and I was sweating like if I were in my way to finish a Marathon. And then, the freeze with full power air conditioning.

I didn't ask if I could use earplugs as I was expecting a negative answer and I wasn't going to risk my entire exam. There were no cameras, and the ONLY guy there was always busy trying to find headphones working. So I decided to put my earplugs, forget about the world and focus on the exam.

Really, what an experience! but no doubt the earplugs saved my exam.


Author:  FutureDr [ 06 Sep 2010, 06:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

Nice ! but why did you decide to repeat it ? I mean 102 is decent and I don't think TOEFL is like GMAT the higher the better, or is it ?

I got 104 on my first and only try. I'm not a native speaker obviously and I didn't study. Actually I was very surpried when I found out in the test centre that there're speaking and writing sections while I tought It'd be exactly like PBT so I know if do it again I'll get much higher but should I repeat it ? I'm applying for MSF program and I meet the minimum requirement but if scoring higher gives me an advantage then I'll go for it

Author:  oldguru82 [ 06 Sep 2010, 06:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

Hi FutureDr,

In fact I repeated it because 102 wasn't enough for my target schools (Chicago requires 104, Harvard 109). That's the only reason.

In your case, if you already meet the minimum requirement I wouldn't retake it. I don't think a better score would increase your chances of being admitted.

Good luck in your application,


Author:  rahuketu1001 [ 06 Sep 2010, 08:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

do you think TOEFL score is considered while making scholarship decision?

Author:  bb [ 06 Sep 2010, 13:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

rahuketu1001 wrote:
do you think TOEFL score is considered while making scholarship decision?

I don't think it is since it is generally used to determine your english speaking abilities. English proficiency is rarely used to determine scholarship eligibility. (Why would it since all of the native speakers would probably score pretty high on TOEFL and could potentially be eligible for a scholarship. It is pretty much a basic requirement).

Author:  malbec [ 11 Sep 2010, 04:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

excellent debrief and great score too
thanks for sharing it!

Author:  newtonc [ 07 Dec 2016, 18:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

Hello friends. Rid82, do you still have your template file? It is not available at the provided link. Thanks

Author:  Danielheller [ 23 Jun 2020, 23:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: From 102 to 109

Thank you so much for sharing this forum with us.

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