Top Tips about TOEFL
Consider the following situations:
► You have acquired a very good level of English and are willing to be accepted in one of the universities in any of the major English speaking countries. How can you be absolutely sure that your English is good enough to interact with native speakers, understand teachers, hear lectures, write papers, and carry out all the activities required for specific topics?
► You want to qualify for a new position and an almost “native-like” command of English is a must. How can your prospective employers realize you have the English level they need for that job?
► You have requested a Visa for Australia or the UK. Sometimes, you are asked to show you can use the language. How can you do that?
The answer to all these questions is simple: take the TOEFL!!
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an exam that best measures your ability to speak, read and write in English. So, if you take it, it will tell you whether you are ready or not to apply for the English speaking university of your dreams; it will show your future employers that your English will be an asset for their company and it can help you get those Visas you want.
Maybe, your reaction now is: Ok. I am sure I need to take that exam. Where can I take it? How do I prepare for the test? What does it consist of?
Let me explain a bit. The TOEFL has two formats:
► The Internet-based test (IBT): it is administered online at testing sites around the world and it measures listening, speaking, reading and writing skills
► The paper-based test (PBT): it is only administered in countries with little internet. It measures listening, reading and writing skills.
At present most students take the IBT. You can register online and the TOEFL site has plenty of information about dates, places, cost, etc. One important thing to bear in mind: you can take this test as many times as you wish as long as there are more than 12 days between one test date and the next.
Wall Street English gives you an excellent preparation in all 4 skills. However, it would be a good idea to get specific preparation. Why? Because in that way you’ll know what to expect in each part of the exam.
You will be asked to read two or three passages that can come from any subject that a first – year student can take in a course – biology, physics, marketing, public relations, just to mention a few – and then answer comprehension questions. Hey! You are not supposed to have any previous knowledge of those topics, but should be able to understand what you read!
You’ll have to listen to academic lectures or conversations once before looking at the questions – you can take down notes while listening – and then answer questions about what you have listened.
It includes two types of questions:
► “Independent” speaking topics about personal experiences, opinions or ideas and they are meant to see how well you can express yourself.
► “Integrated” speaking topics are about academic topics and they integrate reading or listening with speaking for you to show how well you can find the most important ideas in a lecture or text.
This section is similar to the speaking one. It contains two tasks you’ll have to type on the PC:
► Integrated writing: you have to read a short passage, then listen to an audio clip on the same topic. You will be given some minutes to plan your response, which should only deal about the topic mentioned in both sources.
► Independent writing: You’ll get a question on a specific topic and after a few minutes given to plan your response, you can write about your own points of view regarding the topic.
It may sound difficult, but it’s NOT! Just accept the challenge and for sure, some things in your life will change for the better.
“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” – Saadi