Friday, December 24, 2010

How to score high on the TOEFL iBT

This pamphlet is in reply to one of the queries of a fellow member in my forum in LinkedIn. The question was" How can I get a high goal on TOEFL? I feel it hard for me to remember the words" I think this question is in the minds of many others too.


Let’s look at it this way;


1. Define the term high goal first. Is it 100, 105 110, 115 or 120”? Or is it any thing above some score, say 105? Because the height of one’s goal may widely differ from those of others.

2. It is possible to get 30 out of 30 in Reading and Listening, because they are multiple choice questions and are unintegrated sections. A high- goal setter must get at least 28 in Reading and Listening each .As long as the answers are right, you are awarded the marks and there is no element of a review by a human examiner.


3. Tackling Writing and Speaking is a different ball game. You must know how to handle questions extempore in these sections. .

4. Task 1 in writing is an integrated question involving reading, listening and writing. Here your ability to answer the given question is what will fetch high marks. I find student very often failing to go through the directions of the question and write whatever they know about the given topic rather than answering the specific question asked.

5. Secondly some students are too lazy to take notes especially in the Listening part of the integrated Writing and try to recollect points from their memory of what they have heard. This will certainly lead to disaster. You must note at least few key words as you listen, from out of which you should develop the body of your answer.

I repeat, please, please read the question and give an answer relevant to what has been asked.

6. Task Two, mostly borders on preferences, debate whether this or that, or your stated stand on a given issue etc While the topics themselves are varied, how forcefully you present your views is what is judged in this section. .If you can make your examiner look up your essay with a raised eye brow, you are perhaps on your course for some high score. Remember to give as many examples as possible and indicate the examples by pointer words such as ‘ for example, for instance etc’ If you can stun the examiner by a befitting statement such as a quote, a proverb, then your aim of a high goal will be that much easier.



7. Speaking: The short speeches ranging from 45 seconds to 60 seconds are indeed a nightmare for the test takers. Remember to get your basics right on this section. Maintain the discipline of taking short notes in the form of a few words in the integrated portions and develop your answers from these notes.

8. In Speaking, you must practice how to come to the point directly from the start; don’t beat about the bush but hit the nail on its head in the very first sentence.

9. You can keep a partner for practicing speaking. Or do it in front of the mirror.

10. Reading: In my opinion full reading of the passage from head to toe is a waste of time. Instead, I urge students to read the question first and read the passage relevant to each question. Most importantly, if you not find an answer for a particular question, don’t get stuck. Move on to the next. If you have some time left after answering one full round, again you can go back to that particular question and re- try it in the light the increased knowledge you have gained from having gone through the passage in full. It will be worthwhile to remember at this juncture that the last three to four questions carry more marks than the earlier questions and the later questions are more complex and do require more time than the initial questions .You must spare adequate time to ponder over them and should have an adequate cushion of time to delve into them.

11. Listening: Answering listening questions is an art. The biggest problem in the exam hall is the noise generated by co-test takers, who may be responding to speaking questions. They may be using high decibels and this discordant ambience will disturb your focused listening difficult. In your practice sessions, you must practice listening amidst some blaring audio which should run simultaneously along with the listening session. Learn to converge your mental faculties in the midst of various kinds of disturbances.

12. I do not think it is prudent to take down notes while listening. This might work counter productive, eating into the time and energy needed to listen diligently. The important thing is to keep sailing along with the listening and if you have lost track, then the most important thing is to forget that particular question and move on. Listening texts are not repeated and nor do they wait for the test takers.

13 General: TOEFL is an endurance test. It may run for more than about four hours, if you are unfortunate to hit an additional research or unscored portion. You must be physically agile to encounter such an exacting test, so take some heath drink and energy cookies along with you to the hall. Particularly sleep well the night before. Very often people doze off in the listening section of the test for a while because of lack of sleep the night before, thus losing concentration and hopes for high scores.

14. The above lists are not exclusive discussions nor are the finite. They are my personal opinions and others are too welcome to add on to them, drawing from their own experiences. Meantime, let me welcome Chen to the forum with kudos, for starting a very useful thread on this open forum.

Narendran


E&OE

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3 Comments:

At September 28, 2016 at 10:11 PM , Blogger Fred Sellers said...

Reading, typing and speaking are the key factors as defined above and will almost help students to establish more of the possible details and values which they must needed to understand either. best mba application consultants

 
At January 18, 2017 at 2:11 AM , Blogger Priya said...

I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a little from next time?..Keep this great work..
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At January 28, 2017 at 8:22 PM , Blogger nancy john said...

Toefl is not a hard English test as usual many students thinks only we want to concentrate on learning

Teaching for English language

 

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