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What Are the Best TOEFL® Tips?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

The Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL®) is often required by schools in English-speaking countries of students coming from a nation in which it is not the primary language. Preparation for the test is vital, and common TOEFL® tips include practicing in a manner that matches the actual conditions of the test. It is also important for anyone taking the exam to arrive to the testing station on time or slightly early, to dress comfortably, and to eat a good meal before it. TOEFL® tips during the test itself include answering every question and proceeding at a steady pace so that testers do not become rushed at the end.

Some of the best TOEFL® tips are meant for someone who is preparing to take the test. Preparation and practice should begin as soon as possible and many people spend several months getting ready. It is important that this practice is done in a way similar to the test itself. This means that an English language keyboard should be used, so that future testers can get comfortable with it, and English should be listened to and spoken as much as possible.

Woman standing behind a stack of books
Woman standing behind a stack of books

Practice tests are available from a number of sources and can be used as an excellent way for a tester to become familiar with the layout of the questions. Audio samples should only be listened to once during practice, as this is how they will be played during the test. Speed and accuracy are both important, so it is essential that someone practice extensively every day with reading, speaking, and writing English.

Other TOEFL® tips are meant for someone who is getting ready on the day of the test itself. It is important for testers to wear comfortable clothes, as the exam usually takes about four hours. A test-taker should practice concentrating and answering questions for this length of time, to prepare for the stamina required on the exam day. It is important for someone taking the test to eat beforehand, as food and beverages are not allowed in the test room. Caffeine and sugar should be avoided, since they can give an initial burst of energy but may result in a "crash" while taking the test.

A number of TOEFL® tips are suggestions to be considered while taking the exam. Every question on the test should be answered, even if the person taking it does not know the answer. The best possible choice can be indicated, which at least provides a chance for credit, while the lack of an answer does not. TOEFL® tips also include reading questions thoroughly to ensure understanding of what is being asked, and setting a good pace that allows the test-taker to have sufficient time to complete the exam.

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