Category TOEFL

All posts about TOEFL.

Posted on September 13, 2011 | Filed in TOEFL

We all know the TOEFL writing section can create some widespread anxiety and trigger various questions: Will my writing be good enough?  What exactly are the raters looking for? How much will grammar and punctuation count for my total score?

In general, grammar and punctuation are important on both the integrated and independent essays. However, minor errors are certainly forgivable, and if you only have a few they won’t be counted towards your total score. Likewise, a significant knowledge of grammar is crucial for obtaining a high score. This post will focus on adverbial clauses, which if used correctly might …


Posted on January 17, 2011 | Filed in GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL

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Come to our office to gather with other students like you to help improve your studying and learning techniques. We also offer free mock exams that will help you access your strengths and weaknesses! Our study groups will …


Posted on August 24, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

ETS, the maker of the TOEFL exam, has generously released some highly coveted tips for those of you looking to take the TOEFL sometime soon.

Listen to English-language videos and music. When you rent a DVD or VHS from your local video store, challenge yourself by turning off the English subtitles or captions. Try your best to understand each person speak by watching his or her mouth move; sometimes, you might want to close your eyes and attempt to decipher whatever you can.  It never hurts to challenge yourself.

Listen to a book on tape in English. There are many …


Posted on August 17, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

ETS has thankfully released some very valuable tips for the writing section on the TOEFL exam. It seems to be that most of the tips are for the integrated writing section, so for these purposes we will save independent writing suggestions for another time.

In terms of writing practice for the integrated writing section, ETS recommends you practice combining information you have read or watched into a written summary. This is comparable to the TOEFL in that for the integrated writing section, you are asked to write a 150-225-word essay, combining information from both a reading and a listening passage. How do you …


Posted on August 10, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

While advice from TOEFL instructors and tutors can certainly be highly valued, there’s no looking past suggestions from the makers of the TOEFL itself – ETS.

ETS has released several various articles with suggestions on how to prepare for the TOEFL. This article, in particular, will highlight some of ETS’ suggestions in how to prepare for the reading section of the TOEFL test.


ETS encourages a particular eye for outline reading passages, as the actual process of outlining can save you time on the TOEFL when getting through dense and complex reading articles. Keep in mind you have 20 minutes for …


Posted on August 3, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

Next to studying all four TOEFL test prep skills (reading, listening, speaking & writing), there are other aspects of the test and what to expect on test day you should keep in mind.  While the following suggestions may be somewhat alternative for test-takers, keep in mind these elements are not to be ignored when taking in mind your TOEFL test prep.

  1. IMPROVE TYPING SKILLS: While this may be a surprising suggestion, your typing capabilities are not to be overlooked. Most people take the TOEFL iBT which is solely Internet-based; your typing skills are insurmountably important for achieving a high score


Posted on July 27, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

Fretting over the TOEFL speaking section? No need to worry – here are five practical tips to help keep you grounded:

  1. Remember – it doesn’t have to be immaculately perfect. Each speaking question is graded on a scale of 0 – 4, with a 4 being the highest possible score. Even with the highest possible score, it is still acceptable to have minor pronunciation errors. In other words, the TOEFL graders are well aware you are speaking into a microphone in a room full of others, who are also doing the same and they take into account both your situation during the test


Posted on July 20, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

Many students are often very perplexed as how to finish the TOEFL reading portion of the test on time. On a TOEFL reading exam, you can expect anywhere from 3-5 reading sections. Each reading section is broken down, as follows:

  • 1 page-long reading article on an academic topic (history, science, the arts, philosophy)
  • 13-14 corresponding questions
  • 20 minutes to read the passage and answer all questions

Reading on the TOEFL exam is not necessarily “normal reading.” In other words, students don’t have time to read the reading section in-depth, so a very essential skill is necessary: skimming.  Skimming is basically reading …


Posted on July 20, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

The TOEFL reading section is broken down into 10 different reading question types.  Many TOEFL test-takers find it easier to complete a reading section on time if they are aware of the reading questions they will encounter, and then be able to identify them.  Here is a quick rundown of each question type you will encounter:

  • FACTS/DETAILS: Fact/Detail questions want to know specific information found in the passage.  The easiest thing about this question type?  It’s always possible to find the answer, since it’s found directly in the passage!
  • NEGATIVE FACTS/DETAILS: These questions sometimes confuse students because they often ask


Posted on July 13, 2010 | Filed in TOEFL

While the Listening section on the TOEFL doesn’t have as many question types as the reading section, it’s still important to know the types you might encounter.  As with the reading section, when you are able to identify a listening question type, it very well might help you move through the section faster.  Keep in mind: the listening section on the TOEFL exam has 34 questions total with 6 main question types.

  • Topic/Main Idea: When identifying the topic or main idea of a lecture of conversation, questions along the lines of: What is the subject of the conversation/lecture?  What is