This article was originally published on our blog in Spanish. You can find the original article here.
TOEFL stands for Test of English. It is an examination that values the knowledge of this language officially. It is accepted by the whole world and has the particularity that focuses on American English while the usual is British English.Today we will show you some tips to rock your TOEFL exam.
Unlike other language tests, your measurement system is like a thermometer. During this examination, questions are put before you. The way you answer those questions will determine your success… The other concept is to try to reach a previously determined level according to the European linguistic framework, and in case of not reaching it, the student will be suspended. The exam is divided into four aspects (reading, writing, listening, speaking) each valued between 0 and 30 points so; the final grade will be between 0 and 120.
Does the TOEFL certification expire?
It has a validity of two years, after which it is necessary to renew it if you want to continue using it. More so, it is beneficial as part of the curriculum and is also needed to be accepted in universities that teach in English. For example, if you want to study a master’s degree, you will be asked for an equivalence of the verifiable C1, which will usually show you which TOEFL grade is required (100 or more) or which facet of the exam is most relevant to you (e.g., you’ll be asked to write instead of been invited to speak)
Need to know
Exam dates are determined in advance. This must be contracted with time in advance. To this end, deadlines are specified where you will either be turned down or asked to pay a higher fee. Once paid (the price is around 200 euros but depends on the date and the fluctuation of the dollar with the European currency) you’ll receive an email with the data of the place of examination, candidate etc … It is essential to carry your identification to the examination, whether passport or ID, and this has to tally with the data given to the organization; otherwise, it will not be valid.
The exam lasts about four hours with a mandatory ten-minute break in half. At all times a timer will appear which will specify the remaining time before the exam elapses. All the candidates do it at the same time, in a computer room equipped with a headset and a microphone. You’ll be given a pencil, pen and paper. The only reason to talk to another person is when you want to clear your doubts or ask for more paper.
The part of reading comprehension consists of 4 and six texts. Of all these, you will have to answer a series of questions, 12-14. This will investigate the ability of the candidate to not only understand the text itself but also answer questions on writing and vocabulary. Although the texts are academic, they do not usually have a particular difficulty level. Hence, they are perfect for anyone who understands and speaks English. Of course, it will depend on your level. You can skip the questions you are unsure of and return to them later. Listening
The hearing part consists of a written text that you can read for a limited time. You’ll then hear a moderately casual conversation of people who are affected by the previous text in one form or another. For example, if a side of the council appears on the collection of garbage, two neighbours will talk about what they think about it. After this, you’re expected to answer some questions about this conversation. This will be repeated 6 to 9 times; as they are brief conversations. Then there is the 10-minute break, also timed and mandatory.
This is the most complicated part psychologically. Usually, the language exams are performed in front of a native speaker with whom you will establish a conversation. As such, you will hear a conversation to which you’re expected to respond to. Keep in mind that more or less all you’ll be taken to a room filled with conversations, but remember all this are designed to distract you. Do not be afraid of breaking the silence. It’s your exam and remembers you have already paid for. So, speak loud and clear, not enough to annoy others but yes so as not to be accused of insecurity with the language.
The last part is simple: two texts, the first on an article (which will be available as you write) which will be added to a commentary based on audio; of an academic nature too. The commentary is usually a criticism. You’re expected to synthesize around 200 words both for the article and the criticism. The other text is somewhat more complex. There will be a topic to be discussed, and an opinion will be structured around 300 words.
The only serious recommendation that you can give someone who is going to take the TOEFL exam is to do it safely. If you are not clear about the level of English coupled with the fact that you’ll not be able to study, please do not pay for the test. To make things easy for you, you can search the internet for exam models (in the official page there are several PDF of the test), practice English as much as possible and rest the day before the exam. Arrive early to prevent disruptions (examination room changes, transportation strikes, traffic breaks because the US president visited the city the day before and cut it whole, whatever) and do the exam with ease. Do not rush. If you are in ponder carefully before you conclude… Do not try to use the vocabulary you do not know. It is normal to be nervous, and try to assume it. But don’t do this, as a result, may not be nice.
And most of all, good luck.