TOEFL practice test

exercises to help you improve your TOEFL score

TOEFL FAQs

frequently asked questions about the TOEFL test

TOEFL Topics Compilation

common topics asked during the TOEFL test

TOEFL 101

basic information about the TOEFL test

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How to Use Proper Vocabulary for the TOEFL-iBT?

Non-native English speakers have different perspectives when it comes to studying the English language. Some would say that is really difficult. It is so hard because of the number of rules they have to memorize, the variety of vocabulary words to use, and the proper construction of sentences to have consistency and fluency. For other learners, they find it easy to study the language as they see it as a challenge they have to encounter every single day. They think of the future benefits they can use as they become good English speakers.

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To gauge one’s English level or test an individual’s fluency in the English language, there are English proficiency tests to be taken. Among the many English fluency tests available, the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language is commonly challenged by Filipinos.

The TOEFL test evaluates one’s skill in English in the content. This means that the topics covered in the examination are from academic subjects in the university. For example, one can anticipate a reading passage about photosynthesis, a listening lecture about bird migration, a speaking task about comfort zone bias, and a writing task on the advantages of the internet. There are a lot of possibilities which the examinee should be prepared for.

One common criterion being tested is the skill in vocabulary. Vocabulary is essential as creating meaningful sentences depends upon the careful selection of words in your vocabulary bank. With a good command in vocabulary, one will be able to express his or her ideas more appropriately.

In the reading section of the test, the examinee should be able to understand concepts and ideas presented in the reading passage without the use of dictionary. The examinee has to comprehend what the certain words mean through context clues. How one understands the whole reading passage depends on his or her ability to understand words and phrases in the English language.

A good ear is needed in the listening test paired with good vocabulary. The examinee should be able to differentiate homonyms on audio recordings. Understanding the gist of the audio recording is easy once the examinee fully understands the words used in the recording. 

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A choice of good words to express one’s opinion and to paraphrase ideas given on a lecture or reading passage is beneficial in the speaking section. Responses are better when the right words are used. Though words have a lot of synonyms, examinees should always find one that best suits their sentence. The same notion goes for writing. Ideas are expressed well when they are used in sentences that are properly constructed as well.

So, how can one use proper vocabulary in the TOEFL iBT?

· Know the synonyms of certain words. Be familiar with word families as well. Choose one that will clearly describe your idea.

· Do not use idioms or word phrase that you are unsure of their definition. It is a risk that you should not take.

· Read a lot to increase vocabulary. Be familiar with jargons and expressions that can be used in a particular field of study.

· Use new vocabulary often. Make it part of your system both in speaking and writing.

· Keep a vocabulary notebook. Write down new words you know and create simple sentences based on how you understand the word.

Start building your vocabulary by choosing text books of your interests. The love for reading should start on pieces that you prefer reading. As you learn, broaden your materials until learning new words becomes fun and educational. 
Check out some of these useful vocabulary for the TOELF-iBT:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Common TOEFL Myths Debunked!



Taking English proficiency exams are no joke to non-native speakers. For Filipinos, taking English proficiency examinations is a must especially when they are applying for a working or student visa in English speaking countries particularly the United States of America. One particular English fluency test that is required by most companies and institutions overseas is the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language. 

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The TOEFL test is an internet-based English fluency test that evaluates how well an individual can understand and use English in its four core areas: reading, listening, speaking and writing. The TOEFL iBT test uses English in an academic context. This means that the questions in the test are all from academic subjects in the university. In TOEFL Philippines, many individuals – both working professionals and students – take time to review for the TOEFL to reach their target scores. 

There are some TOEFL test examinees that are not familiar with the examination. Moreover, they have these myths about TOEFL that might cause confusion on what the TOEFL test is all about. Here are some myths about the TOEFL test. 

MYTH
TRUTH
The TOEFL test in the Philippines has a different content compared to the test in other countries.
The TOEFL test in the Philippines has the same content to all other TOEFL tests in the world. It uses a standardized material to be fair to all TOEFL candidates from non-native English speaking country.
I need to study all academic subjects so that I can be familiar with the questions in the reading section.
Being familiar with some common academic topics in the TOEFL is an advantage. However, examines do not need to have a deeper study since the questions are all based on the existing reading passage.
If I do not speak in American accent, I will lose a great deal of points in the speaking examination.
Having an American accent is good; however, it is not necessary. The TOEFL speaking test evaluates how well a person can understand spoken English in academic situations. The important thing examinees have to do is to bank on clarity in their response.
If I write more than the required number of words in the writing section of the TOEFL test, I will get a better mark.
Writing more than the desired number of words is recommended. This shows how well you can express your thoughts in written text. However, it does not guarantee a good score with long essays. Invest more on the content than the length of your essay.
If I listen well in the listening test, I can easily answer all the questions after the audio recording.
Listening skills are very important in the TOEFL listening section. However, questions are not given until the recording is finished. This means that examinees should be good at taking down notes to be able to answer all the questions related to the recording.

TOEFL examinees have to know about what the exam is. For starters, they can search about it online. Visiting www.ets.org is a very good source. Further, there are TOEFL review centers where candidates for the exam can inquire about the test. In addition, they could also inquire on TOEFL review classes that can help them prepare for the real test.

Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 TOEFL Guide for Test Takers

There are a lot of English proficiency exams available in the Philippines. The popularity of these English proficiency examinations is due to the rise in the number of Filipino applicants who want to study or work overseas. Being a non-native English speaker, Filipinos are required to take the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language as an English proficiency exam requirement.


 
The TOEFL

The TOEFL is an internet-based examination which tests the examinee’s fluency in the English language in an academic content. The TOEFL covers academic subjects such as history, music, arts, science and technology, social sciences and many more.

The Test Format

Examinees are to be tested in the four skills of English – reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Four Sections of the TOEFL Test

Reading

The examinee will have to read three to four passages from academic topics and answer about fifteen questions on each passage. The examinee is given about an hour and twenty minutes to complete the test. Reading comprehension and vocabulary are two of the many skills tested in this section of the exam.

Listening

With about an hour and thirty minutes, the candidate has to listen to a conversation, classroom discussion, and a lecture in the listening test. Answers are not seen on the screen while the audio is being played. Hence, it is important for the candidate to have good note taking skills for this test.

Speaking

The speaking test is composed of six different tasks. The first two tasks are independent while the remaining four are integrated. Questions are already loaded in the system and responses will be recorded online. This section is to be completed in twenty minutes.

Writing

Given about fifty minutes to finish, the examinee has to complete two writing tasks – integrated and independent tasks. Vocabulary, grammar, sentence construction are some of the things evaluated in this section.




TOEFL Score Requirements

It is important for TOEFL test candidates to verify the required score for their application. Different institutions have different requirements. The perfect score in the test is 120 with a perfect score of 30 in each section. Most of the time, Filipinos are asked to get a score of more than 90 with a score of at least 26 in the speaking section.

Required Documents

Candidates have to:

  • create an account at www.ets.org under the My TOEFL page
  • use a valid passport or any government ID upon registration
  • have to bring the Confirmation Sheet, which is emailed upon successful registration, on the exam day

How to Prepare for the TOEFL Test
  • Read online on information about the TOEFL test. There are a lot of free materials online for you to practice. Further, enrolling in a TOEFL review center will be more beneficial.
  • Increase your vocabulary for the exam. Read a lot of books and write down words that might be helpful in the test. Practice different skills in reading and listening.
  • Practice speaking English. Take advantage of opportunities where you can speak English. The more practice you do, the more confident you become in using the language.
  • Review on grammar and sentence structure. These are very helpful in your speaking and writing tests.

How to Register for the Test

1. Locate the nearest TOEFL Test Center in your area.

2. Go to www.ets.org. Log into your account and register for a test.

3. Check the availability of the dates and look for the test center.

4. Register and use a valid ID to complete the registration.

5. Pay the fee online using a Mastercard or Visa. The test costs about $200 (US dollars).

6. Wait for the confirmation sheet to be sent to your email.


 
Exam Schedule

A confirmation of the exam schedule will be sent to your email. Bring the same ID used in the registration on the exam day.

Exam Results

The results will be available after two weeks. Check on your account online to see if it is already available. The hard copy of the result may take about a month to be delivered.

Re-marking of Scores

Some candidates want to have their scores re-marked, especially on the speaking and writing exams. It is possible. Contact the test center or send an email. Scores will be available after a month.

Validity of the Results

The TOEFL score is valid for two years. Applications should be submitted before your score expires.

Re-taking the TOEFL

It is possible for any candidate to take the test again provided that he or she is ready for the exam.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TOEFL Questions Allegedly Leaked in China

A TOEFL reviewer based in Beijing has claimed that he received an alleged answers to the TOEFL test last January 31, 2015. Accordingly, answers were sold via WeChat for 30,000 yuan ($4,792). Read more about the TOEFL answer leak at http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/905501.shtml.



Last year, TOEFL was also suspended for visa applications in the UK following an alleged breach to the test. You can read that article at http://toeflreview.blogspot.com/2014/04/news-toefl-exam-suspended-for-visa.html.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Top 10 Scientific Words You Need to Know for the TOEFL-iBT

Every candidate for the TOEFL test knows the academic content of the examination. The TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English proficiency examination that evaluates the knowledge of an individual in understanding and using the English in an academic context. The test has four sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Among these four parts of the test, the reading is considered to be a challenge to its academic scope.



 
Since it uses academic content in its reading texts, most of the passages talk about the fields of science. If you are someone who is not very familiar with these areas, it could pose a little problem; however, candidates need not worry since all the answers in the questions are found in the reading passage. To help candidates anticipate and understand in advance some of the terms or topics used in the reading, here are some words to remember and take note of.

· Symbiosis

The word symbiosis refers to the relationship of species in a particular ecosystem or habitat. There are different kinds of symbiotic relationships namely mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.

· Behaviorism

It is defined as an idea that all learners are essentially passive and their respond according to the environmental stimuli. Behaviors are shaped through reinforcement and punishment.

· Aquifers


This is a body of saturated work in which water can move easily. Aquifers include rock types such as sandstone and fractured limestone.

· Tundra

When we say tundra, it means that it is an area where trees’ growth are hindered or they do not grow as tall as others because of low temperatures and the short growing of seasons.

· Electromagnetism


When we describe the relationship between electricity and magnetism, we are referring to electromagnetism.

· Discourse Analysis

This is defined as the analysis of language ‘beyond the sentence’. It can also be defined as the study of the ways in how language is used in discourse and contexts.

· Bioluminescence

Angler fish uses bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light of animals. This is evident in animals such as the angler fish, fireflies and even on some species of mushrooms.

· Atomic Structure

This pertains to the structure of atoms. Atoms have electrons, negatively charged particles; protons, positively charged particle; and nucleus, the center of the atomic structure.

· Behavioral Ecology

Defined as the evolutionary basis for animal behavior due to ecological pressures, behavioral ecology is a common topic in the reading test. It is how animals adapt to their existing environment in order to survive.

· Dadaism

This is an art movement during the 20th century. Practitioners of Dadaism created works of art that are unconventional and most of the time nonsense as a movement against conventional art styles.

These are some terms that have been commonly used in the reading section. You do not have to study these topics but be familiar with the general idea of these terms. It helps you understand the ideas expressed in the reading passages.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

10 Reasons Why You Failed TOEFL?

The worst feeling after taking an examination is the realization that you did not do well on it. There is a feeling of regret to any examinees telling themselves that they could have done better on the exam. In taking the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language, preparation for the exam is highly recommended. It needs time and a lot of patience to learn the skills for the TOEFL. Hence, failing the examination can mean a number of reasons and factors. What exactly are the reasons why you failed the TOEFL?

1. Poor English skills


English is a subject taught in school here in the Philippines. Most people have a good background in the language because of this. However, some are still having a hard time using the English language, and with TOEFL a good background in the language is much needed.

2. Unintelligible communication skills

The speaking section of the TOEFL evaluates your ability to speak English fluently. Failure to express your ideas in a very unclear manner can have a huge impact on your score.

3. Poor writing skills
Essay writing is part of the examination. A strong knowledge on grammar and sentence construction is an advantage to get a high score. Essays should be comprehensible, have a good flow and grammatically correct.

4. Punctuation problems

As a result of poor punctuation usage, essays are filled with run-on sentences and fragments. These do not show a complete thought in your essay making it incomprehensible. The best thing to do is to review the essay and insert punctuations as commas and semi-colons where needed.

5. Familiarity with using the computer during the exam

Let us admit that not all of us are good at using the computer, most especially in encoding essays. Some are even careless in clicking buttons during the test. Candidates need to be familiar with using the computer since it is a computer-based examination.

6. Time management


Some candidates are not conscious about the amount of time they are spending in one question. They also take a lot of breaks during the exam. Remember that time is limited and you have to use it wisely.

7. Lack of willingness


Do you really want to take this exam or are you forced to take this? Whatever the reason is you have to be ready for the exam. Paying about $200 for the test fee is not cheap. Every candidate has a purpose in taking the exam; let yours be your motivation.

8. Apprehension

Do not tell yourself that you cannot get a good score in the TOEFL. Do not let your opinion about the test be clouded with confusion or influenced by what others say about the test.

9. Over-confidence

Being over confident about yourself can bring you down. In taking the TOEFL, preparation is needed. If you are confident that you are good at English, then you can take the TOEFL as long as you are familiar with the skills needed for the test.

10. Lack of preparation

Some people take it without any background about the exam or its sections. It is best for any candidate to undergo review classes for the TOEFL prior to taking the examination. Allow yourself to review for at least two to three months to better understand the TOEFL exam.

With the right amount of preparation, candidates for the TOEFL are sure to pass the exam. Avoid the reasons above in failing the test to be successful for the TOEFL.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How tough TOEFL is?

There are a number of people who say that taking English proficiency tests is difficult and stressful – most especially the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Those who have already taken the TOEFL tests often say that the test is indeed hard but with preparation and practice, getting a good score will not be a problem. Most of them consider that taking the test would need a great deal of reading and skill building to be able to get their target scores. However, the question really is, how tough is the TOEFL?

 
To know how tough this test is should start in knowing what the test is all about. For starters, the TOEFL is a computer-based examination. This means that a candidate will be answering all tasks with the aid of a computer connected to the Internet. The test runs for about four and a half hours with a mandatory ten-minute break after the first two sections of the examination. The sections of the TOEFL tests are reading, listening, speaking and writing. What makes the TOEFL tough is the content of the examination.

Academic topics make the test challenging. Imagine answering different questions on different academic topics. Let us say you are given a reading passage about Roman architecture or a listening track about a professor discussing covalent bonds. Can you summarize a lecture of an academic topic within twenty seconds and give a response in just a matter of sixty seconds? Have you ever written essays that talk about education or social sciences? Indeed, the topics make everyone feel anxious in preparing for the examination. It is tough in the sense that nobody really has an idea of what subtopics on a particular field of study will be used in the examination. It is tough as one should learn skills on how to answer questions effectively and correctly.

To address the need to solve this problem, candidates often join TOEFL review classes to learn the fundamentals for the TOEFL examination. Like what is mentioned earlier, the key to a successful examination is being aware of the topics, practicing them on a regular basis and exposing yourself, the candidate, to many materials that will help get familiarize with the questions in the TOEFL test.

With TOEFL review centers, candidates will not have to cram for the examination. Schedules are given and mock tests are administered to monitor the progress of each student. TOEFL may be tough; however, with a tough training, getting the target score for the test is within reach.