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

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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Effective Tips on How to Learn the English Language Quickly from ETS Scholars

In 2015, the Educational Testing System or ETS has launched a scholarship program called "2014 Love Giving Scholarship (ETS TOEFL)" in Korea. The program aims to send 24 Korean undergraduate and graduate students to study in English speaking countries overseas. As part of a corporate responsibility, ETS has indeed created a program where non-native English speakers are given the opportunity to be exposed and educated in other universities overseas.

Just like Koreans, Filipinos are also non-native English speakers. However, English has been a medium for education and teaching in the Philippines; hence, Filipinos have a good command with the said language. Learning English is not easy. It takes time and most importantly, it needs dedication and perseverance. For these Korean scholars, English has been a challenge yet they have become successful in learning the language. Here are there tips on how to learn the English language.

1. Never neglect one section of the TOEFL test. The test has four sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Learning on how to effectively use each section is a great advantage. Further, one should have a good vocabulary bank in English.



2. Keeping a diary may seem childish, but it is of big help. Keeping records of what you feel, what you did on one particular day is a simple step in practicing your writing skill. It is believed that having a journal practices one in constructing sentences and developing ideas essential for essay writing.

3. Practice on pronunciation. Getting familiar with new words on how they are pronounced is a good start. One scholar claimed that video games have encouraged him to study pronunciation. He was very interested on the characters’ names, which was in English, that he started studying English phonetic symbols.

4. Memorizing words or vocabulary is also one way to learn English. Having at least 10 words a day to be memorized helps one to widen his or her vocabulary which is important in reading and writing.



5. Studying overseas is a crucial one. There will always be challenges in communicating with other people. Hence, they saw this as an opportunity to learn. Once overseas, you will need to communicate to other people as part of your daily routine. Taking part in different activities in school and making friends has been helpful in expressing oneself in the English language.

The English language is not something that you could finish in one night. It takes time and a great deal of exposure to be good at it. For people who are studying English, as early as today, begin exposing yourselves in situations where you can use English. The more you practice is a one-step closer to your dream of being a good English speaker.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top 10 Tips for TOEFL Speaking

Can you speak English well? Is it good enough to get a good score at any English proficiency examinations?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English proficiency examination designed to assess individuals regarding their English skills in an academic context. The exam is composed of different sections: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Each section evaluates how well one understands English in particular tasks. Among the tasks, the speaking part is quite tricky and challenging. 
 
TOEFL speaking
Composed of six tasks, the test is divided into independent and integrated questions. Independent questions ask for the candidate’s personal views on statements and situations given while the integrated task focuses on the candidate’s skill to integrate information from reading and lectures.

To get a good a score in the exam, here are top tips for candidates to consider.

1. Improving your grammar knowledge is an advantage. As a candidate, you have to enrich your vocabulary to be able to express ideas by choosing the right words. Learn new words through reading different materials like books, magazines and even comic books. You are not just learning but you are having fun at the same time.

2. Think in English. Practice thinking in English. This will help you think faster once you are seated in the real test. Thinking in your mother tongue will need you to translate everything into English.

3. Develop your fluency in speaking by doing shadowing. Get an audio clip, a news report or a conversation, and practice saying those lines. Follow how the person speaks and the emotions he or she has while speaking.

4. Idioms can be used as long as they are appropriate for the response. Do not use expressions that will confuse the rater of your response.

5. Develop good skills in note taking. It is difficult to come up with a good response in the integrated tasks without good notes.

6. In taking down notes, write in simple words and symbols. Writing in full sentences will consume time.

7. Watch English movies and observe how actors or actresses deliver their lines. This will improve the manner of your speaking.

8. Record your responses. Assess your own response looking at things you have not mentioned and with the organization of your ideas.

9. Use transition words. These will guide the rater on the flow of ideas in your answer. They will be signals of additional information or a contrasting idea.

10. Always find a way to practice English. Use English everyday in simple conversations. Be comfortable in using it as it will practice your fluency and confidence at the same time.

TOEFL speaking is a piece of cake when you follow these tips. Getting a good score is possible with practice and confidence in speaking English.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

TOEFL Exam Schedule in Cebu City

English is a very powerful language as it has been spoken by many people around the world including non-native English speakers. The Philippines is one of the countries that use English as their second language. Since Filipinos are familiar with the language, many are wishing to find work overseas or even slots in prestigious universities abroad. However, Filipinos must be reminded that they need to take an English proficiency examination before lodging their applications. One of the most taken English fluency examinations in the Philippines is the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language. In the Philippines, taking the TOEFL examination has been very convenient. It is available in most key cities like in Cebu City. Many years ago, Cebu residents travelled to Manila just to take the examination. Imagine the cost of taking the examination plus the other expenses. Indeed, taking the TOEFL test before was very costly and stressful. However today, Cebu City hosts the TOEFL examination about twice to four times in a month. This schedule gives more opportunity to growing number of candidates who are reserving slots for the TOEFL examination. Here is the schedule of the TOEFL test in Cebu City. 
 
2014 CEBU TOEFL TEST SCHEDULE
Sep 14, 2014
Sep 27, 2014
Oct 11, 2014
Oct 18, 2014
Oct 26, 2014
Nov 02, 2014
Nov 08, 2014
Nov 09, 2014
Nov 29, 2014
Dec 06, 2014
Dec 13, 2014
Dec 14, 2014
Dec 21, 2014

In addition, Cebu City now has a good number of TOEFL review centers to help prepare candidates for the examination. Are TOEFL test centers effective in preparing for the exam?

TOEFL review centers are the best way to prepare for the examination. These centers have good course programs that will guide candidates through the TOEFL examination. There are classroom discussions that explain difficult reading passages, listening practices to exercise listening skills, coaching in speaking to guide candidates on the proper way of responding to questions and essay writing to practice grammar and vocabulary for the writing test. These programs will help candidates learn, build and develop the skills for the TOEFL.

 
 
Many TOEFL review centers are found in Cebu. With these options, candidates can choose which review center would be best for them according to their course programs. Most TOEFL review centers have almost the same cost but they quite differ with the cost of their reviews. Choosing the one that is the best for you is very important in the TOEFL test.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

TOEFL Cheating in Turkey - Investigation is on its Way

The alleged cheating incident in Turkey is now under investigation. Reportedly, the Gülenists (The Gülen Movement) were involved in the said incident.  Find out more from the report from Daily Sabah below:

TOEFL test


ISTANBUL — Prosecutors launched an investigation into allegations that Gülenists were involved in irregularities of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, a worldwide test to determine participants' English language proficiency. The Gülen Movement, which evolved into a politicized organization from a faith-based movement, faces accusations of helping their followers cheat on the (TOEFL) exam.

Acting on a tip from a former Gülenist, the chief prosecutor's office in Istanbul launched a probe into the issue. The anonymous Gülenist claimed the movement's followers benefited from cheating at TOEFL test centers in Turkey. The former Gülenist told prosecutors he used to work with a team that helped cheaters and outlined how the scheme worked.

According to his account, lecturers with fluent English from universities known for their ties to the Gülen Movement sit for the exam on behalf of Gülenists who failed in previous TOEFL exams. The movement allegedly set up a "network" of its followers who want to achieve high scores in the exam, and members of this network appeal to senior officials of the movement when they need assistance in passing the exam. Passing the exam facilitates the lecturers' promotion at universities and participants can also apply to several state agencies that hire staff based on their TOEFL score.

Under the scheme, TOEFL hopefuls legitimately apply to take the exam. On the day of exam, they contact fellow Gülenists working at the test center. Once there, they hand over their IDs to their replacement who take the exam for them. They cannot be detected easily as test centers are already manned with staff with links to the Gülen Movement. Also, the replacements do not score high in the exam to avoid attracting attention in case of an investigation.

Gülenists already face a series of allegations for helping their followers cheat on several exams for admission into state agencies, law enforcement agencies, et cetera. In February, authorities cancelled a foreign language examination over suspicions that the movement leaked the questions to some participants. In the future, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam will be replaced with the TOEFL for the promotion of lecturers at universities. It is not known whether the TOEFL, a globally accepted exam, will be replaced with another exam for testing the English
proficiency in the wake of allegations.

The movement, that launched a defamation campaign against the government last year, is accused of widespread infiltration into state agencies such as Turkish National Police and judiciary. Commonly referred to as the "parallel state" due to high level of infiltration, the movement is also accused of carrying out the illegal wiretapping of prominent names in the Turkish politics. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TOEFL Review: Useful Vocabulary to Be Familiar With

Much have been said to emphasize the need of candidates for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to have a good command in vocabulary. As a test that uses academic English, candidates devote much of their time reading different materials to improve their vocabulary bank such as magazines, journals and even academic books. This exercise of indulging in different reading activities not only improves vocabulary but also develops the interest of the individual in reading. In fact, reading is not an activity enjoyed by many; hence, loving it is a process.

For TOEFL candidates, vocabulary is an essential step in preparing for the examination. There are lots of vocabulary words to be memorized. A variety of words in your head can mean various ways of expressing yourself in TOEFL speaking and writing. To add up some words on your list, here is some very useful vocabulary you should be familiar (and even memorize) for the TOEFL.

1. Agitate (verb) – to disturb, excite or anger (someone)

Examples:
  • The professor was so agitated that he left the class screaming.
  • Agitated with the sudden movement, the school of fish swam away from the divers.

2. Deprive (verb) – to take something away from something or someone

Examples:
  • The experiment involved a certain plant species deprived from water.
  • Her eyes were so tired because she was deprived from sleep.

3. Obsolete (adj) – no longer used because something new exists

Examples:
  • That certain Egyptian technology is already considered obsolete.
  • The book the student was looking for was already obsolete.

4. Petulant (adj) – becoming angry or annoyed when they do not get what they want
Examples:
  • The kid was petulant as she was not allowed to eat ice cream.
  • A certain politician displayed a petulant behaviour upon the decline of his request.

5. Sporadic (adj) – happening often but not regularly

Examples:
  • The disease was ruled out as sporadic as it was contained in a certain area for a few weeks.
  • They hear sporadic noises somewhere in the attic.

6. Uproar (noun) – a situation in which many people are upset, angry or disturbed by something

Examples:
  • Uproar caused the street to be heavy with traffic.
  • Our house is in uproar every time my cousins come for the weekend.

7. Reciprocal (adj) – a relationship wherein to people or groups agree on something similar for each other

Example:
  • Reciprocal teaching is common in our faculty.
  • The reciprocal attachment between the couple is obvious and somehow irritating.

8. Reimburse (verb) to pay someone an amount of money equal to an amount spent

Examples:
  • The students were reimbursed with their plane tickets.
  • A huge issue erupted when the teachers asked to be reimbursed with their expenditures.

9. Sanguine (adj) – confident and hopeful

Examples:
  • The children look sanguine with their uniform.
  • The president showed a sanguine poise during the summit.

10. Thwart (verb) to prevent someone from doing something or to stop something from happening

Examples:
  • Police officers thwarted the protesters to enter the main building.
  • A dike was built to thwart the impending foods.

These words are commonly used in the TOEFL so be ready to use them appropriately and understand them clearly in any task in the TOEFL test.


Source of definition: Merriam-Webster Dictionary