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, 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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Top Five Voice Recording Apps for TOEFL Speaking Practice Drills

Have you ever heard your own voice? If you do, then you would be shocked with how pleasant or disturbing your voice is. Some people even sound very differently with their voice on record. Recording your own voice is an advantage most especially if you are taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English proficiency examination gauging a candidate’s ability to understand and use the English language in an academic content. Like any other English proficiency examinations, the TOEFL has a speaking section. The speaking section is composed of six different tasks divided into independent and integrated tasks. Each task is recorded so candidates need not feel nervous speaking in front of a native speaker.

Most candidates for the TOEFL test are encouraged to practice speaking at home – to practice their pronunciation and tone while speaking. As part of this practice, it is best to have voice recording apps installed in your computers. Here are some useful voice recording apps you can download on your computers.

1. Audacity

Audacity has very perfect tools in voice recording. Press “record” and talk as long as you want. Once you are done, press “stop” and “play” to listen to your voice recording. In addition, you can listen to audio passages through audacity and adjust the speed of the audio just by adjusting some effects.

 
2. MooO Voice Recorder
Simple yet effective – with simple clicks on the buttons you can record your voice and play it over and over again. Its simple interface makes it easier for candidates to navigate through the program.





3. Audionote

Available in Windows and Mac, this program is also very easy to navigate. It has a notepad that goes along with the program for the candidate to write notes while speaking. This is best for recording long passages as the candidate can paste the copy right on the voice recorder.





4. RecordPad Sound Recording

Perfect for recording sound, voice, notes or any other audio file. Candidates can have these audio files saved in wav, mp3 or aiff formats.





5. WavePad

Also an audio editor, Wavepad is also used for voice recordings. Also, you can add special effects on your recording. It supports all audio files so you can have it saved in any format.






Any of the featured apps are helpful in recording your voices in practice for the TOEFL speaking test. Listen to your pronunciation and improve the manner of your speaking with these helpful tools in voice recording.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The TOEFL Listening Test

Note taking is one of the skills that we need to develop in the English language. Note taking actually happens everywhere. For example, we have college students who write down what their professors discuss in class. Most professors in universities do not use the board in teaching. They are more on discussions without any visual materials. Another evidence of note taking is when writers or reports conduct an interview. Most of them write what the interviewee tells them. Hence, the skill of note taking is very essential and helpful in our daily lives. This skill is also very important in taking the TOEFL listening examination. 
 


The Test of English as a Foreign Language Listening test covers academic lectures. There are about four to six recorded lectures. Each lecture will have six questions. Additionally, there will be two to three recorded conversations with five questions each included in the listening test. The listening section takes about an hour to finish.

The test measures the candidate’s ability to obtain information from a listening task such as the main idea, key pints, purpose, and other important facts and details. It will also check the skill of the candidate to make inferences and recognize implied information in the lectures and conversations.

During the listening test, some pictures on the screen will be seen. This will give the candidates an idea of the setting and the role of the people speaking. Questions will be shown first before the choices. Sometimes, a part of the conversation or lecture is repeated as part of the question. Note taking is allowed and this skill should be improved and developed prior to taking the examination.

There are different types of questions in the listening test. These are:
  • Attitude or purpose
  • Inferences
  • Predictions
  • Categorizing
  • Summarizing
  • Looking for the main idea
  • Chart questions
  • Paraphrasing

How to get a good score for the TOEFL listening? Simply follow these tips!

  • Increase vocabulary. Having wide vocabulary makes understanding difficult words easier.
  • Anticipate what the person in the conversation or lecture is going to talk about.
  • In note taking, do not write sentences. Write in words and phrases. Be sure to write them clearly and orderly for you to find the information you need when the questions are shown.
  • Listen to audio lectures online. These will give you an idea how to get important details once listening to a TOEFL audio recording.
Finally, to be able to practice and be more familiar with the exam, participate in TOEFL review classes in TOEFL review centers. They have designed programs that will make candidates confident with their listening skills for the TOEFL test.