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.