There is nothing more stressful than having to attend to reviews – review for the TOEFL and NPTE. I am a physical therapist and these two exams were by far the most challenging phase of my life. To be able to take the NPTE or the National Physical Therapist Examination, I had to get my required score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) first.
Last year, I did the review for both exams. It was exhausting. Honestly, I did not have problems, reviewing for the NPTE since I am a physical therapist. It was the TOEFL review that really sucked all my energy every after class. I seriously did not expect that it would be able to handle both, but I did. Good thing, my instructors were very enthusiastic that I could hit my target score, and bombarded me with a lot of exercises and practices every class.
For those PTs or anyone preparing for the TOEFL, here are some a few good tips to help you survive the challenging world of TOEFL.
• Have a review plan. A review plan simply means the amount of time you are going to spend for your review. Most people take about three months to be prepared for the examination. Others may take longer since they have prior commitments and cannot fully sit on the review every day. I’ve had the review for about five months since most days I’ve been absent because of my shift at work.
• Know the TOEFL essentials. Knowledge about the exam can help you survive the test. There are four different tests in the TOEFL – reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Each test is designed to test the individual’s ability to understand academic English.
• Be familiar with the test format. Like mentioned earlier, the TOEFL uses academic English. Therefore, the questions are from the different fields of knowledge in the academe. There is no need for a serious review on subjects like biology and history, the answers to the questions are all found in the passages in the test. What candidates need to understand is the types of questions involved for easier finding of answers.
• Have a good foundation of vocabulary and grammar. Reading passages may give you a hard time when vocabulary becomes unfamiliar. Reading lots of journals and textbooks could help. Also, vocabulary is needed in both speaking and writing tests. Together with good grammar, TOEFL candidates can come up with logical responses for both tests.
• Have a weekly schedule on what to review on your self-study time. Every week, choose a test to focus on. For example, you could start off with your own weakness, say the reading test. Then the next week, you can do the listening. It is important to schedule your review time for about an hour or two.
• Do not review when you are tired. I can personally assure you that you will just be wasting your time when you review and your brain is dead. You will just end up closing your review manual and sleep. Study when able and when you are not busy.
• Attend a TOEFL review class. TOEFL review classes could be a little pricey, yet they are the best help I had. In the review class, they have scheduled classes and daily practices, particularly on the speaking. My instructor even mentioned that speaking is where most students have difficulty with. The best thing is that they give you challenging exercises that will really help you learn and develop your English speaking skills.
The TOEFL test is not an easy test, so you really have to be ready for it. Make it a daily habit to review and be coached by the best instructors in TOEFL review centers near your area. It is the best preparation you could give yourself to hit your target score for the test.