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Crucial Steps to Take to Pass the TOEFL Test

Pass the TOEFL Test

Any international student who wished to attend an English-speaking institution probably knows just how important the TOEFL test can be for their acceptance. If you’re interested in taking this test in order to start or continue your studies outside of your own country, you should know that there are some things you will definitely need to do if you wish to pass the test.

Studying and preparing for this exam doesn’t have to be as difficult as you imagine it. There are quite a few tips and tricks you can follow in order to make your preparation a lot more fun and interesting. In order to help you succeed, here are some steps you should definitely follow in order to pass the test with ease.


1. Knowing the format of the TOEFL test

The very first thing you should do when preparing for your exam is to make sure that you start out with seeing how the format of the test is. This is the only way for you to have an essential idea of what you are preparing for. By knowing the format of the test you will be able to know what to expect and you will also be able to pick the best test format for you.

First and foremost you should know that no matter which format you chose, there is always the same amount of content included in the test. This content is divided into three parts and those are reading, listening and writing. You can find more specified information and examples about each part on the official TOEFL website.

There are currently two different formats of the TOEFL test which you can choose from. The first one is the Internet-based test and the second one is the Paper-delivered test. Here is some important information on both.

Internet Based Test

2. Internet-based test

The Internet based test or otherwise known as TOEFL iBT, consists of the following sections:

  • Reading: 60-80 minutes for 36-56 questions
  • Listening: 60-90 minutes for 34-51 questions
  • Break: 10 minutes
  • Speaking: 20 minutes for 6 tasks
  • Writing: 50 minutes for 2 tasks

This format is a better choice for you if you feel more comfortable with taking your test on the internet. It will require a total of 4 ½ to complete and could possibly save you from having to go out of your way in order to complete your test. As James Daily, a linguist for FlashEssay has said, “As a recommendation, I suggest that students set their expectations early so they have a clear goal in mind and pick the best type of test for their abilities”.

Paper Test

3. Paper-delivered test

The paper-delivered testing method is pretty new and has only started running since October 2017. This version of the test is more aligned to the iBT test and it came to completely replace the paper-based test which was used until this format came along. This format includes the following sections:

  • Reading: 60 minutes for 42 multiple-choice questions
  • Listening: approximately 60 minutes for 34 multiple-choice questions
  • Writing: 50 minutes for 2 constructed-response questions

While the other format is online, this one is administered in a paper format. The problem is that you will have to find a test center near you in order to take the test during particular dates and that can be tough because not all test centers are always open for every test date. This test formal has a total duration of 20 hours 50 minutes.


4. Practicing your writing skills

After figuring out the format you wish to choose, you will need to start learning a few things about each section of the test in order to start preparing for them properly. While you can find plenty of practice tests which will include examples and keys for the reading, listening and even the speaking part, you will probably have a hard time with practicing when it comes to the writing part.

If you’re not someone who writes on the regular, you might find that you have some trouble with generating ideas on various subjects and expressing your thoughts easily. If you aren’t certain whether your writing is free of mistakes, you can always use the help of online forums such as the Word Reference “English Only” one, and even the very helpful EnglishLearning subreddit.

The good thing about online communities like these is that there will always be native speakers who will be able to help you out. On top of that, on platforms such as GetGoodGrade, you can even find professional linguists who you can ask for advice, as well as help on correcting your grammar and spelling issues. You can always make simple mistakes in a foreign language and a native speaker will truly help you spot them and get a better understanding of how to fix them.

On the other hand, if you feel a little awkward about asking for advice from strangers online, you can always try fixing your grammar mistakes by yourself. Probably the best tool for this job is Grammar, which not only offers a free online grammar checker but it can also help you practice the language more through various eBooks, tutorials and vocabulary games which are offered for free on this platform.

Improving your grammar isn’t the only thing that is important when it comes to acing your TOEFL exam. There are also some great, tools such as ProWritingAid, which can help you not only improve your grammar and spelling mistakes but also teach you new ways to express yourself in English and write in a way which will truly help you show that you know the language well.

5. Know what score you are aiming for

Last but not least, depending on which university you are aiming for, you should know how low the minimum score they accept is. This score should be your goal for this test which you should reach no matter what. On top of that though, you should keep in mind that the higher your grade is, the better it will be perceived by your preferred institution. As Amanda Sparks, professional editor for EssaySupply has advised, “It’s a good idea to get in touch with your future university and ask them for the minimal passing score they accept for the exam so you know how to gauge your expectations”.

On top of this, you should also make sure that your goal score is achievable and realistic. While it’s not bad to shot for the starts, you will need to make sure that you will be able to actually achieve your goal as otherwise you might end up disappointed and without any will to try harder.


6. Good preparation is the key to success

Once you have understood how the different formats work and which sections are included in each one of the two, you will be able to start actually practicing and preparing for your upcoming test. The TOEFL test is very important to the beginning or the continuation of your studies and you should make sure that you give it your all in order to get accepted to the institution of your choice.

As long as you have a clear goal in mind regarding your preferred score and you study consistently, you will have nothing to worry about. As Jessica Fender, content creator for OnlineWritersRating has said, “Its good practice to start preparing for your exam, even before you apply for it; that way you will only have to fill in the blanks once you’re clear on your goal”. Use this advice to your advantage and you will be able to get the result you are hoping for.