Wednesday, June 8, 2016

12 Keys To Get High Score In TOEFL Test

There are two types of knowledge that will lead to high TOEFL  scores:
•  A knowledge of the tactics used by good test takers and of the "tricks" of the test (which you will learn by using this  Guide)
•  A general command of English (which must be built up over a  long period)

1: Increase your general knowledge of English.

The best way to increase your general knowledge of English is simply to use English as  much as possible.  Classes in English will be useful, and so will opportunities to speak, read, write,  or listen to English.

Some people who are preparing for TOEFL think that conversation classes and practice are a waste of time because speaking skills are not tested on the exam.  In fact,  one of the best ways to get ready for the exam is  to converse in English whenever you can.  Not only will you improve your ability to listen to everyday English, but you'll also learn to think in English. If you are living in an English-speaking country, don't spend all  your time with people from your own country. If you  are living in your home country, try to arrange  opportunities for conversations in English.

You  can improve your listening comprehension skills by going to English-language  lectures and movies.  Listening to news and informational broadcasts on the radio is  especially useful.  Reading books, magazines, and newspapers in English can help you prepare for the Reading Comprehension part of the test.

One of your most important jobs is  to systematically improve your vocabulary. Vocabulary build-ing will  help you, not just in the Reading test, but throughout the exam. You  may want to keep a personal vocabulary list. When you come across  an unfamiliar word, look it up in a  dictionary and
write the word and its  definition in your personal vocabulary list.  Keep this list with you and study it when riding buses, eating lunch, taking coffee breaks, or whenever else you  have a  free  moment.

2: Make the most of your preparation time.

You  need to train for TOEFL  just as you would train for any important competitive event.  Obviously, the sooner you can start training, the better, but no matter when you begin, you need to get the most out of your preparation time. Make a  time-management chart. Draw up an hour-by-hour schedule of your week's activities.

Block out those hours when you are busy with classes, work, social activities,  and other responsibili-ties. Then pencil in times for TOEFL  preparation. You  will remember more of what you study if you schedule a  few hours every day or several times weekly instead of scheduling all your study time in
large blocks on weekends. After following  this schedule for  a  week,  make whatever adjustments are necessary. After that,  try to keep to this schedule until the week before the testing date.  During that last week, reduce your study time  and begin to relax. If possible, reserve a  special place where you do nothing but work on TOEFL  preparation, sepa-rate from where you  do your regular homework or other work. This place should be as free  of dis-tractions  as  possible.

A good method of studying for TOEFL  is  the "30-5-5"  method:
•  Study for thirty minutes.
•  Take a  five-minute break-leave your desk and do something completely different.
•  When you return, take five  minutes to review what you  studied before the break and preview what you are going to study next.

Incidentally, it's an excellent idea to meet regularly with a  small group of people who are also
preparing for TOEFL.  Research has shown that this study-group  approach to test  preparation is  very

3: Be in good physical condition when you take the exam.

When you make out your time-management schedule, don't forget to leave time for physical activities-sports, aerobics, jogging, bicycling, or whatever else you prefer. The most important physical concern is that you not become exhausted during your preparation time.  If you  aren't getting enough sleep, you'll need to reduce your study time or another activity. This is  especially important in the last few days before the exam.

4: Choose your test date carefully.

If you require  PBT scores for  admission to a  university, you need to  plan ahead. Most students at North American universities  enter their programs in the fall  term, with late classes beginning in August or September. The deadline for  applying for the fall  term  is  usually December of the previous year or January of that year. Therefore, you  should take the test sometime  in  the  spring or summer of the previous year.  If your score on the test is  not satisfactory, you will then  have  time to take the test again.

Of course, if you are taking a  TOEFL preparation program, you should wait until you  have completed  or almost completed that course before you take the test so that the tactics and skills you have learned will be fresh in your mind.

5: Be familiar with the format and directions.

You  should have a  clear map of the TOEFL  test in your mind. Then, as  you're taking the exam, you'll know exactly where you are and what's  coming next. The directions for each part of the TOEFL  test are always the same;  even the  same examples are used. If you are familiar with the directions, you won't have to waste time  reading them during the test.

6: Organize your pre-exam time.

You  shouldn't try to "cram" (study intensively) during the last few days before the exam.  Last-minute studying can leave you exhausted, and you need to be alert for the test. The night before the exam, don't study at all.  Gtt together the materials you'll need in the morning, then go to a  movie, take a long walk, or do something else to take your mind off the test.  Go to bed when you usually do.

If the exam is  in the morning, have breakfast before you leave. Wear comfortable clothes because you'll be sitting in the  same position for  a  long time.  Give  yourself plenty of time to get to the test site, keeping in mind traffic,  weather, and parking problems. If you have to rush,  that will  only add
to your stress.

7: Use time wisely during the test. 

TOEFL  would be a  far easier test if you could spend an unlimited amount of time working on it. However, there  are strict time limits.  Doing well on TOEFL  means that you must find a  balance between speed and accuracy. You  don't want to rush through any section, but you do want to finish
each section before time is  called. The ideal is  to finish  Sections 2  and 3  with a  few  minutes remain-ing so that you can go back to questions that you found difficult.  (The timing on Section  1  is  con-trolled by the audio and you can't go back and check your answers after completing this section.)
The questions  on TOEFL  are not equally difficult.  Items can be classified as  easy,  medium, and difficult. The approximate distribution of items on a  typical TOEFL  are as  follows:  easy-30%; medium-40%;  difficult-30%.

Easy items are usually found at the beginning of each part of the test, medium items are  usually found in the middle of each part, and difficult items are usually found at the end of each part. You may be tempted to rush through the  easy items to save time for the difficult ones at the end of each
part. This  is  not a  good strategy. Your goal is  to get as many right answers as  possible. Therefore, you want to concentrate on the items that give you the best chance of a  correct answer-in other words, the easiest ones.

Hint:  Remember, you don't get any extra points for answering difficult questions.

Work steadily.  Never spend too much time on anyone problem. If you  are unable to decide on an answer, guess and go on. Answer each question as you come to it,  even if you are not sure of the answer. You  can mark difficult items on your answer sheet with check marks Then, if you have time at the end of the section, you can return to these problems. Sometimes when you  come back to an item, you will find it easier. (Be sure to erase all  of these  check marks before you hand in your answer sheet.) The most important tool for timing yourself is  a  watch, preferably one with a  "count down" fea-ture that you can set at the beginning of Sections 2  and 3.  (Watches with alarms are  not permitted.)

8: Know how to mark your answer sheet.

One of the worst surprises you can have  during a  test is  to suddenly discover that the number of the item that you are working on doesn't correspond to the number of the answer you are marking for that item. You  have to go back to find where you first  got off track, then change all  the answers
after that number. You  can avoid this  problem by using the test book itself as a  marker. Cover all the unanswered items in each column on your answer sheet. Then uncover one item at a  time as you advance.  Every five  items  or so,  quickly glance at the number of the question that you are working on and the number of the answer to make sure they are the same.

Always be sure you have filled in  a  circle completely and have filled  in only one answer per item. If you  have to erase an answer,  erase  it completely.
Notice  the check  marks by numbers 4  and 6. The test taker found these  items  difficult.  He or she guessed at the  answers, and then used the marks as  a  reminder to come back to these items if the time  allowed.  These marks  should be erased before the  end of the test. Incidentally,  if you  mark the same answer four times  in a  row,  you'll  know one of those four answers is  wrong. The  same correct answer will  occur at most three times  in a  row on TOEFL.

Hint:  Don't sharpen your pencils too much before the exam. You  can fill  in circles more

9: Improve your concentration. 

The ability to focus  your attention on each item is  an important factor  in scoring high. Two and a half hours  or more after all  is  a  long time to spend in deep concentration.  However, if your concentration is  broken,  it  could cost you points. When  an outside concern comes into your mind, just say to yourself, "I'll  think  about this  after the test." Like  any skill,  the  ability to concentrate can  be improved with  practice.quickly if your pencil is  not too sharp.

10: Use the process of elimination to make the best guess.

Unlike some standardized exams, TOEFL  has no penalty for guessing. In other words, incorrect answers aren't subtracted from your total score. Even if you are not sure which answer is  correct, you should always,  always, always guess. But you want to make an educated guess, not a  blind guess. To do so, use the process of elimination,

To understand the process of elimination, it  may be helpful to look at the basic structure of a multiple-choice item. On TOEFL,  multiple choice items consist of a  stem and four answer choices, (The  stem in the  Listening section is  spoken;  in the other two sections, it  is  written.) One answer choice, called the key, is  correct. The three incorrect choices are called distractors because their function is  to distract (take away) your attention from the right answer.

STEM  .............. .
(A)  distractor
(B)  distractor
(C)  key
(D) distractor
The three  distractors,  however, are usually not equally attractive.  One is  usually "almost correct." This choice is  called the main distractor. Most people who answer an item incorrectly will chose this answer.

STEM  ......... .
(A)  distractor
(B)  key
(C)  distractor
(D) main distractor

To see how this works in practice, look at this simple Structure item:

Winter wheat ____ planted in the fall.
(A)  because
(B) is
(C)  which
(D)  has

If you  are sure of the answer, you should mark your choice immediately and go on.  If not, you should use the process of elimination. In this  item,  choices (A)  and (C)  are fairly easy to eliminate. Because this sentence consists of a  single clause, connecting words such as  because and which are not needed. It may be a  little  more difficult to choose between choices  (B)  and (D) because both form correct verb phrases. Even if you are unable to decide between these two choices, you have a  50%  chance of guessing correctly. That's twice as  good as the 25%  chance you would have if you had guessed blindly.  (Choice (B)  is  the key,  of course;  a  passive verb,  not a  present perfect verb, is required to complete the  sentence correctly.) Choice (D)  is  the  main  distractor.

What if you eliminate one or two answers but can't decide which of the remaining choices is  cor-rect?  If you have a  "hunch" (an intuitive feeling)  that one choice is  better that the others, choose it.  If not,  just pick any remaining answer and go on. If you have no idea which of the four answers is  correct, it's  better to use  a  standard "guess letter," such as (C),  than to guess at random. You  should NEVER  leave any items unanswered. Even if you don't have time to read an item, you have a  25%  chance of guessing the key.  If you are  unable to finish  a  section, fill  in all the unanswered
ovals on your answer sheet with your guess letter in the last few seconds before time is  called. Remember:  Use the same guess letter all  the time  so that you can fill  in the ovals quickly.

11: Learn to control test anxiety. 

A little  nervousness before an  important test is  normal. After all,  these tests  can have an important effect on your plans for  your education and career. If you were going to  participate in a  big athletic contest or give  an  important business presentation, you would feel  the  same way. There is  an expression in English that describes this feeling  quite  well: "butterflies in the stomach." These "butterflies" will  mostly disappear once the test starts. And a  little nervousness can  actually help by making you more  alert and focused.  However, too much nervousness can slow you  down and cause you to make mistakes.

You  may become anxious during the test because it  seems very hard and it seems that you are making many mistakes. Try not to panic. The test seems hard because it is hard. You  can miss  quite a few  items and still  get a  high score. One way to avoid stress on the  day of the test is  to give  yourself plenty to time to get to  the test center. If you have to rush,  you'll  be even more nervous  during the exam. If you begin to feel extremely anxious during the test, try taking a  short break-a "ten-second vacation." Close your eyes and put down your pencil. Take  a  few  deep breaths, shake out your hands, roll  your head on your neck, relax-then go back to work.

Of course, you can't take a  break during the Listening Comprehension section when the items are being read.  However,  if you're familiar with the directions, you can relax during the times when directions are being read. A positive,  confident attitude toward the exam can help you overcome  anxiety. Think of TOEFL not as  a  test of your knowledge or of you as a  person but as an intellectual  challenge, a  series of puzzles to be solved.

12: Learn from taking practice test and official TOEFL exams. 

One of the most important steps in preparing for TOEFL  is  taking realistic,  complete  practice tests. In addition, you may take the official TOEFL  test several times.  Each time you take a  test, either a  practice test or a  real  one, you should learn from  it.  Immediately after the exam, write down your reactions: Which section  seemed difficult?  Did you have  problems finishing  any sections? When you look at your results,  is  the  score for one section Significantly lower of higher than the scores for the other two sections? You  can use this information to focus  your studies  for  the next time you take the test.

Whenever you take a  practice test,  pretend that you  are taking an actual TOEFL  exam. Whenever you take an actual exam, pretend you are taking a  practice test.

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