How to Pass the TOEFL Exam

By: Jason Kay

Passing the TOEFL exam is a critical step in getting into college, obtaining professional certifications needed for work, and even getting a job in certain cases. For anyone whose native language is not English, the TOEFL exam is often something they face if they plan to live or study in an English environment. TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, is a standardized test of academic English that is administered worldwide. It is available in an Internet-based form and a paper test.

The TOEFL exam is not an easy test. It is comprised of 4 parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing, and takes 4 hours to complete. The test taker must have a very good understanding of the English language including grammar, idioms, listening skills and vocabulary. It is very important to prepare for the TOEFL exam in order to pass it. Below are some tips on how to pass the TOEFL.

1. Know what to expect. Read all you can about the topics tested in the TOEFL and how they are tested. Get sample questions and even full sample tests. This way the format and type of questions you will encounter will not be a surprise to you.

2. Review all your grammar rules and idiomatic expressions that you have learned to date in English.

3. Invest in a TOEFL preparatory book. It is a structured, easy to follow method of reviewing all the information necessary to pass the TOEFL test. Such books typically come with sample tests to help you prepare.

4. Practice for the exam by taking a practice test. Time each section as it would be during the real exam. Use the correction key to correct it afterwards and to identify any mistakes you made. Review the rules for those mistakes and be sure you understand why you made the errors you did.

5. Work with an English tutor or teacher who can help you understand the areas you are having difficulty with. A good teacher will be able to provide explanations that you can understand, as well as memory tricks to help you retain the information.

6. Take additional TOEFL practice exams until you achieve a high passing grade on several. Now you are ready to take the test.

7. Get plenty of sleep the night before the test, so that you arrive in good shape for one of the most important tests a non-native English speaker will ever take.

8. Pace yourself as you take the test. Don't go so fast that you neglect to read instructions and don't dedicate too much time to any one question.

They say that practice makes perfect. Nowhere is that more true than with a test like TOEFL. The test does a very comprehensive job of analyzing a person's ability to learn and work in their second language. Therefore, it is essential to review, study and learn all the skills needed in order to pass the TOEFL test. Acing this test will open numerous doors for you.

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