How to Do TOEFL Exam Preparation

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The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, is still regarded as one of the most reliable ways to gauge someone's proficiency in the English language. It is also accepted for admissions purposes by thousands of illustrious institutions across more than 150 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and others. The test's goal is to ascertain the candidates' language prowess and evaluate the following skill sets connected to the English language: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and understanding - based on integrated activities that gauge language prowess and its use. The fact that this testing system has never stagnated and has instead evolved to meet contemporary demands, adopting various cutting-edge design aspects to mimic how the English language is used in academic settings and beyond, is what makes it so trustworthy and well-liked. This underscores the necessity for exemplary TOEFL test preparation and stellar TOEFL exam performance.

Who Is Required to Take the TOEFL Exam?

When students apply for admission to universities and colleges in native English-speaking nations, most of them request their TOEFL test scores. If students want to attend one of these esteemed universities overseas, they must pass the exam and get a score above the bar set by the colleges. This is crucial because it gives educational institutions an indication of whether the applicant can handle the pressure of the frequent use of the English language in their curriculum and courses. In addition, passing this test is crucial for anyone who does not speak native English and wishes to immigrate to these countries or obtain citizenship there.

What Benefits Does the TOEFL Test Provide Applicants?

The TOEFL exam aids the applicant in developing a stronger command of this language and a deeper understanding of its intricacies and profundities. The learner becomes an expert in reading and understanding this language, as well as speaking and writing it fluently alongside native English speakers. In the end, this makes it easier for the student to adjust to the modern educational system in such colleges. If they want to become citizens of that nation or work there as a successful professional, it also helps them adjust to the new atmosphere. In essence, TOEFL exam preparation and excellent results offer doors to prospects for people.

How Should You Prepare for the TOEFL Exam?

You should start preparing for the TOEFL well in advance since each of its components needs a strong command of the English language.  Many students want to know how to study for the TOEFL at home. You may find a tonne of excellent tools online and in decent TOEFL books to aid with your exam preparation. No matter whatever path you choose, be sure you regularly practice for the 3-hour exam since this will increase your stamina, quickness, and confidence.

How long does it take to prepare for the TOEFL, you ask? The short answer is that practice makes perfect, and you need to start making your preparations well in advance for intensive practice. Begin your preparations at least two to three months before the exam. The amount of time needed for TOEFL preparation will vary depending on the test-competence taker's level; some may need less time while others may need more.

What is the format of the TOEFL exam?

Let's start with the fundamentals and obtain a general idea of the TOEFL exam format before going on to the preparatory advice. On August 1, 2019, the TOEFL pattern was changed. The test is now 3 hours long instead of the previous 3 hours and 30 minutes. The revised TOEFL exam pattern is as follows:

TasksSectionsQuestionsTime Limit
Reading three or four academic text sections, then responding to questions.Reading30 - 40 questions54 - 72 min
Addressing questions after listening to lectures, class debates, and conversations.Listening30 - 40 questions41 - 57 min
-Break-10 minutes
    Expressing one's perspective on a well-known topic; speaking based on listening and reading activities.Speaking4 tasks17 min
Writing essays in response to reading and listening assignments; expressing an opinion in writing.Writing2 tasks50 min

How do you rank on the TOEFL

Score RangeSkillsLevel
0 - 30Reading

Advanced (24–30)

High-Intermediate (18–23)

Low-Intermediate (4–17)

Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)


0 - 30Listening

Advanced (22–30)

High-Intermediate (17–21)

Low-Intermediate (9–16)

Below Low-Intermediate (0–8)  


0 - 30Reading

Advanced (24–30)

High-Intermediate (18–23)

Low-Intermediate (4–17)

Below Low-Intermediate (0–3)


0 - 30Speaking

Advanced (25–30)

High-Intermediate (20–24)

Low-Intermediate (16–19)

Basic (10–15)

Below Basic (0–9)


0 - 30Writing

Advanced (24–30)

High-Intermediate (17–23)

Low-Intermediate (13–16)

Basic (7–12)

Below Basic (0–6)


Tips for Getting Ready for the TOEFL Exam

1. Learn About the TOEFL Test Format

If you wish to take the TOEFL, you must first become acquainted with the TOEFL format.

Visit the official TOEFL website to learn about the exam structure, get answers to your queries, and find testing locations or you can check the table represented above. 

Internet-based examination
  • The Internet-based test (iBT) appears as follows:
  • Time allotted for the Reading section: 60-80 minutes | 36-56 questions
  • Time allotted for the Listening section: 60-90 minutes | 34-51 questions
  • Short break: 10 minutes
  • Time allotted for Speaking section: 20 minutes | 6 tasks
  • Time allotted for the Writing section: 50 minutes | 2 essays
Paper-based examination
  • The paper-based examination looks like this:
  • Time allotted for the Listening section: 30-40 minutes| 50 questions
  • Time allotted for the Writing section: 25 minutes | 40 questions
  • Time allotted for the Reading section: 55 minutes | 50 questions
  • Time allotted for TWE test: 30 minutes | write one essay

Choose the format you wish to use. It should be noted that the test is currently frequently taken through the Internet. The paper-based exam is getting increasingly unpopular.

2. Understand Why You Are Taking the TOEFL Exam

In over 130 countries, over 9,000 schools, universities, organizations, and institutions recognize and demand the TOEFL TEST. To be fully prepared, you must first understand why you are taking the test. For example, you may be taking the following exam:

  • An official exam to determine your level of English.
  • To apply to a university.
  • For a class or a job.
  • For your immigration needs.

Make sure you understand why you are taking the TOEFL. You may then utilize this information to help you focus your study time more effectively. For example, if you're taking a test for a profession that requires a lot of phone calls, you'll need to score well on the speaking and listening sections.

3. Set a minimum score in your mind.

Different objectives necessitate different minimum scores. First, make sure you understand the minimum score required to attain your goal. Then, select the score you want to get. This is your desired (ideal) score. For example, if I want to attend Arizona State University, I need to have a minimum score of 500. My optimum score, though, would be 530.

Put your minimal and ideal scores on a piece of paper or a Post-it note and keep them somewhere you will see them every day. You may hang it on your bathroom mirror, fridge, or the wall behind your workstation. Every time you glance at the piece of paper, you will be reminded to study to achieve your goals.

Ensure the score you're aiming for is achievable. This implies selecting a score that you are likely to obtain rather than one that is overly high. Take a practice exam and see where you are today to ensure you get your desired score. How many more points do you need to get to your ideal and minimal scores? How much time do you have before the exam to prepare? How much time per week can you spend studying? Your responses to these questions will assist you in determining a reasonable ideal score.

4. Design three perfect learning environments

A proper study environment is essential for achieving the desired score. Use the following guidelines to design your own study space:

  • Determine your top three preferred study spots. It might be your room, the library, a cafe, your office, your living room, or any other location. However, it is critical that you feel at ease in the places. Why are there three? If you are feeling unmotivated in your room one day, you may always go to the library or your favorite coffee shop.
  • Make a calm area. Create a distraction-free environment while selecting study venues. Inform your relatives and friends that you are studying so that they do not bother you. Turn your phone off and log off of social media.
  • Maintain a clean and orderly study place. Clear your desk and sort through your files. Use a system that suits you. Check that your pencils are sharpened and your pens are functional. Perhaps you might get a new, clean notepad, particularly for the TOEFL exam.
  • Plan your breaks, snacks, and meals. You will be able to focus better throughout study time if you plan your breaks. You won't forget to eat if you plan ahead of time! Eating nutritious foods will also help you focus better. Keep a bottle of water nearby when studying to ensure that you drink enough water.
  • Think clearly. Exercise and use relaxation methods like meditation to keep a positive attitude. Excellent meditation applications include Calm and Headspace. Another extremely helpful technique is to take three calm, deep breaths.

The 4-7-8 calming breathing technique is another option. As you slowly inhale, count to four. After then, hold your breath for seven counts. Next, slowly exhale while counting to 8. 3 or 4 times should be plenty. Take a few breaths again to relax if you find a portion frustrating or difficult to focus on. 

5. Seek a Study Guide

Pay close attention to the study advice and exam explanation. Before beginning any practice exam, familiarise yourself with each component. To gauge your capabilities when you first start, you can take a practice exam.

You can use a tool like available on the internet to obtain performance comments from an experienced TOEFL grader. You may take the entire TOEFL exam using the tools, and you'll get a grade, criticism, and suggestions for raising your score from a real teacher. You may use this to identify your areas of strength and weakness. Top tips for One needs to prepare for TOEFL section-wise.

Here are some tips for the different sections of a TOEFL study guide, such the activities in this one:


Write notes inside the book or on paper, underline key portions, and highlight relevant passages. After verifying your replies, go over your errors. You may consult your dictionary as needed during the practice exercises.


Make notes while you listen to help you remember things. Instead of writing down complete phrases, just write down the main ideas.


After giving the matter some attention, write out your ideas. Your introduction, major points, and conclusion are all covered in the outline. Once you have a plan, begin writing. Check it over when you're done and make any necessary corrections.


Only react to the question that was asked; don't talk about anything else. Ensure simplicity. Get comfortable speaking out loud.

6. Seek Assistance from a Teacher or a Peer

It's not something you have to handle by yourself. Instructors and peers can provide assistance.

Employ a tutor or instructor

You will receive professional and experienced advice and help from a teacher or tutor. These individuals can provide you with specialized and individualized activities and assistance since they have expertise in explaining grammatical principles. You may locate tutors in the following locations:

  • Local job boards of universities.
  • Local English language schools.
  • Verbling - Select from among hundreds of online English instructors based on their availabilities, pricing points, qualifications, and expertise. You may locate a teacher here who specializes in TOEFL English instruction.
  • Find an ESL tutor in your neighborhood.
  • Find a video lesson teacher online.
  • You can place job listings for an English tutor or search to see if someone is currently providing the service.
  • You may look for English language instructors.
  • Find local native English speakers and English learners.
  • You may search for local language exchange events.
  • You may discover local events, tourists, and English speakers. Send them a message and schedule a coffee meeting.

If you teach native speakers your original tongue in return, they will be glad to practice English with you. The two parties enjoy and gain from language interactions. Additionally, you could make friendships that last a lifetime.

It will be exciting for other language learners to share study tips, collaborate, and encourage one another. Pick the same reading or listening material to study with. Ask each other questions and share your thoughts on what you've read or listened to. Together, summarise the facts and add the necessary details.

Seek assistance from internet communities

For instance, on Facebook, enter "TOEFL" in the search field. After descending, select "view all results." Select "more" from the top right, then select "groups." Then, you will view all Facebook groups relevant to the TOEFL.

In addition, you may look for terms like "language exchange," "English learning," "EFL," "ESL students," and many others. Online communities are fantastic, especially if you are in a small or isolated region with few possibilities to meet people in person.

Your writing skills will improve if you communicate online. Discussions in a chat room or forum give participants time to consider their responses and offer helpful advice. To practice speaking, you may set up Skype calls with your online connections.

7. Regular practice of the language

The sole slogan for TOEFL candidates should be "practice, practice, and more practice." Your learning, understanding, and thus, preparedness, grow more full-proof as you practice. The candidates' abilities in this sector finally advance when they regularly use the language to speak with their peers and even study a lot of material in it.


The TOEFL is not an easy test to score well on but be assured that if you follow the preparation advice listed above and are persistent in your efforts, nothing can prevent you from reaching your goal score.

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