Ten things you shouldn't do when taking the TOEFL test!

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Here are 10 tips for taking the TOEFL test!

Here are 10 tips for taking the TOEFL test!

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  • 1. Ten things you shouldn’t do when taking a TOEFL test! Ten things you shouldn’t do when taking a TOEFL test! 1. Don’t book your test at the last minute! 2. Don’t spend the night before the test cramming! 3. Don’t forget your documents! 4. Don’t leave your common sense (and your head) at home! 5. Don’t waste time, every second counts! 6. Don’t forget to take notes during listening sections! 7. Don’t forget to organize your ideas! 8. Don’t be superficial or careless, be precise! 9. Avoid constant repetition of general concepts, dig deep! 10. (Integrated Writing) Don’t copy full sen- tences from the reading section! All registrations must go through the official website, ets.org. However, the amount of test dates and locations is limited. The best locations will fill up fast and waiting too long might force you to travel farther, at the expense of hours of sleep, or to postpone the test. The early bird gets the worm! Taking a test as complex and challenging as TOEFL is not something you can prepare for in one night. Prepare an outline of your preparation months ahead of time, and follow your schedule. Spend the last night sleeping instead of cramming, so you can take the test well rested and as sharp as possible. Sleepy heads don’t perform well, and this is particularly true of a test like TOEFL. Only students in possession of valid picture ID will be allowed to take the test. On a related top- ic, make sure you spell your name correctly when you register online, otherwise institutes might not accept your result or you might not be allowed to take the test. This is particularly an issue for speakers of languages that do not normally use roman characters, such as Chinese or Japanese (and many others). In those cases, make sure you use the same spelling on your passport, unless you want to get a great score that you will not be able to use. TOEFL is supposed to test your command of English, but it also tests your understanding of texts about a variety of topics. Use any knowledge of the topic you might already possess, and the topic of a certain text, to help you find the right answer. The TOEFL test lasts about 4 hours, but the time given to complete each task is only enough if you proceed at a reasonable speed. This applies to all areas of the test, but it’s particularly important during the reading section. Give yourself only 20 minutes per text, for three to four texts with about 14-15 questions each. If one text proves particularly hard, answer quickly and move on to the next one. Spending too much time on a very hard topic will probably make little difference on your score for that section, but wasting time will prevent you from being able to complete the rest of the reading. Lazy students hope they will remember all the information they need. Successful students un- derstand that it’s impossible to remember all the relevant points of long and complex lectures or conversations, and take notes as they would in University. Academic learning implies the ability to understand complex ideas and concepts and to communicate them effectively. At this level, an effective organization in which general ideas are clearly outlined and then devel- oped with more specific details and examples, or lack thereof, will severely affect your final score. Specific sections also require specific structures, so familiarize yourself with all aspects of the test and of the type of organization each section requires. Random or disorganized responses only show confusion; let meaning shine through a clear, well-organized response, either spoken or written. The TOEFL test deals with academic level information, often about sciences, that accurately measure and describe the real world. When looking for answers, especially in reading and listening, don’t just look for isolated words or phrases that match parts of the text, look at the sentence as a whole and focus on meaning rather than the actual words. When writing or speaking, especially speaking questions 1 and 2 and the essay, keep in mind that academic level communication is not a mindless repetition of general concepts; it’s a coher- ent development of general ideas into specific reasons, details, and examples that offer concrete proof in support of the main ideas. Lack of clear proof, details etc is the biggest single mistake that I encounter when marking students’ performances in those areas. Yes, you must give general ideas first, but after that you must use your own life, specific details or real events to prove your point. The purpose of this activity is to write a short report that explains the contents of a lecture and compares them to a written text; this implies a high level of text comprehension. Even a monkey can be trained to copy a text without understanding it; TOEFL doesn’t test if you are as smart as a chimp, it tests if you can understand academic level material and explain it in your own words. As a result, when you use information from the reading you must ppp: paraphrase, paraphrase, paraphase. Learn More at kgic.ca