TOEFL IBT Preparation Tips

Published: 31st August 2010
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Like TOEFL, its preparations also go round the year. Therefore, team StudyPlaces brings you some preparation tips for TOEFL IBT. Read on.

Reading Tips

English-language learners can improve their reading skills by reading regularly, especially university textbooks or other materials that cover a variety of subject areas (e.g., sciences, social sciences, arts, business, etc.) and are written in an academic style. A wide variety of academic texts are available on the Internet as well as in magazines and journals.

Reading tips for Basic Comprehension

• Increase vocabulary. Flashcards can help.

• Practice skimming a passage quickly to get a general impression of the main idea, instead of carefully reading each word and each sentence.

• Develop the ability to skim quickly and identify major points.

• After skimming a passage, read it again more carefully and write down the main idea, major points, and important facts.

• Choose some unfamiliar words in the passage and guess the meaning from the context (surrounding sentences). Then, look them up to determine their meaning.

• Underline all pronouns (e.g., he, him, they, them, etc.) and identify the nouns to which they refer in the passage.

• Practice making inferences and drawing conclusions based on what is implied in the passage as a whole.

Listening Tips

Listening to the English language frequently and reading a wide variety of academic materials is the best way to improve listening skills. Watching movies and television, and listening to the radio provide excellent opportunities to build listening skills. Audiotapes and CDs of lectures and presentations are equally valuable and are available at libraries and bookstores. Those with transcripts are particularly helpful. The Internet is also a great resource for listening material

Listening tips for Basic Comprehension

• Increase vocabulary.

• Focus on the content and flow of spoken material. Do not be distracted by the speaker's style and delivery.

• Anticipate what a person is going to say as a way to stay focused.

• Stay active by asking yourself questions (e.g., What main idea is the professor communicating?).

• Copy the words, "main idea, major points, and important details" on different lines of paper. Listen carefully, and write these down while listening. Continue listening until all important points and details are written down and then review them.

• Listen to a portion of a lecture or talk and create an outline of important points. Use the outline to write a brief summary. Gradually increase the amount of the presentation you use to write the summary.

Speaking Tips for TOEFL IBT

Following are some tips that go with several speaking tasks.

• Make a list of topics that are familiar, and practice speaking about them.

• Describe a familiar place or recount a personal experience.

• Later, state an opinion or a preference and present clear, detailed reasons for it.

• Make a recommendation and explain why it is the best way to proceed.

• Practice giving one-minute responses to topics.

Writing Tips

Integrated Writing Tasks

• Find a textbook that includes questions about the material at the end of chapters and practice writing answers to the questions.

• Read an article that is about 300-400 words long. Make an outline that includes the major points and important details of the article. Use the outline to write a summary of the information and ideas. Summaries should be brief and clearly communicate only the major points and important details. Be sure to paraphrase using different words and grammatical structures.

• Find listening and reading material on a single topic on the Internet or in the library. The material can provide similar or different views. Take notes on the written and spoken portions, and do the following:

- Summarise the information and ideas in both the written and spoken portions.

- Synthesise the information and discuss how the reading and listening materials relate. Explain how the ideas expressed are similar, how one idea expands upon another, or how the ideas are different or contradict each other.

Independent Writing Tasks

• Make a list of familiar topics and practice writing about them.

• For each topic state an opinion or a preference and then support it with evidence.

• Practice planning and writing at least one essay for each topic. Be sure to take 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise each essay.

• Think about and list all ideas related to a topic or task before writing. This is also called "prewriting."

• Identify one main idea and some major points to support that idea, and plan how to communicate them (by creating, for example, an outline to organize ideas).

• Create a focused thesis statement and use it to develop the ideas presented in the essay.

• Develop the essay by using appropriate explanation and detail.

So if you are considering preparing for TOEFL, make sure to follow these seemingly simple yet valuable tips. Start your preparation for TOEFL, with the help of mock TOEFL tests. You can even register for TOEFL exam and reserve a seat now. For more information, visit

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Best of Luck!

Team StudyPlaces.

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