These tips come form http://jumbotests.com/ . You can also start an account and practice online not only for the TOEFL, but for other exams.
Speaking tips: Which words do I stress?
In order to score the higest marks possible in the TOEFL speaking section you will need to make your speech as natural as possible. Sentence stress has a big impact on how natural your speech sounds; think of stress as providing the rhythm of your sentence. If you stress the wrong words, your speech, while grammatically sound, will come out sounding awkward. But how do you know which worlds you should be stressing?
Here's a quick breakdown:
There are basically two types of words that make up a sentence; content words, and function words. As the name suggestions, content words provide the content (or, the important bits) of your sentence, while function words string them together. If you're unsure of wheter a word is a content or function word, try this rule of thumb. If a word can be removed from the sentence, and the sentence can still be logically understood it is a function word; if the word cannot, it's a content word.
Quick Tips so you can Stop Studying!
It's Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere at least)! The days are getting longer, the sun is getting stronger and you still have to waste time indoors studying. Trust us, it will be worth it in the end when you've aced the TOEFL.... but for now, how about a bit of a break? Read the three quick writing tips below; complete this super short quiz, and then go enjoy the great outdoors!
Watch your tenses. When recording facts or stating an opinion, use the present tense. If you are recalling a previous experience use past tense. If you're theorizing, or making a guess about what could happen, use future tense.
Make sure your subject and verb are in numerical agreement. Pair singular subjects with single verbs (my friend has a car), and use plural verbs for plural subjects (most of my friends own their own cars)
Understand what you are writing about. Are you being asked to compare and contrast to views, or pick one side of an argument and defend it? Make sure that you respond appropriately to the question - for example, do not present opposing views to the same argument if you have been asked to pick a side.
Are you up the Creek Without a Paddle?
If you didn't understand this newsletters subject, you just might be. An important part of the TOEFL exam, idioms (colloquial or slang words and verbal phrases) can see, next to impossible if English is not your native language. Since idioms are never meant to be taken litterally, they can even confuse native English speakers!
When it comes to idioms, there are not cheats; you simply have to try and memorize as many as you can. Make flashcards to quiz yourself, or try to confuse your friends by using as many idioms as possible in your speech (but make sure you tell them what you mean so they'll still be your friend!). Here's a few idioms to get you started.
Up the Creek without a Paddle: in a bad or troublesome situations. I can't find my passport and my plane leaves in 3 hours; I'm up the creek without a paddle!
All Greek to me: unclear or confusing. I don't think I'll ever understand those DVR programming instructions - it's all Greek to me!
When pigs fly: something that will never happen. I'll audition for American Idol when pigs fly!
Can't see the forest for the trees: to get lost so lost in the small details you can no longer see the big picture. When Paul gets overwhelmed he'll argue about each detail of the project, he can't see the forest for the trees.
Six of one, half dozen of the other: two different options that are actually the same. We can wait 20 mins for the bus, then ride for 10 mins to the hall, or we can walk for 30 minuets to the hall - it's six of one, half dozen of the other really.
Improve without Studying
Ready for a bit more studying without having to crack open your text book? Here are five ways to improve your TOEFL essays without studying!
1. If possible, write in the active voice. Writing in an active voice (he runs instead of he ran) show that you're thinking beyond basic grammar or structure and making changes to the tone of your writing. As long as you're using tense correctly, this will score you extra points.
2. Learn the function of a conjunction. If you didn't know, conjunctions are words that link two or more ideas/phrases together (and, but, because, etc). One of the most common mistakes when writing is to start a sentence with a conjunction, but how can you start a sentence with a word that points to another idea? Don't make this mistake!
3. Use proper essay structure. Think of your essay like a map, with the beginning, the middle, and ending showing the reader where to go. Make each of these sections clear to help the reader understand your thoughts.
4. Use topic sentences. Just as a essay's structure provides a map for the entire essay, and topic sentence is a map for each middle (or body) paragraph. The topic sentence should tell the reader what is about to be discussed as well as state a reason that supports your thesis statement.
5. Use your comma properly. Adding commas to your writing will help create longer sentences, state multiple ideas, add flow, and generally breath life into your writing. Just make sure you haven't fallen into run-on sentence territory!
5 Unexpectedly Smart Tips
While preparing to write the TOEFL, you will spend a lot of time studying for each section, take a lot of practice tests, and train yourself so you can your very best on the exam - a very solid study plan! But did you know there are other ways to improve your performance on the TOEFL that you may not have thought about? Here are 5 things you may not have thought about when it comes to the exam; but you should!
1. Practice your typing. Strong typing skills will improve your time in each section, as well as lower errors due to unexpected typos. If your skills are already strong, test yourself using someone else's keyboard as you won't be using yours on test day!
2. Build your test taking stamina. The iBT is a long test. Can your concentration hold up to that many hours in front of a screen? As you get closer to test date lengthen your study sessions and train your brain to concentration for longer and longer periods.
3. Wear comfortable layered clothing. Many people dress in clothing that makes them feel confident when writing an exam, which is a good choice, but make sure you're comfortable too. You don't want to be feeling like your tie is choking you while trying to recall which tense of 'listen' would best fit the test sentence. Also, wear layers so you can add or remove clothing if the exam room is too hot or too cold for your liking.
4. Watch what you eat. When test day comes you'll want to eat a solid meal that will keep energy levels up and your mind off your stomach. Avoid too much sugar of caffiene so you don't have an energy crash during the test, and avoid anything too greasy that might upset your stomach.
5. Remember, scores expire in two years. Once you've got your scores, put them to use applying to schools or for Visa's. Two years can seem like a long time, but life often ends up moving fast then we mean it too and those fantastic score won't do you any good sitting in a drawer!
Improve your Score Without Studying Part II
We're written about this before, and you can bet we'll write on it again - sometimes you just can't study anymore! So here is part one of ten ways to improve your TOEFL Essay score without touching a single study book.
1. Always answer the question. Each essay will provide you a question to answer, and you must ensure you answer it; otherwise, how can you get any marks?
2. Include a thesis statement. Making your thesis statement easily identifiable will help the reader know exactly what your opinion is, and provides an outline for the essay - these will help you score points with your reader.
3. Use your conditionals. If you don't know what a condition is, they are words like first, second, third (etc). For the writing tasks, they can be more useful than tenses as they signal that you are giving a reason or expressing an opinion.
4. Use transitional words and phrases. Phrases like which shows that, In closing, or In addition to, help tie your ideas together in ways that are easy to understand. They also can connect the different sections of your essay together. For example, In closing ties the body of your essay to the conclusion.
5. Embrace simple sentences. One of the signs of a strong writer is the ability to take complex ideas and express them in simple words. As a bonus, the short your sentences, the less room for grammatical error!
New Vocabulary Tests
Think you've studied it all before? Think again. Last week we added 3 new vocabulary tests to help you prepare for your TOEFL exam. These practice tests make fantastic study tools for a number of reasons. First; they're short, so you don't have to set aside a long period of study time just to get in a bit of practice. Next; they're online, just like the TOEFL IBT, so you'll get practice with this exam format. Finally, all practice tests include a timer that you can use to track the amount of time spent on each test, making it easy for you to tell if you're completing the sections with time to spare, or if you need to speed up!
Why not try one of our new tests right now?
TOEFL Vocabulary Test
TOEFL Verbal Test
TOP 10 Tips for TOEFL Test
March 12, 2010
The TOEFL Test, is the most widely accepted English-language assessment used at more than 7,300 institutions in 130 countries including the U.K., U.S. and Canada. The test is divided into four sections – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
Here are some pointers and resources to help you get on your way to score well for the test.
1.Find something interesting to read and listen to, then practice speaking and writing about it.
Listen to Podcasts, recorded lectures – check the website of your favorite University. Go to news websites such as Ndtv.com, ibnlive.com, timesofindia.com. Read up on your favorite subjects on popular websites such as wikipedia.org. Tell a friend or family member about what you learned.
2.Work with a speaking partner, preferably with a native speaker of English or try an online video chat! The more opportunity you have to speak the language, the more familiar you will become.
3.Take on the role of a great journalist: Take good notes and use them to make summaries.
4.Make vocabulary flash cards and pretend you are a contestant on a vocabulary quiz show. Carry the flash cards with you often. They are a great way to make a bus ride go by quickly.
5.Visit TOEFL-TV on YouTube. www.youtube.com/TOEFLtv for great resources and tips from English language instructors and students that have taken the TOEFL test.
6. Reading Tips
Practice summarizing and paraphrasing texts. Use charts and outlines to organize the ideas in a text. Practice speed reading techniques. Practice reading (and answering questions) on a computer screen. Expand your vocabulary with daily-use vocabulary cards.
7. Listening Tips
i. Listen for basic information – did you comprehend the main idea, major points and important details?
ii. Listen for “pragmatic” understanding – Can you recognize a speaker’s attitude? What is the purpose of the speech? What is their role? Are they an authority or are they a passive part of the conversation?
iii. Listen for connecting and synthesizing – Can you understand the relationship between ideas? Compare and contrast. Determine the cause and effect.
8. Speaking Tips
Read aloud a short article from a newspaper, campus newspaper, magazine, textbook, or the Internet. Write down 2 – 3 questions about the article.
With a speaking partner – Answer the questions. Outline the main points of the article. Give a one-minute oral summary of the article. Express your opinion about it. If there is a problem discussed, give the solution.
- Speaking Tips – Pronunciation
- Speak in s-l-o-w motion. You could imitate American or British intonation and rhythm patterns. You could also work on problematic sounds, such as:
[ p ], [ t ], and [ k ] – add some air!
[ p ] and [ b] – close your lips
[ f ] and [ v ] – lower lip to teeth
- Find an accent reduction coach
- Your pronunciation doesn’t have to be perfect, but native speakers should be able to understand you.
9. Writing Tips
Find a writing buddy who can give you feedback. Read an article and find listening material on the same topic. Write a summary of each. Explain the ways they are similar and the ways they are different.
10. Combine all your skills!
Find listening and reading materials on the same topic from the library or Internet (e.g., news websites such as ndtv.com). Take notes or create outlines on each. Give a one-minute oral summary of each.
Explain how the two relate in a short written response (150 – 225 words). Take notes or create outlines on each. Give a one-minute speech about the same.
Use free resources: www.TOEFLGoAnywhere.org, download TOEFL iBT Tipswatch video clips highlighting study practices, download sample questions, join communities on SMS GupShup for free updates.
Read more: http://scholarship-positions.com/top-10-tips-for-toefl-test/2010/03/12/#ixzz0nYkOnz4G
What One Thing will Improve Your Writing and Life?
Keeping a journal is a simple way that you can improve your score on the writing section of the TOEFL because it allows you to practice writing on a daily basis. Now how does this help your life? Well, in addition to being a place to practice your writing, you can use the journal as a place to record your problems, or daily thoughts, which can lower your stress levels and make you happier in life.
Do you like the idea of a journal but aren't sure how to begin? Here are three tips to get your started.
- Begin writing in whatever language you feel most comfortable using. When you start keeping a journal it's important that you get used to writing and build confidence in your ability. As you start to feel more confident in your writing skill, switch over to English.
- Schedule aside 20 minutes per day to write. Keep this habit up at the same time every day and it will easily become a part of your routine. As you get used to writing, increase the ammount of time spent from 20 to 30, and eventually 50 minutes to mimic the time spent on this section of the TOEFL.
- Not sure what to write about? Write down 10 fun topics (such as: movies, happiest memories, or favourite foods), 10 studious topics (like: [test:toefl-idioms-test' idioms] or verb conjugations), and 10 opinion topics (like Does human activity harm or benefit the earth? or Is it luck or hard work that makes someone successful?) and place them into a container. Draw a writing prompt when you're out of ideas for what to write about.