TOEF iBT Experience – Shared by Mani.

My TOEFL score was 114.  Break up:

  • Reading: 30
  • Listening: 28
  • Speaking: 29
  • Writing: 27

How I prepared for TOEFL

I did not prepare much for TOEFL test as I had prepared a lot for GRE and I had got my expectations too high and that made me nervous on the day of exam which shattered my dreams of a perfect 1600 score (Old pattern) and I scored just 1400. So I thought I will not take much tension.

For reading I mainly focused on my speed reading and did a lot of RCs.

Listening, I was pretty confident in this as I have been watching the ENGLISH SITCOMS like How I met your mother, FRINGE, CASTLE etc for 3 years now regularly and as a result I got very well acquainted with the US slang lingo and their accent.

Writing also I was confident as I maintain a blog since my school days, but somehow I scored the lowest here. In the feedback they said I had grammatical errors in my constructions of sentences.

I think written English is something we Indians learn through other Indians only (e.g you never ‘give exam’ you always ‘take exam’) and hence are more likely to make the mistakes which everyone makes.

Another point was that they said I did not elaborate my essay much thought it had around 440 words… i will suggest you try to make atleast 500 words.

Listening section was my phobia as I was speaking too slow in my practice sessions. One mistake I did was that I followed a strict pattern for speaking due to which I fumbled a lot with words when there were just 10 seconds remaining.


The test center was like a nightmare come true! They opened the gates very late (appointment was for 9.30 but they opened at 10.15 am).
They admitted all the 12 to 15 students at once and their studio was very small and all the test takers were sitting very closely.

They made all the students start the test together which was a disaster as the speaking section of everyone arrived almost at the same time.

My Reading went well and Listening was also nice (I make notes a lot in classes so I am used to writing shorthand that I understand) But most of my notes did not help me as much as my memory did.

During the speaking section I got very nervous after 2 tasks as the guy right behind me was insensitive to anyone else’s presence and was almost shouting into the mic!

He started speaking as soon as my 3rd task recording started due to which I fumbled a lot. (I was sure that his voice got recorded into my task before mine!)

But I was mostly crystal clear with what I spoke even though the sentence was hardly making any sense. A score of 29 was a pleasant surprise! I think they regard clarity as a very important factor.

One mark was deducted as they did not like my pronunciation of a few words 😛

All in all I was really glad to score 114 and I think you can too score well if you attempt the paper confidently 🙂

Best of luck!


  1. Danial on October 2, 2017 at 6:31 AM

    Please, say me how can I get above 100? tnx in advance.

  2. ehsan on November 5, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    What is RC?

    • Mr. G on April 28, 2017 at 8:50 AM

      Reading comprehension…it’s basically reading passage in the GRE.

  3. eagle367 on January 19, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    Hey I SCORED a 110 which is more then enough. Reading and Listening 29 speaking 27 and writing 25. I am in 12th grade and applying for MIT. I can tell you that the test is easy but the waiting time and environment of the test centre drains you mentally before the test and so I think I could have scored a perfect 120 if I wasnt so tired before giving the actual test

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 19, 2016 at 8:14 PM

      Thanks for sharing. Some folks have complained about others speaking while you are taking other sections of the test.

    • Howida Elrasheed on January 26, 2017 at 10:40 AM

      eagle367: would you please share with us your experiment regarding the exam preparation in details, i.e, how you prepare for the writing, what did you do first, second,….. my exam will be on 18/2/2017. I am really in mess and i don’t know how to practice.

  4. whoAmI on December 31, 2015 at 6:09 AM

    Hi, i was very good when I was practicing toefl and I read and Speak english very well
    but I am very slow, for example it took me 30 minutes to complete a passage on reading section (30 minutes each passage) so I dont have time to answer all the question, I am so sad because I scorred 71 on toefl….because i did not answer 2 readings and many questions on listeting. I got 25 for speaking and a 29 for writing.

  5. Aniket on December 22, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    LOL. I scored 117, and I’m still in high school.
    Reading 29. Writing 29. Speaking 29. Listening 30.
    Just did the one practice test from the website.

    • Shuvo on December 25, 2015 at 1:31 AM

      I have one week time. Bro, can you tell me what should I do within this period? It will be much helpful for me, , , thanks

    • Lara on June 16, 2016 at 3:32 PM

      How old were you when you took Toefl?

  6. Rohit on November 23, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    You seem like Chatur from 3 idiots, too much study but no self confidence. 😀
    Dont take it on heart man, just expressing.

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  8. joe_shiki on July 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    As an English teacher who is often asked how to prepare, I wish more students would prep as you do. It’s a great way to learn real English and not just “test English”.

    Good luck!

  9. singh on July 10, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    when did u take the test?? I couldn’t see any date here.

    please write the date/month/year.. atleast month/year would do..

  10. abhi on January 24, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    hey thanks a lot for sharing your experience and also for motivating.

  11. anjalijha on December 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    send me practice test modules

  12. saurav on December 20, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    With TOEFL score what are the countries i can go for Higher Education?
    I have done my MBA, and i want to do again MBA in abroad. is TOEFL is Sufficient. What are the countries i can go for higher studies with TOEFL score.

  13. Abhishek on September 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I scored 114..seriously didnt know what to study..just saw some videos and got tips. I had picked up a book by Nova in bookstore and seeing the strategies I got baffled and kept it back..thought lemme go extempore. Screwed my speaking section as i am a born fast speaker and said what i had to say in 15 sec and next 45 seconds was mum and in fact said shit! I was scared they wud deduct marks..overall- writing 30, reading 29, listening 29, speaking 26…advice???? donot complicate stuff..just read the structure of the exam well and on the day just concentrate on cracking it…be positive and its yours…i have GRE on 4th oct…this will gimme confidence to improve my 1360 score..anyone knows how much in GRE I can get to get 730 GMAT equivalent please?

  14. Waqas on July 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Hello there everyone . I have a question to ask you guys . I am giving GRE Exam on 25th of July . After that I am giving TOEFL exam on 28th . Will i be able to prepare in 2 days ?? Will the preparation for GRE help me in TOEFL ?

    P.S: My English level at the moment is above average .

  15. rupal on June 1, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    heyy,,i received a mail from ets saying ,Because of a technical issue that affected your testing session, your scores have not been released at this time.
    does it mean i hv to retake d test n pay d fees again???????
    plzzzzzzzzzzzz reply

  16. Emmanuel on January 13, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Nice score mani you are really good. Pls I also intend on writing toefl and though I find the other sections of the test manageable, I find the speaking tasks hard as I stammer a little and my accent is a little bit not good. Also, I would like to know whether it is advisable to write on a side of the second writing task or on both sides. Thanks.

  17. suraj on December 5, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Ur essay need not be around 500 words. write an essay that pertains to the topic. Please do not take a particular stand. Discuss both possibilities and always have a free mind when you attempt this section. Scored 29 in writing……

  18. Lola on November 11, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Hey, congrats on your results, am currently preparing to write my toefl test. Do you mind giving d links to on-line prep tests? I’d really appreciate if you can. Thanks.

  19. Pallavi on October 25, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    i heard that it is necessary to write toefl in prometric centers but i alrdy booked a slot in Warrangal(chaitanya post graduate college).
    Will anyone please let me know if it is ok to write in warrangal or will i face a problem during my admissions??
    i hv very little time so please let me know asap!!
    Thank you

  20. subhojkumar on October 4, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Thanks for the information. This would help out a lot for the beginners.Congrats for your performance in both.

  21. chandra on September 28, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    for how many marks the new gre pattern.

  22. mihir suchak on September 27, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Great!! Congrats for Both of you GRE and TOEFL scores…best of luck for admissions 🙂

  23. x-man on September 27, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    hi. I`m mongolian and i want to go abroad for study. My english level is pre-intermediate. I see ibt TOEFL exam. It looked very hard. Please help me! How do i prepare? I wish I studied in the US. I ABSOLUTELY WANT.

  24. Thomas Antony on September 26, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Nice tips. Another one I would like to add is the following set of youtube vids:

    Helped me a lot with the speaking section. I had did my prep on the night before the exam and these vids certainly helped. They give the format of each question in speaking and writing section and tell you how to take notes for each question.

    I scored 115, with 27 in Speaking.

  25. wenu on September 26, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    i had 2 months time 2 pre pare for gre. Is it enough for prepration? how much can i xpect? plz suggest som ways to prepare

    • mihir suchak on September 27, 2011 at 9:24 PM

      i too had prepared for it 2 months and got 1250(old pattern). but as u can see on HSB itself..there are cases where people score like 1400 after a month’s prep…depends on how much you were dedicated and the time you devoted….so don’t worry about it now…be confident and according to me you can score sufficient to get in.
      best of luck.

  26. Keerthivarman V K on September 26, 2011 at 8:33 AM

    Great job

  27. uugaa on September 26, 2011 at 5:15 AM

    congrats. U did well at TOEFl. Can u please share your preparation materials.

    • Mani on September 28, 2011 at 4:25 AM

      I mainly used the study material provided by ETS.
      I was reading novels for a few months before my exams. I also did a lot of RCs that are available on and many other websites.
      I watched SITCOMS and English movies a lot.

      I practiced my Speaking section with the help of:
      But I later realized that it is better not to be so strict with this section because they are testing your conversational English. I spoke in the mic like I would speak to a friend, and it got me 29 score.

      I think any exam or any endeavor that you make needs self confidence to reap good results.

      • Paradox on May 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM

        Thanks for your sharing Mani! 100 or above is such a dream score for me. By the way, I am about to re-take the TOEFL around Dec 2012 but my skills are not really strong now. So, could you please suggest me some strategies or anything to improve my scores? I first score on TOEFL is just 76

  28. BeccaT on September 26, 2011 at 12:26 AM


    Don’t worry. I suggest you wait for your scores which will be published within a week. You never know, you could have performed better than you think. For my TOEFL iBT exam, I worried I would get 20 or so for my speaking section as I had some technical difficulties initially( mike wouldn’t capture my voice no matter how loud I spoke). However, I managed to get 30 for speaking.
    Also, you have good GRE score (720 for Verbal and 4.0 for AWA) so I don’t see any problem.

  29. Sivaram on September 25, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    I intend to apply for FALL 2012 to the universities ranked between 60-90. I have a GPA of 3.75/4. My GRE General Test score is 1480 (Verbal 720 Quant 760 AWA 4.0). But I had my TOEFL iBT two days back and I performed horribly. I must take part of the blame for not being able to concentrate in the harsh conditions in my test centre. Anyway, that said, I want to ask you whether I can still apply with my low TOEFL score (scores are not yet out) because I believe that I have an otherwise pretty decent profile. The problem is that I am not able to find a TOEFL test date anywhere in the near future and this is why I am not able to re-take TOEFL. Thank You.

  30. Rajesh Kumar Singh on September 25, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Even i too screwed my GRE in july by staying awake whole night and landing with a 1470 , much below my prep level. However i slept peacefully the night before TOEFL and managed a 110.

  31. raghav on September 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    My situation was similar to yours. I was expecting above 1500 in GRE because my score in both powerprep tests was around 1500, but I got nervous before the night of the test, couldn’t sleep the whole night and gave the test in a very sleepy state. Though I still managed to score 1430 I was adamant that I wouldn’t study for TOEFL. I had prepared well for GRE so I just needed to take the test with a relaxed mind. So, I just glanced through the pattern to know what I to expect on test day and made sure that I had a complete sleep the night before. I scored 108 (r:28 l:30 s:26 w:24) speaking section was similar to yours, I scored low on writing though I expected to score higher in that section.
    I would say if you are confident about your GRE preparation, don’t lose sleep over TOEFL just get done with it. You’ll be fine.

  32. munirah on September 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    congratulations!! you did great job

  33. Yogesh on September 25, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    That was cool that u got a good score but can you tell me how to do the preparation
    I have no idea about the test tools are there any available

  34. Baiju Joseph on September 25, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    I totally agree with the views above, if u are a hollywood movie buff, u write blogs and u are good at presentations, u just dont need to prepare at all… !! I gave my TOEFL examination on April 22nd and I scored 115… ! like the person above I am a big time movie buff and by some accident I even started writing sports blogs for I must say that took care of my writing. My break up was as follows:

    reading, 28, listening 28, speaking 29 and writing 30… !!

    To score good in TOEFL, I dont think u need expert training as such. Trust me, this is one exam u can prepare by not preparing for it. Watch movies, read anything (I mean anything, blogs, gossip, bollywood dirt, cricket… anything) and just chill… every thing will fall in place… !!

  35. Adam on September 25, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Congratulations ! Need to make usage of quality English, a habit.

  36. SBA on September 25, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    dont you think that the best word is to “appear” for an exam

    • Shekar on September 25, 2011 at 9:06 AM

      not the point..

  37. Uday on September 25, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Nice post, but you made a slight mistake in writing it. You explained “listening” twice. I suppose you were writing about “speaking” the second time around.

    • shobana on September 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      nice post yaar

    • Mani on September 28, 2011 at 4:26 AM

      Yes, in the last para there I am talking about “Speaking” section only. Must be a typo, my bad 🙂

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