My name is Mayank.I am an undergraduate in electronics engineering and have been working with an reputed Indian corporation for the past four years. I took my TOEFL iBT on October 31,2010 in Warangal. I am targeting for an MS starting Fall.
My TOEFL score split:
- Reading – 30
- Listening – 29
- Speaking – 20
- Writing – 21
- Total- 100
The reporting time was 0930 hours.I had to travel almost 3 hours from my place to reach my centre. So, I started early morning at 0530 hrs and reached the center by 0845 hrs.
Starting so early, I could have an ample breakfast which cost me my speaking and writing scores.
Although I am satisfied with the overall score but a balanced score, especially on Speaking and Writing section helps for RA/TA positions.A lot of universities specify a minimum sectional scores for these apart from an overall iBT score.
I took TOEFL before GRE. So, wasn’t very sure about how well I was prepared.But, apart from regular preparation over a month or so I had put in almost a 2 day grill 3 days before the D-day.I had read experiences of test takers on HSB and even talked to couple of people in person about the expectations.Only later did I come to know that the test quite easy and it always helps if you don’t let the tension of unexpectedness get to your head.
Lesson learnt : Be calm, replenished, and you’ll be able to do your best.
The test duration is long. So be confident and calm throughout.
- Barron’s guide iBT 12th Ed.(with CD-ROM) – sufficient for a thorough preparation
- Kaplan – TOEFL iBT Software – referred only a few tests before D-day
- TOEFL sample from ETS – very close to actual test.
Reading – 30
After going through a few practice tests, I was scoring quite well and was confident of doing sufficiently well.Barron’s guide helped.
Listening – 29
Again, attempted all the practice tests.Initially it was different to follow the ideas and take notes simultaneously.But, with efforts I felt confident.So, was in a comfortable mindset for this section too.
Speaking – 20
A section which you need to practice a lot.No matter how good you are at conversing in meetings and friends, performing under pressure in test is sometimes difficult resulting in loss of words.
Tip-Practice with a tight timer.Practice finishing at least 5-7 seconds before.Use the notes making/thinking time judiciously.
Regarding open issues-Notes/ jotting points- write only as much as you can express concisely and comfortably.
Scoring on this section is not available in practice tests.So practice along with a friend or colleague.I had nobody to team up with and prepared on my own-recording myself and making corrections.
I was not very satisfied with my performance.Reason being, I was feeling giddy all through the end of listening section.I feel the ventilation too was not proper in the room but the staff could not put the AC on because it was already so cold.Although I took my break full time and shook off all tension and had some water, it got to my nerves during last two sections.Was feeling very difficult to sit there but pushed myself to finish.
Writing – 21
Surprise !! I was definitely expecting a better score.
But, it has been long since I was in college.So out of writing habit now.
Also,given my state the day – maybe a bad hour !
Tip: Writing for the TEST is different from a simple expression of your thoughts.Try to have a predefined structure that you can tune as per requirement on the spot.
Before submitting the test for reporting, I was not very sure to go through with it.But persisted with my performance on first two sections.
I received the scores in about ten days time.I was happy to see a 100, much beyond my expectations from my performance.
This was not a bad score since I had prepared all on my own.No coaching classes, no tutors and not even any friends preparing along with me-Not because I did not want to, but because I could not.I am at a remote location where all these facilities are beyond my reach.
The information and experiences on HSB were a great help in the given circumstances.
I hope my experiences are helpful for future test takers.
Thanks again for keeping such forum up and moving.
Mayank thanks for sharing your TOEFL experience