Hi everyone, I’m Pallavi doing my final year B.Tech in computer science. I thought a lot about the title of my TOEFL iBT Test prep experience.
Trust me the following tips are for people like me who find it boring to actually sit and study English. The good news is I got 116/120 in TOEFL iBT. I guess it is a good score and it will take me places.
I scheduled my TOEFL exam right after my summer holidays started, thinking I’ll prepare during the holidays but i never did.
Now coming to my so called preparation plan.
- Saw an English movie of different genres without subtitles everyday.That took care of my listening section.
- Read the editorial section of The Hindu everyday and also a number of novels (this is a routine i have been following from the past 10 years). This will prepare you to read the long passages in the reading section.
- Two weeks before the exam I googled for speaking topics. I got around 50 of them. I made it a point to speak on each of those topics and record my speech. I then gave it to my friends to make sure that they could understand what i was saying. This exercise helped me in the speaking section.
- If you prepared for your GRE AWA then you do not need to stress much on this section. Even then a little preparation always helps. For this the only advice that I can give is to keep your ears open. It is not possible to prepare all the 185 topics so never try that.
Serious TOEFL Preparation
Two weeks before the exam was when I actually prepared seriously. I had the Official ETS book. I went through all the sections everyday. It is very important to spend atleast 30 min talking in good English.
Always use a headset when you are doing so. This helps you to get acquainted with the test taking environment.
On the Day of TOEFL Test
- The reading section was long and as boring as the editorial section. If you have time go for the review option and check all your answers once again.
- I finished my listening section real fast. I took hardly 5 minutes for each part. It was easy to understand after all my movie watching ability. This speed proved to be lucky for me in
- The speaking section was not as difficult as i imagined it to be. Since i finished my listening fast, by the time i was into my speaking section the other test takers were still in their listening section. This helped me to speak without any disturbance.
- The writing section was a cake walk. I couldn’t concentrate much though because the others were doing their speaking section and it was a pandemonium. I had to stop in between and think again because i was sub consciously concentrating on how the guy next to me was speaking.
My TOEFL section scores
- Reading: 30/30
- Listening: 29/30
- Writing: 30/30
So you see that I hardly sat with a book and prepared. I spent an hour everyday that also during my bus journey to college.
I tried to develop my language on the whole rather than concentrating on improving my score.
I hope my experience helps the people who are reading it.Remember it is not only hard work that helps….SMART work is more important.