The TOEFL test measures how well you USE English, not just your knowledge of the language. Therefore, TOEFL scores can help you go anywhere in the world! It reflects how the language is really used with integrated tasks that combine more than one skill, just as in real academic settings. In the past English courses have focused on learning about the language (particularly grammar) and a student may receive a top score on a test without being able to communicate effectively. Within a TOEFL course at Vincia Prep, students will understand the importance of communication. The 4 sections in the test, unbiasedly measure and score objectively making it a highly regarded test worldwide.
Here is how the test is organized:
Reading : 60-80 minutes
Listening: 60-90 minutes
Speaking: 20 minutes
Writing: 50 minutes
Vincia Prep TOEFL reading
In this section you have a variety of University level academic texts and passages.
Top tip: Familiarize yourself with the different types of questions within this section. You will encounter three types of questions: ‘reading to find information’, 'basic comprehension' and 'reading to learn’.
During your TOEFL prep read, you will have to read from a variety of sources. When you start reading an article, don't try to understand every word but instead do a skim (overview) read at the beginning. Then go back to each paragraph and try to find the main point plus two supporting details. This should take no longer than 15 minutes. The more you do this, the quicker you will get. Remember you don't need to understand every word in order to do this!
Vincia Prep TOEFL listening
You are tested here for your basic comprehension, pragmatic understanding and ability to synthesize information.
Top tip: Listen to podcasts from a variety of sources. BBC Worldwide, TED talks, and English and American talk shows then write a review of the talk etc... Include details of the attitude of the speaker/speakers and their point of view on the subject. Become a detective ! Listen for word stress and how people express themselves using repetition, inflection, tone and voice quality.
Vincia Prep TOEFL speaking
This section is made up of 6 tasks:
- Question 1 and 2 are called the independent speaking questions (because you just respond to a question and then speak)
- Question 3 and 4 are called integrated tasks (because you read/listen and speak)
- Question 5 and 6 are also integrated tasks (but just listening and speaking)
Top tip: Make lists of familiar topics (holidays and experiences etc...) practice speaking about them, record yourself and replay the recording to yourself (your voice is probably going to sound funny!)
Vincia Prep TOEFL writing
This section is made up of 2 tasks:
- Integrated writing: reading, listening and writing
- Independent writing: just writing on a familiar topic
Top tip 1: Find two pieces of media (newspaper/magazine articles) on the same topic. Write a summary and discuss how they agree or disagree.
Top tip 2: Make a list of situations where you have been faced with 2 choices and practice writing about them.
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