- 1 American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math
- 1.0.1 'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'
- 1.0.2 Socio-Economic Class Plays a Larger Role in the U.S. Than in Other Countries
- 1.0.3 'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'
- 1.0.4 What Trump's Generation Learned About the Civil War
- 1.0.5 Why Ordinary Citizens Are Acting as First Responders in Houston
- 2 Tinder’s Algorithm / How the “ELO Score” is calculated & What you can do to improve yours
- 2.1 The factors that affect your score/ranking/visibility:
- 2.1.1 Educated Guesses as to how your score is calculated / what factors affect it:
- 2.1.2 Are there any special qualifications needed to take the JLPT?
- 2.1.3 Can elementary school or junior high school students take the JLPT?
- 2.1.4 Can I apply to take only some sections instead of all sections?
- 2.1.5 At the time of registration, I will not be in the country/area where I want to take the test. What should I do?
- 2.1.6 Do all examinees take the same test and their level determined based on their scores?
- 2.1.7 When the JLPT was revised in 2010, the form of test items was changed or newly added. How were current test levels matched with old test levels?
- 2.1.8 I passed Level 3 in the old test. Which test level should I take with the current test?
- 2.1.9 I heard that N4 of the current test is basically the same level as Level 3 of the old test. In what ways are they the same?
- 2.1.10 I heard that N1 of the new test is a little more advanced than Level 1 of the old test. Does this mean N1 is harder to pass than Level 1 of the old test?
- 2.1.11 Does the JLPT include a conversation or composition test?
- 2.1.12 Why is the test section "Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)гѓ»Reading" for N1 and N2 divided into two sections -- "Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)" and "Language Knowledge (Grammar)гѓ»Reading" -- for N3, N4 and N5?
- 2.1.13 The last question in "Listening" for N1 and N2 has a note saying, "гЃ“гЃ® е•ЏйЎЊ пј€ г‚‚г‚“гЃ гЃ„ пј‰ гЃ«гЃЇ з·ґзї’ пј€ г‚Њг‚“гЃ—г‚…гЃ† пј‰ гЃЇгЃ‚г‚ЉгЃѕгЃ›г‚“гЂ‚(No practice available for this question.)" What does this mean?
- 2.1.14 Does the JLPT include questions that require cultural knowledge of Japan?
- 2.1.15 Why is "Test Content Specifications" no longer available after the 2010 revision of the JLPT?
- 2.1.16 Can I listen to audio of listening comprehension question examples?
- 2.1 The factors that affect your score/ranking/visibility:
- 3 This is How A Lazy Person Scored 163 in GRE Verbal Section
- 4 The Ten Best Tips to Get a High Score on the TOEFL iBT!
American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math
What the latest results of an international test tell us about the state of education in the United States
'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'
Joerg Sarbach/AP Photo
The U.S. education system is mediocre compared to the rest of the world, according to an international ranking of OECD countries.
More than half a million 15-year-olds around the world took the Programme for International Student Assessment in 2012. The test, which is administered every three years and focuses largely on math, but includes minor sections in science and reading, is often used as a snapshot of the global state of education. The results, published today, show the U.S. trailing behind educational powerhouses like Korea and Finland.
Not much has changed since 2000, when the U.S. scored along the OECD average in every subject: This year, the U.S. scores below average in math and ranks 17th among the 34 OECD countries. It scores close to the OECD average in science and reading and ranks 21st in science and 17th in reading.
Here are some other takeaways from the report:
The U.S. scored below the PISA math mean and ranks 26th out of the 34 OECD countries. The U.S. math score is not statistically different than the following countries: Norway, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Sweden, and Hungary.
On average, 13 percent of students scored at the highest or second highest level on the PISA test, making them “top performers.” Fifty-five percent of students in Shanghai-China were considered top performers, while only nine percent of American students were.
One in four U.S. students did not reach the PISA baseline level 2 of mathematics proficiency. At this level, “students begin to demonstrate the skills that will enable them to participate effectively and productively in life,” according to the PISA report.
Even the top students in the United States are behind: This year, the PISA report offered regional scores for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida. Massachusetts, which is a high-achieving U.S. state and which averaged above the national PISA score, is still two years of formal schooling behind Shanghai.
The U.S. ranks fifth in spending per student. Only Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland spend more per student. To put this in context: the Slovak Republic, which scores similarly to the U.S., spends $53,000 per student. The U.S. spends $115,000. The PISA report notes that, among OECD countries, “higher expenditure on education is not highly predictive of better mathematics scores in PISA.”
Socio-Economic Class Plays a Larger Role in the U.S. Than in Other Countries
Fifteen percent of the American score variation is explained by socio-economic differences between students. Less than 10 percent of score variation in Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, and Norway is due to socio-economic differences.
The U.S. also has a lower than average number of “resilient students,” which PISA defines as “students who are among the 25 percent most socio-economically disadvantaged students but perform much better than would be predicted by their socio-economic class.” On average, seven percent of students are considered resilient. Thirteen percent of of students in Korea, Hong Kong, Macao-China, Shanghai-China, Singapore, and Vietnam are “resilient.”
Parts of China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Liechtenstein topped the rankings for math, reading, and science. Finland, which is often pointed to as an example of an excellent school system, continued to perform well. However, the country dropped 2.8 points in math, 1.7 points in reading, and three points in science in “annualized changes in score points,” which are the “average annual change in PISA score points since the country’s earliest participation in PISA.”
The biggest annualized score improvements came from Brazil, Tunisia, Mexico, Turkey, and Portugal. Italy, Poland, and Germany also showed gains since 2003.
Click for larger image of chart
How seriously should we take these dismal findings? Educators around the world have called for tempered reactions to the PISA scores and questioned the usefulness of the tests. Nevertheless, this year’s report—and the United States’ poor math results—may be worth paying attention to for at least one reason. A 2011 study found that PISA scores are an economic indicator: rising scores are a good sign that a country’s economy will grow as well.
The 87-year-old labor leader who fought with Cesar Chavez says grassroots organizing is still effective.
Incest, in this show, is a practice that is also a metaphor—for insularity, for myopia, for people’s unwillingness to see beyond themselves.
This post contains spoilers through Season 7, Episode 7 of Game of Thrones.
It’s not because the water comes in. It’s because it is forced to leave again.
Floods cause greater property damage and more deaths than tornadoes or hurricanes. And Houston’s flood is truly a disaster of biblical proportions: The sky unloaded 9 trillion gallons of water on the city within two days, and much more might fall before Harvey dissipates, producing as much as 60 inches of rain.
Pictures of Harvey’s runoff are harrowing, with interstates turned to sturdy and mature rivers. From Katrina to Sandy, Rita to Tōhoku, it’s easier to imagine the flooding caused by storm surges wrought by hurricanes and tsunamis. In these cases, the flooding problem appears to be caused by water breaching shores, seawalls, or levees. Those examples reinforce the idea that flooding is a problem of keeping water out—either through fortunate avoidance or engineering foresight.
'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'
The former vice president calls on Americans to do what President Trump has not.
In January of 2009, I stood waiting in Wilmington, Delaware, for a train carrying the first African American elected president of the United States. I was there to join him as vice president on the way to a historic Inauguration. It was a moment of extraordinary hope for our nation—but I couldn’t help thinking about a darker time years before at that very site.
My mind’s eye drifted back to 1968. I could see the flames burning Wilmington, the violence erupting on the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the federal troops taking over my city.
I was living history—and reliving it—at the same time. And the images racing through my mind were a vivid demonstration that when it comes to race in America, hope doesn’t travel alone. It’s shadowed by a long trail of violence and hate.
Hurricane Harvey has dropped historic amounts of water on southeastern Texas.
After Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday, the winds calmed, but the rainfall kept up, dropping historic amounts of water on southeastern Texas—with even more predicted in the next few days. Rising floodwaters have forced tens of thousands to flee, overburdening emergency services and filling shelters. So far, at least five deaths have been blamed on the storm. State and local authorities, as well as countless volunteers, have been working hard all weekend to rescue stranded residents and offer assistance to those in need.
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.
O ne day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone—she’s had an iPhone since she was 11—sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. “We go to the mall,” she said. “Do your parents drop you off?,” I asked, recalling my own middle-school days, in the 1980s, when I’d enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with my friends. “No—I go with my family,” she replied. “We’ll go with my mom and brothers and walk a little behind them. I just have to tell my mom where we’re going. I have to check in every hour or every 30 minutes.”
Those mall trips are infrequent—about once a month. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned. Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. “It’s good blackmail,” Athena said. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.) She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That’s just the way her generation is, she said. “We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”
Three Atlantic staffers discuss "The Dragon and the Wolf," the Season 7 finale.
Every week for the seventh season of Game of Thrones, three Atlantic staffers have been discussing new episodes of the HBO drama. Because no screeners were made available to critics in advance this year, we’ll be posting our thoughts in installments.
Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States in more than a decade, made landfall on the Texas coast late Friday.
Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States in more than a decade, made landfall on the Texas coast late Friday as a Category 4 storm, destroying homes, overturning vehicles and sinking boats, severing power lines, and forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee. As Harvey, now downgraded to a tropical storm, lingers over Texas, record amounts of rain are predicted, which could spawn even more destruction in the form of catastrophic flooding.
What Trump's Generation Learned About the Civil War
History textbooks used in New York City during the president’s childhood called the Klan “patriotic,” and downplayed the role of slavery in “the War Between the States.”
In March, President Trump visited the Hermitage, a former slave plantation in Tennessee once owned by Andrew Jackson, to pay homage to his 19th century predecessor. For Trump and his then-chief strategist Steve Bannon, the parallels were irresistible: An agrarian populist from the Tennessee frontier, Jackson was the first to cast himself as the common man’s warrior against corrupt Washington elites and moneyed political interests.
But even more revealing than their similarities was how Trump viewed his predecessor's place in American history. In an interview a month after the trip, he alleged that Jackson, who died in 1845, could have prevented the Civil War:
I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?
Why Ordinary Citizens Are Acting as First Responders in Houston
It’s not necessarily a sign that government has failed—in a disaster as large as Harvey, authorities turn to volunteers like the Cajun Navy by design.
Harvey hasn’t even finished dumping rain on Texas, but it has already produced an honor roll of heroes.
There is, for example, the video of the boat-owning man telling CNN, “We got eight people that done called for us already. So we’re going to go and get them eight, come on back, and try to save some more.” On a larger scale, there’s the so-called Cajun Navy, a Dunkirk-like mobilization of volunteers in fishing boats and pleasure craft that is out working to rescue people.
The ethos behind these efforts is straightforward and admirable: Some people are in trouble, and other people have the tools to help them. Why wouldn’t they? Clyde Cain, who runs a Cajun Navy Facebook page told USA Today last year, “The reality of the Cajun Navy is everybody out here with a boat that isn’t devastated gets out and helps others.”
“The human contribution can be up to 30 percent or so of the total rainfall coming out of the storm.”
Every so often, the worst-case scenario comes to pass.
As of Sunday afternoon, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey seem likely to exceed the worst forecasts that preceded the storm. The entire Houston metropolitan region is flooding: Interstates are under feet of water, local authorities have asked boat owners to join rescue efforts, and most of the streams and rivers near the city are in flood stage.
Some models suggest that the storm will linger over the area until Wednesday night, dumping 50 inches of water in total on Houston and the surrounding area.
“Local rainfall amounts of 50 inches would exceed any previous Texas rainfall record. The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” said a statement from the National Weather Service. “Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for several days.” (In years of weather reporting, I have never seen a statement this blunt and ominous.)
It doesn't have to be awkward. James Hamblin and Dr. Lauren Streicher, author of Love Sex Again, discuss how to bring up sexual issues with your doctor, partner, and friends.
The director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project discusses an alarming new trend.
The 87-year-old labor leader who fought with Cesar Chavez says grassroots organizing is still effective.
Tinder’s Algorithm / How the “ELO Score” is calculated & What you can do to improve yours
Tinder’s matching algorithm and the ELO score it assigns to you, based on a number of factors, determines whose profile you are shown and to whom your profile is shown, and how prominently (How high up in the stack it lands). Thereby it very much affects with whom you even have the possibility of matching.
The factors that affect your score/ranking/visibility:
Some of this information is extracted from official Tinder announcements and articles, some of it is almost certain based on personal experimentation and anecdotal evidence.
- New accounts get a noob boost (not to be confused with the new paid boost feature), lasting approximately two days, during which their profile is shown to a very wide audience and featured prominently in their decks. During this time, an account’s ELO score is first calculated. Once the boost has run its course, this score determines your visibility and audience. *This is why you get comparatively many matches in your first few days and why that count drops rapidly within a week.*
Educated Guesses as to how your score is calculated / what factors affect it:
- A combination of % of people who like you as a whole…
- …% of the people you like who like you back (“are you playing within your league?”)…
- …and those people’s own rating. A person with a higher rating than your own liking you carries more weight than one with a lower rating liking you (like getting more points for defeating a higher ranking team in a ranked tournament).
This appears reproducible, but it is as of yet unclear how many swipes in how short a time period exactly will cause this.Update, July 4th 2017: It appears 2’000 swipes per hour in any direction will get your account “locked” for 12 hours of the app telling you to “Check back later for new people”, potentially also carrying an elo score punishment with it as previously observed. The relevant section of the Plus Features guide has been updated to reflect this as well.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Thoughts? Criticism? Praise? Something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below, or visit the SwipeHelper Subreddit. We have cookies! And advice. And surveys. And stories (maybe yours?). See you there
FAQ regarding the JLPT are listed here.
Please also check here for the JLPT administered in Japan.
If you do not find the information you need or your question is not answered, please inquire from here.
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test is held in Japan and abroad to evaluate and certify Japanese-language proficiency of non-native speakers.
Are there any special qualifications needed to take the JLPT?
The JLPT is open to all non-native Japanese speakers.
Can elementary school or junior high school students take the JLPT?
Yes, they can. There are no age restrictions for the JLPT.
Yes, you can. We make special testing accommodations for examinees with disabilities. Please inquire at the institution conducting the test in the country/area where you plan to take it. Those who would like to make special testing accommodations need to submit " Request Form for Special Testing Accommodations " along with their application form upon registration.
Twice yearly, in July and December. Outside Japan, the test may be held only in July or December in some cities. Please check "List of Overseas Test Site Cities and Local Host Institutions" for the test schedule in your city.
In 2017, the tests will be conducted on Sunday, July 2 and Sunday, December 3. пј€Outside Japan, the test may be held only in July or December in some cities. Please check "List of Overseas Test Site Cities and Local Host Institutions" for the test schedule in your city.пј‰
You can take the test in major cities all over Japan. If you are planning to take the test outside Japan, you can find cities where the test is offered in "Local Host Institutions of JLPT."
Can I apply to take only some sections instead of all sections?
At the time of registration, I will not be in the country/area where I want to take the test. What should I do?
Please make sure to apply with the institution conducting the test in the country/area where you plan to take it. Registration methods differ by country. Please contact the local institution. If you cannot apply for the test by yourself, please ask a friend or acquaintance in the country/area where you want to take the test for help with registration.
The Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services.
Japan Educational Exchanges and Services conducts the test in Japan, and the Japan Foundation conducts the test overseas with the cooperation of local host institutions.
In Taiwan, the JLPT is co-hosted with Japan - Taiwan Exchange Association.
Do all examinees take the same test and their level determined based on their scores?
No. Test questions differ according to level. Different questions are provided to measure the Japanese-language competency of examinees as accurately as possible. Please choose a suitable level when taking the test.
Please refer to "Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level." In addition, you can check specific levels by going over "Sample Questions." If you have taken the old test through 2009 or have information about it, this can give you an idea of what to expect, since the current test corresponds to the old test in terms of passing lines.
<Reference9gt; Level correspondence between current and old tests
When the JLPT was revised in 2010, the form of test items was changed or newly added. How were current test levels matched with old test levels?
Based on statistical analysis, the passing line for the current test is designed to match that of the old test. This means that examinees with the Japanese-language competence to pass Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the old test can pass N1, N2, N4 and N5 in the current test. The passing line for N3, a level added in 2010, is designed to fall between Levels 2 and 3 of the old test, based on statistical analysis of the Japanese-language competence required to pass these levels.
I passed Level 3 in the old test. Which test level should I take with the current test?
Because Level 3 in the old test is basically the same level as N4 in the current test, taking the one-level higher N3 test is suggested. N3 is a newly introduced level that falls between Level 2 and Level 3 in the old test. You might try N2 if you wish to try a slightly more difficult level. Please review "Sample Questions" to find out which level would better suit you.
N3 is the newly established level when the JLPT was revised in 2010.When compared to the old test's levels, N3 falls between Level 2 and Level 3. Many of those who passed Level 3 of the old test have commented that "Level 2 is difficult to pass." To respond to this situation, N3 was created as a level between Level 2 and Level 3 of the old test.
Please refer to "A Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level." N1 and N2 are levels where learners can listen to and read "Japanese used in a variety of circumstances." N4 and N5 are levels where learners can listen to and read "basic Japanese" that is studied in class. N3 is a level that falls between N1/N2 and N4/N5 and bridges the gap.
I heard that N4 of the current test is basically the same level as Level 3 of the old test. In what ways are they the same?
The passing standard is basically the same. Those who could pass Level 3 of the old test will likely pass N4 of the current test. However, please note that test sections and scoring sections are different.
I heard that N1 of the new test is a little more advanced than Level 1 of the old test. Does this mean N1 is harder to pass than Level 1 of the old test?
No. The passing standard is basically the same for N1 and Level 1. Those who could pass Level 1 of the old test will likely pass N1 of the new test.
Does the JLPT include a conversation or composition test?
No, neither is currently included.
Why is the test section "Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)гѓ»Reading" for N1 and N2 divided into two sections -- "Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)" and "Language Knowledge (Grammar)гѓ»Reading" -- for N3, N4 and N5?
Because there are fewer test items in vocabulary and grammar that can be included in levels N3, N4 and N5, placing Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) and Reading in the same section may inadvertently provide hints for answers. In order to avoid such a situation, two separate test sections -- "Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)" and "Language Knowledge (Grammar)гѓ»Reading" -- are offered for N3, N4 and N5.
They are summarized in "Composition of test items." "Sample Questions" covers all question patterns for all levels. Please take a look at it.
Yes, the JLPT uses a multiple-choice computer-scored answer sheet. There are four choices for most questions, although some "Listening" questions have only three choices.
The last question in "Listening" for N1 and N2 has a note saying, "гЃ“гЃ® е•ЏйЎЊ пј€ г‚‚г‚“гЃ гЃ„ пј‰ гЃ«гЃЇ з·ґзї’ пј€ г‚Њг‚“гЃ—г‚…гЃ† пј‰ гЃЇгЃ‚г‚ЉгЃѕгЃ›г‚“гЂ‚(No practice available for this question.)" What does this mean?
Other "Listening" questions have examples to help examinees understand the form and how to answer. The last question does not have this kind of example with which to practice.
Does the JLPT include questions that require cultural knowledge of Japan?
No question specifically asks cultural knowledge of Japan. Some questions may refer to cultural aspects, but all questions can be answered without cultural knowledge.
No, you cannot take the test paper with you. If you do, you will automatically fail the test.
Test question copyrights are held by test organizers, the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services.
Exactly the same test questions are not published. However, "Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Official Workbook" was published in March 2012. It includes test items taken from actual tests conducted in 2010 and 2011, and have almost the same number of test items as the actual test. Sample questions based on past test questions will be published regularly in the future. The publication schedule will be announced on the official JLPT website.
Why is "Test Content Specifications" no longer available after the 2010 revision of the JLPT?
We believe that the ultimate goal of studying Japanese is to use the language to communicate rather than simply memorizing vocabulary, kanji and grammar items. Based on this idea, the JLPT measures "language knowledge such as characters, vocabulary and grammar" as well as "competence to perform communicative tasks by using the language knowledge." Therefore, we decided that publishing "Test Content Specifications" containing a list of vocabulary, kanji and grammar items was not necessarily appropriate. As information to replace "Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level" and "Composition of test items" are available. Please also refer to "Sample Questions."
In addition, since levels of the current test correspond to those of the old test through 2009 in terms of passing lines, old test questions and "Test Content Specifications" for the old test can provide useful information.
Can I listen to audio of listening comprehension question examples?
Yes, you can. You can download audio files from "Sample Questions."
In addition, the following books come with audio CDs.
гѓ»"New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook: An Executive Summary and Sample Questions, N1-N3 edition (945 yen, tax included)
гѓ»"New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook: An Executive Summary and Sample Questions, N4-N5 edition (840 yen, tax included)
гѓ»"Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Official Workbook (N1/N2/N3/N4/N5)" (735 yen for each level, tax included)
This is How A Lazy Person Scored 163 in GRE Verbal Section
This post is written by Aditi Sharma ( New HSB Contributor) – How to Improve GRE Verbal Score.
Most of the Indian students taking GRE score a perfect Quant, the Verbal section gives them jitters!!
Yes! you can be Lazy and Still Score 163 in GRE Verbal
In this post I will share some tips that helped me score 163 in verbal.
The GRE verbal section consists of three major areas:
- Reading Comprehension: It consists of passages which are followed by questions and answer options. Type of questions asked are:
- Select one correct answer
- Select multiple correct answers (The killer!!)
- Select a sentence form the passage
- Sentence completion: It consists of a single sentence, one blank and six options out of which two correct choices are to be selected.
- Text Completion: A short passage is given and words are omitted. One to three blanks may be given and one option is to be selected for each blank. No marks are awarded for partially correct answer.
So, what is required to master these three forms of question? Of course you need a killer vocabulary along with understanding the author’s perspective and drawing conclusions from it.
The first step in starting your verbal preparation is building an amazing vocabulary. The questions asked in GRE contain words which are not used in our common conversations or even our text books!
How is can an average student supposed to know the meaning of words like curmudgeon, excoriation, peccadillo etc etc etc….?
There are two ways to build your vocab:
- Read Newspapers , Magazines , Novels and whatever good reading material you can get your hands on-to. However, it will take years to master vocab through this method. So unless you were a sucker for newspapers and novels write from your childhood, You better look at option no. 2
- If you are a lazy person like me who would rather watch the movie than read the novel, you better start learning the word list. The barrons word list (the one with 3500 words) is what I am talking about.
I know its sounds crazy. Learning 3500 words? She must be nuts! Well I am not asking you to simply gulp down the whole word list. Relax. But yes the more words you’ll know, the better you‘ll score in verbal!
Ok tell me, how on earth are you supposed to answer the questions or fill up a blank if you don’t know the meaning of the word! In medium to hard questions, you’ll find about 4-5 words per sentence whose meaning you wouldn’t know, unless you have gone through the word list.
You can find the word list in Barron’s old book (18 th edition) however I fail to understand why the word list is not given in Barron’s New GRE (19 th edition). You need the word list to prepare for verbal. Period.
Now, the question comes how to learn the words. Well, there are many ways – Flash cards, word root method, Pictionary or simply mugging up. I will explain these in detail in another post.
Reading Between the Lines – Build Comprehension
Once you understand the meaning of words, you can string a sentence and infer meaning out of it.
Photo Credit – This is Reading Comprehension
The verbal sections checks abilities like:
- understanding meanings of words and sentences
- differentiating between minor and major points given in the passage
- concluding and summarizing the information provided
- reasoning and developing considering alternative explanations
- identifying the relation between the pair of words given as options
This can be developed with practice. Do your word list and alongside practice GRE questions from standard books like Barron’s, Kaplan, Princeton, ETS official guide. All these are well known books.
The more you practice the better you’ll get. You will be able to understand how a word is used in a sentence because many words have quite different meanings in different context. I know it all sounds absurd but you’ll know once you start to practice.
Expose yourself to various topics
Reading passages are drawn from many different disciplines. Trust me they can pick up material from anything under the sun! Passages can be about biological sciences, History of music in US , the American culture, arts, humanities, famous personalities anything!
Do not be discouraged. Every bit of information required to answer the questions is there in the paragraph, you just have to see it. You are not expected to rely on any outside knowledge.
The best way to prepare is to expose yourself to variety of topics.
Read Scientific American, New York Times, The Hindu. Read articles even if you find them boring.
Another small tip here– read everything online because the Final test will be on the computer screen. You must be comfortable reading on the screen. Most of the people prepare through books. Even I used to keep a pencil in my hand and just go though the passage underlining important info in between. Avoid it.
- Improve vocabulary
- Practice Practice!!
- Read diverse topics
- VOILAA! Superb GRE verbal!
These are the basic things you must follow to crack the verbal section.
I prepared for about 3 months and scored 163. Please let me know if you want me to write anything else related to GRE prep.
The Ten Best Tips to Get a High Score on the TOEFL iBT!
(This lesson was updated in March 2017.)
The TOEFL is one of the most difficult tests you will ever take in your life! You need to study hard to get a high score on the TOEFL. Here is a list of ten things that will help you get the highest score possible on the TOEFL iBT, and fulfill your dream of studying at an English-speaking university.
The TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is an English proficiency test produced by an American company called ETS. It measures your English reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills, and your ability to succeed at an English-speaking university.
Each section has a score out of 30, for a total overall score of 120. You don’t pass or fail the TOEFL. Each university requires a specific score. Sometimes universities require a specific score for each section of the test, for example 24 out of 30 in the speaking section. Before you begin studying for the TOEFL, research the universities you want to attend and find out what score you need.
You can read more about the test content here.
There are A LOT of resources available to help you learn about the test and help you study for the test. Here are some resources available on the ETS TOEFL website:
You should give yourself 6 months to 1 year to be fully prepared for the test, especially if you have never taken the test before.
When you sit down at the computer to take the test, nothing should be a surprise. You should know every reading question, every listening question, every speaking task, and every writing task on the test. You should know exactly what you have to do to answer every question properly.
You should also know the exact score you need to achieve for each university you want to apply to. Some schools require just an overall TOEFL score, but some schools require specific scores in each section. You should know exactly what you need to do get the required score.
Do not try to prepare for the test alone. Buy a textbook (see my recommended books in the Resources section below.) Work with a teacher, either in a course or in private lessons. You need someone to help you with your pronunciation, and to assess how you’re doing in the speaking and writing sections. Talk to friends who have taken the TOEFL. Who did they study with? What score did they get? What would they have done differently? Check at a university or college near you. Do they offer a TOEFL course? There are also several TOEFL instructors online. Do you know anyone who has studied with them?
On the TOEFL you will read passages or listen to lectures on everything from astronomy and American history to psychology and biology!
When you are studying for the TOEFL, it is not good enough to just listen to and read things that you enjoy and are interested in. You need to build your vocabulary, so you need to read about a variety of topics.
Four excellent resources on the Internet are BBC News, NPR, Ted Talks, and VOANews. Many of the articles on the VOA and NPR websites also have .mp3 files, so you can listen at the same time.
Here are some resources to get you started:
If you have just started studying for the TOEFL and it is difficult for you to read (or listen to) some of the resources above, that’s OK! There are still lots of resources available to you:
The English Teacher Melanie Podcast – Each episode is a short story about something that happened in my daily listen. I use core vocabulary and I speak naturally with a standard American accent. Each episode also includes a short pronunciation lesson.
ESLPod – The episodes are short dialogues on a variety of topics. The dialogues include great vocabulary, phrases & idioms. Each episode includes a slow dialogue, a discussion of vocabulary, and a fast dialogue. The transcript is also provided on the website.
VOA Learning English – This section of the website has articles similar to the news section, but they are easier to read and the listening clips are much slower.
Listen a Minute – If you are still struggling with listening or vocabulary, this website will help you build up your skills.
The TOEFL has teamed up with a company called Lexile to help you find books at your reading level. If you have taken a TOEFL practice test or the actual TOEFL and you know your reading score, you can type in your score and Lexile will suggest books in the topic of your choice at your reading level.
This is an essential skill you will need for the listening, speaking, and writing sections of the test, AND it is a skill you will need later on at an English-speaking university.
In each section where listening is required, you can only listen to the clip ONCE ! You cannot go back and listen to it again and again. You will then have to answer questions on what you heard (listening section), speak about what you heard (speaking section), or write an essay based on what you heard (writing section). Therefore you will need to take good notes! People who take good notes get higher scores on the TOEFL.
This is a skill that takes a lot of practice.
- Don’t try to write down anything and everything you hear. Don’t just write down words that you understand. Write down the essential information that you will need to understand the lecture later
- Use symbols and shorthand. Everybody develops their own system for this. Here is a system that you can start with.
- Practice, practice, practice! Practice taking notes while listening to BBC, TED Talks, NPR, or VOA. Practice while watching TV. When you have finished listening, you can go back and compare your notes to the transcript.
- If NPR, VOA and TED Talks are too long for you, practice note-taking with the shorter clips from Listen a Minute.
When you sit down to take the test, you will get 3 sheets of paper. Every time you put up your hand, the proctors are supposed to give you 3 more sheets of paper, but that doesn’t always happen. It may take a while for a proctor to see your hand, if they are paying attention at all. Use your 3 sheets of paper wisely! Don’t use all 3 pages on a single lecture or conversation.
For the TOEFL speaking section, it’s OK to speak English with an accent. Your pronunciation doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need to speak clearly and be understood.
The speaking section measures three things:
- how well you answer the question and complete the task
- the grammar and vocabulary you use
- how well the person scoring the test can understand you
This is one area where it is important to work with a teacher or instructor. You need someone to tell you what you’re doing right and what you can do better.
When you are practicing the speaking task on your own, record yourself. Most laptops and computers come with recording software. Recording yourself is important for two reasons:
- you can hear yourself speak and evaluate your response
- you can get used to speaking to a computer
It can feel weird talking to a computer if you have never done it before!
Here are 3 videos from ETS about the different speaking tasks.
The final section on the TOEFL is the writing section. You will need to use a QWERTY keyboard to type your responses into the computer. This is the standard keyboard for all North American keyboards. (It’s called a QWERTY keyboard because the top row of letters starts from the left with the letters QWERTY.)
Here’s what a QWERTY keyboard looks like:
You should practice as much as possible with a QWERTY keyboard. You need to know where all the letters are, how to make a capital letter, and where all the punctuation symbols are.
Most people type by using the “hunt and peck” method: you hunt (look) for the letter you need on the keyboard, and then peck (hit it) with one finger. When you learn touch typing, you will learn how to use all your fingers to to type WITHOUT looking at the keyboard! It’s a much faster method of typing, but it takes a lot of practice. Touch typing is not essential for the TOEFL, but it definitely helps you type faster.
Here’s a short video that shows you where to put your fingers on the keyboard:
Once you learn the correct placement of your fingers, you can practice typing here:
As I mentioned in tip #6, the last section of the TOEFL is the writing section. There are two writing tasks. The last task, and the very last thing you will do on the TOEFL, is type a 300-word essay within 30 minutes.
Practice this essay as much as possible!
An English essay has a very specific format, and this format may be different than the format that you are used to in your language. Essays in English follow this format:
- Introduction: The first paragraph introduces your essay, and tells the reader your opinion and what you are going to talk about in your essay.
- Body: The middle of the essay on the TOEFL is 2-3 paragraphs that support your opinion.
- Conclusion: The last paragraph summarizes your essay.
One paragraph is one thought. The first sentence of each paragraph explains what the paragraph is about, and the rest of the paragraph uses clear, specific examples to illustrate your opinion.
Understanding the traditional English style of writing an essay will help you in almost every section of the TOEFL. If you know that one paragraph = one thought, you can understand the structure of the reading passages better. You will also need to state an opinion and support your opinion with clear, specific examples in the speaking section.
The first writing task is an integrated essay. Here is a video from ETS that explains this task:
The second writing task is the independent essay. Here’s a video that explains how to structure the independent essay:
Here’s a video from ETS that explains more about the TOEFL independent essay:
(*I disagree with one thing in this video: don’t write your outline on paper! Type your outline directly into the space where you’re going to write your essay. You can build your essay around your outline.)
- When you start practicing your essays, don’t worry about time. Begin by taking as long as necessary to write a good essay.
- Once you are able to write a good essay, start timing yourself and getting faster at it, until you can write a good 300-word essay within 30 minutes.
- Answer the question that you are asked! Don’t try to change the question. If it asks you to make a choice, make a clear choice – don’t try to argue both positions. There is no right or wrong answer. Your essay is scored on how well you answer the question.
- Type your outline in the essay space on the computer! You waste time if you write it by hand and then type it.
- Keep it simple and be specific!
This is the best tip I can give you. Students are always looking for a trick or a secret they can learn to help them do better on the TOEFL. This is it! Once you know the TOEFL inside and out, the only thing that can help you get better at it is to keep practicing it!
I will repeat what I said in tip #2:
When you sit down at the computer to take the test, nothing should be a surprise. You should know every reading question, every listening question, every speaking task, and every writing task on the test. You should know exactly what you have to do to answer every question properly.
All the TOEFL books that I recommend in the Resources section below have practice tests. As well, there are 4 practice tests available on the ETS TOEFL website (http://toeflpractice.ets.org/). Do at least one of the tests on the ETS website before you take the TOEFL so you can get used to taking the test on a computer.
Try doing one or two practice tests with the radio or TV on. There are a lot of distractions in the TOEFL test centers! You might still be doing the listening section when the person next to you starts the speaking section. You might be trying to concentrate on the reading section while the person next to you needs help with her computer. You never know what might happen, so be prepared for everything!
Don’t laugh, but this is very important! Let’s be honest: this is not an easy test! It is a very stressful test! It is important to remain calm and relaxed throughout the test.
- If possible, visit the testing centre ahead of time. Make sure you know where you’re going and how long it’s going to take you to get there. The last thing you want to do is get lost or stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the test!
- Don’t try to cram the day before the test. Just relax and rest.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Eat a good breakfast!
- Before you leave your house and on your way to the test, make sure you warm up your brain! Read something in English for 30 minutes, preferably something you have read before. (You don’t want to stress yourself out before the test!) Listen to English. Make sure your brain is thinking in English before you start the test!
- Take deep breaths throughout the test. Make sure your breathing is normal.
- There is a 10-minute break between the listening and speaking sections. Use this time to go to the bathroom if you need to, eat a snack, and do some stretching to relieve the tension in your back and shoulders!
- If you miss a question or you feel like you didn’t do well in a section, don’t worry about it. Just go onto the next section like it’s a new test. This is where being prepared for the test helps. For example, if you know how many questions you need to answer correctly to get your required score in the reading section, missing one question is not a problem.
Remember, you can always take the test again!
No one will ever know your TOEFL score unless you tell them . The university you want to attend won’t know if you’ve taken the test once or 10 times. They will only know the score you tell them. Don’t worry if you get a low score the first time – no one will ever know but you! You can keep taking the test as many times as you need to.
Students rarely get the score they need the first time they take the test.
Here are some things that might be a surprise the first time you take the test:
- The test goes by very, very fast!
- Some test centres are very large with lots of people taking the test at the same time. There is a lot of noise and a lot of distractions.
- Someone may have started the speaking section while you are still listening. You might be trying to write an essay while the person next to you is doing the speaking section.
- You may not be able to get the proctor’s attention to get more paper or to get help with your computer.
You can take the test as many times as you need to, but you must wait 12 days between tests. Here’s what the ETS website says:
You can read more frequently asked questions here on the ETS website. You must pay the full price each time you take the test.
More information from the ETS website:
Here are all the best resources that I recommend using if you want to get a high score on the TOEFL. For your convenience I have added links to Amazon.com & international Amazon stores like Amazon.br, Amazon.de, etc. When you click on the Amazon International link, you will go to the Amazon store in your country or a country near you.
Other places where you can look for these books:
- university libraries
- your local library
- university book stores
- English book stores
- secondhand book stores & thrift stores
This book is by far the best and most up-to-date textbook available. It thoroughly explains each section of the TOEFL and includes hundreds of practice questions and multiple quizzes. There are also 5 practice tests included in this book. This is the textbook that is used in TOEFL preparation courses all over the world. (Amazon.com ) (Amazon International )
This book is the official guide from the company that makes the TOEFL. It explains each section clearly and has test questions and essay topics for you to practice with. It also includes 3 practice tests, advice on writing in English, plus comments and advice from the people who rate and score your test. (Amazon.com ) (Amazon International )
This is an excellent to build your vocabulary. The 400 words are divided into 8 themes and 41 lessons. For example, in the section on “Money,” the lessons are: Financial Systems, Wealth and Social Class, Personal Property, Employment, and International Trade. There are 10 words in each lesson, and each lesson contains definitions of each word, usage tips, and three exercises using the words. (Amazon.com ) (Amazon International )
Audible is a company that sells audiobooks. You can listen to an audiobook on your computer, tablet or phone. This is a fantastic resource for English learners. Audible also has a series of university-level courses that you can listen to called The Great Courses. Each course is a series of audio lectures. These courses are great if you want to learn more about specific subjects like science, history, economics, religion, or entertainment. You need an Amazon account to join Audible and then you need to sign up for an Audible membership. Please read the details to find out more about an Audible membership in your country. (Amazon.com ) (Amazon International .au, .co.uk, .de, .fr, .it, & .co.jp)
If you are in Canada or America and buy through Amazon.ca or Amazon.com Amazon pays me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read more about Amazon here.
My TOEFL test is 29\9\2012 I wish to make it.
I am lucky to find your website before the test, thanks a lot dear.
Really, your tips are amazing and have all what I need…
Many thanks, and pray for me.
I will send you my feedback after taking the test
I’m so thrilled to hear that this helped you! Please let me know as soon as you get your results! = )
I am also very grateful that I found your webpage…its amazing and it has the key elements to succeed..I studied with it. My test is TODAY Srptember 21st 2012 and hopefully i will be in Canada or the UK in one year. I will let you know how it worked!
wow, I will be applying for an US university next year and this is an excellent guide for planning the exam. Thanks!!
the date, which i rigesterd is march,02,2013. i’m hopeful to get the best result in my first test. noadays, i’m such a hardworking student who not worring about extra things eccept having 120 out of 120.i’ll post another comment when i lend in my plan.
Hello! This is a great way to help students with their preparations for the test, you are really kind! If I pass this exam I think it will be a real kick in the teeth to a professor of mine who said I am not good enough!
Hello Melanie. I am so happy that I’ve found your page before taking my TOEFL exam. I should take it on 24 February, but my problem is that I am not self confidence. It’s the first time that I am going to take it. After reading your suggestions I calmed down, and now I feel myself better. Many thanks for your optimism. I’ll definitely follow each step you’ve suggested, and I hope to reach my goals.
I am planning to take the TOFEL exam within 2 months from now. I have some decent reading, writing & comprehensive skills with English language and so I am thinking of taking this risk. I know that the university that I am interested in requests 84/120 score and even the individual split-up.
Please let me know if this time will be enough for my preperation?
The best thing for you would be to do one of the practice tests:
This will tell you what you need to work on between now & the actual test.
There is no risk in taking the TOEFL! You don’t have to tell the university what your score is until AFTER you get your score. When you register for the test, it asks you to select a university, but you can ignore this. Once you know your official score & you are happy with it, you can send it to the university. What is the deadline for the university? You may be able to take the test more than once before the deadline.
You’ll do fine. Good luck to you!
Is there any university for master programmes no gre no toefl requires? i reaalyy gave up!
If you want to go to a university in an English-speaking country, you have to prove that you can speak, write, and understand English. Most universities require either the TOEFL for ILELTS. I don’t know of any universities that don’t require it.
i wanted 1 help urg , i am appearing for toefl on 18 may 2013 , and i am actually hunting for practice tests for toefl ibt which can give me an actual experience of appearing toefl ibt and sitting on pc for 4 hrs altogether.
can u just let me know which is the best site, i guess there are lots of but i m getting few short practice tests not full lengths one?
There are 4 practice tests available on the ETS TOEFL website http://toeflpractice.ets.org/
Good luck to you!
I kept my date on JUN 15 2013 and got the important tips from this website on reading, listening, writing and speaking tasks.
Thank you for your advice, It really help me to redirect my study way, I examined this test 10 times during last year, and I could not get the required score (79/120). I don’t have a true friend that could help me or support me, so I study alone. And I don’t have a time to take courses. But, after reading this tips, I feel that I can pass this exam. I’m having exam on 26/7/2013. I will do all your advice and I hope it works this time
Hello Melanie!! I must say that I feel so glad to find your website, because I’m going to take the TOEFL next month, so for me this is so handy. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I’m so nervous, and so stressed, but I know, I will succeed on it. With God’s help and of course, it’s up to me achieve my goal.
God bless you. I hope can share with you and the subscribers about my success. Take care yourself… By the way! I’m from Colombia, so taking this exam is a great challenge for me. =D
All the best to you, Natalia! Practice, practice, practice, and you will do well on the test! Always remember that you can take the test more than once if you don’t get the required score the first time.
Good luck to you!
Those tips are really great, I wish I had stumbled upon them earlier.
I did my test this morning, I did well but I’m nervous about whether my results will meet the minimum requirements of the universities I’m applying to. I only practiced yesterday, the day before the exam, but I was able to fully understand the type of questions through the samples I did.
Hopefully my results would match my expectations, I’ll make sure to refer friends who are taking it later on to this website, it’s really useful.
your tips have helped me a lot and I have more motivation than ever my test is after 4 days only !! and I hope this time I will get the score that I want
ThanQ u a lot again
Many thanks for the information you have provided. I’ll start to prepare the test next September and I’m wondering if there is any test I can take to check my currently level and also helps me to identify my weak areas?
Thanks very much
The official TOEFL website has practice tests that you can take:
These are actual TOEFL tests. You can do a test at home on your computer, and you will receive a score. This will help you know your strong & weak areas.
Good luck to you!
Your tips sound very helpful . I am a nephrology nurse and I moved to the USA 9 months ago. The language I speak is Dutch. I need to take this Toefl test in order to get my licensure here. I took the test 3 weeks ago and unfortunately I didn’t get the grades Arkansas require, I scored 77 whereas I need 83 to qualify in order to take the NCLEX. The topics on the test I took were very for me to understand.
Do you have anymore tips for me ?.
I truly appreciate your help.
Very few people get the required score on the first try. The TOEFL is a difficult test, even for native speakers. The topics are difficult for anyone to understand unless you have prepared extensively for the test.
Can you tell me more about how you prepared for the test? Did you take a course or study on your own? Did you use any textbooks?
Hi! , How are you ?
I want to take a few minutes for your time ,please ..
I have studied Civil Engineering (next year I will graduate) and I want to continue master degree , and as you know the universities usually need to high English degree like (TOEFL) ..
I am seriously want to be fluent speaker and listening , I am really have bad mood and fair about this problem ..
some people advise me ” you must watch movies and listening music with lyrics ,, other say ” you must read articles and found the meaning that you don’t know” or “save more meaning in your mind by pat” or “you must live with native speakers people” or “talk English all time of day (but that is not logical to difficulty coexistence” ..
so, help me what the best method to make me very fluently during (8 months only)? .. or what the procedure that I follow? .. I can make a weekly schedule and specialize much hours for English language to perfection this language. I am desirous to do anything and tired to achieve my important goal.
please take my problem as seriously .
sorry for prolongation ,Thank you
It’s important to realize that you are talking about two different goals: a) getting a high score on the TOEFL to study for your Master’s degree; and b) speaking English fluently.
Speaking English fluently does not mean that you will get a high score on the TOEFL. The TOEFL is a difficult test, even for native speakers. You have to prepare for the test.
First, you need to get organized. What university/universities do you want to apply to? What TOEFL score(s) do they require? Are you going to study for the test on your own or take a course? When is the deadline for applying to the universities? What is the last possible date you can take the test?
Second, if you want to be fluent in English in 8 months, you will need to work extremely hard. You will need to create an English-speaking environment for yourself, living your life as if you were living in an English-speaking country. I recommend finding a private tutor who is a native speaker.
Good luck to you,
I am a food technology engineer, I wanted to go to Germany this year. The language I speak is spanish. I took this Toefl test in order to enter to the university unfortunately I didn’t get the grades hohenheim require, I scored 57 whereas I need 79 to qualify . I want to take again on november, you can tell me some tips to improve the listening part.
I truly appreciate your help.
Very few people get the score required on the first try. Now that you know how hard the test is, you need to practice, practice, practice.
Does Hohenheim have requirements for the individual sections? (For example, do you need to get a certain score on the listening section?)
Have you bought the book I recommended ‘Delta’s Key to the TOEFL iBT: Advanced Skill Practice’? You really need this book if you are going to study for the test on your own. It has a lot of practice activities for the listening section & it also includes practice tests.
What specifically do you need help with in the listening part? Did you run out of time? Is note-taking difficult for you? Do the speakers talk too fast?
Thank you so much for writing.
I’m an English tutor from Indonesia. Listening has been a problem for students here, and even for me. So, thank you so much for writing the tips.
So, dear Melanie, thank you a lot you went through the really good job and made us to know what we should expect for. I have taken already 2 tests, which were 59 and 78, also I took another one in prev. friday and hope that its scores will be better) your tips are really helpful. I give you my huge respect and kiss you many many times I will let you know about next score
Thanks for the tips, i already have the exam, i got only 72!….is it that bad? do i have to make the exam again?
There is no good or bad score on the TOEFL, only a required score! What university are you applying to? What is the required score of the school you want to go to? Once you know that information, you can decide if you want to take the test again.
Also, just a quick tip: the collocation is “take a test,” not “ make a test .”
Many thanks Melanie
I took the test this morning for my first time and it was a shock. At least two of four passages of the Reading section were much more difficult than the paper simulations, that I did with my private teacher, and unfortunately all the Listening passages were simply to difficult to follow, full of scientific details, that I had to be able to manage answering the questions..
The program at the college where I’m applying requires a minimum score of 61/120, but I’m getting nervous because the deadline is already the 1.st of November, and I’m unfortunately living in a country which is not my home country. For this reason I speak and I hear already another foreign language, while I try to do my best at home practicing English and for the Toefl. I take for granted that today I didn’t achieve the minimum required, so I guess that I will have to do the test again. Please tell me if you have any very good advice to improve listening, especially related to scientific topics, and if you know something against confusion of foreign languages!
Do colleges accept a score report received after the deadline but referring to a test taken in a date prior to the deadline?
Thank you very much in advance!!
I’m sorry that your private teacher did not prepare you very well. Did you do any of the online tests provided by the TOEFL company at http://toeflpractice.ets.org/? It is so important do to the online practice tests so you can get used to taking the test on the computer.
Not all exam preparation books are equal. Some are much better than others. It should not have been a surprise that the listening passages were full of scientific details. That is common on the TOEFL!
Again, no one ever gets the score they need on the first try. It’s a difficult test & it takes A LOT of practice to get the required score.
*I’m getting nervous because the deadline is already the 1.st of November
You have time to take the test again. However, you will have to practice, practice, practice. What is your situation? Can you take time off from work to spend more time practicing for the TOEFL? Can you limit your exposure to the language of the country that you’re living in now? You need to focus on English.
To be honest, 61 is not a very high score so you should be able to achieve that with more practice.
*I’m unfortunately living in a country which is not my home country. For this reason I speak and I hear already another foreign language
It is possible to get a high score on the TOEFL while not living in an English-speaking country. Most students who take the TOEFL don’t live in an English-speaking country
* Do colleges accept a score report received after the deadline but referring to a test taken in a date prior to the deadline?
You will have to contact the school directly.
I have my problem with the reading section, please I need your advice on the reading section. I had 23 on the speaking but on the reading 10, a big difference.
Anything would be helpful.
What happened in the reading section? Did you run out of time? Were the passages too difficult? Were the questions too difficult?
How did you prepare for the test? Did you use a textbook or take a course? What materials did you use?
The best thing to do is practice. Find the practice books that I recommend. The Delta book has an extensive reading section. It explains EVERY type of question you will encounter on the test. It teaches you how to read the passages quickly to help you answer the questions faster. It has lots of practice activities & practice tests.
Good luck to you,
The passage is always is difficult for me and I am a slow reader too. I took a course and did practice with the BARRON’s and ETS books. At the test I don’t read a whole passage and I know all strategies but still low score and always run out of time. I think my problem is I don’t read a lot. Now I just hate the TOEFL lolz. So, what do you think?
Thank you for your respond,
I really recommend the Delta textbook in the resources section. This is by far the best textbook (much better than Barron’s) and the book that I use with my TOEFL students. When you practiced with the Barron’s and ETS books, did you use a timer? This is very important.
Have you thought about taking a TOEFL course or working with a private tutor who specializes in TOEFL? You recognize that you need to focus reading faster. A private tutor can work with you on this.
Unfortunately, you need to read a lot to prepare for the TOEFL! You need to read everything all the time. There is no way around in. The TOEFL is not a fun test!
No, I have not used a timer at all when I practiced. Yes, I took twice a TOEFL course. I am going to read everything from now. I do have the DELTA’s book but I have never used it, may be because there is no CD with the book. I think I still can use the reading part, right?
Thank you so much for your helpful tips. I took the TOEFL twice last year. My last score was 76 while the minimum score requirement of my school is 79. My problem, though, is neither about speaking nor writing. Both my reading and listening were below 20, whereas my Speaking and writing were above 20. I’ve been living in the U.S. for the last 4 years. And when I am speaking with my American friends, they always tell me that my English is very good. I don’t know if they were trying to flatter me but it felt good to hear it. Now I am scheduled for the test in the second week of October. I am using Barron’ ibt as a preparation book. In short, how can I can improve, especially, my listening to lectures, not conversations? I cannot listen and take notes at the same time. I have to sacrifice one for the other. I think I am going to do better on the reading section this time given the extensive efforts that I put on reading books, novels, and NY times.
Congratulations on getting 76 on the TOEFL!
“I don’t know if they were trying to flatter me but it felt good to hear it.”
Your English is probably very good, but speaking English well with your friends doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to do well on the TOEFL! The TOEFL is completely different from everyday life.
“I cannot listen and take notes at the same time.”
Did you go to university? Do you plan on attending a university in North America? You’ll need to learn how to do this. How did you do well on the 2nd essay in the writing section if you can’t take notes?! You don’t need to write down everything you hear when taking notes. You just need to write down something to help you remember the basic points.
I don’t recommend the Barron’s book. I have not met anyone who has received a high score on the TOEFL using the Barron’s book. The best book to use is “Delta’s Key to the TOEFL iBT.” It has extensive practice in the reading & listening sections, as well as tips on how to read faster & how to take notes.
Hello, I have a question: they say you can retake TOEFL as many times you wish, but do you have to pay for each retake?
Yes, every time you take the TOEFL you pay a full price.
Dear Ms. Melanie,
I am applying for a master degree in Law, and I need to get 100 on the TOEFL test. How long do you think that I should prepare myself before taking the test? I will definitely buy the book you recommend in #2, but I am curious about The Pricetown Review TOEFL iBT book 2014, ISBN 978-0-307-94560-0. Is it good?
I have issues with the speaking part since I don’t interact with native speakers that often. Is there any online conversation club that you can recommend to practice english?
Finally, sometimes I have troubles with the prepositions: in, on, at. I don’t know how to use it appropiately. Could you please give me an advice about this?
I’m excited about hearing from you.
First, it’s hard to say how long it will take to prepare without knowing your current level. Have you ever taken the TOEFL before, either a practice test or the real test? You have to know where you’re at before you can set a timeline to prepare. I generally recommend at least 6 months to a year, but again it depends on your current level. I haven’t seen or read the Princeton Review book, so I can’t comment on whether it’s good enough.
Second, unless you’ve taken the test before, you can’t really say if you have issues with the speaking section. The speaking questions are not just speaking! For some of the questions, you have to read and/or listen AND THEN speak! I don’t recommend joining a conversation club. Did the university specify what score you need in the speaking section? I’m guessing it has to be at least 25 or higher. Speaking with other English learners is not going to help you improve to that standard. You need to take private lessons with a TOEFL tutor. You will need to work accent reduction as well as what strategies & phrases to use when answer the speaking questions. Where do you live?
Third, what specific problems do you have the prepositions? It may just be the case that you need to start paying attention to collocations instead of trying to memorize when to use each preposition. For example, “laugh at” is a verb + preposition combination (“Everyone was laughing at me!”). You cannot use another preposition in that combination and have the same meaning. It’s not a phrasal verb, it’s a collocation. There are also noun+preposition combinations (“The reaction to the play was very negative.”) and adjective+preposition combinations (“I am interested in languages!”). You may start noticing these collocations more & more now. Also, using a online dictionary like http://www.macmillandictionary.com or http://www.learnersdictionary.com/ will help you learn these combinations.
I wish you all the best! The TOEFL is not a fun test. It’s a difficult test even for native speakers. It’s unlikely even an average native speaker could get 100 without preparing for the test.
In January I’ll take a TOEFL course with my teacher. Unfortunately, he teachs TOEFL PBT but many of the universities I wish to entry don’t accept TOEFL PBT, I only read that they accept TOEFL IBT. Do you think it will be useless? Are there some differences between them?
Thanks in advance! All the best.
Yes, there are a lot of differences between them, including the scores! Why is your teacher teaching the PBT? Can you find another course that teaches the iBT? You can try to contact the universities you want to apply to & ask them if they accept the PBT. You should also ask them what score on the PBT they require.
However, you should also check that test centres in your city / the nearest city actually have the PBT. Many test centres have switched to the iBT. You may not even be able to do the PBT.
I strongly advise finding a teacher or course that focuses on the iBT.