Dinakar Ayalasomayajula, winner of the TOEFL scholarship, shares tips on how to crack the TOEFL.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is divided into four sections -reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is important to practise and excel in all these skills to crack the test. To improve reading skills, students must practise summarising and paraphrasing passages. Use outlines to assist in organising your ideas and practise reading to improve comprehension. Getting familiar with reading and answering questions on a computer screen is important as this is the format used for the TOEFL iBT. To enhance speaking skills, read a short article from a newspaper or magazine aloud. Give a one-minute oral summa ry of the article. Express your opinion regarding the article you read aloud. Do you agree or disagree with the content presented? If there is an issue discussed, outline a solution. Learning to pronounce correctly is important. Speak slowly, enunciating every syllable. For writing skills, watch your favourite television show and write a summary of the episode. Explain how the television programme made you feel, and how it is similar or different from past episodes. Has a family member read your essay?
The more occasions you have to speak English, the more familiar and comfortable you will become. Create your vocabulary cards and carry them wherever you go. It is a great way to learn.Pull them out while traveling and use the time well. Listen to podcasts, recorded lectures and read articles on your favourite travel destination. Determine the main idea, major points and supporting ideas being presented. Present what you learned to a friend or family member. Find a speaking partner, preferably a native English speaker or try an online video chat. You can also use free resources available to assist you in studying for the TOEFL.
Along with refining your skills, it is important to plan your test day. Remember the things you need at the test centre such as a valid photo ID, water and a snack. Pack your bag the night before and set an alarm. Have a good night’s rest and wear comfortable clothes.