Advice for those still having to take the TOEFL or IELTIS


Matthias

Since the impact of the scores in the significant language tests have been discussed a lot, I just want to give my two cents to those who still have to take those tests.

Accept the advice that you should NOT go into those tests without any preparation. Even if you already speak a very good and fluent English you should definitely still take the time to prepare for the tests very well.

Do not rely on the free CD you get for example when you register for the TOEFL. Spend the money to buy one or two books, and practice the tests even if you think it´s just silly as you already speak the language. This investment will pay off (and afterwards those books sell very good on ebay).

There are several excellent books around, and those of course do not focus on teaching the language but on showing you the typical traps in the tests and the typical mistakes. While preparing I was surprised to see how many little mistakes I was doing in every day´s English, wee little mistakes that absolutely do not affect your communication abilities though because native English speakers make them too. But in the test those little mistakes can reduce your score BIG TIME. That´s why you need to prepare. Feel free to dump that knowledge afterwards again as nobody speaks a perfect English anyway. But in the test you have to do so.

As for the essay section in the TOEFL, you absolutely NEED to practice that one. It is not important WHAT you write in it but HOW you write it. There are strict rules that you have to pay attention to, if you don´t then you will never get a 5 in it, and without a 5 in the essay your whole test will be worth nothing (as most schools expect a 5).

The TOEFL/IELTIS score must NOT be underestimated as you don´t even need to apply in the first place if you scored bad in the language test. Plus I would not rely that the minimum score a university states will automatically qualify you. After all this one is only the very minimum compulsory score.

A 250 in the computer based TOEFL (mostly the minimum the schools demand) might be easy to get, but a 280 or more looks much better in the application and could be the very criteria to make them choose you over somebody else.

Of course the language test is only one of many criterias, and of course it is not the most important one. But it is a criteria that you can easily boost and you should take that chance.

Anyway, just wanting to motivate you and give some humble advice. At the test I met people that came absolutely unprepared without having taken a test before. Do NOT take that risk. I would not have been happy with the score they got (you get an estimated score range in advance afterwards). Take two weeks of preparation and you will be just fine.

Since the impact of the scores in the significant language tests have been discussed a lot, I just want to give my two cents to those who still have to take those tests.

Accept the advice that you should NOT go into those tests without any preparation. Even if you already speak a very good and fluent English you should definitely still take the time to prepare for the tests very well.

Do not rely on the free CD you get for example when you register for the TOEFL. Spend the money to buy one or two books, and practice the tests even if you think it´s just silly as you already speak the language. This investment will pay off (and afterwards those books sell very good on ebay).

There are several excellent books around, and those of course do not focus on teaching the language but on showing you the typical traps in the tests and the typical mistakes. While preparing I was surprised to see how many little mistakes I was doing in every day´s English, wee little mistakes that absolutely do not affect your communication abilities though because native English speakers make them too. But in the test those little mistakes can reduce your score BIG TIME. That´s why you need to prepare. Feel free to dump that knowledge afterwards again as nobody speaks a perfect English anyway. But in the test you have to do so.

As for the essay section in the TOEFL, you absolutely NEED to practice that one. It is not important WHAT you write in it but HOW you write it. There are strict rules that you have to pay attention to, if you don´t then you will never get a 5 in it, and without a 5 in the essay your whole test will be worth nothing (as most schools expect a 5).

The TOEFL/IELTIS score must NOT be underestimated as you don´t even need to apply in the first place if you scored bad in the language test. Plus I would not rely that the minimum score a university states will automatically qualify you. After all this one is only the very minimum compulsory score.

A 250 in the computer based TOEFL (mostly the minimum the schools demand) might be easy to get, but a 280 or more looks much better in the application and could be the very criteria to make them choose you over somebody else.

Of course the language test is only one of many criterias, and of course it is not the most important one. But it is a criteria that you can easily boost and you should take that chance.

Anyway, just wanting to motivate you and give some humble advice. At the test I met people that came absolutely unprepared without having taken a test before. Do NOT take that risk. I would not have been happy with the score they got (you get an estimated score range in advance afterwards). Take two weeks of preparation and you will be just fine.
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Bush

Hi,

I'm going to take the TOEFL paper based test in May. I need to score 630 and 5 on the TWE. I tried a test sample on the internet where I scored 610. I'm looking for some test material on the paper based test to help me improve my score. Is there a specific volume (one book with cd's or something like that) that are considered the best? It has to be aimed for those who want to achieve top scores. I am not interested in a beginners book. Could someone please help me? I have serched the internet for couple of days, but there is difficult to know which one to choose since there are so many of them. Moreover, many of them are not aimed for the paper based test.

Sincerely stud.jur.

Hi,

I'm going to take the TOEFL paper based test in May. I need to score 630 and 5 on the TWE. I tried a test sample on the internet where I scored 610. I'm looking for some test material on the paper based test to help me improve my score. Is there a specific volume (one book with cd's or something like that) that are considered the best? It has to be aimed for those who want to achieve top scores. I am not interested in a beginners book. Could someone please help me? I have serched the internet for couple of days, but there is difficult to know which one to choose since there are so many of them. Moreover, many of them are not aimed for the paper based test.

Sincerely stud.jur.
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Matthias

Go to amazon and enter TOEFL as search word, it will bring you quite a lot of good examples. I myself used both Barron´s books ("How to prepare for the TOEFL" by Pamela Sharpe and "How to prepare for the computer based TOEFL essay" by Lin Lougheed). And no, I am NOT paid to promote these books! ;-)

Anyway, those books are excellent. They are not cheap, but they are worth their money, and the Barron´s books are generally the best ones around.

The first one is as huge as a telephone book, but since it covers both the paper-based test and the computer-based test you will only need half of it. It also comes with a CD with several tests on it. It also tells a bit about the essay, but very very shortly; you definitely need something more for the essay preparation.

The essay book I mentioned focuses mainly on the computer-based test, but it will work for you too. Get either this one or another one, but make sure that it has the ORIGINAL essay topics in it! Barron´s has those.

Do NOT rely on those internet tests that you find here and there!

According to your name I assume you are German? So am I, I took the test in Berlin. Feel free to drop me a message if you have special questions!

Go to amazon and enter TOEFL as search word, it will bring you quite a lot of good examples. I myself used both Barron´s books ("How to prepare for the TOEFL" by Pamela Sharpe and "How to prepare for the computer based TOEFL essay" by Lin Lougheed). And no, I am NOT paid to promote these books! ;-)

Anyway, those books are excellent. They are not cheap, but they are worth their money, and the Barron´s books are generally the best ones around.

The first one is as huge as a telephone book, but since it covers both the paper-based test and the computer-based test you will only need half of it. It also comes with a CD with several tests on it. It also tells a bit about the essay, but very very shortly; you definitely need something more for the essay preparation.

The essay book I mentioned focuses mainly on the computer-based test, but it will work for you too. Get either this one or another one, but make sure that it has the ORIGINAL essay topics in it! Barron´s has those.

Do NOT rely on those internet tests that you find here and there!

According to your name I assume you are German? So am I, I took the test in Berlin. Feel free to drop me a message if you have special questions!
quote
Obligator

Good job, Matthias. Let me just add that you also can find the essay topics on www.toefl.org - no need to buy a book for THAT. But of course you're right: Barron's is a good choice. Good luck to everyone.

Good job, Matthias. Let me just add that you also can find the essay topics on www.toefl.org - no need to buy a book for THAT. But of course you're right: Barron's is a good choice. Good luck to everyone.
quote
Bush

Thank's a lot! Your advices really helped me. I guess I have to buy those two Barron's-books then. And by the way, I'm not from Germany, but Norway.

Thank's a lot! Your advices really helped me. I guess I have to buy those two Barron's-books then. And by the way, I'm not from Germany, but Norway.
quote
Bush

After I have searched the net for some while I get the feeling that two volumes are the leading as prep material for the TOEFL PBT: Longman ("Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test - The Paper Test" or "Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test: Preparation for the Computer and Paper Tests") or Barron's ("How to prepare for the TOEFL"). Any thoghts about which is the best?

Sincerely stud.jur

After I have searched the net for some while I get the feeling that two volumes are the leading as prep material for the TOEFL PBT: Longman ("Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test - The Paper Test" or "Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test: Preparation for the Computer and Paper Tests") or Barron's ("How to prepare for the TOEFL"). Any thoghts about which is the best?

Sincerely stud.jur
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Matthias

I only know Barron´s, but I heard the Longman´s books are very good too. I think you will be fine with either of them. If you want to get Longman´s you should note that there are books with answer key and books without answer key, I recommend you get one with answer key.

Good luck for the test! :-)

I only know Barron´s, but I heard the Longman´s books are very good too. I think you will be fine with either of them. If you want to get Longman´s you should note that there are books with answer key and books without answer key, I recommend you get one with answer key.

Good luck for the test! :-)
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Hey there

I will be taking the test too... in CBT format tho... As far as I could make out and after receiving advice from various quarters I have concluded that Kaplan's test CD is the best... it comes free with their book... any day better than Princeton's

Hey there

I will be taking the test too... in CBT format tho... As far as I could make out and after receiving advice from various quarters I have concluded that Kaplan's test CD is the best... it comes free with their book... any day better than Princeton's
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newlaw

Hey there

I will be taking the test too... in CBT format tho... As far as I could make out and after receiving advice from various quarters I have concluded that Kaplan's test CD is the best... it comes free with their book... any day better than Princeton's


Hi: I used both(Longman and Kaplan). For me Kaplan has a better content. Just my opinion...

<blockquote>Hey there

I will be taking the test too... in CBT format tho... As far as I could make out and after receiving advice from various quarters I have concluded that Kaplan's test CD is the best... it comes free with their book... any day better than Princeton's </blockquote>

Hi: I used both(Longman and Kaplan). For me Kaplan has a better content. Just my opinion...
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I took Cambridge Advanced English test this summer, and a I got an A!!!I am so happy although I wont go abroad to study in near future.

I took Cambridge Advanced English test this summer, and a I got an A!!!I am so happy although I wont go abroad to study in near future.
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