Updated: May 17
TOEFL, the mandatory last leg of your journey to a Master's degree, is likely the easiest step. I scored 113 out of 120 after preparing for a total of only 2 hours. In my opinion, TOEFL doesn't require extensive practice or a significant amount of time.
Understanding the test pattern.
TOEFL is a time-bound test with numerous questions, so understanding the test pattern is crucial. In my experience, that's all you really need. I started by reviewing ETS's practice papers to grasp the number and format of questions in each section: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.
For instance, in the Speaking section, there are four questions. The first might require talking about a scenario, the second about a person's dilemma, and so on.
Overcoming initial challenges.
It's important to understand the question patterns to have a ready-made starting sentence for the Speaking and Writing sections. This is highly beneficial as it gives you a head start of 1-2 minutes for speaking and a limited amount of time to begin writing, ensuring you address all the questions. There are numerous online video resources on platforms like YouTube that can help you with this.
Read and answer simultaneously.
The Reading section consists of long passages, and the TOEFL questions are presented in order based on the passage. It's essential to read the first question before diving into the passage and continuously refer to the questions as you progress through it. The goal is to read the passage only once.
Tips and tricks.
I also referred to online video resources for TOEFL tips and tricks before taking the exam. These videos keep you updated on the latest trends in the test and can provide valuable insights.