The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • The main advice for this one would be manage your time in the best way
  • This section is considered as the easiest section in the entire test and I agree with that
  • The first 2 questions will ask you to talk about something which will be based on your opinion or experience
  • I think this is a very clever way of checking whether if you can speak to someone or not, after all when you are talking to a man, you won't even have the 15 seconds to prepare, you need to be able to build up your speech on the way while you're speaking


by Davit Safrastyan

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    TOEFL is an abbreviation of Test of English as Foreign Language. It is an English test organized by ETS which is widely accepted (you can register an ETS account and register for the TOEFL test at http://ets.org ) . If you are applying to college or for a job, there is a chance that you will be asked to prove your English skills by providing a good score of TOEFL test. Almost all of the companies/institutions which require a knowledge of English, accept TOEFL as a proof of your English.
  • The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • There are 2 versions of this test, the IBT and PBT. PBT means Paper Based Test while IBT means Internet Based Test. On IBT, you will work with a computer, all of your answers will be saved and sent to the testers who will test it and tell you your score in 10 days after the completion of the test. The test takes place in certain test-centers in your country. Those test-centers have been licensed by ETS. In my case it was AUA (American University of Armenia) in Armenia. Before proceeding to the structure of the test, lets’ begin with some technical stuff.

  • The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • If you are passing TOEFL for the first time in your life, then you should keep in mind the following advice: “DON’T WORRY”. There is just so much to worry about. I remember those 4 hours as one of the hardest 4 hours of my life. The first hard thing is the microphone check. Just because there is a speaking section where you need to speak and you response will be recorded, you are given a little microphone check-up test at the beginning of the test. Hopefully, everything went fine, although I still wonder, what happens if your microphone checking test fails and your microphone appears broken. The interface of the TOEFL test is a harsh and influencing one. There is that timer which constantly distracts your attention. The timer can be hidden but that makes you wonder even more. Before the test, you need to pass an identification test. It was also a hard one, mainly your passport will be used for identification and I remember some folks were arguing because their passport serial number had one mismatching letter with the one they provided during the registration of that test. Generally that whole atmosphere was very intense. So the “DON’T WORRY” advice is probably one of the most important ones.

  • The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • The IBT test consists of 4 sections which are reading, listening, speaking and writing.

    In reading section you are given texts and some multiple choice questions after each text to answer. There is not much to explain about this section. The main advice for this one would be “manage your time in the best way”. This section is the section where you are always short on time. You start slowly, then when you are somewhere in the middle, you notice that almost 75% has passed and you begin to rush. This happened to many people. Try managing your time and dividing it equally between the questions. If the question is too hard, just make a random choice and move forward. There is 20% chance to succeed without knowing anything, plus you might find some answers meaningless and exclude them from other answers, which will give you even higher chance of succeeding. But apart from it, you should come prepared. This is a section which has some intense vocabulary, if you can understand the whole text than you can score 100%. There are also some questions which are highly logic-based and for some people this is just a blessing for scoring a few more points. Above you can see a reading section example.

  • The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • The listening section is pretty much like the reading section, except you listen to stuff instead of reading, and then you are given some multiple choice questions to answer about the stuff which you have just heard. This section is considered as the easiest section in the entire test and I agree with that. One thing which you should really do is taking notes. It is extremely important, because in this section you need to remember as much info as possible because the questions are not hard, you just need to remember the content to be able to answer to all of them. Above you can see an example of listening section window. There is only one picture to give you a general idea about what’s going on. In this example I can tell that the listening passage is a lecture in a classroom. There is also a progress bar on the bottom to show you the remaining time left for that certain passage.

  • The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • Speaking is the most unique section. You are given 6 different questions. The first 2 questions will ask you to talk about something which will be based on your opinion or experience. The hardest part is that just after you have read the topic, you are given only 15 seconds to prepare your answer and then 45 seconds to reply. I think this is a very clever way of checking whether if you can speak to someone or not, after all when you are talking to a man, you won’t even have the 15 seconds to prepare, you need to be able to build up your speech on the way while you’re speaking. Then there are 2 more questions which are a mixture of listening and speaking. You will have to listen to a lecture or a situation and then talk about it. The preparation time is almost the same, except this time you have 20 seconds to prepare and 1 minute to speak. And then the next 2 questions are questions where you listen to something, then read something and then speak about the question presented to you which is related to the reading and listening material. When it comes to speaking you should really focus on your speech. This might sound an obvious thing but trust me, when you are in a room where there are almost 30 people answering their speaking questions, it is very hard to keep your focus on your speech. If you can ignore the distraction you can score some good points in this section. The picture above is not the exact copy of the window which you will face when passing the test but it’s pretty much the same. It’s en example question where you will have to listen to something, then after you are done listening you will receive your question and 30 seconds to prepare.

  • The TOEFL IBT (internet based test) personal experience and advice
  • Writing is the last section. You need to write 2 essays, one of the essays must be short and the other one must be long. The topics are similar to the speaking topics, it might ask for your personal opinion or an experience. The only thing you need to do, is to use good vocabulary and keep the essay structure, and you will easily pocket at least 28 points out of 30. Above is an example of a writing section window. As you can see there is a simple text editor attached so that you can use text editing functions such as cutting, pasting and undoing.

    If you fail the test you can easily retake it, as long as you don’t mind losing another 160 dollars. This is the saddest part in the TOEFL test for me. It costs 160 dollars, surely you can retake it but every time you take it, you will have to spend another 16 dollars, so you should prepare as good as you can so that you can make it to the score which you need in one shot. So, good luck on your TOEFL test.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in March, 2015. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 5017031642430731/k2311a0317/3.17.15
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