Students should make an effort to speak English every day and prepare for the TOEFL well in advance of your test date.
1. Don't try to cram. It's not easy memorizing a language in one night. The TOEFL test involves all aspects of the language - speaking, reading, writing and listening - definitely too much to cover in a few hours.
2. Turn study into something more pleasant. Crouching over a stack of books is no fun. Learn by speaking English every day. Write a story in English or a daily journal. Meet new English-speaking friends and speak to them in English.
When it comes to reading, the Internet is your best friend. Browse websites you usually do not spend time on and read about things you normally would not pay attention to. Time magazines or New York Times are excellent starting points.
To practice listening, watch movies and TV shows without subtitles, or download and listen to podcasts.
Ask your English teacher to correct your essay – he or she will most likely be more than happy to help.
3. Get familiar with the exam: Uncertainty about the format of the test could make you anxious on test day. There are lots of online practice tests that will give you a taste of what to expect on the test day, at no cost.
The Internet-based test (iBT) begins with a reading section that lasts about 60-80 minutes, and then jumps straight into a listening section that lasts 60-90 minutes.
After that, you get a 10-minute breather and have a chance to go to the bathroom or grab a snack.
Next comes the speaking section, which takes 20 minutes, followed by 50 minutes set aside for writing. At that point you'll probably feel rather exhausted, but try to keep it together. It will be worth it.
4. Get some rest: Finally, make sure to stay in and get some rest the night before. It's a long exam and the more stressed you are, the more it will drain you.
So, for the International students, come prepared, stay calm during the exam and get to go home feeling content about your effort. If you do that, you could be one big step further on your path toward studying in the U.S.
Lee Academia's expert consultant, Stephenie, is certified in TESOL/TEFL. She has worked with many International students on English skills and on their TOEFL test prep. For assistance, contact her at Stephenie@Leeacademia.com.
*TOEFL is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS).