How to Pass the TOEFL Test

The TOEFL iBT has four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. If you follow simple tips and tricks to help you improve in each. Here are a few:

The most difficult part about the reading section is being able to understand the main points. To do this, there are two important things you have to look for:

Topic sentences
If the reading has four or more paragraphs, then the main points are often found in the first sentence of each paragraph. This sentence is called the topic sentence, andit tells the reader what the paragraph is going to be about. It most cases, this topic sentence will contain the one main point or idea.

Transitional phrases
If the reading passage has only one or two big paragraphs, then you are usually be able to find the main points by looking for transitional phrases. Look for phrases like first, second, third, next, another thing is, finally, etc. These phrases often signal a main point or a key idea.

As for getting the main points from the listening, wellthis is much more difficult than reading, especially if the professor is speaking quickly. Even so, there are some strategies that may help:

Listen for a thesis statement
Many times (not always!) the professor will express a thesis statement near the beginning of the lecture. This sentence is one of the first few lines in the lecture, and it gives you information about the topic of the lecture.

Listen for transitional phrases
Listen for key words and phrases. This is similar to looking for transitional phrases transitional words in the reading-words like first, second, next, etc. These words often signal that the speaker will mention a main point or supporting idea.

Don't take too many notes
You should listen for main ideas, not details. Thus, don't write down everything you hear. If you begin writing down too many things, you won't be able to concentrate on the lecture and you will fall behind.

This is the most difficult skill to improve. Here are some tips:

Speak with emotion
Stress, rhythm, and intonation are all very important qualities. Pretend that you are a Hollywood actor or actress, answering the questions as if you were auditioning for a new movie or TV program. This often makes your speech more natural-sounding.

Speak with phrases
Do not use individual words to make sentences-use phrases. If you translate individual words from your own language into English, yourspeakingwillsoundveryunnatural. Try to memorize common phrases that you can use in many situations.

Speak clearly
If you don't speak clearly, the assessor won't understand you. Even if you already speak English well, it is still important that your speaking is clear and easy to understand. You may have to slow down in order to speak clearly. However, this is always better than speaking quickly but

Most important is essay organization. Your grammar and spelling may be perfect, but if your essay is not well-organized, it will not be very good. Here's how to organize your essays:

Independent Writing Essay
PARAGRAPH 1: Introduction (3 - 4 sentences)

PARAGRAPH 2: Topic sentence and supporting details

PARAGRAPH 3: Topic sentence and supporting details

PARAGRAPH 4: Topic sentence and supporting details

PARAGRAPH 5: Conclusion (3 4 sentences)

Integrated Writing Essay
PARAGRAPH 1: Introduction (2-3 sentences)

PARAGRAPH 2: Main points from the reading

PARAGRAPH 3: Main points from the lecture

PARAGRAPH 4: Conclusion (2-3 sentences)

At the end of the day, there is absolutely no substitute for hard work and study, but a few tips and tricks certainly won't hurt either!

source : (William Sullivan)

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