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Secrets of TOEFL Sections

published by Peter Pan

tags: toefl secrets, toefl test, toefl tests, (all tags)

origin: Secrets of TOEFL Sections (

There are certain useful tips you should be aware of when taking TOEFL. Each section of the TOEFL test has its own peculiarities.

Listening section
It is greatly advisable not to look back at any listening question after you have decided on your answer. This is why it would be extremely good for you to try to read ahead. And in case if you know the questions before you hear the passage, it will be much easier for you to complete this section. In case if you are going to take the internet based TOEFL test, it will be possible for you to take notes, which is not permitted for the paper and computer based tests. While practicing for the listening section, try not to play the tape or CD more than one time, because on the real test everything will be pronounced only once. This is why it is important to have your ears trained to listen right the first time.

Structure section
This section is eliminated for the Internet based TOEFL test only. There is no need to study for this section, unless someone is going to take an old version of the test. The great majority of students consider this section to be the most difficult one. Therefore, there is no reason to get frustrated by any possible difficult word, because even some native English speakers do not know what some scientific terms in these sentences mean. This is why the most important thing about this section is the ability to identify the parts of the sentence. And in order to be able to do this you should simplify a sentence with many terms that you do not seem to understand with the help of simple words of the same form. And your assignment is to make a sentence correct.

You should always remember that every sentence has a subject and a verb. Moreover, look at the punctuation in the sentence. Anyway, you should be able to recognize the structure, such as noun clause or prepositional phrase even if you do not seem to understand what the sentence means in general. And, the last tip: do not choose the first letter, which looks wrong to you up until you try every choice, because it is quite possible that you might find two, which look wrong. And then you will have to make an educated guess.

Reading section
Do not get afraid of possible unknown words, because it is just like in the structure section, there may be words, or even phrases, the meanings of which you may not know. What you have to concentrate your attention at is the areas, which the questions pertain to. First of all you are to skim through the entire passage, then read the questions and only after that read to obtain more detailed information. As for the questions, as a rule they come in the order they appear in the passage.

More than half of readings have a main idea question; there are also two or three vocabulary questions, coming from each reading, as well as several detailed and inference questions. Remember, it is rarely enough that you will be able to read the passage one more time, this is why try to concentrate on it when reading it for the first time.

Writing section
Everything is easy: you have half an hour to write your essay on the computer based TOEFL test. As for the paper based test, there are cases when it gets accompanied by the TWE (Test of Written English). You will not have access to a spell check function on the computer based test. And remember, keeping your writing simple and clear makes only a great plus for you, this is why you should better not use any vocabulary and punctuation you are not sure about, because this will not make any positive impression at the reader.

While practicing for this section, you should try to find a format, which you feel you are comfortable with, and use this format every time. For instance, your thesis may always be in the third sentence of your introduction, or you may always end your conclusion with some question, etc. Anyway, it is important to make sure that you use plenty of examples, which support your essay. As for some transitional words and phrases, with the help of them your essay will become smoothly to read. This is why you can try to memorize several of them and practice using them. And, the last, but not the least, of course: you should try to leave some time to be able to review the essay you have written; and you should read your essay silently in your head, and never mumble.

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