- Never ever write things like "Alright TOEFL, I shall kick your ass tomorrow. Amen" as your Facebook status no matter how hilarious or serious you are. That's just inviting bad karma and mocking the TOEFL God. Bad bad idea.
- Never be cocksure. Pray. Meditate. Bribe (the TOEFL) God. Commune with a higher power (and never EVER ridicule the God of TOEFL with inane statements such as - "I will be my awesome self TOEFL" or even worse -"I am an English teacher for heaven's sakes; I can do it with my eyes closed"
- Never underestimate the paper. Sure, it's easy but it stretches your note taking ability to breaking point. This is especially true in the Speaking and Writing Sections of the paper. You have to remember content from an academic lecture that you will listen to only once.
- Never leave the studying (common sense) to the last minute because to paint a bleak picture of what will happen if you do, you will start an insane TOEFL marathon 48 hours before the test, have multiple panic attacks, deep breathe and relax after people tell you that you can nail it (please don't believe them), not sleep, study even more until you are due to take the test in 8 hours. Then sleep - deprived enter the test centre and make a huge mess of it all. End up with a shameful 90 on 120 when you could have got full. To make it worse? You know you could have got 120.
Now for the last two weeks before the test: A time to step back and believe all those who to console you say that is way too easy and get up getting 90’s. Or completely freak out and find excuses to do anything other than study. Or simple follow this blog and get a 120 in 14 days like me!
- Learn the pattern. Seems so obvious and stupid but there is nothing worse than arriving at the centre and being stumped by the pattern. Moron!
- The TOEFL requires a lot less of studying and more of practising. Be sure to give 15 tests of each section except for the writing of course. A four and a half hour test, your bum will urge you to get up and walk about a bit. So get ready to sit down and concentrate.
- Don’t bother with tuitions or purchasing any books. E-books are more than sufficient and so is YouTube. Yes. Now is the time to stop being glued onto YouTube to waste time. Type in toefl.tv or similar sites. There is a lot of content which can guarantee you a 120.
- Make your own strategies. Might sound a bit too cliché. But it doesn’t get truer than this.
Mantra: It is B-E-F-O-R-E . Not B4. We speak English. Not Bingo.
Reading: Practise reading comprehensions, answer according to the context.
Listening: Understanding the American accent, good memory and jotting speed.
Speaking: Uncontrived response, speak fluently, clearly and coherently, you might falter once or twice, or maybe thrice, but speak confidently, as if you’re the one lecturing the evaluator.
Writing: Do not use exact words from the reading or listening passages, don’t need to use flowery language nor the ‘GRE words’, should have good command over grammar and keen analytical skills
Reach well ahead of time, do not waver your eyes and be confident. Cheers!
Sneha, a Guest Writer at Stupidsid, is equipped with a GRE score of 327/340 (Q- 166 and V- 161) a TOEFL score of 120, an aggregate of 73% from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai University, and a passion in telecommunications. She hopes to work in the R & D department of a reputed university. With two internships in hand and international publications, she is struggling to write a stunning statement of purpose (trying to keep her craziness at bay!) to guarantee her an admission into the top US Universities. A Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a world class program tailored to her interests is what she's looking at. Always ambitious, she hopes to realise her dreams!
Image Credits - Lazy Garfield