What’s Unique about the TOEFL?

By the time you’re ready to take the TOEFL, you’re done with secondary school and maybe your first round of higher education- at this point, you’ve taken plenty of tests. You know which study methods work for you. The TOEFL is different from a regular test, though, because while most tests are only asking you to demonstrate a limited amount of knowledge, the TOEFL is effectively testing your ability to live and study or work in an English-speaking country.

What’s unique about the TOEFL is that it’s not just testing how much English you know; it’s testing your comfort with English. Graders will listen to your speaking in part to hear if you sound natural. The audio clips that you listen to will be about informal activities like grocery shopping. The test is about English as a life skill, not as an academic subject.

To do well on the TOEFL, you have to demonstrate that you can function in an English-speaking country on a daily basis. You have to read newspapers, talk about your interests, and listen to interviews on the radio. The best way to become good at those things is to start doing them on a daily basis, as if they were already a part of your normal life.

In addition to reading test guides and working with a tutor, you should use your English as much as possible every single day. Watch video clips of people speaking English online. And practice speaking with your teacher, your other friends who study English, even by yourself.

The more often you bring English into your normal life, the better you will do! Your study program will not just be a routine; it will be a lifestyle.