July 4th, or Independence Day, celebrates the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States. Our founding fathers made sure that we would be able to thrive economically if we put our minds to it. Our freedoms allow us to choose our educational plan—even if we want to come to the US from another country. And so it is with many international students who come from Pakistan, India, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and countless other countries: They learn English and then pursue their academic/economic interests.
Raza, a resident of Pakistan, came to the United States with the hopes of becoming a pharmacist. He had already taken the TOEFL several times, but he was short of the requirements he needed to get his license: Reading 21, Listening 21, Speaking 26 and Writing 24. With a keen focus on Speaking and Writing, Raza joined an Online TOEFL Course “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.” He began completing pronunciation and independent and integrated speaking practice tests, after which his TOEFL Speaking Mentor Michael Buckhoff would give comments. In all, Raza completed more than 497 speaking practice tests before he reached his goal of 26/30 on TOEFL speaking. Likewise, Raza also completed 39 independent and integrated writing practice tests before he was able to reach his goal of scoring 24/30 on the writing section. In fact, he exceeded his goal and scored 29/30 points on TOEFL writing. Raza’s journey was long and hard, but he reached his goals. Having realized his dream, Raza is now a practicing pharmacist in the US and lives and works in Philadelphia, where he is proudly rearing his family.
Coming from India, Saba also needed to have high subtotal scores on the TOEFL exam: Reading 21, Listening 21, Speaking 26 and Writing 24. Her goal was to become a doctor in the United States, and, since there are not enough qualified American citizens to fill the jobs in the healthcare industry, she knew that, if she could learn English and complete her education plus medical school, she would have a good chance of getting a high-paying job in the US. However, Saba, struggling with the TOEFL exam, could not reach her marks even after taking the TOEFL iBT more than 9 times.
“Is there a God in heaven,” Saba thought. “Why do I have so much adversity.”
Eventually, like Raza, she joined “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT” with one goal: to improve her speaking score from 23 to 26 points. It was not easy for her to reach her goal, but, after 8 months and after she had completed hundreds of speaking practice tests online, she finally reached her goal and scored 27/30 on the speaking section. Ecstatic with her success, she e-mailed Michael Buckhoff, her TOEFL Speaking Mentor, and told him that she had reached her goal. Overcome with emotion at her success, Michael thought about how much effort that Saba and he had to undergo before she reached her goal. It took eight months of daily, weekly, and monthly practice in order for Saba to reduce her accent and to improve her language use, organization, and development of ideas. Currently, Saba practices family medicine for Kaiser in Fontana, California, and is happily raising a family of 3 children.
Both Raza and Saba had set their minds on success and had the ambition, determination, and perseverance to reach their academic English goals. Both refused to give up even after they had failed the TOEFL exam several times. Both of these TOEFLers embody what the US is all about—that we all can dream and then realize those dreams. Congratulations to Raza, Saba, and all the other TOEFLers who have worked hard to get high scores so that that they could realize their academic and economic pursuits. They have made the US a better place to live, and our founding fathers would be proud of the examples that these new immigrants have set.