TOEFL Preparation Study

How effective your TOEFL preparation study largely depends on what you do before you begin your studies.  “Always put the cart before the horse.” is a popular saying. It means that you should do things in the correct, logical order.


TOEFL Preparation Study
TOEFL Preparation Study

TOEFL Preparation Study: How do some students score 100+ in just a few weeks?

I’ve interviewed and taught many students who have scored higher than 100. In many of these cases, these students did not “officially” prepare for the TOEFL exam for more than a few weeks. In fact, take a look at this Quora article of Humphrey, who only studied for the TOEFL for three weeks and scored 117:

“How does someone with only three weeks of preparation,” you may be thinking, “score so high?”  In fact, if you go to You Tube, you will also see many claims of students who studied for a few weeks and scored 100+.  Therefore, you may be tempted in your study plan to do the following:

  1.  Familiarize yourself with the structure and format of the TOEFL exam.
  2. Take some TOEFL-level reading, listening, speaking, and writing practice tests. Review your incorrect answers each time you take a practice test.
  3. Register and take the official TOEFL exam.
  4. Take the TOEFL exam repeatedly until you pass.

TOEFL Preparation Study:  Is your Study Plan Complete and in the Right Order?

In the beginning of this article, I said that I regularly interview students who score higher than 100.  In every case, these TOEFL 100+ scorers had been using English at home and at school for more than 10-15 years. Quite often, these students had parents who attended English speaking universities.  Therefore, if you have not used/studied English for 10-15 years already at home and at school, you will need to revise your TOEFL preparation study. A revision to your TOEFL preparation study should be more complete and in a different order.

  1. Build a solid foundation by getting vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking practice. In most cases, you will need 25-35 hours of practice in these areas every week for 1-2 years.
  2. Find a TOEFL course which can help you to make improvements based on your current TOEFL level and your target TOEFL scores: 
  3. To put you on the same level with those students who have had 10-15 years of practice, you will need to consult a TOEFL speaking and writing specialist.  These specialists will help you to pinpoint your problems. Hence, you can improve your speaking and writing proficiency at a much faster rate.
  4. After you finish the TOEFL course that matches your current abilities and your target TOEFL score, you should take a full-length TOEFL iBT four-hour practice test.
  • The practice test should be four hours long.
  • Make sure that a qualified TOEFL specialist grades the six speaking and two writing tasks.
  • Discuss the results with a TOEFL specialist. Both of you can determine based on your practice test score whether or not you are ready to take the TOEFL iBT exam.

5.  Register to take the official TOEFL exam.

TOEFL Preparation Study: Following this Plan Will Help You to Succeed.

Indeed, depression and low self-esteem follow those students who fail the TOEFL exam over and over. If you follow the suggestions in this article, you will not be like these students. You will be able to reach your target TOEFL score and subtotal scores in the reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections.

Therefore, make sure you always put the cart before the horse!

Good luck!

Michael Buckhoff,