Getting 26 points on the speaking section of the TOEFL is a challenge. Of course, many academic and vocational programs have this requirement because they want to double check, or triple check really, that the test-takers speak English fluently in a way that is easy for native speakers to understand.
In order to reach this goal, students choose many paths to prepare for the speaking section of the exam. For example, some students use a TOEFL book and practice answering the speaking topics by themselves. Other students reject any type of explicit TOEFL speaking study and simply practice speaking English with native speakers. These students also watch a lot of television and movies in an effort to get as much exposure as possible. In other cases, students will join an Online TOEFL Course and practice answering speaking topics on their own, again without getting feedback from TOEFL iBT speaking specialists. Finally, another group of students will hire a TOEFL iBT speaking tutor they find on the Internet and take Skype lessons. During these Skype lessons, these students practice answering the independent and integrated speaking topics and get feedback from a TOEFL iBT speaking specialist. In the following video I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each method of study.
Michael Buckhoff, founder, owners, and materials writer for the Online TOEFL Course “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT”