how to prepare for the TOEFL exam with a 10-week study plan and some exercise

If you are planning to study or work in an English-speaking country, you may need to take an English proficiency test to prove your level of English. Two of the most popular tests are the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). In this blog post, I will compare and contrast these two tests and help you decide which one is more suitable for you.

The TOEFL and the IELTS are both standardised tests that assess your ability to use English in academic and professional contexts. They both have four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. However, there are some differences in the format, content, scoring, and recognition of these tests.

Format: The TOEFL is a computer-based test that takes about 3 hours to complete. The IELTS can be either computer-based or paper-based, and takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The TOEFL has multiple-choice questions, while the IELTS has a variety of question types, such as matching, gap-filling, or short-answer questions.

Content: The TOEFL focuses on American English and academic topics, while the IELTS covers both British and American English and a range of topics, such as culture, society, or health. The TOEFL has integrated tasks that require you to combine different skills, such as reading and speaking, or listening and writing. The IELTS has separate tasks for each skill.

Scoring: The TOEFL has a score range of 0-120, with each section scored from 0-30. The IELTS has a score range of 0-9, with each section scored from 0-9. The TOEFL score is calculated by converting your raw scores (the number of correct answers) to scaled scores (the scores that reflect your level of English proficiency). The IELTS score is calculated by using a band descriptor (a description of what each score means in terms of language ability).

Recognition: The TOEFL is widely accepted by universities and organisations in the US, Canada, and other English-speaking countries. The IELTS is recognised by universities and organisations in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries where English is used as a medium of communication. Both tests are also accepted by some immigration authorities for visa purposes.

To choose between the TOEFL and the IELTS, you should consider your purpose for taking the test, your preferred style of learning and testing, and the requirements of the institution or organisation you are applying to. You should also prepare well for the test by following a study plan and using reliable resources.

In this blog post, I will share with you a 10-week study plan and some tips to help you ace the TOEFL.

The TOEFL consists of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each section has its own format, tasks, and scoring criteria. You need to be familiar with these aspects and practise them regularly to improve your performance.

Here is a suggested 10-week study plan that you can follow or adapt to your needs:

Weeks 1-2: Reading Comprehension

The Reading section measures your ability to understand academic texts on various topics. You will have to answer multiple-choice questions based on the passages.

Day 1-3: Learn about the Reading test format, such as the number of passages, questions, and time limit.
Days 4-7: Read academic texts from different sources, such as textbooks, journals, or magazines. Take notes of the main ideas and details.
Days 8-14: Do reading comprehension exercises from practice tests or online resources. Time yourself and check your answers.

Weeks 3-4: Listening Comprehension

The Listening section assesses your ability to comprehend spoken English in academic settings. You will have to listen to lectures and conversations and answer questions about them.

Day 1-3: Listen to audio recordings of different types and lengths. Take notes of the main points and supporting details.
Days 4-7: Listen to academic lectures and discussions from various fields of study. Pay attention to the speakers’ tone, purpose, and attitude.
Days 8-14: Do listening comprehension exercises from practice tests or online resources. Simulate the test conditions by using headphones and not pausing the recordings.
Weeks 5-6: Speaking

The Speaking section evaluates your ability to communicate effectively in English in academic and everyday situations. You will have to speak into a microphone and answer questions based on what you read or heard.

Day 1-3: Review the tasks in the Speaking section, such as giving your opinion, summarising information, or explaining a problem.
Days 4-7: Record yourself answering practice questions from different topics. Listen to your recordings and evaluate your pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and organisation.
Days 8-14: Engage in conversations in English with native speakers or other learners. Try to use varied and accurate language and express your ideas clearly.
Weeks 7-8: Writing

The Writing section measures your ability to write effectively in English for academic purposes. You will have to write two essays based on what you read or heard.

Day 1-3: Study the types of writing required in the Writing section, such as integrating information or stating your position.
Days 4-7: Write essays within the time limit. Follow the instructions and use appropriate structure, tone, and style.
Days 8-14: Revise your writing and ask for feedback from a teacher or a tutor. Correct any errors and improve your coherence, clarity, and cohesion.


Weeks 9-10: General revision

In the last two weeks before the test, you should review all aspects of the test and work on your weak areas.

Day 1-3: Go over the test format, strategies, and tips for each section. Make sure you know what to expect on the test day.
Days 4-7: Take full-length practice tests under realistic conditions. Monitor your time and score your answers.
Day 8-10: Identify your strengths and weaknesses based on your practice tests. Focus on improving your skills and confidence.

You can also use other resources such as preparation manuals, online courses, and tutors for additional support. Remember that preparation is key to success in the TOEFL. Good luck! For more tips click here…

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