How to prepare for the TOEFL exam

Prepare for TOEFL

Most students take the TOEFL in order to complete an application for university or another study program. Preparing for the TOEFL exam can easily become an overwhelming thought and process. Where should you start? How do you know what to study and how to study it? How long do you need to study for TOEFL? We will answer these questions below.

The TOEFL follows a specific format. It is made up of 4 sections and you should practice all of them: The TOEFL Writing Section, The TOEFL Reading Section, The TOEFL Listening Section, and The TOEFL Speaking Section. Each section consists of different types of exercises and question styles. The first step is to get to know each section of the test and the types of questions that are asked. An in-depth explanation of each section can be found on the official ETS website.

Prepare for TOEFL

How Long Do You Need to Prepare For TOEFL

Even if you already have a good level of English proficiency, the TOEFL exam requires more than everyday knowledge and use of the language. You will be required to interact with academic materials and you will need to be able to write and speak at a university-appropriate level. The time it takes to study for TOEFL is different for each individual and can take anywhere between 1 to 3 months. For this reason, it is recommended to start your TOEFL study with a free online English level test and the free ETS online mock test as an assessment to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This should give you an idea of how much work you need to prepare for TOEFL preparations and will allow you to plan your available study time and time frame needed with an end goal and date in mind. Remember to book your test in advance.

Is 1 Month Enough For TOEFL?

It’s important to structure your learning and create a study plan for efficient progress. With a vigorous study plan, it is possible to study for TOEFL in one month. The best way to study for TOEFL is to make use of online resources that provide TOEFL practice tests with TOEFL-specific materials and sample answers. Focusing on your weakest points in the test first, from your mock test results. The more you practice the actual test (mock tests) and interact with sample answers, the more confident you will become because you will become familiar with the exam format, the types of questions asked, as well as how to answer correctly within the given time frame. You will know what to expect, and will therefore be more prepared for TOEFL.

Is English Grammar Important in TOEFL?

Brushing up on your English grammar is also a good idea, especially collocations and linking works, which will prove beneficial in the Speaking and Writing sections. Answer templates are also a great preparation strategy. This doesn’t mean following a script that you have memorized for each question, but rather noting a methodical structure when answering questions by reviewing high-scoring sample answers. This strategy will help you to organise the material and information faster, in order to provide coherent and timely answers. 

How to Prepare For The TOEFL Reading Section?

Students often wonder how to study for the Reading section. This can be done by practicing reading similar texts and learning specific skills in order to improve your reading speed and comprehension, and retention of information.

How Many Questions Are There in TOEFL Reading?

The Reading section is a test of comprehension of written English. There are three or four academic-style texts of about 750 words each. You will be required to answer questions about each of the texts. There are a total number of 36 to 56 questions in total and the questions will vary in difficulty and style. The text content can vary greatly, but you will not be required to have specific knowledge of the topic dealt with in the text to answer the questions correctly. The questions are rather to test your comprehension and understanding of the text, as well as your ability to interpret the question correctly. Understanding the types of questions that will be asked will be beneficial.

What Are The Question Types in TOEFL Reading?

The main types of tasks that you can expect to expect in the Reading section are,  reading factual information, understanding inference and rhetorical techniques, vocabulary, completing sentences, plug-in, and prose summary. One of the most common types of questions in the TOEFL Reading section is multiple-choice questions, you will be asked to select the correct option from a list of possible answers provided. The best way to prepare for TOEFL is to read, read, read and develop your TOEFL Reading strategy. Each reading task has a time limit, therefore the challenge for this section is also reading for understanding within the time frame.

Prepare for TOEFL

4 Essential TOEFL Reading Tips

  1. The number one TOEFL Reading tip is to dedicate a little time every day to actively reading similar types of texts to those you will find in the TOEFL (news articles, books, and short stories, for example). When reading you should take note of the vocabulary and expressions that you are unfamiliar with, and make sure that you have a clear understanding of the main points.
  2. Practice skimming and scanning the texts for information, these are two essential skills to develop in order to ace the Reading section by improving your reading and processing speed. Skimming is a technique whereby you obtain the overall purpose and gist of the text, not to be confused with scanning. Scanning on the other hand is a technique whereby you scan the text for specific information such as names, dates, or events using keywords.
  3. By reading a little every day, you will soon begin to see improvements in how quickly and effectively you can process the texts. Taking notes is another useful skill to practice for the reading section.
  4. Write down the main points of the text as you read, this can help you retain information easily. However, don’t worry, you will not be expected to memorize any reading text in the TOEFL, the text will always be on the screen for you to refer back to.


In conclusion, often the hardest part of something is to start. Setting small goals for yourself along the way can help keep you motivated. Remember that to move forward with your learning, you first need to look back at your mistakes. Understanding where you’re going wrong is essential for progress. Don’t forget to come to this post to see how much progress you have obtained to prepare for TOEFL.

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