Improve English to Score High on TOEFL

Success and Failure Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Have you picked your brains about how to rapidly advance your language progress to improve your TOEFL score?  Here are a few techniques to help get you achieve your objectives.

First, stay mentally motivated. You need to put in the time to study to improve. You can give yourself constant encouragement by dwelling on all of the reasons that you want to attain your target score. If you make a list of those reasons, you can post them on the wall near your study desk so you can look at them daily to keep you focused on your goal. Having your reasons posted nearby will help you not procrastinate. Whenever you feel like you want to put off studying, look up at your list with your goals, and that reminder will help you stay on task. If you are able to study consistently without being distracted, you have a higher chance of keeping your motivation level high. Only you can drive yourself to the next level of commitment. Your list serves as a daily reminder.

Second, make time to study. You need to schedule enough time to practice each section and review your errors so that you can improve from your mistakes. Though you may have a balancing act of student, work, or family life to juggle, keep concentrating on your priorities of getting to your highest score. You need to arrange time and dedicate extra energy outside of your normal life activities to study test preparation so that your English will advance step by step. It is not only important to study new materials, but also to brush up on what you learned a few days previously, so that you can easily retain the information to use later on.

Third, think about learning positively. Do you have a good spot to study? Wherever you plan on having your study sessions, make sure that area is conducive to staying focused. Eliminate distractions. If you have a positive learning environment with a clean desk area, you will feel less stressed to get down to study. Sitting yourself in a quiet, clean space will help give you a positive mindset. In your study space, plan your time to accomplish certain activities. For instance, study for 25-30 minutes and then take a break for two minutes standing up and moving around to move your energy. You must not study more than one hour sitting at one time because the brain performs better when it has a little rest. If you are planning to sit down and study for three hours, a positive approach would not be to study straight through, but to take 3-5 short breaks within the overall time. Statistically, the research has proven that the brain focuses better in this way. You will be able to retain more information, and it will bring you more success in the long run.

Next, avoid anxiety and stress. If you tend to worry about negative thought patterns such as, “It’s difficult; I can’t do it.” Eliminate those ideas from your mind. Don’t be frustrated. Try to be patient and focus on your goals. Talk to yourself with positive words like, “I am learning more every day. I retain all the information that I study. I am good at English. I can achieve my goal with my daily studies.” If you are able to avoid stressing yourself out, you will be able to block out the negativities. Positive reactions to taking a test will result in calmness on the day of the test. You will have a mental advantage on the exam. When you feel overwhelmed, it is okay to just take a break. Get enough rest, and don’t forget to have fun. Keep yourself positive and the stress will melt away.

Lastly, find a balance in your life. Work-study balance is vital to keeping your brain calm so it functions well on the test day. You will be able to achieve success if you schedule in time to do fun things with friends and family. It’s not just about studying. To get your goal, you need to have a solid balance of academics and normal life so that the brain is stronger. Take time to eat well, exercise daily, and reflect on all the positive improvements you have made and all the skills you have advanced on.

Four Emotional Strategies to Reduce Test Anxiety

On top of physical strategies, there are also four emotional strategies to help you feel less anxious before you take your TOEFL test. Think strong and you will be strong emotionally.

Emotional strategies:


  1. Keep a positive mindset and remain calm. If you can center yourself and eliminate any negativity from your mind, you will be more confident and comfortable during the test. If you can breathe whenever you feel nervous, it will help your nerves relax, and with this calmness, you can go forward successfully the test day. Before the exam, visualize yourself getting the target score you want.
  2. Schedule time to relax since relaxing will raise your efficiency. It’s important to maintain a work/study/life balance so that your emotions are not too drained. Allow yourself down time from studying in order to keep that balance and stay strong. Preparing for a challenging, draining TOEFL test requires tons of effort and statistics show that if you reward yourself by taking breaks often, you will be more emotionally centered and focused on the test.
  3. Do not give up. If you feel frustrated, just keep your eye on your goal and remember why you want to get that goal. Staying motivated is the key to getting where you want to be. Your life is made up of many aspects, not just academic. If you do not get the target score on one try, try, try again to improve your results.
  4. Ask for support from family such as a mother, sister or partner, and friends or colleagues you work with. Tell them about the exam and how important it is to you and explain what you are going through emotionally if you have any struggles. Ask them to respect your study habits, for instance if you are studying quietly at lunchtime alone, and to be patient if you do not have time for them since you have your eye on your goal.

To overcome the anxiety that you may have for the TOEFL test, you must first understand the causes of anxiety and create the best coping mechanisms for your specific situation.