What to Do on TOEFL Test Day

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  1. Be sure you are well-rested and have gotten at least a good night’s sleep before your test. That means that you should have slept between 6-8 hours the night before. If you have slept well, you are much more likely to recall what you have studied and highly likely to perform better and get a high score than if you don’t sleep much at all.
  2. Stay in a positive mindset to remain calm. If you feel relaxed, you will be able to focus successfully on each question and in each section. If you feel anxiety, take a slow breath and inhale deeply. Simply put any worried thoughts out of your mind to stay in a “mentally successful zone.”
  3. When it is possible, try to position your seat in the exam room at the front since you probably will be less-distracted by others around. In that spot, you will also hear the recording better for the listening parts.
  4. Before jumping in, be sure you understand the directions, and if you need to, ask the examiner whatever you are not sure about.
  5. Prior to starting, know how you will manage your time adequately and make a decision about how long to spend on every question. Time management is one of the keys to finishing well.
  6. Read every question carefully. The most common error is for students to read quickly, so read the directions and understand what you will need to do. Often because they do not read carefully enough, this hampers the process.
  7. Answer carefully, and if there is any time at the end of the exam, you can read through your responses. Statistics show that your first answer is often the correct one, so remember to only change an answer if you actually see an error.
  8. First, be sure and answer the easy questions initially since it will boost your confidence and certainly save you time later in the game.
  9. Avoid losing time on any challenging questions that you are unable to answer. Furthermore, if you are unable to respond to a question, go to the next question and come back to the one you missed later on if time is available. If you waste much time on one question, you might lose your confidence.

How to Study Effectively, Part 3

Besides evaluating your level and identifying your learning needs, reading and taking notes, there are three additional aspects to consider to study effectively.

  1. Concentrate
  • Avoid distractions that can waylay your progress to your target TOEFL goal. Avoid day dreaming by focusing in on the task at hand. Put all your brain juice into whatever skill you want to perfect in that activity. Concentrate on what you are studying.
  • Take a few minutes break after 25 minutes, or have a 10-minute break each hour to give your brain a rest from your study task. Research, such as the Pomodoro technique (http://pomodorotechnique.com/,) shows this will help you concentrate. The best way to take a break is to stand up, stretch, move around and face away from your desk, computer, books. Avoid staying at your desk looking at your book or surfing the web on your computer or phone. The physical movement of standing up and moving around will help stimulate better thinking as the blood circulates throughout your body.
  1. Understand what you are learning

 

  • Understanding the directions to activities, paying attention to stay on target with the task, asking yourself what the main purpose of your task is, taking notes of key ideas, jotting down new vocabulary, and being proactive to ask questions to your instructor for feedback when you do not comprehend something. Take an active role in learning to improve your understanding and be better at recalling information.
  • Take notes on the passage or lecture writing in short noun/verbs, abbreviations or symbols. Spelling is unimportant, but content is key.
  • Summarize a reading passage or listening/lecture in your own words. When you summarize, it should be short and to the point, addressing all the key points.
  1. Revise

 

  • It is normal to not recall everything in the English language; however, if you want to have a better grasp of English, keep reviewing constantly so that your memory retains more information over the long term and you can progress to an advanced level.
  • Revise information soon after (the next day) you learned it. Aim for reviewing once a study session or every two or three study sessions. Go over older materials that you need to recall; it will refresh your memory.
  • Reviewing and revising daily or every other day will save you having to re-study a topic all over again. Be sure your calendar schedule has “review or revision time” blocked into your study timetable. Refer to your summaries or note-taking or notebooks to help you review.