1. Practice as often as you can
In the days before your TOEFL test session, schedule time for as much practice as possible. This time might take the form of a review of preparation materials (like flashcards, study guides, and worksheets), or it might include more casual methods (like a conversation or the composition of a journal entry in English). You can even create a study plan that schedules time for both formal review and conversational practice, to ensure that you are making the most of the last few days before your exam.
2. Learn the test structure
Working on your English skills is important for the TOEFL, but learning the format of the exam will also help you prepare. The TOEFL is a structured assessment broken into four sections—reading, listening, speaking, and writing. For the reading section, you will review three to four academic passages, and then answer questions about those passages. For the listening section, you will listen to classroom discussions, conversations, and lectures, and then answer questions about them. The speaking section will ask you to discuss an opinion on a familiar topic, as well as to speak based on other materials. The writing section requires essay responses based on listening and reading tasks, and will also ask you to support an opinion in writing. Practice each of these different tasks with a friend or a tutor to ensure you are prepared to answer questions in the specific formats. You can also look for practice questions and examples online.
3. Eliminate distractions
It’s important to take steps on test day to make sure you’re in the right mindset to succeed. Eliminate possible distractions, like hunger, sleepiness, or other discomforts. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam, and eat a good breakfast. Dress comfortably for any room temperature, for example by wearing layers. Essentially, eliminate any distractions that could occupy your mind while you are attempting to focus on the test in front of you. When you’re taking the exam, be sure to pace yourself so you don’t end up rushing.
Throughout your preparation and test day, it’s important to stay calm and focused. Prepare as much as possible, and reassure yourself that you will do your best. Good luck!
Catherine Martin is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.