The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one that many students need to enter college. Like all standardized tests, students should study materials that pertain to different sections of the test. They can enroll in classes that teach them how to prepare for this exam. Know what qualities to look for in classes designed specifically for TOEFL preparation.

What Is the TOEFL?

Like the SATs or the ACT, the Test of English as a Foreign Language was created in the 1960s to analyze people’s proficiency in the English language. ESL speakers who want to enter U.S. universities must prove that they speak the language properly.

Most of the test is based online and completed over the computer. The computer part of the test takes three hours to complete and the paper-based part takes two hours. The scores are valid for two years and accepted by thousands of universities in over 100 countries.

How to Prepare for the TOEFL

Look for ESL classes that focus on preparatory exercises for the TOEFL exam. There are different sections of the exam, and good teachers focus on the skills needed to master each section.

For the reading section, TOEFL preparation includes reading passages, understanding the words, and answering questions about the readings. The grader looks for answers that are complete, detailed, and written in complete sentences. The test taker must show his main ideas along with examples and quotes taken from the readings. Learning another language is more than learning a few words and common sentences. You have to read all kinds of sentences at both basic and advanced levels.

You cannot simply read and write in another language. You must know how to listen and comprehend the words, too. Listening comprehension is usually the hardest part of learning any foreign language. Native speakers tend to speak too quickly for non-native speakers.

Any learner must practice a series of exercises that teach him how to understand people in different social settings. A good tip is to practice at different speed rates of speaking. First, listen to a tape where the people speak slowly and enunciate carefully. Then, increase the speed at which the person speaks and add a few noises in the background. It is possible to master the listening section by starting out slowly this way.

To enter an American university as a non-native English speaker, you may have to take the TOEFL. You must prepare for this exam which tests your language proficiency in reading, speaking, writing, and listening. There are plenty of classes that provide good outlines of what you can expect to see on the test. If your local area includes New Jersey, look for classes that focus on TOEFL preparation in New Jersey.

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