How to prepare for TOEFL?

 How to prepare for TOEFL

According to ETS, the number of individuals who took the TOEFL in India has surged 59% since international travel resumed following the COVID-19 pandemic hiatus. Indians constituted 12.3% of the total global TOEFL test takers in 2022, a significant increase from the 7.5% recorded in the preceding year.

Preparing well for international English language proficiency exams can be challenging for most non-native English speakers. However, passing exams like the IELTS and TOEFL is crucial if you desire to study abroad or acquire a work permit in an English-speaking country.

If the words of professionals associated with reputed TOEFL coaching online centres like are anything to go by, taking the TOEFL is always a stressful experience. But it doesn’t always have to be as scary as you think.

As with almost every task, preparation and familiarity with the process will dispel nerves. Today’s comprehensive post will guide you through certain foolproof tips and techniques that will enable you to sail through this daunting exam with flying colours.

Ready? Let’s get started, then!

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  • Know the Format

Regardless of how outstanding your English is, it’s still possible to be thrown off by the test format. Try spending time on the official TOEFL website. You can also go through the tutorials of reputed study abroad consultants on popular consulting websites like to become well-acquainted with how it works and to find out any information you may need.

Know there are two ways to take the exam – the internet-based test (iBT) and the paper-based test. The former is way more popular these days, and it’s likely the one you’ll be doing. The internet-based exam follows this specific format – 

  • Reading (36-56 questions; 60-80 minutes)
  • Listening (34-51 questions; 60-90 minutes)
  • Speaking (6 tasks; 20 minutes)
  • Writing (2 essays; 50 minutes)

Again, the paper-based test follows the below-enlisted format –

  • Listening (50 questions; 30-40 minutes)
  • Reading (50 questions; 55 minutes)
  • Writing (40 questions; 25 minutes)
  • Test of Written English (1 essay; 30 minutes)

By becoming well-versed in the exam’s layout, you will be more prepared and know what to expect on exam day.

  • Set a Target Score

Another step to start your TOEFL preparation is setting a target score you want to accomplish. Go through the exam pattern and comprehend its structure and the kinds of questions asked. Then, take a sample test and assess which segment you need to strengthen as well as the ones you need to practice it. It’s one of the foremost steps to creating an effective strategy on ways to prepare for the test online. Further, this will enable you to design a realistic target for the preparation time you have and thus aid in highlighting the right strategy.

  • Design a Study Plan 

Making progress toward your goal of receiving a brilliant score becomes much easier when you have the perfect study strategy in place. Here are certain ways to design the perfect study plan for TOEFL –

  • Figure out your time before the exam and set a realistic goal for the amount of study time you can commit to every day or week.
  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses in every section and focus on the sections you aim to improve.
  • Schedule regular practice sessions for every section and stick diligently to the schedule.
  • Utilise study materials and practice tests to guide your preparation and determine areas that demand more attention.
  • Ensure to track progress and adjust your study plan as required.
  • Develop Note-Taking Skills

You can only listen to audio clips only once on the exam. After that, you’ll need to offer feedback, make a speech or write about what you’ve learned. Hence, it is crucial to learn how to take good notes.

Develop the ability to take notes while someone is speaking so that you do not miss anything. Pay close attention to details that may seem basic, like how your notes are organized and how legible your handwriting is. This will be quite beneficial for your exam andand future academic endeavours.

  • Listen and Read English outside TOEFL

Remember, not all of your TOEFL revision needs to be test-specific. After all, this exam gauges your real-world English, not just your grammatical accuracy. When you expose yourself to everyday English, you will find yourself doing ample passive learning. Try going through comic books, watching YouTube videos and even listening to songs. This is not only entertaining, but you’ll accidentally learn a lot, too.

  • Practice Timed Writing and Speaking

TOEFL is a timed exam. Hence, it is crucial to train yourself to pass every segment within the specified time limit. Further, the writing section contains 2 lengthy questions that need to be answered within the given time limit. Hence, ensure you practice writing at least 2 questions every day while adhering to the allocated time limit.

Further, the answers of the speaking section are recorded through a microphone. Hence, you should practice speaking answers in the same set using a microphone. Listen to your recorded answers, and write down crucial aspects you need to work on to perform remarkably in the test.

  • Practice Mock Tests

In the course of your TOEFL preparation, it is also crucial to assimilate practice tests and mock tests and practice at least one daily. With ample study material online, you can easily download and practice a variety of tests to evaluate what you have learned. These mock tests will not only help you become familiar with the structure and kinds of questions but will also train you to take the test in a timed way.


Preparing for the TOEFL demands a combination of hard work, dedication, and effective study strategies. Try to start early, focus on improving your language skills, become familiar with the test structure, and take practice tests daily to evaluate your progress. It is only by implementing a strategic and dedicated approach that you can confidently prepare for the TOEFL and maximise your chances of accomplishing your desired score. Here’s wishing you good luck!

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