IELTS Exam :  Top Tips to help you prepare for the TOEFL


THE IELTS EXAM… Those 3 words alone can be enough to get your palms sweating, nerves jangling and speech stuttering, but with the right preparation it doesn’t have to be that way! Here, help is at hand, as we present our top tips on how to get the most effective use out of your study time, clear guidance on the exam format and what to expect, and some important advice for when exam day arrives…..



We all know that practice makes perfect.

Familarising yourself fully with the exam format and understanding the time constraints and of both the physical and mental demands is essential. Mock exams are a great way to see how you respond to the pressures of working under exam conditions. The more papers you do, the better you will get to know yourself and identify where your strengths and weaknesses lie. On the day of the exam you’ll have the confidence to say “Here we go” instead of “oh no!”

Get exam fit. practice-typing-for-toefl

Writing or typing for continually long periods can be tiring, particularly if you are not used to it, so try build up your stamina by practicing against the clock.  This will also help you to improve your concentration and how many words you can type/write per minute. It is important that you establish a regular routine for practising the 4 elements of the TOEFL exam so that you achieve a similar level of competence in each.

Get a Mentor

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro!

Whilst it is good practice to start with the readily available past TOEFL exams on line, to really measure your competence and progress you should do these with a professional tutor who can then give you knowledgeable feedback on the areas you need to improve on and most importantly you know that your paper will be marked accurately. Working with a professional, and even better a native speaker, is essential when it comes to pronunciation and correct use of English.

Written paper Exam v Internet Based Exam

Write here, right now. Toefl Preparation

Both options are currently still available, however 96% of TOEFL test takers worldwide take the internet based test – TOEFL iBT. The paper based -TOEFL PBT test is being phased out as iBT continues to expand and is really now only used in the more remote regions of the world where internet access is not readily available. The iBT test is also the preferred choice of universities and other institutes. Scores remain valid for 2 years from your test date.

Take Notes

Note to self. taking-notes-for-toefl

Successfully taking notes helps you to remember and reinforce the key points of a subject. It also forms a concise reference point to revise from as you further your knowledge.

Learn to skim

Skimmy dipping.

Learning to skim through your textbooks and course material will help you to gain an overall understanding of your subject before you read through it in more detail.

What if i have a mental block and get stuck on a question?

Never leave a ______ answer.

If you get a mental block and are stuck on a question, your first marks are in the question. Correctly restructuring the question to form the first sentence or two of your answer will guarantee you some marks and may even kick start your blocked mind into giving an answer!

Use appropriate language

Keep level headed. keep-level-headed-toefl

Remember the level of the test you are sitting and use language appropriate to this level, don’t try to use big words you can’t spell properly or are not sure of the meaning. Instead concentrate on structure and preposition.


Short and sweet.

Use correct punctuation and keep your sentences short and concise. Unlike Spanish, English tends not to have long flowing paragraphs, so remember to use that full stop.

Top Tip – You will only hear the listening exam once. Practice trying to answer as many questions as you can after just one listen to improve your confidence and your ability to pick out key words.

Pass All Four Parts

4 to the floor.

You need to pass all 4 parts of the exam in order to pass the exam overall. With this in mind, it is important to practise all 4 skills regularly but you should pay close attention to any weakness you may have. You want to achieve a level where you have a similar competency, relevant to your exam level, in all 4 parts of the test – listening, reading, speaking and writing.


Exam Day

Prepare to pass.

So you have put all the hard work in and you are ready for the test, these tips are to give you the best chance of success on exam day.  keep-hyrdrated-for-toefl

  • Dress For Success – It is important to wear clothing that will keep you feeling cool and comfortable, remember that you will be sat for lengthy periods to complete the test.
  • Keep hydrated – Bring a bottle of water with you to keep refreshed during the exam, dehydration will not help your concentration!
  • An apple a day – It is important to eat properly on the day of the toefl exam, you want to have plenty of fuel to keep you going and maintain concentration. Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar though to avoid that sugar crash and fatigue during the exam.

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