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I need a score of >107

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confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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I need a score of >107

Post Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:47 am
Hi,

I am new on this board. I want to take the TOEFL and the GMAT to apply for Schools outside of Germany. I already have a Bachelors Degree.
I have ordered the TOEFL OG http://www.amazon.com/Official-Guide-TOEFL-CD-ROM-McGraw-Hills/dp/0071766588/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387280478&sr=8-1&keywords=TOEFL and the Barrons http://www.amazon.com/TOEFL-iBT-CD-ROM-Audio-Barrons/dp/1438072848/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387280517&sr=8-1&keywords=barrons+toefl+ibt.

For the LSE, I need a score of >107.
How much time should I plan to achieve this goal?
Should I do the GMAT first?
Are these two books sufficient?
Is it the range of vocabulary or the (grammatical) correctness of sentences (even though they might be plain) ?

I was pretty good in school, I watch all my favorite TV shows in English, but since school isn't the best indicator for TOEFL score (and I graduated 4 years ago) I need some serious advisory on what to do when.

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confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:59 am
Ok, thanks to all of you for your replies Wink

Since, no one answered yet, I will use this thread as kind of a diary (which hopefully improves my writing skills). I still hope for recommendations regarding the TOEFL. I know the internet is full of "help", but I found this site to be qualitatively helpful. I, of course, read the sticky threads.


So far:
General
As mentioned above I bought the TOEFL Official Guide and the TOEFL Prep Book by Barron. I took the reading Pre-Test in the Barron book and given the amount of right and wrong answers (and the conversion table) I scored only 23! Obviously, I was very disappointed about it. My problem, has been since I go to school actually, I work to fast which causes mistakes that could have been avoidable. I worked through the reading test within 30 minutes, but I did mistakes, if I had taken a closer look, those mistakes wouldn't have happened. So it wasn't due to lack of knowledge but rather my work ethic. I think this case is better than making mistakes because of not-knowing.
--> analyzing my mistakes is important.

Reading
To improve my reading I have subscribed to The Economist (kindle version). Since I study and currently obtain a masters degree in economics (german university), the content is not only interesting to me personally but it improves my english vocabulary.
How I read The Economist
1) Read an article fully. Just read it with respect to content.
2) Read article again. I write a list of words unknown to me, parallel.
3) Write flashcards for each of the unknown word from the list.
4) Learn words
5) Read article again

I know this is time-consuming and probably not the most efficient way of doing it, BUT honestly it is so much more fun to read an article that you fully understand. I mean of course you understand a lot when reading the article in Step 1, but it will not help you to IMPROVE your reading skills since your voc basis just stays the at the same level.
I never took the TOEFL maybe the words there are not as sophisticated as in The Economist, or the Economist is not as complex as FT or whatever. But I really come to the conclusion now, that reading while understand maybe 7 out of 10 words is NOT improving your english. I forget the words that I don't know, within seconds. That's why I need to grapple(?) with them so intensively.


Listening
I downloaded 2 apps: "BBC" and "tunein" (both at least available for iphone). The latter one has all radio stations that came to my mind, I really recommend it. I listen to as much as possible, at least 20 minutes per day. I try to make notes during the listening and then summarize the content with my notes. I hope with this approach I can kill 2 birds with one stone: listening and speaking. I don't recommend BBC news for this summarizing-thing: news of the world just are not suited for this. For example, with tunein I found a radio station called business daily. Every now and then, they discuss a specific topic (topic introduction, explain the topic, pros, cons: e.g. solar energy) and then I basically summarize those 20min recordings. You can replay the sequences, but I try to avoid that.
I use BBC a) to hear more British English and b) to get used to a more eloquent English.

Speaking
See Listening. What I try, is to say sentences that I just said in my mother tongue in English. I will definitely intensify my Speaking skills in march.
What I already saw is the youtube video from the sticky, with the a, r1, r2 scheme.

Writing
Nothing yet. Again, I have 4 weeks in march to prepare this skill.


As we see, my weaker parts (Speaking, Writing) probably are not addressed properly as I find it very difficult to do them on your own and I have to say what I do now is already time consuming (see above: currently in my masters studies). I really don't know when to write an essay - actually I don't even know how to write an essay.
Conlusion for everyone to lazy to read
I need tips on writing and speaking, but definitely writing. Templates or anything like that will be appreciated.

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:03 am
I wrote a text for an hour and I can't find it.

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:04 am
Could an admin release my previous post? I don't understand why it was marked as spam ...

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:05 pm
Thanks to admin.

Today I borrowed books from the library which cover the gmat.

Is it advisable to use GMAT AWA/Writing tips in the TOEFL ?

dimovsky Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:29 pm
Hi buddy,

I see that you have borded the same ship as me and ultimately it will bring us to a score of more than 108.

The problems which you have idenfitied in terms of your learning experience are, in fact, the ones which I am definitely possesing too. I also realized that I am not taking the time in order to think logically on the reading part, instead I am rushing to cover the questions and this is inevitably resulting in mistakes. What I suggest in this case, is to try adapting some kind of strategy for the reading part. I dont have one, but I will definitely go through such examples and write another reply so that you can utilize them as well.

Like you, I have just bought the TOEFL OG, it should be delivered to my home address in the coming days, thats is actually when I would start the hard, interruptible efforts to beat the TOEFL. Thus, I would be happy to cope with you so that we can evaluate/critize one another.

Interestingly enough, I am also living in Germany (Bonn), so in case you are around we can also meet for a coffee.

Lets rock the socks of the TOEFL!

Cheers,
Ivo.

gmat barcelona Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:09 am
Hello!

The time you need to prepare the exam is determined for your level, but usually it takes between 1 and 3 month. Before the exam is always a good idea do a diagnostic test.

If you have a good english level is better starts with GMAT because the gmat preparation usually takes 4-5 months and in that time you will be getting knowledge for TOELF also.

Hope be usefully!

_________________
Alexander Steward
GMAT & GRE Instructor
GMAT, TOEFL, GRE, IELTS & TOEIC Center Barcelona
**Prepara el Gmat en Barcelona con los expertos**
http://www.gmatbarcelona.com

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:11 am
dimovsky wrote:
Hi buddy,

I see that you have borded the same ship as me and ultimately it will bring us to a score of more than 108.

The problems which you have idenfitied in terms of your learning experience are, in fact, the ones which I am definitely possesing too. I also realized that I am not taking the time in order to think logically on the reading part, instead I am rushing to cover the questions and this is inevitably resulting in mistakes. What I suggest in this case, is to try adapting some kind of strategy for the reading part. I dont have one, but I will definitely go through such examples and write another reply so that you can utilize them as well.

Like you, I have just bought the TOEFL OG, it should be delivered to my home address in the coming days, thats is actually when I would start the hard, interruptible efforts to beat the TOEFL. Thus, I would be happy to cope with you so that we can evaluate/critize one another.

Interestingly enough, I am also living in Germany (Bonn), so in case you are around we can also meet for a coffee.

Lets rock the socks of the TOEFL!

Cheers,
Ivo.
Hi dimovsky,

let me please know asap if you have a counter strategy to my/our problem. I couldn't have come up.
I will have my test on the 14th of March, so I'll describe my experience (and result) then.

Gmat barcelona: thanks for your answer. What was your score in the gmat? My targets were/are 90th percentile and above.

I switched to PhD Programs so my concern is the GRE now - but the needed relative result is the same. Unfortunately there are not as good GRE boards as gmat boards.



Last edited by confused13 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

AbhiJ Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:38 am
gmat barcelona wrote:
Hello!

The time you need to prepare the exam is determined for your level, but usually it takes between 1 and 3 month. Before the exam is always a good idea do a diagnostic test.

If you have a good english level is better starts with GMAT because the gmat preparation usually takes 4-5 months and in that time you will be getting knowledge for TOELF also.

Hope be usefully!
Unless you are targeting a perfect score, there is nothing in TOEFL that you can prepare for 3 months. More so for someone educated in European countries.

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:02 am
Quote:
Unless you are targeting a perfect score, there is nothing in TOEFL that you can prepare for 3 months. More so for someone educated in European countries.
I have 3 weeks left and start now to intensify my work. The last 8 weeks I was trying to improve my vocab ( with foresight to the GRE).
I will let you know as soon as I have news.[/quote]

lilianjoselin Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:31 pm
Hello there! i am new on this website too, actually this is my first comment haha.

I am from Venezuela and i'm also getting ready to take the TOEFL, i see you bought those books on amazon, i wanted to ask you if they have been helpful to you?, or if do you think is it possible to actually study for the test only with online sources?. I have an English Grammar and composition book, and it has been helpful but i'm afraid these material is not enough for me to get ready.

I've been watching millions of videos on youtube, listening to audio books in english, reading ebooks and news online. What else have you been doing to get ready for the test? i haven't taken any online test yet, i know there are some websites with samples of the test but im not sure which one is like the real TOEFL.

Anyways, is always nice to know that someone else is going through the same path and studying the same things.

Nice to meet you,

Lilian Joselin
Venezuela.

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:40 am
I have my test on friday, so I'll let you know after I received my score.
What I find helpful are the practice exams. However, the OG just adds a test per edition. so its not necessary to buy new ones.
I use online material too, but they don't provide real test. They just give you what they think is important. And sometimes I think that is far from the truth. But we'll see.

dimovsky Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:49 am
I wish you good luck on your journey to achieve a high score on the TOEFL.

In fact, I am also planning to take the test this Friday, nevertheless I have got some flu-like symptoms and apparently this is not the right time to get sick..

Lets hope we can get a score higher than 100, which is my ultimate goal. Clearly, I have prepared for the exam largely in the last months thus I feel confident that the aimed score is actually achievable.

Lets get it through and then we can comment on our experiences afterwards.

Good luck.

Ivo

confused13 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:35 am
@dimovsky, my test experience was similar to yours.

Reading was ok, I think, not perfect but it wasn't perfect during the prep either, so it is ok. I expect 23-26
They probably weren't too difficult, but I just didn't care about the topics.

Listening went better than reading. Expectation: 24-28.

Speaking, sh*tty. I didn't splutter or anything, but my reasons for the independent tasks were everything but developed.And I was not able to finish one of the integrated tasks. Expectation 18-22

Writing. I think it was ok, but I wrote probably too much --> I expect 25, here as well.

Let's see I should receive my results on the 28th.




Overall, I think my preparation was ok. More than two to three weeks is way too much, at least if you had English during school. I used Barrons and the OG. I worked through both, and I don't think that more is necessary.

Luck is what is can make the 5 Point difference (or more).

dimovsky Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:44 am
Hi Confused,

Hope you will get a good score.

As I explained in my experience post, I had a bad experience in terms of the expectations which I had. Thus, I believe my score should be +/- 5/6 as a deviation from the aimed one. As you said, luckily, it could be +5, which is going to be perfect.

28th of March is quite far away? I though it takes 10 days, so they should be available around 24th perhaps.

Lets see,

Cheers,
Ivo.

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