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My TOEFL experience

This topic has 2 member replies
gmat_and_me Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
05 Mar 2011
Posted:
58 messages
Followed by:
5 members
Thanked:
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Test Date:
3/2/2012
GMAT Score:
770

My TOEFL experience

Post Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:34 am
I wrote TOEFL on 24-th of March and got my result on 3rd of this month.
Words can not express the joy that I felt when I saw the score. A 118 with a
breakup of 30, 29, 29, 30 (R, L, S, W) was more than I desired for.

My preparation plan

I prepared seriously for roughly a month. After going through the mailing
lists, it did not take me much time to realize that speaking will be the
toughest section for me. More list browsing told me that Harvard needs 109 or
above. I gave myself a 7 to 10 point loss in speaking, but wanted to get near
full marks in other sections. I saw DanaJ's score and knew that it was a very
realistic estimate.

Resources used

'Official Guide to the TOEFL' is a must have book for anybody taking TOEFL.
The CD which accompanies the book has questions of almost the same difficulty
level as those of actual TOEFL.

Reading

I just did the practice questions which are on the OG and on the CD. Anybody
who is preparing for GMAT should find these questions comparatively very easy.

Listening

Most of the resources that I used advises people about taking notes while
listening. I found this strategy very uncomfortable and decided to not take
notes. Instead, I found visualization of each of the sentences to be more
effective. This strategy worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

Again practiced the questions on OG (CD). There are some nice resources in the
web which helped me. I am listing down those here.

Check out

http://www.eslhome.com/esl/listen/#nonauthentic

The above page has links to lot of resources on the net. I tried some listening
materials of

http://www.esl-lab.com

and of

http://www.cdlponline.org

to practice and they were really nice. I'm sure that you do not need anything
else to practice. I had also read a lot of suggestions about listening to CNN.
I did follow those suggestions.

Speaking

Eventhough I knew that speaking will be the toughest, I kept on postponing the
practice till I had no other way. The last week was when I started practicing
and found that I was terrible.

A bit of background about me will put the above statements in proper
perspective. I speak English day in and day out in my office and in my home.
The one aspect that stumps you is the monologue format. Compared to the
dialogue format in a conversation, all the effort will have to be put by the
person speaking and that, I found, was not easy. Added to that is the time
pressure.

If I have got 29 in speaking, the credit for the achievement should go to
practice videos from

http://www.notefull.com

You should be able to find his videos in youtube too. He puts structure to the
speaking section and that I feel was a big factor.

A big thanks to you Joseph. If you are reading this, please accept my thanks.
You are doing a great job and keep up the good work.


Another factor that put my nerves to ease was the materials on the OG CD.
After listening to those, I felt that TOEFL is liberal and they understand the
difficulties involved in the activity. Thanks to TOEFL.

My suggestion to anybody who wants to score well in speaking section is to start
the preparation with the speaking section. Practice using the tips from notefull
and by the end of the first week, you will know exactly where you stand and what
needs to be done further.

Writing

I did not practice for this section. I read OG on the scoring criteria and the
sample responses.

For the first question, I followed the tips from

http://www.notefull.com

(I did take notes on the listening material for this section)

For the second question, I followed the tutorial from

http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/fwalters/toeflwrite.html

The above website is a _great_ resource for writing. Again notefull.com has
some fantastic tips for the second question. I followed those tips too.


Test day

Unlike my GMAT test day, I was very relaxed. Reading section had a couple of
questions which put me in some confusion. Listening was pretty easy, though I
think I missed a detail question. I thought I did badly in speaking, but the
results tell me otherwise. As for Writing, I knew that I had nailed a 30 the
moment I finished the section. I expected somewhere around 105 to 110 and was
excited to get a near 100%.

That is all I have for now. I hope you will find my suggestions helpful in acing
TOEFL. All the best.

On to admissions...

Thanked by: kravindran7
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DanaJ Site Admin
Joined
01 Jan 2009
Posted:
2567 messages
Followed by:
550 members
Thanked:
712 times
GMAT Score:
770
Post Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:01 am
Congrats on the great score, gmat_and_me! Best of luck with admissions!

Thanked by: gmat_and_me
gmat_and_me Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
05 Mar 2011
Posted:
58 messages
Followed by:
5 members
Thanked:
20 times
Test Date:
3/2/2012
GMAT Score:
770
Post Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Thanks Dana. The good scores that I got in the exams is also
because of the excellent help that BTG and other forums have
provided me. You guys are doing a fantastic job.

Thanks

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