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TOEFL Experience and tips - How I got 115 out of 120!

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digvijayk Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Test Date:
12/17/2012
Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
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TOEFL Experience and tips - How I got 115 out of 120!

Post Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:04 am
I am great at writing. In fact I've never lost a writing competition in my life. When the writer in me gets going, he's unstoppable. Now that I've tooted my horn Razz let me share my experience.

I took the TOEFL back in september. I was told by many of my friends that TOEFL is very easy and you need just one week to prepare. While the second part is true (you need just one week to prepare), the first part is not! You could prepare in one week, but you need to know few things first:

1. What are the question types on the TOEFL and how to tackle them ?
2. What are the best resources to use, instead of wasting time on useless books.
3. You need quality templates and quality practice!

1 is important because if you don't know the question types, I don't care if you're shakespeare, you won't be able to get your thought together in 15-30 seconds and then say it all in the small time alloted! Over-confidence can and will take you down. So Familiarize yourself with all the question types.
2 is important because you really just need the Official ETS study guide. Just like on the GMAT, Official questions to practice on are necessary. Further practice material can be gained from the Barron's book, which is the best unofficial book for TOEFL prep. Once you have familiarized yourself with the Q-types, use the CDs and the practice tests.
3 is important because without the right templates, you may not be able to answer as well as you are capable of! Visit the following link on gmatclub (hey! i still love the BTG, but this is great stuff) and get your templates for free:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/toefl-instructional-videos-speaking-writing-very-useful-100611.html

So, I did all of that in about a week. It took me about 2 days to get used to the templates and the fast paced thinking, but then I started doing very well. I was extremely confident. I took my flight and went to the other city where I was to take the test. I had to fly because the slots really fill up in any city 2-3 months in advance sometimes. So keep that in mind too.

On test day, I was extremely confident. But, yes I did run into some bad fish. A couple of people got everyone really nervous for no reason. They (intentionally) asked people questions like "oh, how many questions are asked in the long-form of the xyz section... oh u don't know, tsst tsst. you really should" And then I saw guys' confidence crumple. They asked me, I told 'em it doesn't matter Smile But stay away from nervous or EVIL people on t-day if you're someone who gets nervous.

I went in, the time started. The Reading section was easy (thanks to GMAT) and the listening section was a breeze too (don't use pen on listening section, just know the format). The speaking section went almost well- i first jotted down my templates and then used them religiously. The writing section was obviously my strength and I turned on the writer inside me to get the job done.

That's it. Hope it helps someone. ... My final score:

Reading: 28
Listening: 30
Speaking: 27
Writing: 30
Total 115 Smile

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