Home / News / World /  Applying to foreign universities? Check TOEFL's 6-point cheatsheet here

When you apply to universities abroad, apart from filling out application forms, what counts is whether you have cleared an English-language test. The TOEFL test is the most recognized and accepted by over 11,500 universities and institutions in more than 160 countries. 

The evaluates reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that are essential for university coursework. Recent data from the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) shows that 648,678 students flew abroad for higher education until November 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic numbers. Early preparation and routines can help reduce exam anxiety and boost confidence on test day. Lejo Sam Oommen, MD, ETS India, elaborates on the methods that will help you improve your scores. 

Practice vocabulary 

One of your main strengths when it comes to the English language is your vocabulary. Make it a goal to learn new words and phrases every day. One way to do this is to maintain a notebook where you write a new word each day. Attempt to use these words in conversations you have in English with others. A solid vocabulary will add to your confidence and knowledge, which will only benefit you on test day. 

Immerse yourself in an English learning environment

To improve your English, make a habit of taking notes while watching movies or reading news. Listen to podcasts and identify important points by stating or writing them down. Look up unfamiliar words and surround yourself with English as much as possible.

Do your research

Make a list of your dream universities and keep your approach aligned with their requirements. Research the scores you need from programs you’re interested in, as each will have its own requirements. Practice tests can help you gauge where your strengths and improvement areas are, so that you can prepare well in advance to achieve your ideal score.

Be well informed

Learn about the TOEFL iBT test, its timing, format and scores. One can thoroughly surf through the TOEFL website and understand the nuances in detail. Set a goal score so that you know what you are aiming for. We recommend relying on official websites and guides for information. The ETS’s resources are tailored specifically to the test itself, and are created by the company’s assessment development and R&D experts.

Choose test date wisely

It is recommended to select an early test date for TOEFL, allowing ample time for score reports to be sent to institutions and for effective preparation. During the registration process, up to four free TOEFL iBT score reports can be sent to chosen colleges or universities. For TOEFL iBT Paper Edition, unlimited free score reports can be sent to selected institutions. 

Free practice tests

Preparation for the TOEFL iBT test can be aided by accessing the official TOEFL iBT practice materials, such as a free practice test featuring past test questions. ETS offers newer test prep options, developed with E2, including a full TOEFL iBT mock test. There are three test format options available: TOEFL iBT in a test center, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, and TOEFL iBT Paper Edition. 

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