TOEFL Preparation tips
TOEFL Exam Structure
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TOEFL Preparation Tips and Strategies

TOEFL requires you to have a good command over the English language as the exam assesses various aspects of the language through 4 sections namely, Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, let’s check out the necessary steps / tricks of preparation.

May 18, 2022

By Coaching Select


TOEFL requires you to have a good command over the English language as the exam assesses various aspects of the language through 4 sections namely, Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, let’s check out the necessary steps / tricks of preparation.

How to start preparing for TOEFL:

  • You must primarily understand the structure and syllabus of TOEFL.
  • draft your own study plan by meticulously,
  •  devising a strategy focusing on your strong and weak points.

TOEFL Exam Structure

  • Here’s some new changes introduced by ETS for the TOEFL iBT format which is the commonly preferred exam format for this exam. Take a look at the updated version of the new TOEFL iBT pattern:


New Version


3-4 Passages; 10 questions / passage, 72 Minutes.


4 Lecture; 6 Lecture/Question


4 Tasks ; 17 Minutes


No Change


  1. Reading Tips: Read a given passage and understand its central idea.
  • TOEFL Reading section preparation tips :
  1. ReadingSpeed:
  • You need to be a quick reader.
  • go through minute details also you should have a surface level knowledge to answer the questions.
  1. Stick to the Passage
    You need to answer the questions with regard to what has been written in the passage and not with respect to your opinion on it.
  2. Read from Various Sources
  • Go through new paper articles in order to develop worldwide knowledge.
  • Having prior knowledge of a subject will help you comprehend the passage easily.
  1. Listening Tips:
  1. Similar Environment
    Your TOEFL preparation for the Listening Section should be done in an environment similar to the testing condition.
  2. Other Sources
    You need to process the lecture and the conversation. Along with listening, you also need to memorize what is being said. So, listen to news debates, broadcasts, English movies and documentaries.
  3. Podcasts
    Understanding the tone and the thought process of the speaker is very essential. Along with practice tests and material you can also listen to various podcasts to develop a habit of understanding an audio clip without any visuals.
  1. Speaking Tips: tests your fluency in speaking English, but it also assesses the determinants of personality and responsive skills too.
  1. Important Points
    While listening, focus on what is being said, and make brief notes of the same.
  2. English Natives
    English natives can practice speaking with them in order to develop fluency. For those who don’t have this option can go through lectures and talks relevant to the TOEFL topics and try to observe how they speak.
  3. Record and Listen
    This is one of the best TOEFL preparation tips for the Speaking Section. While reading a newspaper article or practicing TOEFL speaking topics, record your voice on the phone or a recorder. This will not only help you identify your mistakes but will also help you in improving your enunciation and speed.
  1. Writing Section: This section requires you to write:
  1. Two passages,
  2. One independent and one integrated.

(30 minutes to complete the former and 20 minutes for latter)


Writing Tips:


  1. Reading:
  • To ace the Writing section is to read from as many sources as possible.
  • Gain more knowledge to improve your answer quality.
  • Boost your vocabulary and improve your Grammar.
  1. Answer Structure:
  • Well documented and structured passage.
  • The evaluation is done based on critical analysis; one should mention the key details in a concise way.
  1. Time Management:
  • Read, draft an outline, write.


  1. Set a TOEFL Score to Achieve:
  • Effectively identify your strong and weak points and then curate the right TOEFL preparation strategy accordingly.
  • decide upon a target score that meets the requirements of the academic institution(s) you are applying for.
  1. Time for Preparation:
  • Generally, 2 months is advised to be the recommended time period for TOEFL preparation but if you feel like honing your English skills by starting with the basics of the language then you need to set aside 3-6 months to carry out your preparation.
  1. Early Exam Date:
  • Opt for a test date around 6-10 weeks (or according to the admission intake deadline of your chosen academic institution) before you need to submit them for your application since you will get your TOEFL results by then and can provide them afterwards.
  1. Take Notes:
  • This is one of the important TOEFL preparation tips since missing out on key details throughout the different exam sections can result in losing valuable marks.
  • Train yourself to take notes by putting down pointers especially during the listening, speaking and writing section.
  1. Don’t Skip Any Question:
  • No negative marking in this exam,
  • always answer every question with the best possible option or
  • Use the process of elimination to find the correct one.




ETS Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (4th Edition)


Cracking the TOEFL iBT

Princeton Review

Official TOEFL iBT Test Volume 2


Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier with 4 Practice Tests

Kaplan Test Prep

The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop
Source for Every Writing Assignment

Susan Thurman


How long does it take to prepare for TOEFL:

  • the minimum preparation time suggested for TOEFL is one month for those adhering to a strict and tight study schedule.
  • But, if you need to extensively work on each section then two months are quite adequate to carry out your TOEFL preparation.
  • Even though you can follow a multitude of TOEFL preparation tips, but practicing is the ultimate key to success!


TOEFL Basics

Eligibility: You must have passed in 10+2 from any recognised Indian Board or University.

Date and Frequency

The TOEFL test has over 50 test dates per year at authorized test centers around the world. You can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 3-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 3 days of your existing appointment. The registration fee is due each time you register for a test date.

Center and Admit Card

The TOEFL iBT test, administered via the internet, is offered more than 50 times a year at authorized test centers around the world. There is no admit card provided.


You can view your scores online or via the TOEFL official app, approximately 6 days after you take the test.

Score Reporting

Your test fee includes up to 4 free official TOEFL score reports to be sent to the TOEFL Destinations that you select before you take the test. Official score reports will be sent to your designated recipients within 11 days after you take the test.

Score Validity

2 Years

Time Duration

3 Hours

Score range for the test

0 - 120


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